Mr Emotional

My dad hates it when I say this…and I think I’ve said it before on this blog but I just have to say it again…ETHAN IS AN EMOTIONAL CHILD!  I think that the reason my dad hates it is because it’s perhaps boxing him you know.  But it’s not that guys, it’s just that this dude is sooooooo in touch with his feelings.  Without a doubt, his love language is words of affirmation.  The funny thing is though, it’s not just that he loves to hear these words said to him – it’s what it does to him inside that I find so strange, especially since he’s only at the tender age of 6 turning 7.

Point in case…on Monday night, I dished supper for the three of us (the hubster had a meeting so wasn’t there at the time), and then Riley asked for Coke in his “cheers cup” (their plastic wine/champagne cup that nana bought for them to cheers together with the adults).  I proceeded to pour both of them Coke in their cups, and then I poured myself a little bit in my own champagne glass.  Before we sat down to eat, I said I wanted to do a small toast to the holidays being the last night before school started again.  I knelt down beside them, all with our glasses in hand, and I proceeded to say how nice the holidays were and asked them whether they had fun and felt special when we did the activities that we arranged for them like the drive-in and the train ride…we didn’t do anything else on the “to-do” list because well, us adults just couldn’t muster the energy and we also wanted to get some rest in ourselves over the long weekend!!…and then I told them how well behaved they had been over the holidays and how when they are well behaved and act grown-up, it’s easy for mum and dad to want to treat and spoil them.  That was the sum total of my toast speech.

Guys, Ethan walked to me and pulled me in a bear hug, then he (with big crocodile tears in his eyes) proceeded to thank me for the holidays and for all the things that we do for them all the time.  It took me quite a while to calm him down.  When I asked a bit later what he felt inside like when he got teary, he couldn’t really explain it.  Of course Riley was right there chirping why are you crying Ethan, totally unable to understand it at all because for him, well, tears mean sadness I guess?!  Or more specifically, you’re in trouble and have either been shouted at or given a hiding!  Hehe.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this already, but when he watched our wedding video a few weeks ago, at the vow part (I pretty much fast forwarded all the talking and just showed them snippets but thought it sweet to show them mum and dad being pronounced husband and wife and kissing!), this child started crying and literally cried uncontrollably so much to the point that I had to take him out of the room into our bedroom to try and calm him down.  Needless to say, that was the end of the video for them.

He has also cried on many occasions when going to bed – if I pray to God for the wonderful kids they are, or I thank God that He’s watching over them and raising them into being such strapping young lads, it brings tears to his eyes.

If we have a family hug (Riley loves this!!!) and then I tell them how amazing mum and dad think they are – queue.tears!

If I mention how impressed I was with their behaviour when we are in church or when Ethan sings all the songs loudly (he’s at that stage where he’s obsessed with reading anything and everything and piecing the words together for church songs whose tunes he already knows is his forte!!), tears.

There are so often tears from him!!  Tears for no reason whatsoever, just emotional tears and that’s exactly why I call this child emotional.  I’m not by any means trying to label him, but I honestly don’t know of any other kids at this age who are like this.  And as much as I sometimes find it slightly annoying (especially when it happens at bedtime!!!!!), it’s one of the things that I absolutely love about him…

I love that he feels aaalllllll the feels ❤ 

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The dangers of medication…

Last night at the dinner table, Ethan asked me a strange question.  I cannot actually remember what it was – something about shells and how they are formed – very random!  I remember saying that if he wants to know, we can Google it later because I don’t know either.  At that moment, I thought, how much harder are these questions going to get and is Google acceptable as the “go-to” place to look up things for little kids?!?!?!

Anyway, we Skyped nana and grandpa for him to say his speech that he needed to prepare for the speech festival that starts today at school, then they jumped into the bath, I read them a book, and they went to bed.  That was about 7:20pm.  I then proceeded to make myself a cup of tea and switch on the tv (the hubster was at a meeting and coming home later)…a little while later, I jumped into the shower to do my hair…not before taking a sleeping tablet.

