So Mr Google told me that of all the animal kingdom, a fruit fly has the shortest attention span of all, followed closely by the goldfish. I would be inclined to add myself to that list.
I am terrible for getting a sudden obsession with something, starting it and not finishing it before moving on to the next thing. The best example of this is gardening. My husband didn’t want a bar of it so with two little boys underfoot I set about digging my own garden over summer. It is hard work! I became obsessed with Pinteresting garden design and visiting garden centres. The pros to being under 50 and in a hardware/garden centre is that you inevitably get lots of help from the men who frequent these stores. Whether it be the staff, the tradies or the random do-it-yourselfer, I somehow managed to get all the things I needed transported to my car with very little effort at all – trees, pavers, bricks, compost, you name it. It got to the point that I was driving out of town to garden centres because I was too embarrassed by how many times I had been to the local stores and I couldn’t face going back. Again. So I got my garden all dug out and planted over about 5 weeks of summer and then I had a brilliant idea.
A dry creek bed.
Yep. I saw one on Pinterest. How hard could it be? So abandoning my garden (which was now starting to sprout a few weeds) I set to work to create one of these:
Or something like this:
You can see where this is going. Digging a dry creek bed is harder than digging a garden because you have to dig deeper, you have to collect rocks, you have to lay out weed mat and place the rocks in the perfect position to mimic a meandering stream bed. I fear my dry creek bed may turn into a ‘Nailed it’ version of the above examples.
Here is mine:
Please keep in mind it is a work in progress. Was. Because now it is cold and I have rediscovered blogging. I suddenly have a million posts in my head. My writing block has lifted. And this is the problem. Half finished dry creek bed next to my weed garden that is now being taken over by a pumpkin I never knew I planted.
On the weekends I always have to catch up on all the housework including the endless piles of washing that need to be washed, dried and then the worst part – folded. I hate folding washing with a passion, for me it is one of the most tedious aspects of housekeeping and I always end up with massive piles that get dumped on the bed and grow into an insurmountable pile that some refer to as Mount Washmore. But what is worse than humongous piles of washing that you need to fold? Trying to fold it with little helpers.
You all know what I am talking about. The mini ‘helpers’ that continually unfold the washing that has been folded, that think it is there to be tossed up in the air like confetti, that grab it and put it on their head and run around squealing and that ‘help’ to put it away while dropping it all down the hallway floor like a trail of crumbs.
Don’t you just love your mini helpers that make what used to once be easy efficient household chores into the battle of the century?
Here are the other 4 household chores on my list that are impossible to do efficiently with young children …
1. UNLOAD/LOAD THE DISHWASHER
Trying to stop them standing on the lid and tipping the whole thing over is the first challenge, then it’s a race to get all the sharp knives out before they stab: A. Themselves; or B. Their brother/sister/dog/you. Then come the small hands passing you the breakables quicker than you can put them away while simultaneously trying to ‘load’ the dishwasher with dirty dishes before it is properly unloaded and slamming the door shut while the drawers are still out sending the whole lot crashing into the back. I deem this chore perfect for husbands who get home before you or once said child/children are in bed.
Ah, vacuuming. The preparation of clearing all the floors in order to vacuum that the mini me’s deem the perfect opportunity to dump their whole box of Lego/blocks on the floor and spread them around for good measure. Or open the vacuum cleaner and tip the contents of the vacuum bag all the way down the hallway. Or yell ‘my turn!’ over and over while trying to take the handle off you. Or if you are reeeeeally lucky they are scared of the sound of the vacuum and cry great huge sobs the whole time screaming ‘TURN IT OFF! NOOOOO!’. I only know this because I have the child who does that at Nana’s but at home he loves the vacuum cleaner. Strange child. Unfortunately this is one chore usually unsuitable for post bedtime and so you just have to suck it up and endure it. And then they usually tip a whole bag of chips out on the floor straight afterwards anyway, so really, why bother?
3. MAKE THE BED
Usually they see this as the perfect opportunity to either jump on the bed or hide under all the blankets and play peek-a-boo.
