How to Raise a Sensitive Boy

Most people who see my four-year old charging around would not for one minute think he is sensitive. He doesn’t sit quietly engaged in a task, or play away from other children. You will normally see him tooled up with a stick or a light sabre! But don’t think for one second that my big boisterous boy is all that he appears.

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He is a very sensitive soul. Pie will take everything to heart. Things you said weeks ago can resurface and need to be talked through. Almost as if he has been going over them, replaying the moment. If he thinks he has done something to upset you he wants to make amends. He wants everyone to be his friend! But he also struggles to keep all those feelings in check. Leading to huge outbursts over things most kids wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.

Pie always wants to try to make you happy. He checks several times a day if I am happy. He definitely has my anxious nature. A trait wish I wish I had not passed on. But at least I know what I am dealing with. Saying that though sometimes he completely throws me. My happy, bouncy boy can be raging in a matter of seconds with no apparent cause. At one stage I questioned if there was something else going on. I have questioned my own parenting many many times. Finally I think I have him sussed. Not all the time obviously! I mean he is four, being irrational is his prerogative.

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The stereotyping for boys to be tough and macho is embedded so early. Even without meaning to we can all fall into the trap. I have done it myself, I find myself saying things like be a big brave boy. Or worse still don’t be such a girl when he runs off from a spider! I know I shouldn’t say it. Why shouldn’t he be scared of spiders? His Dad is! What I say in jest he takes so to heart. I forget sometimes that he is only 4, that he can’t understand my teasing.

I don’t want to wrap him in cotton wool. Equally so I am trying to teach him that it’s ok to have feelings and emotions. It’s ok to be scared or anxious about things. That as his Mummy I will look after him. Realising how sensitive he is has made me look closely at how I parent him.

Now I think more about how I phrase my requests. I make sure he isn’t rushed out of the house, but has time to prepare himself. I try not to give him the plan for the whole day – or he incessantly worries that we won’t get it all done. Mostly I respect what he says. If he says I don’t want to go out and what we had planned isn’t important then I don’t force him. If we are going somewhere new I don’t build up his expectations. I let him discover things at his own pace.

The most important thing I have learnt is that he needs more reassurance. He needs those extra cuddles. He wants to say I love you and hear you say it back. The recognition that he is important and that his view matters. What he doesn’t need is endless stimulation and presents. He needs my time, my patience and my understanding.

Broccoli Is Never In Style – Taylor Swift

Broccoli Tree
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So Pie hates broccoli, even when we try and pretend they are mini trees he just will not even entertain the idea (I have to say I am totally with him but tell Mr P) so in tribute to my boy I have taken one of his favourite songs and attempted a broccoli themed parody! Enjoy Broccoli: Never In Style,  to Taylor Swifts’ ‘Style’:

 

Teatime, You ask me to wash my hands before I eat mine.

It looks fine, but this could end in tears or paradise

This could be new, oh, it’s been a while since I have even tasted you (tasted you)

I am begging you please’cause you

Know exactly where it leads but

We have to go ’round and ’round each time

Give me my baked beans, ice cream and things that I like

Not those green stalked broccoli trees that are vile

And when I go into meltdown, every lunch and tea time

‘Cause broccoli is to vile

I’ll never eat it with a smile.

Very sulky faced little girl
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Its got that long stalk, greenness, and tastes like dirt

Don’t put it near my face or I will spit it on your skirt

And when I go into meltdown, every lunch and teatime

‘Cause broccoli is to vile

I’ll never eat it with a smile

He we go…

You can’t make me eat that, it smells like a toad!

I start to groan

Gloves are off, do you have to gloat?

You say, “I heard, oh, that you’ve been following new rules, eating this at school.”

I say, “What you’ve heard is true but I

I am not eating this for you,” and I…

You say, “We’ve been here, too, a few times.”

Delicious looking ice cream
Unsplash / Pixabay

Give me my baked beans, ice cream and things that I like

Not those green stalked broccoli trees that are vile

And when I go into meltdown, every lunch and tea time

‘Cause broccoli is to vile

I’ll never eat it with a smile.

