Thursday, 24 September 2015

Conversations with a 10 Year Old

Bedtime is one of my favourite parts of the day. It's the time my 10 and 9 year olds become little snuggly babies again. They want to talk. And not about what we did today but deep beautiful talking. Last night they wanted to talk about when they were born and I happened to mention that when they were babies I used to wonder about what kind of kids they were.

Jack: Well what kind of kids did you think we would be?

Me: It's hard to remember but I can tell you one thing, and maybe all parents think this. When you were babies I didn't ever imagine that if you weren't my kids and I met you at 10 and 9 I'd think you were really cool. What makes me so happy is that even if you weren't my kids, I'd still want to be your friends. I don't just love you to the moon and back, I like you both, I like the kids you are and the men you are becoming.

Jack: The thing is mum, I don't think other parents think that and if they do they should make sure they say it.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Art of Being Alone

One of my favorite times of the year are the school holidays. They are filled with lazy mornings. Interesting chats. And doing things that we usually don't find the time to do during the busy term.

But there is a downside.

There are often days of arguing between the kids as they spend so much extra time with each other. They will be sitting quietly doing something together and then suddenly out of the blue they are running through the house screaming my name as someone did something to the other and normally it comes to a head with someone getting an 'accidental' foot to the face.

Once I have soothed things (often with kisses and ice packs) they find each other again. And then soon after ... They are running through the house screaming my name as another accidental foot to the face. At some point I find myself yelling at them "separate and find something else to do".

And they do for all of five minutes before we start the whole process again.

Yesterday was one of those days. And after the crying had finished I had an epiphany.

See doing things by myself has always been pretty easy for me. I'm an only child and learnt early how to be alone and entertain myself. But they have always had each other. They had never learnt the art of being alone.

So today we try something new.

I got them to write out some things they could do by themselves that didn't include devices or tv or me or each other.

And in rotation today they are spending time doing these things. Then we are doing an activity together. And then they can do whatever they want (probably screen time). These are all happening in equal proportions and we will be doing it all day.

So far we have played a game of scrabble together. Now it is alone time. The first thing they did was both go outside. One to play with their ball the other to practice on their skateboard. I could hear them chatting away. And although the mood was light it defeated the purpose. So reminded them that one of the rules is separate spaces.

The big one decided to go to his room to read for a bit. And the little one decided to cook us a meal.

I don't know if this will work. But as I say to the boys my first job as a mum is to love them. And my second job is to teach them. To teach them the skills they need for life. To make them healthy men and productive citizens. Today I am hoping to teach them how to be alone.

Upside is we have just completed the first alone hour. Energy here is calm. Although I just got served a raw chicken schnitzel 1/2 a chopped up apple and a mandarin at 9am my hopes are high.

Note: the above photo is not mine. Tiff took it and it is one of my all time favorites of the boys.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Tit for Tat

I gave the real estate agent the keys. The real estate agent gave me a bottle of wine. Seems fair.

And I guess it is.

Funny how the mind processes things. I'm not at all a materialistic person but moving on from this house is continuing to be a bit of a struggle. I won't bore you with the details but let's just say that this morning as I went to the house for the last time all I could think was:


I wandered around for about 5 minutes feeling all teary and pathetic and then someone knocked on the door. It was the new owner. So to add to my already slightly pathetic demeanor, I grabbed her gave her a massive teary cuddle and said 'welcome to your new home'.

We then wandered around while I talked about the house and the street. Introduced her to the joys of outside toilets and holes in the ceiling. Mostly I told her how special the place that was very soon (6 hours to be precise) going to be hers was.

She asked a lot of questions and then if it was ok that she and I have a photo together out the front of the house that she would send to me. I smiled and hugged her for the photo. Inside I didn't feel much like smiling but I was glad to have met her and even felt pleased to hear how much she was looking forward to the house.

The real estate agent arrived and she handed me a bottle of wine and I handed her the keys. She watched me lock it up, making sure I couldn't get back in and we all drove away.

So now 6 hours later it is no longer mine. Settlement happened 30 minutes ago and I still wanna go home.

But it will pass and this will be my last sad sack house post. Tomorrow it's all about the new place and the life we are building here. Or maybe the blog could take a break in talking about houses in general. Either way, today the real end has happened and the next phase actually begins.
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