You see, I’ve really been sleeping so badly.  I’m generally a bad sleeper – it’s not even a “post kids” thing – even in varsity, I clearly recall sleeping so badly to the point where there were nights when I literally wanted to pull my eyeballs out because I was soooooo tired, yet I just could not sleep 😦

Every now and again, I’ll resort to sleeping tabs just to give my body a proper rest but the over the counter ones seems to do absolutely sweet boggerall, so on Friday, I went to the pharmacy and got strong meds (prescription ones with no prescription, I LOVE MY PHARMACIST, hehehehehe).  My mum suggested I take half just because I don’t know how they’ll affect me and so on Friday, Saturday AND Sunday night, I took just half.  I had bad sleeps all three nights because my kids and husband haven’t been well.  My parents, over Skype last night, then suggested that I take a full one because obviously the half isn’t working.  So well…back to last night…I TOOK A FULL ONE.

After my cup of tea, I jumped into the shower to wash my hair.  When I got out, the hubster had come home and I told him I’m already feeling drowsy – he said he could see!  Guys, I don’t even know HOW I blow dried my hair.  I did a decent job and it didn’t take too long but every.single.thing thereafter is a blur.  I sent a friend a message of congratulations on FB on recent good news – I only realized this morning when I wanted to message her to say congrats that I in fact sent the message last night…I opened up FB and lo and behold, there was already a reply from her!  From a message that I cannot even vaguely recall sending.  I don’t remember whether I said night to my husband or not, whether I switched the tv off.  I slept with my gown on!!!  Something I would definitely not do normally as I am a very warm body.

I did wake up during the night – once when Riley was coughing but the hubster was still awake so he sorted him out.  And then during the very early hours of this morning, when the hubster was coughing up a storm in his sleep, I also woke up.  But otherwise I slept, actually all the way until my alarm rang (also a very rare occurrence).  When it rang, I felt like I was in a movie – I had no idea what the noise was and I was completely confused as to where I was, what day it was, or what I was supposed to be doing.

On the plus side, I do feel more rested today.  But guys, how dangerous are these meds????  This is the first time I’ve ever felt like this after taking a sleeping tab – quite clearly I shouldn’t be taking this one…

My darling Riley

I sometimes forget just how big you are getting!  We tend to look mostly at entertaining Ethan with “big boy” stuff and you, being the second child, tend to tag along because, well…you’re the baby 🙂  But this weekend, I realised just how much you’ve grown over the last few months and upon your insistence, I decided to take you all on your own to watch a movie yesterday evening.  The excitement in your eyes, realising that you and mum were going out alone…it was priceless.  I wish I could have captured that joy in a bottle.  You left your friend to have a quick bath and get changed into your going out clothes, and jumped into the car filled with anticipation for mum and small brother’s big date.

It took a while to book our tickets and to get our snacks (mum forgot that it was a public holiday and school holidays!!!) and you were quite busy running around checking things out.  But for the most part, you listened and stayed close to mum.  You wanted us to share snacks but to have our own cokes.  And I gave you exactly what you wanted – afterall, the outing was all for you!  Walking into the movies, you started crying, afraid of the dark passage and I pulled you aside and had a chat with you about how it was just the passage and it was dark because the movie had started, but once we walked through the passage, it would be fine and you trusted me.  You listened to my reasoning, you heard me, and a few steps later, you saw the screen and your face lit up.

I asked you during the movie if you wanted to sit on my lap and you were adamant that you didn’t want to.  You told me that you’re a big boy now and you didn’t need to sit on my lap.  You sat absolutely still during the entire movie, totally engrossed.  In fact, I had to literally put the snacks into your mouth because you wanted them – you even asked for them – but you just couldn’t take your eyes off the screen to attend to them.

When the movie ended, you were excited to go home and tell Ethan and dad about the movie.  We walked around the mall a bit, and you thoroughly enjoyed the evening out.  I realised yesterday that I need to start paying more attention to you, listening to you and letting you grow as a person too.  Yes, we’re still going through the threenager phase and yes, there are days where I remember just how little you are, but my boy, you are also so grown already and I don’t know where the time has flown.

Mum loved spending the time with you and I hope that there are many more of these precious times for us to share – I love you my angel ❤ ❤ ❤

Riley

Thankful Thursday

Somebody recently commented about how I was just born to be a mum, and really, it made my heart so glad!  I never dreamt of having children and being a mum.  I was that girl who was adamant she was never having kids.  And then one day, I just started getting this yearning deep inside to start a family, and well that yearning never ended.  Not even after having two little boys.  In fact, even now, I wish I could have more kids but yeah…that’s a story for another day 🙂  Anyway, I digress…

Today I am thankful for my children. 

