Monday, September 8, 2014

Sorry luv, too busy lookin' at mah smartphone to teach you good manners...

Excuse me, is this where I queue for a part in "Bod: The Movie" ?

It was one of those stupid things that's so insignificant and everyday but underlined one of the things that's guaranteed to press all my buttons in no time at all. 

Politeness. Manners. Words that, to the average six year old, are just words and have no basis or foundation in their lives. I always wondered whether me being a constant grump was just some genetic predisposition for being like my dad's side of the family (notably grumpy to a tee) or something more deeply rooted in what's going on in the world as a whole. 

The incident that triggered this missive was so low-impact that most parents will probably scoff, snorting "If that's the only type of problem you have in a playground, then you're lucky matey!" But it was merely this. Charlotte patiently waiting for her turn to go on a Playground ride (a zip wire). Two boys butting in, trying to shove her out of the way so they could go first (in fact one of the boys - probably no older than three or four years old, nearly clocked the thing right in the face because he insisted on running after her - even at the point where the zip wire contraption rebounded at the end of the run and nearly took his head off). 

We've always taught Charlotte to take it in turns, to queue, and to be polite - and she does this without question. But she's a sensitive soul like us, so when the two boys were trying to push and shove her aside, her natural instinct was to just let them get on with it. It took me wading in, and another thoughtful parent (who also saw what was going on - and headed it off by physically 'handing' the zipwire contraption to Charlotte rather than one of the rude little boys) to get the message across. At any given moment though we expected an angry parent to look up from their smartphone for the split second it would've taken them to murmur in a tired voice "Don't do that Gaston! Don't do that Renfrew!" or more likely, to come over and shout in a horrid mockney accent "Whatchafinkyoredoinktomykidddddaaaah". 

Queuing is just one of those things that us 'british' are supposedly so up our own butts about that the rest of the world finds it comically quaint. Half an hour at any Disney resort, or in fact any resort anywhere in the world will probably highlight just how low down everyone's list of 'basic human behaviours that won't result in you ending up in a fist fight' queuing is. Like an errant Marty McFly though, I can't stand queue jumpers of any description (kids or otherwise) so it was one of those instances where I was glad of some parental intervention from someone else who obviously didn't tolerate it either. 

"They don't teach manners or politeness in schools any more" is the sort of ridiculous newspaper missive you'd expect to read on something like this. Why the hell should they, what's wrong with parents know...parenting? We managed it so why the heck can't anyone else?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I am so proud of my daughter!

Princess C Rocks!
I know we all say we are proud of our child for this, that and the other. Some parents can go gushing on about the smallest thing. But my girl has given me the biggest smile, but tainted with a sad tear in my eye.

They changed a light bulb at work, the smallest thing but it annoyed me so much as it makes the room so bright that it brings on an epileptic seizure. I'm not supposed to have light sensitive epilepsy but for the last 3 months with no light bulb in that room I was fine. The day it was changed I had a  hellish seizure. I've blogged about my epilepsy before and should explain here that I have absence seizures that last from 10 second to a few minutes.

This happened just before home time, I still wasn't feeling great on the bus to school so as I got there early I took a seat inside and just closed my eyes for 10 minutes and felt a bit better. When Princess C came out I warned her what had happened hoping all would be fine from then on.  As it turned out, it was going to be one of the worst evenings I have had in a long time.

I had a seizure on the way home where Princess C had to stop me walking and hold onto me. I had one as we were opening the front door and I couldn't remember the alarm code straight away. I had countless more at home. In the end I tried to sleep on Princess C's bed while she played around me. I thought just lying down and resting would improve things as it often does.

Readitdaddy was going to be late home, a very rare thing, so I had to do dinner. Thankfully there was a microwave meal in the freezer so I could put that on for us and pudding was fruit, and a rare chocolate treat for Princess C for being such a star. I had another seizure during dinner where C had to take my knife and fork off me and place them on the plate.

We made it to bed with very few problems but I couldn't read her a book at bedtime so we picked out a nice book she could read to me, one that she knew all the words too so I wouldn't have to follow the words. She said "look at the pictures mummy and then you will be fine". Into bed she shot and 45mins later readitdaddy was home. I'm not sure I've ever been so pleased to see him.
I went to bed and watched tv, there was little else I could do with my evening, it was a struggle to talk or to think.

At school the children had to make a promise for the term and hers was to look after mummy better when she has a seizure. We had discussed this a week before as I said she looks after me so well, but she felt sad that daddy often takes over and doesn't let her help more. She's only just 6 so she shouldn't be looking after me, but she doesn't understand that.

At school this morning we had a chat to her teacher to tell her about the day before, her teacher also told her how proud she is of her and how grown up. I was almost in tears.

Because of my epilepsy C and I seem to have a very strong bond and she will often look out for me and check I'm ok, there are moments when readitdaddy and C at the same time will both ask if I'm ok.

So I am happy to shout I am the proudest mum ever, even with a tear in my eye.

smiles all round

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Sometimes in life we come across things that make us think and evaluate life and make serious changes. We are going through one of those at the moment.

My Dad had a heart attack, was rushed to hospital and 2 weeks later is still in hospital and waiting for heart bypass surgery. Only a few years before my mum had a stent put in for a blocked artery. They were both just over 65 when this happened and as it has happened to them both, the chances of my brother and I also suffering increases.
Neither of them are overweight, drink excessively, eat badly and they both get lots of exercise. My dad has seen the dietician in hospital but aside from a slightly higher salt intake it can't be linked to anything specific.

lots of veggies with xmas dinner
There have been a number of programmes on tv recently about salt, fat, sugar levels in food and this got us thinking, but what has happened personally has made us change things. We have never been that unhealthy but small changes can always be made. As one tv programme said, what used to be occasional treats are now becoming every day things. So out go the biscuits and swapping shockingly high levels of added sugar in yoghurt for low fat ones and adding our own fruit. We are having whole wheat pasta and rice and it actually taste nicer. We have had a look at what makes a portion of fruit and veg, sometimes its more than you think so we have tried to up our veggie portion sizes. We all drink water so getting rid of juice isn't a problem. We were surprised to see added salt in a pesto pasta salad that Charlotte often eats, so we don't buy that any more.
We are stumbling a bit with cheese, as we do love cheese, but slowly making changes there when we can.
Charlotte says she is missing some of the old foods (think she means chocolate), but I think over time she will get used to it, and its not a complete ban on the bad stuff its just going to become the odd treat. This will benefit us all over time, this is for our futures.

who doesn't love candyfloss, occasionally
Charlotte gets load of exercise at school, they do PE almost every day and swimming once a week. We walk home from school, at work we walk round the park every lunch time. Weekends we always try to go swimming and even if we don't go out for a walk (something else we love) we pop a dance game on the wii and have a bop.

My brother and I have both been to the doctor to get our blood pressure checked and a blood test taken to measure cholesterol levels, we are now going back every year to get these checked.

Who knows if these changes will make a difference, but at least we have tried.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy New Year, now where the heck did the time go?

The girls and a sling. Probably not practical for 5 year olds then!

Happy New Year! Where on earth did the last year or so go? More importantly, when did we let this blog slide so badly? We've had a hectic year and 2014 is shaping up to be no different. Though work has changed and Princess C's school time cuts into everything we do, we still find lots of time to do fun things. 

My wife's blog over at Can I Walk Mummy still details all our comings and goings, and we've had some fantastic days out despite the horrible weather. 

We're still reading lots and over at ReadItDaddy we've been having fun mummifying Barbies and reading all about history. 

Hope you've had a brilliant christmas and are enjoying a crackingly brilliant new year. But where does the time go? Does anyone know?