Its got that long stalk, greenness, and tastes like dirt

Don’t put it near my face or I will spit it on your skirt

And when I go into meltdown, every lunch and teatime

‘Cause broccoli is to vile

I’ll never eat it with a smile

 


The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

Angry or Hangry? An A-Z Guide

We all know that kids are ticking bombs of emotion ready to implode or explode at any time! Pie is the king of the untimed and totally unprecedented meltdown – living in Pudding HQ you get used to wearing a tin hat and being in a perpetual state of unease as another tantrum can be imminent at any given moment. So to guide you through this minefield I have prepared an A-Z guide: Hangry or Angry? 🍰😊


A is for angry, and not just a little bit cross but full on raging (usually over something ridiculous eg ‘I have water on my sleeve’)

Bat shit crazy, those days where they run round the house like a Tasmanian devil tearing up everything in their path and creating the same level of destruction as a small scale hurricane.

Cute and cuddly, this one is elusive you may only see it just before bedtime. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are being sweet, this is their way of wiping the slate clean ready to start all over again in the morning!

They have Dell boy’s ability to negotiate a fantastic deal that will leave you feeling totally had – you started requesting a toilet trip they ended up not going to the loo but some how getting a biscuit and a bag of raisins. How exactly did that happen?

E is for excited (not exorcism although believe me I do wonder sometimes) sometimes you just have to delight in how the words ‘soft play’ can make your small person so happy whilst making you feel instantly miserable.

Fanatical, and I mean utterly obsessed, once they have their spidey-senses locked on something then its all they talk about, think about, dream about but then comes the flip side they are such Fickle creatures that these obsessions are reasonably fleeting.

Grumpy – for no apparent reason. You put them to bad happy but this morning they are looking and sounding like one of Snow Whites dwarfs.

H should be for happy but let’s be honest it’s more likely that they are Hangry. We have all been there, we forget sometimes our small person needs feeding at regular intervals but miss that window and suddenly they are hulking out until you can shove a sandwich or a banana at them. Unlike Gremlins you can feed them after midnight.

Inconsolable, this stage can be reached in 5 seconds flat due to the loss of a favourite toy or just because they have their shoes on the wrong feet. Getting back from this is like wading through treacle and you will undoubtedly have to make deals that would usually never be on the table.

You know that dance they do when they need the loo but are too busy to go? Well that is what we call Jiggly. Jiggly is usually a state of high parental alert and requires swift intervention to prevent a minor accident followed by major meltdown.

King of NO! Everything you ask is met with ‘No’, this little word can be said softly or screamed in your face. It doesn’t really matter how it is said it often feels like a red rag to a bull.

Love of course is L but I think also we must mention that most preschoolers and toddlers are total Lushes’ giving out free hugs and sloppy kisses to all and sundry. They maybe small but they have a lot of love to give.

M has many options there is of course meltdown an important one, as well as manic and moany but special mention has to be mummy-centric. This one drives all Dads to distraction ‘I want mummy to do it…’ But it’s not great for mums either cos mummy-centric means a constant commentary whilst sitting on the loo.

Nasty or Nice? How can you tell in advance? Impossible. There appears to be a switch that they can flick throwing you completely off guard. One minute stroking that chick next trying to pull its head off…

Overstimulated is def O – that moment when something goes from being fun and exciting to completely overwhelming and a large amount of crying follows. This signifies a speedy extraction from the situation and hopefully a long car journey home so you can get a nap out of them (if they fall asleep 30secs from home just keep driving!)

Polite and pleasant spring to mind but I think Political is probably more apt. With a deftness that can only be recreated in a Game of Thrones episode they can turn parents against each and plot the downfall of their siblings and grandparents. Before you know it they have overthrown the entire household and are sitting smug on their Peppa Pig throne with total control over the TV.

Queen, of the drama variety. Your local am-dram has nothing compared to your child who has scratched their finger or who has been told they can’t have a biscuit. Be prepared for flinging, arm waving and crying (and that’s just you!)

Rolling on the floor laughing! Yes something has tickled them and they are now in fits of laughter on the floor, usually its something that has totally gone over your head but you find yourself joining in with them as its infectious.

