crooked_fairytale

A blog about ramblings in my head

Time; It’s a Journey December 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 12:44 pm
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Another year is about to close and a new one about to begin.  According to the stars it appears that the planets are aligning to make it a good one for many of us, but no matter what may or may not be written the New Year for many it is the opportunity to start fresh and write a new chapter or perhaps even a new book. The new year brings fresh hope, the chance for change, new opportunities and while I can’t predict when any of our dreams and hopes may materialise I do know that Time is part of the equation.

 TIME

noun

1.         the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.  “travel through space and time”

2.         a point of time as measured in hours and minutes past midnight or noon.

Time can be definable in precise measurements and yet what happens within those increments of time can be such a profound and individual experience for everyone.

This time last year I was barely aware of anything, I think for the first time ever I had no new year resolutions, my main aim was to keep waking up in the morning and get out of bed.

The house settled on 18th December and the boys and I had just moved into our rented townhouse around the corner.  Nothing in my life was the same anymore. My marriage was over and while it had been over for a while I guess the house was the last piece to the puzzle, I knew that chapter was finally closed.

The direction in which I thought I was heading was slammed shut and then the sudden and unexpected death of my father threw me into a downward spiral I never thought I’d come out of.

I had no sense of direction, no sense of self, no sense of anything. I felt lost and alone and even though in my father’s death I rediscovered my sisters our relationship was so new I wasn’t sure yet where I fitted, my grief wasn’t something I felt I could share.

It is said that time heals all wounds but I’m not sure that’s true, it heals some wounds but the scars remain. What it does gives you is perspective and that is what this year has been; a time of healing and understanding, it has been a time of acceptance and change and a time of trust and growth.  I have allowed myself the time to grieve, to feel, to express my thoughts and feelings and not make excuses for them and somehow in the process of letting go the emptiness and sadness I felt continues to replaced with exquisite sense of love and joy.

The past twelve months has been two definite halves, part one about loss and letting go and part two about hope and letting in.  On reflection this year has been about completion and fulfilment. Where there was once lack there is now abundance. I wanted to feel loved, respected and special and while I now realise this on my own I also have a man who shows me every day, I wanted to feel part of a family and now I have an abundance of family bringing with it new challenges but I am excited at the prospect of working through them.  My heart was depleted but now it is overflowing.

There are many times I question myself and my sanity and most likely I always will, perhaps I truly am a little crazy but hey that’s part of my genetics, its in my blood, its part of who I am  but I also know that there is so much more to me and these days I like myself 90% of the time so now I intend the work on the other 10%; it might just take a little time.

And so as 2013 draws to a close I wish you all a new year filled with love, joy and happiness, a fullness of belly and wallet and also of heart.  May you always feel loved, respected and special and may time always allow you the opportunity to heal, to grow and to see that you make a difference.

Wishing you all love and light

xx

 

In His Own Time May 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 11:40 am
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Yesterday Munchkin jumped off the deep end of the pool for the very first time and surfaced to loud cheering and clapping from his teachers and myself much to the bewilderment of several parents who stared at me as though maybe we had gone a touch overboard, after all their kids jumped off the edge all the time.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life because the journey to that moment had been massive.

The Munchkin has always done everything in his own time, like all kids I guess do but his time has generally been long after the other kids and lately he has started to notice that he is different and it worries him and he has started asking me why things take a long time and my heart just breaks for him because I don’t know what to say other than we just need to keep practising. Diagnosed as having Global Developmental Delays at 3, were weren’t really given much information other than letting me know I would be having long relationships with Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and the Pediatrician.  There doesn’t seem to be much to research and therefore, I am guessing, eventually they just catch up, least that’s what I’m assuming and naturally hoping.

As an Australian, I have always thought it necessary that Aussie kids can swim, I spent my entire childhood underneath the water, I love it and so does Zee and as our last house had a swimming pool Munchkin was initiated very early on.  He loved it, at least all the photos we have of him as a baby would suggest that, always laughing and giggling.  Our summers in that house were awesome and we were naturally very popular.

