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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

  1. I don’t want to go swimming.

    January 24, 2014 by Amy Hansford

    I just don’t. I don’t want to be cold,  or to be paranoid about getting a wedgie, or have to deal with wet hair, or lugging bags in and out, or trying to balance getting a towel out of the locker whilst not soaking everything else in the process. I don’t want to have to play Jenga in order to keep dry things off of a wet floor in a restrictive changing cubicle.

    nirvanaBut Little L does. From her point of view, it’s lovely fun splashing around, feeling the water swish around her and navigating around the kiddie pool.

    I don’t know how all the perfect parents manage it. They stroll in, look like models from a holiday home magazine as they throw their child in the air and stroll out again WITH PERFECT HAIR.

    I look around for another parent in a similar situation.
    Case #1: The mum expertly managing triplets under 1. Bad example. Ignore her.
    Case #2: The dad swimming an entire length of the pool underwater in order to burst out in front of his thrilled son with an amazing impression of an octopus. Forget that.
    Case #3: The parent ignoring their child desperately struggling in the water in favour of having a chat with her mate. Oh God. I don’t want to be that person.

    And the realisation: I’m the only person standing between my daughter loving swimming and her becoming that struggling unconfident swimmer. It’s not too late.

    I’m going to have to go swimming, aren’t I?

  2. The next great impressionist

    April 30, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    I’m an alright parent. I try to do one activity a day with/for Little L. I don’t always succeed. We watch a lot of telly. God bless Cbeebies.

    Very, very occasionally I do something that’s not half bad. That happened this week. And I’m so damned chuffed, I’m sharing it with you on here because it’s a brilliant idea and it’s what we’re doing from now on.

    With three birthdays this weekend, we’d already got the presents sorted but not the wrapping paper. Thanks to funny tummies, we skipped on swimming and spent the morning snuggling up under a blanket instead. By lunch, I was feeling like a guilty lazy mum so thought I’d be brave and set up some painting. But what? Then it hit me;

    We’d make our own wrapping paper. We had everything we needed – paints, bib, huge roll of paper from Ikea. So this is how it went down;

    Having set stuff up in the kitchen, I drew three themed pictures; butterflies, jungle and under the sea. These matched the presents.

    2013 04 26 paint 1

    Because I’m lazy, I can’t be doing with paint pallets. Instead, I splurged the paint directly on to the picture tactically. That way Little L could schmoosh it around as she wished.

    2013 04 26 paint 5

    When I say schmoosh, I mean it literally. Having been taught to do so at nursery, Little L automatically started painting and using her hands. It’s all good – I still didn’t have to clean paint pallets so I was happy.

    2013 04 26 paint 7

    And so, to the finished article. Cheap (free!), entertained Little L, and end-of-painting-time-tantrums were avoided by the golden phrase ‘this is the last one now, okay?’

    2013 04 26 paint 8

    I was really rather impressed at what happened next. I put the rag on the table to clean it and Little L took over to do it herself. A child who paints then cleans up after herself. I know, I have no idea either. Blooming well done Busy Bees nursery for training her up, that’s all I say.

    2013 04 26 paint 11

    And that’s your lot. 15 minutes worth of me being impressed at what a mess it wasn’t. Time where Little L was impressively focused. A result that meant funkily wrapped presents. So if you invite Little L to a party, expect a one-of-a-kind wrapping on the gift.

  3. Life advice #13: Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

    April 20, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    13. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

    On Wednesday, I was a hero, a careless mother and a solution all in the space of half an hour.

    Little L had a tear in her eye as she cuddled her carer at the nursery when I picked her up. She’d become upset when they came in from playing in the garden. And along I came, the hero to rescue her from a world of … well, actually nursery is really lovely, so I’m not sure what had been upsetting her, but there  I was, and she ran to me for a cuddle. The hero!

    We arrived home and the tantrum began. From getting out of the car, to the door, to the living room, it was a wall of dribbly, flailing noise. For 10 minutes, it was this*:

    Banshee in training

    I tried talking to her. I asked her what was wrong. She flailed. She hit out. She would not be reasoned with. (And in fairness, you know, she is only two.) I could have put her on the Naughty Step – no point, it’d just rile her. I could have forced her to have a cuddle – no point, it’d just enrage her further and I’d get hit. So I walked away. Okay, I walked away and took a photo. The careless mother!

    But I took a deep breath. I calmed down. She took a deep breath too, a massive yawn, which doubled as obtaining a gulp of air strong enough to power a sonic boom of a scream. But this moment of calm gave me just two seconds to realise she was tired.

    So a story it was. (“Zoo Poo”, in case you’re interested). By the end, she was hu-hu-hu-huuuuuuuming away as little ones do after a tantrum. Time for a cuddle and a ‘how are you’. A solution!

    I need to take more breaths. Are you getting enough air?


    *And yes, that is a Knightmare shield and helmet in the background. What of it?

  4. Life advice #11: It’s okay to let your children see you cry.

    March 31, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    cry11. It’s okay to let your children see you cry.

    My mum and dad were chalk and cheese. My mum was bold, matter of fact, a superhero. She got on with things. She pulled my hair when she brushed it but she got the job done. My dad was and still is sensitive, a bit of a faff and also a superhero. He did the ‘fun’ stuff. He would spend a hour doing my hair, never pulling. Took a while.

    The day my grandad died was the first time I saw my mum cry. Nothing had ever got to her before. Of course she’d cried about things in the past, only silently and secretly, away from her children. But it wasn’t until that day that I appreciated that she could cry, and that meant it became more of a normal thing to do. The acknowledgement that sometimes you feel so sad that it all bursts out. And that’s okay.

    Little L is now two and has probably seen me a bit upset a couple of times. I can set myself off easily – just a glimpse at an old photo leads me to say “That’s Granny Annie. She would have loved you” and I’m off. That kind of face-looks-a-bit-crumpled-and-red-and-eyes-are-watering-a-bit off. I don’t mind this. a) I can’t help it and b) I guess it shows her that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, as long as you know you get to be happy again later.

    So I’m okay with this. I don’t need to appear to be an untouchable superhero. Just a loving and accepting one.