Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nature or Nurture?

Husband is currently on the other side of the country for work-related stuff.  Last night he had dinner at the home of a colleague who went out of his way to apologise for his 3 and 5 year olds.  He explained that they can be really naughty and sometimes jump on the furniture.  This is not the first, second or even third time that John has had to stop himself from telling said friends/colleagues that they don't know they're living.

I describe our 5 as "feisty".  Some who have met them, or witnessed their behaviour, might go so far as to call them "feral".  While we discussed this on the phone this morning I said that we have to accept that the gene pool was never going to provide us with calm, quiet, peaceable children.  If I ask one of them to do something, it's as though they see it as a challenge or a dare.  For example I might say "stop jumping on the sofa" the response to which might be the child in question eye-balling me as they jump on it again.  Do they like to be told off?  Nagged?  Shouted at?  I don't know.  Life could be so much quieter.   If I say "No" to some request in the shop, we generally don't get tantrums but there may well be strong requests for me to explain "Why not?" to which I often eventually resort to "Because I said so" or even just "Because" when all my other answers are rejected.

I occasionally look after a lovely friend's kids before school and she always asks if they have behaved.  They rarely speak and are beautifully mannered, I am sure that the same can not be said when she returns the favour with Joseph and Meg who are capable of beautiful manners and being cooperative for others, but never quiet or calm.  Ever since they were tiny we have had to tell them all not to talk to strangers, not in response, but just to leave strangers alone!  This was seen yesterday in Aldi when Robert grilled a poor lady about the contents of her shopping basket, demanding to know if she had a dog "because you have dog treats".   They have, none of them, ever been backwards about coming forwards!

I have to look on the positive side and say that while we may have to put up with a very noisy, sometimes challenging house, our kids will reply when addressed by grown ups and can hold a sensible conversation when necessary.  They have strong opinions, can express themselves articulately and do not feel in the slightest bit swayed by what others in their classes or friendship groups think.  They are mostly confident and are learning to deal with issues of temper and the urge to 'discuss' things at top volume...

Having said that, it would be so lovely to ask children to do something and have them just do it the first time without questions, debate or threats!

Monday, August 20, 2012


To continue in the vein of my last couple of posts...

Want to know what kind of blogger I am?

The kind who sits and reads through all the blogs I follow in my reader, along with others that people link to, as I gulp down my breakfast.  I laugh, nod in agreement, sigh and then race off to deal with children without letting you know I stopped by, or updating my own blog to give you something to read over your breakfast!

It's not "nice manners" as I would tell the children, but I hope any of you who read this will appreciate the pace of life with 5 kids in 3 different educational establishments to despatch in the mornings, never mind the chaos and busyness at other points in the day.  I don't often get back to reading again during the day and am sorry that I don't interact as much as I know many of you do.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this blog.  It started out as one thing but I'm not sure that is what I want it to be anymore.  I hope it is entertaining and maybe makes you feel better about your parenting, in comparison to my slap dash approach, or even just as if you're joining me for a cuppa in real life to catch up with our goings on.  I would like to rant and moan sometimes, but am not entirely sure our 'relationship' is ready for "the Dark Side" yet!  

Anyway, in "real life" I have become a published writer!!  Sort of by accident really, but I gave a friend (who edited a local parenting magazine) something I had written about kids and exams and having fun.  I didn't hear back and assumed it was too awful for consideration, then was flicking through the August edition at pre-school when I spotted my name in the list of contributors!  I very nearly fell over with excitement!  Even more exciting was over-hearing a couple of teachers in a cafe discussing it!  It was all I could do not to introduce myself.   If you live in Newcastle or the Central Coast you might be able to find it in Newcastle's Child magazine in libraries, cafes or clinics.  Unfortunately there is no online link but I will see if I am able to publish here at some point.

I'm away to do some tidying.  Husband is off on a work trip to WA for the rest of the week and I like to show him that we can (just about... sort of...) cope without him so that he doesn't worry.  I'll be popping in to see you all in the morning!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Want to know what kind of wife I am?

The kind who forgets to wash her husband's football kit...

...and he's the Captain.

It hasn't been a great week for my reputation!

He would like me to point out that he is not the kind of husband that expects his wife to wash his kit, but rather I'm a laundry control freak and won't let him near it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Want to know what kind of mother I am?

The kind who is late to pre-school to pick up her child because she is painting her toenails...

...and then ignores her older children as they come home from school so that she can blog about it.

Edited to add:   I wasn't too late, gave him more time to play, and when the Big Boys come home they only grunt until they have fed themselves!