Ethan is on school holidays for the first time and we tried to prep him last night [read: brainwash him!] – we told him he could sleep in, there was no rush to wake up, he must relax, rest in the morning and close his eyes when he wakes up for the first time to sleep some more, hahahaha.  Of course, there was an ulterior motive to that!  Mum wanted, for the first time since the beginning of the year, to just breeeaaattthhhhheeee.  Not to have to wake up at the crack of dawn, not to have to make school lunch, not have to rush around desperately trying to stick to a morning routine that can not be deviated for for a single minute.  Mum just wanted to take it easy this morning 🙂  But noooo, Ethan had other plans.  Ethan was up at 6am!!!!  This is his normal weekend time-ish, but STILL, whhyyyyyy!!  Bright and shiny.  It was barely even light and buddy boy walked into our room singing “morning mum, can I read a bit on your iPad while you lay in bed?“.  Needless to say, by 7:30, he was already bored.  Not bored as in asking what should he do next, but I could just see by the things he was doing…hiding under the covers of our bed (while Riley tried to “de-thaw ” in front of the tv), basically doing nonsense.  Those ears, very much lost, on day one of the freaking holidays!!  Anyway, never mind that, he was really happy this morning and I just looked at him and thought, it’s so good to have a child who’s just happy.  He has a lovely disposition and he is just ready to take on the world every single day.  When we walked out the door ready to leave for Riley’s school this morning, mister was already outside practising his cricket bowling.

And then little Riley…my real little bundle of joy, who is, in our experience, much less emotional than big brother but also more moody!…we were convinced that this morning, he was going to be very upset because he had to go to school when Ethan didn’t.  This is the child who complains about going to school every.single.day.  He really does enjoy being at school, but it’s just the getting up and getting going that for him is a real problem.  Anyway, he was on his father’s proverbial yacht this morning.  Sleeping till the cows came home!  No inclination to be going anywhere until our nanny, P, walked inside and started getting the washing and dishes ready.  He eventually rolled out of bed and he was all smiles.  Glad that today it was picnic time at school, a first for him.  They’re even going to take a walk to the park, a small sort of outing for them.  Last year, the baby class were left out of all the activities that were held at the park, being too young to tag along and walk in the road so this is really something he’s looking forward to.  There’s an Easter egg hunt and a hat parade.  So mister was excited – got done quickly and was eager to leave the house.  Not a single tear which we were all waiting for!  He smiled, put his hat on and we went to school.  He was happy in the car, very happy that mum dropped him for a change.  He walked into the class and all the kids were greeting him and commenting on his nice hat.  And then Riley started crying – he didn’t want mum to leave him!!  So much for my not so emotional child.  I very hesitantly left him but I also know that he’ll be absolutely fine once I leave and I know that today, he’ll have the time of his life with all the action planned 🙂 🙂 🙂

Riley

My baby boy – so chuffed with his Easter hat ❤ 

So yes, today, I am thankful for these two babas that are such a big part of their mama’s heart.  I am thankful to God for blessing me with them and I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without them.  Maybe I was born to be a mum after all ❤

I hope that you all have a good day and a blessed Easter weekend.  Enjoy the family time and even better…the time off work!! 😉

Ciao xxx

On overachieving…

I would definitely call myself an overachiever, even somewhere of a perfectionist.  You know the saying go big or go home?  Well, that’s me to a “T”.  I never feel the need to do something in half measures, give minimal effort or just do enough.  I always feel the need to go over and above and to “strive for success”…yes, all those corny sayings…those are me 🙂  The hubster recently said that I set standards so high that just about nobody is able to reach them, let alone me, and then I get disappointed in myself – disappointed in a goal or standard that I alone know about.  He’s right you know, he really is.  But that’s just me!  It’s part of my make up.  And fortunately, or unfortunately in a case like this morning, it seems as though Ethan has inherited this trait!!

So today is the Easter hat parade at school.  Last year in grade R, he had his first hat parade and he won!!  Very important to note here – there were only 11 other children in this competition in his grade, we only had 1 hat to focus on (Riley wasn’t at school then so we only had to make a hat for Ethan) and we were definitely at a different phase of our lives then…a not so busy, more relaxed, no homework, more time given to make it etc.  Roll on this year……

Last years hat

Last year’s hat…I think gave him the prize more because she could see HE made it!!

