Blurred lines

It is definitely getting longer between posts lately, which is a shame because actually there is more stuff to write about at the moment

! Let’s start with a general update on the new baby and the big brother’s handling of that. Mr 9 loves this baby so much that he is willing to listen and slow down and follow instructions as long as he gets to carry and cuddle the baby. There are also drawbacks to this intense level of love. So far everyone else who deals with the baby isn’t good enough in Mr 9’s eyes and grandparents are at severe risk of copping a verbal beating if the baby utters a cry while being looked after by them! This is causing me some difficulty at the moment in getting babysitters…or more to the point Mr 9 allowing certain baby sitters or not.

The title of today’s post comes from something Mr 9 said to me the other day. He was making a video record of his life (which by his own account sucks). He pointed the camera at me and said,

“Say something Mummyish!”

Me: “Ok. When you have finished that, you need to do two pages of science”

Son: “That is NOT Mummyish, that is teacherish! Try again!”

Me: with a thousand thoughts of realisation about blurred lines and how I have blurred them going through my mind, “ok. I’m sure your video will be wonderful my darling beautiful boy!”

Son:  grinning “Good. That’s much more like a mummy!”

And so I spent the rest of the afternoon lamenting how homeschooling has often taken away the time and patience I need to spend with my son being his mum and forced me into the role of his teacher.

Sadly his learning difficulties do mean that it is hard to get him to do enough traditional ‘output’ in a day to satisfy the current societal ideals of what a child should know by a certain age. Every now and then I doubt what we are doing when people question me on this, but then I do some research into learning and brain development and remind myself that these are really just non meaningful expectations set by a schooling system that doesn’t really work for many kids in the long run. He can read, he can think. He hates learning because his experience of it was so negative while in the schooling system. It is going to take a few years to undo that and help him understand that he loves learning  when it is present in a free and interesting way. That doesn’t make it any easier for me on an everyday basis though. And that’s how I have fallen into the trap of being teacherish rather than Mummyish. I hope I can slowly undo that mistake and learn to let go of the expectations of other people who don’t understand how my son works.

Posted in Family, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quote of the Week

We are looking after a neighbour’s new puppy while she is at work.

Son: “She likes it on the lounge!”

Me: “She’s not allowed on the lounge, put her on the floor please. You can sit with her on the floor on some cushions.”

Son: “But! She likes it here! It won’t hurt for now!”

Me: “I don’t want her smell on my lounge or her sharp claws please. Just put her on the floor on her cushion with you.”

Son: complies….”Aww she likes it here too, and it’s really comfy for me too on her cushion!”

Me: “Totes”.

Son: “No more ‘totes’ for the rest of the day! You get one a day, you are sounding like a teenager!”

hee hee hee hee.

Posted in Family, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook is the new fridge door

*** Disclaimer: To all my Facebook friends who might read this post. Please don’t let what I’m about to say make you think that I don’t want to see the posts you put about your kids. Cranky pants complaining is always more ‘read-worthy’ than happiness and sunshine. Feel free to ignore me and carry on as you were :)***

Lately I’ve been scrolling through Facebook a lot more than I would have previously done. One reason is that I am often sitting with a sleeping baby on me and can’t do anything else but pick up a book or my phone. Another reason that I am a member of a number of really great homeschooling Facebook groups, including one for the parents of Gifted and Talented children. I get a lot of great ideas and information from these groups and get a chance to ‘chat’ to other parents all over the country.

The problem I have with all this Facebooking I’ve been doing is that I have to constantly be bombarded with the photos and posts of friends and family who put up pics of their very ‘normal’ kids achieving certificates at school, or starting school and looking all smiley and happy in their too big school uniforms. Yeah, OK, I get it. Your kid goes to school. Yeah I get it, they complete their work and do good stuff, and get recognition for it. Some of them have kids who are super athletic and getting trophies. Some of them have awesomely talented kids in the arts. Great. I’m happy for them. I just kinda wish they’d keep those proud moments on their fridges like the old days so that I don’t have to see them every day.

Why?

Well, it sorta makes me mad. Or Sad, or to quote Oh from the movie Home “mad sad”. My kid doesn’t do any of that stuff. He did come home from school one day with a ‘smiley’ on his chart.

“What was that for sweetheart?”

“I didn’t punch anybody today!”

“That’s fantastic! Well done!”

sigh.

See what I mean? Each day in this house is a struggle to get my son to do anything even remotely resembling things that the rest of society would consider an achievement. He’s smart. Very smart. But when you refuse to even sit down for ten minutes and try to do your maths or writing, there is no way to show the powers that be, or the regular folk who think that education is based on output and testing just how smart he is. If he was tested in a conventional ‘school’ way, he’d probably be two years behind.

