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A Blue Bath Kind Of Day

Last night, my husband worked a late shift. By the time he got home, two kids were asleep in bed and the third? Well, she was jumping all over me, being a general go-the-heck-to-bed-pain-in-my-bum. Nothing new there.

Husband came inside and asked me how my afternoon had gone.

“Well!” I told him. “Since you asked …”

I instantly saw the regret in his eyes, the panicked, dammit why did I ask ….

Because you care, husband. Because you care.

I immediately delved into a long novel, barely coming up for air between sentences, about how the kids had been a constant symphony of whinging all afternoon and nothing was right and I was entirely at fault through their eyes the entire afternoon and the crying and the yelling and somehow they all managed to injure themselves all at the same goddamn time and I couldn’t possibly comfort all three at once and that was my fault too and I hadn’t had a moment’s peace all afternoon not even when I went to the loo because they all needed something NOW and I couldn’t keep up and WHY DID WE HAVE CHILDREN and thank god at least two of them are asleep now but this one still awake holy shit don’t get me started on her and what she did while unsupervised in the bathroom for five minutes and the tantrum she threw on the way home oh my lordy I filmed it because otherwise you wouldn’t have believed how epic it was …

And then I stopped.

And I heard myself.

And I said, “Wait. Cancel that. Ignore what I just said. Start again. Ask me how my afternoon was ..”

“O … kay …” my dear husband replied, thinking right-o, I’ll play along … 

“How was your afternoon, dear?”

“It was good. Not great, but hey, it’s Friday and the kids are tired. Once the kids got over their initial synchronised injuries and subsequent tears, all three settled onto respective electronic devices while I pottered around doing housework and like. There were a few squabbles over the iPad but they actually sorted them out together, with minimal injury. I cooked tea and when I called the kids over to the table, all three came over without hesitation or argument which is rare! And we ate our tea together, and talked about what made us laugh that day.

After dinner was cleared, I said it was bath time and BoyChild said he felt like it was a blue bath kind of day. I thought, you know what – it is. So I grabbed the blue food colouring and the kids played in the bath for long enough for the water to start to go cold. After wrapping the kids like babies in their towels then tickle-monster-ing them into their pjs, we read stories on the couch.

At bed time the older two went without a fuss, and were asleep before too long.

All in all, not a bad afternoon, all things considered”.

And there it is.

A slight change in the way you think can have a massive impact on so many things. It’s human nature to sway towards the negative in a situation, and it certainly wasn’t a fantastic afternoon, but it wasn’t entirely disastrous either.

I need to take a leaf out of my own book sometimes – perhaps sit down and ask myself, what made me laugh today? What was something that made me smile?

Because there will always be something, even if you have to look a little harder to find it some days.

And then, I showed husband the video of the Epic Tantrum of ’16, because let’s be honest, it needed the air time.

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#microblogmonday

Here is my #microblogmonday

No cute story, no funny anecdote

Just this awesome pic of my three crazies

And the pride I felt in myself, for taking all three of them out on bikes, by myself.

Moments like this I feel like I am getting somewhere, that I am #winning in this crazy game called parenting

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Today we did nothing. It was great.

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It’s now four sleeps till Christmas and things are getting pretty chaotic. Our lives seem filled-to-the-brim with commitments, BBQs, shopping trips, play dates and all sorts of other things like that. It’s really easy at this time of year to forget that sometimes, doing simply nothing is both relaxing and therapeutic. In fact, I think it’s essential for kids to have a day where there are no plans.

Today was that day.

Last night we were out at a friend’s BBQ (or, adorably, Bar-Ke-Kew as BoyChild says) and got home around 8pm. Since school broke off on Wednesday, we’ve been out until well-past-bedtime almost every night. Doing nothing today wasn’t my intention for the day – it just kind of happened that way.

Princess woke up at (somewhere around) 7am. I’m not 100% certain of the time, only that she came into the room and said iPad was flat so I went and found the charger, plugged it into the plug next to her bed, and flopped back asleep in my own bed again. (While I don’t feel like I need to justify myself, I do feel like mentioning at this point that I was up and down all through the night with BabyGirl and BoyChild, so I was fairly exhausted).

BoyChild didn’t wake until 8:30am which is fantastic. Granted, he was in my bed so I was awake from 8am (he gets quite “kicky” in his last half hour of sleep. His foot seems to just gravitate to my kidneys). Mr T phoned us from his work at 9am because he hadn’t heard from me and was concerned that we weren’t ok (bless him) and that phone call is what dragged me from bed.

I made the kids toast and did something quite unusual for me – I turned on the TV. I don’t know the last time I watched TV in the mornings. But there I sat, happily in the rocking chair (still in my nightwear) and drank my coffee. Even more unusually, BoyChild and Princess just sat near me (but not so near that I cringed) and ate their breakfast while playing quietly. Individually. Without the need to scrap and snatch and scream at each other. I KNOW.

And, there we sat. We chatted. We watched TV. We laughed. We cuddled. And then Glee came on so we danced and sang like crazy during the songs, and sat the rest of the time, discussing every iota of plot change in the episode (“Why are they at High School? Why is his nose pointy? Why did that lady cry?”)