We could have had Temper or Tantrum here, both would have been great but I have chosen Tenacious. Seriously they can harp on for hours until they get what they want, its not that you wanted to give in but you just can’t take it any more. The constant questions, the rephrasing of the request and the sideways glances to see if your resolve has softened.

Silence ha ha only joking! Sulking would be more appropriate, arms folded, little mouth pout – no matter how you phrase the question this is the reaction. Give up, have a brew and move on with your life because S also stands for sticky situations and that is exactly where that sulky face is leading you. The Silly-Billies,  is my personal favourite, when they run into the living room with a saucepan on their head and announce they are in fact a cat.

Vexed up and vulgar! Yeh that little person is so easily wound up that sometimes you can’t resist poking him with a stick but you know long term you will regret it, especially when he later starts shouting ‘poo-head, booby face, willy’ in the middle of a restaurant just to get his own back!

Why, curiosity killed the cat right? Maybe it did but your preschooler is taking his life in his hands with the constant stream of why. Everything is met with a why until you find yourself roar like a lion ‘because I said so’ to which they reply ‘alright mum’ ….

X-acting? Yep it’s got to be done just right, the right amount of butter in the bread, no not that jam the other one, my toast is too toasty etc etc

Yee ha cowboy’ or ‘yo ho ho m’hearties’, everything is an imaginatve adventure, from pirates to cowboys, to rockets and monsters, sometimes the only way to get through to them is to stick them in the washing basket and row them to the bathroom to brush their teeth.

Zzzzzz tired, you, them and the dog! No one copes well when they are sleepy, time for some warm milk and a nap (just ship the kids off to Grans first!) It’s a shame that despite being tired kids won’t sleep, now as an adult if someone said have a nap you would be in there like swimwear right?

Cuddle Fairy

10 Reasons Why I Whine – From a 4 Year Old

I wanted to to take this moment to share with you something that my mother has yet to fully understand. The reason why I whine. Mummy says it is unreasonable to scream and shout as I do. So I have listed below my top reasons for having a catastrophic meltdown. I would just like to add that this is only a sample list and by no means an extensive compilation. I have the right to add more reasons to whine at any point.

Top ten reasons I Whine

1. One or other of my socks is wet – usually because I have kicked the dogs water bowl all over the kitchen floor.

2. Leading on from the wet sock, I can now not get my dry socks on and keep getting my toes caught in the heel area.

3. Mum has asked me to go to the toilet without placing any bribe or incentive in the offing.

4. I have asked how we are getting somewhere and Mummy has said we are walking (even if we aren’t, she does this just to wind me up somedays).

5. I have woken up – plain and simple.

6. I have lost my Harry Potter wand (usually it’s not lost its just rolled off the couch), this one comes with full on screaming ‘I can’t find it’

7. When Mummy ignores my satnav capabilities in the car and drives what I am sure is the wrong way.

8. If somebody shuts the downstairs door. Even if I am asleep I know this has happened.

9. I have been given the wrong water bottle for school, these things matter and no I won’t tell you which one I want when you ask but just protest about whichever one you give me.

10. One or both of the Sausages snaffle my half eaten biscuit out of my hand.

I could go on and on. My life as a 4 year old is a world of injustice and hardship. But right now I have to have my 14 pre preschool meltdowns, many of which have been featured above. Oh no, is this, can it be a WET SOCK…. ‘MUuUUuMm!!’

Love Pie x

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Mummuddlingthrough

Not Just Another Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To finish off our Easter school holidays we, that is Mummy, Pie & Pudding, arranged to meet some friends at the National Forest Adventure Farm over near Burton-on-Trent. We drove up from Birmingham and the journey was really easy, straight up the A38 and then follow the signs through a lovely little village called Tatenhill. On arrival there were car parking attendants guiding cars into the large car park, plenty of spaces and the car park is hardstanding so no mud to wade through. Considering it was Easter holidays the farm didn’t look overly busy, it was a bit of miserable, drizzly kind of a day, but we live in Brum that kind of comes as standard. I initially thought that entrance was a bit steep at £10.95 each (if you book online in advance you get 10% off) – but in all honesty once we got inside and saw all the things that were available I realised that this wasn’t actually unreasonable.

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Our friends were running a little late so I took Pie into the indoor play area and brought myself a coffee (there is always time for coffee right?) Pudding was her usual interesting self and was asleep! The indoor play area was HUGE, there were some quite scary looking vertical red slides that the bigger children were throwing themselves down, but the rest of the soft play looked great. Pie obviously thought so as he had his shoes off and was disappearing up the steps in less than 30 seconds of us arriving. I sat at the table with Pudding and a large latte (very nice and reasonable too), it took me a long time to spot Pie in the soft play and due to its size I did loose sight of him quite regularly, luckily Pie is food and drink orientated so he returned to the table regularly to steal some of my kitkat.Picture

Once our friends arrived we decided to take the boys on the Easter trail that had been set up in the woods – we weren’t entirely sure what was involved but knew that there was a tractor ride and the promise of chocolate soon had the boys on board. We queued for the tractor for around 10 minutes, thankfully a very sensible person had put the queuing system in a marquee so it wasn’t wet and cold. Once on board the tractor we were taken around the farm and up to a little wooded area, the boys loved the noisy bumpy tractor ride and Pudding slept through it (no change there). Once we got to where the trail was the boys were given a small piece of paper that they had to carry round the trail and stamp with the animal stamps – they had to get 6 stamps to show the Easter Bunny. Thankfully the trail had been covered in bark chippings, so again not too muddy, not pram friendly so I had to carry a sleeping Pud. The boys really enjoyed the trail there were a few characters to meet on the way round as well as collecting the stamps and all the characters were really enthusiastic and friendly. The Easter Bunny was right at the end of the trail – unfortunately the boys were a bit more focused on the chocolate by then! Then it was back on the tractor for a bumpy ride tot he farm, even Pudding woke up for the return journey, she did look less than impressed but their is no accounting for taste.

PictureEveryone was a bit chilly when we got back so we decided to head back to the soft play area for lunch. We ordered kids meals for all of us as at £3.95 they were good value, both the boys were a bit to excited about the soft play and neither ate that well. The food was simple but good, I have to recommend the chicken goujons, they were really tasty!

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PictureAfter lunch we wandered out to find the big animal barn (the boys spotted an amazing JCB bouncy castle too) this was just round the corner from the soft play. Outside was a big sand pit and both boys wanted to spend some time in there digging. It took us a while to drag them into see the animals but it was worth it. When you enter the animal barn there are two low walled areas that have loads of guinea pigs and rabbits in. You aren’t allowed to pick up the small animals but they are great fun to stop and watch for a while. The barn only had a small selection of animals but they were all at close quarters so that the boys could see them (they could have fed them if we had brought a food bucket) they enjoyed stroking the piglets and the goat. We had managed (by total fluke) to arrive in the barn when the lamb feeding was about to start so we grabbed a token and sat down. The lamb feeding was quite organised, the children all got a number and were called up in groups to feed a lamb, the boys really enjoyed this and the staff were brilliant with all the kids. We did talk about going round to see the outside animals but both boys wanted to drive the go karts and it had started to rain!

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Unfortunately Pie had a minor disaster at the bouncing pillows (which were great, one specifically designated for under 8s so the smaller kids don’t get ploughed), he had run off in front in his excitement and straight across what can only be described as a quagmire, which had him covered in mud right up to his knees. This signalled a major meltdown and as it was now 3.30, we decided to call it a day.

We didn’t get to do everything available at the Adventure Farm – there were lots of other things available and in the summer there are even more things going on, including the giant Maize Maze (Dinosaur themed this year!). We will definately be back later in the year as we had a great day and I do love dinosaurs….

