Archive for January, 2011
Jan
25

A couple of weeks ago, Mo came home all excited.  The high point of school life had arrived – it was Volcano project time.  The transition from Year 2 to Year 3 (1st – 2nd grade) can be a difficult one, when the real hard work of serious learning begins.  But what softens the blow, is simply the prospect of doing the Volcano project.

Now I may not be one of those super fun moms who run wildly around the park with their kids playing hide and seek or tag.  Or the kind of mom who bakes with her kids every weekend.  But I do like a good craft project and (even if I do say so myself) I can be pretty creative in this area.  With plans to use paper mache, poster paint, tissue paper, pipe cleaners and cotton wool, here was some homework I could finally get excited about.

Let me just start by saying, I am a self-confessed control freak.  I admit it.  I like things done a certain way.  Nothing puts the fear of God into me like the words “can I help?”  Hell, I have 2 trees at Christmas, the one that I decorate that’s on the main floor of the house and the one the kids decorate in the basement (and I even move the decorations on that one when they’re asleep!)  But I try.  I really, really try to let them do things their way.  I’m just not very good at it.

“Look Mo, if you squeeze the paper this way, you get most of the paste out instead of it pouring all over the base.”

“No Mo, don’t scrunch so much, if you drape the paper this way it looks more like a mountain.”

“If the trees have fallen down here Mo, wouldn’t the lava flow more in this direction.”

“If you pull the cotton wool up like this Mo rather than into a ball, it looks more like steam rising.”

I just couldn’t help myself.  But it’s worse than that.  When Mo got bored of laying the paper mache on the upturned cup and went to play with her toys, I added a few bits to make it more mountain shaped.  And when she decided the painting was complete and went to watch TV, I touched up the unpainted areas.    But it was 90% all her own work, and I have to say I’m pretty proud of how my Mo’s volcano turned out.

Don’t forget, my book Baby (Tic, Tic) Boom can be purchased both in paperback on Amazon.com and now on the Kindle both in the US and UK. Go to the Book link at the top of the page to get a sneak peek of the first chapter.

Jan
14

Right now, my two year old and I are negotiating that difficult and complicated path to independence!  She is trying to prove her maturity and ability to make her own decisions, whilst still ensuring my time is 100% focused on her.   Whilst I am looking forward to that illusive “me time” that comes when your kids no longer need you ALL THE TIME, just so long as I still have complete control over everything she does.  We both, it seems, are seeking the impossible perfect balance.

Flo (as I will now refer to daughter number 2, my occasional pet name for her, daughter number 1 being Mo), has been asserting her independence for some time now.  For instance she will often insist when getting dressed, “do it myself,” and more recently has been picking out her own outfits.  Her ability to select items from her draw which when viewed alone are perfectly normal, but when combined by her fair hands bear an uncanny resemblance to a clown outfit, is remarkable.

She also believes that she is capable not only of going poop by herself, but also cleaning herself up afterwards.  Unfortunately not all the poop always manages to make it down the toilet, as I believe Daddy discovered last weekend when he went to help her, at least if the gagging sounds are anything to go by.  The paper blocked toilet and subsequent flooding a few weeks ago, can also attest to the fact that she still has some way to go in this area.

She is also somewhat deluded in her abilities in the kitchen.  I never realized how difficult it is to prepare a meal quietly, until I lived in fear of those dreaded words “me help!” She’s not bad at pizza, she manages to get tomato sauce over most of the base and some of the cheese even ends up on top, well the bits that don’t end up in her mouth, her hair, on the chair, the floor – need I go on?  And I think Daddy had more help than he could handle with the chicken chili, where stirring became, flick food all over the kitchen and a pinch of salt became a fist full.

But the biggest challenge is that she has clearly decided that now she is a “big girl”, she is capable of determining her own sleep needs.  Which simply put is, she doesn’t need any!  Nap time?  Forget about it!  Bed time?  Well Mo is up, you’re up, Daddy’s up, why am I going to bed?

However, this week we passed a major milestone.   Despite much protesting, Flo not only went to, but fully participated in and actually enjoyed her first pre-school-like class for a full 75 minutes, all by herself, while Mommy sat in the next room and read a book.  Nice!   And this, my friends, is only one step away from actual pre-school in September.  Five whole glorious “me time” filled mornings a week.  And if clown outfits, toilet mayhem and a messy kitchen is what gets me there, I’ll live with it.  The sleep thing? – Flo, we need to talk!

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