If you are a parent (and even if you're not) you have probably heard the latest carry on in the news relating to children in public. In case you have been living under a rock and missed the story I have included the link: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/02/20/06/13/sydney-shopping-centre-bans-screaming-children
In a nut shell - a shopping centre in Dee Why, NSW has put up the following sign "screaming children will not be tolerated". This sign has been put up in the food court, where play equipment for children under 5 is located. Apparently patrons of the food court have complained that they are unable to enjoy a nice quiet cup of tea, or lunch because of the screaming children. This would seem much like putting a cafe on the tarmac at the airport, choosing to go there for your lunch and then complaining about the noise of the aeroplanes.
I'm sorry, but are are you fucking kidding me!? (Sorry about the harsh language - but I think it calls for it!). If people want a quiet cuppa, then suck it up and go to a quiet cafe, somewhere else
. When did children's squeals and screams of delight become something we were just "tolerating"? How do you quantify which screams are unacceptable and which ones we will just live with
? What are they going to do if you're child let's out an unapproved noise? Frog march you and you're child out of the food court Gestapo style, whilst people who can now go back to their quiet cuppa's give you the greasy eyeball on the way out?
Wow, way to teach our children about tolerance and acceptance of other's quirks and foibles? What if your child has learning difficulties or a disability? Is that ok? How do they then rate who can acceptably be frog marched out and who can stay without causing a discrimination charge to be slapped on the centre management? What if the mother is quietly going insane at home with their under five and has come out into the world to try and reconnect with society - is it ok to kick them out?
Look, I am all for trying to maintain some kind of civilization and stop ferals from running the joint but harassing mothers about the decibel there children may be able to attain does not make for a better cup of tea. It just makes for a pack of arseholes who have no tolerance for parenting or children in public.
Shame on you Dee Why Grand Shopping Centre - Shame. On. You.
We are now heading full steam toward back to school (Yee Har! Ooops, did I say that out loud?) and the thing that may dampen my enthusiasm just a little is the fact that I have another three years before my smallest person goes off into the wide world of education - even though he will be three this year. Due to his birthday missing the cut off for starting education in this part of Australia I will have his happy little face at home for another three years
That is not to say that I don't love his happy little face, I do. More than life itself in fact. It is just that sometimes I catch myself flicking through Target catalogues thinking how nice it would be to go out and purchase some new work clothes and then actually have somewhere to wear them. Don't get me wrong, I love my yoga pants and shorts... but still.
Anyhoo all this has got me thinking about life BK (before kids) and of the world that opened up to me when I became a mum. I have a few friends who are thinking about becoming, are about to become, or have just become mums and I wanted to share my list of the 12 things I have learned since becoming a parent. Those of you who are already parents will know exactly
what I am talking about. 12 Lessons I Have Learned Since Becoming a Parent.
1. You can never have enough bandaids, tissues, wipes and snacks. So always pack more than you think you will actually need... a lot more.
2. If you think you have more than enough activities to keep a toddler occupied on a plane - double it and some
, or spend the rest of your trip trying to stop the game of up / down tray table and seat kick and just live with the hairy eyeball the person in the seat in front is giving you through the seat gap.
3. A toddler will always
find the hole in the toddler proof environment - get down to their level and find out where it is before they do.
4. Things that are popular in March for kids over 5 will be lame by December - so shopping that far ahead for kids Christmas presents is a waste of time, no matter how much cheaper it is.
deafness means kids don't hear you asking them to clean up their rooms (10 times) but does mean they will probably be listening into your private conversations.
6. Chances are they will bring that new found information up in front of the people you were actually talking about
7.The same show can be watched over and over and over because it's their favourite and you just don't understand how much they love it.
8. That same show is now oh so ten minutes
ago and you should never
mention it again - without expecting to get that
9. Even if they are so full they could not fit in one more tiny little vegetable .... there is always room for dessert
10. Going on a holiday with kids hardly ever
means you are actually going to have a break.
11. Even if you are just going out for a quick trip with a toddler you will probably be unprepared and it always pays to bring a snack and a drink
12. Going grocery shopping with a toddler is like organising a cross between a covert manoeuvre and a cruise. You have to have enough activities to keep the troops entertained or they will go rouge and you can't tell them about it before you get there or they will over excite themselves.
This is by no means the complete lessons - those little devils teach me new things every day! I would love to hear some of the lessons you have learned since becoming a parent so don't forget to share them in the comments section below.
