kids

Parenting woes and stubbed toes…

girl smoking

“Schizoid behavior is a pretty common thing in children. It’s accepted, because all we adults have this unspoken agreement that children are lunatics.”    ― Stephen King

Remember the days before you had children?
The days of late nights for social reasons, late mornings for sleep catch-up purposes and being able to go to a party/holiday/shopping trip on a total whim – often catching a ‘last minute bargain’
This was the period of your life known as B.C….Before Children.
However, if, like me, you have entered the ‘other’ part of existence known as W.C…..With Children, no pun intended, life is probably rather different:
The dark days of late nights due to baby/child/teenager being sick/stubbing toe and demanding attention. Early mornings every morning as the kids seem to work on a time zone similar to that of Narnia. Never being able to go anywhere on a whim. Ever. This is also closely linked with supermarket meltdowns and getting fleeced for term friendly holidays.
kid superman
Here are some situations that I am sure fellow W.C survivors will relate to, some more than others….
1. You know the name of every Skylander ever created but can’t remember where you put your door keys…again.
2. You try to pay for your shopping at the corner shop and find 3 buttons, 1 stone, a fluffy sweet and an elastic band in the pocket where your money used to be.
3. The only similarity your life has with that of a rock star is the group of whining ‘groupies’ that follow you everywhere you go chanting your name….think Stewie.
4. Your social life starts to resemble that of a very old nun. A very old anti-social nun. In fact you begin to suspect that said nun actually has a better social life.
5. On more than one occasion you have climbed into bed after a hard days parenting, only to find that one of your little darlings has beaten you to it, done a wee and then got back in their cosy dry bed…..true story.
6. Having a shower becomes a family event with the kids in and out wanting a poo, help with a shoe lace or other urgent ‘problem’ that needs immediate action.
7. Helping the kids with their homework consists of opening multiple google search windows and bribery on a massive scale.
8. Holiday priorities change from ‘great beach and stunning vista’ to ‘kids clubs and babysitting facilities’.
9. You start to sound more like your mum than she ever did…
10. You arrive at work in your slippers, very scary hair and last night’s bolognese on your shirt…and it’s only Monday.
 If you have yet to experience the joy of parenthood, please don’t let me put you off, you might be one of the lucky ones that gets a text book child that is well behaved and polite…If on the other hand you have already had children and know the odds of actually being blessed with text book kid are less than 0.01 I salute you, feel free to add to the list if you feel I have missed something;)
naughty kids
Photo credits:
Girl smoking with kind permission of  peagreengirl via Flickr/CreativeCommons.
Superman baby courtesy of simosmme via Flickr/CreativeCommons.
Naughty cupboard thanks to lucyfrench123 via Flickr/CreativeCommons.
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Five reasons you should go travelling…

tent

When I was a child holidays abroad were something other families did whilst we spent wet weeks in Wales, often camping.My first trip out of Britain was to Jersey where, aged 21 I got a small taste of life beyond the shores of the UK.It did more than whet my appetite and I have in the years that followed been to many amazing places around the world.

Learning something new about myself and the world on my travels, I have fantastic memories of souks in Dubai, lunch in Monte Carlo, shopping in Nice and meeting Mary Poppins at Euro Disney.Taking the children with us on many trips abroad has also opened their minds to different cultures and instilled in them the urge to spread their own wings when they are older.

Dubai

The benefits of travelling are vast and the reasons numerous…here are my top five reasons you should go travelling today.

1. To connect with other cultures.

There is much to be said for getting down with the locals in another country.They will show you the true beauty of their culture, be it with traditional homemade dishes or giving you a heads up on the best place to get a bargain.Be prepared to have misconceptions blown out of the water as you see for yourself the reality of life in another country, it is often not what you would expect.

2. The sense of achievement.

The feeling of managing and planning a journey into the unknown is great, especially when it is a success.In all our travels we have yet to have a ( major ) mishap and a little forward thinking goes a long way.The confidence boost of getting to your destination without losing a child or your luggage alone is worth the effort.

3. To take a break.

They say a change is as good as a rest and never is this more true than when travelling.The time out is sure to charge weary batteries and force even the busiest person to slow down.

4. See something new.

There is a whole world out there waiting to be explored and never before has travel been so accessible.Flights are available to many far flung destinations and can be very reasonably priced, especially when booked in advance.Who knows, you may come back inspired to make a change or at the very least will see life in a different way.

5. To learn.

You are never too old to learn something new, from a different language to cooking an exotic dish. You can always learn about yourself too and what better classroom than on location in an interesting part of the world.

