Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Cupboard
  The cupboard never got cleaned.

And it needed cleaning and tidying for sure.
Too many coats in there,too many hoodies,bags,scarfs,hats,
gloves,socks,too many everything's!!It needed sorting,a total declutter and a really good wipe out so we could use it properly again. It was not a life or death sort of job but it was on my to do list and it did need doing.

And the dishes needed doing and the washing and the dinner and I had a little boy around.

A little boy who is usually at school during the daytime. A little boy that I only get to spend time with after school,when he is tired and therefore grumpy. And in the short space between the school pick up and bedtime we have to fit in homework,dinner,bath time and the all important Xbox time.

I thought about the cupboard and I thought about the little boy,it was not really much of a choice.

And so we played.

We knocked skittles down and created a elaborate scoring system that made an ordinary skittle game into a challenge of the highest degree. Many post it notes were used as I tried to teach Chips about 'tallys'. Who needs maths homework that nobody understands when you have adding and calculating going on right before your very eyes. Teaching through play at its natural best.

We read a after dinner lunch about The Tobermory Cat and looked for our favourite cats,poring over the illustrations until our decisions were made. Mine were the slightly spooky singing black cats,Chips were the mischievous,chunky,fishing cats. It's good to have a opinion Chips,I love seeing you develop this.



We ate a chickeny soup lunch together,no sandwiches for us today - oh no,instead we had warm soup,a plate of buttery soldiers and each others company as we chit chattered our way through our late lunch. It was blissfully peaceful,slow and steady,no rush whatsoever.

Later that afternoon we played with the leftover birthday balloons. To the sounds of Queens Don't Stop Me Now we energetically bashed a balloon around the room,it was funny and many smiles and giggles were had.

As I prepared dinner that night Simon Mayo played his signature tune Enjoy Yourself and the words struck a chord with me.

"Enjoy yourself,it's later than you think,
Enjoy yourself,while you're still in the pink,
The years go by as quickly as a wink.
Enjoy yourself,enjoy yourself,it's later than you think."

I smiled to myself.

To this day the cupboard remains untidied.

Monday, April 14, 2014

 Splashy Smiles
Let's dig deep and find some smiles

Tennis balls ~ how they fit snuggly into pockets and can be carried around unbeknown to any adult,even to school and eventually after a day and a half in the school playground finally get lost over the tall iron fence where the construction work is taking place. At least they have had their moment of glory and in May,when the construction work is finished,Chips thinks he will get the ball back. I don't quite share his belief. We shall see.

Spring flowers ~ so bright and cheery,on days where the sun shines brightly and days when it doesn't.

Chips' swimming ~ the most perfect breaststroke he has ever achieved! Arms and legs together in synchronisation - circle arms and froggy legs,brilliant.

And lastly a few lines for my boy ~

"Little chocolate faced boy,playing catch on the street,
How many times did it land at our feet?"

The answer is full of giggley sighs and smiles and lots of bending down to pick up a ball.



Monday, April 7, 2014

 We Are Buds
We are buds,you and me. 

We have adventures together. 

We wander off to parks and forests and we walk along river banks. 

We clamber over rocks,swapping roles of who is leading,time and time again - who wobbles most.... you or me?

We have cake bar picnics sat on benches,watching the river flow by and then we get mucky,dirty hands as we dig for stones to throw into the water,forever trying to make the biggest,bestest splash. 

We sit on roundabouts together,getting dizzy as they spin around,and we swing backwards and forwards on the swings,seeing how high we can get and how hard we can push our legs out and in and out and in,forever trying to catch the elusive swing rhythm that as of yet manages to evade us.
We go to parks a lot.

We walk along pavements,chattering about F1,buses,the Xbox,aeroplanes,clouds,you climb on walls,I hold my breath and watch you go.

We visit pound shops and choose sweeties to scoff on the journey home - wine gums rule!

We play the colour car game - we play to win. I never knew there were so many silver cars in the world...I do now! And you cheat and pretend white is silver and I say that Im not playing anymore and you laugh and say sorry,and I carry on playing.

Indoors we build with Lego,none of us are natural builders but we still plug on and build. I build houses and dens and you build towers and meticulously count how many bricks you can fit together before the tower collapses into a brightly coloured heap of bricks.

I read you stories,we both love books,and now you read me stories - how cool is that.

I pretend to eat you up and you squeal and say no. I have done this forever,I will be sad when it stops. I say ''Go on...just one curl,'' and you give me such a fiery look that I collapse into giggles....you do not. 
Mummy is a tease,isn't she.
I also try to sneak a piece of your brekkie each morning,you look at me with those flashing eyes and scold me so sharply and then as I walk away you say "Oh go on then,'' and hand me a cheerio,cornflake,shreddie or rice krispie.
And I smile. As I have just mentioned,Mummy is a tease.

I take you swimming every week,we stand in those hot,hell like little cubicles getting proper wound up,me trying to keep calm under severe provocation and you snapping like a snap dragon at me. As for the swim hat....who hates it most...you or me...
And yet we are both so proud of what you do at swim lessons and your swimming achievements that we wouldn't have Thursdays any other way - with a sausage roll tucked into your pocket and that wet curly hair of yours we rule those changing rooms.