Munchkin loved the water and then all of a sudden it changed and he was terrified.  I couldn’t even bath him.  To this day I have no idea as to what triggered it off.  There were no near drowning incidences, he was always supervised by an adult, the older kids were always fantastic with him and never splashed or were too rough in the water, the bath temperature was always checked but there he was at a little over 12 months, frozen solid and screaming at the bath. For months I could only sponge him, and eventually we upgraded to a bucket, ironically he loved water and would always play in puddles or the wheelbarrow if it was full of water.  Eventually we got him back into the bath, generally with one of us in there with him and little bit by little bit he was okay, as long as the plug was NEVER pulled out.

A friend of mine had her son enrolled in swimming lessons and there was a spare spot so she asked if we would like to sign up,  I thought it was a great idea as both our sons were great friends and we could have a play and a catch up afterwards. He couldn’t wait to play with his friends and was excited about the pool and then … reality hit, He stopped, went stiff and started shivering and then came the screams.  We cuddled, we tried sitting on the edge, I put him in, he climbed out, they put him in, he climbed out.  Crying constantly and looking at me with such pleading eyes I was just about to call it quits when the manager Eloise whispered something in his ear and put him gently in the water and he stayed there for the rest of the lesson, still crying but it was at least a start. It was many months before he stopped crying but he stayed in the water and as long as he was held was happy.

I am so happy with Aquastyle Swim School and all the staff because they took the time to get to know us and understand him, they asked what we did at home and they brought in visual aids to help him see and understand what was coming up, they tailored the classes for him and eventually he had one on one training with Eloise, this was such a turning point for him, I don’t know if it was because she was older and more experienced, (the other girls while fantastic, are mostly all uni students) but Eloise was like an angel.  She made every exercise seem like a game and each time she pushed him a little bit further but never more than she knew he was capable of going.

By October last year he had graduated to putting his head underwater, and I was excited that our trip to Queensland could now finally mean I would be able to have time with both boys in the water.  Alas, while he was wonderful in the wading section of the pool he was still terrified of the deep end and try as we might we just could not get him to go into the deep end or even sit on the edge.

Another year started and we could all see him improvements, even though they were often tiny, he was so confident now in the water and to continue encouraging him he was rewarded with a certificate, but still no matter how may times they tried to entice him, he was not jumping off that edge. Last night they tried something different, they removed him from his class and took him to young but oh so good-looking male swimming instructor.  They removed his muscles (floaties) at his request and put a belt float around him.  The shivers started, the legs locked and I thought this was not going to happen and then they put a bench in the water and he stood on top of that. I could not hear what was said and although holding hands HE JUMPED!  HE DID IT, in fact he did it several times over and eventually jumped without hands, and then much to my surprise he graduated to the edge! My superstar, he was a legend and the best thing of all was he was more excited that his mummy watched him do it rather than the jump itself.

It has taken two years to get to this moment and he still can’t swim but he will one day, when he is ready and in his own time.

 

And they wonder why Im the crazy woman of Melbourne town April 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 4:02 pm
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It can often be challenging to find activities for both my boys to participate in given that there is 9 years and nine months between them so Mum came up with the brilliant idea of taking them both into the city via train and looking at some of the various places around town.  I was actually quite excited because this offered something for all of us, fun, culture and of course a day out together.  So here is how it went…

7.00 woke up by Munchkin as per usual with the desperate plea for “bikit or” chocwat egg”.  Not before breakfast says I, “I don’t want bweakfast” he says stamping his little feet.  “”Okay go hungry” as I make him some cereal and stumble back to bed eager to return to my book of which I was nearly finished.

8.00, wondering if today is the day to go into the city, am actually enjoying being lazy and finishing my book as Zee is still sleeping and the Munchkin is playing (hammering) ever so sweetly on the keyboard, (ie he is entertaining himself so always a bonus).

8.05 the phone rings, its Mum, yes we are going, yes its good to get out of the house.  Yes we know where we are going, sort of.

8.30 I am fed, clean and showered, the little one is half dressed and I am trying to get the big one out of bed.   I am met with groans and “Go aways!”

8.45  Oops better feed the animals

8.50  Still trying to get Teen out of bed, Munchkin is running around naked laughing at me madly running around after him trying to get dressed.

9.00 Zee finally stumbles out of bed and even though he knows that I want to be gone by 9.30 he has to do everything in a certain order (it’s an Aspie thing) and NEVER hurries.  Rush around madly trying to get snacks ready, coats, check Leappad for batteries, double-check timetables, doors locked, car packed, check face, no makeup oh well stuff it and I think we are ready. Zee finds out we are going to city by train.  Doesn’t want to go by train, hates trains, hates people.  Its going to be one of those days.😦

9.30  Get in the car, no wait, Zee still has not got shoes on (always last thing).  “we have to go!!” I have timed everything so that we can get the 10.13 train from Epping.  Munchkin yells out.  “where we goin?

9.35  In the car, Zee has phone on Google maps and is giving directions, sweet, and we are off for our adventure. Munchkin yells out ‘we going train?

9.37.  Hit Plenty Road.  Traffic jam, road works.  Bugger!  I always forget to allow for the stupid road works, how long can a road take anyway? probably miss first train, oh well not important, it doesn’t matter really.”We there yet?

10.00 13 minutes of listening to Are we there yet? and its a long way,  we reach the train station.  Pleased we still could make 10.13 train. Very impressed with Zee and his navigational skills, cos the number of times I’ve been to the station are 2, number of times have caught train Zilch.  Find the tiny car park, no spots, ok still have time, just go around the corner.  Busy road, can’t get out, cars stop for traffic lights and of course no one thinks to stop to allow me to get out.  Arghh!  Sneakily push my way in.  ‘Go around block, Zee thinks there is another car park close by, tells me at last minute to turn corner, nearly get killed by oncoming car!  Stress levels peaking!  “Where is this car park?” Ï dunno” great!  go up and down road no car park, and street parking is either no standing or all taken.   Maybe I should just drive to the city or just give up the idea completely.

10.10 See empty car park close to station entrance, make possible illegal u-turn to car park to find it is a drop of point only, pull into spot to think and try to find car park in directory. Little lady asks me to move up as her car is sticking out 2 cm behind me and she wants to drop off her granddaughter WT??  Leave car park and drive down another street, still thinking of driving straight in only realise I haven’t a clue which direction I am now heading.  Zee tells me to turn around.  Good move.

10.15 Finally find car park in creepy side street, Zee wants to go home, I want to go home. The Munchkin has eaten my snacks not his, (am on low carb diet and eating high protein snacks so don’t go for sugary things when tired)  didn’t like my snack so he crumbled it into tiny little pieces all over himself, car and my handbag.  Water bottle was left open so bag is crumbly and wet.  Am mad.  Why didn’t you eat your own snacks?  “you mad?” yes I’m mad.  Munchkin cries, Zee gets mad wants to go home, I get mad although no longer sure at what really, Frustrated.  Terrific! am now looking like feral crazy woman in middle of creepy street, probably fit right in!

10.22 Make it to train station, worried my car might not be there when we return, will worry about it later.  Time to calm down, we made it all in once piece, doesn’t really matter what time we get home I suppose, although don’t really want to walk back to creepy street in the dark and especially to find my car stolen.

10.25.  Head for platform down steep stairs that Munchkin nearly throws himself off, thinking it might be fun, on reaching the bottom he spys pebbles on track just as train is approaching.  Manage to rescue child just in time.  Crisis averted.

