Category Archives: Mother Angst

The thing about boys….

stand a little closer

The thing about boys is that basically I have no idea about most things related to them, most obviously at the moment – the toilet training. With the girls I found it quite straightforward, they sit on the toilet, when they have an accident you clean them up, sit them on the toilet and let them know what they’re supposed to do when they go. For my Muddy boy though, it’s been a whole different kettle of fish, from standing on the grass, to sitting on the toilet, to standing on a step at the toilet, none of which have had any success!

The hardest part though has been the peer pressure from his sisters ‘Do you want to go?’, ‘shall we go to the toilet and try’, ‘do you want me to take you’, ‘can I get you some undies to wear?’ and on and on the questions and badgering come from them and in his efforts to please them he goes and has a try, but I think he’s even more confused than when we first started.

Our other challenge comes from him climbing on or over everything he can find, we found him swinging from the wool platform at the shearing shed the other day, with no idea of how he got there. While I love his independence and his amazing differences to his sisters, he continues to be a mystery to me in so many ways.

I am grateful for any advice on raising boys, particularly the toilet training, which is proving to limit our social outings!

The Sharing Thing

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!

My Muddy Pixie

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.

Grateful for Organising Tasks

No, this is not my house but things like this make my heart sing, sad really! source

I am the kind of person that when things start to get very busy and out of control my head races, I can’t switch off and everything just starts to snowball and I feel very unsettled and I don’t like it one little bit. This has been my life lately – unfortunately.

What I have found over the years though is that if I take a some time out, even just a few minutes, to reorganise something in the house then I am instantly a little calmer.

Sometimes it’s going the whole hog and rearranging bedrooms, sometimes it’s reorganising the filing system. For me today it was cleaning out the spice cupboard, you know the one that has countless amounts of herbs and spices, often multiple jars of the same one, mostly out of date because you just bought them for that one recipe you had to try and haven’t been back to use ever since.

My spice cupboard is a big one, it also has all the food colours and gels, the stocks and the salt and pepper shakers in abundance, so it was not a small task, but it was a calming one. Getting rid of the excess, even alphabetising the herbs and spices to make them easier to find, all served to give me a small semblance of calm heading into the weekend and for that I am grateful.

Linking up for 52 Weeks of Grateful, hosted over at Village Voices by the lovely Bron. Such a fantastic place to visit.

The Safety Blanket

My Muddy Organiser has a safety blanket, not a literal safety blanket but a little friend who has always been by her side. Her Best Friend is the one she can always rely on, the one who has always been there to do things together with first, from preschool to school to ballet and birthday parties. Everything is always OK because she knows no matter what her safety blanket won’t be far away.

Over the last few weeks I’ve realised that my gorgeous, soft-spoken Muddy Pixie has lost her safety blanket, she had one, just like my Muddy Organiser did, a buddy who has been there since she was a baby, and she still is there, but she has shot ahead in leaps and bounds and with her extrovert personality has made countless new friends and my Muddy Pixie has found this a bit too overwhelming.

So, I’ve made it my mission to take a bit more time to help foster new friendships for her, to have some play dates with some other little friends to see if there is anyone she takes a shine to, another little girl that might be feeling lost like my Muddy Pixie is. Someone who can maybe be that safety blanket for her. It may not work, she may not like her, she may not like them, who knows what goes through their heads when they make a decision on something, but I figure it’s worth a try. It breaks my heart when I see her looking so lost and I would dearly love to put some light back into her life and give her that safety blanket I think she needs.

Do your kids have a safety blanket, a friend they can rely on? Are they new friendships or old? Any ideas for good play dates?

Mr Independent

With my 3 Muddy Girls the biggest drama I had/have is probably their introvertness (not sure that it’s a word but works for me), now with my Muddy Baby Boy it is the total opposite. He is a real Mr Independent, happy to go off on his own, or preferably with Muddy Hubby if he can. He is an explorer, a constant little boy in motion, seeking out his next big adventure. Packaged with his independence is his determination, his determination to do whatever his big sisters are doing, or whatever takes his fancy at the time really.
As much as I love it, it is certainly keeping me on my toes and some days I honestly struggle with how to parent him. If he is told ‘No’ or ‘Stop’ he lays down on the ground and chucks a massive tantrum. If we go walking and he wants to stop, he just sits down, there’s no carrying him, he will get up and keep going when he is ready. If he sees something he wants there is no stopping him until he gets it, even if it means falling off the table in the process or banging into things as he pushes his way through, there is no fear, just total focus on his objective. Some days I long to be like that, so I can’t really complain because it’s a trait I admire, but it sure does make some days challenging.