We were notified about a week ago that there would be a hat parade and that there would be prizes for the best hat in the grade – a grade of around 100 or so kids right?!  Right!!  The chances of winning from the get go are well, 1 in 100.  In my mind, to win, we’d have to create something completely over the top, out of this world [read:  costs lots of money, takes lots of time].  Anyway, I digress…

So on Friday, my mum let me know that she was going to The Party Spot to get a few things for a function she was planning.  Being the opportunist that I am! (guys, I have a full time job, please remember that, don’t judge!!), I asked her to scout out the shop for some ideas.  Being the helpful nana that she is #blessed, she not only checked out what was available but took it upon herself to buy a few things for us to make the hats.  Saturday morning was arts and crafts with nana and the boys got to decorate their plastic bowler hats with tinsel.  They made pretty patterns and flowers and stuck bunny ears into the top of their hats.  The hats were then left to dry overnight.  When I got home from an appointment with the hubster, they were super excited to show us what they had done!  They had started their own creation and had a whole host of little goodies to add to the hat once the glitter had dried.  All of Saturday, they wanted to know when they could carry on decorating but unfortunately, they had to wait till the tinsel completely dried.  So on Sunday afternoon, I eventually told them that it was time to continue decorating.  The decorating was done mostly by mum but they directed me on what to do because it was too difficult for them to get the wire pieces and use prestik on the actual plastic hat.

When Riley’s hat was done, he was absolutely over the moon.  All he wanted was pink and purple on his hat (picture to follow soon), and his bunny and birds in the front and he was happy as a pig in mud.  Ethan kind of got the leftover goodies, but he was still completely involved in deciding what went where and he was quite happy with the end result.  He did comment quite soon after seeing it that he wouldn’t win and I told him nicely how not everybody can win, there could only be one winner, and that his hat – although great and something he put a lot of effort into – was rather simple so it was quite unlikely that he would win!!  The hats sat on the table until this morning.  [Riley’s only having his hat parade on Thursday btw, so I’ll blog about his experience then 🙂 ].

On the way to school, I told him how nice I thought his hat was and how nice the parade was going to be.  We spoke about our usual morning things and the drive went as usual – we played I-spy and chatted about it almost being break up day etc.  As we pulled up into the road that the school is in, we started seeing kids with hats on their heads already.  There were a few hats that were even more basic than his, but most of the hats were extravagant!  Very busy, very big and very pretty.  We pulled up outside the school gate and I asked if I could get a picture of him with the hat on his head…

Easter hat

Can you see the prickle of tears in his eyes and that sad smile???  Well, being his mama bear, I saw it!  And I knew what that meant…there was a fresh set of tears on their way very soon.  Not even a minute after I took this picture, Ethan cried big.crocodile.tears!  He was all up against my dress crying like there no tomorrow.  There I was standing watching the scholar patrol walking in already (school was due to start soon!) trying desperately to placate this poor child.  I asked him what was wrong and he just shook his head but I knew!  I knew that it was disappointment.  Disappointed that his hat wasn’t as fancy as the others and that he wasn’t going to win.  That realisation for him that he’s not the best, and for me, that realisation that clearly, he has his mother’s traits.  He wants to be the best, he’s an overachiever and a perfectionist!!

And I honestly don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with that.  The wanting to be the best and trying to be an overachiever.  But it’s a tough lesson for a child to learn – that you can’t always be the best and that we all have different strengths.  Also that there can only be one winner!!

For him, he was probably thinking that he’s not good enough.  And as his mum, I feel there’s a tough line between feeling you’re not good enough and not actually being good enough!!  I don’t ever want him to have feelings of not being good enough especially when he’s done his absolute best.

Any idea on how I should approach this with him???

Planning with kids

When the kids were younger, even when it was just Ethan, I remember having these grand ideas of things I’d like to do with the kids and places I wanted to take them.  Then I’d think that they were too young or that I couldn’t justify the price of the outing or experience [read: Disney on Ice].  Many times we passed up things to do and replaced them with simpler and easier things like just going up to the shop and buying ice-creams or going to the park, instead of spending a fortune and doing things that would probably excite us more than it would excite them.  I remember doing some things where after having done them, I was left feeling exhausted and not as happy as I thought we’d be after having done them.  I recall arguments with the hubster even while doing whatever it was, and again thinking that it really wasn’t worth it.  I know, I know, they’re still young and they’re by no means GROWN…but the older they get, the easier these things get.  And the more fun they have!  Memories are created, and we can actually see them enjoying things which makes the outings totally worth it.

Being the first school holidays during the year (other than December) where the kids have actually been on holiday (in creche, the kids just continued to go to school but it was holiday club, something included in the fee, so we just let them go every day as usual), we’ve decided to plan a few items over the weekends and I’m so so excited!!

