It’s making me scream!!

For the first time in ages, this is a post that I’m writing because I have to. This is my virtual scream – please don’t let that put you off though, there’s some things in here that you really need to know.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered that Ellie had got threadworms. That isn’t what made me want to scream though.
It’s actually the second time she’s had them now. Even that though, is not what has made me scream.

What’s really made me scream is the reaction from a very very small number of people. I did what any responsible parent should do – I informed the school and I also told some of my mum friends directly, so they could keep an eye out for their children. I did this because it’s the right thing to do and because your child having threadworms is nothing to be ashamed of.

When you hear the reactions from some people who clearly don’t know anything about threadworms, it was hardly surprising when Ellie came home from school one night this week saying that one child had told everyone ‘not to touch Ellie’s legs because she’s got worms.’ Fortunately the other children were far too sensible to pay any attention and supported my daughter – not least because they know she doesn’t have worms anymore since they were treated immediately almost two weeks ago.

So, for the sake of clarity, if you haven’t come across threadworms yet, here are a few facts from the NHS direct website:

Fact 1. Threadworms are the most common type of worm infection in the UK, and they are particularly common in young children under the age of 10. [It is estimated that up to 40% of children under 10 years of age may be infected with threadworms at any one time.]

Fact 2. Threadworm infections are most common in young children because they often forget to wash their hands regularly and they often share things like toys with other children.

Fact 3. A threadworm infection is passed from person to person as a result of swallowing threadworm eggs. Crucially though, eggs can survive for up to 3 weeks on surfaces [i.e. your child might well wash their hands rigorously but if they touch an egg from anywhere and then touch their mouth (sadly under 10's do that alot!!) then they can catch them.]

Fact 4. If you or your child has a threadworm infection, it is not necessary to stay off work or school.

So just to be clear Threadworm infection is not about being a dirty person. Washing hands is crucial but that does not guarantee anything – it reduces the risk, but can not get rid of it.

So please please please if you hear that a child in your daughter/son’s class has threadworm don’t use words like dirty and don’t over react – be vigilant, remind your child about hand washing and think before you speak.

Rant over.

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Being away from Ellie

I knew when Ellie’s Dad and I divorced that I would have regular times when Ellie is away from me and I knew it would be hard. By and large we’ve always had a regular pattern of every other weekend and some holiday weeks going to Daddy’s and it’s worked pretty smoothly.

To begin with, as I dropped her off, I always had a tear in my eye as I walked away. (Usually walking away as quickly as I could so that Ellie didn’t see.) I always knew she was in good hands and I always knew she’d have fun – but it was still always sad. That said, once I was home and busy it was fine and I can hand on heart say that when she was little those breaks were my single chance to have a little ‘me time’ and rest. Don’t judge me – I missed her of course, but I also truly needed and enjoyed that time.

Fast forward several years and this half term Ellie was once again away with her Dad. This time though, as the week went on, I realised something quite surprising – I really wasn’t coping with her being gone very well at all. I found myself sitting in her room thinking about her, daydreaming about what she might be doing and counting down the days until she was home. I’ve always missed her of course, but as I thought it over I discovered something I really didn’t expect – Ellie being away isn’t getting easier – it’s getting harder. I truly didn’t see that coming.

When I think about it, there is actually some logic in it. For a start, I’m less in need of a ‘break’ these days – partly because she’s older and partly because we’re now part of a bigger, supportive family of four. More than that though, and whilst I’m not suggesting we don’t have our moments, I think the crux of the matter is that time in each other’s company nowadays is just simply brilliant time: we laugh, we cuddle, we play and mostly – we just enjoy it.

I’ve no idea if it getting harder is the ‘norm’, or how I’ll feel as Ellie get’s older and hits new interesting phases (eeek Teenager?!) but right now there’s no getting away from the fact that when my girl comes home I’m simply whole again.

cuddle new

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Pushy parenting…or not?!

The other week I bought Ellie a times table learning CD, as she is currently focused on learning her 2, 5 and 10 times tables at school. They have a challenge to pass a test in order to get a ‘bronze wrist band’ – they have to write the answer down to 22 questions in 90 seconds.

This is something that by all accounts just needs learning, so having heard Ellie say she wants to do it and having found out about the CD from another Mum, I went ahead and bought it.

As soon as it arrived I played it for Ellie and if I’m honest her reaction was luke warm…a little disappointed I ploughed on nonetheless and played a good few tracks for her before I finally gave up when she threw herself down on the bed. Undeterred I excitedly told her that was enough for now but we could do it together in the car on our regular journeys down the motorway.

So the next time I’m in the car with Ellie, we’ll be giving it a go. I wonder though what I’ll do if she doesn’t want to? The question is – when does encouraging become something more? When will I have crossed that line to pushy parent? The truth is I don’t know and I fear it’s a fine line – it’s also a line I’m navigating a lot these days with her homework, with her reading and so on.

Whilst I’m trying to figure it out though I guess I’ll keep encouraging and tonight Ellie has agreed to practice her times table test…


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Please stop!

As Ellie dives into year 2 at school, my primary thought at the moment is ‘please stop’. Not please stop growing up, or please stop time flying……please stop having strops!!!!!!

I truly did not see this coming….maybe I was naive but I really did not. It turns out that starting year 2 isn’t much different from when she started reception or year one. She’s tired and she’s grumpy – she’s snappy, she’s shouty, she’s pouty and quite frankly not much bloody fun.

photo (93)
A smiling moment, with bedtime teddy who she is holding on to a lot more than usual at the moment!

It doesn’t help that I didn’t see it coming when in previous years I’d expected it and it definitely doesn’t help that in my head I think she’s getting a bit old to use the excuse ‘she’s tired’ for bad behaviour. She is still only 6 but I worry that when she’s 16 and being predictably arsy I might still say ‘ah…it’s because she’s tired’.

I’m fairly sure that it will settle down. Well actually…it will have to otherwise Ellie will be spending most of her time alone in her bedroom doing ‘time out’. But I was just wondered if it could possibly … well …stop now?

I actually found myself trying to explain all of this to Ellie on Friday and asking her to ‘bring back my good little girl’. I thought I was making real progress until she starting talking and said ‘then stop telling me to do things’. Oh dear – we aren’t there yet then. I even bought her an icecream on Friday so bribery isn’t working either. Ah well – counting to 20 seems to help so I’ll be sticking to that for now.

It would be great to know other people are experiencing a similar thing – so if you are, do comment! Also if anyone with old children could reassure me that eventually this ‘start of year grump’ doesn’t happen…..please?!

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