Him being behind in that way doesn’t really bother me at all. He’s smart, when he’s ready, he’ll catch up all that stuff. Right now, all his energy is going into his Lego models and learning stuff that he is interested in. I try to direct some of that energy into learning how to live in the world. He is better off knowing how to get along with people and not get into trouble every five minutes than learning his times tables right now. Although I know all this stuff deep down, I still find myself rolling my eyes a little bit at Facebook when people post their kids on there. Yes I do it too. I post the Lego models he builds.

20150314_175324 20150622_174223

I post the strange things he does like catching wild birds with his bare hands and baking Minecraft cakes.

20150702_114044 20150616_173138

I post the cuteness of his baby brother.

20150625_103608

But.

Would I put those things on the fridge if I didn’t have Facebook? Probably not. He doesn’t really care about certificates or stickers or prizes, so I guess our fridge would end up still just being plastered with calendars showing the next therapy session, and drawings of mines and trucks. That’s just who he is.

Posted in Family, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Words I hate hearing…

I have a brief respite from being Mummy right now. Why? The baby is asleep and the nine year old is making his first ever youtube video. Yes, you read that right. Oh how it pains me. He’s on his X-Box, (that we recently purchased second hand) playing Minecraft. He has set up our video camera pointing at the screen and he’s giving a running commentary of what he’s doing. It’s making me laugh. He just said, “If you could smash that like button and subscribe so I can earn a bit of money and upgrade from this crappy video camera. I’m just a Noob, I don’t really know what I’m doing and I know nothing about how to put his on Youtube, but don’t turn it off if you haven’t already.” Or something like that! Too funny.

He’s just generally gab gab gabbing and it’s hilarious. Well… to me anyway. Right back to what I wanted to post!

At the moment, there are a number of things that annoy me hugely as soon as I hear them. Lack of sleep probably has a lot to do with it, but I have to say that when I hear the following, I tend to kind of lose my blob, which is not my usual response!

1. “Mummy!” – Yeah, I know, there is really nothing I can do about this one, but let me tell you that when you are tired, and all you do all day is feed, wash bottles, make food, wash dishes, wash clothes, change nappies, answer questions, and then repeat all that again, hearing this word can make you seriously lose it! This word is often followed by some other things that send me over the edge!

2. “Guess what?!” – Sigh, I really hate this one. I usually answer with a gentle “what?”. Sometimes it becomes a quick angry snappish “What?!@” Other times it is uttered with a resigned sigh. I asked him why he keeps asking me to “Mummy, guess what?” when the next thing out of his mouth usually, “nothing” or “I’m hungry” or “look at this thing on Minecraft”. Clearly, he doesn’t really want me to guess anything! Or perhaps because I know what the top three things coming next are, he asks me to guess because I’m usually right! Anyway, when asked, his response was,

“I don’t know, I think I’m just bored.” That leads me into my number three thing I hate to hear.

3. “I’m bored!” – I usually reply with, “OK, go and read a book, do some schoolwork, learn something, build something, do colouring in, make up a story, play a game, jump on the trampoline, daydream, have a nap..” The list is actually never ending, yet somehow, despite all of these things, boredom still strikes him down with dramatic and infuriating regularity.

4. “I think I have depression.” Pardon? Yep, he actually says that. Yesterday he insisted that he has depression because he was so mad and upset and it was the worst day in the world. EVER. “Why?” I asked with concern, “What makes you feel like that do you think?”

Mr 9: “I can’t tame a horse on Minecraft! You are probably going to ask me to do some schoolwork soon! I never go anywhere or do anything! I hate being here.”

Me: “Well, I can understand the not going anywhere thing, that is depressing I guess. Let’s go to social group tomorrow after trampoline. You can show off your new baby brother to everyone.”

Mr 9: “No, I hate going to social group. All the other kids are horrible. They only play with me for about three seconds and then they run off and do other stuff.”

That conversation went on for quite a while believe me. I did the whole explaining that he can’t control the kids and the game, and has to follow them and do other stuff sometimes too. Anyway, the end result was that he absolutely did not want to go to social group… or the museum… or the park, or for that matter, ANY of the interesting places I offered him so that he can GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! Yeah yeah I know it’s his anxiety, but honestly, what else can I do for him?! It’s not easy getting a four week old baby out of the house with all the paraphernalia you need! I would do it though, so that he gets out in the world and doesn’t feel trapped at home. I would take him to all the amazing homeschool group activities organised in our area. We could do something interesting, educational and social almost every day if only he would do it!

And, my final thing I hate to hear?

“You never let me do anything I want! I always have to do everything around here!” – I’m good at ignoring this one for the most part, but sometimes I respond with a tirade about all the boring things I have to do repetitively all day every day. I don’t think he cares ;)

I guess I better go and sort out the bottles now before the baby wakes up! And probably make some more food for Mr 9… and think about what’s for dinner and whether we have the ingredients for it. Oh dear, can you tell I’m bored by how boring my subjects for blogging are?!

Posted in Family, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Plans for Little Brother

Upon just hearing that Duchess Kate just gave birth to a little girl… a princess… Mr 9 comes in while I’m changing a nappy.

