Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category

A quiet day

October 9, 2013

Yesterday was Pearl’s birthday party, which was a roaring success.  It was a pizza-and-movie night, and everyone had a great time, there were no sulks or spats but lots of laughs.

Everyone was late to bed, so when today turned out cold, rainy and windy I was secretly quite glad.

I let the kids wake up in their own time, and eventually we were all dressed and more-or-less moving.  We did have some quick errands to run.  We wrapped up warmly and ventured out.  I treated us all to morning tea at our favourite cafe – the kids had all done great jobs yesterday getting the house ready for the party, so it was hot chocolate all round.

Then we came home, grateful again for our central heating, and settled in the lounge.  Pearl wrote her thank-you letters, Fainjin played with the Lego, and Babess coloured in.  We watched the Muppet movie and another kids’ film too, then some cartoons.  I worked on a quilt.

No-one got boooored, I didn’t hear “what can I doooo” once, we all sang along to the Rainbow Connection, and it was bliss.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Did they miss us?

September 2, 2012

The Dad and I very much enjoyed our weekend away, but were excited to go and collect the children again at the end of it.  Somewhat predictably (because it happened last time too), the children were not quite so excited to see us.

“We’re here to rescue you from Auntie B’s clutches!” I laughed as we arrived.  Pearl glanced up from  what she was doing and murmured, “Nooooo…”.

Babess smiled brightly at me and said, “But I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here for this many!” as she held up 6 fingers.  Fainjin just looked up and said, “Hi Mum,” but stayed firmly on the couch next to his adored older cousin.

They did all come home without much fuss though.  They had even made a card for The Dad for Fathers’ Day!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Praise unlooked-for

July 20, 2012

Twice this week I have had people I don’t know very well tell me lovely things about Pearl.

On Tuesday she went to play at a friend’s house – but this time it was at the friend’s Dad’s place, instead of her Mum’s.  Her Dad has a new partner, and it was this lady I was talking to on the phone afterwards.  “Pearl is so wonderful,” she told me, “just lovely to have over, she can come any time.  She’s so polite and plays so well, and so encouraging to [her friend]”.  I told her truthfully that I feel the same way about her step-daughter, and how happy I am that the two of them are such good friends.  And I glowed a bit in the reflected praise, it is really nice to hear someone else say how good your kids are!

Tonight The Dad and I went out and left the children with a new babysitter.  I have met her before, but don’t know her all that well.  When we got back she said, “The kids were great, no trouble at all, and Pearl made everything so easy.  She was wonderful, really helpful and sweet.”

I can’t think of anything nicer to hear.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Win some, lose some

May 29, 2012

Yesterday was one of those rare afternoons when everything seems to go right.

I managed to fit in a long walk before the school pick-up.  We came home promptly (most days there seems to be a lot of hanging around at school before we get away).  Fainjin gladly agreed to dry the dishes, “but first I have to read you my story Mum!” so he read to me first.

A neighbour came over for afternoon tea, and Fainjin played beautifully with her five-year-old while Pearl entertained the baby and made sure he didn’t pull any books down on his head or eat any Lego.

After they’d gone, I got dinner together while Pearl and Fainjin worked on their spelling homework – together(!).  The Dad and Babess arrived home just as dinner was ready.  Everyone ate all their dinner and ice-cream was enjoyed afterwards.

Fainjin and Babess had stories and were in bed more-or-less “on time”.

Pearl and I sat down to play Scrabble – her first game ever.  The Dad and I haven’t played a game in ages, but it recently occurred to me that Pearl would probably love it.  She does.

She beat me.  Easily.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

A sort-of sleep-in

April 8, 2012

Fainjin has been the first one awake for the past few mornings.  He bounces out of bed and runs in to see us, banging doors as he goes.  As it’s a long holiday weekend, we haven’t been quite as keen to get up as he is.

This morning he came in – already dressed – and, seeing us clearly still mostly-asleep, snuggled in next to me.  But he could see my alarm clock.

“It’s seven fifty-six!” he announced.

“No it’s not,” I groaned (it might have come out more like “Nhhhnnnnn”.)  (Yes, we are exceptionally lucky; our children do sleep past seven in the mornings).

“Now it’s seven fifty-seven!”

I wasn’t facing the clock.  I still didn’t believe him.  “Is it really a five?  Does it look like an S for snake, or the other way ’round?”

“The other way round,” he confirmed.  So it was 7:27, not 7:57.  Not that I really cared all that much.

“Now it’s 7:28!” he said, and thirty seconds later “It’s still 7:28…   now it’s 7:29!”

I dozed off and dreamed I was sleeping next to the Speaking Clock. Only it had icy-cold feet and wriggled and kept asking for breakfast in between telling me the time every minute…

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


March 29, 2012

Babess is pretty good about not taking toys to daycare these days.  She often takes one to cuddle in the car, and leaves it in her carseat “to looker after it” for the day.

But the past couple of days she has wanted to take her toy dragon “Dragy” into daycare with her.  “I just take him there and then you can take him away in your bag, ok Mama?  And he can looker after you.”

And so I end up with a brightly-coloured toy dragon in my handbag, lookering after me.