How many times have you had to try and clean up spilt sugar or flour, fished broken egg shells out of the mix or better yet, had to clean up broken eggs off the floor that they took great pride in smashing while you had your back turned? Or they stand at the oven screaming they want a cookie and don’t understand that they need to actually cook and then they need to cool down before they are able to be eaten? Then you spend the next 40 minutes with an inconsolable child trying to explain this to them while they think you are the meanest mummy in the whole wide world trying to hold out on them and not let them have a cookie (that probably has broken egg shells and an extra helping of sugar/flour/baking powder in it anyway).
Yep, thought so.
What would you add to this list? And what is your least favourite chore?
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I have a confession. I have not been swimming in 2.5 years. Not because I don’t like it. Ok, maybe I don’t like it a little bit. I’m a Pisces which means I am supposed to love the water. All the star signs descriptors out there say Pisces are water lovers but perhaps I was just born overdue and missed my true star sign calling because a water lover I am not! And I can’t swim. Much.
When I was 19 I went off on a big adventure to the big US of A to work on a summer camp over in New York State. Little did I know that we would be put through rigorous testing of our swimming skills. I am an asthmatic so holding my breath in cold water has never been and never will be my strong point. So I failed. Well, first I was tested and failed so offered the opportunity to test again. And failed again. I got through all the swimming parts but the treading water part killed me. I was the only one who failed the swim test. Yep, and it wasn’t JUST the camp counsellors who were tested either. The very same test was given to all the campers too and even the 6 year olds all passed. Embarrassing much? Anyway, not much has changed. I am still not a strong swimmer and I am nervous with the boys around water, I imagine that they will fall in and drown but that is just me passing on my own water insecurities to them and I really don’t want them to know or it might subconsciously rub off on them too. So we are doing swimming lessons starting next Saturday. And I am terrified.
The reason I am terrified? Because I will have to wear togs. AKA swimmers for you non Kiwi folk. AKA those really tight lycra things that show every bump and lump on your body. THAT my friends is why I have not been swimming in over 2 and a half years. It makes me break out in a cold sweat just thinking about having to put on a swimsuit and be seen in public. Even though all of the other mums in the pool with their little bundles of energy probably feel the same. I have never been able to lose the baby bump even post 2 years past baby. Can I even still blame the baby 2 years down the line? Probably, kinda, not really. It just stays like a stubborn stain that will not wash out. And the problem with that is that if I wear anything even close to resembling a tight top I seriously look pregnant. I am dreading these swimming lessons but I can’t deny my children the opportunity to learn to swim and to turn into me, so I am swallowing my pride and going to have to get over it.
Please tell me other people feel this way about swimsuits too?! Or water in general? And what do you do to get around it? Because with two little boys who love the water, I need to find my way around it somehow. And quickly!
Usually I like to take some time to think up a catchy blog title but anyone with children usually understand what a simple exasperated ‘Two Year Olds’ probably intones and it is usually followed by commiserating looks and murmurs and recollections of the terrible twos.
Finley was 2 in December and having a full blown tantrum has started to become an epic event. All at once funny, embarrassing and infuriating. Cohen wasn’t really a tantrum thrower, he was far more relaxed and had a limited vocabulary at this age, so in hindsight I see how spoilt I was the first time around.
Finley is making up for that in bucket loads.
So, yesterday I decided to stop at the beach on the way to pick up Cohen from kindergarten. Some lovely sea air and a walk was a nice easy way to tire out my youngest child who had already refused his nap. Our local beach is two minutes down the road from us and there are three car parking areas – a middle car park by the surf club and a car park at either end of the beach by the boatsheds on each side. Since it was on my way I decided to stop in the middle car park and give him the run around towards our boatshed at the other end. The whole time he made a beeline for that boatshed and our tractor (as pictured above) because honestly, what little boy doesn’t want to play on a tractor all day? After some convincing and going up and down a set of stairs 3 4 times we went back to the car and drove to collect Cohen. This is where it started to get interesting.
‘Do you want to go to the beach boys or go home?’
Chorus from the backseat ‘BEACH!’
Ok then, they both agree. Brilliant. Challenge #1: Getting them to agree to said destination/activity complete.
Since Finn had spent the entire time at the beach wanting to go to the boatshed I decided to just go straight there and park on the beach right outside. Makes sense right? Of course it does! Why walk 15 minutes to the boatshed when you can park right in front of it? So I pull up.
