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Do Not Open Until 25 December

Christmas is 9 sleeps away, and the courier parcels are arriving at our house like crazy town. The other day I had two separate companies pull up at the same time. They raced each other up the path, it was awesome.

A large amount of what is coming is either (a) online shopping for the kids from “Santa”, (b) online shopping for me disguised as online shopping for the kids from “Santa”, and (c) my usual work stuff that really isn’t particularly interesting at all.

And, then there is the presents. The Actual Presents, sent from various friends, family, Grandparents, Secret Santas and the like.

Now bears the questions – do you open the presents as they arrive, or do you wait until Christmas??

For me and my presents, I wait. And the reason I wait is because I don’t get to open many presents on Christmas day, so it’s fun. Now, I use the term “wait” loosely because let’s be honest, I have zero will power and 9 days is a loooooooong time to wait. But I will try, gosh darnit I’ll try.

But, for the kids. Do I make them wait, or allow them a couple of sneaky early pressies?

Reasons to Wait

  • The are intended to be opened on Christmas Day, so they should be opened on Christmas Day
  • It makes it all the more special to wait
  • It teaches them that they can’t have what they want, when they want it. They must wait.
  • It serves as a valuable bribery tool

Reasons to Let Them Let Rip (the wrapping paper, that is) 

  • It makes Christmas last for aaaaaaaages
  • It allows us to treasure each present separately, rather than them getting lost amidst the chaos of Christmas Day
  • It shuts them the heck up. School holidays, yo.

Like I said, many of our presents come from Grandparents and friends who live far away from us. We aren’t going to see them on Christmas Day (*sad face*) and by letting the kids open the presents early, we are able to give those presents sole focus. This is particularly special when they are gifts that require concentration and loads of little parts. If the kids opened them with all their other Christmas Day loot, it won’t be the same.

At the end of the day, whether or not the kids should be opening their presents before Christmas Day is entirely up to the parent. I’m a read-the-end-of-the-book-before-im-halfway-through kinda person, so you can probably guess where my preference lies. But, that being said, there is still a healthy-ish pile of gifts under our tree, stubbornly waiting for Christmas Day.

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Even my Secret Santa gift. Sitting there. Taunting me.

“open meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you know you waaaaannntttt toooooooooo”

 

 

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Kids, Social Media and Privacy

In today’s day and age, social media is a massive part of our lives, with the potential to be a massively intrusive part of our lives.

Anyone who follows this blog will know, I guard my children and their privacy very closely. The reason for doing so is not because I set out to shame them or ridicule them (well, not often) but rather to protect their integrity as they grow into teenagers and adults. I don’t want my kids to have their names google-able in relation to the time they shat all through their cot and smeared it up the walls. I mean, all kids do that, but most don’t have it blasted across the deep hole that is the interweb. We certainly didn’t when we were kids.

I make sure never to print my kids names (“what? Do you mean your kids aren’t called Princess, BoyChild and BabyGirl?!”). On one occasion I inadvertently printed a picture of another child (working so hard to crop my own kids faces that I forgot to crop another kid out) and was promptly called to account on it by one of my lovely readers. And, realising my error with shock and horror (I’m pretty sure I literally said “Oh, shit!” out loud), I immediately altered the picture.

But, why not their faces, I hear you ask? Because it’s a small world, after all. Thanks, Walt. (Disney, for those of you who are sitting there thinking, “who the bloody heck is Walt?”). To print their faces would be to link them to their names.

It’s a deep hole, I tell ya, this t’interweb.

Which brings me to today. Don’t get me wrong, there have been tons upon oodles of pictures that I’ve wanted to post on here and very nearly done so. Because my kids, the little weirdos, are fricken cute. But I haven’t, because it’s just the way I’ve always done it. It’s not to say that any parent blogger who does name their kids and print pictures is a bad parent. God no! I would never, ever judge someone like that. It’s just what *I* decided to do, and how I decided to play this game.

Right. Sorry, I got momentarily distracted by the offer of pavlova. Mmmmmm. Pavlova. Where was I?

Oh! Yes! Today!

Today little BabyGirl had her preschool Christmas performance. All the millions of parents were there to watch their little cherubs sing the songs we’ve been hearing them practice for weeks. I mean, how cute. How fucking adorable they all were, lined up against the wall, in their Christmas clothes (save for the random kid wearing a Spiderman costume. There is always one) belting out random Christmas songs like there was no tomorrow.

