Monday, 15 December 2014

Bad start

It's school holidays, and we've had a bad start.

Day one started early with Tara having acute ear pain, nausea and hearing loss. We couldn't find a doctor, so rushed off to the Emergency department at the hospital. I know...,apologies for using the over stretched Emergency department, but it was the early hours of the morning and they were not attending to anyone.

Tara got seen to, and armed with a prescription we came home to a dull day full of hot water bottles,  Calpol, Neurofen and lots of miserable hugs and cuddles.

Actually I prefer it this way. I'd rather have Tara at home where I can at least look after her rather than worry about school and how she's feeling there. It is however a shame if her holiday is ruined with this ill timed illness. I am tired... :-(

The Husband has been wandering around with a  sulk over the last two days. I have explained that Tara gets cranky and difficult when she's ill. The difference between a normal Tara and an ill Tara is very obvious. But it seems I have two children in the house, not one. :-(

Onwards and upwards !!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Cautious scepticism

This morning :

Tara: Mummy, have I lost almost all my baby teeth?

Me : I think so...I've lost track but many have fallen

Tara: It's just that I think.. I know... there is no Tooth Fairy. It's you...isn't it?

Me: Hmmm..

(Long pause)

Tara (voice trailing): Anyway...even if she is real...and I don't believe anymore...I won't get a pound coin...

(Longer Pause)

Tara: Mummy..?

Me: Yes?

Tara: I'm not saying this..I'm not even thinking it, but people say..HE is not real either..

Me (Heart breaking silently): Who?

Tara (whispering): I won't say HIS name in case the elves are hiding about. I'm not sure...but I will believe....just in case HE forgets me this Christmas..

Me: Okay darling..

Why? Why must they grow up? I wonder why the cynical few blow it for the innocent believers..


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Car Insurance Renewal


I renewed my car insurance myself! It may be a routine job for most, but I was swimming around make and model of car, Year purchased, no claims discounts, and types of alarms, types of insurance etc. for ages before I finally sorted things out...and saved money :-)

Baby steps...and I'm getting to know my car better.

Next step, check tyre pressure in a  few weeks. Im nervous already but will find a quiet time of day and go for it.

Tyre change-Part 2

After I had the flat tyre replaced last Monday by the mobile tyre fitter, he noticed that another tyre was in bad shape and recommended it be changed as soon as possible. He didn't carry spare tyres so asked me to pop into their garage around the corner.

Continuing on from my previous post, other than filling the fuel tank I know nothing about my car. The Husband sorts out the MOT and service when I remind him to. I don't even know where to go to get those done. He even does the car tax renewal. We had agreed many years ago, that I would handle all household affairs except the car because it was not my area of expertise. A mental block perhaps, but inspite of many requests to The Husband for some basic knowledge,  he's never found the time nor inclination to educate me on any elements of car ownership.

I think after multiple requests over the last few years he's taken my car maybe once to get tyre pressure checked. Now this is the same car that is carrying his only child everyday.

Back to the tyre fitting. I spoke to The Husband and explained the urgency of getting the other tyre replaced. That was many days ago. He did nothing. The tyre place is just five minutes away from where we live.

I finally gave up and called out the mobile tyre fitting man to replace my tyre at home today. Yes its more money than I would have paid at the garage, and yes, shame on me for being unable to do it myself. But at this point of time it was the best I could come up with.

I was furious and simmering in silence. Now let me see, I must get those hormones checked mustn't I? 

Feeling valued

I think feeling valued is very important for a human being. Im not talking about putting someone on a pedestal or worshipping them...not even praising someone....just valuing another person by expressing basic concern, care and keeping the trust.

I made a bad decision yesterday. I called my sister to share my feelings. I usually deal with my moods and problems myself. It is not something I would advise or recommend, but if there are not many options around you deal with things the best way possible. If things reach a boiling point, I come here on my blog and just talk..still a bit guarded...but I talk. No one visits, so no one judges.

Going back a few weeks, having been to my GP about my rage and low mood phases, I had received a possible diagnosis of some form of PMS or PMDD. I had mixed feelings. One part of me wasn't convinced that it was my hormones. Another part of me was relieved that it wasn't my fault that I was being a horrible person...I could blame my hormones...even though they are...well... actually "me." I would at this point like to declare myself to be a very compassionate and unselfish person. Behaving in the opposite fashion to my dear ones causes me the greatest amount of pain.

So after my GP figured I might have these conditions, (based purely on a chat and no other tests..hmmmm) I called my sister and told her. In many more words her basic reaction was that, I was always in denial, and it was about time I saw a doctor. She added that I owed it to my long suffering Husband and little daughter to do whatever it takes to sort myself out. She continued that I should explore every option and not rule out anything because it wasn't fair on my family.

I heard her, and waited for any words that would show concern towards me, and how I felt. No, she went on about how I was impacting everyone else in my family and they didn't deserve it. Me? Nothing..I just need to pull myself together for everyone else.

Later that day I made my second major mistake. I spoke to The Husband about my doctor's visit. Im not sure why I did. I figured firstly, that's what loving people do. Secondly, after I spoke to my sister, I was craving some concern towards me. After I told The Husband, he said this:

" I did notice you go a bit out of control at the end of every month. Oh no..that's when our Disney holiday is booked for!"

If there was any unbroken piece of my heart, it broke right there.

I slunk away and retreated into my bad mood expressed as silence.

I will be getting those blood tests to check my hormones,  but something tells me its not the hormones....time will tell.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Car trouble, and why all women should be up to speed with their vehicles

I've never had car trouble before. I never knew that car trouble could make me burst into tears. Come to think of it, I'm probably so spectacularly ill equipped to deal with life's small nuisances that I fall apart at the smallest thing.