Want to know more about the National Forest Adventure Farm? Have a look at there website http://www.adventurefarm.co.uk/

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Monkey and Mouse
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Pie Turns 4 – Big Boy Party Fun

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Hi There,

I had a great day yesterday as I graduated from a threenager to a big boy of 4! It was all very exciting, my lovely Aunt & Uncle were then when I got up and the living room was filled with balloons and lots of presents. I was super excited and got down to getting that wrapping paper off as quick as humanly possible, before Mummy had even managed to get herself a coffee! I was an exceptionally lucky boy, Mummy had organised for everyone to get me these amazing Harry Potter figures, because as you know I love Harry Potter. Unfortunately I managed to break a few wands off quite early on in my game but Mum says she will stick them back on when she has brought some extra strong sticky glue.

After presents it was time to get dressed and meet all my little friends at the farm. It was really busy, but we got to do loads of cool things like holding chicks, feeding coats and sitting on horses. My favourite part was feeding the tiny lambs with my best friends, the bouncy castle was also pretty awesome. Mummy fell in love with some ginger piglets but Daddy said she wasn’t allowed to put one in Pudding’s bag, I reckon the Sausage Dogs would have loved a piglet. After we had been to see all the animals we went to the big indoor play area for some lunch. I love this place it is possibly the best place ever. There is this huge bouncy pillow which my mates and I went crazy on, and Daddy spent loads of time chucking us down the enormous blue slide. Even Pudding had a go on the wavy slide with Daddy – she looked a bit shocked! We all sat and had lunch together, Mummy had a burger that was nearly as big as my head, I couldn’t believe she ate the lot, she said that birthday parties made her hungry.

After we said good by to my friends we went home to find my Aunt and Uncle and my Grandparents, then there were more presents. I finally got my hands on the Voldemort figure, he is my absolute favourite. Then Mummy lit the candles on my Hogwarts castle cake, which I thought was amazing (Mummy is not known for her baking prowess or general cooking skills).  I got a bit over excited and blew out the candle before everyone had sung Happy Birthday but Mummy relit them and we tried again. After every one had finally said goodbye I got to play with all my new toys, before collapsing on the sofa to watch some Harry Potter before bed. It was a fantastic day and I think I am going to like being 4!

Love Pie xx

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Never seen someone so excited about a basket of ducklings!
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Big boys enjoying getting to know the chicks and ducks
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POP vinyl Prof Snape – one of oh so many HP characters now living at Pudding HQ
Diary of an imperfect mum

Motherhood: The Never Ending Shift

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Our new arrival is now nearly 3 months, cute little dot she is, very smiley and pretty easy going. Mind you she has to be as our 3 year old (4 next month, where did that time go?) has decided that his only aim in life is to push his mother to the brink of insanity! It’s not that he is a bad kid, he just is struggling to adjust to not always being the number one priority in the house…
Last week really saw the tipping point! My other half hasn’t been working any more shifts than usual, it just feels like he has because he seems to be gone for days at a time. Our sons first question is always ‘where’s daddy? Is he working again?’ I guess it’s pretty hard on him as when either of us go on shift he doesn’t see us from one day to the next, we are up before he wakes and home long after he has gone to bed. Or worst still he has to be quiet round the house because one of us is sleeping for nights…. Any way; I digress back to the story I was telling.
So it’s Tuesday, and we are heading towards bed time, always a time where there is a risk of explosion in our house! It’s even worse this evening because the 3 year old in his infinite wisdom woke the baby from her nap and she is screaming. Unfortunately this happened around 6 hours ago and she has screamed like a banshee since then, my ears are ringing and my son looks like the world has ended! The sausages are cowering on their bed with their paws over their ears…
Dutifully I run my sons bath plonk him in and pick up his squalling sister who redoubles her efforts to sing me the song of her people… As I dance round the bathroom, swaying on the spot with my eyes momentarily closed to attempt to block out the noise my son decides to pick up his dad’s razor that has been left on the side of the bath (I hadn’t even noticed it was there…) he nicks his finger, cue major melt down from him! Without thinking I pick him up with one arm out of the bath, now I am soaking and have screaming in stereo. To add insult to injury the sausages have reached their tolerance limit, Toby turns to look at me and promptly vomits all over his bed, Flick takes flight upstairs to hide under my bed (I later realise her intention was actually to hunt out a forgotten used nappy and rip it up all over my bed, takes dirty protest to a whole new level). It’s at this precise moment my husband rings to see how we are doing and to find out what’s for dinner as he will be finishing on time, he is greeted by what can only be described as manic laughter….
Suffice to say bedtime could not come quick enough and it was with a great sigh I sunk onto the sofa at 7.30 with my ears still ringing. The reality of having two small children certainly hit home and my heart goes out to all those single parents out there or those whose partners work away. I only have 3/4 days a week utterly unsupported fighting the continuous demands of my offspring – believe me that is enough. No matter what my job as a nurse chucks at me least I know the shift will end, being a mum, now that’s a shift that never ends!
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback
Pink Pear Bear