PS. If you haven't already filled out the survey
to win the awesome Personal Planner
prize which is being drawn next week - the link is here.
Not only is 2013 already upon us but we are quickly closing in on the end of January and as retailers would have us believe Valentine's Day, Easter and Mother's Day. What!? You haven't seen any Mother's Day cards yet?? Wait ten seconds after Easter Sunday and I'm sure they will be out in full force!! The fact that hot cross buns were out on shop shelves before New Year's Eve had even hit drives me absolutely crazy... OK. Rant over.
Today dear friends I present my first post for 2013. Dum de da dum! (Imagine trumpets playing and symbols clashing here... the visual image helps with the drama of it all. I want you to have the full surround sound, 3D experience that Mother Load is).
Now first off, you may have been wondering what had happened to me - seeing that I was so prolific with posting in 2012 and you have not heard from me until now. Well, I think I was suffering a little blog post burn out (well, that and the kids are at home .. all day, all the time and it's a little hard to focus on my own special little things) but fear not. I am back in a big way baby!! Motivated and really looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings.
To start 2013 off I give you my holiday show and tell.... I promise it will be brief and interesting. (I was once sent into a Prep - one class to look after the small people while they presented their show and tell and it was neither brief ...... or interesting)
Christmas was awesome. Lots of time to kick back and relax with my family and I know it's not supposed to be about consumerism - but I got my first iphone.... and I love it so very very much.
New Years Eve - before you start thinking that yours was uninspiring read this - I spent a good deal of the evening combing nits out of my youngest child's hair (God only knows where he even got them) and went to bed early. (Yep I know, party animal)
I know! Looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth but he was breeding a nit farm .... Motherhood after all is ALL about the glamour.
New Years day was another quite affair and then soon after it was my birthday. Wow, I'm really glad I got that out of the way so quickly in the year (not) so It's all over for me for another year. We spent the day at Barwon Heads frolicking on the beach, it was a little over cast and nobody else really wanted to go... but it was my day and we will go where I want to on my day. So we went.
Ice cream cake to celebrate my birthday (yay, my favourite). Look at that cheeky little face waiting to get in on the ice cream!
We headed up to visit my Mum by the beach near Newcastle (visiting a few friends and family along the way). Met a dinosaur, ate too much and had an enjoyable time.
Way too soon we were on our way back home to Melbourne from Port Stephens (near Newcastle) on what felt like the never ending road trip. We stopped in on the Toulouse- Lautrec
exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra on our way past - well worth seeing if you are in the area.
Sorry, to disappoint but the show and tell portion of our show is now over... told you it would be painless.
It's great to be back in 2013 and I am really looking forward to sharing lots of new stuff with you all this year. Most excitingly I will be adding competitions and giveaways to the Mother Load roster - woo hoo - I can't wait, I love giving presents!
Hope your Christmas and New Years was just as eventful as mine.. without the nits.
(P.S. You can stop scratching your head now - I promise not to mention nits again)
Having my first baby felt a little like someone giving me the keys to a beautiful brand new car and saying "here, go for it", when I didn't know how to drive. In theory it looks easy enough, I mean, I had ridden in a lot of cars. I had seen lots of other people drive cars but it just didn't feel natural for me. Everything I did felt unnatural and forced. I was always worried that I wasn't doing it right, that everyone else knew what they were doing but me.
When we first brought our little guy home from the hospital I joined a Mothers Group and while this really helped in some ways in other ways it just proved to me that I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, how come their babies were sleeping better? Eating better? Doing what they were supposed to be doing? Did I have a dud baby or was I just a dud? Why didn't I know what I was doing? When was I finally going to get a handle on all things baby and just know what to do and when oh when, was I going to get a full night's sleep?? It just felt like some long drawn out torture.
Oh and don't even get me started on those people who claim they can understand what their baby is saying to them by the tone of the oooh or aahhh. It was all the same to me, everything just sounded loud and foreign. If my baby was trying to communicate with me, I obviously wasn't getting it. What was wrong with me?
I went along to one of my first mothers groups and the clinic nurse who was running it asked each mum if they only had a few dollars left what would they spend it on. Each reply was pretty much the same, "something for the baby". When it got to me, I answered the same, mostly because that's what I thought I should say but also because I had no idea. I was so tired and overwhelmed by the whole experience it almost felt like sitting the entrance exam for a cult. Did I actually have anything in common with these people? Was the fact that each one of us had just given birth to another human being the only thing that bonded us? Would someone mind holding my baby for a few minutes so I could just lie down on the floor and have a sleep?
Due to having had my head down the toilet for a great portion of the nine months I was gestating my parasite... I mean, pregnant, and the difficulty of the birth and now the lack of sleep I had come to the conclusion that I was never, ever again going to subject myself to such extreme torture. One of my best friends around three to six months in had (as had a lot of mothers, I was later to find out) decided that they would indeed be hopping on the miracle of life ride again. My friend (being an only child herself) had this feeling that she was not finished creating her family and that she definitely wanted to add to her clan. I on the other hand felt more than full up with my family load. Sorry, no room here, we're full!!
You would be surprised by the amount of people who are so very offended by this. Like it is a personal affront to them that you are happy to have an only child. I had people I had just met at outings offer to look after my child so that my husband and I could pop home to create a sibling. I even had one woman tell me how devastating it would be if I raised my son, only to lose him in some type of horrific accident as a teen and wouldn't I feel so much better if I had more than one?? "What, like a backup?" I asked incredulously.
Anyhoo, we moved along with the whole being parents thing almost like someone being washed along in a flood and just trying to make the best of their situation. It didn't feel natural, it felt hard. And I wasn't rushing out to have another one to make other people happy or to have a "backup".... seriously are you kidding me!? I would like to say that being a mum got easier and it did, some days and then some days I just scratch my head and wonder what the hell I am doing and planning how I can run away from home.
Well we finally got there.. double figures. There were many days when I had to stop myself from leaping across the breakfast bench to wrap my hands around that scrawny little neck when I had just had enough but we made it in the end.
Today my little guy has reached the ripe old age of 10. The day started with gifts and friends and ended with ice cream cake. I love this kid more than life itself and even though there have been many times when I did not know what I was doing we made it here anyway.
I love you baby. Have a wonderful birthday.
I read a tweet the other day where someone said how beautiful her children looked when they were sleeping and I thought, aren't they all? No matter what kind of crime your children have committed during the day, including driving you to the brink of insanity - they still look like little angels when they are asleep.
I think that fact is a gift - to help you wipe away all the annoyances and frustrations and start fresh again the next day. I know I myself sneak in each night and just spend a few moment gazing down on them both in their sleep and it fills my heart with love for them and their vulnerable little bodies. I think I need to work more on holding onto that feeling the next time they are driving me crazy and I have visions of running away from home.
O.K, I admit it my son sucks and the really weird thing about it is that people don't mind. In fact most people say he will just grow out of it. When?? When will this happen? When his little teeth are so buck tooth that he can't bite into an apple? When his bite is so out that even when he has his teeth clenched there is still a gap? Too late, this has already happened. Yes, I know at two and a half that they are only baby teeth but I don't see how this can't possibly effect the way his little mouth forms. So what do you do about it??
Well, I have looked at multiple solutions, I would like to say with varying degrees of success but in truth, nothing has made the slightest dent to his addiction to his thumb. I have been told not to make a big deal of it in front of him, mostly by adults who also sucked and still harbour resentment to their parents for embarrassing them about something they enjoyed so much. So I casually remark as I walk past, "take your thumb out" and variations of this. He does for a moment and then pops it straight back in. So, off I went to the chemist in search of a cure and all of the products I was offered were for adult nail biters and had alcohol in them - which I am not going to give to my child. There seems to be nothing available on the mainstream market, so I headed to the health food shop in search of an answer. Again I was left with an assistant scratching their head and not being able to offer one. In fact one health food shop suggested putting lemon juice on his thumb. But seeing that we had spent the previous day making lemonade
and he had spent a good part of it sucking on each lemon, I failed to see how that was going to make any significant impact on my problem.
So I am left with a delema in search of an answer. There must be someone out there with an answer. Anyone?
When you become a parent a whole new world is opened up to you. Some of it is wondrous, some of it is disgusting and a lot of it involves you doing things you never dreamed you would ever be doing.
So for all those people who are thinking about having a baby, about to have a baby or dream one day of having a lovely little bundle of joy, I give you the 12 things I had never done before becoming a parent, so that you can feel much more prepared for what is to come than I was.
For those of you who are already parents, not only will you be fairly familiar with each thing on the list but you will more than likely have a number of things you had never done before to add to the list. Feel free to comment and add at the end, by no means is this a definitive list... I am sure as the children grow there will more things I never dreamed I would ever be doing.