It is a possibility that my reactions are connected to my wild moods which seem to have surfaced over the last few years. My GP has hinted that I might have PMDD. This is like PMS, except that it is like PMS on steroids...basically a hundred times worse....and no cure in sight. PMDD is like an out of body experience where you are a shocked audience to your horrendous rage and disproportionate reactions to life's little situations. You know you're doing it, but can't do anything about it. More about that another day.

Back to my car trouble, the reason I burst into tears is the "could have been really bad" scenario the tyre fixer painted for me. I carry my most precious cargo - Tara. If something "really bad" happened to her in my car, I don't know how I would deal with that.

It's also worth pointing out that if I do burst into tears, it is ALWAYS after the problem has been solved or crisis averted. I NEVER break down in the midst of troubled times. In fact I would say, I am the best person to have around in choppy waters. I go into warrior-mode, and all manner of solutions arise from my clear mind. Once the moment passes and things are set right, I sit down...and I burst into tears. Like today.

So what happened exactly?

On Thursday afternoon after the school run, as I reversed the car into my drive, and went inside with Tara, all was well. That night, when the Husband got back from work, he noticed that my rear tyre was in shreds and the car was sitting uncomfortably on one side. I wondered when that happened, and why I didn't feel anything driving back.

The Husband was going out again, too busy with one thing or the other and said he would look into it later. It was almost 5:00 pm, and I wanted a solution before everything shut for the weekend. Since The Husband wasn't enthusiastic enough to find a solution,  I went on my computer to try and find one. I was also  wondering how one solves this problem, especially since the car was not drivable to the nearest tyre centre.

In my world, I just drive the car. The only other thing I do that is car related is fill up the fuel tank. I assumed, wrongly as I learnt, that the MOT and annual service would pick on everything else. I am ashamed to say I don't know how to check tyre pressure or how often it is to be checked or how to actually change a tyre. (I didn't even know that a spare tyre and the tyre changing paraphernalia lay at the bottom of the car boot, until the tyre fixer showed me).

I finally found a mobile tyre fitting service but they couldn't get to me until Monday. I hastily booked a taxi for Tara's school drop off and pick up on Friday. They had limited slots available as it was rush hour. I took what they gave me, which meant I had to wait outside school for longer than I would have liked, and then rush Tara out of school barely spending half an hour at her after school Xmas fair. I had no choice, I had to get home. The bus was not an option since Tara suffers extreme motion sickness in planes, trains, boats and buses. She can just about keep it together in a taxi. The weather wasn't conducive to walking either.

The weekend was quiet. Then I had to book a taxi for Monday morning drop off too.

Luckily the tyre man came home and sorted things out. He had a talk with me (at my request) and patiently explained what I need to know about tyres. More on that in my next post.

I now firmly believe that everyone - men and women- need to do more than just drive their cars. I also need to replace another tyre which didn't look very healthy. I will get that done as soon as the tyre centre can fit me in.

Its not a good month to be spending money on the car rather than family presents. But the best present I can give Tara is a healthy Mummy driving a safe car.

Happy December everyone. Do look after yourselves and the tonnes of metal you trust everyday.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Real Heroes

Some people get awards, public recognition, fame, applause.

Then there are others who deserve all of the above, but hardly ever get a mention. They do what they have to do. Politics, War, Conflict etc. all kept aside, this picture speaks a thousand words. Soldiers and children.

Location : Flood rescue operation in Kashmir, India.

Black Friday

It's basically a sale...with a flashy new American name.

Personally, all the hoopla has  put me right off, and made me put a reminder to stay in, and away from the shops. Yes I will miss some "never-before" bargains. At least I won't be elbowed out of the way by my fellow humans as I reach for a pint of milk.

What is a "never-before" bargain anyway? Was my life in some way, shape or form lacking without this miracle "never-before" item? I think it's a holiday from the shops for me. I occasionally will catch a glimpse on the news about Friday's mayhem...or anticipated mayhem. It may well be a damp squib.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What is true love?

Tara asked me once, "Mummy how do you know if it's true love or not true love?"

I did what I do sometimes....ask for time and say I will get back to her. She's good like that my little Tara. She doesn't insist on immediate answers. I'm good in that I always get back to her with an appropriate (in my opinion) answer as opposed to hoping she forgets about particularly awkward questions.

I also seize opportunities in conversations (again age appropriately) to educate Tara about life's realities, be it the changing body of a girl or how babies are made.

On extremely awkward subjects, on maybe one or two occasions I have been known to request a longer period of time for an accurate answer. Tara is very accepting of that. She told her Papa. If it's not meant for me to know at this age, it's okay Mummy will tell me when I am old enough. Phew....

So yesterday I came up with one definition of love.

True love is choosing HER over the whole world. True love is never having HIM make that choice.

Tara didn't get that.... After reading that again, Im not sure I got it either :-) So it's back to the drawing board. I have to come up with another in a week. Any help is appreciated. :-)

P.S. True love is when you send HIM to the shops with a very specific list, and HE actually gets the right things !!!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Do it yourself

I wasn't feeling well yesterday and had a handful of things to get from the shops, including some medicines. The Husband was back from his "amazing" weekend in Leeds and had the warm after glow to show for it. I hesitantly asked him to get me a few things. Items required were not terribly hard to find, especially since I had written down their names and the shops they would be available at. Oh..I also took pictures of some of the labels and texted them to him to make it easier.

He came back in an hour. All three items were not what I asked for.

"If you want something done properly, do it yourself."

Ive heard that before, but don't agree with it. If that was the case, people wouldn't have so many different jobs in the world; one person would do everything in that case. It also makes complete sense to be able to rely on someone when the need arises, with the confidence that things will get done. Having to settle for something simply because you ask someone else to do it is not okay.

So what went wrong? I struggle to accept that "men will be men." Unless the whole lot of them are self centred, lazy and incompetent. The Husband never gets anything wrong when it comes to himself, then why is he so regularly wrong when it comes to the odd occasion that I ask for something? Taking for granted, not paying attention...I sense a storm brewing.....Day 30 of my "No shouting for a year" is about to come to an abrupt end.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I don't remember

Three words that are driving me nuts these days are,  I - DON"T - REMEMBER

Mum : Tara, where is your pencil case?
Tara : I don't remember

Mum : Tara, did you have your chewy multivitamin this morning?
Tara : I don't remember

Mum : Tara, can you tell me what happened after school on Friday as we walked back to the car?
Tara : I don't remember

The last question blew my fuse today. So a seven year old child has the memory of a flea. I don't mean to insult fleas. I am fairly sure that fleas don't have a very good memory.

What is going on with the "I don't know".Laziness, is the only available answer to me. When you do everything possible for your child with the intention of enabling them, sometimes you can inadvertently disable them.

Should I help Tara with her homework or not...Today she made the most basic of mistakes. All children are supposed to put their name at the top of the homework sheet. Tara forgot...alongwith putting the title of her work....and punctuation...and capitals. Am I supposed to remind her or not? I feel I should send Tara to school with 100% independently done work, whatever the quality, so she gets an idea of the real world and the sharp end of her teacher's tongue, who has incredibly high expectations from Tara. I feel cruel and upset, and The Husband is away on a weekend with his friends.

Couldn't I have waited another day to lose my temper? I feel awful for yelling at a small child, awful that I did it when her Papa is away, awful that I help her with her school work.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Let it be

Some things in life are very personal. Taste in food for example, cannot have a right or wrong. Some people like the taste of some foods, while others hate it. That doesn't make that food yum or yuck. The same applies to combinations of foods. I see food experts get very titchy when one dish is taken with another "unsuitable" one. Excuse me! It's the eaters mouth and their taste buds that matter...nothing else. Ive seen ice creams accompany the most unlikely of foods, but it doesn't bother me so much that I wax eloquent on it till the cows come home. As long as Im not being coerced to try something I don't want to, Im cool.

Clothes and fashion. Very personal. Who am I to say what someone feels good in is or is not in good taste? Now Im not talking about extreme examples like Madonna's conical top. That iconic apparel was probably created for shock and awe...and to pierce someone through the heart maybe. Liz Hurley's safety pin dress...again..not what I'm talking about. Let's say my friend's dress.  A particular garment not very visually appealing to me for whatever reason. If my opinion is not sought at the time of purchase, and if my friend is not in grave danger, or unknowingly humiliating herself,  I can exist happily in the same space as her without voicing my opinion on the garment of her choice.

Movies. I choose to remain silent on this most times. It genuinely doesn't bother me if someone likes serious meaningful cinema while others prefer light hearted fare. Just as one has the right to be extremely analytical and passionate about their cinema, another has the right to be flippant and dismissive about it. How can one be right and the other wrong? Its what a person chooses to do with their time and money. Box office collections are debated and a movie slated for being a hit even after collecting so many millions at the box office. A few critics dismiss the millions of people who chose to watch something that isn't considered cinematic enough. I wonder...who cares as long as the end viewer is getting what they want?

Why is it so hard for people to let others be?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Bonfire Night

It's Guy Fawkes day today...exactly one year since we moved into this house. It's been a great year, with wonderful memories and new beginnings.

Tara sat on my lap on the bed looking out of my bedroom window, staring wide eyed at the unexpected bonus of firework displays in the clear sky above. Slowly she turned to me and said, "Mummy, I am so happy to share this special moment with you. I love you Mummy."

Life was perfect in that one moment.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Bach Rescue Remedy

I reached for the last weapon in my anti-shouting armoury yesterday-The Bach Rescue Remedy drops....all 4 of them...drops I mean. 4 drops is the recommended dosage.

On the bottle it says to take as many times as you need. The bottle is so tiny that I could make short work of it in one swig, but I took 4 drops as advised and waited to calm down. Tic-toc-tic-toc-tic-toc. Just counting the minutes down to feeling good does some amount of work distracting the brain. But I don't think I felt any better. I did the next best thing, got away from people and situations and did some work on the computer. After a while I took another 4 drops. Still can't say if they work or not.

What I did realize is that I was not an alcohol virgin anymore. The ingredients lists a 20 something percent grape alcohol content, and on googling discovered that the taste I was sensing was like brandy. I have tasted it before in some amazing chocolate liqueurs. The Husband says that 4 drops and some chocolate don't count as alcohol drinking. Drat! I was feeling quite happy secretly. No one has stopped me from drinking, I have no problems with anyone choosing to drink, but it's just something Ive never done. Friends swear by a glass of wine or two in calming their frayed nerves sometimes. 

For me 4 drops of Bach will do. Cheers! and Hic Hic Hurray...School opens tomorrow...I have mixed feelings. Im physically tired (Oh I did fall down the stairs two days ago carrying a laundry basket, and am in incredible pain too), but a bit sad inside too at not having my hugs on tap from the loveliest daughter in the whole world. I am blessed.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween

I just need a reason to celebrate. Anything really.

The Husband was working away from home and that left Tara and I with Halloween celebrations to organize. I wasn't keen on going trick or treating in the dark without The Husband. Turns out that Tara wasn't keen on going out either. She said she doesn't like going door to door asking for sweets. Fair enough.

I decided to do what I do best - organize an impromptu mini celebration at home at short notice, with only one target audience to please - Tara. Saying that, it doesn't take much to please her.

We watched a Halloween movie, played ball outside, (it was warm today), made some paper decorations in the evening and ordered a Halloween special pizza meal deal for dinner. When it was dark we turned off all the lights in the house, disabled the doorbell (sorry kids!), lit candles, and decorated Tara's playroom at the back of the house. We had a good time. As if on cue a firework display overhead made our day feel extra special. We hugged each other and shared a special Mummy-Daughter warm moment to put away in our memory banks for the future.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Confession from Mummy

I feel very proud when I see Tara enjoying fresh salad leaves, cucumber, and various fruits and vegetables alongwith her meals. She's not the best eater in the world, but she eats right. It's not genetic or her natural predisposition to eat these. It's a culmination of years of strategy and a few white lies.

In her earliest years when my Tara was a helpless baby wobbling on her high chair, she had no choice but to eat what was prepared for her. In my efforts to provide the best possible fresh home made food, I created some horrible horrors that were probably very good for Tara's health but not great on the taste buds. Tara had always been given a wide variety of fruit for dessert, and only came across chocolate when offered it in Reception year at school. It was never a planned decision, it just never happened, as fruit was always the undisputed option at home. I remember getting a note back from the teacher that my four year old was reluctant to eat chocolate because "she had never eaten it before!"

I did not appreciate the speech marks and the exclamation mark in the teacher's note. It seemed to imply that the teacher didn't believe Tara when she said she had never tasted chocolate before. Okay it wasn't the norm, but she wasn't lying. So I sent a note back saying it was true but I had no objection if she did eat it. That evening The Husband and I offered Tara her first chocolate. We offered a plain chocolate square to her, and watched her nose crinkle as she said "Blechhh!" The Husband and I took a piece each and watching us she took a tiny nibble of hers. The crinkled nose unwrinkled, and a puzzled expression crossed Tara's face...shortly followed by a smile. There..done :-)

I was a bit concerned if I had made a mistake not offering chocolates to Tara earlier, and she would now turn into a chocolate fiend making up for lost time. Thankfully I was wrong. Till this day my seven year old is very content having a square or two of chocolate a day. If only I followed my own good preaching. One or two squares a day is an insult to me. I can breathe in one or two squares a day. Tis better NOT to offer me one or two squares a day...A lot more or none at all...All 70% dark good quality stuff only please..... :-)

Back to Tara's food habits. As she grew, she developed a liking for cheese. She could eat cheese in anything, but like everything else I kept a tight control on too much cheese. I hit gold when I realised that Tara would attempt to eat anything with cheese on it. So I made cream...all healthy...quite delicious, then grated some cheese on top. So little cheese that it would fly off the bowl if you blew on it. I changed the name of my vegetable soup to Extra Cheesy Cheese soup. It was a runaway success! Only last week as she finished her last spoonful, my lovely child commented to her father, "It was really extra cheesy today Papa." I help matters along by saying I had put extra cheese in Tara's bowl, and not so much for Papa.

I did the same with green salad. I started stuffing crunchy green lettuce in Tara's chicken sandwich, a bit at a time. When the sandwich is eaten she could reach for the Babybel cheese sitting next to it. (She has one Babybel per week) so that's not a bad tradeoff.

Baby salad (spinach, chard, beetroot, lettuce, rocket) served with a  barely-there dusting of cheese with her main meal is eaten with enthusiasm too.

this Mummy considers this a little feather in her cap. Call it manipulation or white lies, I accept all the barbs....but my little one is learning to eat healthy. Us Mum's can take a lot more than a few self righteous barbs when it comes to the well being of our little ones.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Drat and fiddlesticks!!

I was glued to my computer researching our Disney holiday for so long, that my eyes turned a peculiar shade of red. It was all worth it as in the end I managed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of my hat...or so I thought.

After more permutations and combinations than I would care to execute under normal circumstances, I found the right holiday, at the right price, (give or take a few credit card swipes), and valiantly proceeded to book and pay my deposit. Good ol' Virgin Holidays took me right to the point of payment, then threw me out of their website. When I clambered back on to the website, the price had increased beyond my already creaking limit.

I called the helpline, especially since a deposit amount had been taken from my credit card. They hemmed and hawed and after fleecing me for more money by putting me on hold on their telephone line, said they could do nothing about it. Their  I.T. department said that at the precise moment ...yes the split second when I pressed "pay", their flight prices went up........hence the problem. Pregnant silence followed on both ends of the phone line.

I burst out laughing. I was disappointed and amused. I didn't proceed with the new booking obviously, and crawled away to soothe my stiff fingers which had been hammering the keyboard for many hours now.

It's true what they say about luck. When it favours some people, it favours them no matter how improbable the situation. On the other hand there are others who never feature in Lady Luck's radar... for miles...

Still, I favour my own hands and abilities over fickle Lady Luck's company....always have...always will....

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Mummy's Magic "Rich"ter

There was excitement as The Husband and I whispered to each other, Tara giving us suspicious looks from the next room.

The Husband declared a few days ago that he wanted to go to Disneyworld again this year, as Tara was growing up fast and would soon not "feel the magic".

Now last year, I felt no magic whatsoever. Tara started losing her wobbly teeth as soon the trip began. She was also sick (travel sickness) as she could possibly be in the car, plane and the car to our hotel in Orlando. I had to sit in the back seat holding sick bags for the remainder of the trip, inviting strange glances from people as The Husband drove the car nervously on the opposite side of the road,  and us ladies sat at the back. I didn't mind. No one was going to pay for the clean up of the rented car if our Princess vomited all over the back seat. We decided to rest by the pool on day one. Within minutes Tara managed to cut the underside of her foot, the worst possible place to get hurt especially when you have to walk miles to get anywhere around the Disney parks.

We did the best we could in the end. Ive struggled to get rid of the balance on the credit card on that trip a few weeks ago. I had saved for last year's holiday for over 6 years, to make it special, no expenses spared-ish. Ive barely taken a breath from that, and now The Husband wants to go back in a few months. Reluctantly I came around to the idea and agreed that Tara will be grown up soon enough -we may as well do it now.

I got to work looking for the best deals trying to get the best possible hotel and flights etc. We couldn't match the previous trip money-wise, and anything I found was not met with enthusiasm by The Husband. He wants it all at less than half the price.

