Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tears and tantrums..erm that's me and not the kids

Whilst having children does (or should) make you a more responsible adult, it can, at times, make you regress and unleash the inner child in you. Sometimes in a good way, I can quite easily believe that our sofa is actually a car or a boat. I am an excellent guest at Olivia's tea party for her dolls and have spent a lot of money buying food from Beau's corner shop.

Yet, there are times when you have to remind yourself that you are the more advanced of the two parties involved and there are certain childish traits that you should just not follow.

I have definitely learnt that kids are more clever than we adults think, they have this amazing ability without much thought to bring us down to their level and behave in ways that are normally reserved for them.

Me and friend were also talking recently about her relationship with her daughter who is three and a bit and she confessed that she felt like the confrontations that she had were her were almost on a childlike level, there was no rationality to them and that it was more like playground behaviour than a mother trying to control her child. I then got on my high horse and told her that she needed to be the mum and not the child and all that sanctimonious rubbish that people say when they don't experience the same thing - but folks there is karma........

Today, I spent over an hour with the kids making cards with animals on hat you then rolled up tissue paper and stuck all over..see below for the evidence.

It was a lovely hour, the kids sat calmly and attentively whilst I dabbed on glue and told them where to stick (although Beau got bored half way through and went off to play wit his train) So me and Olivia soldiered on together to create what I thought was two cute and rather intricate pieces of art. Now obviously I accept that  I was far too caught up in my creative ego and really it was just a bit of tissue stuck on card, but at the time I was feeling all warm and cosy in the fact that me and my daughter had created a "masterpiece" together. 

So you can imagine my shock and despair when 30 mins later I found Olivia sat on the floor tearing off all the pieces of tissue that we had so delicately and precisely been applying. My friends I have to tell you that I almost burst into tears, I was speechless. In that moment you could actually say I spat my dummy. I actually wanted to stamp my feet, cry and say "that's not fair". For that moment my brain had been re-wired to that of my child's. I really wanted to have a tantrum, to sit and sulk in a corner with my arms crossed and my bottom lip sticking out.

And I did sulk, not in a corner, but I refused to talk to Olivia and told her to go away and not talk to me, which I would often do to my mum and dad whenever I had one of my little paddy's as a child. Stomping away with a proper exaggerated step to emphasise how angry I was. Oh my lord!!

Poor Olivia, she apologised without me having to say anything and then she spent the next 20 mins trying to make me laugh and all I could do was mope and moan about how she had ruined everything and dramatically exclaimed how upset mummy was. Of course, 10 mins later I felt a bit silly, why did it matter so much and why had I behaved so childishly? 

I guess sometimes the responsibility of being a parent can just become a little too much and like a child, we become a little sensitive and want to kick out, scream and wail. The difference between us and our children is that we have a conscience and  beat ourselves up for this occasional loss of control. For them, they have a tantrum, bit of a cry and a few minutes later it's forgotten. For us, the responsible ones, we then spend the next few days chastising ourselves about how bad a parent we have been.

Of course we can't always be the perfect parents and I have come to realise that I should not feel guilty when it comes to getting cross with the kids, I fully believe that if there is a child in this world that never misbehaves or pisses off their their parents then they are either Pinocchio and wooden or have been bound and gagged and locked in a cellar!!

It's ok to break out of the mummy/daddy role from time to time, but just remember, kids are highly observant and receptive, they learn and react from you and your behaviour. Yet  most importantly, always ensure above all else that your child knows that they are loved and cherished. When you do that the rewards are always worth the tears and the tantrums that you and them sometimes endure.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Heart on my sleeve

I'm really grateful for the feedback that I've had off people who have read my blog. The one thing that seems to come up is how open and forward I am about my life and things that I feel. I guess I don't seem to have a censor button when it comes to talking about myself and my emotions.

All my life I think I have been very forthcoming in terms of expressing myself. As a child, if I was upset, angry, happy, sad, pissed off, whatever, I not only let people know verbally, but also my body would also be acting out whichever emotion I would happen to be experiencing. Is there such a condition as emotional tourettes?

They say that your eyes are like a window into your soul, for me that is so true. Like my father, I think I have this ability to speak with my eyes and not say a word. As a child, it wasn't shouting in our house that had any impact, my dad would have a "stare", his eyes would go a very deep brown, almost black and they would fix upon you and hold you there under his gaze. If this was some sci-fi film, you could probably see the laser that was ever so slowly burning into your head. When you saw this stare, you would have to turn away quickly just in case he might actually penetrate the brain.

Maybe I picked up on this technique, or perhaps it was inherited, either way, I too have the "stare". I discovered this following a conversation that my headmaster (also taught me French) had with my parents when I was 12.

Mr Weremcyk - "your daughter is hard to teach"
my parents - "erm, ok, why?"
MrWeremcyk - "She has way of looking at me, that is most unsettling, a certain stare"

Yes, there you go folks, even at 12 I had the stare nailed.

I use the old adage ' I wear my heart on my sleeve'  because no truer words could be said, but it actually makes me feel comfortable to be so open and honest. I'm not ashamed of telling people how I feel. I sometimes think I do it because I want people to feel able to tell me things that they might not necessarily think is OK to discuss. This sounds very corny and perhaps a little bit egotistical, but nothing makes me feel better and happier when someone is able to disclose something to me that they might otherwise have felt awkward about. It's not about what they relate, but the fact that they can feel that they can relate to me. It's almost like I'm a big comfy chair that they can relax in.

The person I probably have to thank for this is my mum, she had the most warm and welcoming aura around her that glowed. People were forever in her office or on her phone seeking advice or just an ear. From old ladies and troubled teens to top flight rabbis, mum would listen to them with the same unaffected and nonjudgmental attention. There was no pompousness in her counsel, she did not feel herself as a martyr, she only ever wanted to make people feel comfortable in her presence.

But it is with the love and tolerance that I had from both my parents that have allowed me to be the open and honest person that I am today. They always encouraged both me and my brothers to be true to ourselves, making it feel natural for us to be expressive and emotionally unconstrained. Yes our house was often loud, contentious and somewhat tumultuous. However, when it came to who we all were as people, parents and children that was and still is bona fide and genuine.