Tag Archives: preschool

Family Disconnect.

Family disconnect.

There is an interesting saying, ‘you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family’.

I was chatting with a close friend of mine last week about family and how some are just so different from ours. We were both saying how we feel ‘disconnected‘ from our families as we are so different in personalities and beliefs.

It’s interesting to me how people from the same blood line can be so different in many ways.

My friend was saying that when she had her children, she thought that her bond with her mother would become better and would bring them closer, but in actual fact it has become worse, almost like her mother is jealous of her?

The grandmother (her mother) doesn’t really see her children often, given that they don’t live close to each other, however the grandmother doesn’t even call the ask how they are. Which is sad and heartbreaking because even if you have differences with your child, shouldn’t you still want to be an active part in your grandchildren’s lives?

When I grew up, I was seeing my grandparents often. Weekly if not every few days. Now I can’t remember if this was because both my parents worked and we stayed with them whilst my parents worked, or if we were there on visits? Anyway, I have very fond memories of spending time with my grandparents. Doing nice things together and it brings back great memories and warmth within my heart.

I guess everyone is different and people have their own lives and agendas. It was sad to hear the pain in her voice though, feeling that because she and her mother don’t really get along, that her kids don’t have active grandparents within their lives.

I know society is different nowadays and some grandparents are still actively working full time and have their own social lives, but should the grandchildren be punished or miss out on having their grandparents in their lives because of family differences?

My little guy is off to kindergarten this year, however at the wonderful preschool that he attended, they would go visit a retirement village monthly so that the kids would have a ‘grandparent’ experience and also, so that the elderly would have interactions with young children. I thought this was great as my little guy loved it.

My two little ones don’t see their grandparents very often, so this was also great for my little man who relished in reading books with the elderly within that retirement village. They also played games of snap, hide and seek and did gardening and artworks. I personally think that it’s great for the elderly also, as sometimes they don’t have family visit or they don’t actually have any living family close by.

I think that there is a certain amount of happiness given in both behalves. The young ones receiving knowledge and time from their peers and the elderly receiving smiles, laughter, innocence and happiness from the kids. My little man would come home with such excitement in his voice telling me about all the amazing things he did with these caring and thoughtful people.

When I was about 14 years old, my best friend in high schools mother, used to work in a retirement village in our local town. After school we used to go past her mothers workplace and visit the elderly. We would read with them, listen to their stories, watch them play piano and play card games together. I remember some of the stories that I was being told by These retirees about getting a horse and cart to school as there were not busses, and only the very wealthy had cars. Looking around their rooms and seeing a very different lifestyle but all the same a very happy life that they had lead. Such fond memories that I still hold.

We are extremely fortunate to have the most wonderful neighbours. They adore our two little ones and are often popping over to see them and chat with them. My two also adore them. They have their own children and grandchildren, however they make the time and put in the effort for my two. Which I personally find special.

We have quite a long driveway to get to our mailbox, so even on the walk up my little girl will often ask if we can go visit Ken and Robyn. Which melts my heart because it shows she enjoys their interactions. We often bake for Ken and Robyn and take them treats when we visit.

In this day and age, why do people hold grudges within their families?

Why can’t differences be put aside for the sake of innocent children?

In the long run, it’s the children that suffer by not having active grandparents within their lives. I suppose the grandparents also will suffer in some ways as they are missing out on watching these gorgeous and innocent young children grow up?

I know that I can be stubborn and hold a grudge, but I don’t allow that to affect my children.

My heart breaks for my friend and her children. It’s a difficult situation. I guess that’s why the saying goes ‘you can choose your Friends but not family’.

What are your thoughts on this?

Are you disconnected from your family or parents?

Does it affect your children?

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email noordinarymummy@gmail.com

💕

Growing up.

Growing up.

Today was a tough day for me. Emotionally.

Today I took my almost 5 year old to ‘transition day’ at his soon to be, ‘big School’. Yes my little man is off to kindergarten next year. (2018)

It was a big day for us both. I was emotional because I know he is growing up, and too fast for me. I was nervous for him as we walked into the unknown. The front gates of ‘big school’ that is possibly 10 times bigger than his current preschool. Not to mention the transition that he will discover from going to preschool 3 days per week, to going to kindergarten 5 days per week.

It feels like only yesterday that I held my 3.53kg bundle of love in my arms. Looking down at him longingly and adoring everything about him. From his teeny tiny nose, to his beautiful little fingers and toes and big brown eyes that still to this day, have me mesmerised.

Today showed me just how much my little man has grown up. He may only be 4 (almost 5, November) but, he showed me so much maturity that I was super proud. Im always proud of him, but today I was gleaming.

He took everything in his stride. He was not nervous, he was not scared, he was not sad. He was excited for the path that lay ahead. The smile on his face and his inquisitive eyes showed me just how ready he is for this next chapter.

My heart was bursting with pride for this little man that I am raising. He was such a gentleman when meeting his new teachers and peers and showed me that all the little things that I have been instilling in him, he has in fact taken on board.

Little things like looking at someone’s eyes when they are speaking to you, smiling politely and answering politely when spoken too, raising his hand when he wants to speak in a group setting and allowing his peers through doorways etc rather than pushing and shoving to get somewhere first, being respectful, thoughtful and courteous etc.

Today we bought ‘Big School’ uniforms and his school bag. Seeing him try on his new uniform definitely gave me a lump in my throat, holding back the tears as I didn’t want him to see me cry.

If ever I get a tear in my eye, he is straight away comforting me, asking me if I’m ok, hugging me and holding my hand tight. For such a rough and tumble robust boy, he is such a beautiful soul.