If only life was that simple. But I can't conjure up holidays like the fairies can! Im just about keeping it together in the shouting department, exploding only 3 times in 13 days! And that's not bad given my past performance. Tara has been complaining of stomach pain measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale (pronouncing it "rich" + "ter" ). I have no clue why the Richter scale got connected to her stomach pain, but I will admit to understanding her level of pain better because of it. "It's gone to a 3 on the rich-ter Mummy. Do you think I could have some cake now Mummy?"

I am Tara's Mighty Mum. I still can't magic up a "Rich"-ter of my own and arrange a five star, resort with top class flights, and the rest of it...I can't :-( ...No I really can't. Now where's that cake Tara couldn't have today.

Friday, 24 October 2014

There she blows!!

Day 12/365- Blew it :-(   The beginning of half term...and I had a shouty fit....already :-( So what if every toy in the house , every book on the shelf, and every doll is on the living room floor, and repeated promises to tidy up before bedtime were not kept.

In my defence, I did ask very nicely - 4 times to be precise - that Tara pick up after her. I have been poorly and that doesn't help.

The good news is that I fought really hard to shake off the associated feelings of sulking and silence, (post shouting) and had a decent day after all. Tara helped me tick off a shopping list, fold the laundry, wrap a present, and tidy up. Not sure if all the help was from her unselfish heart or the after effects of this morning's blow up. We are now well hugged and kissed, and singing along to songs from the eighties, playing air guitar etc. so it can't be all bad :-)

I'm going to attempt to ignore minor messes because it is half term, and Tara is only seven...and tired. I still however believe, that mountains of mess are unacceptable and a bit selfish.

Mum and daughter now settling down to a luxurious triple layered mousse.....hmmm.. :-)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Dual Carriageway

On the way to school as we waited at a traffic light, Tara said, "Mummy, I always thought a dual carriageway is the road the Queen takes to travel, but I now know it's not true." The vision of Her Majesty sweeping past us every morning, waving her tilted hand, and saying, "How do you do..." made me chuckle, and Tara joined in when I told her what I was thinking about.

As I pulled away towards school I said it may be true, because I'm the Queen of our house, and Tara the princess. We do drive down the dual our Car-riage. So what if it's not sparkly or drawn by horses. That made Tara happy. It's the last day of school before half term. Tara is tired and has been complaining of aching muscles and exhaustion.

After school Tara will have a long unhurried soak in a warm bubble bath with her mermaid toys before we settle down to a lovely dinner, followed by another shout free (day 11) lazy evening spent doing whatever her heart desires, before going to bed with freshly ironed pink sheets.

Sounds pretty royal to me.. :-)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Where is the good news?

Every morning as I make myself a cup of tea, I try to catch up with the news before I start my day's work. I am fed up with the news these days.

If it's not natural calamities, it is humans at their barbaric best, or a new virus threatening to finish us all off (just in case we didn't all do it ourselves). Sporting icons in the dock, wobbly financial markets, doom and gloom as far as the eye can see. Im not in denial, but I am quite fed up with the goings on in our world.

My brain has been in knots trying to comprehend mass and gravity, weak force from strong force, Higgs from Bosons, and symmetry versus multiverse. What I ultimately decided is that, in this vast..enormous...unexplained universe or multiverse, our Earth, and the life on it is unique. We have every reason to treasure our planet and preserve it for as long as we can. But the way things are at the moment, it's not looking too good for Team Earth.

I would love to see a news programme everyday that shows only good news stories. Scientific breakthroughs about the new super foods - cakes and chocolates, Afforestation success, Coverage on Food Day-when no person on earth goes hungry, Triple breakthrough drugs to cure cancer, diabetes and the common cold, Superman turns up for real and prevents avalanches and floods...

I hope the world wakes up and get its act together soon. This Mum wants her Tara to watch the news when she is a bit older...News today won't just won't.

Day 9/365 going strong..not a shout in sight

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fine Tune the Team

My Team at home needs fine tuning I think. Its a small team, The Husband, Tara and I.

Tara is seven, and is currently being "made to do things" around the house:
"Tara, please put your clothes in the laundry basket"
"Tara, please put your plates in the sink" and occasionally
"Tara, please separate your socks and underpants from the mountain of ironing".

Now, the instructions are clear and she is physically capable of doing all of the above. Why then do I have to ask/remind her to do them everyday? If I don't ask, I have to do them myself. If I ask, (, it makes me twitchy and annoyed. There is an old saying, "If the Learner hasn't learnt, the Teacher hasn't taught. So how do I teach her?

The Husband does a few things around the house, but it would be great if he did things I really need help with instead of those that he chooses to do. "Getting" subtle hints is not one of The Husband's strengths, and I don't ask directly either...just in case I appear ungrateful...or worse... he doesn't do it after I've asked.

The final team member is me. I definitely need fine tuning. Period.

I once read in a magazine, (in one of those 'list of 10' articles), how to get things done by asking nicely. This stuck in my head because it made me laugh....a lot.

10 ways to get things done. Point number 2.

Praise and ask nicely : "Darling, thank you so much for not putting your wet towel on the bed. Now it would be wonderful if you could make your bed after you wake up."

Should work like a dream apparently.

I still laugh when I imagine Tara and The Husband being at the receiving end of that. In fact I laugh even more at the thought of me mouthing those words to someone...anyone.


Friday, 17 October 2014

Grammatical Gremlins

Life was chugging along. Then Tara, all of seven years says, "Mummy I need more Conjunctions in my sentences, and I also need to be more Adverbial".


I'm okay-ish when it comes to writing or speaking English, but I have to say after all these years Im more instinctive, rather than technical when it comes to my Grammar. Suddenly I have to know my Nouns from my Pronouns, my Interjection from my Conjunction- and that's only English. I know that 7+3 is the same as 3+7, but now I have to know that its called the Commutative property of addition.