Son: Mummy, do royal people have to marry other royals? Or are they allowed to choose who they marry?

Me: They can marry who they want to.

Son: Even a foreigner?

Me: Yes, even a foreigner. Why?

Son: Well, a baby princess was just born today and my little brother is just a few weeks older than her. So he could marry her and he will be royal!

Me: Yes, that’s true, you never know!

Son: approaching to stroke his brother’s head. “Well, I’ll make sure that his hair is always combed straight and neat and cut short then. He’ll be very handsome, so he can marry a princess. And he’ll be smart too.”

Awwww…. so cute. I love that he’ll make sure his brother’s hair is neat and cut short! Have you seen Mr 9’s hair?! He refuses to let us near it with either scissors or even a brush! I’m lucky if I can get him to wash it a couple of times a week!

20150107_134913 (1024x576)

Posted in Family, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

And… he’s here!

Well, I haven’t written for what seems like a million years, and although I have so many things to tell you all about how my son (number 1) has handled all the changes in the last few months and various experiences both bad and good and how we’ve handled them, I find myself with only ten minutes before I round up the troops and head off to trampoline class!

I have very likely lost all my readers through lack of posting, but I thought I’d do a super fast update for those who are still interested.

On April the 9th we welcomed our son (number 2) into the world at 2:30 in the afternoon. He weighed a respectable 2.9kgs (6 pounds, 4 ounces) and was 53cm long. Babies are quite often crinkly and weird looking with misshapen heads. Mine however, is beautiful of course. I’m not the only one who thinks so! The midwives kept saying they thought he was a girl because he is so ‘pretty’. The really great thing is that he’s a calm and happy little thing.

Yes, 3 hourly feeding is hard work, especially when it takes an hour or more to actually do the feeding. I feel like I can’t really get anything done at all, so everything is in a mess. Now that my husband has returned to work, I feel like there is even less time to get things done, and that I’m really ignoring son number 1.

The birth itself was pretty quick. 1hr and 25 minutes. Even the midwives were a bit shocked at how fast I progressed from just small and inconsistently spaced contractions to strong contractions only a minute apart. I did end up with second degree tearing, but all in all it was a ‘good’ experience. I didn’t have any pain relief except a bit of the gas and air on the lowest setting just for the most strong contractions. That means that I have a really clear memory of everything that happened in the room and was aware and lucid the whole time which is really great. Hopefully over the next few weeks, I’ll get around to posting a bit more on the behaviour of son number 1 and give my followers some insight into how the birth of a sibling has affected a kid with anxiety disorder. For now though, here is the new little fella :)

20150410_171215-1 20150413_094431 20150413_100129 20150415_182936 20150417_123421

Posted in Family, Life in general | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh the drama!

Seriously, I have the most dramatic child. Here are some of the things he has come out with this week.

Son: “mummy, you HAVE to play with me!!!”

Me: “I just did. We played chess.”

Son: “not that kind of playing. You need to play pretends with me.”

Now, I don’t know what parents of other kids do, but I believe that around the age of four or five, most kids move on to playing those pretend games like cars, planes, vets, mums and dads, with their peers. Mine sort of skipped that and still wants us to play it. And. I just. Can’t. Do. It. Anymore!!!!! I can’t! He’s nine. I’ve been doing it for years. Sorry but he has to suck it up and deal because I refuse. I will play chess, board games, watch movies with him, talk to him, cook with him, walk and bike ride with him, play cricket and many other things, but I won’t do pretends! 

Me: “no sweetie. I have to get this washing done.”

Son:”ugh! That’s it! I am leaving this house! I have nothing left in life. There is no one to play with and I have no toys so I might as well just leave.”

Me: “That’s a shame that you feel that way. I hope you find something to do.”

He did of course, but the request to play with him still comes about forty times a day.

Tonight, he came inside sweaty and very dirty from jumping on the trampoline and rolling around the yard. He sat next to me and I noticed that he had multiple band aids that he was about to open and put on. I told him he couldn’t use band aids for mozzie bites and that he needed to have a shower first anyway because he was filthy. His legs were black! 

Son: “no! I’m not having a shower!”

Me: “yes, you are. You can’t sit on the lounge or go to bed with all that sweat and dirt. Go on, off you go, then I’ll put some stuff on your itchy bites.”

Son: “arghh! I hate it! Why should I do what you say after what you did!?” (Upon asking, I found out that what I did was to disallow the use of four hundred bandaids….)

His dad called out from the Loungeroom to stop arguing and get in the shower. Off he went stomping and moaning. His dad then reminded him to take a towel with him.

Son:”Why? Why should I dry MYSELF?!”

That caused me to crack up laughing. Really? Why should he dry himself? He still wants one of us to dry him most days. He’s nine!!!! And then, just because he’s a boy, we reminded him to use soap. And then, after he got out and I asked him if he had used soap?

Son:”oh! Bum I forgot!” 

Sigh. Drama. I’m tired now. And soon I’ll have two boys! :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment