I think I’ve said before how important music is to us as a family. We’ve always got music of some variety on in the background and we try to expose Meg and Eli to as many different types as we can whether it’s current music, my Other Half playing his guitar or me singing (although recently that hasn’t gone down so well!) So we considered ourselves very lucky when we were given a piano in September this year as both myself and my Other Half have wanted to learn for a long time and we were keen for Meg and Eli to have the opportunity too. Obviously the kids are still too young to be able to fully appreciate lessons in playing but my Other Half still gives it a go. My favourite memory so far is of him trying to teach Meg “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and Meg putting her hand up to stop him and saying “It’s ok Daddy, I know how to do it” before producing a complete cacophony of noise from the piano. He does try and one day, hopefully Meg will allow herself to be taught!!
I love this quote from Plato about music, isn’t that just so true? I’m linking this post up with Dear Beautiful Boy’s ‘See it Snap it Love it’
Set in Stone by Catherine Dunne Every family has its secrets. Most are best left alone.
I found it quite hard to get into this book. It doesn’t help that I am about as useful as a newspaper in the rain when it comes to reading thrillers and I got in a bit of a tizz about what the ‘secret’ would be. The book is quite dark and unsettling and I needed to know the outcome of the story so I skim-read the last few pages. Catherine Dunne is very adept at storytelling, it’s so easy to read and fast paced, every time I pick up the book I am completely transported into the world she has created for her main character Lynda. I think perhaps that’s what makes it more difficult as I find myself listening out for noises in the house when I’m reading it! But I am so glad I read to the end of the book. Even though I’d check the ending to make sure all the characters were still intact I had missed the big twist in the plot which completely made the story worthwhile! I love books where the author makes you identify with the main character and I was willing it to all come good in the end for Lynda (I won’t spoil it for anyone wanting to read it by saying what does happen!) I would definitely recommend this book. Catherine Dunne has taken an ordinary family and demonstrated what can happen when extraordinary events occur and it’s interesting to follow their personal character developments. My only criticism is that I found it a shame there was no real conclusion. If the only purpose of the story was to follow the character development of Lynda and her husband then I think this is achieved but there are several questions which are never answered particularly relating to Lynda’s son Ciaran and my overwhelming need for justice to be served isn’t satisfied with the bad guy just disappearing off into the sunset!
And carrying on from last week, if you want to join in with my Book Love linky feel free to nab the badge and link up below.
I hate cleaning, really really hate it. I can’t think of any worse torture than having to spend the entire day tidying, hoovering, dusting and disinfecting. It makes me shudder. And this was all very well when it was just me. I liked to live in a certain amount of organised chaos which went through stages. Slowly I would allow the mess and bits and pieces to build up but it would still be very organised and I would know where everything was. Then after a week or so it would all become too much and I’d spend a few hours sorting it all out and repeat the process again. But now, now I have a husband and two small children and my house feels like it’s in a constant state of turmoil. Little hands move and adjust things so that when I recall the last place I left my keys and return to it, they have been moved. My Other Half is the ‘leave everything until it needs to be done’ sort of person and so makes ten jobs out of one. He will move an item to mere inches from it’s proper home to be put away properly at some point in the future. I have become a woman who hordes too, little tasks I put off ‘until later’ have just remained undone as life has carried on and I’ve never found those few minutes to return to them. Life with two small children is just so unpredictable that when I do get precious minutes to myself I’d much rather stick my head in a book and transport myself off to a place where there aren’t crumbs trampled into the carpet, a weeks worth of washing to sort out and I don’t find a half eaten apple core stuffed behind the TV unit (thanks to whichever one of my beautiful children thought that seemed like a good idea!) There must be a way to achieve it though, a clean and tidy house. I’ve visited friends who have children of a similar age and their houses are so clean and tidy. How do they find the time? This is more than just a case of a few toys scattered on the carpet, a few toys would be easy pickings, I seem to be raising children who have to empty three or four boxes of toys before they’ll settle to play with the DVD’s I’ve piled up so neatly on the bookcase or taking the batteries in and out of the television remote.
Is it just me? Are you reading this and sitting in a pristine room thinking to yourself, “what is this woman moaning about? I always find time to clean!”
Sometimes at the end of the day I just survey the damage and despair at where to begin! I have decided though, to take baby steps and am going to attempt to reclaim some of the lost ground over the next couple of months. Organisation is the key (I know it!!) so I’m going to make a plan and sort myself out!