I tuck you into bed each night,sometimes frazzled by the days events and I kiss you goodnight and walk out of your room desperate for space to clear my mind after a day filled to the brim with busy,but I only get to the end of the landing before I go back to your room to say yet another na nites and to kiss you again,because,you and I are buds you know,let that always be so.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nine
Nine
Nine years old.
What is nine like?
What does it feel like?
What does it look like?
 What does nine think about?
What does nine do?

Nine is nearly big.
At nine you are in upper school,year five,
no longer with the younger members of your school,
instead you are mixing with the big year sixes,
you are classed as the older children of your school
and the expectation is that you should behave accordingly.
Whether or not that happens I'm not too sure but still,the expectation
 is there.
You qualify for a pen license and you go to the infant school
to do transition work with their year twos.

Nine,
Elements of independence are creeping in and a
want to know more about the mysterious world of grown ups.
Don't bother trying to delve into this realm,little one,
believe me its not that great.
The ability to stay up later and watch the second half of the
footy matches and to buy whatever sweeties you like does
not outweigh the worries that grown ups sometimes have.  
Trust me on this one.

Thankfully,you still have a wonderful sense of boyishness.
You do not care one bit about getting wet in the puddles that
 congregate on the school drive or wading through sticky mud when we
are out on one of our infamous walks.
 You laugh as you squeeze through the space between the lamp-post
and the street sign on your way home from school,
as you grow,the space gets tighter and it doesn't help that you insist
on wearing your school bag to preform this stunt.
One day you will get stuck and then what will we do! 
With this kind of play you do not have a care in the world.
I like this....
Keep this as long as possible,sweet boy.
We are too long grown up to lose this just yet.
We have a washing machine for your muddy clothes
and a shower for you - go play without a care,little boy.

Due to your mothers unswerving persistence,you do know
quite a lot about nature and woods,trees,ducks,rivers etc.
You will notice things like sunsets,you know the names 
of different types of ducks,you point flowers out.
I love this and I hope that it will never disappear.
If I have taught you just a teeny bit about the
greatness of nature and the outside world
its a job well done,no matter how hard 
the fight was.

This is written with a very wry smile because my opponent in that fight was
technology.
In this world of computers,Wiis,Nintendo,ipads and the almighty king of
most nine year old boys - the xbox,this has been a hard fight.
You adore technology,absolutely adore it.
Yes technology grabs you and I pull you away.
Hence the battle.
I do appreciate that both things are important in life -
its all about balance I guess,
the bright instant gratification of the screens and sitting and watching
compared with
the soft gentleness of nature and walking and doing.
Both are applicable in the world today,lets try to find a balance,Chips.

Along with technology,you love sport.
It would not be a lie to say that you live,breathe and eat sport.
Any sport really.
Your favourites are F1,then Motogp,then football.
Oh and lets not forget tennis,darts and any Olympic sport you may glance upon.
You swim each week and you have started at the school footy club.
Anybody that knows you will end up knowing a bit more about sport,whether they like it or not!This is a fact.
And your knowledge of sport is incredible.

Your other big love is books.You are a bookworm.
There is never a time when you have not got a book by your side.
You read as you walk to school and you fall
to sleep with a book on your face sometimes.
A good thing to love,books and reading,I hope this
stays with you forever,I don't doubt that it will.

At nine you are still young enough to marvel at rainbows
and hailstones and ice,you walk to school and talk about the 
different things you see,the world around you is still interesting at nine.

Your hair is still blonde,the ringlet curls now are turning to soft waves,
I love your hair,its very you.
The boy with the curly,twirly hair.
And the biggest grin in the world.
You are a bundle of a boy,soft and gentle,kind and loving,
talkative and noisy and very,very funny.

Nine.... my boy at nine

  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Magic Stuff....Snow.
Since forever Chips has been waiting,in great anticipation,for snow.

November came and he was certain it would snow but it didn't. Then December came and Chips knew for a fact that it would snow...it had said so on the news and it was obviously Christmas time and we all know it snows at Santa time....he waited and waited but it didn't snow. January came and by now Chips was getting a bit desperate,he still was hopeful though as it was now winter and it always snows at winter time...January came and went....without snow,plenty of rain but no snow. This was getting Chips down. Where was the snow?! It just wasn't on!

And then one day at the beginning of February it started to snow.

It was about ten o'clock. I was at work,listening to the readers,when all of a sudden someone spotted snow falling past the classroom window.

Well you would not believe the pandemonium this caused! As the word of snow spread around the room the children were whipped into a frenzy. They all stood gazing out of the window,watching the snow fall. And even better still it was playtime and the decision was made to let the children play in the snow. They were beside themselves!

And it happened to be my playground duty.

So that was why I ended up in the play area supervising thirty,six year olds. It was magical.

The children were all bundled up,zips done,hats,scarfs and gloves on. And they were buzzing,ready to get out in the snow.

