May 2013 archive
Peace: Peace is a state of tranquility or harmony.
No cloud to be seen
The wind breezes
Sand beneath my toes
Time to myself
Reading, sleeping, laughing
Ripples on the sea
A view to behold
Time out, refresh
Training: Training is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one’s capability, capacity, and performance.
Hello! Who out there is thinking about potty training their little one? Are you dreading it? Or are you looking forward to finally being free from those endless nappy changes?
For me, hearing the term ‘potty training’ makes me want to shout out loud to EVERY parent thinking of doing it and say….STOP…it should be called ‘potty when they’re ready!’ They can’t be trained!! And indeed why should they?
I have three children, a daughter and two sons, two of which are fully ‘trained.’ (Third is only 10 months, think that’s a bit early!) When my daughter was just two, several of our friends in the local play group were already talking about training their little ones to go to the toilet. Whenever we were out and about together I swear they spent more time in the toilets than actually with anyone else. Every time the words ‘Mummy I need wee’ were uttered off they’d dash, scared of an accident and fearful of the child feeling like they’d failed, that they’d done something wrong by having an accident. The mums all had massive bags too, filled with sweets and chocolate as a reward for success, and about fifty million changes of clothes for those inevitable accidents. They bought books, Gina Ford’s guide to potty training was one, and read them whilst we were out to check they were training their little ones correctly. And I guess there was a kind of peer pressure. If they were all doing it, training their tiny people, then should I be? Did I need to go out and buy a giant sized suitcase so I could carry my daughters entire wardrobe around with me in case she had an accident? Did I need a portable potty so that she could feel free to go whenever and wherever she liked? It all seemed like an awful lot of hassle. Whilst they were all running to and from the bathroom and changing their children, wiping away the tears, I was playing with my daughter. Enjoying time with her, be it at the park or a friends house or indeed wherever we were. She wasn’t showing any interest in using a potty, and she was only just two. I kept thinking to myself, how many grown ups aren’t potty trained? How many children go to school still in nappies? (In my 13 years teaching experience I’ve only ever known of one) And I made the decision then to trust my instincts, I knew she wasn’t ready and I’d be damned if I was going to force her to do something that could potentially cause her more upset than good.
So, we waited. And waited. And 6 months later I spied her in the bathroom, sat on one of our potties (yes I had bought some just in case she was ready!) and her favourite teddy bear was sat on another. And they were having a lovely little chat together. She didn’t actually do a wee that time, but not long afterwards she did. And barely ever had an accident. I hadn’t need to train her, I’d waited until she was ready and she had done it all by herself. She knew when she needed to go. And go she did. There were no giant bags of spare clothes, no dashing off and spending hours in public toilets. It was easy. There was no stress involved at all!
Nighttime dryness was the same. As soon as her nappies had been dry for a week or so I took them off. And left a potty in the room if she needed it. Which she did occasionally. But we never had a nighttime accident. Because when those nappies had finally been removed, her body and her brain were ready for it. They’d made the connection. They knew when it was time to go, and could wait when it wasn’t.
It was a similar story with my 3 year old son. Yet for him to be ready we had to wait until he was three and a half. He would happily sit on the potty, and enjoyed watching his Gruffalo do ‘wees’ on the potty (Which was actually me sneakily pouring water in whilst he wasn’t looking!) But his body wasn’t ready for him to do it himself for a long time later. And whilst everyone else at pre-school ditched the nappies, my little boy remained in his. It didn’t bother him. It didn’t bother me. I knew he’d get there in the end. When he was ready. And he did. At night time too. And we’ve had just one accident.
So I guess what I am trying to say with all of these lovely potty anecdotes, is that in my opinion children shouldn’t be trained. Their bodies are complex little things and only when the connections are made in their brains are they ready to use the toilet. It happens at different times for each different child. It’s such an easier and happier experience for everyone involved if you have the courage to wait until they are ready. To not feel the pressure of everyone else waffling on about how their child was trained at 6 months. (Bet these were the children that slept through the night from 6 weeks as well!) Take your time, they all get there in the end.
Birthday: A birthday is a day when a person celebrates the anniversary of his or her birth. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with a gift, party, or rite of passage.
I have the perfect #magicmoment this Monday. Because today, is my youngest’s first birthday and this weekend has been filled with family loveliness and many magical moments! For today’s post I have gathered together my favourite photos of the weekend and birthday celebrations.
He wasn’t sure what to make of the cake…
And then he tasted it…
The sun was shining and he loved walking about in the garden…
And then he opened his presents, with the help of his siblings and cousin…
What a year! And what a magical weekend! Happy Birthday beautiful boy xx
Blockage: The act of obstructing. Something that obstructs; an obstacle.
