GUYS! put your school uniform in the wash before your bath please!
GUYS! put your school uniform in the wash before your bath please!
On this special day I want to thank all of you that read my ramblings, and wish you, your nearest and your dearest, a very Merry Christmas!
For me and the cubs, I’m grateful that our story continues. I buried the hatchet and invited the ex over to stay, giving her the opportunity to wake up with them and open presents.
Peace is restored. Or it will be when she leaves… 😉
Merry Christmas all xx
I’ve been quiet. I’m sorry.
The rules have changed and I’m in the process of seeking legal help.
Whilst there’s no good time to do this, now is a really bad time.
It’s also necessary.
When I have the energy I’ll write about it as objectively as I can.
Whilst I’m emoted and have a taste of fire in my mouth, the keyboard stays silent.
Every day, find a reason to smile; counting your blessings is the best way.
At 8 years old, my daughter has been called the n-word.
I received a phone call at work from the ex this week, she was in tears.
Our daughter was minding her own business playing in the playground when all of a sudden one of the boys she was playing with lashed out.
Her phone call was quickly followed up by a phone call from school; it was my daughter’s form teacher.
Her voice was trembly as she told me what happened. Most of the conversation was taken up by her assuring me of how seriously the school take such things and how they had dealt with this situation robustly.
I thanked her for the phone call and asked her to arrange meeting between both sets of parents. At this response, her voice trembled even more. She promises to call me back. She doesn’t.
I get up from my desk open the office door and go for a walk. I need to clear my head, calm down and think clearly.
From very early on I’ve tried to make my daughter self-aware. Where we live she, in fact we, are a visible minority. For this very reason I have spent years growing her self belief and the knowledge that she is worthy and can achieve anything
It appears to have worked. She reported the incident to the teachers before returning to what she was doing. The boy was removed from play, his parents were called and they removed him from school for the day.
We were eventually offered a meeting the next day with the parents and the headteacher. I declined stating that I need to put a couple of days between the incident to allow me to calm down and also do some damage control.
After school we sat her down for a talk. We asked her what happened and to explain in her words. She did and we listened.
She told us she didn’t really know what the word meant but she’d read it in a book and knew that it wasn’t very nice, and that’s why she told the teachers. I gave her the biggest hug that I could, told her she’d done the right thing and that I was proud of her.
She began to tell me that he’d only called her that name because he was angry. I stopped her. I explained that no one has the right to lash out and call anybody any names or inflict physical damage because they are angry. That is not a justification. People should learn to control themselves. He is young, he is learning, but the rules apply.
This is such an important lesson for children to learn. Words, actions, have consequences.
We received a contrite email from the boy’s mother. She was very apologetic, explained that he didn’t know what the word meant, they don’t use that kind of language at home, and that he picked it up on YouTube.
I couldn’t help but observe some parental choices. She’d read it in a book; he’d heard it on YouTube I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Big cub is fine. After we had the conversation, she spent more time telling me excitedly about the football match that she was playing in tomorrow. She was playing in midfield against some other schools. I assured her that I would be there to watch.
Her mum and I, will take a little longer to recover. For us this is the end of the age of innocence. We knew that they would come up against this kind of discrimination and hatred but we had no idea how soon it would happen. I, have been preparing her for a long time by positively reinforcing images of people and women that look like her, making sure that she knew the struggles they went through, what they enjoyed, and what they achieved despite this. I’m so glad I did.
Waking my son up this morning by waving his toy lightsaber (with sound effects) around, saying in a deep voice:
I AM DAD VADER; I AM YOUR FATHER!
whilst it made whooshing sounds.
ps, he didn’t bat an eyelid.
pps, nor at the age of 4 did he have a clue what I was on about.
I taught my boy a tough lesson today and it almost broke me.
Youngest cub has now joined his sister at big school. The change in educational level has done wonders for him. His language has come along in leaps and bounds and so has his interpersonal behaviour.
He’s not the finished article yet and at 4, neither should he be.
We do have some challenges. He gets frustrated easily and when he does, he can lose it quite badly. Foot stamping, screaming and saying no to everything.
On Saturday, I had said that we’d finish the day with a trip to the park but this had to follow him cleaning up his room. His sister will maintain her’s on a regular basis, but he plain and flatly refuses, or states that he can’t do it without help.
Again, given his age I don’t expect much, just a token effort.
At times I help him, at other times I get on with other aspects of housework to show them what is required to maintain a home.
As he’s grown, we quickly (and sadly) moved from the response to the tidy your room request of ‘No thank you!’ to plain and flat ‘no’.
We never made the park.
As I had no wish to punish his sister, I told them both that we’d go after breakfast the next day.
Next morning, after a hefty porridging, they headed for the bathroom. A quick wash and then out, was the plan.
All went south after hair washing. Water in his eyes was too much to bear and foot stamping began. Followed by screaming, and then kicking his sister.
At 4 years old, he seems to be experiencing the terrible 2’s.
I won’t stand for kicking so tell him he’ll lose a star. ‘I DON’T CARE!!!’ he screams, and kicks out again.
I pick him out of the bath. He screams and stamps. I ask him to apologise to his sister. He’s in full flap and now cyclically repeats that he’s not listening to me and he never will.
Admittedly, I can feel my blood pressure rising, so I decide to remove myself from the situation. I leave him dry, but naked.
Eldest cub gets ready and I shave and brush my teeth. She does her hair, which takes a while. He eventually stops screaming and comes in to my room. I’m now reading and pay him no attention.
He climbs on the bed next to me and slowly attempts to capture my gaze. I change position away from him. His sister declares that she’s ready.
Right; let’s go downstairs.
‘Dad! I’m not dressed yet…’
I walk down the stairs, telling her to put her shoes on.
In his nakedness he’s smiling and laughing as we get ready. He asks me a few questions, which ignore.
He persists. I stand firm.
His sister opens the back door and heads into the garden. Still in a state of undress, he puts his coat on.
I walk away from him and step into the garden. He screams…
I stop and go back.
I bend down and hold him tight.
We have conversation about what it feels like to be ignored; I do my best to keep it simple. He says he understands.
His sister, a witness to the entire charade, comments on my ability to maintain the ruse.
As I said; I don’t believe in striking a child but I do believe in discipline.
I’m not sure if what I did was any better.
It’s a lovely sunny sunny day here and I’m keen to get outside.
First their rooms need to be tidied; they’re a mess. I manage to pry them out of the bath.
As I moisturise my son’s wrinkles away, I recall a find from last night.
Hey, as I went to draw the downstairs curtains, guess what walked past the window, along the road?
He paused in thought..
“Was it an antelope?”
That kind of took the sting out of my urban fox.