Let me share what we’re planning with you;-

  • Steam train to Magaliesburg – I’ve heard from a few people that this is really enjoyable.  The kids have been on a steam train before in Durban…about 2years ago…and they thoroughly enjoyed it then.  Imagine how much more fun it’s going to be now!
  • Sci Bono Centre – I think Riley may still be just a leetle too small to enjoy this fully, but Ethan is at the perfect age.  I cannot wait for them to experience this and I was extra chuffed to see how affordable the trip is!
  • The drive-in – also something that we did a good 2years ago and the kids loved it!  Ethan more so than Riley.  At the time, Riley was just walking, so watching a movie wasn’t at the top of his “to-do” list, but it was such an enjoyable evening out together.  I plan to pack a nice picnic basket and for us too watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together.
  • A day at the beach at Monte Casino – I can’t find concrete detail on this i.t.o. exact dates, but I believe that Monte Casino have a beach experience for the kids…sand castles, ice-cream etc. and it’s only R30 a child.
  • Art Jamming has been on my “to-do” list for the kids for a while now.  Ethan really loves crafting and I think this will be up his alley 🙂  Although this is quite pricey and we can probably do the same thing at home for a minimal price, I think the kids will love experiencing this and I won’t have to do any cleaning up afterwards #winning.

I cannot wait to spend the time with them and doing a few family firsts over the next few weekends.  I just hope that they’re going to enjoy it as much as we think they will 🙂 🙂 🙂

Do you have anything planned over Easter?

Are there any fun things for the kids?

Please share some ideas with me if you have!!!

Comparing kids

I know all kids are different, I know they all excel in different areas and I also know that nobody (or at least very few!) can be good at absolutely everything and come first in everything they do.  Having said that, I would love to know how my kids compare to their peers…

With Ethan being bigger, I’d like to know this both academically as well as in sports.  My child comes home and says he’s the best at everything guys, every.thing.  In class, he’s apparently the best at reading, he reads the most advanced books.  In PE when they run, he comes first.  In cricket, he’s bowled somebody out at just about every practise AND he hit the ball right over the fence when he batted at the one practise.  In swimming, he comes first when they swim as a class and he can’t understand why they don’t swim the full length of the pool because the distance they swim (I think they basically stay in the shallow end – there are, afterall, kids in his class that can’t swim yet) is too short.  For merits, he apparently has the most in class.  I know he’s good, afterall, he’s my child 😉 [and for the record, for my first few years of my primary schooling, i bagged first place a few times!!] but he surely can’t be the best at everything?!?!?!  Although recently, a friend told me that I should start listening to my child and believing what he says – this after he informed me that cricket was done for the term and I didn’t believe him because no communication had been sent out saying such…only to find out that it was in the newsletter the week before, I had completely missed it!!  Okay, on the same day, he told me there’s a boy in soccer called Ruudrunch??!!!  What should I believe and what shouldn’t I?  Hehe.  Anyway, I’m actually quite looking forward to the first teacher evening just to realistically know where he’s sitting, especially academically!

Riley is growing in leaps and bounds and where he doesn’t do any sport as yet, after deciding not to push him on the swimming side, he is at a creche that take learning very seriously.  He can count all the way up to 20, he can name all his shapes, he knows all his colours and is even adamant on a light blue as opposed to a dark blue 🙂  When I compare him to other children his age (I know, I know, I really shouldn’t!!), I think he’s more advanced, but then as my mum pointed out last night – he’s been at creche since last year May and he’s got an older brother, so it’s natural that he will progress faster than other kids his age who either haven’t started school, are only children, or are the oldest of the kids in their family.  He can ride a bicycle with training wheels and he climbs like a pro without much fear.  I know he’s great but really, I would actually like to know how he fares compared to other threenagers!!

I do find myself comparing my own kids to each other which I think is pretty natural – oh, Ethan was exactly like this at Riley’s age or Ethan couldn’t do this and that at Riley’s age so Riley is growing much quicker etc. but I’m less worried about how my own kids compare knowing that siblings are normally very different from each other 🙂 🙂 🙂

Do you compare your kids to other children their age?

Do you find yourself wanting your kids to be first or the best in everything they do?

Do you think that comparing can have a negative impact on kids?

Judgey McJudgins

In my opinion, the worst type of people to judge are fellow mums – afterall, we’re all in the game of raising children, and if anything, I would expect other mums to be able to empathise with me.  I also try and do the same, but I’m sorry (not sorry), I have to be that mum in this case.  I cannot understand, justify or condone what happened yesterday.

