Thursday, 31 May 2012

Easy kid or difficult kid...?

Kids are hard work- no doubt about it. Some are easier to deal with than others. As a teacher, I feel pretty confident in saying that some are downright hard work!S I wouldn't say Alex is hard work, but he has been much harder to deal with than Megan ever was. He isn't really naughty and he is definitely more polite than Megan, but his behaviour and personality are much more challenging than she has ever been. Perhaps I'm looking back on Megan through rose-coloured glasses...but I dont think so. She is almost 4 now, very independant and quite compliant. She was a pretty cruisy baby, slept well from a young age and was usually happy. Alex has never slept well and still doesn't. His independance is so random and he is incredibly stubborn. All the tactics that worked on Megan are useless on him. Lots of teacher strategies I use at work aren't any help either. Maybe it's the terrible twos that have just stretched on longer than I had thought. Maybe I'm not used to little boys. Maybe I'm just unfairly comparing a 2yr old to a 4 yr old and wondering why they aren't more similar. I've studied human development. I've read behaviour stuff and boy stuff. I know how the toddler brain works. Maybe when Megan was going through all of this I was just too distracted by a non-sleeping baby that I didn't notice!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Pressure. It's cropped up a bit for us at the moment. Mainly internally directed pressure, which I think is worse than that from external sources. Megan- was worried about not being able to read the writing in one of her books! Despite pointing out that she is still 3, she was quite upset by it. We cheered her up by letting her show us all the letters she already knows and can find in the book. Something that some of my prep students still find hard to do!! Me- changes at work have made me seriously consider going back to work full time next year. Mike could work part time to stop the kids being in care 5days a week, and also give him more time for his uni course. He would do the kinder trips and housework and I'd be the full-time working parent. Lots to think about there!! Could I stand missing the first day of kinder (4yr old for Megan, 3yr old for Alex)? Could I give up my weekly mothers group catchups? Or knowing my week finished at Wednesday afternoon? Could I deny Mike the opportunity to have all this, since I've had it for 4yrs?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Spoilt for choice...

We decided to reign things in this year, for birthdays and Christmas. Rather than lots of toys that get played with for 15minutes and then discarded, Mike and I decided for something big and something small.

The plan for Christmas is to build a cubby house-cum-swing set-cum-slide. Of course, it will be quite difficult to choose the 'something small' when the layby-for-xmas toy catalogues come out!

So, with Megan's birthday coming up at the end of June and we have started to think about birthday presents for her.

Really, she needs nothing. She has clothes, shoes and books galore. We have loads of crafty/make-y things. She has a bike, scooter, balls, etc.

I'd rather not buy her another 'thing'. I'm sure it will be loved and gushed over for a while, but in the end it will be forgotten or broken.

I asked her what she wanted and she has said over and over, she wants a camera. I can understand this idea. I am always taking photos, with my phone and great digital camera. We have tried the camera gift before. She got one of the sturdy, kids cameras for Christmas but the screen was so tiny and dodgy that it was a waste of time. All the kids want to do is take a photo and look at it, so that one was returned.

So here, is the question. Do we get her a real digital camera and teach her how to use to properly and look after it? Can we share a love of photography and nurture a budding artisit? Could she be the next Ansel Adams or Max Dupain? (Do I sound impressive knowing 2 fantastic photographers???)

Or do we go with an experience gift (which I love)? Disney on Ice will be here just after her birthday and co-incides nicely with the school holidays.

Both are expensive, so we need to decide right....but what to choose???

Sunday, 13 May 2012


Since it's Mother's Day today, I started remembering some of the things I should never forget....
  • tiny clothes
  • stress over breastfeeding and wishing someone would just say "It's not working, it's time to stop!"
  • all the milestones
  • watching them sleep
  • 1st Mother's Group-not realising that we would still meet every week, almost 4 years on
  • that first black tar poo!
  • calling them he/she for a few weeks coz it took that long to fully understand that the little, pink blob was a person
  • people handing back a crying newborn and expecting me to know what to do!

Mother's Day, 2012....

Brekkie in bed

Made by Megan at Kinder

special things

Saturday, 12 May 2012


I have just finished reading an interesting blog about the birth of a brand called Pigtail Pals. It's all about the anti-sexualisation and comercialisation of childhood and got me thinking about my stance on gender stereotypes.

When Megan was born there was a running joke in our family that "you'd better not buy her anything pink...Linda will crack it!" Initially my dislike of pink stemmed from having red hair (Megan also) and that clashes badly with pink clothes. But then it snowballed into outrage because if you have a girl, your colour choice options were usually pink, pink and then pink again. People just accepted it and never bothered to think otherwise.

It really drove me crazy!