Excuse me, while I find time to study. Im just a Mum/Wife Person who only, probably, drinks lots of tea between being a Driver, Bill and Paperwork Sorter, Household shopper, Cook, Cleaner, Laundry/Ironing Person, Teacher, Nurse, Night Nanny, Gardener, Problem solver...etc etc..

Update: Day 8/365.."No shouting" resolve ASTONISHINGLY intact today.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Full time-Day and Night-Working for Zippo/Zilch Housewife Mum Person

It is my first (and hopefully only) shot at being Wife and Mum, and sometimes I get confused. Before I became Wife and Mum, I was Working (for a Wage) Woman and Part time Housewife. Now I'm a "Full time-Day and Night-Working for Zippo/Zilch Housewife Mum Person". My questions is:

Does being a "Full time-Day and Night-Working for Zippo/Zilch Housewife Mum Person" mean that I do every single house related thing? The Husband works full time, and I don't help him at his workplace. Logically that means I should expect nothing house-related from him. Right or wrong? Any wandering wisdom out there?

Update: Day 7/365.."No shouting" resolve intact today...Does a minor "hurry up or we'll be late!" at the breakfast table count ? Naah...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Blast !!

Which day was it again? 6/365. I blew it. Not massively, but I have to be honest I lost my rag. The Husband wouldn't get off his bottom to help with Tara on his day off, and Tara wouldn't cooperate with her homework. I tried...I really tried, then I lost it. I didn't shout, in my defence, but I did lose it.

So do I start over from day 1/365 - no shouting for a year - Take 2? Or should I make a big red mark on my countdown board and carry on from day 7/365. Common sense seems to suggest I take option 2, so I will. Blast !! I feel I let myself down today :-(

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I'll tell you later

Day 5/365. I had a few moments yesterday (nipped in the bud Im proud to say), when Tara decided to have "question-time" in the car as I negotiated flooded roads and crazy traffic, on the way to her swimming lesson.

"Mummy, is there a man-eating shrimp loose in the rivers?"

"Mummy, why does an itch...itch?"

..and so on...Good questions, some of them, but not the right place or time, (from my point of view). I am guilty like so many other Mums of saying, 'I'll tell you later" but never actually get around to answering those all important questions that perplex a young mind. Then we wonder why our kids go elsewhere to find out about things. I had made a half hearted effort, and asked Tara to write down questions she wanted answering in a notebook. The plan was that we could look at the notebook together later

The book had three questions in it before it got lost, and I only remembered today. That's not good enough. Today I will recover the book. There is no such thing as "later" in a busy Mum's life. "Later" usually means, it probably won't happen, and that's just not good enough.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Walk to school week..

4/365...okay-ish effort in being shout-free...except for 2 sharp sentences..which are not in the range of shouting I've resolved not to do.

Tara's Mum's life carries on alongside. Its pouring with rain and its Day 1 of Walk to school week. We do walk to school almost everyday, because the parking situation near school means we park a lane or two away and walk to the main gate. Today there is traffic chaos, rain and wind, and a tired dawdling child to contend with. Oh, did I mention that for the first time in my life I actually turned the alarm off and rolled over to sleep for a bit longer.

Tara says, "I don't want to be the only numpty without a certificate for walking to school week." She is however, not putting in the extra effort to leave home 15 minutes earlier than usual, to get to the walking group on time. She also seems to be missing the point about walk to school week. Surely its about being aware of the environment and how we reduce our carbon footprint, and not about being the only "numpty without a certificate."

What's a "numpty" anyway?

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thank god for uneventful days

3/365 - check !! Early days to rejoice over the uneventful Rage-Radar.

Ive resolved not to shout for one year. Its a serious resolve, and Im usually good at resolve keeping as I don't resolve often. Ive been scouring the internet to look at anything that can help me reach the 365th day relatively successful.

I came across something call Bach's Rescue drops. Fully natural and it states firmly to take 4 drops when you need emotional rescuing. Now this is interesting. I have to be the one to decide when I need emotional rescuing. Too much responsibility. Im almost tempted to take 4 drops right now...maybe not. It costs money to get this tiny bottle with not many drops in it. I will wait another 10 days or so when I will probably be taking swigs not delicately dispensing 4 drops.. :-)

Any other suggestions from anyone who accidentally walks through this blog will be welcome :-))

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Baby steps

They say it takes 21 days to kick a bad habit. Day 2 of 365 passed yesterday with no shouting from me. Woo-Hooo..It's early days and I did turn to chocolates often.. but its steps..

The Husband has been walking around with a grey cloud over his head. Partly because of work pressure, but mostly because he can't handle the fact that he reduced his beloved princess Tara to tears at dinner time, simply by saying firmly, "Tara, you must listen to your Mummy, I will be very disappointed if I find out you didn't listen to her."

That's it??? That's all it took to reduce her to a blubbering mess??? I get big loose lidded, round eyed stares from Tara when Im giving her a telling off much worse than that 'non-telling off' she got from her father! I also get imaginary particle chewing, eyes rolling, humming, feet tapping under the dinner table etc. etc. But no sobbing...Anyway..I was exactly the same with my Mum and Dad so why complain now. What goes around comes around.

Friday, 10 October 2014

A new vacuum cleaner

Its day 2/365 of my "no shouting" pledge.

It's no surprise that the shouting and restlessness subsides as my monthly period departs. I will try and keep it together.

My 12 year old Dyson vacuum cleaner collapsed a few days ago. It was green and purple and weighed almost as much as me. I distinctly remember The Husband picking it out from the shop. I wasn't too involved in the decision, as I believed any vacuum cleaner would be fine as long as it does the job. Wrong. For years I struggled under the weight of this monster, as I battled through the house exhausted just holding up this giant.