And my baby was right there, so tiny in the line up, bopping around and singing louder than any other kid. No idea where she gets that from.

Now, it’s 2016. So, I’m sure you can imagine, the audience was a sea of cell phones. Because who wouldn’t want to capture that?

Nobody.

Just before the performance started, the head teacher announced that there was to be no filming or photography at any stage, because some parents had requested that their children not feature on social media at all.

I mean.

Look, I get it, I do. I don’t want my kids being filmed by some random and blasted all over the internet. But, I also get that these weren’t random crazy people, these were the same proud parents that I was, simply wanting to capture it for future reference. For the Grandparents who don’t get to see the kids more than once a year. For them, the only way they get to know what the kids are up to, are thanks to social media and the likes of Facetime and Skype. T’interweb. For the parent who couldn’t be there. Mr T was there because it was his day off but on any given day he might have been working.

I don’t capture these things to put on youtube for all’n’sundry to watch. I capture them to put them on Apple TV Airplay so the kids can watch themselves again and again (and again and whoops sorry ran out of battery bye).

If I were to have taken a photo today, I might have taken one of the disappointed parents, the grandparents who had to put their phones away. Granted, it meant we were all actually watching the show, god forbid. But still. I think perhaps it might have been better dealt with by asking that no one upload to social media, as opposed to no one film at all.

I’m just sad that BabyGirl has no record of her first ever performance. That might be worth a fortune one day.

For today, I guess we just have the memory.

Ok. And the two sneaky photos I took. And the 7 second video. Shhhhh. Don’t tell.

 

 

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12 Questions About Life: Princess, BoyChild AND BabyGirl

It has been such a long time since I did these questions with the kids, and finally I sat down without enough time and patience to do so. I thought it was well time for BabyGirl to give the answers a crack, too. Such fun.

It has been nearly a year since we last did it, so it’s really cool to see how the answers have changed (and how some haven’t changed at all!). As always, previous answers are in brackets underneath the current answer for comparison.

12 Questions About Life – by Princess, 7 years, 2 months

1. What is the meaning of life? God

(Love)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher

(A vet and a zookeeper)

3. What makes you most happy? Mum and Dad

(Cuddling Mum )

4. When do you feel most loved? When I get cuddles

(When kissing Mum and Dad)

5. What are you afraid of? Mice and bats and spiders

(My imagination)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Puppies and a kitten

(Puppies)

7. What is the funniest word? Poo!

(*insert strange noise*)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Tell my sister off

(Cartwheels and handstands)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Maths worksheets

(Backflips)

10. What makes you mad? When someone wants to play with me but I’m already playing with someone else

(Babygirl biting me)

11. What is the meaning of love? Love

(God)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I would give half of the money to the people with poor lives, and with the other half I would use it to get more and more money

(Buy lots and lots of toys).

 

12 Questions About Life – BoyChild, 5 years, 8 months

1. What is the meaning of life? I don’t know

(I dunno)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher

(A train)

3. What makes you most happy? Otis elevators

(Talking)

4. When do you feel most loved? When I go up to floor 10 [in a lift]

(Friends)

5. What are you afraid of? Dinosaurs

(Frozen Movie)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Skyscrapers

(A heart)

7. What is the funniest word? POOS!

(Fruit!)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Hard work at school

(Playing with trains)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Building a hard marble track at school

(Trying to get the car out of the box in the toy room because it’s stuck and I can’t get it out)

10. What makes you mad? Everybody being angry with me

(Crying)

11. What is the meaning of love? Nice people

(Hearts)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Buy an elevator birthday cake

(Buy trains)

 

12 Questions About Life – BabyGirl, 3 years, 5 months

1. What is the meaning of life? Popsicles

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? Twilight Sparkle

3. What makes you most happy? You! 

4. When do you feel most loved? Playing with ponies

5. What are you afraid of? Tigers

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Being a pony

7. What is the funniest word? Um … ponies? 

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Um … ponies? 

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Um … ponies? 

10. What makes you mad? When someone makes me sad

11. What is the meaning of love? Um … ponies? 

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Um … chips? 

 

Hilarious. BabyGirl likes Ponies, I’m not sure if you got that. I must remember to do this more often, it’s so much fun. I highly recommend it!

