Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Now you are three

Time passes by as quickly as can be,
Now our baby is turning three.
Born on a Tuesday, so full of grace
Surrounded in love and wraps of lace.

A mother’s touch, a mother’s kiss,
Welcomed you to a world of bliss.
A father’s caress, a father’s arms,
Left you safe and far from harm.

Now you are three, no longer our baby.
Our arms outstretched to let you free.
Exploring the world with wide opened eyes,
Curiouser and curiouser, with so many why’s.

Our love abounds each and every day,
As we watch you blossom in such a way.
We know you will make us proud for all time,
Our baby you will be forever, just you, all mine!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's in a number?

Mathematics has never been my forte. When people start talking numbers at me, my eyes glaze over and I furiously start to scramble for a page-turner in the conversation.

But strangely enough, numbers seem to haunt me, particularly in relation to the family unit.

People astound me that they feel they have the right to tell you how many times you should procreate. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard…’so when is the next one coming along…must be time to have another baby…you can’t just have the one…’

Unless I have sought your professional medical opinion and you are equally qualified to give it – I see little value in these opinions, offered all to readily and unsolicited.

I have heard all the reasons why you should never have an ‘only child’.  Random people feel it is their purpose in life to warn you against your erroneous ways: always spoilt; can’t socialise with others; can’t share; have behavioural issues; selfish…the list goes on.

Well, I have started a list of my own, based on actual research, as opposed to anecdotes, personal experience and old wives’ tales.

Only children:
  • are as well adjusted as their peers with siblings
  • have higher self-esteem
  • have higher IQs
  • have good language skills and
  • are more likely to be strongly independent.

As Michael Grose declares in his book, “Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It”,

If self-esteem and school achievement levels are used as a barometer of a healthy, well-adjusted and desirable childhood then most parents would stop at one.

Nearly one in five children are ‘only children’ and this statistic is likely to increase with the parallel pressures of finances, career, maternal age and care.

I recently came across this…

The English words 'only child' might sound as if there are not enough children. The French words for only child - 'un enfant unique' and the Italian 'un filio unico' mean that the child is special - only one of a kind!

…which I have adopted.  Our precious little one is most definitely an 'un enfant unique.'

Numbers never enter the equation.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Five ways to diffuse the terrible twos!

Firstly, can I say that who ever coined the phrase 'terrible twos' obviously had one that was so terrible that it never made it to three.  After sailing through the twos with minimal backwash, I was rudely awakened by something nearing a head injury by the time three loomed.

Freud would say the short one is in the anal stage; Piaget would consider her preoperational; Erikson would declare a conflict between autonomy versus shame and doubt. Me…well, I would just say she is confused.

The confusion stage appears to be emanating from a lack of clarity around who is actually in charge.  Clearly in my confused state of mind, I am under the misunderstanding that I am in charge. And just as clearly, she is under another misunderstanding that by the time one reaches the ripe old age of three that she is.

I have had to consider some strategies lately to try and survive this battle of wits.

Here are the top 5 toddler diffusers:

1.     Choices – limited to two. Just make sure that you are happy with your short one doing either choice.  Gives them a sense of control, while you are in fact retaining it all.  Gotta love that gig!
2.     Appeal to their ego – being that this age is egocentric you can’t go wrong here.
3.     Humour – someone once said that the precursor of the mirror is the mother’s face so…mirror their behaviour. Make them see how ridiculous they look thrashing around on the ground, screaming ‘I hate you, you’re mean.’ Perhaps not a recommended strategy in the middle of the small goods section in Coles, unless of course you have no shame.
4.     Try reasoning with a literal being – this is always cause for a good laugh and instant diffusion. Explaining potential consequences for one’s actions to a child who is developmentally unable to infer usually results in further confusion; but an entertaining conversation nonetheless.
5.     And if all else fails - become your own mother…hear yourself saying those expressions you swore you would never say…
a.    Just wait until your father gets home  or
b.    Do that again and I’ll (insert own preferred consequence)

The short one said to me just the other day, ‘Mummy, my eyes keep leaking.’ And she’s right. We have probably had our fair share of crying lately attributed to holiday season tiredness, frustration, excitement, disappointment and anticipation.

So the next time you find your face springing a leak, grab that repair kit and give them a big hug.

Happy New Year xx