The other day I packed up the Muddy Kids and headed to Baradine! It was where it was all at! The annual Ring Trophy Carnival between the Catholic Schools from neighbouring towns, this is where they all come together, they have competitive marching down the main street, then a war cry competition and then the fun begins with races and relays, tunnel ball, captain ball, tug-o-war and then the novelty races. It is a great day, by the end of it I was busted and so were my 4 little people, just walking around the oval soaking it all in seemed to exhaust the young ones. Let alone my Muddy Organiser who marched and war-cried and played her little heart out. It was a proud Mum day as I watched her march so focused and go in the three legged race with her bestie, not caring who won, only that they worked together to stay upright.
I know there will be lots, lots more of these over the years, but I think each one will be just as heart warming and as exhausting!
Each year the school puts on a concert, every student has a part to play and most have a line, there is lots of dancing and singing and it keeps the audience in fits of laughter. So much time and effort goes into these concerts each and every year. There is a theme through each year’s performance.
This year it was ‘The History of the World’ and each year took a different part of history and turned it into a fantastic performance. Year One had ‘The Stone Age’, complete with The Flintstones and lots of cave people. I am in awe of the teachers that pull all this together and also of the sewing skills of some of the parents that make costumes! I do wonder how they’ll top each year, but somehow they do!
A little while ago a friend of mine was telling me about her little boy, he had had his eyesight screened at preschool and they had recommended that he have a full eye examination by an optometrist. Lo and behold he is longsighted and needs to wear glasses all the time.
The first time I saw him with his glasses on I made a really big deal about how cool he looked and how great it must be to see things clearly. His Mum was telling me he has been remarking on things all day like he’s seeing them properly for the very first time ‘oh wow Mum can you see that, that’s great’, ‘look at that Mum’. It was such a joy to watch the world open for him.
A week later I spoke to another friend who had just had her little boy’s grommets put in and when they got him home it was as if he was hearing things for the very first time, she put the dishwasher on and he came running up and pointed to the dishwasher and looked at her with amazement that it actually made a noise. It was so heart warming to hear such positivity.
Last week we got a recommendation that our Muddy Pixie see an optometrist, nothing major but after having both these conversations with parents I was straight on the phone to book and appointment. I got off the phone and a day later decided to also book in my Muddy Organiser just to be sure she has no problems, yes I know it’s overkill and it’s only because she’s been holding her book too close to her face, but I’d rather be safe than sorry down the track…..
Last week we had the pleasure of celebrating Grandparents Day at school. Last year my Muddy Organiser had no grandparents in attendance, this year she was lucky enough to have one. Thank Goodness it was the one she’d written the story about to display in the classroom.
I love days like these because you get an insight into what they’re doing in the classroom, what they’re writing in their sentence a day book or about their weekend. Funnily enough there are several mentions of playing with my sisters and going to the pub! I swear the teacher must think we hang out drinking all weekend!
Anyway My Muddy Organiser wrote a delightful story that ends with her telling everyone that my mother-in-law cooks and gardens for me! If only I was that lucky!
I have been promising my Muddy Pixie for a while now that she can have one of her ‘best friends’ over for a play date. Finally I got myself into gear and organised it. It was set to be a great day, she bought her bike and her swimmers and her mutual love of craft. It didn’t take long for things to turn pear-shaped.
You see, what I hadn’t counted on was that my Muddy Organiser also considers this little girl her friend and they would start fighting for her attention, for who got to ride their bike next to her, or sit next to her for morning tea and lunch and who got her to play their game of choice.
I tried reasoning with both of my Muddy girls, I pleaded with my Muddy Organiser to just give the Pixie and her friend a little bit of time (even a few minutes), but it didn’t stop the tears and the distress.
By the end of the day I was exhausted from keeping the peace, dancing then craft seemed to heal all wounds and keep us occupied for a good 90 minutes before we changed activities and then the day was over.
I am really not sure how to broach the play date in the future, it’s not a problem we’ve had before when we’ve had friends over to play. Maybe I try to lessen the numbers and organise activities elsewhere for one or the other, or maybe I just have to let them at it and they’ll sort it out.
How do you handle this kind of thing? Or is it something that only happens in our house?
One of the things I love about my Muddy Organiser going to school is reliving my childhood, or parts of it anyway! There’s been stories they’re reading at school or that she brings home from the library, sports I’d forgotten about like tunnel ball. I love watching her learn new songs and dances for the school social and singing along with her.
I was extra excited though last week when she bought home some string. Not just any string, but a loop of string to do Cat’s Cradle with. I can remember spending hours and hours trying new tricks with the string, I was hopeless but it didn’t stop me trying! My Muddy Organiser though has proved to be quite a whizz with the string, she can already do the Harbour Bridge and is teaching her friends how to do it. My Mum (god bless the teacher in her) has dug through her bookshelf and found a book on Cat’s Cradle and other string things which the Muddy Organiser is learning from to add to her string repertoire. She has already well surpassed my string abilities.