And, as always, here are the links to the previous ones, if you want to have a look back!

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Six! BoyChild, Take Three!

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Five! BoyChild, Take Two

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Four. BoyChild, Take One.

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Three

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Two

12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take One

 

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Poos, Wees, Diddles and Bums

Hey, Mum!
Yes, son?

POOOOOOOOOOOOOS in my BUUUUUUUUUUM

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I mean, I get it. For a kid, poos are funny. Farts are flippen hilarious. Even adults find them funny.

I didn’t think I would ever be a mother who would find poop jokes and bum jokes annoying. Let’s be honest – I was the kid who used to sing, “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the DIDDLE”. I was hilarious.

BoyChild was a relatively late developer in discovering the hilarity that is toilet humour. Bt when he found it, boy did he find it. Everything, literally everything is a toilet joke.

In the car.

I faaaaaaaart
I fart in the caaaaaaaaar

My bum does faaaaaaaaarts

My bum farts in the caaaaaar

At the dinner table.

What was your favourite part of your day, son? 

I did a poop fart in the toilet HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Poop fart. Classic.

While visiting an Open Home with potential to buy it.

I do weeeees in the loo I do poooooos in the loo

Weeeeeeees. Poooooooos. Weeeeeeees. Pooooooos.

In my bed.

Good morning, Mum.

Morning darling

I’m going to pee on your face

Please don’t, darling. 

At home.

Hey, Mum! Come quickly to the toilet! I need you please mum QUICKLY!

*rushes to bathroom* What’s the matter? 

I did a poop and it made a big splash HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

And, my all-time favourite. The best of them all. In the supermarket.

*lifts up my top* Mum! Did you do a FART?

*blows raspberrys on my back* You DID you a fart Mum! Poo Mum! Oh mum, that’s a bit rude. Say ‘scuse me, Mum. Gosh Mum. Gross.

Here’s hoping it’s a passing phase. And here’s hoping there is a bit of a lag before BabyGirl discovers farts and bums.

At least when he’s on the computer, he seems to forget about –

Hey, Mum! Guess what’s really funny! There are POOS in comPOOter! COMPOOOOOOTER ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Never mind.

 

 

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An open letter to my friends

 

Friendship is weird. You just pick a human you’ve met and you are like, “yep, I like this one” and you just do stuff with them

Dear friend

Thank you.

Thank you, firstly, for being my friend. Sounds lame, I know. But I just feel like it’s not said enough.

I appreciate you. I appreciate you letting me vent to you at 1am when my kids are being jerks. I appreciate you letting me vent to you at 1am when I have PMS and can’t sleep.

I appreciate you letting me vent.

Thank you for agreeing with me when I complain about stupid shit. Thank you for disagreeing with me when I’m complaining about stupid shit and being unreasonable.

To agree with me says you support me, to not be afraid to disagree says that you respect me enough to call me to account.

Thanks for sharing that post on Facebook that you knew I would find hilarious. I did. In fact, I literally lol’d. Thanks for laughing at the picture I put on your Facebook page.

Thanks for acknowledging my birthday. And pretending *wink* that I’m still 21. Thanks for acknowledging my kid’s birthdays as well. It means something to know that my kids are important to you.

Thank you for texting me and asking how my day was. Sometimes the message comes at the right time. The exact moment when I am deflating. It makes my day. Thanks also for telling me about your day. I like to know what you are up to (in a non-stalker kind of way)(kind of).

And now, about you. I think you are amazing. You are a great mother – did you know that? Things get tough, I know. And I don’t always talk to you but just know that I am thinking about you often. I see things that I know your kids would like, I see things that remind me of you, and them. It breaks my heart that I can’t see you and the kids, if I could wish one thing it would be that our kids could live side by side. Granted, not much would get done as you and I would be sitting on the couch drinking coffee wine all day long and semi-supervising our children. But it would be okay because the kids would get on wonderfully. Ha! I laughed at that as well!

I hope you aren’t lonely. I know you have other friends around you (none of whom are as amazing as me, of course)(I’m kidding)(kind of) but I worry that you aren’t as happy as you could be. I know you worry that I’m not happy, and I want you to know that I am doing okay. I laughed today over something the kids did, and it made me think of you. I hope you are laughing like a maniac too. Remember that time you laughed and slapped my knee instead of yours? You know it happened.