BabyGirl didn’t wake until 10:30am, and she was a bit sad when she got up, but two pieces (TWO PIECES) of toast fixed that and, before I knew it, she also was sitting there, playing quietly and just … doing nothing.

We chatted some more. We danced some more. When Glee finished, we changed the channel to MTV Christmas Songs and danced and sang like crazies.

Mr T got home from work at 1pm. The house was a complete tip, we were all still in our nightwear. But, we were all happy. Crazy happy. Genuinely happy. And, you know what? It set the tone for the entire day. We went out in the afternoon and the kids were amazingly behaved (don’t worry, we got dressed first).

I think, especially at this time of year, it’s really easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the things we “have” to get done, the things we “need” to do. When, sometimes all you need is a day packed full of nothing. Nil. Nada. Diddly-squat.

Now the kids are happily tucked in bed. The house is a mess of epic proportions, but that’s ok – I can tidy it tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be 3 sleeps till Christmas, so it will inevitably get busy again. But at least we had today to reset our bodies, to wipe the busy-slate and to dance like crazies in the living room. And, the best part – Princess cuddling me on the couch and saying, “I love this day, Mum. You are crazy. But I like you.”

Like you too, crazy kiddo.

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It’s starting to look at lot like Christmas ♪

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“Mum? How far till Christmas?”

“4 weeks”

“BUT YOU SAID IT WAS 6 WEEKS YESTERDAY!!!! WHY ISN’T CHRISTMAS HERE NOW???!!!!!??!”

And, so it begins.

Today is December 1st, and therefore it’s time to put up the Christmas tree. A lot of people have already put theirs up (or so says my Facebook timeline) but in our house, December 1 is the day. Much to Princess’s dismay, putting up the tree does not, in fact, mean that Christmas is coming tomorrowl. No matter how many times she tried to convince me that I should move the day on the calendar to Christmas Eve (she still doesn’t quite “get” the concept of time, I think!), I didn’t do it. Nay, I couldn’t do it. I’m sorry, Princess.

She was appeased, however, by the lure of an advent calendar. The thrill of opening one tiny, numbered window a day and being rewarded with cheap chocolate is still exciting, for all three kids. Which brings us to the next issue – BabyGirl’s dairy allergy means that she can’t eat the chocolate in the calendar. She is at the age where she will definitely notice that the others have something she doesn’t, and I certainly considered making one for her. But then I had the genius idea to buy a basic, cheap calendar and swap out the chocolate with food she can eat (dairy free chocolate, marshmallows, etc). Great plan, Mrs T. Except that, after painstakingly opening each window on her advent calendar (feeling very naughty as I did it – please don’t tell Santa!), I realised that (a) the doors don’t re-close, and (b) nothing fits in the teeny holes left behind. Oh, me. I might have to be more crafty next year, I think!

Princess has always been a little apprehensive of Santa, so I’m curious as to how the subject will be tackled this year. Last year I sorry to admit that I had to tell her the truth. The semi-truth, at least. I told her that many of the Santas we see at malls etc, are, in fact, not the real guy. I justified it as, Santa is far too busy to be at every appearance, every time! So he gets his friends to fill in sometimes. But, don’t tell anyone! Shhhhh! It’s a special grown-up surprise that kids don’t know.

I know, why on earth did I tell her that?? Well, she is completely terrified on Santa. She was only two when she asked how he could tell if she was naughty or not. She said, “I don’t want Santa watching me when I sleep”. Neither do I, Princess. Neither do I. Anyway, she seems to have handled this little *secret* well, and doesn’t seem to be telling people. And, she still believes in Santa. Thank goodness. It’s also BoyChild’s first year acknowledging Santa. He even seems mildly interested in the whole Christmas palava. He had a nice conversation with his dad the other day – “Daddy? What are you getting me for Christmas? Lego? Good plan! Mummy, what are you getting me for Christmas? Thomas? Good plan!”. Bless him.

And so, today is the day it all begins. When the kids get home from school, Princess and BoyChild will write their letters to Santa. Mr T and I are still in negotiations about the location of the tree this year (I say, behind the fire guard as we have done for the past three years, he says under the bay window, in full reach of the children), but nevertheless it will go up tonight.  Tonight when he gets home from work, the kids can decorate the house, and open their advent calenders. Except BabyGirl. Someone already opened hers.

Ah, Christmas.

 

 

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K.I.S.S.I.N.G

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Oh, dear lord, help me.

Princess got kissed at school. By a boy.

No.

This was NOT supposed to happen, not yet, anyway! I mean, besides the fact that, when I was four, I was schooling my older sister (and anyone else who would listen) about the *ahem* birds and the bees. Mum isn’t entirely sure how I found out, but I don’t remember ever not knowing. I didn’t know all the technicalities, of course, but I sure understood that babies were made from a man and a lady, and something to do with a limousine and a garage.

Princess was only 18 months old when BoyChild was born, and was three-and-a-half when BabyGirl was born, so we have had ample opportunity to expose her to whole business around babies and conception and the like, and we definitely adopt an “honesty is best” mantra with our kids.