This morning as I arrived at work, I met our deputy CEO in the lift.  We exchanged pleasantries, and then he said, “I see you’ve brought your own toys today, Kate”.

Dragy was sitting up looking out of my bag!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Scary Mum

March 15, 2012

This afternoon we walked to Boys’ Brigade, and – having agreed with another mother to share pick-up and drop-off duties – took one of Fainjin’s friends with us.  He was very excited that this friend was walking with us, and said, “Mum, I’m so happy that T is coming with us!”

“That’s good,” I replied, “and I hope that T is happy to walk with us too!” (He did look happy enough).

And then Fainjin turned to his friend and said, “T, sometimes my Mum can be a bit scary.”

Luckily for my ego, and T’s composure, he said it with a giggle and a twinkle in his eye.  “Hey!” I said, and they both burst out laughing.  I don’t think either of them were scared of me at all.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Conversations at 1:30am

January 2, 2012

“Muuuummmmmeeeeeee!  Muuuummmmmeeeeee!”

There’s a certain sort of urgency that gets me out of bed at 1:30am.  Sometimes the little ones call out and I can tell (through my own sleep-fuddled fog) that they’re calling out in their sleep, or are nearly back to sleep themselves.  But sometimes there’s a note in their voices that gets me up and to their sides before I’ve even really realised I’ve heard anything.

This morning, Babess was calling me, but Fainjin was the one sobbing.  I went to him first.

“What’s the matter?”

“Daddy gave me the wrong food!” he was heartbroken.  Fearing a sore tummy and possibly a stomach bug, I asked, “When?  What food?”

“At lunch!” he wailed.  Whew, more than 12 hours ago, probably not a sore tummy then.  “What wrong food?” I was confused.

“I didn’t want milk on my cake!” more sobs. Since we didn’t have cake, with or without milk on it, I rub his back and tell him it’s a dream.  Some cuddles later, he settles back down.

Meanwhile, I’ve been talking across the room to Babess, who is sitting up wide-eyed.  She is worried about the monsters.  No monsters, I tell her, they’re not allowed in our house and certainly not to scare our children.  Did I growl at them, she wants to know.  Yes of course I did, because Mummies are good at scaring off monsters, and now they won’t dare come near.

“Has the moon gone down?” she asks next.  I don’t know whether the moon going down is a good thing or a bad thing, so I hazard a guess and speak confidently.  “Yes, all gone now.”  Turns out that’s a good thing, she’s worried about the “moon monster”, but if it’s gone then all will be well.  I don’t know where she’s got the idea of a moon monster from, or why she’s suddenly scared of monsters in the middle of the night.  More cuddles for her, her eyes are still wide and fearful but she lies down and snuggles her Piglet.

They both ask me to leave the light on, and Babess makes sure I’ll leave her cot side down (which we do anyway), because “otherwise I’ll be trapped”.  Since she can’t climb out even with the side down, I’m not sure what she means, but as long as she’s happy I’m not going to argue the point.

I stumble back to bed, tell the half-awake Dad what a brute he is for putting milk on Fainjin’s cake (he might as well be as confused as I am!), and drop back off to sleep amazingly quickly.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

O Christmas Tree…

December 10, 2011

The children informed us that it was time to set up the Christmas tree.  And so, The Dad got the box down, and set it up in the corner of the lounge:

There you go...

But NO, that was not good enough apparently.  (Oh my goodness, it’s fun to mess with their minds sometimes!).  They insisted that the tree be brought out of its box – despite our protests that it was all neat and tidy like that and we’d only have to put it back later.  There was much hilarity as the children explained the basic facts of the matter to their obtuse parents.  So we got out the tree.

Close supervision

Eventually it was all assembled, and again we stood back.  “Ta-dah!”


Now we had to decorate it as well.  Honestly, the demands these children make.  So out came the lights and the tinsel and the Christmas Goats, and finally they had the ritual they had been craving.

Babess taking it all very seriously

Eventually all the decorations were out of the boxes and on the tree, and we were allowed a real “Ta-dah!”


I suppose I should really get cracking on some Christmas cards, huh?

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Crafts for the fair

November 2, 2011

As I have noted, it is school fair season, and this year I got sucked in offered to help with the craft stall.  I joined a group of very busy mothers who somehow found time to do lots more work than I did, putting together peg-doll kits, cutting pieces for soft toy kits, making aprons, sewing brooches, and screen-printing teatowels.

Mug cozy!

I made mug cozies. (And helped with some of the other stuff).  Now, I do quite a bit of craft, sewing and quilting and knitting and crochet and so on, but mostly I do it when the children are in bed or out of the house, whenever I get some “me time”.   It hadn’t occurred to me that the kids were missing out on seeing it.  They see the finished products, but not often the process.

Tonight I was finishing the last mug cozy before heading to the pricing-and-labelling night – the fair is this weekend – and the children were fascinated.  Pearl wants to learn how to crochet.  Babess couldn’t tear her eyes away long enough to go and put her pyjamas on.  Fainjin was sorting through the buttons trying to find just the right one (and arguing with Pearl over purple versus red).

I see crochet lessons for small people in our near future…

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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