Saturday, 20 December 2008


And the term has ended. We can all breathe again without the pressure of school runs / lunchboxes /reading books / homework / washing uniform etc etc. More and more I am enjoying the school holidays. I honestly never thought the day would come. I used to hate them because my boys just used to fight and get bored and I dreaded not having any time to myself. Those of you who know me will know the foreboding feeling I used to have on the last day of term. Now it is just pure relief. Now that I have worked out why they fight and get bored, and I can do something about it, I enjoy them so much more. I love having my boys back and watching them relax into being themselves again. They are so pressured during term time. We all are. During the holidays we don't have to clock watch, and we actually have time to play with them.

These holidays are even better because it is Christmas and Jared is off work for the whole two weeks! We can have time to do family stuff all together, but we will also have the time to give individual attention to our boys. Having 3 children, we don't often get the chance to spend time alone with the boys but we are going to do this over the holidays because it is so important.

We're also looking forward to Christmas Day because we have bought the boys a Nintendo Wii. Well, actually, we haven't bought it with our own money. We have been saving for it as a family for a few months and whenever we have been given birthday or Christmas money we have put it in the 'Wii pot'. We have managed to save enough, but the boys don't know so it will be a big surprise for them! It has been so good for them to save for this because they have learnt the value of it, but also they have been learning about being patient and not having everything immediately. So often now children have things as soon as they want them and they never get the chance to learn to wait. As they have waited the excitement has built and they have really enjoyed seeing the cheques coming in and counting the money in the Wii pot. We have never had any kind of computer game/ console thing before. We haven't got a playstation or xbox, so it will be a new thing for us and I am really excited about it!

Have a very happy Christmas. You never know, we may have been good enough for Father Christmas to come!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Tis the season to be... hyper?!

Gosh, its been a long time since I udpated on here. Life has been very busy with christmas parties and nativities. I cannot wait until Friday when the boys finish school and we can all relax into the holidays.

So, as the title suggests, things have been rather exciting in our house. I can't work out whether it is because the boys are tired, or over -excited about Christmas having had so many lovely things to do in the run up to the end of term, or maybe just they have decided to be that way but they are incredibly hyper. It is becoming fairly unbearable. Toby, who is 7, does not seem to be able to a) keep still and b) stop talking. If he is not making noise from his mouth he is tapping, clicking or banging his feet on something. The sounds that are coming from his mouth are repetitious, alien like sounds which seem to make him jump up and down as he says them. Every time he tells me any kind of news from school he leaps about the room like a gazelle going up a mountain. I do keep asking him not to make so much noise, but I really don't think he knows he is doing it. I hope he calms down when term has ended because otherwise Imay resort to locking him in the garden for the holidays ( ... social workers, please note, this is a JOKE...).

Max seems to be slightly less hyper than Toby, but a thousand times more sensitive, bursting into floods of tears the second his scissors don't work or his pen lid gets stuck. He is very very tired, just completing his first term at school. He has also started having tantrums that would make a two year old proud. After school today he screamed, jumped up and down, threw things across the room, just because I refused to give him a chocolate. Life is hard when you are 4. He needs a break from school and the relentless structure and conformity that it brings for him.

Jonah just watches it all from the sidelines, making notes for future reference. The poor boy has alot of bad behaviour to copy, as well as the good (of course... I'll try not to be too negative, it is the season of good will after all).

Despite all the noise and chaos though, I am really looking forward to Christmas, and having my boys at home again. They do need a rest, and until Christmas Day actually comes, we will have the ultimate bribery to use when we tell them that Father Christmas won't come unless they are good!!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Daddy's home!

Hooray! We made it! A whole week without my fantastic, supportive husband who is at this very moment doing the ironing for me! It was a hard and very long week, but we all survived and the boys were generally well behaved.

We went to meet him at the airport. The boys had made a sign to hold up that said 'Best Dad in the World' and they stood there, holding the sign, waiting for their Daddy while lots of people walked past smiling at them as they read the sign. I felt quite proud of my boys, and had butterflies in my tum as I waited to see my best boy. As they saw him walking through they shouted, cheered and jumped up and down. It was as if the whole world had shrunk to just us, and it was so brilliant to see him again.

One thing I noticed though towards the end of the week was that they were becoming quite physical with me. Even Jonah was clambering on me more than usual. I think they were missing the rough and tumble that Jared gives them. This is not just a fun thing for Dads and boys to do, it seems to be a necessity. Not only does it provide bonding for them (yes, apparently rolling around the floor together with arms and legs flailing is a bonding activity....) but when done with Dad it helps them to learn self control in a safe way, and they get to let off steam at the same time. They get to be aggressive with someone who loves them and will help them to control themselves and not let it go too far. If they don't have the chance to do this, I think they will be aggressive with other people who probably won't appreciate it quite so much.

Of course this won't stop them fighting with one another.... unfortunately! They are just like little lion cubs who roll around together. If they could roll around with Dad all day, they probably would, but it seems to be very important that he gives this time to them at some point during the day.

I don't understand the need for it myself. As a mum, I don't like to see them behaving in a way where they might get hurt, and I try not to watch! If I was in the middle of the bundle I would probably just cry! Thankfully I don't have to understand it, I just have to let them get on with it and be there to pick up the pieces afterwards if I'm needed.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Rising to the challenge

My boys are being amazing. We've done 3 nights without Jared, and have 3 more to go. This morning they were little stars. I only had to ask Max once to get dressed, brush his teeth and put on his shoes and coat! Toby went one better and did it all without even being told to! He even helped get Jonah ready by trying to put his shoes on too. He managed to get one shoe on before the little escapologist broke loose. Better than nothing. They really are rising to the challenge. I keep telling them that we are a team, and we need to work together to get everything done. It seems to be working so far.... (you just watch, now I've said all this they'll be awful tomorrow morning!!)

The other thing that has totally overwhelmed me is the support and care I have been on the receiving end of. Our friends at church have looked after me so well. I've had more offers for help than I know what to do with, and people have just popped round to bring me chocolate or other necessities (of course chocolate is the most important necessity). I have never experienced anything like this before and it has made me feel so loved and supported. Today my friend is looking after Jonah all day. It has been an amazing oasis in the middle of the week, and I've got so much done. It has made me look forward to the days when they are all at school!! This same friend, who has 4 children of her own, had us all round for tea on Monday night as well. This is what real church is about. Loving each other in practical ways. Being a family.

Sadly my child free time is now over and off I go to pick up the noisy ones from school. I always go in slight trepidation, wondering what they have been up to and if they have behaved today. Onwards and upwards I go, with my face forward and ready for the next part of my long week!

Monday, 1 December 2008

What are big brothers for?...

..... Cutting hair of course!! On Saturday night, all 3 boys were playing nicely (or so we thought) in their bedroom. When Jared went in to get Jonah for his bath he found a clump of blonde baby hair lying on the floor, next to some scissors.... hmmm. 'Has someone cut Jonah's hair?' he asked. Both boys blamed each other. Eventually, after saying that both of them will lose priveledges if the real culprit did not own up, Max asks in a quiet voice 'will you be cross?'. In my best mummy voice I told him that I was more cross that he had lied to me than the fact that he 'might' have cut Jonah's hair. So... he admitted it! The scissors were just there and Jonah's hair was quite long, and he just couldn't help himself!

I had actually been trying to make myself cut Jonah's hair for a few weeks but it was so lovely and curly and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. This forced me into it and now my baby has been transformed into a little boy with short hair, instead of a cute little curly haired, blue eyed angel. (Yes, I am his mother and I am allowed to exaggerate.... I do know that he is far short of angel status.) Max was suitably punished and we learnt a lesson - check for scissors before letting him near his brothers!!