Thursday, April 17, 2014

Having babies close together

If any readers have one baby..., and are swithering about when to try for a second, feel free to listen here - 7 minutes into the Fred McAulay show (available one week only) as I talk on Radio Scotland about the joys of having two in relatively quick succession.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Voting for Stay at Home Mothering

I was at the GoMA museum with the kids when Radio Scotland phoned me to ask if I'd take part in a radio discussion on Stay at Home Mothering and Working Mothers.
Pause for initial slight angst as I don't want to be locked in some battle of judgments of working mums. Eh, let me think. Then, irony, I had to say I couldn't do it, as I am scheduled to do a training morning for a forthcoming  short-term, yet very welcome, health data collection job. (Francis, the kids' dad will look after them).
A while afterwards, I realised I had got my days muddled and I was free, but I think it's a sign of my commitment to the weans that I was unable to phone the show back, because I can't get online on my phone and had no number for them. Activating phone surfing is the kind of thing working people do all the time, but after repeated technical hitches, I waved the white flag and realized that the only proper time for casual internet-ting was when the kids are in bed. Like now.
With young kids, smart phones just stop the flow of interaction and I prefer to limit the phone-picking as much as possible. Thanks to that and the rare sunshine, we had ourselves a beautiful day.
I love the intimacy that builds with just hanging out with them: having a packed lunch in Princess Square; negotiating the station and hopping on a train home. Dandering to the park, answering their random, surreal questions (Is a hedgehog a kind of squirrel?) Being there for their every up and down. Hugging them every time they cry.
People ask if SAHM's get bored, and yes, there is that aspect on dreich indoor days, but days like today? Just a joy.
I understand and accept staying at home is not for everyone. But I do wish the government would stop penalizing single earner families and realise, that by raising the next generation with round the clock active devotion, we are doing an underestimated and undervalued good.
We are giving our all to prevent them becoming criminals and general corporate meanies. We are helping them grow towards being kind and compassionate adults who will want to parent their kids as best they can. Pious? Obvious? Maybe. But why do I feel I have to say it?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Lessons from Easter Football Camp

Hugh (5) came home from football camp with the demeanour of a child who subsequently needed to go to boxing camp. I got it out of him that he was sore about 'losing' and tried to give him the, 'only a game' speech.

He then went upstairs, 'to write a song' and it came back as such:

I lik wen I win
but it disn't matr
if I don't win
it is fun to win
but it is good
to let iver peepl win
so evrywun
can selabriat.

Tess (4) played the shaker as percussion. Premier League, here we come.

Rusty the Squirrel's Disco

How could you have missed it?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The science is catching up

Here is another rallying call to Big Business to protect children's health by cutting sugars in our foods.

Yes, I know it's my current favourite 'issue', and I think it has become so, because, in general, people look at health lobbyists like myself as if we're being a bit humourless and taking it too far.

The science is catching up. If 'treating' ourselves with sweet things on a daily basis, several times a day, is going to lead us to all sorts of unhealthy scenarios, then we've go to find another path.

Right. After my usual 'carby' free-fall of a weekend, I will return to porridge, eggs and homemade soup tomorrow. Will the flavour of righteousness suffice?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe - don't kid yourself, we always know

I paint myself as an indecisive person sometimes, but deep down, I know we always know which path to take. I see it when the kids hover over choices with their eeny meeny miny mo rhyme.

Be it toys, biscuits, clothes or whatever, they start methodically, and, if the final mo is going to fall randomly, they make sure it wobbles at the last second, and they'll point to the one they really want.

Ah, Saturday evening, you are still young.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Even the government says sugar, 'could be addictive'.

I knew it! So grows the emerging feeling within me, that I have been eating far too much sugar, just like everybody else. And it takes so much work to avoid it.

I used to be relieved that I could easily live without alcohol - I'd barely miss it - and cigarettes were never a temptation, but I can safely say, I'm the sugar/biscuit/cake equivalent of a junkie.

These past few months of sporadic attempts to cut down, have felt like standing at base camp Everest, looking up.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What could be more important?

Readers, I do have regular Art versus Life dilemmas. I enjoyed my weekly poetry class, and then it was cancelled due to lack of numbers. I find it very hard to write without a deadline or a metaphorical stick. My father (a writer) used to suggest that I write a novel. Blimey, my massage lady, Wee Paula, tells me to, 'get that book written.' She claims to have clairvoyant powers, but, hey...
What's stopping me? Answer: Being as happy as a pig in mud (to use an un-writer-ly cliché). Being there for the kids feels like the truest calling I ever had. I ask myself, what could be more important? Sure, art is crucially important. It helps better us and elevate us and I love the high of a good song/film/poem/story/novel. I love feeling I have created something that moves others - a poem or a story.
But, let's face it, my main creativity is helping the children grow safely and happily. This should not been seen as lesser. I am enjoying a new volunteer role as a classroom assistant in a local primary school. This too, feels right and it feels important in a way that is often underrated. But it feels important to me, and this is where the sustenance lies. I'd love to get a job like this, one day.
Perhaps I will come back to writing sooner or later. Umm, later or sooner, I want to say, to give me hope it will be sooner.
Still, I love being the big cushion for the weans and the one who will teach them to tie their shoe laces. Such industry allows me to be the one who watches The Simpsons with them, when the  comfortable tiredness of evening comes calling. Peace on earth, man.