The thing I love most about the string is it’s portable, she takes it everywhere, it’s not electronic, it’s just good old fashioned fun at it’s best, just like my childhood. A teacher friend tells me elastics are the next thing coming back in!
The last week has passed in a rush of pretty dresses, parties, preschool concerts and ballet concerts. We’ve had rehearsals and our scary first foray into ballet concert make-up! We’ve had costume changes and hair spray in abundance to keep the wispy bits of hair in a tight bun.
Through it all we have had lots of fun, lots of photos and lots of proud Muddy Mummy, tear-in-the-eye moments. Each day I wake up and pinch myself in amazement that I have 4 beautiful Muddy Kids and feel like I’ve blinked and missed the last 6 years, as I now have a little ballerina, who proudly danced on stage, accepted her cup and her encouragement trophy, all without a clingy moment or worried cry!
Both the preschool concert and the ballet concert were hot, hot, hot days, 40 plus degrees, and my lovely Mum (Nana) came and sat through them both, helping me to look after the Muddy Kids and take photos and videos to make sure we don’t miss a bit of it! I am now officially exhausted and we have a few weeks of school, birthday parties and Christmas parties still to come before the guy in the big red suit visits, somehow I’m not sure that the next few weeks will pass without a few tantrums from all of us!
I am always in two minds when a big event comes up in town, do we go and come home exhausted, overtired and with considerably less money in my wallet. Or do we stay home and make our own fun?
Friday saw the big School Fete all organised. The Muddy Organiser was so very excited, she could barely contain herself. So I loaded up the rest of the Muddy Kids and headed straight to the school fete after school (it went from 3-7pm). I walked in and I was overwhelmed, there were so many stalls and activities and people! I had no idea where to start.
My problem too, was that I hadn’t set a limit to spending or activities in my head. Having never been before I wasn’t sure what to expect. It worked on a ticket system, you bought a heap of tickets and these were exchanged at most of the stalls. I quickly decided on a yes to face painting and fingernail painting, and yes to the jumping castle. The rest I was happy to avoid, but they suckered me in with the showbags and each of the Muddy Girls went home with one.
I have learned my lesson though, buy a set amount of tickets early and they can choose what to spend their tickets on, and once they’re gone, they’re gone and there’s no more! For some reason I found it heaps easier to spend tickets than cash! Very Dangerous! We did all have a lovely time though (even me) and they have started talking about what they would like to do at next year’s fete!
I am curious though – how do you manage kids and spending at big events?
Once a term my Muddy Organiser’s Class hold a Liturgy at school. Each term they have a different theme and the service is designed around the theme. Each member of the class has a role to play in the liturgy, whether it’s reading a line from a prayer, talking about the offerings they are bringing forward or to carry forward the offerings. They project the words for hymns and songs up onto a screen so the class and everyone in church can sign along. It is quite simply heart warming to watch.
My Muddy Organiser has a tendency towards shyness, she struggles to make eye contact and say hello, yet after only 6 weeks at school in term one she spoke into the microphone in a packed church for her line of ‘My name is Chloe’. Now in term 3 she is speaking long sentences into the microphone, sitting still through the service (and weekend services if we go), singing the hymns and songs and showing us just how much she has grown, learnt and changed in 3 short terms. It just never ceases to amaze me. With one term left of Kindergarten I have no doubt she’ll continue to warm my heart and make me all teary with just how much she’s grown up.
For the last few weeks when the house goes quiet my ears prick up (as any mum’s do really) and I listen hard, what I’ve been hearing though isn’t the sounds of mischief, it’s the sound of my Muddy Organiser organising her Muddy Sisters into line ready to march. Then starts the call ‘Left, Left, Left, Right, Left’ as she instructs them to keep their hands at their sides, fists clenched before setting off around the house.
It’s that time of year for the interschools sports trophy and one major part of this is the big march all the schools do down the main street of the town it’s being held in. There is even a separate trophy awarded to the school with the best marching (not kidding).
The teachers and principal at school have had them practicing for weeks (yes weeks), they have the drum going and you hear the call of ‘Left, Right, Left, Right’, ‘Lift those feet’, ‘Keep your arms straight’ as they march around the streets that border the school. It’s serious stuff this marching (who knew! Cynical me didn’t). My Muddy Organiser was so very proud this week to put on her poorly ironed sports uniform, white sneakers and school socks and head off to the march. For her it was all about the march and not so much about the sports and games.
The best bit though was her enthusiasm, she arrived back with just as much as when she left, she tried her best, had a great day and is already practicing her marching for next year, as much as I’m informing her that she’ll run out of march by next year if she keeps it up, she just keeps going. I have no doubt that by the time the rest of the Muddy Kids start school they’ll have the marching down pat thanks to their big sister!
And just so you know, they won the Marching Trophy!