10.31 Woohoo we made it,  Am having so much fun!! Zee sitting behind me not talking, not such a bad thing as he is reading Book 3 of the Hunger Games Trilogy and I am eager for him to finish.  Munchkin amuses people for several moments being cute and asking “Who you?” his version of what is your name and then proudly telling them his name and number.  Thankfully he doesn’t tell anyone where we live.  First stop minutes later is at Lalor and the first thing I notice is its HUGE car park, OMG!  Sigh, I really should work out where I live. Did I tell you I don’t normally do public transport?

Somewhere from here on Munchkin decides that he loves the feeling of being thrown around by the train and refuses to sit on his seat no matter how much I ask him to sit down and explain the possible dangers.  Wants to sit with his brother, met with a loud NO!!, wants to know why people aren’t talking to him, wants to know if we are there yet.  Spins around several times, sits on the floor, stands on the seat, tries to reach for the hanging bars over head.  Finally at least I keep him contained in our seating area and figure if he falls at least there shouldn’t be much damage to either one of us, hopefully.

11.00ish No longer care really, we arrive in the city.  Zee kindly offers to do the toilet run, Yay, nice Zee has returned.  Try to leave, tickets don’t work, not validated.  Thankfully gate-keeper lovely and validates then lets us through.  Make our way to Federation square, take a few photos, “Why are you taking photos?” cos I like to?  Tsk your always taking photos’, its stupid” sigh.  Realise we have walked past the tourist kiosk, and decide to visit ACMI the museum of moving images.

I could have had an excellent time in there if I wasn’t trying to stop the Munchkin from climbing on the exhibits or Zee yelling at him demanding he stop touching things. Both the boys have sensory issues and by now its fairly obvious they are in sensory overload.  As calmly as possible I try to explain that the Munchkin is actually allowed to touch things here and that I am capable of looking after him if he wants to go look at some stuff on his own.  We purposely brought the stroller as a containment device when things got to bad, he has already been placed in several times.  Finally we manage to have a good time I think, there is a great games area and both boys enjoy that and I make a mental note to come back on my own and take a good look around.  Its pretty cool.

12.45 ish am in the Tourist kiosk trying to find maps of city, city tram etc, Munchkin is touching everything again, Zee is yelling again, kind lady tells me about tourist bus that is probably easier and better as kids will have room.  I think she sees my pain.

1.ooish  No wonder everyone is ratty, its past feeding time.  Sit down at first cafe I find that has available seats and looks to be child friendly.  Turns out to be 5 star Cafe with no kids menu but is close to outdoor entertainment and kids seem to like the music.  Munchkin has 2 chips and declares he is full because he wants to go dancing, encourage more food eating and tell him he can dance next to the table, Zac scours from under jacket, his food he tells me looks grose but tastes really good.  Bonus.  Can we go home yet he says?  Seriously thinking about it, but no damn it we are going to have a good day and I want to take him to the Old Melbourne Gaol.  We finish meal and quickly throw chips into napkin and throw into handbag, Am not wasting chips they cost a million dollars.  Now seriously looking like crazy lady.

2.00 On the tourist bus, I manage to take a breather and work out where we need to get off, worked out it was stop 5 or at least that’s what the map calls it.  Several stops later and bus is really full, Munchkin suddenly in overload again, starts being silly, pulling my shirt down, (pet hate), kicking screaming, people staring.  Are we having fun yet?  Bus driver suddenly calls out Stop 5, but then calls out Chinatown, something doesn’t compute. Zee yells this is it, No wait I say.  Suddenly he has taken brother and they are off the bus, mad scramble with bags, and stroller and jacket is now dragging on the dirt and I’m pushing through the crowd to get to my children.  Worst possible case scenario – being separated from my children.  I stumble out of the bus, practically push small child into stroller, put soot covered jacket on and the hair that is not in ponytail is sticking up so now I look like crazy homeless person.