Dear Pie – A letter to my 4 year old

< div align=”center”>Cuddle Fairy
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Dear Pie,

I wish you could explain to me why you have woken every morning of your entire life with a scream. When you were little I knew it was hunger that made you wake squalling. But now you are nearly 4 and still most mornings the first thing Mummy hears is a whinge and a few sobs. I think this probably happens before you even open your eyes! If you don’t want to wake up at 7.30 then you really don’t have too, don’t think you are doing this for my benefit, I would quite happily lay in bed until 8-8.30. Are you hungry when you first wake up? I understand that hangry is a pretty serious problem but flinging yourself into my room and screaming into my face as your Dad opens one bleary eye in shock is not really the best way of requesting your breakfast. In all honesty it makes me feel less inclined to get up and make it…

I wish I understood where all your raging comes from. You can be so sweet and loving, most of the time I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a big squidge. But the monster is always hiding underneath – an ill timed request to use the toilet, a slight struggle to get your socks on or worse still a wet sock and the world is on its head! It’s not just a quick scream, it’s a full on total melt down, even the Sausages take cover as you fling yourself all over the floor and scream. The neighbours must think we are torturing you, they don’t realise I only asked you to go to the loo and wash your hands before lunch. A very simple request requiring full riot control.

Your Dad and I can be tired and we understand we have good and good enough parenting days. It must be hard when we disappear for 2 or 3 days at a time to go on shift leaving you with the other parent before everything swaps over again. We know you can’t understand that we have stressful jobs or that we only got 2 hours sleep and aren’t at our best, we only ask that sometimes you are kind to us. Could we perhaps watch Harry Potter on these occasions without having to constantly protect our eyes from a wand? Better still maybe we could just sit together and cuddle.

I know you truly believe that everyone loves soft play and biscuits as much as you do, and that may be true of biscuits! However; Mummy does need to tell you that although she enjoys taking you to soft play, the bit she really likes is when you go off to play with the other children and Mummy can have a hot coffee and 5 minutes without you asking her why. Now Daddy, he loves nothing more than jumping round the play area and chasing you…

Finally I wanted to say You have been so great with Pudding since we brought her home, Mummy and Daddy can see how much you love her. It’s been a difficult time for you coming to terms with having to share Mummy and Daddy with someone else, but we are so proud of how well you have coped. Such a helpful sweet boy to your sister, she already adores you and we promise that it won’t be long before she is a big girl and can play with you. I know you get cross sometimes when Mummy cannot drop everything she is doing, it can be hard to be a big brother but you are doing a fab job!

Lots of Love

Mummy xxx

What no Easter Bonnet?

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Ladies and Gentlemen, as I sit here today I have to confess my disappointment in my Mummy. Can you believe that she sent me to school with no Easter bonnet when its parade day? I first noticed the potential problem as we walked to school, lots of the other children were carrying or wearing these beautiful hand crafted hats, covered in chicks and eggs. I could hear her start to mutter under her breath to Pudding in the carrier, ‘maybe he won’t notice’ I heard her say. Notice? I may spend most of the time wrapped up in the world of Harry Potter, but I don’t live on a different planet!

