A blog about ramblings in my head

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 😉



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?


Family Outings July 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — scorpiomamma @ 2:24 am
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Today we needed to take a family friend back to Chadstone and because it takes 50 mins to get there I thought it might be nice to have a family outing on the way there and make a day of it.

Our usual ritual upon deciding to leave the house is for everyone to suddenly go off in different directions. Grumpy One invariably needs to make toilet stops and have numerous cups of coffee, Zee is always needing one more minute to complete a task (these minutes always take at least 10) and Munchkin will choose that exact moment to do something completely out there like smear peanut butter on the tv which leaves me trying to run around and organise everyone.

So after agreeing to make a day of it Grumpy One said he would take us to Costco.  My husband has a dry sense of humour and assuming he was joking I happily got into the car thinking of all the lovely things we could do at the Docklands.  It was not until we were actually stopped and parked that I realised he was completely serious.

It’s not that I don’t like Costco, there is an array of goodies to be sort after and some very affordable prices but frankly I don’t always want a years supply of toilet paper or buy 24 cans of chickpeas (we just used the last one) but my issue wasn’t so much with the shop but the fact that he was taking us shopping.  Does he not remember the last time?

Shopping and my family do not work well together, in fact not many outings go smoothly for us at all but shopping is the mother of all disasters. Because it takes so long to leave the house we inevitably arrive at our destination by lunch time so the children are already grumpy from lack of food and already tired from the journey.  Yes I do usually take snacks with us but lately particularly with the eldest one, I cannot keep up with his constant demand for food and convinced he has overly active stomach acid am seriously considering an intravenous drip.

Going out as a family is fraught with tension as none of us do particularly well with crowds,  however while I can manage to cope my family do not.  My children both have sensory issues and react quite differently; Munchkin gets sensory overload and become more hyperactive the bigger his world becomes so we generally try to keep him in the stroller or trolley as this entrapment aids in keeping him calm.  Zee who has NEVER been compliant with shopping is now a teenager and spends the entire time asking if we are finished yet and when can he go home, there is rarely anything that interests him for very long and he spends his time constantly moaning unless being fed. He is also very protective of his baby brother and tends to take on the role of parent when we are out. This can be rather sweet and helpful but is often bossy and overbearing. These behaviours stress my husband out big time and combined with his enormous dislike of crowds makes for a very stressful environment especially for me.  Usually I spend the outing trying to calm everyone down while having multiple mini stress attacks and then finally end up totally disillusioned, not getting anything that we set out to get in the first place and just want to find a big cave and stay there.

Today was a typical shopping experience other than the amusement park across the road was actually open so we thought it might be fun to check it out,  unfortunately the weather was not very accommodating and also was aimed at younger children so Zee decided within the first 30 seconds he was bored.  For some reason he has taken to wearing thongs, partly I think because he is so tall he just cant be bothered stretching all the way to his toes.  Anyway within the first five minutes his toes were blue so now he was cold and bored.  Just have to note that this child was also going to leave home without jacket. We stayed long enough to have a few quick rides but as it was starting to rain and I was needing a bathroom stop we ventured into Costco’s. The agreement was food first, shopping after; the pizza slices are cheap and huge and unlimited refills of drink.

Once in we grabbed the last remaining trolley and Grumpy One headed for the audio-visual equipment.  I needed the loo so excused myself and rushed off. On my speedy return I arrived to find Grumpy One and Zee in some kind of argument that neither were willing to discuss (thankfully friend has known us for years and is considered part of the family otherwise might never come back).  Grumpy One continued on his way when I gently reminded him that we were going to get food first (it was now 1.00). ” Fine” he says and turns around swiftly almost taking a television with him.  We arrive at the very crowded food hall and I scan for an empty table.  Grabbing it as quickly as I could I sat down only to find husband trying to deal with trolley and child and not being able to manoeuver his way around another womans trolley. By this time Grumpy One had reached his limit and no matter what I tried there was no bringing him back.  We ate in silence, did a quick scan around the store, think there was momentary happiness at incredibly cheap Parathas and then we were bundled into the car heading south towards Chadstone. I think the only words spoken were “we are never coming again with the kids or on a weekend”.

We always end family outings with this quote and of course never do it.  So why do we keep punishing ourselves? Why do we keep banging our head against the wall and stressing ourselves out?

There are obvious reasons for going out as a family. Since we have moved it takes us longer to get anywhere and I don’t like the idea of Zee being home too long by himself.  A short time is fine but not all day, secondly we do not have relatives close by or know our neighbours well enough to babysit the Munchkin and I am not comfortable leaving the two of them home together in fear that only one will be standing when we return.  The biggest reason though is that I still cling to the hope that one day we will magically be able to connect as a family and manage family outings without the moans, the arguments and the stress.

There is a bright side today though, in my endeavours to remember that I always have a choice and am not a victim I managed to hold it together fairly well.  I didn’t feel like I was about to have a heart attack.  Do I have heartburn? yes and will probably for a day or so but I did remember to breath.  I also tried to take as many photos as I could on my phone as we rapidly speed through the city so at least I had a chance to play.  Maybe I will never have the family life I wanted and dreamed of, perhaps my expectations are too high but I am trying to remember to see the light in everything and have fun.  Life’s too short as they say.

I don’t know I’m just a beginner really what do you think?