Am I being too harsh????

YOU be the judge…

So the hubster is a soccer coach at a club in Jo’burg and yesterday morning, they had a game at 8:30am.  The team are under 12 (or under 13, I’m not 100% sure but somewhere around there) with the kids ranging around the ages of 12 and 13.  In this world that we live in, I do not think that kids at that age or any less targets for “baddies” than kids that are smaller than that.  In a country where child trafficking, kidnapping, drugs disguised as sweets and such is so rife, I would think that parents are very pedantic when it comes to lifts…especially on a weekend!  And where I understand that things come up and plans are delayed etc., this, I just don’t get!  Anyway, I digress.

So myself and the kids went to church and thereafter, loaded all the goodies into the car for a picnic that we were going to have at Gilloolys Farm together with nana and grandpa.  The plan was for the hubster to meet us there as he was already on that side of the world, and we’d all picnic together.  When we arrived at the picnic venue, my husband had a little somebody with him – one of the kids from the soccer club.  Let me just state here that this was 12:30 in the afternoon.  The game, as you may recall, was at 8:30am.  They play for roughly an hour or so, so by this time, the child has been left unattended (well, my husband had stayed with him but this wasn’t pre-arranged) for more than 2hours.  Apparently when the club contacted the mum, she was in church.  Numerous calls later, the mother eventually said that she was going to pick the child up at the soccer fields.  There was some mention of the dad in all of this but I don’t know the full story.  All I know is that the child was picked up at 2pm.  2pm!!!!!  A 12year old child.  Dropped at soccer at 8am (or thereabouts) and only picked up at 2pm??!!!

To me, that’s not normal.  No, it didn’t impact our day – that’s not what this is about.  I just cannot understand how a parent would leave their child for almost half a day unattended.  If things were really bad or the parent was stuck or something, the least they could have done was to ASK if my husband could assist.  Or never mind the asking part…at the bare minimum apologise when you pick up the child.  But even that, nothing.  No excuse, no shame, no apology, no nothing.

I’m sorry, but I have to judge in this case.  I don’t understand how in this day and age, a parent can just leave their child unattended.  I am flabbergasted to say the least!

Good mornings with my boys

Since the start of this year, Ethan has been getting up much earlier because well, big school starts earlier than pre-primary school 🙂  In the past, I’d often leave both boys sleeping when I left for work as I started work at 7am but these days, I wake Ethan (very gently, may I add!) at 5:45am, he eats his breakfast once he’s “thawed out” a bit, has a wee, brushes his teeth and puts on his uniform in the spare room while I get done in my bedroom.  Like clockwork, we are ready to leave for school around 6:30am.

Most mornings, I manage to wake him without waking Riley up…afterall, I don’t see the point in waking Riley at 5:45am when he only has to leave for school at 7:50am.  He also doesn’t have to put on a uniform to go to school, he easily slaps on a pair of shorts, shirt and slops and is on his way.  Breakfast for him is also served at school, so he literally needs like 15minutes to get done.  But he likes to unwind in front of the tv with a cup of Milo so he’s usually woken up at 7:30 if he’s not awake before then – can you say spoilt child?!?!  

So Ethan and I get done pretty much in silence, leaving dad and brother to continue to sleep.  Most mornings, we make it out of the door successfully 🙂 i.e. nobody else in the house has been roused out of their glorious sleep!  Although I really miss Riley on the mornings when I leave him sleeping, I almost prefer it this way because if he wakes up and we’re about to leave, he gets very emotional about us leaving when he’s just woken up.  On the mornings he wakes up early though, it’s not a problem.  He’s almost happier when mum and brother are around in the morning and on these mornings, he waves us goodbye at the door with lots and lots of smiles.

