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Archive for the ‘Funny’ Category

The Importance of Play

If it feels like you have less free time and fewer unstructured “play” hours in your life, you’re not alone. Consider these statistics:

  • The average married couple works 26 percent longer each year than similar working couples did thirty years ago.
  • Leisure time among children ages 12 and under has declined from 40 percent of a child’s day in 1981 to 25 percent of a child’s day in 1997, and about one in four adults reports no leisure-time or physical activity.

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Teddy Bear Hospital in its 5th Year!

NUI Galway will be hosting the 5th Annual Teddy Bear Hospital from 28th – 29th of January 2010. Approximately 1,000 primary school children between the ages of three and eight will be accompanying their teddy bears while they are being admitted.

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A Mum’s Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been quite a good mummy this year, so for Christmas I would like….

  • A new pair of hands – mine are looking very much like they belong to a 90-year old gardener.
  • Some anti-shouting pills or something to prevent me from slamming things in a mum-rage.
  • A new car would be lovely. Preferably one which doesn’t let in the rain and soak the boy’s car seats, or one which actually gets warm. Either would be nice. Actually, one like daddy’s car would be very nice.
  • Would it be possible to have some self-dying hair, self-manicuring nails and self-applying make-up as I never seem to have the time to do any of this myself.
  • Actually, talking of time, a couple of extra hours a day would be great. In fact, make that four extra hours, but you must insist that I am only allowed to do things for myself in those extra hours.
  • A self-cleaning floor would be great.
  • A sense of style would be lovely.
  • I may be pushing my luck here, but if you could see your way to bringing me my very own Nigella Lawson or Annabel Karmel to deal with all the children’s meals that would be nice. Failing that, if you could fill my freezer with a year’s supple of ready-to-serve, nutritious, organic meals that would be fine.
  • Oh, and some of those nice chocolates from the coffee shop in the village if you can squeeze them in.

Thanks very much. I left out a mince pie which I made with the children. See, I really am a good mum

Standing on the sidelines

For the past few weeks I have been taking my four-year-old to a soccer skills class at the local community centre.

Due to a combination of a badly timed promo flyer and my mistaken assumption that ‘all weather pitch’ didn’t include rain and a biting wind, we missed the first 2 weeks so it was Week 3 before he made it onto the pitch.

By now the other boys had a 2 week advantage; they knew each other, the activites and the ‘coach’. My little man, on the other hand, stood like a rabbit in the headlights, stranded in the middle of an astro-turf ocean. My noisy, enthusiastic, confident little boy had turned into a shrinking violet in front of my eyes.

In hindsight this was probably because to his young mind ‘football skills’ meant he was expecting to run about kicking a semi-deflated Mickey Mouse ball whilst dodging some sheets and towels hanging on a washing line, occasionally aiming the ball at a brick wall to score a goal and immediately be given a high-five and loads of praise and encouragement.

The activities the coach was playing with the boys bore little resemblance to the ‘football’ my little man knew. So there he stood. Dazed and confused.

I urged him on from the sidelines – trying not to sound like a pushy mother whilst trying to resist the urge to take us all for hot chocolate and brownies instead. So we struggled on for 15 minutes – him looking increasingly forlorn and me getting increasingly frustrated. Meanwhile, my two-year-old, who is a year too young to participate in the programme, had found a football and was very skillfully dribbling it around the pitch.

Finally, my young Beckham relaxed enough to kick the ball around a bit, just as the session ended. He was, heart-breakingly, the last to be given a vest to wear and the last to get a high-five off the coach.

We persevered and went again the following week. The same thing happened: four-year-old rabbit in headlights, two-year-old displaying ball control which Wayne Rooney would be proud of.

Week 4 pretty much the same and my increasingly desperate attempts at coaching, or rather, coaxing from the sidelines seemed to be getting us nowhere.

Undeterred, we went for the final week and hallelujah! Finally, he found his footballing mojo! He was the first into the hall, the first to grab a ball, the first to get a vest. He joined in all the games, laughed and was the first to get a high-five at the end.

The programme has been extended for another six weeks and I’m delighted. I don’t actually care whether he’s any good at the football or not. I’m just so proud of my little man for sticking with it and growing so much in confidence through this experience.

Me? I’ve learnt that being on the sidelines is a tough place to be sometimes for a mum. But I’m sure I’ll get better with practice!

Things I swore I would never say!

It is kind of inevitable I suppose that as parents, we become the people we SWORE we never would and end up saying and doing exactly the same as our own parents. We wipe dirty mouths with a tissue which we moisten first by licking slightly. We endlessly attempt to apply a brush or comb to an unwilling mop of unruly hair and we fuss about dirty fingernails.

