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A farm visit

I’m lucky to have been able to bring most of the older bears up in a farm environment.

Fresh air ,dirt and animals are always a fabulous combination for kids.

So, I was in my element when we popped over to a friend’s farm this weekend.

A long drive to Atlantas led us to their stunning farm. As you stepped outside of the aircon interior of the car, you could taste the dirt and smell the rich aroma of farm life.
Bear was quite happy to mingle with his fellow red haired friend and they shared a lovely afternoon swimming and running about barefoot.
The highlight of bears farm trip were the horses and we’ve discovered he loves animals.
He took a trip around the farm with monkey and met the other farm animals, before trying to “love ” the shaggy farm dog.
I believe all children need to experience nature so it was a delight for me to watch bear toddle barefoot after his new found friends.

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Dealing with uninvolved grandparents

I grew up on my grandmothers lap and consider myself most fortunate. There is no love that compares to the unwavering ,unconditional love of a grandparent. 

Over the years , it was my grandmother’s wisdom I turned to . Her advice and counsel I saught .  I knew no matter what she would fiercely protect me and love me through  my bad moods, trials and tears.

Not all granparents are loving

When my eldest child was born , I was estatic to share this bond with her and to watch my own mother become a special star in my daughters life.

It was also round about this time that I discovered not all grandparents are cut from the same cloth.

A few examples

My mother,  was an alcoholic who viewed her grandchildren as a nuisance and reminder of her age.   Up until her death she was completely disinterested in bonding with my beautiful children. 

My father , had left the country. In the beginning he exchanged a gift or two but  he last saw any of my children 17 years ago. Not once since has he directly enquired about them. 

My ex husband’s father, who was absent through his sons life, was even less interested. After a few months of sending updates with our first child,  he firmly asked my why I didn’t have an abortion and save his teenage son the embarrassment of ‘my‘ predicament. It was right there that his involvement stopped completely.

As for his mother, she had little time for the children. She was always too busy and I would run after her trying to involve her in birthdays and the children’s other events. She always had an excuse as to why she couldn’t attend. She lived with us at one stage , and was intolerant and rude to the children around her who just wanted to spend time with  her.

Gran to the rescue

Once again I was blessed to have my grandmother fill this imensely important role in both mine and my children’s lives. Unfortunately she passed away when most of my children were still too young to remember how special she was.

Each week she would phone to find out how they were. Each weekend she baked treats and hand made toys for them. At night , when she lived with us, she’d gather my 5 older children onto her bed singing with them and telling them wild tales ;taking them on imaginary adventures. 

The times that we lived far apart from each other she would write to the children, post small parcels and phone them. 

Always she made an effort to find out about their lives, milestones and interests.

So how do you deal with a disinterested grandparent ?

Grandparents hold such a special role in their grandchildren lives and it’s both frustrating and hurtful to know your child will not have an actively involved grandparent in their lives.

 How do you cope with this?

Make an effort 

Always make the effort.  Contrary to what you may feel or believe, you never want your children to feel you isolated an important person from their lives.

Send the photos,  text the milestones,  share the certificates. Invite your parents to birthdays and school functions. If the children are older, let them phone and draw pictures. 

Make an effort to visit them and encourage visits to your home,especially if they stay far away.

You will all remember our road trip to get Bear dedicated in his grandmothers church in order to include her in his special day.

Remind them that they are special in their grandchildren eyes

Send them quotes that your children have said about them. Make a big deal of grandparents day, their birthdays, etc.  

Shortly after my divorce , i took a photo of my youngest two children’s handmade cards for my mother in law and shared them on her Facebook wall. I wanted her to see I divorced her son but she was still special to her grandchildren.

Advise them on how to bond with your child

Some grandparents are just clueless. It’s been a while since they had children and parenting has changed. They may not know your child well enough to bond with them. Suggest a shared hobby.

I remember asking my mother in law to teach my children to build puzzles as she spent hours building puzzles of her own.

Know when to give up

As much as it is important to foster a relationship between your child and their grandparent , it is equally as important to know when to stop trying.

If you have put the effort in and receive no result , you will eventually be setting yourself and your child up for failure.

Protecting their emotions is just as important, if not more so , as encouraging bonds with family. 

If the grandparent makes no effort after your attempts , it is most likely the healthier option to stop trying and wait for them to want a relationship with your child.

My father in law, now in his late seventies , wants to connect with his adult grandsons. I have left this choice up to them. They need to decide if they actually want a relationship with someone who wasn’t involved in their lives.

Moving on

Whilst it may be difficult and hurtful to step aside from disinterested grandparents know that you can break the cycle by one day being the type of grandparent you invisioned in your children’s lives.