This morning, I got up and did my usual 15minute routine before waking Ethan up.  As I was walking to his room to wake him, I heard noise coming out of his room and then I saw the outside light seeping through the bottom of the door which could only mean one thing – Riley was awake. You see, when Riley wakes up, the first thing he does is open the curtains to see whether it’s day time yet.  If it’s day time (even if it’s the crack of dawn and the light has only just started peeping through the sky), he proceeds to open the curtains in his room widely to let the light in…this is definitely grandpa’s child as when my dad gets up, he does exactly the same thing coupled with opening every.single.window in the house!!!!  Anyway, I digress…

So I walk into the room and give him cuddles and kisses.  Ethan at this stage is of course just waking up because of the noise [let me add here that on the weekend, Ethan is awake at the exact same time but of his own accord…he wakes up at 5:45am and is on top form, not like during the week when he’s like a complete zombie!!].  So Riley’s all cuddles and Ethan starts moaning like he’s a vampire – as if the light from the open curtains is about to turn him into dust or whatever it is that happens to vampires when they come into contact with light!!!  He’s moaning and tossing and turning with his hands covering his eyes.  So I tell Riley to go up to Ethan’s bed and give him cuddles.  He climbs up to the top bunk bed and starts kissing his brother saying wakey wakey brother.  Brother’s response, in a not so friendly voice – WHY DO I HAVE TO WAKE UP NOW?!?!  Of course, I explain (in my most gentle of voices) that it’s school time and it’s time to get up.  I take Riley to the lounge and wrap him in a blankie and go back to pick Ethan up from his bed…our usual morning routine…I know, I know, spoilt child 🙂  I then proceed to give Ethan lots of cuddles and move to the lounge.  At this stage, we’re all on the couch.

I say to Ethan – we really need to sleep earlier if you’re still feeling so tired in the morning, shame.  Riley:  noooo, I don’t want to go to bed earlier.  To try and avoid world war 3, I say – don’t worry, only Ethan will sleep earlier ‘cos you don’t have to wake up as early as him.  Problem solved!  Issue avoided.  Next…Ethan is like where’s my breakfast???…uuummmmmm, your majesty, if you release your grip from me and look slightly over to your right, you shall see your bowl of cereal, milk, spoon, table mat AND juice set out for you.  Ethan proceeds to the table, Riley pipes up – I also want some breakfast.  I proceed to pour some of Ethan’s breakfast out into Riley’s bowl, afterall, my hand was a bit heavy when pouring Ethan’s cereal this morning, and Riley only needs a dot just to keep him happy 🙂  Problem 2 solved.  Winning at this mum thing.

Next stop – bathroom.  Riley runs ahead of Ethan to make a wee.  Ethan gets to the toilet and Riley shoo’s him away because he wants to make a poo now.  Ethan goes to the next bathroom.  World war 4 avoided – yay, my kids are not fighting this morning.  Ethan proceeds to brush his teeth and dress, Riley proceeds to open Ethan’s cricket bag to see what he has inside.  All of this happened peacefully but with a million questions and mum come see this, mum help with this

Like I said before, sometimes it’s easier if Riley is asleep when we’re getting done 😉

I’m glad I got to see both my children this morning, I really am.  My day will be much better now that I’ve had my morning cuddles <3<3<3

Have a good day y’all xxx

The joys of having a threenager…

Riley has a mind of his own!  He is very strong willed and once he makes up his mind to do something, he will stick to it.  Like when he started creche in May last year.  He cried like nobody’s business – similarly to how Ethan was when he started, but after a few days, I could see that they weren’t real tears you know, and when I asked him about the crying and told him that there was no need to cry – he knew what school was about now and nobody was going to hurt him, mummy would always come and fetch him at the end of the day – his response was something like no, I’m going to cry, I have to cry!  The more I explained that he didn’t, the more he was adamant that he must.  This went on for a few weeks and then eventually he got over the crying as most kids do.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year.  We sent him back to school the day before Ethan started big school, wanting to give him our full attention for his first day, full well knowing that going to school on his own would probably be really daunting for him, not to mention changing teachers and not having big brother around at all, not even getting picked up together.  As we predicted, he cried on his first day back…not just any cry, but he cried as though it was his first time at school EVER!!  Day 1 was horrible 😦  My heart broke for him but at the same time, we’d gone through this before – the crying at school that is – and we knew that as the old saying goes “this too shall pass” and so on we soldiered to day 2.  On day 2, he cried just as much then, and when I fetched him from school that day, I asked him how it was and told him that there was no need to cry to which he said BUT I MUST.  Day 3 was less dramatic but there still tears.  When I fetched him from school that day though, he said I’m not going to cry anymore after today and that was it – not a single tear more. It was like he’d decided and he was done.  He decided of his own accord and he stuck with his decision.

I love that about him.  That he can make up his mind and stick to his guns even at the tender age of three but as you can imagine, it can get quite frustrating and I often have to fight with him (read: give him a smack on his backside and send him to his room) for him to do things my way.  Some examples:

Me:  We’re going to bath first tonight and then eat supper afterwards because supper is not ready yet…

Riley:  No, I don’t want to bath first, I want to eat first….

and of course, this is coupled with tears and sulking.  Thank God no massive tantrums!!

