Egg on the hips

I am guilty about a family tradition passed down from Mother to Mother at this time of year – the task of absorbing some Easter egg calories so your children don’t have to. 

Easter is a bad time for women who have a weakness for chocolate (and are trying to remain/return to sugar free). If you have children it’s even worse. Eggs, chocolate bunnies, sweets, cakes (helped by a birthday party thrown in for good measure) are all sitting in the kitchen saying ‘eat me’. Cadburys chocolate are the worst, I can consume a small Chocolate egg in seconds. Today I ‘helped out’ baby boy with his chocolate buttons egg – I had the egg and he had the bag of buttons – I was taking the brunt of the calorific hit to retain my son’s health ( well that’s what I kept telling myself). I then felt so guilty I wanted to run a mile in shrink wrap before it had a chance to adhere to my hips…

My Mum did the same thing. In fact when I was older I had to hide the eggs so my Num couldn’t get to them. In an effort to save us both she put them in the bin one year. Then later that night retrieved them out of the bin…..it was a new all time low but resistance was futile.

If you go back another generation, my granny was nearly 20 stone …..gulp….you can understand why we are trying to resist – a good metabolism is not in the genes….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Contracts and playgrounds

Yep so I have skipped two nights of blogging – £2 in the pot to UNICEF. Last night I was giggling like a schoolgirl with my friends at our local community viewing of Fifty Shades of Grey. I was like a menopausal woman, getting suddenly hot and needing a fan like a character in a Jane Austen novel. The old chap that sells the sweets in the intervals had to sit through the film and I was disturbed to see a guy on his own sat in the middle of an empty aisle…

There were women of all ages in the audience, including some Mums from our village. In the interval one if them remarked that little boobs are back in (I had benn quietly pleased to see this too). But as my friend put it, ‘If Christian Grey was on benefits he would be locked up’. We all were unanimous that we would sign the contract though….

The night before I was putting together the document summarising local Mums views on the new playground equipment for the village – an absolute must to help steer a parish council working party who have not heard of the concept ‘consulting with the public’. It’s at this level when politics seems to be more influential and where you can have the most input. Unlike central government which is a popularity contest for who can eat a bacon sandwich tastefully and keep big business happy – what a load of twaddle.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

It all began in a Pub…..well in Britain anyway

Feeling all charged up and empowered tonight after a good meeting with the village Mums in the pub to talk about the playground facilities and what we would like to see in the village. 

This is in response to the work of a rather lacklustre working group of committee members who are making plans to simply replace like for like on the playground – and us Mums want more! Have they consulted with us? NO. Will they need us to help raise funds for the new equipment? YES!

So we hopefully have the power to influence these less than qualified decision makers (one of the working group is in her 80s…it’s been a while since she sat on a swing).

Our local pub was the venue for the discussion and it got me thinking how many important meetings take place in a pub? In fact, how many important decisions have been made in pubs over the centuries? 

I would say more than the Houses of Parliament.

I say make the HOP a super club, the party capital of Europe and devolve power to publicans…..maybe then we would have, as Carlsberg would put it….’probably the best political system in the world…’

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Woman seeks cave

Earlier my Mum and I took my daughter and son shopping. I don’t know why my daughter behaved like a foul ungrateful teenager but the experience was hideous. Nothing was good enough. When she finally found some trainers she liked they weren’t in her size and no she didn’t want to wait for them to be ordered online. When we decided to leave her to browse down one aisle so we could keep baby boy entertained in another then went back to check on her she spat out her contempt that we were ‘checking on her’ and could we please ‘go away’ (although not sure if she said please). She moaned the entire time we looked at clothes for me,( back to work clothes ) and then moaned that she wanted to go home after my Mum had bought her dinner.

My Mum and I realise that we should have just given it up as a bad idea and left with nothing, giving daughter an important lesson in how not to behave. But we didn’t want to ruin her day, or ours for that matter.

Baby boy presented his own issues but only insofar as picking up random objects and putting them in the trolley – but that was his version of little boy entertainment in a supermarket so he did well. 

When my husband ‘had words’ with her later she said she was tired and that was why she was grumpy. Part of me accepts that but part of me doesn’t. It’s just those damned thing called hormones turning my daughter from Famous Five’s Anne to Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt overnight.

