Thursday, 19 February 2009

Half Term Musings

We are on day 4 of half term. Thankfully the week has flown by so far amidst a puking toddler, a broken washing machine and to top it all off, a broken dvd player! Needless to say, it has not been the easiest of half terms. There has also been much fighting and gnashing of teeth between 2 tired boys who need to rest but STILL don't seem to be able to sleep later than 7am! However, in the middle of all this action (which is accompanied by noise volume equivalent to a pneumatic drill) I have had lots of interesting thoughts. Well, I think they are interesting but you may choose to disagree.

Having 3 boys, we structure our family life around boy things. As you know, we do lots of walks in the country, bike riding, star wars watching (and playing), garden playing (or just being locked out there when I have had enough!), competitive challenges etc etc. It suddenly occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that actually my boys will need to know about girls. I was listening to a sermon on my mp3 player (yes, really I am not a technophobe!) by a man who has 3 sons and 2 daughters. He was talking about how he teaches his sons about the female variety by using their sisters. For example, girls like to play more gentle games and might not necessarily enjoy chasing around with lightsabres playing star wars. I realised that my boys do not have that opportunity of spending time with girls, and even the friends they have at school are boys. If we carry on with our 'boy focus' when they hit their teenage years, they will suddenly encounter a species who are very foreign to them. Not having been taught how to treat this foreign species, they will then learn from their friends or the media. We do not want our boys to be disrespectful of women. We want them to have good female friends and eventually a wife whom they will love, cherish and honour.

So, we have to teach them these things. Of course, they have me as a mum and my wonderful husband Jared is very good at hugging me in front of them and teaching them through the way he treats me. However I am not their peer and it is not quite the same. We have, therefore, taken some steps to ensure that they do have friends who are girls. We have spent some time already with them chatting through the kinds of games they might like to play when they are with a mix of girls and boys. I have talked to them about my childhood and the way that a girl likes to be made to feel special. This will all of course take years, and I am not expecting an instant change but we need to drip feed them these things. We have to be intentional about these things because otherwise someone else will steal our job of teaching our boys to be the men they were made to be, and the results could be disastrous.

On a lighter note, the broken dvd player actually came in very handy. Armed with screwdrivers of various shapes and sizes, we spent a whole morning taking it apart and making new inventions with the parts! I have never seen my boys concentrate for so long on an activity. 2 hours of demolishing, inventing, testing and creating! It was a very exciting discovery for me and I shall now spend time on freecycle acquiring other old, broken, seemingly useless items so that we can repeat the experience.

Sorry this has not been particularly humorous. Humour, at this end of half term, is evading me. Having spent the whole week listening to jokes about bogeys and farts, and hearing 'poo wee fat bum' chanted over and over again, it is a little hard for me to drag any grown up humour from my toilet humour sizzled brain.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


Well it seems the whole country has come to a standstill because of a few flakes of snow. I know, I exagerate but really, did my boys need to be off school for two whole days?

The first day off was great fun though. We did have lots of snow and we went sledging in the park with lots of our friends from church. Even Jonah (17 months) had a go on the sledge and was laughing, screaming and shouting with the rest of them. My boys loved the sledge, and if I'm honest, so did I! The problem was my screaming. I just couldn't help it, it came out without me realising. So, when I asked Max if he wanted to go on with me, he said "I will go on with you Mum, as long as you promise not to scream because I really don't like it"!!! I couldn't promise that, because as we set sail on our white sea, the scream came flying out of my mouth again! The best thing about the sledging though, was watching families having fun together. The atmosphere 'on the slopes' was fantastic and there were lots of people laughing. In our busy lives today where we rush from one thing to the next, it was a small oasis of re-establishing relationships and spending much needed time together.

However, when we woke up on Day 2, to see a smattering of snow and then listening to the radio to discover the school was yet again closed, I was not a happy mummy. The snow had melted from the previous day and was not settling that morning at all. As far I could tell, there was no reason to be off school that day. The boys were, of course, thrilled that they didn't have to go into school again. It was a long and tedious day in which I was extremely grateful to the creators of the Nintendo Wii. By just past lunchtime though Toby was literally climbing the walls of the house in a desperate escape attempt. So, when Jonah had woken up from his nap we went out on bike, scooter, pushchair and legs and the big boys finally had some freedom! They needed releasing back into the wild! They shouted, rode as fast as they could and released their pent up energy. It was very cold but they didn't seem to notice as they flew down hills, just stopping short at the roads.

So, if the school is closed again on Monday I shall be depositing them at the headteacher's house for the day. Either that or locking them outside. That should do the trick.