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Parenting skills May 16, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses, my opinions, The Star.
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This is probably for many of us in this role one of the issues that troubles us most. Unlike other skills we might possess there is pretty little to show us if we are actually on the right track or not.  I do not mean to say that the difference between parents is not sometimes too obvious for the wrong reasons but that there are no indicators that could in some way let us know that we are actually on the right path to helping out children become mature and responsible adults….that is, until they are older and have become adults.  But then, by that time, it is obviously too late to do anything about it anyway.

Then today, while I’m taking down the clothes from the clothes’ horse The Star comes along to help out.  She starts piling up the clothes according to who they belong to and then putting the pegs in their container.  Later when this is done, she starts giving me the wet clothes to hang together with 2 pegs at a time!  We work silently together until both tasks are complete.  For the record, she is 2 years 4 months old.

Now, tell me, if this is not a sign that I’m doing something right with the girls, what is?

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Conversations with The Star May 12, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in The Star.
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My man: Francesca don’t touch the tv as it can break (when she touches the laptop’s screen with her fingers)

Francesca: That’s not a tv daddy, that’s a computer!

Lesson learnt: don’t try to simplify life too much for children as they are generally far more aware of what is what than we realize!

Is my daughter on a hunger strike? September 24, 2010

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The Star – aged 1 year 8 months has just completed her second full week at her playschool. She now cries just a little when I leave…but really it is only a very tiny little. Her new way of showing opposition is now her not eating. Now this normally would not be an issue. She is a very healthy eater. But if we wanted proof of what kind of determined character she has, now we know. She is striking from 0730 till 1400! I don’t know how she manages. I mean, without food is one thing. But also without water! It’s still hot and given that they get to play outside a couple of times during the day, I think this would be way beyond her endurance! Apperently I’m wrong.

On the trip home she is usually very quiet. After I give her a quick wash down (I know I might sound obsessed, but I give the kids a shower straight after school) she devours all I had prepared for her in the morning – sandwiches, fruit, water, cereal! So, in conclusion, I now know that my daughter is on a hunger strike.  I sincerily hope it doesn’t last.

PS The one single thing that helped her ‘settle’ at school, and not cry for me during the day, was her bag. Funny eh!? It is a small luggage trolley sort of bag, in the shape of a cow. My brother and his wife brought it over from Germany earlier this month. Since then she hardly played with anything else. Even at school, this bag is in her arms or by her side wherever she is. I think for her this was her way to keeping her identity in the midst of her new acquaintances.  If yet we hadn’t notices, children are really little people 🙂

Juggling September 20, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, my opinions, The Star.
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These days, my days are charged with a full range of emotions.  I am very looking forward to start working again, after 5 years, next Thursday. I will be returning to a job I loved and I think I performed quite well.  But what if I lost touch?  What if I will not be able to focus?  What if I won’t manage to do the necessary preparations at home?  What if my children, my family will suffer because of this? 

But when all is said and done, I will only be doing what millions of other mothers worldwide are doing.  I know I’m not the only one with these kind of worries.  I know many are balancing the work and family and managing to give their best in both parts. I hope I can be part of this group.  I need very much to get out of the house and do something other than being a mother.

 Now that the time has come, and the my first day ‘out of here’ is practically at the door, I am realizing how unfriendly towards working parents our schools are. While on one side policy makers harp about the need for family friendly measures and facilitating mothers to go back to work, I find myself juggling with the calendar and our list of 3 helpers – my husband, my mum (who lives more than 2 hours away) and my neighbour, such that my two elder daughters are cared for while I’m at work.  Because, you see, my children are still enjoying their last few weeks of summer holidays.  TP’s first day is on the 28th and TC’s is on 5th October, if you please.  Now, my job, is, I believe, the friendliest towards my family.  I am a teacher and will consequently be at home on all my children’s holidays.  I’m out of the house more or less the same hours they are.  However, at the beginning and end of the year, teachers are at school while the kids aren’t yet.  And thus, I’m tasting my first bitter taste of being a working mum, bang on my first few days of work. Seeing things for the parents’ side is a new perspective.  I know, it’s not a pretty sight. At least, right now, it’s not.

To top it all, TS is still not completely settled at her playschool.  Today she was there for 4 hours.  Her carers are happy with her progress.  I somehow feel that because she cries when I leave her, she is not yet 100% convinced that I will always go to pick her up. I just hope that this phase will soon be a thing of the past… It’s wrong of me to compare her to her sisters who never cried when I took them to their play school.  She shows me in very many ways how different she is to her sisters.  In this too, she is to be different.

