Tuesday, 23 March 2010


I had a moment of revelation yesterday. It doesn't happen too often so when it does I have to make the most of it. The noise levels in our house and hideously high. We shout conversations from room to room, and often I have to shout to be heard above the bedlam. I am not (well, not often) shouting at them angrily, but because they make so much noise I shout to be heard.

You may think this is obvious (and lets be honest, it really is) but I realised that if I stopped shouting, the boys might stop shouting! I have been saying to them for weeks now "If you want to speak to me, don't shout me from another room but come and find me", only to discover that I am also guilty of that very act. Our house is extremely noisy and I am very grateful that we live next door to 2 deaf old ladies, but I still think we have room for improvement in the noise stakes.

If Supernanny came to my house she would be making me practice speaking quietly to my children. I am sure she would not approve of the 'fishwife's yell' that I have perfected over the last 8 years. Sometimes I stand at the back door bellowing their names, naively expecting that they will listen if I shout louder. Listen, they do not, and so I shout even louder. I have come to realise that I am inherently lazy (and this is probably obvious too) and actually what I should be doing is the simple task of putting on my shoes and walking the small distance to speak to them face to face.

So, this is my aim over the next few days. I will try to stop shouting, and I will try to bring some civilisation to my hullabaloo of a home.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Parent-Teacher Consultations

Parent's Evening. It fills me with dread. I know it is irrational, but it feels like an appraisal of my mothering skills (or lack of). This is what I expect them to say:

"Your son can't read because you don't do enough reading with him at home."
"Your son is so unbelievably disobedient."
"Your son cannot concentrate on anything."
"Your son is violent."

"Your son just does not listen."
.....the list is endless......

Perhaps this is because I have a vivid imagination, or perhaps it is based on behaviour that I deal with day in and day out at home, but I always expect the worst.

Usually my expectations are totally wrong and I leave the school with a sigh of relief and a spring in my step. My appraisal went well. Unfortunately there is no pay rise, but I have met all my targets. This time last year, however, I left the school in tears having been told that Toby would 'never be a writer'. I know I have written about this on here before so I won't bore you all with the sordid details again.

One year and a different teacher on, however, we hear a totally different story. Not only is Toby writing well now, but he is well exceeding his 'targets' for literacy. His actual handwriting has improved beyond belief and he is bursting with creativity and imagination. It took all my self control to stay sitting on the tiny plastic chair. I wanted to leap in the air (it is a good job I didn't, it would not have been a pretty sight) and I wanted to kiss the teacher. Somehow I managed to squeak out a thank you but that felt so inadequate for what he had achieved. It is his teaching that has inspired Toby and motivated him to learn and write. It is his style of teaching, noticeably different to others, that Toby has responded to. I am so grateful that I almost went beyond Parent - Teacher etiquette. Perhaps I will save that for the end of the year.

So my appraisal this term seemed to go well. So far they have not set the school on fire, pooed in the sinks of the girls toilets, been rude to the teachers, set off the fire alarm, strangled another child (that was last year...), made papier mache with spit and fired it at the back of the teacher's head or given anyone a chinese burn. I can breathe a sigh of relief until the next time.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The problem with blogs....

.... is that they can be totally misunderstood. Even if you make it as clear as a mountain spring, you will still be misunderstood. Blogs are read by people who do not know me, do not know how I react to life on a day to day basis, might not know my values or the lessons I have learnt in life. I welcome other people's opinions, even if they are different to my own, but what I find hard is when people judge the writer rather than the blog itself. As far as I know, this has not happened to me... yet!

Some writers will be wise enough to not worry about whether they are judged and misunderstood or not. I wish I could be like that. This blog often expresses my deep thoughts and emotions and if I were to be misconstrued or judged I would find that almost paralysing. Although I know this would be an over reaction, and it is far more important that I please my Father in Heaven, rather than His creation.

We need to examine our hearts in this. When we read a blog, do we build up a picture of the writer in our heads that is totally incorrect? Is it our job to judge and condemn each other or should be leave that to the ultimate Judge who knows and tests our hearts? How then, in this light, should we read blogs? How do we guard our hearts against criticism or pride? How do we
make sure our heart is right before God? We need to "strive for peace with everyone" (Hebrews 12 v 14) which means working hard at it, even if we differ in opinion. We need to see past our own prejudices, defence mechanisms and pride. If we cannot do this, then perhaps we need to get before God and ask Him to help us change. He has commanded us to do these things, and He can give us the power to make it possible for us to do them.

Let's be more aware of the things in our lives we need to deal with, before daring to point any out to other people. It's not up to us, after all.