Wednesday 27 March 2013


As part of the Parent to Parent Support course I have been doing, the first day was an introductory day.  It was all about awareness.  Awareness of ourselves and most importantly, if we are going to be a support network, awareness of others.

“Forgive others, more so yourself.”

My eyes were opened.  Big time.

And like every new discovery, every new challenge, one that went on for 8 hours, I was exhausted when I got home.  I tried to read over my course notes and complete my evaluation form but there was nothing there.  My mind drew a complete blank.  I had no idea how to answer the questions asked of me.

So I went to bed.

When I woke up the following morning, I had my answers.  All of them clear, concise and honest.

I learned a lot that first day.  I learned a lot from the other people on the course.  And I learned some things about myself.

The exercises put to us were designed to draw us out.  To make us think.  Think outside the box.  To be introspective.

To remember what it is like to be that first time mother of a “shiny new baby, with whom you are passionately in love” and not the jaded mother of today, gasping for a cup of tea and ten minutes to herself.

“Understand that everything you meet in your path will teach you something about life; what you can become and what you will not allow”

It was an exercise encouraging us to be mindful of how someone else who has not yet travelled the length of the parenthood road, someone who is still at the starting block, is possibly feeling. 

A lot of memories were raked up for some people that day.  Some of them not so good.  Not so warm and fuzzy.

My own were called to mind.

They pop up every now and again.  Like the little festering thoughts that they are. I questioned why I hang onto these.  Why can’t I just cut them free and let them go?   I am a much different person today.  Older and wiser and not so quick to be hurt and even slower to dwell.

But I had my answer.

I’m not done with those festering thoughts yet.

I am not hanging onto them as a primitive scoring system, nor are they in my head rent free.

They are still there because I am not ready to let go of them.  They still affect me.  They still piss me off. 

I am still learning from them.      

I think this is ok.  It’s human, it’s natural and it’s a defence mechanism.

“Carry with you the lessons of the past but not its crippling pain.”

That is hard to do but I’m trying. 

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Thank You

To the man in the coffee shop who watched me struggle with the door that went PULL instead of PUSH.  (I was coming in)  Thanks.  Thanks a bunch.  Thanks for letting me battle with that door and a double buggy.  Thanks for sitting there and yelling at me to “push.”  You, a mere man, telling the mother of four kids how to push? The irony was completely lost on you.  But a sincere and heartfelt thanks to the fella in his 20’s who did open the door for me.

To the yummy mummy who insisted on driving up my arse.  What was your rush?  We were the only two cars on a straight stretch of road.  Instead of overtaking, as you could have, you preferred to dangerously tailgate me.  All the way to crèche to pick up your kids.  You silly bint!

To the middle aged lady in a “type” of car who blocked an entrance when I had the right of way. Who then drove up another foot or more to further block me, blast the horn and wave me back aggressively when I tried to pull over to allow a school bus to overtake me.  We might have been as bad as each other, but you old bitch! 

To the lovely lady in the supermarket and all the others before you, who let me go ahead in the queue even though I had just as many items.  Simply because I had the kids with me and they all knew “what it’s like trying to shop with them in tow.”    

To the driving instructor all those years ago who thought he was a Formula One racing driver.  You did nothing for my confidence.  You knew I was nervous, you knew I was a learner driver and you still told me I was shite and my car was shite.  But thank you.  Thank you for honing my asshole radar.

To the lads who pack my groceries in the supermarket.  Just a little word to the wise though.  I’m only small and I’ve got teeny tiny muscles.  So please don’t put all my tinned goods in the biggest bag you can find.  I’m not able to hoist it out of the trolley so haven’t a hope of getting it into the car.  

Thank you to the lovely lady driver who waited a moment when she saw me walking with two small kids and pushing a buggy.  We were heading towards the supermarket where we had parked and she wasn’t to know that I was walking in there.  She still stopped and waited until I had rounded the corner.

And a big massive, huge thanks to the impatient driver/s behind her who sat on their horns and blasted her out of it for the very, very long five seconds they had to wait.

Thank you to the lovely lady (Karen) behind the counter in the café where we like to have our morning coffee.  She always has a word for our boys and she gives a great top-up.  Best cup of the day!


Wednesday 13 March 2013

Lego Boys

Kids have it nailed.  They really do.  We could do a helluva lot worse than choosing not to listen to them. 

Shy Boy had a friend over on a play date recently.  I knew how it was going to pan out before we even got back to the house.

And I let it. 

These two little guys “get” each other.  They just do. 

There is no agenda.  No competition.  No one following the other.  They do their own thing; at times side by side and at other times, alone.

