Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Grumpy - me not the children!

Today I feel grumpy and whilst I'm sure I'm not supposed to say so, sometimes sharing really does, I'm sharing. Forgive me for being quite so self indulgent but that said, I simply refuse to believe that I'm the only one who feels like this some times?

Why am I so grumpy you ask - it's summer, it's sunny, it's the school holidays, I have a wonderful family and my vegetable patch is looking good. Well here's the thing - I'm not a super mum and just occasionally I do feel a bit stressed and I do feel grumpy. This is one of those occasions and here's why. (Please note the only things the following list have in common is a) they relate to me and b) they are things which I feel grumpy about.)

  • This week is the first week of our school holidays, but for me it's a normal working week. That alone is enough to make me feel a little grumpy, but it's compounded by the fact that it's a week of early starts dropping Ellie to my amazing family who are helping out and long days trying to get on top of work. Yes i am like a child, if i'm tired I'm generally grumpy. I'm not proud of it, but there it is.

  • The traffic generally at the moment is horrendous and I really mean horrendous. This means that my long enough days are now even longer queuing in traffic. For anyone in the Birmingham area the closure of the A38 tunnels is quite simply disastrous for traffic and it's set to continue for the entire summer holidays - what a joy. This makes me grumpy.

  • This post isn't the one I was supposed to be publishing next - my big plan had been to launch my new blog site ... sadly I can't do that because I haven't had time to finish it. That's made me grumpy. (It's on it's way folks...just as soon as I have the time!)

  • I was supposed to finish my next post by now too - all about the fact that Ellie has now finished her reception year at school and that's got me quite emotional. It's only half done and I'm grumpy about that. (Yes I managed to write this one, but somehow my fingers just wrote this one without the rest of me!)

  • I love the summer but quite frankly I am fed up of the fly that is buzzing around my head right now. Yes right now. It must be the brother, cousin or other relative of the one that flew around my head whilst I was trying to relax last night, and a similar relative to the one that was in the kitchen when I was cooking the other day. It sounds like a small thing but it's incessant and my love for all of gods creatures is not stretching to the flies in my house - they are making me grumpy.

  • Tonight I heard myself constantly hurrying Ellie to bed because 'she was tired'. The thing is, she is tired, but I know deep down that the hurrying is really because I'm tired. I haven't seen her all day but my sole input to my 5 year old daughter today has turned out to be rushing her through the bedtime routine to get her into bed as soon as possible. This is not from the good parenting guide and definitely makes me grumpy.

  • We've been in our new house since January but have not, as yet, done any of the real work we wanted to do in terms of DIY and decorating. Life generally has got in the way and normally it wouldn't bother me but this week - I'm grumpy about that too.

ooo that feels better - getting it all off my chest. No idea if I should publish this really as I fear I'm in danger of sounding like a right miserable cow, but you know what - this is real life and I've always promised to blog with Honesty and Humour. This is definitely more of the honesty than the humour but, we can't always have everything now can we. That reminds me - I really shouldn't complain too much - I'm off work soon, my partner has been uber amazing and tonight my little girl gave me a big hug at bedtime and whispered how much she loved me in my ear.

So there it is - please can someone reassure me that I'm not the only grumpy mum around?!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Ellie's family - a magic moment

Last weekend Ellie had some homework to do. The instruction was simply to write some sentences about your family and 'try to work on your own and remember to include finger spaces and full stops.'

This is what Ellie produced: 

Just in case you can't read it, it says:

My mum works very hard. 
My dad lives at London. 
My family is silly. 
I love my family lots. 
I love my mum lots. xx

The smile and pride on her face as she showed me her work was quite simply beautiful to behold. The fact that she'd put that she loved me, without any prompting, was also pretty damn special. What topped it off though is that to me this simple bit of writing spoke volumes about her acceptance of our family situation.

There is nothing like the uncertainty you feel when you separate from your child's other parent - the questions and worries about whether they will be okay aren't something which, in my experience so far, ever disappear. I don't think about it often now but it is something I will always be conscious of. As I saw what Ellie had written I couldn't help but feel overjoyed at how clearly at ease she seemed with the situation. I feel certain that Ellie knows how much both her Dad and I, and our respective families, love her and most importantly - Ellie really is just fine with it.

Before I go, just to say that I am linking my #magicmoments post up with others on the fantastic linky from The Olivers Madhouse - click below to find out more. 

Saturday, 6 July 2013

End of term tired

Everyone warns you that the first year of school is exhausting for every child and there's no doubt that I've learned why schools have half term and term breaks. Nothing however had prepared for me for the very last part of Ellie's reception year. This for example is Ellie's second most common pose at the moment, the other is standing screaming at me:

Shouting, arguing, answering back, screaming, crying and...a lot more stropping are currently behaviours exhibited with far too much frequency. Where has my gorgeous little happy girl gone? Don't get me wrong Ellie has always been a strong willed girl and she definitely lets you know what she's thinking, but right now she is always on the edge of a meltdown. 

When Ellie was a baby I always referred to the 6.00 to 7.00pm slot as witching hour because this was when she was at her worst. That's not a shock to any parent but now I have a witching day and it's Friday. She's super tired from the week and so am I - clearly a tired mummy and a tired Ellie isn't a good combination.

The other morning I made a special effort to prevent a meltdown. When she asked me to help her dress because she was tired, I did half and she did half - good negotiation skills. When she couldn't decide what she wanted for breakfast I was patient and smiley until she chose. When she said she didn't want to clean her teeth I told her that I loved her smile and wanted her to keep it and she eventually undertook a half hearted attempt which i accepted. Then just as we were about to leave this happened...

'Ellie can you put your cardigan and coat on please, we've got to go'
'I don't want it on'
'Ellie it's cold outside and raining - put them on'
Ellie starts to cry
Ellie you're being ridiculous - put them on or I'll leave you here

Suffices to say that the situation escalated and eventually we ended up with one loudly sobbing child in the car, whilst older step brother just looked like he couldn't possibly get far enough away. I don't blame him. 

When we arrived at school and were getting out of the car the fuss continued. I was literally about to scream in her face to 'pack it in' when another mum walked by, smiled and me and said 'princesses eh'. I couldn't help but smile and it reminded me that this screechy crying, argumentative little girl was my little girl. My very tired little girl. 

I completed and utterly caved - letting her choose what she wanted to wear cardigan or coat wise for the total 60 second walk to the school. After all - what harm was it really going to do and quite frankly, I just wanted to get her to school. It seems that Ellie's older step brother felt similarly as he walked several steps ahead of us the entire way and couldn't say bye quickly enough at the gate, disappearing at considerable speed - more speed than usual I might add.

Ellie and I walked the next few paces to her playground and before we'd even arrived she was back to her chatty little self and 'didn't want to talk about it'. Do you know what - this time - neither did I. 

So with two weeks to go all I can say is - roll on the summer. This week we get school reports - I really hope Ellie isn't quite so melodramatic at school?!