But perhaps the worst ‘parenting-trap’ we fall into is in what we say. Sooner or later, we all find ourselves turning to the unavoidable vocabulary of parenting. These tried and tested phrases have been rolled out for generations, so I think it is a genetic impossibility not to find yourself using them.

My own personal classics include:

“Right, I am counting to three. One…..two……hmmmm, I should think so too”.

“Three more spoonfuls and then you can get down”.

“Have you washed your hands and flushed the toilet”

“Where are your manners young man?”

“Erm, where do you think you’re going? You ask before you get down”.

“Do not interrupt mummy when she is on the phone. You tap me on the knee or say ‘excuse me’”.

“You are not in charge – I AM!”

“Just look at all this mess”.

You made the mess, now you tidy up the mess”.

“What’s the magic word?”

“Right, bye bye then, I’m going – you can stay there”.

“This is the last story, the very last story….”

“You sit there and think about what you’ve done”.

What are your favourite phrases, or what do you now say which your parents said to you as a child?!

Growing Pains

My heart sank for a little while recently, when,  in the middle of reading  my two-year-old his bedtime story, in marches the Bigger Boy announcing that he has a surprise for his little brother.

“Here, you can have Rusty Bear. I don’t need him because I’m a big boy now – I’m nearly four”.

“What? Are you sure?”, I asked.

“Yes mummy. I am too big for teddies. Sam can have him now”.

“But what about Affie?”, I asked, (Affie is a small toy rabbit which has been around since he was a few months old).

“Sam can have her too”.

I was genuinely stunned. Offering to give up his teddies is the equivalent of him offering to give up one of his limbs he is so dependant on them.

I felt a lump rise in my throat as I finished the story and put the Small Boy to bed. I wasn’t ready for my little boy to make such assertions about not needing his teddies. For the last three years and ten months of his life, those two teddies have been his constant companion. The last things to be asked for as lights go out at bedtime, retrieved from down the side of the bed in the middle of the night and the first things to be asked for in the morning. They have been on our best holidays, attended family weddings, helped to look after him in hospital, been the only things that can stop tears after a nasty fall and have been washed and hung out to dry more times than I care to remember.

Just as I was getting really nostalgic about all this, my ever-so-grown-up boy had a minor incident resulting in a cut lip and plenty of tears. As I was in the process of calming him down, Daddy came home and took over.

Still mildly traumatised by the fact that the teddies had been side-lined, I went downstairs to cook dinner. A little while later, Daddy came downstairs.

“Is he OK”?, I asked.

“He’s fine”, he said, “A tiny bit of blood but he asked for his teddies and he’s calmed down and gone to sleep.”

I smiled. Turns out he was not quite ready to grow up after all.

Twittering Mums

twitterbutton-0103I’m sure most people are now aware of social networking site Twitter. If you’re not, the basic premise of the site is the prompt ‘What are you doing?’. Responses to this prompt, or Tweets to give them their technical term, are restricted to 140 characters.

I signed up to the site a few months ago and within a short space of time have attracted (if that’s the right word!) a total of 206 people to ‘follow’ me (this means that they can read my tweets). I am mostly connected to other mums and dads (but have also had strange requests to follow me from Peppa Pig live and Butlins)?!

It is interesting that many parents, mothers in particular, seem to have latched onto this form of social networking with a particular enthusiasm. Perhaps it is the sheer immediacy and brevity of the site which appeals to busy mums. No need for lengthy emails, the 140 character limit means you have to keep it short! It appears to be the prefect social ‘fix’ for busy mums, and gives them the ability to interact with like-minded individuals in between changing nappies and cooking meals.

I am constantly amazed at the things people are prepared to tweet about. It would seem that when you are an anonymous typeface at the end of a PC, people are prepared to share their deepest, darkest secrets. Many individuals now seem to be starting their day with a good morning tweet, clearly switching on their laptop whilst still snuggled under the duvet. They continue to tweet through the day and well into the night, and although it doesn’t take very long to type 140 characters, I often wonder where the child or children are that they are busily tweeting about.

There are tweets telling us how much or how little the child ate for their dinner. Tweets telling us that the washing is now on the line. Tweets telling us that someone has just fallen off their chair and has a big bump on their head. I am actually starting to wonder the order in which things happen in some households – attend to the crying child, or send a quick tweet about it first?!

Interestingly, this week there have been two ‘Twitter’ babies born, in the sense that the mums-to-be have been keeping us all up to date with their due dates, visits to midwifes, false alarms and contractions starting, only to announce the arrival of their new baby in a Tweet. I have visions of the mothers being handed their laptop or iPhone first, and the baby second!

What are your thoughts? Are you a ‘tweeting’ mum (or dad)? If so, why and do you think people are giving us too much information?

www.twitter.com/hotcrossmum

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