I spy a bench seat just up ahead a make a diagonal path straight for it.  A very attractive young man in a suit heads towards me, I realise he isn’t going to get out of my way, I don’t change course, I’m not sure why, possibly because I no longer care, I figure I’m 20 years his senior, I have a stupid stroller that no longer steers very well and because what sane person would not get out of the way of a crazy woman with steam coming out of her ears.  Man stops and demands why I walked in front of him, I yell out Because I wanted to sit down!!.  Sit there waiting in a mix of shame and horror, dont’ normally yell at innocent people, I probably ran over his foot.  Look around for men in white coats waiting to take me away.  Zee mumbles something again.  I crack.  ”I just wanted to do something fun, both of you stop whingeing!  People are staring, I can see the looks of pity towards the children for having such a crazy mother.  A man on the corner yells out something about Jesus is coming!  I want to go home.

I walk, I cry, I want to give up, I don’t think I am meant to be a Mother, it’s too hard, Why can’t it be easy?  I look for the DHS office, or the Funny Farm, I’m ready to hand myself in.  I stop, I have no clue where I am.  Zee asks for the map, I search for the map.  Forgot about wet handbag so found soggy chips have squished in with crumbs and so now I also stink like crazy lady.  I find map. Zee gets us to the Old Gaol. He is good at maps, he likes it, why wouldn’t he have just done that in the beginning.  Why can they not pick up on the signals, Why do I have to lose it for them to be calm.

The Old Melbourne Gaol is fascinating, creepy and claustrophobic but they both love it.  They run, I chose a quite cell and secretly work out ways to stay.  Its time to leave.  We have missed the bus but it’s not really that long a walk back to the train, the walk is good. I buy them both an ice cream as a treat.  I ask them what they thought of the day, its been pretty good” says Zee  “Yep” says Munchkin.  Cool, I’m ready for a drink, did they not notice any of the drama that surrounded the day, does ice cream fix everything, or is this level of stress so normal for them its good?

We make it way back to the creepy street. The car is still there (sorry creepy street residents).  On the way home Zee asks me if we can have a quiet day tomorrow.  You betcha. I’ve stayed in my pj’s all day, after all that’s what Crazy ladies wear these days.

 

I’ve got no what??!!! February 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 9:42 am
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As some of you know the Grumpy One is currently working in Toowoomba and we have been having communication issues as he cannot always get network coverage.  This has been an ongoing issue for some time, particularly in this area, but as he was reluctant to take on the phone company we had to put up with it until of course, He could take it no longer and suddenly, sprang into action this week.

Tuesday night we received a phone call from one elated and proud fellow, full of awe and wonder at his own greatness for not only taking on the phone company and having them release us from our contract but also getting a glorious new contract with new provider complete with new I-phones, 4S of course.  The new phones are due to arrive in a couple of days and we simply have to return the old ones by post, this seemed simple enough so after several “well done” and “gee your amazing” later we hung up on one proudly pumped up fellow who I am sure fell into deep and wonderful slumber full of the knowledge that he had done a fantastically wonderful deed.

On Wednesday night he rang to tell me, although I’d probably all ready discovered, I no phone coverage.  What, WHAT!!! No I hadn’t realised and why Why WHY?!!  it’s the first day of school tomorrow and how was I supposed to go without a phone?  I have no idea of what was said, something about this was the only way, he had done his best, sim card, postage, blah, blah, blah.  He failed to see the significance of what I was being asked to give up and why I was practically falling apart.  “Which bit about it’s the First Day Of School Tomorrow are you not getting!, Why now of all days???

I had every detail worked out in my head.  1st step to take as many photos as humanly possible, 2nd text them to family and friends,  3rd text GFs and send hugs and hoped to receive them back, 4th phone mum for condolence call and possibly get invite for coffee and hug, 5th, text Zee to coordinate bus collection etc.  I could feel the life force draining from me, the room began to spin and go dark, the children seemed to be dancing slowly around me,  I wasnt sure I was hearing right.  I cannot live without my phone, I can’t breathe and then suddenly I remembered “I sold something on eBay, how are they supposed to contact me?”