And, I am ashamed to admit, the first time Princess asked me, “Mum – how are babies made?”, I giggled. And then realised she was serious. And giggled again. She didn’t have to tell me to grow up, her eyes said it for her. I went into a stumbled answer about men having sperm and women having eggs, and the two combining to make a baby that grows in Mummy’s tummy, that then comes out, either through the vagina or cut through the stomach.

She had a few ‘follow-up’ questions.

“Do I have an egg in my tummy???” Yes, it’s very, very, very, very tiny though.

“Does Daddy have sperms then?” Yes.

“I’m never going to have a baby”. Ok.

And that was that. No further discussion, just a shrug of the shoulders and she was off playing a new game. I mean, aside from the time she informed my friend, relatively loudly, that babies were made with SPERMS and EGGS and IN MUMMYS TUMMY, she has been relatively okay about the whole deal.

And then, she started school.

I don’t want to blame the boys in her class entirely, but my beautiful, lady like Princess has turned into a right little potty mouth. Everything is “poo” this and “bum bum” that, “farty face” and “poos and wees bum bum big fat farty poo poo mouth head”.

Again, I shouldn’t be surprised. I was anything but ladylike as a young girl. And even now, I like a good rude joke as much as the next person, but there is something else when it is your little girl. Your Princess.

Don’t worry – Mr T has already threatened to go down to the school yard in the lunch break to “sort those boys out”, but we both know that *sigh* there is nothing we can do. It’s innocent, it’s about growth, and it’s perfectly normal.

I only hope she keeps her “boys are gross” thing a bit longer than I did. Six is FAR too young for a first boyfriend. My poor mother.

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Why, Mum? But, why, Mum? But, why, Mum?

Kids ask questions. A lot of questions. Which is great – it is how they learn, and how they explore the world around them. I read somewhere once that your average 4 year old asks around 300 questions a day. I definitely agree with that.

And, with questions, comes answers. Oftentimes I endeavour to answer the question properly and fairly, but I won’t lie – it doesn’t take me long to revert to such common “Mum-isms” as, “it just is”, “because I said so”, and “who want’s ice cream?!?!”.

Today Princess is not well, so she is home from school. I decided to drive 25 minutes to a local fabric store to get some wool, in order to crochet her the Rapunzel hat I (foolishly) committed to, many weeks ago.

Here is how our car ride went. Note: this is only the drive to the store.

Mum? Why can’t I sit in the front seat? Because it isn’t safe

Why not? Because there are air bags in the front

What are airbags? They are .. um … bags like balloons .. that .. um .. come out in a crash and act like a pillow to protect grown up faces. But they are too strong for kids.

Are we going to crash? No

Why not? Because I’m driving very carefully

*silence*

Why aren’t we going to crash? Because I’m driving safe

Where are the airbags? One is inside the steering wheel, one is there *points*

Why is it in the steering wheel? Because that is the most central place for this seat

Is it because the steering wheel has handles? Yes.

Who are the airbags for? The two people sitting in the front

One for Mum and one for Daddy? Yes – or whoever is in the front

Why can’t I sit in the front? Because it’s too dangerous.

Are we going to crash? No.

What are airbags? *silence*

*silence*

Who were you born with, Mum? Um … Grandma.

Why do you call her Mum, Mum? Because she is my Mum

But you are my Mum? Yes.

And she is my Grandma? Yes.

When were you born, Mum? 1982

I was born in 20000001, aye, Mum? No – you were born in 2009.

Oh! Why was I born in 200009? Because that’s when we had you

When was BabyGirl a baby? She kind of still is, but she was born last year

In 20000001? No – 2013.

Who was Daddy born with? Nana

Like Nana-and-Poppa? Yes.

Is Nana Daddy’s Mum? Yes.

*silence*

What is that thing, Mum *points out window* ? What thing, darling?

Why can’t you see everything, Mum? *silence*

Where are we going? To the wool shop

To buy wool? Yes

For my hat? Yes

Are we going to crash, Mum? No.

*silence*

When is the school holidays, Mum? Next week

Tomorrow? No, next week.

In how many days? Five

Is Laughalots open today? Yes

Can we go? No – you are sick today.

Can we go in the holidays? Maybe.

Is it holidays tomorrow? No – next week.

After tomorrow? No – next week.

What time are we picking BoyChild up? This afternoon

Now? No – this afternoon

Is it this afternoon now? No – it’s the morning

Is that when we have morning tea? Yes

When are we picking BoyChild up? 3pm

Is that when he is finished at preschool? Yes.

Why is it a rainy day today? I’m not sure

Why don’t you know what weather is going to be, always? *silence*

Do you know what is rain but colder? No – what?

Snow HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Why aren’t I at school? Because you are sick – you have a cough.

Are my friends at school? Yes.

Why are my friends at school? Because they aren’t sick.

Is it school holidays tomorrow? *silence*

Why can’t I sit in the front seat? *silence*

Mum? Yes?

I love you.

I love you too, pet. I love you too.