To my friends – I don’t expect you to answer every message I send you. I won’t be upset if you don’t respond. I know you are busy. Kids make us busy in indescribable ways. I won’t always respond either. And sometimes my answer will be “hddnfbururcbsak” because my kids ninja my phone. But when you need me, I will be there.

I’m an idiot. I have a wacky sense of humour and laugh at goats in trees. And you know that. And you are okay with that. I appreciate you appreciating my weirdness. Because deep down, you are an idiot too. Own it and move on.

Thank you for having my back. For supporting me when I needed it. Thank you for thanking me. I know it sounds silly, and I don’t act for the accolades. But sincere thank yous mean a lot.

Thank you for laughing with me, crying with me. Laughing with me when the only option is to cry. Regardless  whether we see each other daily, weekly, or every three years, when we get together it’s as though we saw each other yesterday, and I cherish that.

I cherish you.

You are an amazing friend, and I count myself lucky to have you in my life. You are a strong, beautiful woman and a fantastic mother. Your kids are damn lucky to have you as their mum. Your husband is flippen lucky to have you as his wife (well, duh).

Each and every one of you.

Thank you for being my friend.

Mrs T xx

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Nobody Said It Was Easy

Nobody said it was easy, this parenting gig.

But nobody said it would be this hard.

Nobody told you how tired you would be.

I mean, they talk about newborns not sleeping. But nobody mentions that kids don’t miraculously start sleeping well on their 1st birthday. Some do. But many don’t. Some do, and then stop again when night terrors/bad dreams/toilet training kicks in.

When a child is unwell, they don’t sleep well. When three children are unwell, they don’t sleep well but do so in a seemingly coordinated roster system so that they are never all asleep at the same time.

Which, in part, means that mum and dad don’t sleep.

Nobody talks about how the tiredness goes beyond anything coffee can fix. That you get tired to your very core. Your entire everything is tired.

Nobody tells you that you might not like your child every day. That there will be days when you look at your child and want to scream at them, “GO AWAY! I DO NOT LIKE YOU!”. Nobody tells you that, when pushed to your very limit, you might actually utter those words to your child. And nobody talks of the guilt that sits with you for days, weeks, years.

Nobody tells you the despair you will feel when your child is sick or confused or upset and no body around seems to care. When your child is scared and crying and gets told, “Stop being silly”. And all you want to do is scream “HE’S NOT BEING SILLY. HE IS AFRAID AND NEEDS SUPPORT RIGHT NOW. I. NEED. SUPPORT. RIGHT. NOW”.

Because nobody tells you how isolating parenting can be. How, when your child is throwing the tantrum to end all tantrums, there is no body there who can take the child into their arms and magically calm them down. That you sit there and look around, hoping that this child’s real parent will show up soon and take over the show.

Nobody tells you that there will be times that you just want to cry. And there will be times when all you can do is sit in your car and cry. There will be times when you yell and stomp and scream and then wonder why your kids yell and stomp and scream. And you know that the best thing is to keep calm and collected. But you also realise this as you are yelling and stomping and screaming.

Nobody tells you how magical it feels to stand in the pantry and scoff a chocolate bar. One you don’t have to share.

Nobody tells you how much fucking laundry you will do.

But.

Nobody can describe how it feels when you see your child achieve something. Nobody tells you how much your entire everything, that same everything that is exhausted beyond repair, will melt into a puddle of proud tears when your child gets a certificate at school, or reads you a story, or writes you a book.

Nobody tells you how it feels when you return from a weekend away and the kids scream and holler and clap and exclaim with glee when they see you, running towards you and hugging you in the best of all hugs. Nobody tells you that, less than an hour later, you’ll be missing that time that you went away.

Nobody tells you how much you will laugh. How crazy you will feel. How you will view the world from a different angle.

Nobody says how valuable the important people in your life are. The people who are actually there for you when you need them. The people who you are there for as well. And that these people pop up in unexpected places, and the people you think you can rely on, aren’t always such.

And.

Nobody asks you whether, if given the chance, you would go back and change things. Not have kids. Do things differently.

Because the answer is no. Without hesitation. With 100% certainty. No.

Nobody tells you how much these crazy little critters will suck you in, completely encompassing your heart and soul and mind and body and everything. That same everything.

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

But everyone will tell you it’s worth it.

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