Thursday, 22 September 2016

Fab Friday Linky #50

Welcome to the Fab Friday Linky hosted by the fantastic Su at Ethan n Evelyn and co-hosted, this week, by me!

I linked up to one of the first Fab Friday linkys and was a featured blogger so it's lovely to be asked to co-host for the fiftieth Linky!

So come and share your posts with us today!

Please grab the badge code from the sidebar on the Ethan and Evelyn homepage and add it to your post. 

ethannevelyn


The posts could be about anything relating to parenting, lifestyle, crafts, reviews and related competitions. Either Su or I (if you are lucky you get both of us!) will comment on your link and we will pick two to be featured on next week's #FabFridayPost blog.

#FabFridayPost weekly linky open every Friday – Monday, (11:45pm)
   …

Here are the rules:

  • This week you can link up to 3 posts – old or new.
  • Please add #FabFridayPost Badge – it is only fair that everyone play by the same rule. If not, it will be deleted. Thank you.
  • PLEASE kindly Tweet us with #FabFridayPost @ethannevelyn & @attwtwo to let us know that you have posted and we will RT back. Thank you.
  • Share the love – please do not drop and run away! Comment on all host posts and also comment on at least 2 other posts, including one in front of you.
  • Please also share all posts you have read on Twitter with the #FabFridayPost hashtag. After all this is what it’s all about!
Onto the posts! Can't wait to read them all and thank you for linking up :) 



Saturday, 17 September 2016

I'm a Finalist!

Well I can't really believe it! I'm a finalist in the Mum and Working awards 2016! (Disclaimer: there may be a lot of exclamation marks in this post due to excitement!)

I was amazed and thrilled to make the shortlist so to make the final six is such an honour. I'm so grateful to anyone and everyone who voted to get me this far (thanks Mum!) and I'm in amazing company with Tired Daddy, A Working Mum's Blog, What the Redhead Said, Honey Mumster and Mumpreneur Inspiration.

They are all absolutely brilliant (and I'm the only one without my own domain name). As a result I don't fancy my chances for the win! I wouldn't say my work related blogging is particularly inspirational but it is honest and from the heart. My most recent post (which is equally about parenting and teaching) is my most read by a long way and has had the best response on Facebook by teaching parents who can obviously relate.

I love my jobs - as Mummy and as Teacher - and it was natural that I would blog about both: they complement each other. I genuinely think that being a mum has made me a better teacher, and being a teacher has made me a better mum.

So whether I win or not, I will continue to blog about both. I am humbled and honoured to be recognised in both roles and to win would be the icing on the cake.

But, no matter what, I will always be proud to be a teaching Mummy. And I'll always be proud to have made the finals.


To find out more about Mum and Working, the great things they do and the awards, simply click here.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Dear Parents. From Teacher.

Dear Parents

I'm sorry your child wet themselves today because they were so busy playing and didn't make it to the toilet on time. I'm sorry I didn't realise they had their own spare pants in their bag. I'm sorry I put them in pants from the 'spare uniform' box.

I'm sorry your child fell off the climbing frame today and bumped his head. I was standing right there. He was so excited to show me how he could swing upside down from the monkey bars. I'm sorry I turned round to answer the child who had just wet himself. I'm sorry I wasn't quick enough to catch him.

I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to read with your child yet this week. Another child had fallen off the climbing frame and came in with a head injury. As important as your child's reading is, head injuries will always take precedent over reading. I promise to try and read with her tomorrow.

I'm sorry your child came home with paint all over her shirt. I told her she needed an apron on and they are hanging up right next to the painting area. I was reading with another child so I didn't have my eyes on the painting area the entire time. I'm sorry I didn't see until her shirt was covered in paint.

I'm sorry that another child pushed your child over today. I was busy trying to clean paint off another child's shirt and I had my back to your child. I'm sorry that I couldn't stop the pushing and that all I can offer is that the other child had 'time out'.

I'm sorry that your child has sand in his hair. I was busy explaining to another child why we don't push each other and talking her through the rules of time out. I couldn't see the sand tray from where we were talking.

I'm sorry that your child cannot, with the best will in the world, be the only child in my care. I know how you feel. I want my child to be looked out for in school too. I don't want him pushed over. I don't want him to fall off the climbing frame. I want him to read with his teacher every week.

But, maybe because I understand the demands of the classroom, I know that this might not always be the case. Because I know this:

I am teaching your child to be independent.

That means letting him climb to his heart's content on the climbing frame whilst sharing in his successes and making sure he doesn't push himself beyond his limits. But sometimes accidents happen.

It means that sometimes she will have paint all over her. She is learning to take responsibility for things like putting an apron on. But more importantly, it means that she has been learning to express herself creatively.

It means that sometimes other children might push him over. Your child might understand socially appropriate behaviour. Others don't. It is my job to help teach them. Without these situations, some children will never learn. They will become adolescents who push then adults who push. Sometimes they need a reason to have 'time out'. To reflect on their behaviour.