I was always searching for colours other than pink and designs other than make up and kittens, and pounced upon them when they were seldomly found. You should have seen how excited I was when I bought Megan a black t-shirt once! And now after having Alex, I have noticed things aren't much better for boys. While there are red and green clothes out there, the majority of things for boys are blue. With trucks and motorbikes and skulls. Great choices. Of course, Megan's favourite colour is now pink- possibly because it's so rare and exciting for her to see in our house, or is it 'coz that's what girls choose?

A friend has a little girl who prefers Batman and Superman to the countless fairy costumes hanging in her cupboard. I laugh when Alex puts hair clips in his very short hair and wants toenail polish just like me. Let them go for it, I say.

Up until now, Megan's choice of interests have been fairly non-gender stereotypical. She loved 'Peppa Pig', a muddy puddle jumping pig, and 'Little Princess', a VERY non-stereotypical princess. She has a bug catcher (with a container of dead bugs) and a pretty awesome collection of rocks and stones. Alongside this, she loves her 'click-clack' dress up shoes and takes her handbag, purse and toy phone when we go shopping.

However, Megan is big on the first Tinkerbell film at the moment. It's a sweet, easy to follow movie with a nice theme of "be who you are, don't pretend to be someone else". But I have to admit, I cringed when Tink first appeared in her incredibly skimpy outfit which accentuated her boobs and bum. Really? Busty boobs and J-Lo-style bum for a Fairy in Neverland???

I had thought that this detail was the kind of thing that Megan wouldn't take notice of. But after reading what Melissa from Pigtail Pals wrote about images being what pre-readers learn from, I have started questioning this thought.

Am I being over-sensitive? Are there enough positive girl images out there too? Can we just let them be kids or is our media-driven world changing everything for our kids' childhood?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Progress Report...

It's been a while so here's what's new.....

  • was doing really well with #2's in the toilet, until.....
  • last weekend she got gastro/food poisoning/not sure. Threw up in her bed just as we had gone to bed. Cleaned her up, stripped the bed and couldn't be bothered re-making her bed so brought her into bed with us. Surely there was nothing left for her to vomit up...right??? WRONG!! So now a queen bed to be stripped, new sheets and doonas found, towels covering the bed. Slept for an hour, off she goes again. Another clean up, more blankets, more towels. Repeat 2 more times...almost running out of towels and blankets (she always managed to get just a little bit of spew on the blankets...enough to need them changed. Grrr!). She felt better in the morning and we got a few hours of sleep. She hasn't eaten much since then but is slowly recovering, I think.
  • we bought a tent for cheaper, more frequent family holidays and Megan is very excited about camping. It has been pitched in the backyard to check it all out and she has loved helping set it up and play in it. Pity the weather is so miserable that we can't try it out overnight.
  • is fast approaching her 4th birthday and preparations are underway. She wanted a 'Busby' (from The Hive) birthday cake so we are going with a bit of a bee theme...well a HUGE bee theme actually!!
  • actually did art-work at creche the other day! I was so excited 'coz he refuses to do crafty things there. The girls at the centre said I should soak it up while I can so I did!
  • got a cute new beanie

  • is speaking so well that I have to remind myself that he is only 2!
  • loves copying Megan still, so he rattles off "A.L.E.X spells Alex!" Don't think he has any idea what he is actually saying though :)
  • really enjoys swimming now. He wants to do what the older girls do, but he still has a death grip on the teacher. He is actually getting to the point of too confident and starting to do silly things while waiting for his turn. Have to keep a keen eye on him!
  • has been interested in the toilet/potty for ages but never actually did anything until tonight! Wee in the toilet after he said "I want to go to the toilet". After such disaster with Megan, I'm not holding my breath!!
  • found this image on Pinterest and it totally sums up Alex's outlook on things at the moment!!


Friday, 4 May 2012

Just one of those days...

It's been one of those days, where I know all of the things I need to be doing, but just can't find the motivation to actually do them.

While Megan was at Kinder, Alex and I needed to pop into the shops then get a few housework-y things done at home before pick up time. Instead- we had a milkshake with Nana and Grandpa in the foodcourt and wandered around the shops just looking. It was great to hang out-just him and me.

After lunch, I had intended to put a movie on for the kids so that I could get some reports written (bad time of the year for teacher motivation!). Instead, I sat and watched the movie with the kids. ***Side note- "Tinkerbell" is a great little kid movie***

Once the kids are in bed tonight, I had planned to get some more school work done or possibly sort out the plastics cupboard that has been on the to-do list FOR AGES.

Realistically, I'll probably catch up on all the stored TV shows clogging up the Digital Recorder, with hubby and a glass of wine....sounds much nicer!

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