Before becoming a parent I had never:
1. Been bitten
2. Held someone still so I could smell their bottom
3. Wiped someone else's nose with my fingers and wiped it on my pants (no tissues around)
4. Caught vomit in my hands so it wouldn't go on the carpet
5. Bit food into smaller pieces so I could feed it to someone else
6. Squashed someone into the washing basket so I could drag them around the house
7. Carried a screaming person out of a very public place over my shoulder
8. Stood for a long time just watching someone sleep
9. Put my fingers under someone's nose to make sure they were actually breathing and just asleep.
10. Gotten into an argument at a play centre
11. Spent so much time discussing why girls don't have a penis and where babies come from
11. Hidden the mop so it could not be used as a make shift weapon
12. Loved someone so unconditionally
Please feel free to add your own.
I used to be a party girl. Not the kind that organises parties for others, who goes all out for a one year old birthday party, you know the kind with a fairy and /or magician, balloon animals and a seven layered cake that the birthday person is never actually going to remember. I mean the kind that used to kick up her dancing shoes in dark clubs with dark strangers and drag her sorry self home just as the rest of the world was getting up for their morning walks to collect the paper or buy milk.
I used to love those days. At the time, I mean. Not now. Now I'm out and it hits 10.30 and I think "oh is it that late already!" The old me (party girl), used to feel sad for people like me. Sad "old" people sitting at home on a Friday night. I used to say that the day "what kind of lunch meat is most suitable for a kid's lunch" becomes my topic of conversation - kill me. Sadly, I have become that person. Sad for the old me, the new me is actually OK with it and understands the significance of being in charge of another person's life and the need to create a healthy foundation which gives them the best possible start.
So as a nod to my old self who uttered phrases like "Whose up for cocktails!", "It's not late, the suns not even up yet!" and "OMG - I love this song, someone has to dance with me!" - I give you a list of the top 15 things I never ever thought I would be saying but have in fact uttered since becoming a parent.
1. How nice, being able to go to the toilet on my own.
2. Are you up to something sneaky or just doing a poo?
3. What happened to your pants?
4. Stop licking the dog.
5. I don't care, eat it anyway.
6. A Wiggles concert. That sounds like fun!
7. Is that snot or drool?
8. Get that out of your mouth!
9. Spit that into my hand, right now.
10. Why are you naked?
11. The dog is not a horse, so stop trying to ride her!
12. Get your face off the television!
13. Sure. Let's watch Toy Story, again.
14. Yes, that is a penis and no, I don't have one.
15. Put that back it's not lipstick, it's a tampon.
Got anything you never thought you'd be saying but have? Here's your place to share it, go for it!
I am away from it all at the moment and yet I still carry it with me. My big guy who is 9 about to turn 10 has gone away on a school camp today. I am away on holidays myself with my 2 year old this week and I have left my husband "in charge", at home. I had his camp bag packed and ready a week ago, which made me look overly keen for him to go but really I just wanted to make sure he didn't need anything.
Almost 10 is a hard age, well hard in that it's in between. Too old to hold my hand but not too old to not want to slip into the middle of a hug I might be having with my husband. Old enough to want more "swagger" (something he has
already asked me how he could get more of) but really too little to know what
to do with it, if he actually had it.
I love that boy more than life itself but he doesn't know it. He thinks I love his little brother more. Mostly because 2 year olds take up more time and energy.
We had a really big fight last week, over not much really. The usual. Not wanting to make his bed, a bit of smart mouth and then being mean to his little brother. Not life changing, but still. I had to man handle him into his room just so he was out of my site because I really wanted to strangle him. Not metaphorically - literally. He had just pushed me right to the edge and then over it. I had had enough.
Later when it had all calmed down I gave him a hug and I said "I love you so much" but he didn't look convinced. I asked if he knew how much I loved him and he said no, he didn't. Maybe it goes against all mothering by letting kids in behind the curtain, but I said I didn't like him very much at the moment but I always loved him, no matter what.
He looked up at me with big confused eyes and asked - perhaps for clarification because he didn't think it seemed right. "You don't like me?" and I said "No, not much at the moment" and then I said something which really clicked for him because I could see it in his eyes
"Well, you don't like me very much right now do you?" to which he replied "No, I don't" and I said "well sometimes that's just how it is.... but I still love you. No matter what".
After all that, I've had a few calls from him this week telling me how much he misses me and because I have been so busy with the two year old tornado I didn't think about it much, until now. Now that he has gone off into the world to try something new. Without me. He only got on the bus for camp this morning and I wasn't even there for it ....and I miss him already.