Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dear Guardian of the Medicines

Dear Guardian of the Medicines,

I am not a regular frequenter of your parts. I only come when I have to. Often when I arrive at your barricade I am tired due to sleepless nights with poorly children. I am harassed because I don't have much time before going back to the poorly children. Therefore a smile and a welcome would go a long way to making my experience of your fort a better one.

Although I may enter your fort with bags under my eyes, scruffy hair and maybe the odd dirty mark on my coat, I am not stupid. I have been caring for my children through various different illnesses for 11 1/2 years now. I know what works and what doesn't. I know what I need. It would be extremely refreshing to just be given what I would like to buy instead of being given the Spanish Inquisition in order to buy it. I know, you need to do your job too. But I need to do mine. And mine is caring for my children. Sometimes you prevent me from doing this with your barrage of questions and rules from a higher authority.

Your questions make me wonder if you think I am abusing my children in some way. Are you suspicious of every mother or is it just me? Do I look like the kind of mother who would overdose her children? You might be interested to know that I always follow the guidelines and give the correct doses.

What kind of society do we live in now where mothers can't go with their instincts and do their best for their children? What a world it is where mothers are guilty until proven innocent. I am the mother of my boys and sometimes, not always, I know what is best for them. Why, oh why is this not recognised in our society? Mothers, who love their children with a fierce protectiveness, are not allowed to protect.

So, Guardian of the Medicines, next time I come to your barricade I would like you to treat me as someone who has a brain and is using it to do the best for my children.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


I wonder if someone can invent a 'mum-o-meter'. A bit like a pedometer but it would count how many times someone shouted 'MUUUUM!!' in one day. It doesn't matter where I am in the house, someone will shout it and expect me to go and attend to their every need. Sometimes they don't even really want me, they are just shouting it before 'someone else' does so that they can make sure the 'someone else' gets into trouble before they do.

Some days I find myself answering the call before I realise that I am, actually, behaving like a slave. How lovely it must be to have the ability to click your fingers and be waited upon, listened to, fanned and have grapes popped into your mouth one by one. Ok, I don't do the fanning and grapes bit. That was a small exaggeration. But the constant demand is wearing thin.

Take this evening, for example, whilst emptying the car of the myriad of boxes and baskets I use for my work. I entered the front door fully laden (too fully laden, but I didn't want to make another trip out in the rain to the car) and from the lounge I heard the call, "MUUUM!!".
"Yes" I replied.
"Will you bring me my school bag?"
"Eerm, no because my arms are rather full of other things."
I then walked, almost dropping everything I was carrying, through the lounge and stopped quickly to open another door. Unfortunately I happened to stop in front of the television. The worst place possible. Heads began to do the Egyptian dance as they tried to see the screen around me.
"Mum, can you move?"
This was petrol to my flame. Or tumble dryer fluff to my kindling (if you know my husband you will know why this makes sense).
"I'm not your slave!" I retorted (rather childishly, I'll admit, but it did feel good). "Why can't you think of anyone but yourselves!"

When my biggest boy was very little, I taught him to say "please beautiful mummy" every time he wanted something. Perhaps I'll reinstate this phrase. It's far more pleasing to the ear.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


"Muuum! I've got nothing to do!!"

This is repeated over and over in my house. Somehow I am expected to magically come up with exciting ways to entertain my children throughout the day, and sometimes the night. The problem is, whatever suggestion I make is never the right one. So, I have now given up making suggestions. Oh yes, I've tried the good old 'put lots of ideas in a pot and when they are bored they can pick one out' idea. They never want to do the idea they've picked out either. So, I have now begun a new tactic.

Jonah: "Muuum! There's nothing to do!"
Me: "Oh dear, you'd better do nothing then."
Jonah:"No, but what can I do?"
Me: "Well, if there's nothing to do, you'd better do nothing."
Jonah: "But you've always got ideas. You must have an idea."
Me: "Well, if there is nothing to do then I have no ideas."

I continued with making the tea while Jonah howled for 20 minutes, before running off up to his bedroom to draw some pictures.

Nope, he's absolutely right. There's never anything to do.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Temptation's Door

Oh it's a whole new ball game. I was expecting this with son #2, but not at 8 years old.