I may have become slightly addicted to my phone but it wasn’t just some ordinary day we were talking about it was an important day, it was the first day back at school, it was my baby’s first day of school EVER!.  What if the children needed me, what if the school needed me, what if I needed them?  what if some major catastrophe erupted? what if I needed my mum?  My phone makes me feel connected, just knowing its there makes me feel secure.  Its my grown up version of Ruggy.

The Grumpy One by this stage was completely disillusioned and deflated and was obviously quite perplexed at how his brilliant and selfless act had turned into a complete and diabolical nightmare, trying to maintain some composure but relatively jacked off he told me that apparently all was not lost and I just needed to go to the local phone store and collect new sim card.  Ok, I relaxed, we are now talking a few hours, I can do this.

The big day arrives and after dropping the children off at their relevant schools and getting a big smile and wave from the Munchkin with not a tear or dropped lip in sight, I went off in search of sim card, desperately trying to hold off the tears until I was safely out of sight.   Fall they did, my baby was finally at school, after agonising for the past 12 months about whether he was ready or not it had arrived and he was excited and eager to be part of the world .

Having gained some composure I arrived at the store to be told that getting a new sim card wasnt going to be that simple because the phone was locked to the old provider and it could take up to 48 hours for it to be unlocked by which time the new phones would arrive, well hopefully.  So I was now facing not one day but possibly 4 maybe 5 days without my phone it was all getting a little much.  How on earth did they cope in the old days and why does everything end up being so dam complicated??

Miraculously I actually survived the day as did the children.  There were no frantic messages on the machine when I arrived home, no emergency calls received while I was there.  I managed to collect the Munchkin and collect Zee from the bus stop with no texting or calling reminding him where I was going to be.  They both had a great day and remarkably Zee isn’t missing his phone at all.

So like any real addict I am missing my phone but I have proven to myself that it wont kill me without it. The world will still turn without me and the children are where they are meant to be, with other adults who have access to technology. I  remind myself that if any impending doom was likely to occur then it will eventually reach me and if I want to know anything I can just go online, although the idea of being blissful unaware is actually rather appealing.

When you think about it, it really wasnt a big deal at all and I’m not sure why the Grumpy One even got upset about it in the first place😉

 

 

Its a new day, a new year and anything is possible January 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 10:28 am
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So what was originally meant to be my last post for 2011 is now my first for 2012.  I spent last evening trying to write my blog while the television was blaring over the air conditioner, the Munchkin was screaming he wasnt tired while forcing his eyes back into his head, the neighbours were all having parties and their children screaming in the back yard and all I wanted to do was climb into my cone of silence.  And to top it off the keyboard was having some kind of nervous breakdown and kept omitting random letters from the page. Its was all too much!!

Today is a new day and new year and I am feeling hopeful, anything is possible.  Last year was hard for many of us and like many I have this feeling that there is something good about even numbers. I have sense of nervous excitement, a sense of bigger changes to come.

Some people don’t like to look back or dwell on the past, what’s done is done, we cannot change the past and while I know this is true on many levels, for me the past has everything to do with who I am today.  It’s important for me to look back, to reflect, to make peace with my past,  to see what I could have done differently and to forgive myself and others for any wrong doings that may have (real or otherwise) been done. I don’t believe that I can truly move forward until I have made peace with my past and today, looking back over the past year I feel that 2011 was finally that for me.

When my Pop died in October, I was so overcome with grief it consumed me.  His death was quick and unexpected.  At 89 I knew that it was inevitable but I assumed we would all have time to say goodbye just like we did with Nanna.  I did not.  I was wracked with guilt for not being there, for not visiting more often, and I was angry because my pain and insecurities had kept me away.  I was ashamed of what my life had become, of who I had become and I couldn’t bare for him to see that and ultimately, my own stupidity stopped me from being with the people I loved.