But, for those days when it’s all just going wrong, I found this little gem of a poem which I’m going to emblazon in my mind:
And I will try to remind myself that this isn’t forever and soon I will be packing away all the brightly coloured noisy toys in favour of small gadgets and teenager stuff *gulps back sob* then I’ll be wondering when my two chubby little babies grew up and spend my time reminiscing about a messy house!
What about you? Have you managed to find a balance between toddler chaos and having a clean and tidy house?
When I saw this meme on Sticky Fingers I knew I wanted to take part. Meg has recently got the hang of drawing people so I was confident that she could give it a go. So, I armed her with some paper and a pen and asked her to draw mummy. Here’s what she came up with (along with the accompanying explanations I was provided with):
Other than the addition to my bodyless face of eight legs I don’t think she’s too far off the mark with this one! Here’s the photo unadorned by notes so you can see it in it’s full glory:
Why don’t you go over to Sticky Fingers and have a look at some of the other creations, it’s interesting how little minds see things! And because I’m kind I’m going to tag Emily at FamilyFourFun and Louise at A Strong Coffee to see how their kids see them!
This week I read an interesting article about children and narcissism. It suggested that in order for a child to feel loved and secure, for their very survival, it is necessary for them to display narcissistic behaviour. They have to know that they are the centre of their parents world, that their every desire and need will be met. I totally agree with this. Narcissism is often thought of as a negative emotion but I do believe that children need to know that their world is secure. They need to know that when they are hungry, they will be fed, when they are sad they will receive reassurance etc. And for one thing, I live with the ultimate narcissist. She truly believes the world revolves around her and that what she wants takes priority over anything and everything. I suppose then the question is, when do you begin to teach your children that they are not, in fact, the only person in your life and that they need to learn empathy and awareness for other people? At what stage can you begin to withdraw from the cycle of meeting every demand instantaneously but still have a self-assured child? When I watch Meg play with her friends she is always the leader, the one navigating and directing the game. When she’s had enough, she gives the sign and they all go and play something else. Is that her personality coming through or her inability to understand that what another child wants to do might take precedence over what she wants? I’m often met with statements such as “I don’t want to go to preschool” and no amount of reasoning will weaken her resolve. That is what she has decided and therefore she will not go to preschool. When she is, ultimately, dropped off at preschool despite her protestations I am often met with a meltdown. This will be an out and out screaming, rolling round on the floor, bright red, tears flowing tantrum. Simply because she hasn’t been able to have her own way. I’m not one for testing out psychological theories on my children (who is?) but I do wonder that if we didn’t provide Meg with the tools to understand the world around her and see that she isn’t the only person in it whether there would be a natural progression in her understanding. Perhaps it’s linked with her mental development, and she simply hasn’t got to that ‘stage’ yet. Is it a gradual process that we begin to stop jumping to attention when our child cries or asks for something? I find myself saying more and more these days “in a minute” and “not now” and I can’t really remember how old Meg was when I started doing that. My Other Half commented that he believes that narcissism is always there, hidden underneath. He still thinks he’s the centre of his parent’s universe. That when he needs them, they will drop everything and be there for him. So, either he’s emotionally underdeveloped or narcissism never really leaves us (I’m not commenting either way!) The article also suggests that when our narcissism is responded to positively, we learn to love ourselves. Without self-love, you cannot love another. So it’s vital that parents respond to the narcissistic demands of their children in order to aid them in their emotional development and so that they can love others. Which seems like the egg and chicken really – if we don’t teach our children that they are the most important person in our lives, they won’t be able to love others. But in order to love others they need to put aside their narcissistic tendencies. I know there are no easy answers to these questions and really I’m just commenting out loud. At the moment I’m spending a lot of time thinking and considering what things will be like next year and the level Meg needs to be at before she starts school. I want to make sure that I’ve done a good job in equipping her to know who she is and to know that she’s loved. At the moment she still has a very narrow worldview, believing that she is the central point and I’m worried wanting to know that by this time next year we’ll have done all we can to make sure that she is a happy well-rounded little girl who is able to have empathy for others and not just a “me me me” attitude. I haven’t done the article justice in anyway so you can find it here if you’re at all interested to read it. Feel free to leave me a comment with your thoughts too. For now, I’ll end with a message from my lovely daughter demonstrating her view on the world: