Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Park zoo

My boys LOVE the park - like most kids. We don't have a backyard so they are especially excited when we tell them we are heading down to the park. We are lucky there are about 6 to choose from within 5km from our house.....but I prefer the playgrounds WITHOUT swings as Carter will spend the entire time we are there sitting on the swing asking;

"PLEASE push me Mum! I'm serious, I promise!"

He is very serious these days, I'm just not so sure what about.

It's always a mixed bag of kids at the park. Some play alone, some play with the other kids there, some play well with others, and some.....not so much.

But more interesting than the variety of kids is the variety of 'park parents'.
Sometimes watching the parents is just as entertaining as watching the children.

There is the 'hovering parent' who follows their child (generally an only child) around the park, ensuring they are always within reach, often calling out:

"Wait for Mummy, wait for Mummy, don't run, watch out for the puddle, don't get dirt on your hands!"

The hovering parent is ridiculously over-prepared for a simple park trip with both jackets and an umbrella AND sunscreen and hats. If you manage to peek inside their bag, there will be enough food and water for 3 days, half their child's wardrobe, a first aid kit, every emergency contact, pepper spray, and a couple of flares.

There is the "invisible parent" who may as well not even be there. The park is their baby sitter while they read/chat on the phone/send emails/ stare blankly into space wondering how they got there. You can easily spot this parent by process of elimination. Whenever a child is calling out to their parent and every other parent is looking around for the owner of that child - simply look for the only adult who seems as though they don't hear that child and you have found your match!

There is the "adult child parent" who I particularly enjoy observing. This parent can be spotted trying to squeeze themselves through the tunnel slide whilst calling out:

"Isn't this fun! Come on - race me again, maybe you will finally win one!"

And of course there is the "social butterfly parent" who is at the park under the disguise of taking their child out for some fun but is really there for a social catch up. Once they are in the middle of some serious heavy gossip, an invisible impenetrable field suddenly appears blocking out all sound.
Children of "social butterfly parents" can be found hanging from the flying fox, mid way along the bar, calling for help for large periods of time.

Then there is the best parent of all. The one who had brought their children to play for the sole reason they are driving her completely nuts and she is going to go insane if they don't get out from under her feet THIS INSTANT. Once there they can be heard calling out:

"Hurry up and have fun!"

I'm serious, I promise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Talk about emotional rollercoaster

This afternoon I was lying down having a little rest and I could here the sounds of my boys laughing together.  I started thinking about how much I enjoy the boys being at this stage as I CAN go and have a lie down (although it is often interrupted) whilst the boys play.  When I think back to when they were babies and toddlers, I needed to be in close range of them almost all of the time (unless they were asleep - precious precious sleep time). They still like to hover around me but are not as physically dependent upon me.  It made me really appreciate the growth and progress they have both made.

Fast forward a few hours and I was sitting on the couch all teary missing having a newborn baby!  

I was watching a show where the mother just had baby number three and was comparing her new baby in size to her other two.  I started to feel the same way and all of a sudden I was hit with pangs of sadness that my "baby" is a four year old!  I know I am totally stating the obvious, but it REALLY DOES go too fast.  

Those nine pregnant months that seem to go forever while you wait with anticipation to meet the little person you have already grown to love.  Then suddenly the day of delivery arrives and those nine months seem as though they raced by and life as you know it is changed forever.  Your entire reason for being is changed.  Your priorities change dramatically as you no longer live for yourself as you have someone who is completely dependent upon you.  You get to experience joy and love like never before.  It used to amaze me how much time I could spend just staring at my babies - it was a face that I had only set eyes on a matter of weeks ago, but one that I felt as though I had known it for a lifetime.  Of course being a parent to a baby is demanding too (but each stage doesn't seem to last very long).  Your whole schedule revolves around this little person for a while and some days you are lucky if you get a shower before 3pm. Sleepless nights can make this time feel like it drags, but sleep comes, and with it the bitter-sweet knowledge that your little one is becoming a little more independent and can be away from you for slightly longer than before.  

If I am to be honest, I do not miss the sleepless nights.  In fact, having Carter wake with a bad dream is a rude shock to me and I struggle to walk him back to bed.  But what I do miss is waking in the night to feed my beautiful baby and to see their little face light up simply with eye-contact.  Once my eyes locked onto theirs and my voice reached their ears, all was right in their world again.

After the program was over, I couldn't help but go into Tony and Carter's rooms and whisper to them that I loved them in the hope my voiced reached them in their dreams and made their worlds right.

Friday, April 13, 2012

So...I was thinking

I call Anthony "darling", among other things. I also call him "pork pie, bub, doofus, sweetheart, butt head" and if he is really in trouble "Anthony Joel".

If I have had a bad day, he is greeted with a rather mono-tone;

"Hey darling".

If it has been a good day, it's a much chipper;

"Hello there my darling."

But of all the "darlings" my Anthony hears, there is one that I know brings a sense of terror when he hears it. I know because when I say it, he slowly swivels around in his chair like Dr. Claw on Inspector Gadget. The phrase that brings such fear is;

"Hey darling.....I was thinking...."

I don't think it's necessarily bad news he is expecting, it's more the huge range of possibility that could follow on from that phrase.

Whether it's;

"....we should get rid of the sports channel"


"....I think I want to start *insert weird obsession for the month*"


"....you should do all the washing and folding now seeing as you seem to have no idea where the dirty clothes basket is!"

Or perhaps even;

"....you should get those concert tickets, you deserve it."

It's the sheer possibility that I believe ignites fear in my dear darling.
I could change this and be kind and approach such a situation differently, but I like keeping Anthony on his toes.

Sorry Pork Pie!! (I have no idea where I came up with this one??)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Road rules

I have never angrily beeped my horn at anyone in my life. Seriously - NEVER. If someone cuts me off, I will throw my hands up. If I am in a hurry and the person in front is driving 20kph below the limit, I will verbally give them a piece of my mind.....but only from the safety of my own car ten meters behind. When waiting at the lights, if the person in front doesn't see the light has changed to green, I will YELL at them "COME ON!!!" but only because I know they can't hear a thing.  They when they politely wave in apology, I smile and give them a friendly wave back knowing they are none the wiser.

I'm not sure why I don't beep at other drivers who may annoy or frustrate me, but I hold back.  I let my frustrations bubble, but only to the point the other driver is completely unaffected.

I was thinking about why I am able to do this......yet if Anthony leaves a sock in the middle of the lounge room floor, he will certainly be hearing about it.  If the boys are whining and complaining, I will get cranky back instead of rolling my eyes and thinking cranky thoughts but offering them my "friendly wave" instead.

Why when friends ask how I am doing do I say;

"I'm good, a little tired, but good".

But as soon as Anthony comes through the door I collapse on the couch telling him how horribly tired and sore I am and that if I don't get to lie down NOW they will all be looking for a new slave (yep..I have a tendency to exaggerate at times).

I hate to admit it, but as much as my family often gets the best of me.....there are A LOT of times they get the worst of me also.  These times I don't mind my tongue when if it were an acquaintance (or even a stranger), I certainly would have.  I know I could justify this as being honest or comfortable....but there really isn't any reason why I can't be honest and comfortable as well as being kind and patient and let things slide now and again like I do as a driver.  My best people deserve the best of me.

If only I had a little sound proof box I could walk around in.  Then when I felt the frustrations coming, I could simply wind up my windows, yell all I like, and then continue on with everyone none the wiser.