After his passing I have received many gifts, the biggest has been finding myself.   For the first time ever I think,  I gave myself permission to grieve, with no analysing, no judgement, no timeframes I just allowed it to be and come when and how it needed and boy did it come and then the floodgates opened!  Every pain, disappointment, fear, sense of loss swept over me.  Tears turned into sobs, sobs turned into strange primordial sounds and as I lay huddled in my fetal position I could finally see me underneath all the rubble.

In Poppy’s passing he has given me back myself, he was a man of strength and conviction and it is his words that I hear daily when I am finding things a struggle.  Keep going, you are strong, you can do this, this is the Bosworth way.  I had never considered myself a victim but I realised that is exactly what I had become, a victim of my own circumstances,  I didn’t like it and it was time to stop.

I have inherited many fine qualities from my grandfather, his strength, his passion, his sensitivity, his stubborness, his love of hoarding because there is always another use for something, (possibly not so fine a quality), his love of nature, his sense of justice and his ability to be positive no matter what.  I had just not owned them for a while.

So I only have one new years resolution this year and that is simply to be me, to be true to my SELF.

You may not like it but I don’t care, and even though that’s not really true because I am highly sensitive and care deeply, it means that I shan’t let that bother me anymore.  I know where I am now, and yes, this is the beginning and is going to take hard work before I am completely free but I have a goal, I have a purpose and most of all I actually have found me, its something magical and there is no going back.

Happy new year, may peace, love and light surround you always.

xx

 

Fathers Day – finding the right words September 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 12:29 am
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Celebrating Fathers Day has always been full of mixed emotions.  As a child it is not a day I remember celebrating.  My father wasn’t around much and my poppy was very much of the ilk that Fathers Day was something invented by the Yanks as a way of conning us out of our hard-earned cash.

Even though I now have a relationship with my father, this day does not automatically fill me with the need to buy cards, send gifts and acknowledge him for the wonderful things he taught me.  I don’t really have any fond memories of my father as a child, most of those memories involve tears, and sadly the majority of things I learned was how not to be, however in saying that, I am grateful for the part he played in giving me life, I love knowing where my strange sense of humour comes from, my love of art and more than anything I love seeing the obvious connection we have genetically, something that was never obvious on my mother’s side of the family so I do try to make an effort and acknowledge him in some way even if it is just a call.

One of the problems for me expressing myself on Fathers Day is the wording on the cards available, especially as they are generally sweet messages reminiscing about the good old days and the ways in which our Father’s where there for us, helping to shape our future, none of which seems relevant to me or if the card is somewhat appropriate I can not honestly say the words with meaning.

In contrast to this I have a Step Father who is a wonderful father and someone I love and admire very much.  He has never made any differences between me and his own biological children and I always know that he is there to help me if I need it, when planning for Fathers Day he is the person I think of celebrating with, however I still struggle to find the right card. Most Fathers Day cards assume a long history between child and father and this is not always the case, because my stepfather entered my life as a late teen I find the majority of phrasing not suitable and there really are not many cards that say what I want to say.  While I tell other people I’m off to see my Dad I don’t actually call him Dad and there aren’t many or in fact any cards that say To the Man I consider my Dad even though I have seen these cards at Mothers Day.

Thirdly there is my husband who rightly or wrongly doesn’t always live up to my image of the perfect Dad either.  He certainly loves his children but he is not much of a hands on father.  He is the type of dad who works to put a roof over their heads and food on the table and earns money so that they can do extra activities like swimming and karate. He is the best father that he can be and because of that deserves to be acknowledged for his efforts but while the I Love You Daddy cards work for the Munchkin, Zee knows only to well that his dad is not the sentimental type and well, quite frankly the words that include kicking footies or fishing or being best mates do not apply.

Ultimately I make my own cards and we say whatever seems appropriate at the time, these are always received well and it is something I enjoy doing but it got me thinking that surely we are not the only family looking for similar type cards. Many people have step dads, or foster dads or fathers that simply are not touchy feelie yet they still want to acknowledge them on Fathers Day.

