I am here for you

My five year old daughter and my eight year old son were watching a programme they had watched repeatedly; they practically knew it word for word.

I was in the kitchen cooking when I heard a scrambling, a bang and someone sprinting up the stairs.  It seemed someone was trying to get out fast.  Minutes later my five year old was hanging around the kitchen, almost loitering:

‘What’s wrong, where is your brother?’ I asked

‘He’s run upstairs, this is the scary part’ She replied

‘How can it be scary? You have watched it a thousand times! You know exactly what is coming next’

‘You are right’ she said and shouted upstairs ‘Don’t worry, come back down, I am here for you!’

‘I am not scared!’ Her brother responded, he obviously couldn’t cope with his sisters show of bravery.

They both returned to the sitting room and I assumed all was honky dory.

‘I am five, you are eight! You are the older one, you should not be the one who is scared, I should be’ I heard her reprimanding her brother.

So much for being there for him!

100% human. 100% female…..always has the last word!

Mirror mirror…

My three year old is quite something. Years ago her older sister had struggled with self esteem and body image and so I had made a deliberate point of boosting them.  One of the things I used to do was encourage her to look in the mirror and see and say how beautiful she was.  Her African shaped (big, as she would put it) derriere was one of her issues and so I would pass the full length mirror in our living room, pat my own African shaped bum and say ‘gorgeous’.  Soon enough my daughter was doing the same; I was teaching her to love her body.

‘What is wrong with the women in this house?!’ I heard my husband shout out to me one day.

‘What happened?’ I asked as I approached the living room.

‘They just keep walking past the mirror, patting their bums and saying ‘gorgeous’’ he said, exasperated.

I reassured him that this was fine, I had instigated it and it was all for good reason.  Even though he had used the plural I kind of assumed he was referring to me and my older daughter.  While we were still discussing it, my then 18 month old, still in nappies, walked through the sitting room, stopped at the mirror, patted her bum and said ‘beautiful’ and walked on by to wherever it was she was heading.

Yes, my younger daughter was born into this and did not know the history associated with this self love.  Seeing it as the norm, she just joined in.

Today, aged three, she still walks past the mirror and stops to tell herself how beautiful she is. I love it!

I love me

 

100% human.  Beware, your actions speak real loud!

What is a real name?

Have you seen the coke bottles that have names on?  Yeah…..well I don’t do fizzy drinks at home so there was never a desire to buy these personalised coke bottles but I did wonder how long it would take before one of my children commented on the fact that their name didn’t exist on them.   Of course I expected it to be my eldest son with some witty remark.
No, it was my five year old son;
‘I wonder how much it costs to get your name on a coke bottle’ he said in deep thought.
As I was about to explain that it costs the same he continued
‘Yeah but my name is not a real name!!!!’

Not a real name??!! I wanted to proceed to tell him just what his name means and how we had gone to great lengths to choose a name with such meaning. How everytime I call him I am making a clear empowering statement….but I didn’t.
I got it. It didn’t matter what his name meant, what mattered was the fact that his name would not be on a coke bottle. He feels that because he has such an unusual name, it’s not a real name!

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So I was very pleased to see his uncle had one with his own equally unusual name on. Apparently I can order it online…..so even though I don’t usually do fizzy drinks, guess what I’m going to do?!

100% human. Thinks a lot. Needs a real name ☺

Just like me!

My five year old sat eagerly in the back of the car….he was meeting James for the first time; they were going to football together.

‘Mum, he’s five like me?!’ He asked with a statement for the umpteenth time.

‘Yes darling’

‘Wow!’ He was clearly thinking about it.

We pulled up outside James’ house. The door opened and James came out, I heard my son gasp.  I was unsure what sort of gasp it was; fear? excitement? alarm?  or perhaps he’d fainted. I turned round to check.

His face was alight with pleasure; ‘Mummy!  He’s brown …like me! Is he? He is!!!’  He double checked, confirmed and was thrilled.

I was a bit taken aback. Yes my son is brown (I call him black but he cannot reconcile this as he is clearly brown.  He often questions my knowledge of colours when I refer to him as black), and thinking about it most of his friends are caucasian. But as he has many a ‘cousin’ who is ‘brown’, I had just never really thought about whether or not he had ‘brown’ friends and if indeed this mattered.

James got in ‘Hello! I’m not very good at football’

‘Don’t worry, I’ll teach you, I’m very good.’

And they chatted away.

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Label 100% person. Needs to identify.

Home is where…….????????

Should I be worried that my children don’t want to be home?

I can’t count the number of times that I get asked to go on a playdate (please note that’s to go on one, not have one) or a sleepover. My five year old sometimes even cries when he doesn’t have a playdate because he feels it is his right to have one everyday.

Then there’s  my eight year old girl who is notorious for this, she’s a serial offender.  There is a particular house she goes to for playdates and returns three days later…. Nowadays I don’t even bother; I know that by saying yes to a playdate at this particular household, I am saying yes to at least a one night sleepover too.   And my twelve year old has a similar syndrome; again, there is a particular house where a playdate, more often than not, means a sleepover.

I appreciate that these houses are waaaaay more exciting than ours; what with swimming pools, tree houses and trampolines…….who can blame them?! They both have resident toothbrushes at their second homes. And its cool!  I’m all for my kids being independent and confident enough to sleep over at someone else’s house….God knows I had sleepovers all the time when I was growing up.

But I’m just checking if their desire to flee the nest so early in life should be one for concern…….

Then today when I was picking up my eight year old from her second home, I got it.  Despite the fact that appearance wise she is nothing like them, she is totally one of them. Totally. She is sooo comfortable there, she really is at home.

They don’t see her as a different colour, the fact that she has allergies doesn’t faze them; they all know what she can and can’t have and they all know what to do if she reacts to something.  They don’t know what to do with her hair, but they love it and constantly say so.  In fact, they do so much for her self esteem, its no wonder she loves to hang out there.

Note to self – do more to build self esteem.

Label: 100% person. Totally need acceptance.

Love what you’ve got..

My 6yr old daughter decided she wanted to dye her hair orange. I was a tiny bit alarmed but calmly inquired why she wanted to do this. It turns out that, seeing as two of her closest friends are redheads, she also wanted to be a redhead. Although I was not going to let her dye her hair, her decision to join the minority didn’t go unnoticed.. When I was growing up being a redhead was not something one would choose… the redheads were teased mercilessly.

I thought we had sorted ourselves out when a few months later she was concerned that her bum was too big. ‘I have the biggest bum in my class! All the others have flat bums, mine sticks out! In fact I probably have the biggest bum in the whole year’ she complained.

Does my bum look big in this?

Does my bum look big in this?

Oh Lord Jesus! How to respond?

I was tempted to say ‘yes babe, its big…that’s how God made you, live with it!’.  I wanted to explain how lots of women do all sorts of things to get a bum like hers but I took a deep breath and said ‘yes, your bum sticks out, just like your mummys and it is beautiful!’
She paused…looked at my bum and smiled. ‘Yes, its just like yours mummy and yours is big and beautiful!’ And off she skipped…..no doubt to find something else she is not satisfied with.
But for now…..’Phew!’

Label -100% person 100%female. Wants to fit in. Needs regular affirmation.