The Husband was very meticulous as he analysed the various specifications and suction capacities of the models available. Till he found this very manly machine. Im sure he's regretted buying it as well. It must be annoying being an assistant vacuum cleaner to your puny wife who keeps asking you to carry the manly machine up and down the stairs.

So this time, we went to the store, and The Husband silently stepped back, offering no advice, analysis or suggestions. I looked around and found what I wanted. Another Dyson..only smaller and lighter...much lighter.

Tara is happy that its purple,
The Husband is happy that the machine is called an "Animal", (manly enough for him to use)
I'm happy that I can now clean my house independently, upstairs and downstairs.

I used my Dyson Animal today. With powerful rollerball technology, all surface suction power and such like, it sucked away the dust, allergens, micro creatures etc. I felt good. Working with the new machine also helped me clear some cobwebs from my mind. My world doesn't feel so messy today.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The aftermath

I am spent.... I am emotionally exhausted and just a tiny bit fragile.

Yesterday, life's little annoyances accumulated and resulted in one massive outburst from me, that scared Tara, bewildered The Husband, and left my inner self agape with shock as I witnessed the outer me lose my rag so spectacularly. I also became aware, for the first time, a rising heat and tightness in my body, that seemed to increase with the volume of my voice. Had I just narrowly escaped a heart attack?

I was a bit numb when I went to pick Tara from school. As I waited in the car, randomly browsing the internet, I happened to read an article from a mum who gave up shouting for one year. Her experience was life changing for her. It was as if in that one moment I was sent a message. I saw Tara walking towards me so I saved the article on my phone to read later

Tara was quiet. She probably sensed something was wrong with me. It was her tennis lesson today. I wanted to skip it because I was very uncomfortable inside.All I wanted to do was crawl under my sheets. At home, Tara dressed herself up for tennis and looked up at me,  holding her tennis racquet against her chest. I picked up the car keys and silently drove her to her lesson. I usually attempt a gentle gym session whenever Tara has tennis. Today I just sat outside the tennis court, feeling the weight of a grey silence that had descended on me. Another child's mum came and sat next to me. I was not in the mood for any conversation but managed a weak smile. Suddenly her floodgates opened and she spoke about her outburst with her little boy, her feelings and frustrations at home. I reached out to her and we spoke for an hour till the lesson was done. We each went home. I didn't feel any better. Something had shifted inside.

Later after a quiet dinner, and with Tara tucked in bed, I finished what I had to do and slept like a baby. I still hadn't read the article I had saved, but just before drifting off I made up my mind not to shout for the next one year...

Today is Day 1. So far so shouts but the numbness remains.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Kitchen Depression

I'm no scientist, but I've discovered a new condition - "Kitchen Depression."

I am currently suffering from this condition. I don't want to enter the kitchen, I don't want to cook, I  don't want to reset the dishes in the dishwasher the right way around,  I don't want to have anything to do with the kitchen. I am doing everything in my power to avoid the kitchen, (which helps get other jobs done I admit), but makes me feel enormously guilty and uncomfortable.

Mind you, while I don't WANT to....I still AM.... Doing the kitchen work I mean. This is causing the symptoms of "Kitchen Depression" to worsen...

Tara, your Mum is a fruitcake, but she loves you.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Wrong choice

Most Mums know this...most Dads get it after a while.

Tara and I spent a quiet Sunday morning pottering about with paints, papers and brushes. At the end of our session we did what we always do with the left over paint. We made a "finch" each. For those not too familiar with the "finch", it involves folding a paper in half, dripping paint on one half, closing the other half, rubbing it, and finally re-opening the folded paper to reveal wonderfully colourful patterns. It is strangely very therapeutic..try it if you haven't.

So we finished our finches and let them dry out. Later that afternoon I came into the room to find Tara asking The Husband to choose which one looked better. The Husband picked mine. Wrong choice. Tara said "Oh" softly, then wandered off to another room blinking hard. It all happened in a split second. I didn't have time to get behind Tara and gesticulate wildly to The Husband as to which one he should pick. He looked baffled and hurried after Tara who tried her best to be all grown up as she faced the reality of her Papa picking someone else over her. After a lot of cuddles she emerged, this time with two painted masks. She faced The Petrified Husband with another choice. This time his frantic gaze met mine and I signalled to her work of art, which he then proceeded to pick. Tara softly said "Oh, Mum told you to pick that," and walked away again. The Husband looked totally baffled again. He should have had enough practice dealing with women by now.

Many cuddles and cakes later, life was normal again. 

The Husband was as confused as he always is,
Tara learnt some valuable life lessons and
I'm still wondering how The Husband couldn't figure out the difference between art done by a 7 year old and a much older adult. The difference is obvious. I will post pictures to prove it.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

PMS or PMDD or XYZ or whatever you call it

You can call it by any name you want, but when it strikes, you alone know what it feels like. It begins, barely subsides for a while, then begins again. You want to be left alone, and when you are you feel no one cares. You are like an enraged serpent, coiled and ready to spring.

Safe to say its not a good thing to experience. Ive just woken up today on the other side. It was particularly severe this time. I am only thankful that I still hear that faintest voice of consciousness at the back of my head that lets be know that Im in "the grip" right now. The voice doesn't provide any relief, relaxation or suggestions to ease the mental agony. But I hear it and endure the suffering till the days pass and there is some relief...until it strikes again...month after month.

It doesn't help that there is no cure. Maybe there is not much funding or research done to find a cure for this condition. After all there are many other life threatening ailments out there that warrant humanity's time and brains.

I used to hate getting my monthly period when I was younger. Now I pray it arrives and gives me relief from this little understood condition that virtually destroys one half of your existence and impacts on the innocent bystanders in your life who love you, who stand by and bear your harshness, waiting as I am, for the storm to pass.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Clubs, Meetings and such like

Yesterday is over and done with. Tara came back from school and there was no sign of any residual trauma (for her I mean) after the playground incident. I'm fine too..thanks for asking :-)

Sometimes I wonder if she hides things and suffers in secret. It is a possibility because I am like that. But unlikely. Maybe Tara is learning how to take things in her stride and focus on the positives of her school life.