It means that sometimes your child might be wearing spare uniform. As her independence develops, she will need to wear it less.

But you know what else it means?

It means I allow someone else to look after and care for my children (and I pay for the privilege) so that I can come to work and care for your children instead.

Whilst my child is busy painting me a picture at nursery, I am being grumbled at because your child has paint on her shirt.

Whilst my child has split his lip falling off the slide at nursery, I am being told I should have been watching your child more closely.

Whilst my child is playing in the sand, I am being told I am not caring for your child properly.

I am caring for your child instead of caring for my own child.

Not just for money. But because I love my job. Because I know how important it is to me to have caring, loving professionals looking after my children.

I am that caring, loving professional for your child. But I only have two eyes. I only have two hands. Your child is your world. But I have thirty little worlds in one classroom and that's a lot of worlds to take care of.

So please don't take me for granted. I am caring for your child in place of my own. And I am doing so much that you don't see.

From Teacher



ethannevelyn
Pink Pear Bear

Monday, 22 August 2016

When Peppa Pig is Just Plain Silly

Peppa Pig is silly.

All the animals walk on two legs, talk and live in houses on the top of hills*. Miss Rabbit does all all the jobs. But I'm not even talking about that. I'm talking about moments within the world of Peppa Pig which just make no sense and are borderline ridiculous/confusing. 

Here are a few of my bug bears (and yes, I have devoted way too much time to Peppa Pig here):


1. Most of the characters have alliterative names. Even Zoe Zebra's twin sisters have (made up?!) alliterative names in Zuzu and Zaza. What, therefore, is the explanation for poor George Pig? Chloe Pig has also been denied a name in fitting with her pigginess although I think the creators were going along the lines of 'Cousin Chloe'. Poor Chloe; destined forever to introduce herself as a relation to Peppa Pig in order to capitalise on her alliterative name. And her baby brother, also a pig? Alexander. These poor infant piggies.

*2. Whilst we're talking about most of the characters, let's talk about the fact that being true to nature went decidedly out of the window the moment the creators decided to make animals talk. And live in houses. Why, then, did it suddenly become crucial to maintain a bit of scientific fact and have the rabbits live in a burrow. These rabbits talk, wear clothes and make carrot soup (in a blender probably - no doubt the burrow is on grid) so why not just let them live in a house like the rest of the inhabitants of Peppa Pig world? I appreciate the education in the episode where we learn about the burrow but this then just makes my children think it's all educational and that pigs sleep in bunk beds.

3. Now I know Peppa is in some sort of Narnia where time never really moves on and so, despite the odd birthday party here and there, the animals remain forever the same age. So I understand why George never really grows his vocabulary or the ability to speak in sentences. But I am perplexed at the way he says "Ganpa ig". He can clearly pronounce the 'p' because he says it in "Ganpa". Why then can he not pronounce it in 'pig'? 

4. Have you ever blown arm bands up? It's tough going sometimes. Now imagine blowing them up whilst already on your kids' arms like Daddy Pig does when they all go to the swimming pool (the same episode in which eighteen month old George is left to change himself for swimming independently in his own cubicle?!) Poor Peppa and George; it'd be like having your blood pressure checked before entering the pool.

5. My eldest is four. I'm considering sending him alone on the train to France and then calling his destination a few minutes before his arrival just to inform them he's staying there. Sound ridiculous? Spare a thought then for poor Delphine Donkey who is, at a similar age, sent from France with a quick courtesy call to inform Peppa's family of her arrival two minutes before she gets to the station. Her parents don't even know if Peppa and the gang are at home! They could be on a month's holiday in Barbados. Thankfully they are at home and Delphine gets to enjoy such wonderfully cultural experiences as 'The Bing Bong Song' whilst attending playgroup with Peppa. Lucky Delphine. She probably wishes the pigs had been in Barbados. 

6. The animals have pets. It's confusing. Some animals can drive cars and shop in supermarkets whilst others remain as nature intended (ducks, Goldy the fish, Tiddles the tortoise). Maybe it's a mammals vs others thing?

7. Whilst we're discussing different animals, with the exception of the pets, all the animals are the same size. So an elephant is the same size as a cat who is the same size as a hamster (with a PhD in veterinary practice and an irritating voice). The only exception to size is age. Otherwise kangaroos and rabbits are one and the same.

8. Mr Potato. As if Peppa Pig world wasn't weird enough, the inhabitants have a potato the same size as an adult pig/rabbit/zebra/elephant (see previous point) who talks, hosts his own TV show and has his own theme park. As a local celebrity he is definitely an unusual choice. 

The thing with Peppa Pig is that, despite all the silliness, it is somehow genius for children. I'll never forget the moment I realised that Madame Gazelle (the French, single, playgroup leader with delightful eyeshadow) sounds so close to 'Mademoiselle' that it can't have been an accident. 