My Mum then said on the way back that I had to make sure baby boy didn’t copy his sister when she was being rude. I replied by saying that parenting at times is too hard a job and that actually I would like to crawl into a cave.

But, in the absence of a cave nearby, I just settled with putting them both to bed, drinking tea and writing this blog post.  

This blog is for UNICEF, thanks for reading. 

Yes to lost minutes

Saying ‘yes’ is catching up with me. Sometimes, if you write something down in a list it helps you to see that actually there isn’t that much to sort out, so here goes…

– do parish council minutes, email all partners re web links, start post box listing application, start handover document, do tweet schedule before leave, supervise daughter’s first tutor session, get children used to childminder through booking in time with her, get the working party for playground off the ground (Scuse the pun), go to first meet with new team, do medical questionnaire, get road closure for school fair booked, contact parish council re: using green for said fair, find out how much was raised through textile recycling at school, get November dinner and dance bash booked, set-up childcare voucher scheme, put for sale signs in husbands truck (to sell-off as no longer needs it and we need more cash), get Sailing sessions booked in over Easter, sort out childminders sessions walking the dogs……I’m sure there was something else…oh yes, train for the swimathon.

Everyone has lists like these as long as their arms(s) so no wonder we are all running around like headless chickens with our heads either stuck in a computer or behind a steering wheel. While saying yes has opened up so many experiences and opportunities, there are times when just the experience of taking stock will suffice.

My baby boy said to me earlier, “Mummy why don’t you stand still”. I am always saying to him “just a minute” when those minutes are all I, and anyone else for that matter, has got..

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Plane mad for a lunchbag

I have just spent 30 minutes (or it seemed like that anyway) deliberating over which ‘Disney Planes’ lunch bag to get my son on Amazon. You would think it wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes….why do you need to read umpteen reviews on a bag’s ability to store a child’s lunch?- but you can’t help but get drawn in. Then there is the design, colours, size, capacity, durability (sad isn’t it). Then when you finally go for it and select the seller who is offering free postage, you find at checkout it adds another £3 for packing. By which point you have given up the will to live and press ‘complete order’ anyway.

The saga didn’t start on the Internet. No, this quest for the lunchbox began earlier today when I specifically drove to a supermarket because I had seen another branch selling them only to be told in this particular branch “they won’t be in stock til after Easter”. So I drive back through our local town and try no less than three shops, all of which don’t sell insulated lunch bags, let alone Planes ones. Then that was it, I was on a mission. I had said to baby boy he could have a Planes lunchbag, so he was going to get one……

I think I need to start work (or maybe it’s the guilt of starting full-time work that is making me become insanely focused on anything concerning the children) – yes I think that’s it.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Motivating a mule, marvelling at Mazda

Still struggling with the education battle. I want to look round an alternative school, hubby doesn’t. I wonder what it will take for him to consider other options, it’s got to the stage where I am actually willing bad shit to happen at the school to prompt him to grant his permission. I mentioned this to Mum and she commented that I was not the only woman in history that thinks up an idea and then has to wait for the man to adopt and claim the idea as his own before proceeding further, until then they are as stubborn as a mule with its feet set in concrete…..gaa! why do we have to dance to these male tunes all the time – drives me crazy ( and is very bad for my libido). I am one week away from growing armpit hair and burning my tiny bras – although not sure what that would achieve, but you get my drift.

As usual I am seeking solace in a book, this time it is a chance discovery in the school pta shed (I claimed it as a perk of volunteering – so did baby boy, who found a Boeing 737 toy going spare). The book is called ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. It has sold over 6 million copies and is recommended by critics and celebs alike. Although sometimes I want to slap the author round the face and say ‘pull yourself together!’, I enjoy reading her travelling experiences (particularly as I am not well travelled) and the times when she broke down in tears on the bathroom floor (because it’s nice to know you are not the only one who loses it…..except I like to be in a slightly comfier situation). So if you want to read how one woman heals her wounded soul from the dents absorbed by pressured western life and a series of less than ideal relationships, then look no further.