The last few days are full of joining new clubs and having "very important meetings." Tara has joined the computers after school club and sewing. Nice and diverse. I had my reservations about the computers what with online chatting, cyber bullying etc. I did voice my concern to Tara's teacher who reassured me that it was all very basic and offline. Now needles flying around in the sewing club are something else, but I didn't dignify that with any further grey cells of worry.

The children are also being asked to put forward their interest in joining the School Council. Very important stuff, and Tara is thinking about it.

I have an extra hour this afternoon with the after school club. Todays is supposed to be my "easy- day", but I don't know how to....relax that is. So I guess it is a good time as any to complete some paperwork  -  shredding old statements, filing new utility bills and new statements.

Out with the old, In with the new..Looks like Autumn is here.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Playground bullies

You can read all the books you want, take as many deep breaths as you want to and resolve to be zen like at all times. But when you see your only little child surrounded by bullies on the school playground, it breaks your composure faster than you can imagine.

Tara has had a good week back at school. She's very proud of being a junior, and really wants to learn and make herself and her whole family proud. She was happy going to school this morning. On reaching the playground where a bunch of her classmates were playing a game, she ran eagerly to join them. She joined them and stood outside the circle they had formed, clapping along. I watched from the school gates, out of sight, and was about to leave when I did a double take. One of the kids had pushed her into the circle. They walked around her as she clasped her hands. Then they started pushing her, nudging her from one to the other as her face fell and fear fluttered across her face.

I waited anther second wondering whether I should get in there. I wanted to protect her as other teachers and parents milled around, doing nothing. I felt a lump rise in my throat as I battled in my head if I would make things worse by going in. A few seconds later Tara broke away from the group, fighting back tears, she yelled at one of the boys and went away from the group. The little monsters went back to their game clapping and singing.

I pressed against the wall not wanting Tara to see me as she would have probably been mortified had she seen me..watching her.

The whistle went..the kids lined up, as did Tara. She reluctantly smiled at another little girl, who thankfully smiled back. They had a little chat and started walking away. I left right away not wanting to see anything else. I drove back home in a bad mood, I reached home in a bad mood, I cooked in a bad mood (and I knew dinner would be a sad affair). I finished all the morning laundry, and sat down thinking about all the theories I shattered.

All my meditation, reiki and spiritual practices teach me to lean away from mental chatter and let it pass. I believe it, I practice it, but fail again and again when faced with situations like today. Then light dawned. Life will always have these situations, for Tara and for myself. The idea is to hang on to our beliefs and try again and again, no matter how many times we fail. Maybe we will keep trying and failing all our lives. But you know what? That's okay....

We will keep trying...and be better people for it. (Even if I felt a spike of pride when Tara yelled at the boy before walking away. That's my little fluffy tiger!)

Friday, 5 September 2014

You look good!

I like paying compliments...and receiving them.

But here's a rule everyone must follow should they wish to pay someone a compliment. (It sounds bossy when I say it like that, but the occasion warrants it.)

RULE: Don't qualify your compliment with an additional sentence that basically eliminates the original compliment.

For example : "You look good!"  followed by "for your age."

There's no need for the second part is there? Unless your intention is to secretly insult not to compliment.The example above is common when one usually crosses over from one insignificant decade to another. I say "insignificant" because life is lived not by the number of years you've clocked, but what you do, and how you conduct yourself in those years.

So the next time you want to insult someone, bite your tongue and be quiet instead. You will earn some Karmic brownie points that way. If your intention is to genuinely compliment someone, do just that -  and keep it short and genuine.

It takes little actions and gestures to make this world a better place.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Back to school

Year 3 already?

Dropping Tara off at school I quickly took her picture, to add to the thousands of others I already have. When I get time, I plan to look at the ones I took when I dropped a trembling 4 year old to school. It was hard..and not a time I want to revisit particularly. But its all a part of Tara's journey. She's still not a cocky, pushy self assured 7 year old, and I'm not terribly unhappy at that. I do feel a twinge when I see her sitting watching others in her class push and shove and be bossy to each other. I wonder if my child will survive the world out there not being the same as them.

Then I notice the gentle smile on her face as she leads a smaller new child to their correct line before she gets into her own. I realize in that moment that the world is made up of all sorts, and my Tara is a star that shines a gentle light. Up close, every star is a blazing sun... I feel Tara is fine the way she is. She is among the top of her class academically, she is sociable but selective in who she plays with. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Sensitive and caring, yet smart enough to find her way...I hope.

I wonder if she'd like soup for dinner this evening... 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Tara turns seven

Life is rushing by in full throttle. I'm at the wheel of Life's car...and trundling down a great big highway. Sights and sounds whizz past, I trundle on. Sometimes I want to stop, other times I go with the flow. At times I know exactly where I'm headed, other times I am directionless.

Am I happy?


Am I sad?


I've compromised some, I've stuck to my guns some. Both scenarios offered some sadness and some joy. But I have Tara in my life. All of seven, and a blessing to know and look after. Is she a product of Nature or Nurture? A bit of both I guess, like all things in life.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

I'm back..but where did I go?

Where was I?

I'm not really sure. When a wave carries you, you just ride it till the waters are still again.

The Husband finally got his permanent job

We sold our house and moved to a bigger family house

We kept our word to Tara and have completed that most important of pilgrimages... to Disneyworld.

My parents who live on the other side of the planet just informed me that will will be visiting us this spring..

Im here now... at home.. The Husband is driving back from work..Tara's busy with some math workbooks...and I'm breathing deeply and trying to get on with my life...with the deepest gratitude..