So today I have the pleasure of hosting the blog hop, along with @Judith Kingston from http://www.secretsofthesandpit, for the lovely Emma @crazywithtwins. As those of you who have already linked up or are following all of the wonderful posts you know we are all here blogging to show support for her and attempting to cheer her up whilst she is unable to cuddle her precious children during her gruelling radiotherapy treatment.
I am so pleased to be able to start this post with some GOOD NEWS from the lovely lady herself! Last night Emma sent Judith and I an email…
On day 3 of isolation, after excessive drinking, peeing, showering and other activities you don’t want to know about…my radiation emission levels dropped unexpectedly to 700, meaning I was safe to be discharged from isolation. I still cannot come within 1-2 metres of any human being (or cat) but have gone home and been given estimated dates for cuddles with my husband on 5th June, 6yr old Bunny on 11th June and 1yr old twins on 16th of June!
This is 6 days early and for any bloggers going to Britmums Live or the BiB awards ceremony… I WILL SEE YOU THERE!!!
This is absolutely fantastic news, but even though she is home Emma is still not able to do what she is so desperate to do, and that is cuddle her girls, so….here is my ‘humorous’ post and my attempt to cheer her up.
Over the past few weeks I have thought long and hard about which story to tell to make you all laugh, to cheer everybody, especially Emma up! I have plenty of embarrassing tales to tell…I am one of those people that things seem to just happen to! I could tell you my most recent tale of mortification upon where I was walked in on whilst hovering over an aeroplane toilet by the fittest guy on the plane, who then had to stand there red faced whilst I ‘finished up’ infront of everyone enjoying the flight. Who, having heard my scream of sheer terror, had realised what had happened and were sat, squirming in their seats stifling laughter. I can tell you that summing up the courage to walk out of that toilet was sodding difficult. And as I did, those stifled giggles erupted into full blown bloody guffaws. *cringes at the memory*
But I’ve decided to tell you another tale of bodily functions and desperation instead. (Lucky us I hear you cry!) When I was a single parent my daughter and I lived in a ground floor flat. It was a gorgeous and spacious flat in an old Victorian building, attached to a new build with three more flats inside. We had lived there for couple of years and I’d slowly been renovating, one room at a time. The kitchen had been done, the windows double glazed and the night storage heaters upgraded to ones that actually kicked out some heat, all be it at three in the morning. The one room left to do was the bathroom. It was a glorious shade of pink, with asbestos under the ancient and crumbling tiles. There was no window, and the sewage pipe from the three flats above ran down one wall and was bricked off. The bathroom was mostly functional….all apart from the ageing, pink toilet. It was temperamental. Very, very temperamental. As long as you used it correctly it would do you no harm, but the minute you broke the rules, the second you stepped out of line, the toilet became your worst enemy and was a pain in the sodding arse. (No pun intended) Vomit, for example, was one thing it did not like and instead of swallowing it up and sending it down the waste pipes to the sewers below it would regurgitate the stuff and vomit itself. Too much toilet paper and it would block, leaving you to put on rubber gloves up to your elbow and scoop the damn stuff out. (Retching continuously as you did, but knowing you couldn’t vomit in the bloody thing as that would only make it worse) I bought fancy plungers and manufactured my own ‘unblockers’ out of wire coat hangers and tennis balls, and mostly fixed it myself. But…then the day came which made me loathe my toilet more than ever and vow to rip it out with my bare hands and replace it as soon as was humanly possible.
It was a normal morning, but the toilet was ready to ruin it. It blocked. Who knows why on this occasion, but it blocked. I went to work doing all of my usual many tried and tested techniques. Scooped the contents out with my bare hands as I’d thrown my last pair of overused rubber gloves away and forgotten to buy more. *heaves at the memory* Swearing and cursing under my breath I flushed, hoping magically that it would all be back to normal. But no. The f***ing thing was still f***ing blocked. And another problem was brewing, one that with me when you need to go you need to go. And I had no-where to bloody go. A plumber was called who promised he’d be there within the hour. I knew I couldn’t last that long. I tried the other flats and all of my neighbours were of course out, or ignoring me, in cahoots with the toilet, and not answering their doors. My daughter was with me, I had to wait for the plumber and we didn’t live near enough to anywhere for me to pop out relive myself and then pop back. Walking didn’t help, sitting down didn’t help, squeezing my butt cheeks together so hard I could cry didn’t help. I was going to go whether I liked it or not, and I had no f***ing toilet to go in. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw….the potty. The tiny little white potty. No I thought, that would be disgusting, I cannot possibly do it in the potty. Besides, where would I put it when I’d finished?! But my stomach growled as if speaking to me saying, ‘for goodness just do it woman, I can’t hold it in much longer, just sodding squat and do your business…NOW!’
