We are on struggle street lately when it comes to sharing. Especially the Muddy Puzzler and the Muddy Baby Boy, they flat out do not like to share. It could be a drink cup, a bunch of grapes, a shovel in the garden, an elastic, anything, if one has it the other wants it, and they will do anything to either hold onto it or try and get it off the other. No amount of negotiations will help, no amount of bribery or coercion, it’s just flat out no sharing.
It has worn pretty thin, the tantrums, the tears, the fights, that is one thing they are both happy to do together, cry. I can tolerate the odd tantrum but when the two of them are home together it goes for most of the day. We are managing at the moment by being outside as much as possible and sending them to opposite corners of the garden, but as Jack Frost has also started visiting the time outside is getting shorter so I am in search of new strategies to stop the carry-on.
Baking works as long as they both have identical utensils, books work provided they are both allowed to sit on a knee, and that is where I have run out of ideas…….If you have any tips to help them learn to share or keep them separated I am willing to give them a go!
We have been very lucky this last week or so, we have been getting a lovely combination of rain as well as sun shine. This long weekend just past saw a particularly sunny Saturday and with visitors in residence we decided to drag out the yabby traps and see if the sunshine had tempted any to the surface.
We weren’t actually expecting to catch any, but we thought it would be a fun thing to do with all the kids. Lo and behold we ended up with a massive haul, more than enough to feed us all (and then some). We marinated them in garlic and butter before whacking them on the BBQ to cook. They were delicious. The kids didn’t go much on them to eat but loved the fun of throwing the traps in and then pulling them in later to see what we had caught. We were pleased to see lots of babies that we were able to throw back in to keep them breeding and the kids are getting more confident at pulling the traps in and getting the yabbies to hold.
This June long weekend has been the first one that we have been home for in a few years, normally we have been heading to Sydney. This year however was different, we had friends come and stay with us, with their precious 2 year old twins, they packed up their car and headed west to us. It was pure bliss, they were such easy house guests and the Muddy Kids just loved showing the twins all of their toys and all around the farm. We took them up the paddock and checked the sheep, we got them on the bikes and the tractors and even the back of the ute.
We shared good food, good drinks and good stories. This friend and I used to live together many years ago and it was just like slipping into old times, being in the kitchen together, just chatting and reminiscing, but with the added element of husbands and children, it was delightful. Simply delightful.
I am so grateful this week for when old friends visit with their new families, it is so special to be sharing our families and hopefully our kids will be firm friends like we are for a long time to come.
This is the year before my Muddy Pixie starts school, the year before her world opens up even more and she is no longer a ‘preschooler’ but a school kid instead. I am worried about my Muddy Pixie starting school, the special qualities that make her her are not all suited to a school classroom, so of course – I worry.
My Muddy Pixie is the total opposite of me, I am all about order, routine, structure, and without those I do not function so well. My Muddy Pixie however is all about what’s happening in the moment, what adventure is happening next, what joke is the funniest or what imaginative story can she tell to crack herself up into fits of giggles.
She is anxious, but sometimes it’s just for show, she is intuitive, she is a dancer, a story teller, a cycling pro, a little waif, a distractable, yet focused little soul.
We are facing some challenges this year to help get her ready for school, we are working on things as a family, and I have been amazed at how Muddy Hubby has stepped in to do some things with her that I do not have the patience for, despite trying to remain calm and composed and do the best I could sometimes there are just things that Dad does better.
My Muddy Pixie is certainly keeping me on my toes.
Sometimes I like to dream, to wonder about what might have been. Last week while I was in Sydney and I had too much time to think sitting on the ferry I started to think about what might have happened if I had stayed in Sydney. Would I be married with 4 kids by now, or rather would I be married at all? Would I own my own house or still be in renting hell, or worse still living at home with the parents at 34?
Would I be working in the ever changing and always rewarding world of disability or would I be stuck in a job I don’t really love. Would I have travelled and worked overseas like I had originally planned? Would I be as ridiculously happy in my life as I am now or would I be miserable.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, because it’s not the life I’m leading it’s an alternate reality that wasn’t meant to be.
Back in January the nearby Warrumbungles were hit with devastating bushfires, they pretty much wiped out most of the national park, very little flora or fauna survived. We watched each day from home as the smoke billowed up as it continued to blaze.
This weekend we packed up the Muddy Kids, grabbed some lunch and headed up to check out how nature fights back after this kind of devastation. There is a pocket of greenness at the bottom where we set up camp for lunch and explored the creek, it’s almost like an oasis, for as you continue to drive up in to the park the only green is where trees are beginning to reshoot. It was amazing to see.
We reached the only lookout open at the moment and walked the short walk to the top for an awesome view of the park, but it also took your breath away to see how much damage had been done. A definite eye-opener thinking about just how long it will take to fully recover. It is however a geologists dream, a rare opportunity to see the rock layers which are normally under the cover of trees. It was also a good chance for the kids to see what all the smoke and fire they saw back in January was about, allaying some of their fears and answering their questions.
My Muddy Puzzler is a little bit of an enigma, stronger in nature than her older two sisters and focused on whatever task she chooses to pursue, even if she knows it’s the wrong thing to do and it will turn my smile upside down, once she starts something she must finish in her eyes.
For me she is growing way too fast, she is three and a half going on thirty three, she is way more ahead in areas than her older sisters were at the same age, focused on practicing writing letters and copying them whenever she can, doing somersaults on the grass, riding a bike, all things that even now her older sisters sometimes struggle with.
I am in awe of her everyday, especially when she shows me something new she has learnt to do. I know she has her older sisters leading the way and she is desperate to be doing exactly what they’re doing but for me it’s all too much too quickly. I want her to slow down, I want to savour her being a 3 year old, tantrums and all.
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…..
Easter Sunday saw an obscene amount of chocolate delivered by the Easter Bunny, so to help use up some of the sugar high the Muddy Kids were on, we packed up and headed south to the Zoo for the Day. We are lucky to have the Western Plains Zoo only 100km away so it’s doable as a day trip.
Muddy Hubby and I put on our walking shoes and pushed two prams around the whole zoo (the map says it’s 5km, but I think it felt longer especially with side trips here and there to see specific animals). I was very proud of the Muddy Kids, they did quite a bit of walking, they also took it in turns riding in the bike carts their cousins were traveling in, but they still came home absolutely busted, not sure that there was one ounce of a sugar high left – until the next morning when they started all over again!
My favourite animal had to be the Galapagos Tortoise Hatchling, I find it so amazing that something so small can grow so big, with such a big shell.
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!