Maybe there really is a market for cards that say Dear Sperm Donor, thanks for getting there first  or Dear Dad, you’re a Grumpy Old bastard but we love you anyway.  Or cards that acknowledge non biological dads. You’ve been like a Dad to me or To my Step dad, thanks for accepting my mum came as a package deal.

I may not be getting a job at Hallmark anytime soon but I do believe that there needs to be more of a range of the type of cards available.  Fathers Day to me is about honouring dads of all types but it doesn’t meant that the sentiments have to be cheesy ones or full of false sentiment either.  Often all you simply need to say is Thanks, and I love you.

Maybe I am the only one who thinks this way? what do you think?

 

Dining out with our children August 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 1:08 am
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Yesterday an online discussion about children and their behavior while dining in restaurants caught my attention, the gist of the conversation was that if taught early by their well-mannered and thoughtful parents it was quite possible to create perfectly behaved children whilst dining out. My friend Mark wrote a blog on his positive experiences.

This discussion evoked a very powerful response and I found myself wanting to jump down the screen defending not only myself but all the other parents in my position yelling that it is not always that simple.  I am one of those parents belonging to children that invite the stares and misunderstandings and just because a child appears to be ill-mannered or badly behaved does not mean that the parents are always irresponsible.

Of the parents that I know with “highly sensitive” children we are only too aware of the disapproving looks we get when our child has a melt down in public. As a baby and toddler, there are understanding nods and smiles from fellow parents, they are in the club and understand all too well but as these children get older the understanding nods start changing into disapproving glares.

It’s not that I don’t believe in the theory in principle but now having lived it I realize it isn’t always as simple as teaching our children appropriate behaviours and them suddenly responding appropriately.  Some children just don’t get it, some children like mine don’t always get the consequences or pick up on the subtle nuances that other “normal” children pick up on.  It doesn’t mean that we can’t have our rules but the way we teach them or police them is different.  There has to be give and take, some days you need to pick your battles.

My youngest child is easily overstimulated and his senses can lead him in all sorts of directions, he is more interested in his particular want of the moment than any consequences that befall him.  It can be very challenging as is trying to find toys/games that will occupy him long enough to sit at the table and be quite.  We use many techniques and will resort to using electronic gadgets as this will keep him entertained just long enough to enjoy a meal.  Some people may call this bad parenting we call it a necessary distraction.

We would not take him to a Michelin star restaurant as that would be very inappropriate for us we aim for family friendly establishments however sometimes that can simply mean they allow children to be present and are not so friendly at all.  Some of these venues don’t really cater for children other than supplying high chairs and at 4 he is just a little too big.

There are times of course when it is totally appropriate to remove a child from a venue so as not to disturb others, funerals, weddings and concerts, just to name a few.  We have been known to pack up and scuttle out as fast as humanly possibly remembering to jot down the name in our book of places we can never return and it is also possible to calm a child down discretely so as not to draw unwanted attention. However, there are times when we don’t  want to care about other people or whether we are bothering them, when we want to pretend we are normal and eat our meal without interruptions or distractions.  So what if the Munchkin is spreading food all over the table or his person, so what if the children are becoming a little rowdy and bordering on being a nuisance. can’t we just have this one moment?  We are after all paying customers and we are all human.  Why is it okay for the man at the next table to have a tantrum that his meal was late and not for our child to have a tantrum that he can’t have blue ice cream?

For many reasons parents are not always in a position to leave the  children with family on a regular basis, a babysitter on top of dinner is often way beyond the budget or the child is too unpredictable to inflict upon the unsuspecting baby sitter. We are all trying to do our best and learn different coping skills and rather than judging people for their lack of parenting skills or unruly behavior I try to be compassionate, perhaps they are simply having a bad day and like me they are merely trying to pretend that they have an otherwise normal existence and they can be like the other perfectly behaved families eating at the other tables.

We might be disturbing your dining experience but you get to go home to your quiet and neat little lives, we have to take our noise home.  Is a little compassion and understanding really that much to ask?