Back to reality

After a week away our world came crashing back to earth quickly. My friends the snakes have moved in while we’ve been away. Once chose to make it’s home under the swimming pool tarps while the second one chose to greet me at the back door when I went to go outside, sliding between the metal and the mesh. It was not a happy welcome home.

I have resolved to invest in some ‘snake sticks’, which I have been unable to purchase in town as the only shop that stocks them is sold out. So they will have to wait til I am in the next biggest town for work next week. I have heard a lot about these ‘snake sticks’, some people think they definitely work, others think they don’t. Effectively they’re solar powered and they send out intermittent pulses at a frequency that deters the snakes to a 10m2 radius, apparently the snakes don’t come within that radius. At this point I am willing to give anything a go.

My other purchase has been some Guinea Fowl. These birds are excellent at alerting you to snakes, they flap and squawk and surround the snake, giving you a chance to get the kids safely inside and try and find a way to deal with it. They are only little, but I have placed a lot of pressure on these birds to do the job they’ve been purchased for! It helps that they’re very cute and get even cuter as they grow. And just because I couldn’t resist we have a new rooster, we’ve called him Bobby, he’s a blue crossed with gold Wyandotte and looks like he’ll be a good looking bloke.

Facebook and Puppy Power


Generally when Muddy Hubby, his Dad and Brother have dogs they try to have the same sex ones, so we don’t have any fraternising amongst the dogs and we don’t end up with puppies we have to find homes for. Sometimes though we end up with both sexes and the result of course is some very cute puppies.

The problem with puppies though is that you have to then try and find homes for them. We had already decided to keep one, friends were taking another and that left 3 puppies for me to find homes for. They are kelpie pups from good working parents, I wasn’t asking any money for them, I was just happy to find them a home.

I saw an ad on the local buy swap and sell Facebook page where somebody was looking for a free puppy, so I got in touch and they gave one puppy a loving home. That left me with two. I posted an ad on the local buy swap and sell page offering them free to good home, I had a person interested, but then no follow through. I rang the vet and they didn’t know of anyone interested, so I asked the vet what the best thing to do was, they replied honestly with ‘Have them euthanased is probably the kindest option’, apparently there are just too many puppies around at the moment, that there is no way to find homes for all of them. I asked about taking them to the RSPCA and the response was similar, you could take them there but they have way too many puppies as it is and they would probably be euthanased anyway.

I asked around and sure enough somebody had been turned away from the RSPCA when they tried to take animals to them. So, I was getting desperate, we couldn’t keep them, we have no need for that many dogs, I didn’t want to have them put down, so I resorted to Facebook, I put the call out to all my Facebook Friends that I needed to find homes for these two puppies to save their lives! Yes I used desperate words, but I wanted them to be loved. Lo and behold the response was amazing (for me anyway) I had offers for people to look after them until we could find homes, I had people sharing my status to all their friends to help find homes, ad within a couple of hours the last two puppies had loving owners.

For me social media continues to amaze me, the power it can have, the response it evokes from people, if we ever end up with puppies again it will be my first point of call to find homes for them.

When friends come to play

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?

The Pear Diet

Over the past year or so I have really struggled with my Muddy Pixie’s moods and behaviour. Some days she’ll be as high as a kite, silly, uncontrollable. Then other days she will be as low as anything, clingy, whingey, crying, really difficult to get to separate. If it was one or the other I think I would probably cope better, but it’s the unpredictability that’s keeping me on my toes. Then there’s her airy fairy concentration, as she’s so busy watching everything else going on you can’t get her to focus on a task.

We’ve seen an OT and got some good strategies, but while talking to the OT we started talking about food and behaviour and this has led us down the path of the ‘Pear Diet’ as we have so aptly called it. It’s actually officially called the Elimination Diet but we have called it the Pear Diet, because it involves a lot of Pears. Pears are the only fruit you can eat on the ‘Strict’ Diet.

We are almost one week in and it is killing me, but the Muddy Kids are doing really well. Before we go anywhere they are under strict instructions to ask me before they eat anything offered to them by somebody else. We have the Recipe Book that goes with the Diet and we’ve been making things from that to take to morning teas and swimming lessons.

It has been really interesting reading and learning about the chemicals that occur naturally in food that can affect behaviour. I’m already noticing a difference, not so much in my Muddy Pixie, but in my Muddy Puzzler, her withdrawal symptoms have been more significant than the other Muddy Kids.

We still have a few weeks left, the food challenges and then the planning after that on adaptations to our regular diet. What I’m learning a lot about though is how to use pears in meals, who knew they made a good lamb kebab marinade!