Monthly Archives: May 2013

Learning at half term!

So this week was half term and as it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, I decided that I would write about our half term holiday. As I started to write though, I realised that rather than a witty post about our half term antics, I was instead creating a list of things I’d learned this week, and in some cases re-learned, about being a mum. As it turns out half term means school is out for the kids but clearly, not for me.

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So here are my learning points from the week:

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1.     When the sun shines everything is easier. Ellie is less challenging, I’m a lot calmer and generally everyone smiles more.  Conversely, as discovered in the latter part of the week, when it’s raining things tend to move in the other direction. Roll on the summer!

2.     Being at home with the children is physically more exhausting than being at work. Fact. I did know this but it’s funny how quickly you forget.

3.     My daughter has an amazing ability to fall, trip, bang and generally hurt herself at every opportunity. Sometimes it is a complete mystery to her and the rest of us how she manages it. Quite frankly Forever Living’s Aloe Vera Gelly* has been my companion of the week – soothing bruises gained via jumping on the sofa, healing cuts gained from gardening and so on.

4.     Despite the attitude frequently displayed, my daughter is a big softie – she can’t watch the results of Britain’s got Talent because it’s too upsetting when people go out and she still cries when she has to go to the doctors. To clarify, she even cries at the prospect of going to the doctors. She is still my little girl.

5.     Even though at age five Ellie is now incredibly stubborn I can still convince and bribe her. For example, for the cost of a 99p watering can Ellie managed to not sob uncontrollably at the doctors. I also impressed myself immensely by convincing both Ellie and her Step brother to help me prepare the new vegetable patch for well over an hour. (I note the latter was only of course achieved on a sunny day.)

6.     It’s been a busy week with a trip to a country park, swimming, painting, playdoh, gardening, games on the iPhone, playing miniature football (including one game with cars as players no less), playing mums and dads, seeing family and so on. Unbelievably, despite all of this however, it is apparently possible for children to be bored. Go figure.

So in conclusion, it’s been a busy family half term. We’ve had lots of fun and as always, I’m still learning about being a mum.

(*Please note that this post is in no way sponsored, i just really like the product which I discovered through my sister.)

School is boring…apparently

When I got home last night I asked Ellie my usual, very simple, question. ‘What did you do today then?’ Ellie’s response was the one that I now regularly hear in relation to school, ‘boring stuff’. Normally, I simply have a wry smile to myself, shrug off the fact that I genuinely have no idea when and how she learned that word, and I let it go. Yesterday however was different.

Yesterday, I’d received a call from school saying that in the process of making crispie cakes Ellie had had an accident. Yes, you read that right – she’d made crispie cakes – that couldn’t possibly be classed as boring could it?! I found myself unable to resist the urge to tackle this boring shenanigans once and for all, and so I continued our conversation with a gentle nudge:

Me: Like what boring stuff?

Ellie: Learning oa in my phonics group and words that have oa in them. I had to write a sentence with an oa word in it. Words like boat and road. [Ellie quickly grabbed a pen and paper to show me her writing.] I did so well I got to bring the doggy home for the night (see below the dog which suddenly appeared).

I duly acknowledged the dog (as well as Ellie’s big smile) and without prompting, Ellie then continued.

Ellie: Oh and I made a mobile. I get to take it home tomorrow so you can see.

Me: What else?

Ellie: We made crispie cakes, and I did some other stuff – I played mums and dads with some of my friends.

My eagle eye then spotted another key sign of fun at school – a pen stained dress and scruffy hair!

I pressed on further although intuitively avoided the historically sensitive subject of the hair:

Me: and you’ve got pen down your dress – how did that happen?

Ellie: I don’t know, I don’t remember.

Me: Well that doesn’t sound at all boring

Ellie: It’s hard work.

I just managed to hold back my guffaw of laughter, but hey presto maybe we were getting somewhere. Maybe she doesn’t mean boring, maybe she means she has to concentrate (although that being a problem in reception is a bit of a worry). With steely determination I decided to move to a direct challenge.

Me: So Ellie, what does boring mean?

Ellie: You have to do stuff that is a bit boring

Me: It means you have to do something that isn’t interesting

Ellie: (nodding) yep

At that point, I can only assume that Ellie sensed my impending win in the conversation and she clearly decided she’d had enough. She wandered off and changed the subject to what more she might have to eat. 

As I write this I do of course realise that Ellie’s sharp exit from our conversation means I failed to provide that final winning line of ‘so there you are Ellie, school isn’t boring’. This means that whilst there is quite frankly overwhelming evidence to contradict Ellie’s assertion that school is boring, I think that Ellie might not yet have totally accepted my view. Is it me, or have I been foiled again by a 5 year old.
To be continued…