Both choices are ok and both boys are fine with this too.  Comfortable and at ease with it.

This is how the play date started and how it continued as the afternoon grew into evening.

When Shy Boy comes home from school he likes to chill.  He will sit in front of a cartoon for maybe ten minutes and after that he visits the bathroom.  Sometimes he takes his DS with him.

Then he is ready to do other things.

So whilst he was tending to his own needs, there was lots of exploring and walking around being done by our guest. 

With his fan club in tow.  Smallest Boy was thrilled with this new face even though he knows it well.  Lovely Liam was in Holiday Tour Guide mode, making sure his older brother’s friend didn’t miss anything.

Snacks and obair bhaile (homework) out of the way in record time and then I discovered what all the walking around was about.

Lego!  (Lego rocks!  Get some!)

Off they all trooped upstairs to get stuck into Lego City.

And this is what I observed with interest even though I knew it would unfold.

Sometimes Shy Boy moved away from his friend to sit on the stairs and play his DS while his friend stayed in the bedroom building Lego cities. 

On other occasions our friend went into the playroom to draw on the chalk boards and come to the kitchen ask for something to eat.

There was a perfect symmetry there.  Both were content in each other’s company and equally, if one of them needed to move away for some head and body space, that was cool too.

I didn’t ask that Shy Boy stay with his friend at all times and make sure he was ok, that he wasn’t bored, and in need of something.

Never once was there a cross word spoken or a voice raised or an argument over a toy. (Lovely Liam and Smallest Boy don’t count here.)   

They just got on with the play date.

It was lovely.  It was great.

And then the time came for the play date to be over and again there was no fuss from either party. 

I was surprised that Shy Boy opted out of the drive but he also likes to finish his evening the same way he starts; with a little bit of TV and quiet time.

This was ok too.

Kids are relaxed little people.  They just go with the flow. 

We should observe and take a leaf out of their book.  Less stress.  More fun.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Joy Pockets for This Year So Far

First one is a Seasonal one.  And that would be the stretch in the evenings.  Already. Which is proof in light that spring is just around the corner.

Being picked to test some beauty products in a well-known “Wimmins” magazine.   And then discovering I was the winner of some more on Facebook!  I’ll be only gorgeous!

Continuing to have wonderful, inspiring chats with like-minded, creative people.  Both in person and in cyber space.    

Making cops and robbers Lego men with my boys.

Watching MacGyver with Oldest Boy.  He is almost (I said almost!) as impressed as I am with the man.

Receiving wetsuits for the boys in the post and letting them open their own post. 

Having a look under the stairs at the still too large supply of nappies but knowing that once they are gone, I will never have to buy any more.  Operation Toilet Training is pencilled in for summer 2013.

Coming out the other side of another dose of the hormentals!  I cannot put into words how bogged down this bastard makes me feel sometimes.  When I am in the thick of it, I know it will pass.  It always does.  And when it does, I see clearly again. 

Looking at Shy Boy in the pool with just one armband on and the look of sheer pride and delight on his face that he has finally caught up with his older brother!!

Similarly having a lovely week or two with Shy Boy who has started the lovely habit of sneaking up on me to give me a hug and tell me that he loves me.

Going out to feed the birds one morning and seeing, under the white ice and flakes of snow, green shoots pushing their way up through the dirt.  Spring!!!  How lovely to see you!

An early morning run and seeing the sky change from dark grey to brilliant red. 

My choice of music for this month was Del Amitri.  It brought back some lovely memories of handing in my notice when I was unhappy in a crappy job and receiving one of their albums in cassette form (remember those?) from a girl in accounts as a goodbye present.  And subsequently listening to it on a driving tour of the West with Mister Boyfriend.

Bringing Juno for her first ever run with me.  Total success.  She loved it.  There is no going back now that I have a willing and able running partner.

Discovering lovely messages on the chalk board from Shy Boy.

Registering for my second 5k with Ray in The Phoenix Park for the end of March.  And also pencilling in 6th April for another one in my home town.

Oldest Boy turned 7 and for the third year he had a weather perfect birthday party at home.  There was even a decent snow fall at 5pm which was the icing on their cake.

A week or so later, the same boy discovered an interesting book in a friend’s car; Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  No better gift for a person to receive than the gift of reading. 

Getting a lovely, lovely Facebook message from a follower/fan (ok, she’s my cousin!!!!) but it made my day.  Apparently I have managed to somehow inspire her to start running.         

After twenty three years, meeting up with classmates and discovering that we haven’t changed a bit.  A wonderful night with great music, lovely food, followed by Tequila and cartwheels on the dance floor.