Once we got out in the play area,that was it,there were children,movement and noise everywhere. Exited shouts of

"Let's make a snowball"
"I'm making a snowman"
"Can I make a snow angel?"

echoed around and as I looked at the play area not a single child was stood still. Lots of the children had their hands raised up in the air trying to catch the snow and at least 95% had their tongues out as they tried to catch the snow on their tongues.

Some children were scrapping any snow they could find together and then holding it in their hands and gazing at it. Even the smallest bit of snow caused great excitement and big grins.

The snow began to settle on the childrens coats and in their hair. One little girl had the most pretty snowflake fall on her coat,it looked just like a star,a pretty little sequin star but it was a real snowflake,so perfectly formed. Magic.

For a moment I stood still and took in the scene,the magic of falling snow.

How it falls so softly,transforming everything it touches and making even the ordinary item beautiful.
How it makes you want to run and spin and lie down in it.
How it makes you try to catch it...with hands held out,reaching for that elusive snowflake that melts as soon as you touch it.
How it brings out a desire to catch a snowflake on your tongue. I mean,seriously,why do we want to do that?!And yet we do. Especially children.

So if it's so magical,why do us grown ups nearly combust at the mention of snow?I know some grown ups like snow but in general most people I talk to do not want any snow. Infact just as the children were filled with excitement at seeing the snow,the adults around them were mainly filled with dismay.How were they going to get home if it settled,please,please don't let it settle. Have we got enough milk and bread?Where are the wellies? Its cold and wet,get me out of here!
We see it as a inconvenience,it causes chaos to our routine and in this busy life we have no time for chaos,life is chaotic on a good day when everything is running to schedule,throw in snow and bang our whole routine crumbles and gives us yet more stress and none of us need any more stress added to our daily dose of real life. We have things to do,places to be,no time to play or even stop for a moment,we are on task,following routines,trying desperately to keep all the balls in the air at the same time,the mad juggling of life that comes along with being a grown up and especially a grown up with a family. Snow makes us stop. Sometimes it makes 'everything' stop. Pretty powerful stuff this snow...if it can make this world stop it's hectic busy culture...even if it's only for a short time. And once it has stopped the world from its busyness it does something else too,it encourages grown ups to play,not many things have the power to do that these days. Same as I just said...powerful stuff this snow.

On this occasion the snow did not settle,infact as quickly as it came it then disappeared,much to the adults joy and the children's despair.

So the ten minute playtime that was so joyfully embraced was,maybe,the only chance that the children were going to get to play in snow this year. Iam glad that I saw it.

Over in the junior school the children were not allowed out to play in the snow. It was wet play for them. The closest they got to the snow was to stand at the windows and watch it fall. Well some children,not many,couldn't resist the lure of the falling snow and they snuck outside and held out their hands to catch snowflakes. They got in big trouble when the teacher found out,my young un,the little boy who had waited so desperately for snow,was one of those children. I think the magic of touching snow outweighed the telling off he got. And although I did say to him that he shouldn't disregard what teachers told him,I could understand the reasons he did it and I did smile about it.

I'll finish with a comment from a little boy who was allowed to play in the snow,he said to me....

"If you look up to the sky when it's snowing you feel just as if you are flying"

Magical stuff that there snow.

Monday, February 17, 2014

 Pennies
There is an old saying that goes something like this

"Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves"

Well I need the pounds to do 'something' so I decided to take care of the pennies.

With this in mind I gathered some spare coins that had accumulated around the house and gave them to Chips to put into the coin machine at Morrisons. I thought it would keep him amused after he had finished his Saturday morning breakfast and give us a bit of breathing space to finish our breakfasts in peace.

Saturday came,Chips finished breakfast first and merrily trundled off to the coin changing machine.

We sat eating,chatting and enjoying our food and the little bit of peace. Well I say peace,and here I grin,we could not quite see Chips but we could hear him or should I say 'the coins' dropping into the machine and the machine gurgling away as it ate all those 1p and 2ps. It's not the quietest of machines! Bit like a slot machine I guess!

Chips came back with a voucher for a pound. Not a lot I know but better than nothing and enough to buy some sweets or put towards a comic. I also liked the idea that it was teaching him that loose change was worth something and if he did save it then eventually it could be used for something.

Eventually the shopping was finished and we arrived at the checkout where Chips handed over the voucher and received his pound coin.

And as he stood at the end of the checkout he noticed some daffodils. And he noticed the price....it was a pound.

And he decided in a flash that he would spend his pound on a bunch of daffodils for his mummy.

I tried to gently talk him around and get him to spend the money on himself but his mind was firmly set on those daffodils.

The cashier was visibly moved,I think we all were.

He went to the back of me and the shopping and stood queuing to buy a bunch of daffodils for his mummy,with his hard begotten pound.

There were a lot of smiles and melted hearts as he paid for those daffodils....especially mine...
Linking this up to Jaimes Magic Moments 
Its been a while since I have been at Magic Moments.
Im looking forward to see what everybody has been up to.