Parents, tsk!

Yes, I allow my kids to play this game - they think it's hilarious!

It’s been awhile since my last post, nearly two months in fact, but I’m finally back again. The summer holidays are well and truly started now and I’m juggling work, kids, keeping peace, housework and gardening. At the moment I’m having a nice ‘lunch break’ while the kids play cards together (without fighting!) I was perusing Yahoo news when I happened across two very disturbing stories. One came from China where a mother refused to allow firefighters to break into her BMW to save her son who had been locked inside on a dangerously hot day. She claimed she didn’t want her expensive car to be damaged and wanted to wait for a locksmith rather than have the rescue team save her son quickly. The second story came from the UK and involved a security guard deciding a mother could not breastfeed her 9 month old daughter in public so ordered her to leave the store. After the mother refused the IDIOT security guard snatched the little girl from her mother – while she was still feeding – and basically held her for ransom to make the mother leave. WHAT is WRONG with people?!!

I remember when my children were small, especially with my daughter who was my first, the general public took it upon themselves to tell me how to look after my child. It drove me bats**t crazy! One psycho physically removed my daughters thumb from her mouth while we stood on a subway train telling me it was bad for her to do that. That person is lucky to have walked off the subway with working legs! Sometimes things happen that, while in the moment, leave us so dumbfounded that the reaction isn’t there and it’s only later the anger and humiliation come flowing through. But I learnt quickly to be on the lookout for those special individuals and be at the ready to let ’em have it! The funny part about this is that usually the people doing the ‘disciplining’ are not parents themselves; those with kids know better than to step on another parent’s shoes.

The flip side of this thought is that parents are also very good at picking up bad parenting behaviours and will, sometimes without provocation, have no qualms about sharing their views! I’m guilty of this – call me judgemental – and for sure people look at me and think the same. A pet peeve of mine is seeing very young kids being dragged to a restaurant and having to endure a very long and boring evening while their parents let their hair down a bit too long, get gazeboed and pretend their children don’t exist. It’s as if they forget they are parents and shut out the sounds of their screaming infant who desperately wants a feed. If you’re going to do that either a)get a babysitter or b) party at home! Another example, in my view, of questinable parenting is allowing yourself to be guided by an app or book or (the worst of the worst) a celebrity. In my mind you need to learn from your child; no-one can tell you exactly how your child will behave, eat, sleep so to be made to believe you could be wrong because your child does not conform to a certain ‘rule’ is mental. Look up from your tablet/book/screen and at your child. Learn its habits, work with them and you’ll find a way to make life easier on yourself and ensure you are confident in your parenting abilities.

Parenting is a funny business and no-one is absolutely right on how it should be but some ground rules should apply – Yes, rip your car apart if it will save your child from dying within a sweltering car. Yes, allow a mother who has 9 month old twins to breastfeed with dignity while in a shop. No, do NOT assume you can tell a parent how to do their job, just assume they know what they are doing and if it looks detrimental to the child’s health then sure, step in! My rules are more relaxed than others and my kids have amazing personalities and funny little quirks which I know and love.

I’ve just realized my 4 year old son is playing his sisters Hello Kitty Manicure game on the iPad…oh well – anything for peace, right?!!

It’s my first party, please be nice!

Birthday Girl

I have decided to throw a kids birthday party, a first for me, and it only took seven years to feel strong enough to commit myself to a few hours of crazy girly excitement. My daughter will soon celebrate her birthday and she has formed quite a nice group of friends so I thought it would be a good idea to invite a few over so she could revel in that wonderful childhood feeling of being special for a day because it’s her birthday. Do you remember that feeling? Waking up on the morning of your birthday and just feeling different; today was all about you, you were one year older and people would acknowledge you more than others making you feel something near to VIP status. If there was a party involved you were usually surrounded by the kids desperately trying to be your best friend so they could be invited – at least that’s what happened to me; I’ll never forget one girl being ridiculously nice to me just so she could be invited and once it was all over she returned to being a bully. She was never invited again!

Although there are 20 kids in her class there’s no way I am holding myself responsible for that many kids so we capped the number at 5, which I think is a good enough number, plus family. If everyone says ‘yes’ we are looking at a combined party of about 14 bodies so it will be a well attended party me thinks. We have also decided on a Hello Kitty themed party – surprise, surprise – so I managed to find favors that will make little girls gush with giggly excitement (thank you Party City!) I don’t want to go overboard on the theme so decorations and stuff will most likely be pink and white. As for activities my daughter has requested a Pinata, Pass-the-Parcel and Pin The Tail on The Donkey – although we’re changing that to Pin The Bow On Hello Kitty. I’m also thinking of doing an art themed game where kids each have a canvas and paint to doodle whatever for 20 seconds before changing to someone elses painting for 20 seconds, change, etc. By the end each child will have a painting that each friend contributed to. (I hope that’s a good idea because sometimes artistic talent causes meltdowns if someone else adjusts it in any way!)

As I’m planning I’m actually getting more excited than nervous; when I was originally asked if we could host a party my anxiety levels rocketed but after a good old-fashioned think through I didn’t see why my feelings should get in the way of my daughters fun. My mum hosted parties for my brother and I a few times and we always had a blast so it would be nice for my daughter to have those memories too.  Even my son is excited that his sister invited him to her party, bless him! Oh, did I mention the party is at our house? YES! We are opting to be utterly mad and host the party ourselves and not choose to be lazy and have a ‘party’ at a kids playground! Don’t get me wrong, that can be fun but there was recently a ‘party’ in which there was no reservation made at a local kids play arena and the birthday girl and mother (who was stoned into another dimension) arrived over an hour late leading to much confusion and quiet ridicule. I will attempt some form of Martha Stewart-esque party and keep my fingers crossed I’m not overstepping my abilities. I’ll let you know how it goes next week!

Next Sunday, 2-4.30pm, our house. The invites are out – it’s game on!