Posts Tagged ‘milestones’

Yesterday daughter came to collect her offspring and told me about her nightmare. This daughter is not given to sharing her dreams, in fact I can’t remember her ever doing this before. I listened attentively. The narrative was short, but it revealed so much.

In her dream she, and I, were in a hall and the 11+ decisions were being read out. It came to her daughter’s name and the outcome was non-selection for Grammar school. In her dream she cried hysterically, berating herself for not signing up to the coaching culture. She cried so loudly that she woke herself. Daughter described this experience as a ‘nightmare’, which to her it was.

I am no expert in dream interpretation but there are so many bits that leap out if I analyse. Grandaughter will receive her 11+ decision, result, today. She and her parents had made the decision not to go down the coaching route, unlike the majority of her classmates. AJ is bright. Her literacy skills are excellent, her numeracy is average and, she loves school. The central core of daughter’s dream is that she will blame herself if/when AJ is not selected for a grammar school. Her error will be not insisting AJ be coached.  Parent’s, but especially Mothers, do this all the time, throughout their children’s life they assume responsibility for every outcome. I find it interesting that I am with daughter. Is she sharing the ‘blame’ with me, or am I there as her support? Whoops! Now I’m doing it, assuming degree of responsibility for her anguish.

Daughter herself only attended grammar school for 6th form. We had made the decision to move her to another, non-selective school prior to what was then the 12+. Is the ‘nightmare’ revealing that she felt sadness at not having the chance to go through the election process? Her distress is now becoming mine as well. Luckily though, I can look back and know that the decision we made nearly 30 years ago did not, educationally, have any adverse repercussions.

This afternoon AJ will come out of school clutching an envelope which will reveal which school she will attend from September. I think I know what it will say. I would love to believe that natural ability will overcome the 3 years of coaching  that the majority of her classmates have undertaken. It would certainly reinstate my faith in the original concept of the 11+. Whatever the result AJ will know that it was honest and that we are proud of her.


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Diary entry

This is going to be an honest, therefore rather boring diary entry. I’ve taken this week off work for a basic, selfish reason, daughter has gone back to work so I am now looking after the boys, Louis and Jamie, 2 days a week, 10 hours a day. I was anticipating that I may find it ‘difficult’ but I do have to admit that it was, on the whole, easier than I thought but when it’s bad it’s really bad, they are lovely, happy babies but there are two of them, two crawling bundles of mischief. Try ‘nipping’ to the loo and it turns into some sort of Krypton Factor 3D, spatial awareness test.  Going to the bathroom involves opening and closing a stair gate before the boys get there so it’s a case of sneaking off and then problems arise when undertaking the return journey as by then they are hanging off the gate, screaming. The quandary is how to get through the gate without making them fall off the step they are standing or giving one of them the opportunity to race up the stairs as soon as the gate is open whilst you are occupied dealing with the other one, I need another pair of arms. Then there’s the getting out of the house test, I now have to use a pushchair to get them to the car, it is just so stressful otherwise. Last night a friend suggested putting one in the highchair whilst I take the other one out to put him in his car seat. There are benefits, wouldn’t have to shut the front door, I would know that he was safe but it is a pain, getting a highchair out, strapping him in, plus I would have to give him something to nibble on as they are not stupid and do make the connection between highchair and food. I have now had to put locks on all the kitchen cupboards, the TV cabinet and the dresser, one baby I can police effectively, two are virtually impossible.

I have had another traumatic experience with a lawnmower. A few weeks ago my ‘favourite’ lawnmower fell to pieces, the chassis was totally rusted away, and this week my ‘difficult’ to start, rip your arm out of it’s socket, mower, refused to respond to my appeals, so I told it, and golfing Hubby via text message, what I thought of it and went to my local DIY store and bought an electric one. The thought of being able to just plug it in and mow, no checking oil levels, filling with petrol, crying with frustration when it fails to respond to pulling of the starter cord, I was so excited. Of course, I had to assemble it but no probs, 20 minutes later there sat my new, bright green lawnmower. I plugged it in, tilted it, pressed the safety button and, nothing except a hum. No blade rotating, just the very quiet whirr of a motor but it was obviously not powering the drive for the blade. I tried, and tried again, no joy, definitely no joy just utter frustration. I texted Hubby who responded in a most unfortunate fashion ” Long grass can look good”. That pushed me over the edge, I flew wildly at my arm torturing machine. It was shaken, kicked, lifted and dropped and then I pulled at the starter cord, it roared into action. Forget garden machinery specialists, a temper tantrum is free, and does the job! Hubby and I returned the electric mower to the store and got a refund.

Amy, Jamie and Louis have been attending nursery for short periods as a prelude to when they start in 2 weeks. On Friday I went with them so I would know where it was if I ever had to pick them up, the staff seem lovely, Amy loves the rabbit and guinea pig and the sandpit was a hit with the boys. We had to leave them for 2 hours so daughter and I filled the time with a supermarket dash for all the requirements for the twins birthday party.

The birthday party was a success, due in no small measure to the fact that the weather remained fine, even slightly sunny so everyone, especially the multitude of small people, were able to be out in the garden. I had gone round to daughter’s house a couple of hours before the party to help her set-up and even as I got out of the car I could hear a baby screaming. I walked into the garden to find a scene of chaos, and sitting in the middle of it were my Mother and step-father. Louis was sitting in his highchair covered in the remains of his lunch, Amy was running around with just her pajama top on and a tearful daughter was holding a wailing Jamie. Son-in law had done a disappearing act, can’t blame him for escaping the Grandmother-in law from hell but unfair to leave daughter trying to cope with the bedlam and attempting to prepare for the twin’s party. I decided that the most helpful thing I could do would be to relieve her of the boys so I took them upstairs and dumped them in the bath, which worked the trick with old misery Jamie and amused Louis and Amy. Mum and step-father left, son in-law returned and so once I had dried and dressed the boys I put them in their pushchair and went for a long walk. By the time I returned the twins were both asleep, the garden and house were ready for the party and daughter was a happy bunny (I think the Pimms helped).

Jack starts school next week, I can’t believe that my little man is that old, it only seems a couple of years since he was born, mind you he is young to be going into full-time education as he is only 4 years and 4 months. I shall miss having him around as much, I hope he and I remain as close.

Amy is a bossy, bright little madam. Talk about over-active imagination, she still has her invisible animal friends, life for her is magical. She remains unpredictable where her brothers are concerned, one minute an entertaining big sister, the next a sly individual pinching and hitting when she thinks no one can see.

Izzy is an appealing little girl, blonde curls, huge blue eyes and long, dark eyelashes. Her joint hypermobility means that she is still bow-legged but it a strange way it adds to her cuteness. Her language development is slow, the twins, especially Louis have nearly caught up with her. It is obvious that she understands everything so I’m not concerned about her intelligence but she does become quite frustrated by her inability to communicate her wants. For a tiny person she eats an amazing amount, and is quite indiscriminate about what she will eat, hence the phonecall from her Mummy a couple of days ago . Apparently Izzy had eaten a berry from the garden, what should they do? What berry was it? Daughter doesn’t share my love of gardening so was unable to identify the shrub it came from. After a 20 questions session I decided that it was nothing dangerous but did advise watchfulness and an immediate eradication of all berries in the garden.

Nearly there now. Jamie; 5 teeth, both boys still wearing amber necklaces; crawling, supported standing, cruising. Clapping, kissing, waving, ‘dada, mum-mum’, babbling, wicked laugh. Louis; 6 teeth, mobility and development the same as Jamie plus ‘mama, grandad, uh-oh, ta’, and hi-fiving.

That’s it, up to date.

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Nearly there

I saw the doc today, not my own G.P as he’s on holiday but a lovely, friendly, chatty new guy. He was doubtful about me returning to work but agreed as long I do nothing requiring lifting, pulling or pushing, he even wrote that on my ‘sick’ note. Next hurdle is the review by occupational health but listening to other people they just go with the flow. If I don’t get back to work soon I think Hubby and I could be needing the services of a solicitor specialising in marital disputes! Hubby works from home and I think the 24 hours per day, with hardly any respite, is causing us to irritate each other.

On the twin front, they are both rolling madly around the floor. They are able to sit by themselves but they derive far more pleasure from being able to explore at ground level. Louis has just got his first tooth and by the colour of Jamie’s cheeks, and the amount that he is dribbling, he won’t be that far behind. Most of the time I can tell them apart but other people, including their sister, still cannot decide which baby they are talking to.

I made it out into the garden today and surveyed what I need to do since the new next door neighbours built a brick wall between our gardens as part of their landscaping of a previously neglected garden. When building the wall they dug out the existing hedge and disrupted/destroyed some shrubs adjacent to it and when it was finished the builders back filled the trench using soil from the weed infested garden, so now I have a metre wide strip of soil, the length of my garden, which is growing nothing except ground elder, a particularly nasty weed. Looks like before I start planting I had better undertake some serious physical and chemical weed control.

Tomorrow evening will see me standing, hopefully not in the rain, watching son play football. I usually avoid this pastime but it’s a cup final and he has requested our support so I feel duty bound to be there. What generally ends up happening is that I become involved in the match and become one of those Mothers who shouts abuse at any nasty boy who hurts the apple of my eye. Yes, he is 29, and no, it doesn’t matter how old they are, they are still your little boy!

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