The bottom line is travelling is good.Young, old and everyone in between can benefit from a break in routine and a journey to somewhere new and exciting.

Where are you planning on visiting next? Me, well Italy has great pasta and I love a good lasagne so who knows…..

trunki

Photo credits:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/summonedbyfells/ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dubai_night_skyline.jpg and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trunki_1.jpg   via Creative commons

TRAFFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL FACES FORCED ACADEMY STATUS

PARENTS were once again left feeling shocked and disappointed as it was revealed that Wellfield Junior School, of Dumber Lane, Sale is facing the possibility of becoming a forced academy.

Despite making positive improvements across all year groups in a very short space of time, John Tomlinson, acting head, was visibly saddened to share this latest blow with parents at a  meeting to discuss the impact of the recent Ofsted inspection that labeled Wellfield as inadequate.

Changes made already have included an adjustment to the school timetable, meaning the children now benefit from a short break mid afternoon, which Mr. Tomlinson says has had far reaching results already.

The teaching system has been tweaked with focus on much sharper lessons,  links have been developed with a local outstanding school and there is evidence of this paying off in the outstanding work being produced by the pupils.

But are the changes too little too late for Wellfield?

The fact that academy assessors have already been into the school is proof that the Government is flouting its own guidelines, which state that academy status should only be considered for schools with long histories of poor performance.

One parent pointed out, “What is the point of Ofsted giving a notice to improve if the school is not given the chance to implement the changes, it’s like they have already decided the outcome..”

Speaking to Rhonda Evans, founder of Academies and Lies, it would appear that the parent concerns are with good cause, Rhonda is campaigning for greater awareness of the right to fight in this situation, a situation seemingly growing by the day as more and more schools get caught in the net known as forced acadamisation.

Watch the official trailer for Academies and Lies, a short film made by Rhonda which uncovers some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding Academy status and what this really means for our children and their education.

       

Sunday morning mouse madness….

Did I mention I have several cats?

 

I don’t think I did, as I’m not really a cat lover….more a sucker for a sob story, which is possibly the same reason I have four children, but that is a story for another day 🙂

So, anyway back to the cats….

images-4

I actually have four of them at the moment, although in the past year I have had up to 13 at some points, mostly due to the fact one cat was of a very promiscuous nature and enjoyed nothing more than  to share the feline love…all over the village, thus making me known locally as the crazy cat lady

crazy cat lady

I have a depressed looking tabby called Daisy, an obese black n white monster of a cat called Sox, a beautiful male bengal we call marble and his sister, a neurotic yet beautiful silver cat that was responsible for the recent cat boom in Manchester:)

Late last Saturday night I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and was gob smacked to find a field mouse doing the back stroke in the cat water bowl…with all four cats looking on with resigned expressions….

cat n mouse

The mouse jumped out of the bowl, ran straight past the useless cats and under the boiler into the dusty darkness….

After spending over an hour with my face on the kitchen floor shining a torch under anything I couldn’t physically move with Sox looking at me as if I was stupid, I decided to call it a night and hope that at least one of the cats would deal with it for me by morning, after all that is what cats do, isn’t it?

“Mum!! Mum!! The cats are playing hide and seek with a mouse”

Sunday morning began with child number 4 shouting up the stairs, announcing the fact that, rather than kill the mouse as one would expect, mine had decided to offer it full board with breakfast in exchange for a friendly game in my dining room.

Lurching out of bed and stumbling down the stairs I grabbed a towel and set about catching the bloody mouse myself, this time my audience were captivated, the kids watched bemused while stroking the cats and debating what they were going to call said mouse, seeing as it had come to live with us….

This obviously ended in tears. Mostly mine actually as it took me almost an hour before I eventually caught it and set it free in the back garden, much to the kids disgust as they had decided by then that it was a he and was to be named Timmy.

I now know there are many ways to catch a mouse, some more entertaining than others, yet none involving a crazy woman with Medusa hair brandishing a bath towel and yesterdays mascara…I spot a niche here.

This whole experience has taught me some valuable skills and knowledge though, next time one of my friends is terrified by a little critter in their kitchen I may offer to remove it for them as I have learnt that I have no fear of mice, only of putting my cheek in an unexplained wet patch on the floor whilst looking under the cooker for them…..

I have also done a little research myself and have found the perfect answer to my bone idle cat situation…..I have advised them that the next time I find a mouse they will have to find alternative accomodation, there is no point in having cats if I am spending Sunday morning doing the fandango with a mouse is there?

IMG00122-20110514-1549

 

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