Tears. Instant. ‘No want this beach! Other beach! No want this one!’
‘Finley, this is the same beach. You wanted to go to the boatshed’
‘No want it!! No! Other park mummy! No want this one! No want this beach!’
‘Finley, don’t be silly. We are at the beach. You love the beach! Look, the tractor!’
I drag him out of the carseat kicking and screaming (seriously, kicking and screaming). What two year old doesn’t like the beach?!
Plonk. Face down in the sand. Muffled sobs and ‘No want this beach!’ omit from child. Get out second child who is happy as larry to be at the beach and wants to get running to play on the rocks further down. I decide to take the ‘leave them and hope they follow’ approach. Get about 10 metres down the beach. Child has not followed and is wailing louder. Turn and go back.
Now, this is the time to note that there were other people in these boatsheds watching with great amusement. They know my husband so I am pretty sure this will get around and become a great joke. One of the guys actually came down and offered me some chocolate bars for the boys, trying to help (bless him) and commented that F was a feisty one. Yep. So I was very conscious of the fact that we were actually the main show brightening up their quiet afternoon.
After 10 minutes of this I decided, right, that’s it! He wanted to go home and so while going home is usually the punishment, at this point it was giving in. Two can play this game. So I hefted him up under my arm like a football and carried him down the beach. By this point, people were making no attempt to hide their entertainment and were openly standing at the doors of their boatsheds watching the show with big grins on their faces. I kid you not. So I carry him down the beach still crying and say ‘I know Finn! Why don’t you jump in this puddle! You love puddles!’ and put him down.
PLONK. Face down in puddle. ‘No want puddle! No want it!!’
So now I have a soaking wet sand covered child screaming instead of just a screaming child. Great. He then gets up and stalks back to the car where he then lies flat on the sand like a plank, face down in silent protest.
At this point with echoes of laughter (not mine) I decide that it is time to go home. Fighting with a stubborn two year old for 30 minutes in front of an audience is not my cup of tea and in the end his ability to remain stubborn bet out my ability to fight him. And I was by then in desperate need of a coffee. A strong one.
And all because I parked in the wrong place.
Two year olds!
What irrational moments has your child had lately or what is one that stands out as memorable?
Linking up with EssentiallyJess and doing IBOT for the first time. Thanks for popping by!
think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
“I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion”
think about, give thought to, consider, review, reflect on, mull over,contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, cogitate on,dwell on, brood on/over, ruminate about/on, chew over, puzzle over,speculate about, weigh up, turn over in one’s mind;
I love words.
I love inspirational words, I love words of wisdom, I love words of truth, I love coffee (just thought I would throw that in there), I love words that make you think, that make you ponder your life. So Friday will be my thought for the week. Something for my readers to ponder. I might as well make good use of all that Pinterest time! Some days I will write a post to go with my pondering of the day, and others I will just let it speak for itself.
Mondays will be my coffee quote day. Cos ya know, I love coffee and I love talking about it, reading about it, looking at it, smelling it and best of all, drinking it.
So back to the topic at hand:
Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many
I admit I am a sucker for self pity as I get older and this is something I need to remind myself of as my hair starts to turn grey, my knees start to creak, my skin isn’t what it used to be and lets not talk about how our body changes shape with age. I need to remember that many (far, far too many) people are not fortunate to grow old, to experience all of life’s seasons. For many their time is up far too soon and I need to learn to appreciate that I am here, that I am given the luxury of ageing whether that be with a few stray grey hairs (who am I kidding, I am riddled with them!), whether that means waking up on a cold morning with aching knees (I am actually 33, just so you know cos I realise this post makes me sound much much older), whether I become a hunchback for several minutes after bathing the kids because my back can’t hack the leaning over and takes awhile to straighten back up or whether I have a few lines and wrinkles. I am sure my mum would have embraced her lines and wrinkles should she have been given the opportunity to live beyond such a young age of 43 (with some massive doses of expensive anti-wrinkle cream though I am sure, her vanity is something she will be forever remembered for in good humour!).
So remember that we are fortunate to age, to embrace the season of our lives (with a bit of hair dye thrown in for good measure!) and appreciate that you are one of the lucky ones.