He's a passionate one, is our Max. When he decides to do something, he throws himself into it. When he is angry, the rest of the town know about it. When he is happy, he is bouncing off the ceiling with pleasure. When he didn't like girls, he would pretend to be sick every time we mentioned the words 'girl', 'wedding' or 'love'. And now he does like girls again..... Well, I'm sure you can imagine....

And so I find myself, eyes widened in horror, watching my little boy fending off girls. They like him. He's a handsome (in my Mummy opinion), funny young man. I can understand where they are coming from. What I can't understand is why they are coming from that particular place at 8 and 9 years old. I have lost count of the number of texts I have received the last few days from one particular girl wanting to speak to my Max. My Mixy Maxy Moo. Oops, I'm doing that uncool Mummy thing again.

Suddenly my boy is thrown into a world of who is 'going out' (except that they don't actually go anywhere) with who. He, thankfully, doesn't want to 'go out' with any of them. He doesn't understand why girls want to just 'chat' and why they talk on and on all the time when he just likes to play tig and chase around with his mates.

Except he's not the only one doing the chasing. And some of the ones doing the chasing are beautiful, almost seductive, and used to getting what they want. And they want my boy. So, we have to teach him things I certainly wasn't expecting to be teaching yet.

A long time ago, a wise dad writing about a seductive woman, wrote this to his son:

"Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house." (Proverbs 5 v 8)

I'm not an over-protective mother. Nothing could be further from the truth. But I will be teaching my boys to stay away from women who will not do them good. I want them to be full of wisdom to make the right choices for themselves. I want them to be able to resist temptation. We need to equip them for this because if we don't, they will walk right up to temptation's door and step through it. The consequences of this are not even worth thinking about. Our job as the parents of our three passionate boys is to teach them how to cope with the honey dripping calls of temptation.

Bring back those days of throwing up at kissing and vowing never ever to get married because girls are disgusting. They were much more simple.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Big it up for the Boys

Having spent the last 2 weeks with my boys (and not enough time away from them), I am in a pretty good postition to list the merits of boys. Boys get alot of bad press, but they do have some really great qualities which need to be championed. We all know they are noisy, boisterous, full of energy and attracted to dirt. But, do we know these other wonderful things about boys?

1. When boys walk through automatic doors in shops, they can use 'the force' to open them. If they can't use 'the force' they can use their 'ghost hand'. If they haven't got a ghost hand, a ninja kick does the trick perfectly.

2. Boys laugh out loud at all the things we would like to laugh about but are too socially aware to laugh about.

3. When you drive over a large hump in the road, try driving fast and shouting "hold on to your willies boys" and enjoy the reaction.

4. Boys are loving and caring. They may squeeze the poo out of a worm, but they will always enjoy giving you a hug afterwards.

5. Competition, whilst sometimes seen as a negative trait, can be used to their advantage. Jonah has most definitely the loudest voice in the family. It has taken 5 years of shouting training, but he can now beat his brothers hands down.

6. When given a situation in which to exhibit their strength, boys can be extremely willing and can almost reach the dizzy heights of the world's strongest man. If there is a girl watching, their strength increases even more.

7. Boys are so much fun. They take silly risks, but laugh at themselves when they get it wrong. Unless their younger brothers are laughing at them too. If that is the case, abort the laughter at top speed.

8. If a boy has a small injury, for example a grazed knee, it can be transformed very quickly into a war wound. Boys take great delight in their war wounds and have even been known to have injury competitions with one another.

9. Boys are actually thoughtful. They may not come across as thoughtful, but if you look beyond the silliness you will actually see that they are showing you their love. For example, Max enjoys reading jokes to me from his joke book. I am not especially interested in bad jokes, but by sharing the things he loves with me, he is sharing his love with me. So, I give him time and listen to his terrible jokes and try to smile even if I can't bring myself to laugh.

10. Boys make me smile. Alot.

11. If there is a superhero around, a boy will always want to be them. This can be used to great advantage.

12. Last but certainly not least, if a boy wants to tell you something important, he will just tell you. He will not beat about the bush and try to be tactful. "Dad, your head is more bald today" or "Mum, your tummy is like a trampoline". He will tell you it straight. I like this, even if I don't like what he is saying.

And so as I begin this new year, I want to find more positive things about my boys. Being the mum of my boys is exhausting and feels like a neverending energy drain sometimes, but I will have them at home for such a short time. I want them to know I am for them. It's time to big it up for the boys.