And so ladies and gentlemen. I did. With my then 2 year old daughter watching me of course and all the while sh***ing myself that the buzzer would ring and the plumber would arrive right in the middle of my relief. I won’t give you the gory details, but let’s just say it was better out than in. I then, feeling immense relief but immense disgust, got a carrier bag from under the sink, (after I’d hoiked myself up, my thigh muscles did not like squatting for that long) scooped it up and threw it in the bin. My mum was the only person I ever told, until now, about this incident. She laughed so hard that her tea flew out of her mouth and across the room. I’ve never heard her laugh like that before…or indeed since!!
The toilet and bathroom were hastily replaced after that day, and never again have I had the misfortune of needing to use a potty. Have you?
You can catch up with Emma’s news on her blog: http://www.crazywithtwins.com/ and follow her on Twitter: @crazywithtwins
Tomorrow we hand the baton over to PODcast, @The_Doves, but for now if you have a happy, humorous or inspiring post PLEASE add it to the link below and show your support! Xx
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You’re nearly one, a baby no more.
Crawling and cruising around the floor.
Trying new words, making new sounds,
Facial expressions from smiles to frowns.
You like to be cuddled, love to be kissed.
Looking at everything, nothing is missed.
Reading a book, chewing a toy.
You are an absolute total and wonderful joy.
This year has been tough, challenges faced.
Hardness and difficulties for which I wasn’t braced.
Sleepless nights and emotional weeks,
Both of us at times with tears down our cheeks.
But you made me stronger, you made me have hope.
I could be your mum, I could do it, cope.
We got through it together, a family as one.
And now those dark days and dark times are gone.
Your birthday on Monday, with family around.
Presents and cards and cake to be found.
Celebrate the wonder and joy that is you,
And marvel at all the amazing things that you do.
Cuddle you tight and hold you close.
Place kisses all over your cheeks and your nose.
Know I love you, more so every day,
You complete our family in every possible way.
Happy first birthday my beautiful boy xx
Kindness: Kindness is the act or the state of being kind, being marked by good and charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions (see ethics in religion). Research has shown that acts of kindness does not only benefit receivers of the kind act, but also the giver, as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of contentment and relaxation when such acts are committed. 
Today’s #wednesdaywords is another short and sweet one from me. It follows on from my rule post on Monday as the words themselves are another ‘rule’ by which I like to live, and think important. And the words, taken from a friend’s picture on her wall, are these….
So simple yet so true…especially the ‘be kind’ part. It is so important to be kind. Being kind is innate, it’s natural, yet sadly sometimes easily forgotten. Kindness often costs nothing, and yet…is priceless.
Rule: noun: from Middle English rule, from Old French riule, from Vulgar Latin regula (“straight stick, bar, ruler, pattern”), from regere (“to keep straight, direct, govern, rule”); see regent.verb: from Middle English rulen, from Old French riuler, from Latin regulare (“to regulate, rule”), from regula (“a rule”); see regular.
Rules, we all have them and mostly we all try and live by them. I am an absolute stickler for them. I cannot, try as I might break them and am filled with a sense of dread if I even attempt to. If a sign says ‘No Entry’ then there is nothing, not even a massive box of calorie free chocolate on the other side, that will make me enter! (although I would think about it)
Parenting for me has it’s own set of rules (instinctive ones of course!!) but also some black and white ones that my family and I all abide by. ‘Treat others how you would like to be treated yourself.’ is one. ‘Work hard, play hard.’ another. More ideals and life philosophies than rules I guess.
And there is no place where rules are more enforced than ever, than in a school. A few months ago I went to a parents evening at my daughter’s school, and on chatting to her form tutor for a mere 15 minutes it was clear that my 11 year daughter was breaking quite a few of their rules. She was being rude to others, not handing in her homework and had got a couple of detentions in a couple of weeks. I was mortified. There has always been two sides to my daughter, she’s a Gemini and we’ve often said she has a good side, and a not so good side, and clearly the latter was rearing it’s ugly head more than the norm (if there is one!) for a pre-teen. Interestingly the form tutor’s advice was for me to be stricter with her. It was a moment when I had to do a bit of self reflection. My fiery red-headed daughter had always pushed boundaries with her fantastically outgoing and vivacious personality, and she’d always needed clear boundaries setting. However in the last year, with the birth of my third child and PND I had to admit that these boundaries had lapsed somewhat. It was easier for me to pick up rubbish she left in the lounge than have to have yet another argument about her doing it herself. It was easy for me to say yes to her having the laptop in her room at bedtime than have a battle to get her to go to bed. I’m not proud of my lack of ‘structured’ parenting, but I will admit to it and be honest about it. I had taken the easy route. I felt awful that she’d seen me so ill, felt terrible that she was old enough to know what was going on and that she’d had to comfort me on many an occasion. So, if I could keep her happy in other ways I guess I had felt I was making up for some of that. But now, the lack of boundaries was coming back to bite us both on the ass.