Riley:  What’s for dinner tonight?

Me:  xyz (this is honestly as random as xyz most of the time, sometimes something that he’s never in his life heard of before!)

Riley:  I don’t eat xyz, I don’t like it.

Me:  But you’ve never eaten xyz, you have no idea what it even tastes like.

Riley:  I know what it is and I don’t want to eat it.

Me:  Well, you have no other choice.  If you don’t eat it, you will go to bed to bed hungry.

Riley:  Okay, then I’ll go to bed hungry.  Good night everybody…

and he proceeds to walk to his room, open the covers and gets into bed.  [Of course this doesn’t work for me and every time, after a few minutes, I call him back and insist on him eating].

Mind of his own, decisive or full of sh*t?!?!  Determined or threenager?!?!  

Ethan is my water baby, not so much Riley, but over the December period, Riley started to love the pool so much more.  This was mostly due to the fact that nana and grandpa bought him a pair of armbands allowing my independent child to swim all on his own 🙂

After seeing how well he was doing with the floats and even that he was now happy to remove the floats and jump into the water fully submerged, face and all, we decided that now would be a good time to start swimming lessons!  After all, we didn’t want a repeat episode of this one.  And so I looked around and found a swim class close to home for him to start lessons on Saturdays.  I was so chuffed that he would now be starting lessons and soon, he’d be able to swim on his own.  I honestly think that he’s more than ready!

Well, according to him – he doesn’t want to learn to swim.  As soon as I mentioned he’d be starting lessons soon, he cried about it – yes, he cried, without even giving it a try first.  I brushed it off and was convinced that he’d get over it.  We didn’t mention the lessons again until the Saturday morning OF the actual lesson.  The minute I told him that he would be going to swimming lessons that day, he burst into tears saying that he didn’t want to go.  Again, I brushed it off, changed the subject and continued with the morning not wanting to give in to my three year old!  Half an hour before the lesson, I called the kids in to get ready to leave.  When I said we were going to swimming, Riley burst into tears.  He then proceeded to cry the.entire.way to the swimming school.  When he jumped out of the car at the venue, the tears had fortunately subsided and I thought it would be okay once he’d jumped into the pool.  Seeing the other kids in the pool got him excited but as soon as he realised that he’d have to get in, it was tears again.  Long story short, the teacher eventually managed to get him in 20minutes later in all his kicking and screaming glory, and he managed to keep it together for the last 10minutes of the class.  We even saw a smile, but as soon as he got out, it was tears again because I don’t want to do swimming lessons.

The following weekend, the swimming school cancelled the lesson and Mr was happy as a pig in mud.  The one after that, he was sick so I didn’t take him.  By this stage, we hadn’t been invoiced or anything and I didn’t particular love the school from the one time we’d gone there – having taken Ethan to a few different swim schools, I think I know what I am looking for and this school isn’t it!  So this past Saturday, we tried another place.  Getting into the car was okay and even driving to the lesson was fine.  Riley was convinced that I’d changed swim schools ‘cos he didn’t like the other one – whatever works!! 😉  We walked into the gym and he was absolutely fine but as soon as he saw the water, he broke down crying like he was being murdered.  I forged on trying to just brush it aside but this poor child literally cried the entire lesson.  We did see one smile and a wave at a stage, but thereafter, it was full blown crying and I was so glad when the lesson was finally over!!!

So I’ve been thinking about Ethan and his swimming lessons since then.  He started lessons from the age of 9months and every weekend, he’d get into the water with either dad or mum.  He absolutely loved the water and to this day, he still does, my water baby!!  Anyway, I digress…when I was around half way through my second pregnancy, his teacher suggested that he move to the bigger class which would mean that he would now get in the pool without us i.e. with a small group of kids and the teacher.  I could sit and watch, but I wasn’t supposed to swim with him!  It was horrible.  He cried blue murder for about 3 lessons and I eventually threw in the towel and cancelled swimming lessons altogether – this was also due to the fact that I was highly pregnant by this stage and couldn’t be bothered with all the drama at that stage!!  Anyway, when we took him back to lessons a few months later, there were no issues and he learnt to swim in literally 3 or 4 lessons.

So I’m wondering, should I do the same with Riley now?!

Is the crying him being stubborn or is continuing lessons ME being stubborn?!

What do you think???