Category Archives: kids

More Fruit Please

It happened again. The temper lost, voice raised, fingers pointed, sarcasm out. Yes, apologies may have followed, as well as desperate crying once they’re in bed (from me, not them), but can that really erase the fact that I just cannot hold it together when they push my buttons at the moment? There was a time when I seemed to remain calm in the face of it all…not this week.

Yesterday, I actually told one of them to shut up. Like, seriously. I just shouted, “WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP!!” Tonight, it was, “YOU ARE WRONG” and “HOW DARE YOU LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT” (petulant or what 😦 ).

I find myself wondering what’s wrong with me… Why do I get so frustrated? Why can’t I just stay calm? I am the grown up after all, it’s my responsibility to control my emotions. I’ve even googled, ‘How to control my temper’ and wonder if I need to go on some sort of course. I never want to be physically aggressive but I am more and more aware that when I have a short fuse, it is very short. I do not want to be that sort of person. Unpredictable, fly of the handle…please God, no.

Oh yeah, God. Have I given Him any headspace in all this? The One who actually knows the trajectory of these kids’ lives, who can actually change me? The One who sees my heart and all that I’ve thought, said and done, yet loves me and forgives me? Have I cried out to Him in anguish and prayed for His mercy and help? No, no I haven’t.

I’m not saying He’ll ‘fix’ me and make it all better straight away. But the Bible tells me that He will shape and change me to be made in His likeness. God’s Spirit living in us will bear fruit; fruit of the Spirit, not fruit of Me and My Great Efforts. Only He can make me a more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled person. And He will do that as I live by the Spirit, trusting Him with each day, hour and minute (or, in my case it needs to be seconds…seriously, the fuse is short).

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Hmm not where I thought I’d end up, to be honest. I was fully expecting a woeful, distraught post bemoaning my failures and foibles. Praise the Lord for a much needed change in direction 🙂

Plodding on

Just read through my last few posts – what a bleak picture…! Although it does reflect fairly accurately where things are at.

It’s carried on being tough the last few weeks – the defiance increases, seems to be contagious, has pushed me almost over the edge – but I think much of that is my attitude. am feeling down in the dumps about all this, don’t have a ‘connection’ with the kids, it’s all me me me. And this should not be about me. So let’s focus on some of the positive things that can be talked about…

1) Noticing change

If I think back to those first few weeks, the Least Small Person would rarely give hugs. Now, he happily climbs on my husband’s knee at storytime and frequently comes up to give you a hug (sometimes at the most awkward of times, but again, this is not about me). Middle Small Person’s hair has become thicker and has more life. Smallest Person can now read confidently (if a little reluctantly) and recognise split digraphs and work them out.

2) Achievements

Least Small Person passed Stage One of swimming after 4 weeks of lessons. Middle Small Person now isn’t far off. Least Small Person got Star of the Week. He also is on track to pass a pretty tricky national phonics test in a couple of months time – not somewhere he would have been a couple of months ago.

3) Friendships

The older two in particular have blossomed in their friendships at school. They’re also learning how to interact appropriately with other children their own age (rather than, you know, poking them and pretending to be a cat…).

4) Little Moments

We find ourselves laughing affectionately at the little things that they do, like Smallest Person’s tiptoe-jump-walk, or Middle Small Person cycling with a huge grin on her face through a puddle, or when Least Small Person made it up the climbing wall at the park. These sometimes feel few and far between, but I’m sure I’d see more of them if I only looked.

There is much to be thankful for.  They are doing so well, and with a few turbulent weeks likely to be ahead, it’s good to reflect on how far they’ve come.

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The crazy lady with the playdough

It’s amazing how quickly children pick up the things you say and do. I always cringe when I hear the kids at school do impressions of me telling them off, and then smile to myself when they ‘do the register’ at their little computer. Hold that thought of children imitating us 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, the class teacher went on a poundland splurge and bought 30 lots of playdough to be used for our new morning activity. Before the register, we usually do Wake and Shake, which is getting the kids to use gross motor skills (I think)…or a bit of an aerobics session to wake us up before a hard day of learning through play, with the occasional carpet and phonics session thrown in for good measure.

SO, before all that bundle of laughs kicks off, we Wake and Shake. Our new morning activity, however: the Dough Disco. Picture in your mind what that might be exactly…got it? Now watch this video.

Haha what do you think? The teacher told the kids, “Now, this lady’s a bit crazy, but we’re going to see if we like it.” And they LOVE it! There is an actual educational reason behind it: working on getting their fingers stronger for writing (definitely something to try at home if you have little ones, she’s pretty hilariously brilliant!). But, as the kids see it, they’re watching the “crazy lady” on the board and get to have the playdough out. Thus she will forever be known by our little crew of lovelies. It does make me realise that they take in, quite possibly, EVERYTHING that we say and do. Apart from, of course, when you tell them 5 times a day NOT to push their friends to the ground. Somehow, those things slip right back out again…

Funny story on that note: one little boy has some issues with what’s socially acceptable/generally a good thing to do in life, so when he bit someone else, we had words, quite serious words, and moved on. During a completely unrelated discussion on the carpet a good few weeks later, he came out with, “And you shouldn’t bite…no, we can’t bite.” As I write it, I realise that it isn’t actually that funny, possibly a had-to-be-there moment with his earnest little face, big blue eyes and kind of cute voice. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to know that some things go in…choosing to follow the advice is the next step!

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