We came home, both of us very upset. There had been so many arguments and battles between us over the last few months, but for once after what the tutor had said, we were both speechless. I felt I had completely let her down and mother’s guilt kicked in with full force. She went to bed and I tortured myself with guilt and fears of being a terrible mother. My daughter and I had done a ‘love bombing’ day a few weeks previous to this which, although wonderful, hadn’t fully solved the issues and as soon as we returned home from our day out, try as we might not to let it happen, the arguments, resentment and frustrations returned. So we needed something new. I thought about what the form tutor had said and wondered how my daughter felt about it. We sat down and discussed what we were going to do, as our situation was affecting so many people. My daughter said she wanted rules. She said she wanted to know exactly where she stood and what she was and wasn’t allowed to do. I asked her how she would like this to be done and she decided on a rule book. We went to Paperchase and bought a massive coloured notebook, and some stickers. (and I may or may not have also purchased several smaller notebooks for me, but we won’t focus on that) We came home and together thought of what we both expected of each other. Each page was written with a rule, and a consequence if that rule was broken. Things like ‘all electronic equipment switched off by 8.30pm,’ ‘make your bed every morning,’ and ‘tidy up after yourself,’ were recorded and agreed. She wanted to sign every page to show she was committed to it. And I had rules too!
It’s strange, but after the book had been written and the rules were in place she changed. She looked happier, lighter. Without being asked she started following them, and was actually found singing as she tidied up! Upon asking her where this lovely good mood had come from she simply said that she felt a weight had been lifted from her shoulders and that she felt so much happier knowing exactly where she stood. She said writing that book had been a relief, and she was so happy we were working as a team to improve our relationship and her attitude. Over the next few weeks we looked at the book every evening and either stuck in a sticker (again her idea!) if she had stuck to it, or put a warning cross if something hadn’t gone quite right. Soon, as the weeks went by we needed to look at the book less and less and now, it’s hardly referred to at all.
The real test (and subsequent #magicmoment!) came last Thursday. It was her end of Year 7 parents evening. A two hour extravaganza where I would meet every single one of her teachers. I was nervous, she was nervous. The proof, as they say, was going to be in the parent-teacher conference pudding. And it was the sweetest, most delicious pudding I had ever eaten. Phrases like, ‘wonderfully polite, ‘ ‘an absolute pleasure to teach,’ ”a fantastic team player,’ and ‘such an amazing attitude to school and learning,’ were said…about my daughter! She was praised for her perseverance, for her thoughtfulness, her kindness and determination. Together we discovered how truly amazing she is, and I have never been so proud to be her mother. She swelled with pride with every conversation and at the end of the two hours we were laughing and smiling and high-fiving (not cool for a grown woman I know!) all over the place. She was so proud of herself and everything she had achieved. And I had learnt to listen to her needs more, she needed rules and boundaries not my misplaced attempts at making her feel loved to try and ease my PND guilt.
Now, I’m not naive enough to think that my daughter will forever be this polite, hard working and well behaved, she is about to become a teenager in the not so distant future after all, but I do hope that this wonderful phase continues and that it installs in her an innate sense of motivation and desire to work hard and succeed. She set her own rules and stuck to them. She excelled herself and turned it around. That parents evening was a truly wonderful #magicmoment. We celebrated in style with a lovely mother/daughter dinner, something we have vowed to do at least once a week, just the two of us. She’s an amazing child, and I think she is finally beginning to realise that herself!
Above: a·bove, adv. On high; overhead: the clouds above. In heaven; heavenward. In or to a higher rank or position: the ranks of major and above. Superior to in rank, position, or number; greater than: put principles above expediency. Idiom: above all, over and above all other factors or considerations: Above all, tell the truth. (Free Dictionary)
I like to please.
Get knocked down easily.
Take thing personally.
Always seeking approval.
Need to be needed,
Busy and useful.
Harsh words out of nowhere hurt me.
Make me doubt,
Looking for reassurance.
Empathy and support.
But eyes roll and tongues wag,
Am an irritation.
Love to be liked.
Like to be loved.
Try my best, but,
Knocked down again.
Rise above, pain no more.
Surround myself with loveliness,
kindness, honesty and openness.
Rise above it all.
And let it go.