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The sound of silence April 18, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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I think, for me and other mothers, the most beautiful sound of all must be the rhythmic peaceful breathing of the children sleeping soundly after a busy day.  It is beautiful not only for it self  but for what it promises…an uninterrupted night of rest for us too.

That’s my background music at the moment.

We had a very hectic weekend…. I’m not sure if I prefer the regularity and predictability that the weekdays give us or the loosely planned weekends when we have more time to spend as a family.

This morning, on a whim and correctly predicting that not many parents had our plans, we headed for our favourite park.  There were only a handful of other children there so we could allow the princesses to run around more freely.  I have to thank once more the bank that sponsored it.  Watching our youngest princess The Star running around and enjoying herself falling down without hurting on the grass (in this country open areas of this kind are very rare and far between) and getting up again ready for her next sprint, I caught myself praying more business organisations feel their social conscience ticking and the need for our children to have more of this kind of spaces. 

Now a short detour….

There were less people than usual because during this weekend Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta where we live.  This Sunday (the BBC journalist got the day wrong) morning thousands of people lined the streets from where he passed in his ‘funny car’ – The Princess’s words not mine – on his way to one of the largest open spaces on the island where he said mass. Consequently less people at the park…. hey…here we’re not that many so events of this sort have a felt effect all round.  Yesterday The Princess participated in a short but beautiful event organised for children.  They gathered in front of the Presidential Palace in Valletta where they sang their hearts out and finally got to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Pope – belated by one day but I guess in these cases it’s the thought that counts.  I had been asked to accompany her and assist as a helper with the 5000 children that were expected to attend.  I’m not sure what TP will remember most from this event…. will it be the tiredness? will it be the friendship formed in those few hours? will it be the songs? will it be the ‘funny car’? will it be the disabled children present that she observed at length and asked a million questions about? will it be the Pope? will it be the German translation of Happy Birthday she learnt? Only time will tell.

Back to our trip to the park…

More touching than The Star’s off-roading, this morning I found myself wondering when the change in The Cherub took place.  I chose this nick for her because this is what she looks like – let’s just say she’s a little on the chubby side… eh… at least for me this is what a Cherub looks like.  Today, for the first time ever, she challenged herself to attempt the climbing frames she has always pointedly refused to try.  She got half way up a very tough one and I will never forget her look of satisfaction as she looked down on me and said “Maaaaaa loooooooooook! I quickly took out my mobile and took her picture which, typically me, now I can’t transfer to the pc… But when I’ll manage I’ll attach it… promise. She didn’t go further up but came down slowly and surely and on touch down when off to the next one.  Maybe my worry that she will shy away from any sort of physical activity to become one of the dreaded by very real statistics about children who prefer to play computer games to sport is unfounded.  Only time will tell but we’ll do our very best to encourage her on.

And because unless we keep them busy, kids start making trouble we invited my sister and her husband for tea this afternoon…. 

The Cherub rolled out the dough for the sausage rolls, closed them and is now brushing the pasty with beaten egg. The Princess is rolling out the dough for the scones.

and prepared scones, sausage rolls, egg-mayo sandwiches, some fresh strawberries and loquats (I’m under the impression this is the English word for naspli).  Now, I know, my sister will probably read this, but I do have to write this next sentence down…at least to silence my conscience that troubles me every time they leave our chaotic household.  I often get the feeling that after every visit my sister, refreshes her arguments in favour of being a family of two.  I pray she will never regret whatever decision they take.  

There is much more to share, but tonight I’ll opt for enjoying the most beautiful sound in the world (according to my father too).

Good night.

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UV index… already too high! March 18, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in my opinions.
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Yesterday I took the girls to the new Dingli playing field as planned.  It is indeed very well planned etc… but hey it has absolutely no shade at all.  I mean, who is planning these spaces? I think they are planned by people who never use them.  Don’t get me wrong please. I don’t mean to say that I would have done a better job but given how harmful these uv rays are for kids (and all of us) and how high we have them here (yesterday it was 5 and its only mid March) why don’t the architects and planners put less benches or shrubs or maltese-stone-lined passage ways, and plant some trees that offer shade.  There they planted some olive trees… that will not be big enough in our lifetime to offer anybody or anything except the earth directly underneath them any shade. Or maybe they forgo the water fountian…. such a waste of space and concrete and equipment…. has anyone ever seen a water fountain that functions well here?  Even in what must be the best kept garden in Malta – San Anton Gardens – the water is always the most horrible shade of green.  In my honest and humble opinion they should be banned.  We don’t have enough rain water here.  But we need the shade.  Were the planners thinking that becasue it looks ok on the day when with the usual local pomposity the place is ‘officially inaugurated’ it will stay that way…. Probably maintenance cost were not factored in.  So why do it? Plant proper trees instead. Please. 

If it had been a mother of 2/3/4 etc kids planning a playing field, she would look not only at the safety regulations but also at comfort of who will be accompanying the kids. Are the benches comfortable? Is there shade? Can the kids come here in the morning too? Toilet facilities? A coffee shop nearby? Adequate parking?  (take the Sliema playing field at It-torri – beautiful site, fantastic climbing frames but try to go there before 1600 except maybe in January). Women are able to think macro as well as micro.  I sometimes think, men, simply aren’t able.   

PS today we’ll come straight home from school as the cold I have been trying to ignore for a week is giving me the shivers.  I know it’s him as I shouldn’t be having shivers on a warm day like today (17 Deg C.)