Saturday, 29 December 2012

Festivities mixed with sadness

  We've had two Christmas days, which means two Christmas dinners, lots of cake and an awful lot of chocolate. Even Tigs didn't want his breakfast the day after Boxing day. We have full waste bins, and the cupboard in our spare room is no longer full of garish parcels. I suppose this means that Christmas is over.  But the notice on the whiteboard in the kitchen still says 'happy birthday Jesus', and there are decorations everywhere, so it can't be over yet. Personally I can't get the decorations down quickly enough after the big day, but there would be riots if I took them down yet, so the boys' somewhat battered paper chains still grace the lounge, and will probably stay up for another week at least.

  It was an incredibly busy period, complicated by my mothers health issues - which I haven't written about until now as it is painful to confront the fact that she is  failing, In the 18 months since Dad died I have been convincing myself that she has been pretty stable, but in reality her health is slowly slowly declining. It is very painful for her, and she is getting to the stage where she has had enough. Death doesn't hold fears for her, and she has now expressed a wish to go. She spent a night in hospital last week, and we are in dread that she may have to go in again. We just pray that she can be pain free as pain dominates her life at the moment, and also her mobility has drastically reduced in the last few weeks, which has worrying implications for her whole future. She tries to keep positive, but I think it's a struggle. She puts a good face on when we visit of course.

  On a happier note the boys seem to have enjoyed the season, although they were both painfully excited. Pup in particular could not cope with himself at all on Christmas morning and was very hard work. He and Tigs dominated the stage at Church on that morning; all the kids are encouraged to bring up a new toy to show off, most of them will stand up and shyly whisper into the mike that the leader holds out to them. My two exhibitionists grabbed the mike, Tigs shouted very loudly about his new football gloves and Pup attempted to get the congregation to play his new game with him! Tigs did himself proud by doing the reading - Luke 2 v 1 - 14 at the Sunday carol service - not bad for a 6 year old, especially one with a  three second concentration span!! (I feel the need to say that this was at his request, he's been asking to read in church for weeks)

One bonus arising from Christmas is that the boys now both have Nintendo DSes so we have some very peaceful times....

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Peace Hippo

   There are a lot of arguments in our house these days. Pup is becoming very opinionated, and while it's good he knows his own mind, we are finding that he is objecting to everything we ask him to do. And Tigs is growing up and challenging Pup more and more. In some ways he behaves like the elder brother despite being three years younger; he often takes the initiative, and makes the compromises; and he is stronger for his age and faster. Of course this means Pups big brother status is challenged, which results in a lot of conflict. This doesn't mean the boys don't get on, they are very attatched to each other, and would rather be together than apart 90% of the time; when they are together there is a lot of giggling, running about and wild sillyness. But they still argue a LOT.

  So we have introduced the Peace Hippo.

  He is small, soft, grey and furry and lives on the shelf in the hall, and he is supposed to help in mediation. If anyone has an argument with another family member, rather than shouting at them they run and get the hippo. While they are holding it they can have their say and not be interrupted. Then they need to pass it on to the other person involved in the dispute, who gets their turn to speak.

  We've had mixed results with him so far. Sometimes the act of going to get him helps them calm down. And they have to think about what they are saying more when holding him, because they know they are being listened to (interruptions not allowed). Sometimes things escalate to far too fast and hippo gets forgotten. But I think he is helping!!!

Joy and grief

With the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long
Beneath the Angels strains have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong
And man at war with man hears not
The love song which they bring
Oh hush the noise ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mothers little helpers

  My GP prescribed me some tablets about a month ago. Result: I feel a lot less stressed recently and much less inclined to painc about everything, far fewer white nights when I wake and lie just worrying about everything  (and I do mean everything) But last week I missed a couple of doses, and by Sunday I was feeling really antsy and anxious again. So - the tablets DO work!

  As a result of feeling so awful on Sunday I let all the boys go to Church on their own. A bad move maybe, because P and T  were not on their best behaviour and Himself had to leave the service early with them. Pup was being too rowdy. He is becoming very vocal these days. He has always been talkative which is great (most of the time!) and his teacher admits that he has a fantastic vocabulary which he uses to good effect. But he is now becoming very argumentative and sometimes will not shut up. In fact there are times when the rest of us cannot get a word in edgeways; and poor Tigs gets forgotten. Pup is in trouble as well - he is under threat of exclusion from Cubs again if he can't behave there, although we will fight that one tooth and nail for him :( His school teacher says that he is in big danger of being left behind academically at school, not for lack of intelligence, but for multiple reasons - behavioural, poor fine motor control, inability to concentrate and to multitask (eg he cannot write and think what he is writing at the same time, so although he can tell a great story, when he tries to write it down it becomes very simple and basic - on the lines of 'the boy ran, the boy ran to the shop, the shop was shut'.  We are worrying yet again about his senior school. We have to start looking next September - I know that seems ages away, but these things creep up on you.
  Meanwhile both boys teachers are off sick. Pup has had 2 of his class teachers go sick with stress so far and I am hoping that is not the problem with his year 4 teacher :(  Tigs' teacher was threatening to have a nervous breakdown the other day at his parent teacher consultation session. She seems to have drawn the short straw this year; all the rowdiest kids in the year are in  her class! 

  Anyway, I have to stop writing; the boys are in the lounge Wii ing, and it is supiciously quiet in there - no sounds of arguing. I need to go and find out why.......