I don’t say anything to her about the hats, but chat quite happily about my plans for pirates invading the sand pit and whether my best friend will be at school before us. Then when we are standing in the playground and are surrounded by all the other children and their beautiful hats, I let her know that the lack of Easter bonnet has not gone unnoticed. ‘Mummy’ I say loudly ‘where is my Easter hat, everyone else has one, it makes me very sad that I don’t have one’, queue a nasty pink colour creeping over her cheeks and some fervent eye glances to see who has heard me speak. Just to make sure every one heard I repeat the last part of the sentence again ‘I am very sad that you didn’t make me an Easter hat Mummy’. I can almost hear her embarassment as she crouches down to speak to me. She does say sorry and makes some excuse about forgetting last night, then I pounce, this is the time to ensure that I get everything on my wish list whilst she is wracked with guilt. I quickly request that when I get home from school we watch Harry Potter,  that I can have my wand back (confiscated earlier that morning for trying to curse Pudding), I can have an Easter egg and that tomorrow we can do some Easter based crafts. She agrees to all of the above without complaint, so I gently pat her on the arm and say quietly that it doesn’t matter about the hat…


Optional Participation – Epic Fail

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So as many of you will have read, Pie went to school without an Easter bonnet today, this can only really be charted up in the big book of experience. You see as I am only going through the preschool stage for the first time I didn’t realise the importance of participating in such things as the Easter Hat Parade! The school had mentioned it in their newsletter, but the way it was written made it sound like an optional bit of fun, more aimed at those in reception classes and above, not nursery. Ah I see now this was rookie mistake, when the school says ‘your child can make and wear an East bonnet if they like’ what they mean is as a parent you are expected to craft an amazing piece of head wear which will be nothing short of being worthy of Lady Gaga. Let me tell you there were some very impressive pieces at school today, but I doubt much that the children had much to do with making them. I know for sure that had I sat down with Pie to craft this masterpiece that he would have been bored 30 seconds after starting and my house would have been covered with decapitated fluffy chicks and shredded paper. Not to mention the fact that undoubtedly one of the sausage dogs would have eaten a chick head or worse waited until the hat was drying from its many layers of PVA glue and then sat on it. So I tactfully forgot that it was the Easter Parade, but to make me feel even more like I had made a huge parenting faux pas Pie’s lovely preschool teacher made him a hat to wear at school so he wasn’t left out, cue a huge amount of Mummy guilt!

Unfortunately this is not the first time I have been duped by this apparent ‘optional participation’ first their was ‘Pinky Purple Day’ a few weeks ago when all the children had to go in purple or pink clothes in aid of Polio. I remembered this the night before, bit of an issue as Pie doesn’t own anything pink or purple, the answer was to get a white t-shirt and decorate it with a pink Sharpie. Not a great parenting triumph but least he had something to wear. Then came World Book Day, now I only have myself to blame here really as I could have done what 80% of mums did and brought a pre-made costume from Tesco’s or the like, but I didn’t, I forgot. Again. SO at 6.30 on World Book Day, I was up making some glasses out of pipe cleaners and a Gryffindor badge, I’ve got this covered I thought. Wrong again, despite his obsession with Harry Potter, Pie would not wear the glasses or the badge and would not let me draw a scar on his forehead, so he went to school in uniform. Suffice to say when he got home he wanted me to wear the glasses and he drew a scar on my head with a Sharpie pen, which has only recently come off. Finally it was Sports Relief – wear something sporty they said, this I was sure I could manage. Alas the clothes were ok but could I find a pound anywhere? Nope, I had to raid every drawer in the house trying to find enough coppers to make up the required sum, we only made it to 97p, luckily it was collected in a bucket so we threw it in and know one was any the wiser!

I love that his school has so many things he can participate in, I just wish I could get my act together. I don’t know how everyone else manages, having Pudding is only going to hold up as an excuse for a short time. Eventually I will be expected to sort my act out and get on top of all these costume days. I shudder with horror for next year, when it will be even more important to him to be participating. Before children I was pretty disorganised, I am the sort of person who loses her keys 5 times a week and ends up having to call her other half home from work to let her in. I wouldn’t mind but I write everything on the calendar and still forget it or write the wrong time down and turn up on the wrong day! Is this baby brain? I would like to say it is but really I think it might just be scatterbrain. Pretty sure Mummy Pig doesn’t have this problem, her costumes are always amazing and she doesn’t short change charities.

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