If an alien had looked at our school this morning, it would have seen all the children and teachers looking up at the sky as if searching for something while clutching taped together cereal packets. After a few minutes of this, everyone walked back into the classroom – very bizarre behaviour indeed! The only way I knew something had happened was when my car lights automatically switched on as they would at dusk. While pupils were measuring temperature drops and deciphering bird movements, my good old Mazda was proof the eclipse had happened despite the sky being as thick as pea soup in clouds.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

The eclipse – how to improvise this phenomenon by a 9 year old

Ok yesterday’s post was heavy, but I am pleased to report that I have told my hubby that I applied to be a social worker and he didn’t baulk at the idea (especially when I told him the childcare costs would at least be covered….and maybe some groceries). My mother in law on the other hand didn’t seem to restrain her feelings. When I told her over the phone, there was a pause then she commented that she had always thought my sister in law would have made a good social worker (and she didn’t add the word ‘too’ afterwards). I consoled myself by realising that my mother in law doesn’t really know me, she only knows that I am able to love her son (although she confesses if he had been first born she wouldn’t have had any more children) and that I am able to have babies quite quickly ( not the conception part, rather rubbish at that, but the labour part – my daughter was four hours and my son was two – he came out so quick his eyes were bloodshot). 

Anyway, It’s the eclipse tomorrow and everyone is getting geared up at school for a glimpse in the playground. My daughter was asked to make a viewer from a cereal box (we don’t have cereal so I actually went out and bought cereal for this very purpose). After extracting the weetabixes, she set to work. Lots of cutting and tape ripping ensued before I went in to check how she was doing and found her ‘testing’ the viewer by standing on a stool holding a tennis ball up to the ceiling light…’it works’ she said. I just hope the clouds clear for tomorrow.

She then did a demonstration of the process of the eclipse for me and baby boy. She used a large round cushion to represent the sun and chose a tennis ball for the earth, much to the amusement of my Jack Russell, who kept chasing the ‘Earth’ while it was in orbit of the cushion. I was laughing and so was baby boy as my daughter got very cross with the JR as she tried to extract ‘Earth’ from the dog’s mouth. So she gave up the idea and used us instead. I was the sun, baby boy was the moon and she was earth, except the moon was rather too close to the sun and after a while got bored of going round and round. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

The battle of education…..and other passions

Emotions have been brewing in me all day. What is it about education that makes you want to drive your fist into a breeze block wall? I am beyond frustrated with my daughter’s school which is why my hand is sore and bruised! My husband does not want to launch into the problem when he returns from home. For me, currently at home, it is all I can think about.

Then, in the evening, a frustrating parish council meeting for all concerned raises tempers and emotions further on various issues relating to the village, both major and minor.

But if there is one thing that can be taken from stressful situations, its the reason why they are stressful in the first place, because you care. 

If care did not exist, passion would not be needed to drive through change. It is  the passion behind a cause that makes the world go round. 

This is often no consolation for those suffering the stress of an injustice, or frustration at a poor decision.

The test of an issue’s importance is to wait awhile, after tempers are subdued and if it still matters in the cold, harsh, sober light of day. Then do something about it.

In my case, I want to look at the possibility of changing schools. At least I have the luxury to do so because of our area and the schools on offer. It is about choosing a school where teachers truly believe in the phrase ‘Every Child Matters’. Is that possible under Gove’s hideous new curriculum?

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Thank you, no thank you

In many ways Mother’s Day was typical, a nice lunch, a walk, sightings of daffodils and lambs, a bit of indulgence.

We managed to hit two birds with one stone with my hubby cooking both myself and my Mum a roast dinner. It was scrummy and we asked if he could do it more often, he said he would definitely do it again at Christmas and the following Mother’s Day! We played a game of articulate, which was interesting – playing with OAPs and children is challenging.

We then exchanged presents and my daughter had given me lots of presents and lots of cards and was very particular about the order in which I opened them. I actually found it overwhelming and in many ways it was hard for me to accept all this attention. The reason being is that it is great being a Mum, even when you feel like screaming and it feels wrong to be thanked because it is like being thanked for indulging in an expensive lifestyle change that, for the most part, will give you eternal pleasure and amazing memories for years to come.

Mums and Dads who know their children enrich their lives, dont need thanking.

We are the lucky ones.

My Mum once said to me that Mother’s Day was more important than birthdays. I disagree.

But it is nice to cherish those moment when they present you with daffodils wrapped in foil, a handmade card, a painting – a moment in time when they stopped to think about Mum.

Read about the fascinating political, religious and cultural history of Mother’s Day on Wikipedia.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.