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Caught up in cuddles

Caught up in cuddles 

(Judy dooley)
When I woke up this morning

I had a lot to do 

My goals were all set out 

And then I cuddled You!
I meant to go and shower

But I cuddled you some more

I meant to make the bed 

And sweep the dirt from the floor
I meant to do the dishes,

The washing and clean our home 

But I was sure I saw you niggle 

Or was it a little groan ?
I thought I’d just sit here

And cuddle you some more

After all I had the time…..

But now its half past four !
I haven’t cleaned the house 

The meal is left undone 

I got so caught up in cuddles

I was having too much fun

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An early Spur celebration 

This weekend saw the start of papas anual weekend away with the soccer guys. This meant Bear and I would be alone at home.

I had hoped Kiki and Monkey would come for the weekend as I’m not a fan of  staying alone but  with both of them having German measles that wasn’t an option. 

So , It was just Bear and I. 


Friday

Early birthday celebrations

Friday morning , after quickly grabbing a few birthday gifts for the weekends birthday parties,  we collected my bestie P and headed to start our weekend.

A quick stop in at a Mommy and me tea and then to the mall.

Early birthday suprise

I decided to do a party for one at the local Spur. Bear was quickly seated with his Totem teepee pictures to colour ( and wax fatties to throw on the ground) , Indian brave headdress on his head and hungry tummy waiting to tuck into his plate of smilies. 

Ice cream smash

He had a ball and I secretly noted that he must be getting bigger as he hadn’t moaned yet to get out the baby chair. 😂😂

All too soon he was done and ready for his Chico the clown ice cream. (After all what is a kiddies birthday without Chico? )

Out of nowhere the sound of clapping and chanting caused poor bear to stop colouring and look with horror as the entire Spur staff quota made their way towards us singing happy birthday to him.

He was proudly presented with a sparkly ice cream (which also caught the serviette on fire 😄) 

Just this once,I sat back and allowed him the privilege of  a non OCD mom and handed him his spoon to tuck into the ice cream.

The look of delight on his face was gianormous. 

 I don’t actually think he spooned any ice cream into his mouth but he did manage to stick his hand in it, gets some on his nose  and try share with me. 

Finally we tidied up the melted mess and he received his toy … I’m not sure yet how he’s going to use the wax sticks but that’s a problem for another  day.

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Guess who slept in his own cot ? 

After almost a year of sharing our bed last night  I confidently put bear into his cot…

….We both survived! !!!!

Motivation 

I’ll admit that the motivation behind his transition to cot had more to  do with the fact that I couldn’t breathe, my throat felt like fire and someone was blazing matches into my eardrums … the thought of a now well bear catching this virus again scared me more than a few tears of protest from him.

And honestly …. I just wanted to sleep !!

Lead up

Having said that though, I have been concidering the move for the last week or so. He really is getting too big to be in our bed and sleeps well in the cot at school.

Blanket fort

So over the weekend I turned his cot on its side, threw over a blanket and taa daa…

….a blanket fort.

He loved the fort and spent hours going in and out with his trucks and cars.

Mamma even abandoned the adult world and climbed in with him.

Time will tell

Night one done and dusted and here’s holding thumbs for night two. After all it only takes two weeks for a habit to form and maybe now this mamma will get more sleep 😉

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2am the hour for poets and teething baby mamas. …

Its 2am

For the last 45 minutes I’ve been rocking a miserable,  feverish, weepy eyed congested bear. 

Those top two teeth are in a lock down battle with his gums and as I rocked him gently back to sleep sent a silent curse to the tooth fairy to let her know just what kind of a b*tch I think she is.

Toothache is one of the worst pains and I can only imagine what our poor little mini human must be going through.

Feeling very sorry for myself for now being wide awake the contemplation of freezing while going to the loo is a hard dilemma as lay under the warm duvet. 

Afraid to move, knowing even the slightest movement will cause a misrible bear to stir and scream out from the pits of toothy pain hell. 

Too cold to move and truthfully too exhausted to breathe let alone make the ten steps to the bathroom.

Eventually, my child producing body could no longer hold the demands of my “too much coffee at bedtime ” bladder and I must venture the darkened room towards the bathroom.

Quietly and very slowly I raised myself from the bed. Holding my breath in fear that my movement would wake bear. 

And off to the loo….

I wondered as I sat on the icy seat how many mamas were awake doing the pj drill with me?

How many mamas would be holding their eyelids open in the morning trying to get through a day of mundane work and house chores dreaming of a few uninterrupted hours of pure blissful sleep ?

As I write this , I’ve sprayed bears nose twice . I’ve cuddled him more and I’ve watched as he moaned in his sleep.

I doubt I’m getting much sleep tonight mamas 

And as for that tooth fairy …..

Im not a fan