All  ridiculousness forgiven. Just.






Proudly linking up with:
Pink Pear Bear
Rhyming with Wine

Monday, 15 August 2016

Now You Are Four

Dear Big One

Four years ago I had just given birth. I was holding a naked, newborn you in my arms and I knew my whole world had changed. You became the centre of it and turned it upside down.

You taught me to feel everything with an intensity I never believed existed: exhaustion, excitement, frustration, joy. But most of all love. 

It's been an adventure Big One. We have travelled around the sun together four times. 

There's no bigger adventure than that. 

I hope you like your gifts today Big One. But know that, no matter how much you love them, they will never compare to the gift we were blessed with four years ago.

They will never compare to the gift of you. 

Love you forever. Always have. Always will.

Mummy



P.s sorry you haven't received the six board games you requested for the very first time at bed time last night. I need a bit more notice than that.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I Have An Announcement...

I have an announcement.



Actually no, it's not what you might think if you only looked at this picture.

I want to announce this:


I think, after carrying two children, I look more pregnant more often now, than when I was actually carrying them. I have more 'fat days'. More days where my tummy just wants to shout out to the world that it carried two babies and refuses to be contained. 

And some days I hate it. But then I realise I can breathe in, do some magic with my posture and I don't look fat anymore. In fact I kinda look a bit thin.




And that feels embarrassing to say. Why am I embarrassed to say 'yeah I look a bit skinny today'? Because I feel a fraud? No, not really. Because I'm definitely not 'skinny' but it's not the falsehood that makes me embarrassed. It's that I feel conceited. 

But I only feel that because we've sort of been conditioned to think that skinny is good. Skinny is perfection. It is the ideal for which we should strive. And not many people like to walk around saying 'I'm perfect'. 'I'm ideal'. It just feels big headed.

But that's not what we're saying when we acknowledge we look a bit skinny. Because skinny isn't the bloody be-all-and-end-all. There is no perfect. There is no ideal. Skinny, curvy (actually front on I'm way more curvy than skinny - but now I feel like I'm boasting about being Marilyn Monroe so you can see my problem here), pear- shaped, apple-shaped, hourglass-shaped. None of them are 'ideal'.

I'll tell you what is ideal. Owning it. Owning your body and loving it and respecting that it supports you and helps you move and function day in day out. 

I am me-shaped. And, as is clear from my pictures, being me is all about perspective. I can dwell on the things which get me down (I totally do this sometimes - husband has used the word martyr a few times) or I can look for the positives. Today I choose the positives. I don't do that everyday (see above for references to martyrdom) but today I do.

Because I'm not just talking about body image here. I'm talking about life. And, today, perspective tells me that I'm actually very freaking lucky. 

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
The Pramshed

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Ridiculous Things People Ask New Mums

Last week I wrote a post about ridiculous things people say to pregnant women and whilst sharing on Facebook, I had a few people comment about things people had said to them when they were new mums. Hence this post.

If you bump into a new mum today, try to avoid all of the following:

1. "What is it?" I had this quite a lot especially with my youngest who is becoming a typical 'pretty boy' in terms of looks. When he was a newborn, strangers in the street would actually ask "what is it?" As if even his species was unfamiliar. I admit that sometimes it's hard to tell what gender the baby is unless the pram is adorned with pink or baby blue (and even then, who are we to assume?!) The best way to get round this is to speak to the baby and say "you're beautiful - what's your name?" And just pray they have a gender obvious name like John or something. Whatever you do, just try to avoid asking "what is it?" as if you're not even sure if it's human.

2. "Is he good?" One of the more ridiculous things I've been asked. Yes, surprisingly, my four week old is not yet inherently bad.

3. "How's she sleeping?" Don't even ask unless the information is offered to you. When people ask this it's as if it's the Holy Grail of parenting. And as most new parents have yet to find it, asking if they've found it just rubs salt into a very sleep deprived wound.

4. "Are you having anymore?" Most new mums are still padding themselves 'down there' with the equivalent of a folded hand towel and are still wincing when they use the loo. "Having anymore" would require things happening 'down there' that I don't think any new parents want to think about very soon.

5. "How are you feeding him?" I don't visit friends with toddlers and ask what they're planning to feed them for the next week. It's a personal question and, even if it's well meant, people can get a bit defensive and feel a bit guilty. New mums do not need to be made to feel guilty, even if it's by accident.

6. "When's it due?" Someone asked me this whilst I was pushing my first in the pram which I thought was hugely unobservant and it made it a bit awkward when I had to point to him and say "last week." It can be hard to tell so possibly just avoid this question altogether to avoid new mum on day 8 feeling like a big fat whale.

Really the only questions you need to ask new parents, especially new mums are:

Are you ok?

How can I help?

Do you know how amazingly well you're doing?

Do you want chocolate?
Proudly linking up with
ethannevelyn
Rhyming with Wine
Pink Pear Bear