To round this post off, I need to also say that this blog has been a life line between me and my sanity.  It is my little hobby as is my new compulsion to read fellow bloggers. I just hope that it will be another thing I’ll be able to juggle as we settle in to a new routine and face different challenges.

Nannakola (ladybird) August 31, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in The Star, Uncategorized.
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This is the name of the child care centre TS will start going to in two weeks time.  I’ve just been there to enrol her.  She left my side and milled around the place, exploring every nook and cranny on her own while I tried to follow what her future carer was telling me.  My heart twisted and turned.  My baby will soon be gone too.  She’s grown up too fast….now this from me who is always complaining about the difficuties I face every minute of every day seems a contradiction.  For me it is a contradiction too.  Now I will finally be free to start working again once she settles down. As she has shown me this morning, she is in a hurry to have her space too. 

My heart is still screaching “too soon”.

Seems to me, for us, a new phase, is about to begin.

The Star June 20, 2010

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Today she surprised me twice!

During our afternoon pseudo nap (it’s pseudo because none of girls sleeps), The Star kept saying ‘open, open’.  This is one of the few words she can use in the right place.  At first I nearly ignored her but then I realised I had given her one of the new Avent soothers I got her earlier this week, complete with the cover which she obviously couldn’t remove to take the soother. Well done my little one!  Quick thinking!

Then this evening she surprised me again when she started singing one of the songs she knows replacing all the words with ‘mama’ and fitting them to the tune!  Our Star is a musical genius or something, I think 😉  It certainly made my day to be given this prominence by her!

The first two May 30, 2010

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stitches for TS.

Amid a tired mom, stressed out dad, hot day and too much to do, yesterday we let the princesses play with water without laying out the anti-slip carpet on the terrace.  The result was that TS slipped and hit the back of her head.  My man rushed her to the local medical clinic to be seen by a doctor while I alternated between saying prayers that she will be ok with TC and TP, and panicking around the house not knowing whom to blame for what happened.  Thank goodness she had shown no signs of concussion and later in the evening after the wound was stitched closed she showed no signs of altered behaviour whatsoever.

Mascara is non-toxic May 13, 2010

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This morning, like all mornings, I woke up with a start as TC starts her loud sounds as she awakes to ensure my man or me go to her to bring her on our bed for the last few moments of rest.  TS woke with these sounds and today chose to be exceptionally loud as well.  So no last few moments and off we go to start off the day.  I am not a morning person.  My family members with whom I grew up know this very well.  Since becoming mother this trait has had to adapt itself to the needs of my off-spring though.

The morning rush is a routine until at 0830 a certain calm falls on the house again in time for TS’s breakfast.  But no such luck today.  TS must have woken up in a bad mood or something and just couldn’t settle down.  Moreover two of my 3 neighbours (we are 4 in this apartment block), the ones under us and the ones next to us had workmen in….so our background music today was tum-tum-tum-tum-tum-tum-tum.  Now I know that when people take over a new place they often try to adapt it to their needs and adjust whatever is needed.  We did that too when we bought ours 7 years ago but since then we (read here – me, as I’m the one who is all day here when the workmen are here) had to suffer through the apartments changing hands a couple of times.  And each time, the new tenants improve (I assume) on what they buy.  Now in reality I wouldn’t mind so much the tum-tum-tum if, for example, I knew what they were doing exactly.  In that way I would know how long this would take. But no such luck!

So my day started off on the wrong foot and till this point it seemed it was going to be a tougher one than usual until I got that lovely sms sound on my mobile that turned out not to be a promotion but my journalist friend asking to meet up. I rushed to get ready.  TS was still in her loud mood and to quiten her down I handed her over my mascara after she watched me use it.  In the mean time I got my things together and was ready to leave but when I return to lift TS up I find her with the wand in her mouth, her hands both very black!  Apparently she knows how to unscrew something and I hadn’t realised this.  I told myself not to panic, washed her as well as I could and hoped for the best.

On my way to me rendez-vous she took a nap… a nap that lasted 3 hours!

On waking up she looked well and rested, and calm unlike the morning so I decided I could put the mascara incident behind me.

2 lessons learnt today: TS can unscrew something.  Mascara is non-toxic.