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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

See, now this is what I'm talking about.

Just lately, because thinking is what I do so well, I am becoming more and more worried and unsettled by the level of adversity our children face. It is just getting near impossible to find anywhere that is peaceful and gentle for our children to be.
Everywhere we go it appears that there must be noise, mobile phones, IPods, nowhere to escape the relentless noise and frantic business. Why are we all so baffled by the increase in attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity , kids that can't sit or listen, children who twitch and fidget because they aren't being stimulated and amused every second of their lives.
From birth we attach noise and colours and stimulating toys to their cribs, we wind up music to keep them entertained and lull them to sleep, we have lost those days of peace and quiet. No more the gentle wooden toys that needed imagination, we have batteries and flashing lights and noise and more noise.
So many children are so angry, so unable to control their minds or their mouths. I am literally terrified for these little boys of mine. the more I see teenagers these days, even in this supposed gentle part of the world we live in, I see kids who feel lost, who seem to have no idea of what they should be doing, how to entertain themselves without ear phones and gadgets.
I miss conversation, I miss hearing beautiful speech and language. I am insulted by 'Innit?' and
' Uh?' I make such a conscious effort to use words in this house, to jump on poor use of language, to encourage politeness and kind words.
We have a word a day calendar and H and I love tearing off the words and keeping the great ones ( Fanfaronade...we soon found out that his claim that he could play the bagpipes was nothing but fanfaronade...he turned out to be just as bad as the rest of us.....Bumbershoot....A light rain had begun to fall, grandpa said " Don't forget your bumbershoot!") H puts some of the words in the boys lunchboxes which they find hystercial.
I look back on how I raised the big kids and I see so many things I could have done differently, I watch these little ones growing so quickly and both H and I see that we can't afford to procrastinate, we have to use every chance to teach them and show them what life holds for them and try to make sure that they have all the tools to face what will come their way.
I think about it a lot, H does something about it.
Like this morning, he set up the dining room for the boys, we all know he is a nerdy Mc geekster, his boys are little apples that have not fallen far from the tree. Most of them anyway.
They are like sponges, they have the most impressive memories and powers of observation...two of them anyway.
We don't do video games in this house, no playstations or Xboxes, we do wee but we don't Wii, I can't stand the vacant stares that go with those games and H just can't stand the waste of time. I se how busy the boys are and wonder, if we had games, what would go to make room for them, I can't think of anything we would be willing to push out to make time, so we don't do them at all.
H set the dining room up like an IT suite ....take a look..


It looks impressive but we have one laptop with a smashed screen so that is hooked up to the big screen there, H and I have a laptop each and then we have the one that was sent back here instead of to the factory, we emailed the company and got to keep it..hoorah! So, lots of laptops, plenty of boys, you will see how Seth and Issac are taking note and listening and all ready to will see Eli, not.

I took some pictures and I will admit that as proud of my little nerdy brain boys, that little bugger on the back row there....

that one, he is my boy. His little 4 year old brain is so completely normal it is a little refreshing to me.
I have never had a 'normal' 4 year old before and I really like it. I love the messy who cares? Attitude, the spilling of things and the shrug of his shoulders as he says " Ne'er mind, it don't matter" the bizarre combination of pyjamas and odd shirts mixed with flip flops and long hair made of towels. Not for him the matching, tightly tucked, every day the sameness. Sheer and utter normalcy, in an eccentric and touching way.
He didn't last long in the world of search engines and picture editing, he tired quickly of asking is there a highschool musical dot com please??? PLEASE??? Is there? Music dot com nen?? OTAY! TAN I DO PIMP MY RIDE NEN?? ( ever have your 4 year old turn to you and say " how do you spell pimp?" When on a computer, makes you hold your breath for a moment until you remember he can customise cars with fire flashes and paint them pink, all is well)
He has the most precious pout and teary eyed look and flings himself down on the floor because ( or betoz) nobody even loves him or likes him and they don't een like high school musical and Seff says I tarn't even be a girl when I drow up and.....he is divine, and I thank the Lord for him every day when I begin to feel like the dim relation in this house of high brow conversation.
Sometimes, it would be easy to feel that I have no place in this situation, I could quite easily feel that I have little to contribute, except that for every brilliant conversation there is at the dinner table, I am able to bring reality into it. For every incredible fact these little boys are taught and remember, I get to explain how they can use that knowledge, for each spiritual nugget that H brings to their attention, I show them what that means in our lives.
I am so incredibly grateful for the balance in this family. I barely get through a single day without feeling gratitude for being able to raise these little people with H. I did do a pretty good job with the big 3 but I could not do everything, I couldn't cover all aspects and I truly believe that 2 parents are always better than one. I should say two good parents, my 3 older children are infinitely better off having been raised by me alone, than with their dad around always. He had his place in his once a month visits but I believe, given the exceptional circumstances with Dan and Jordan, that if he had stayed around, they would never have recovered the way they did. He would have broken them, the way he broke Sophie.
I think there is a good balance in this house and I am sure that these boys would lose out if they only had one or the other of us.
I am sleeping better. That's a good thing but I am so frustrated at the things I no longer have time for! I achieved so much while the world slept, now I wake up in the morning and darn it all, it's stil undone! When the boys aren't at school, I still go to bed as late but I sleep so late in the morning, it's unbelievable the difference in how I feel after regularly having 6, 7 or even 8 hours sleep. The welts are back, after a 2 week stint of hardly any itches it's baffling to find myself stiped and welty again. Darn it!
So, now I told the world how little I am getting done these nights I am off to scrub a kitchen floor!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Helen, spoken like a true great Mom!
H is a wonderful dad. It's much easier not to be bothered and stick them in front of a video game, but to take the opportunity to make everything a learning experience is done less and less.

You've done good Helen, very good!

3:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often look back and see all of the things I could (and should) have done differently with Aubrie. I know some people think it's better to have your children young, but I tend to disagree having had one young and two when I was older. My mind was just focused on different things, as well as being divorced and dating. The problems Iface with their father here are much less, than the ones I faced being divorced and raising a child on my own. I don't think I will ever be able to make it up.

11:06 am  

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