As he stood there examining himself in the mirror and asked me if he looked ‘Smart’. I told him yes and very handsome. He replied “handsome is good mum, but you always say that. I want to look Smart like I know stuff”. I quietly knew that, so confirmed to him, that yes, he most definitely looks “Smart”.

The emotions of being his mum fill me with happiness each and every day. I am not one to struggle with words, but words can’t describe my love and how proud I am of my boy.

I can not believe that my eldest and only boy (who will always be my little boy) is off to kindergarten. His kind soul and caring ways will hopefully see him succeed in whatever he chooses in his path.

Next year I’m sure I will have butterflies swarming in my tummy and tears rolling down my face as I bid him farewell as he walks through the front gate of his ‘big school’.

I know that within all my heart he is ready. He is eager to learn and is excited for his new chapter.

Although he is growing up, I’m very much enjoying watching my little boy grow and turn into such a sweet, humble, caring and loving person.

As his preschool chapter is coming to an end, his big school journey is beginning and I will always have memories.

Where, oh where, have the past 5 years gone? ❤️

Parental politics

Preschool politics

It wasn’t until my little guy started preschool that I understood the term ‘parental politics’.

It’s been a tough year of adjusting for him and I guess myself, settling into not only a new suburb but also the politics of school and what comes with it.

Now I know this post will possibly cause issues and have some people question me and perhaps themselves, but let me first explain that this is not only based on my experiences, but also those of friends who are in similar situations to myself. I’m not ‘attacking’ anyone nor is this about anyone in particular.

I have approx 5 close friends who also have 3 year old boys. Not all my friends live in the same area as myself, majority of the group live approx an hour away from me so I can’t say situations are aroused from certain suburbs?

I guess I never quite understood the ‘cliquy’ groups and for most of my life I’ve never been part of them. I have no aspirations to be accepted as part of those groups. I am my own person and don’t mind to be outcast. I’m an individual and I guess if you don’t like me for who I am, that’s your issue. I’m happy with myself and you either accept me for who I am or don’t. What intrigues me though is the battle of being accepted by others. Why do people feel they ‘need’ to be part of something?

As a qualified counsellor I would assume that the ‘need’ is derived from the lack of inner security, lack of self confidence and perhaps the ‘want’ to be accepted into something that in their own mind is ‘better’ or ‘cool’.

I had a recent conversation with a girlfriend who is having issues with her little ones preschool. Well not so much the preschool but the parents of the other children at the school. She explained that some of the mothers at drop off dont even acknowledge others that they basically ignore you unless you are their ‘friend’. I thought this type of behaviour ended when we left high school? Evidently not.

My friend went on to explain that her little guy has been at this particular preschool for over a year now and has had the same children in his class for the most part and he attends 3 days per week. 3 days I feel is a decent amount of time and he has made good friendships with his peers, so why can’t the mothers take the time to simply say ‘hello’ or even smile and acknowledge the other mothers?

My friend seems to think that as these mothers have known each other for many years, they must feel like there is no need to be polite to strangers? But are you a stranger if you see each other every week and your children are friends at the same school that they attend 3 days per week? Really?

This behaviour to me is juvenile and crazy. I don’t know the majority of the children’s parents at my sons preschool, however I’m still polite and say hello to them and or smile to acknowledge them at either drop off or pick up. It’s really not that hard. I quite often ask them how they are and have conversations also. Is that strange? Am I the only one that thinks this is polite or perhaps common courtesy?

I’m not trying to be best friends I’m just being polite. There is an old saying about a smile is contagious and may just be what another person needs to brighten their day. It’s not hard.

Another friend has previously passed comment that the other mothers have said that she is not ‘their cup of tea’. Seriously? You now have to be a particular type of person in order to be acknowledged or spoken too?

I’ve also heard from another friend that there are a particular ‘group’ of mothers that are really quite social and often do ‘coffee’ or ‘catch ups’ with each other and have also been out in public at a cafe when another preschool mum who isn’t part of the ‘group / gang’ has walked into the same cafe and was completely ignored.

This type of behaviour leaves me dumbfounded. How would ‘these’ people like it if there were ignored or outcast?

When my little guy first started preschool I knew no one from the preschool. My husband and I chose to send him to that particular one as we had heard nothing but great feedback from parents that we had met in the local parks about the centre, then when we visited the site, we were extremely impressed with the centre and his class teacher was amazing. So friendly and caring. Although she has since left the centre to start her own business in family day care, she still babysits for us on quite a regular basis and we catch up socially.

His teacher was lovely and friendly towards us from day one. It did take me a bit to make friends with the other mothers, however I have made a couple of good friends from the centre.

I remember the first day I met a really lovely mother from the centre. She has a daughter in my little guys class. I was approx 7 months pregnant it was about half way through the year and it was a Mother’s Day afternoon tea. This lovely mother came up and introduced herself to me. We got along really well and have pretty much been friends since. I perhaps should have made more of an effort to ‘get to know’ the other parents prior to that, but I was having a tough time trying to get my little man settled. He didn’t enjoy preschool at that point and every morning was a ‘battle’ trying to get him there. He was and still is a ‘mummy’s boy’.

This mother saw that I didn’t know anyone and she went out if her way to make me feel welcome and I guess part of the preschool community.

Why do some parents feel they need to be mean to others?

Do they have to ‘look’ a certain way to be accepted?

Do you need to have gone to a particular school?

Perhaps live in a particular suburb or street?

Maybe you need to have some sort of career?

It’s like they feel they are superior?

But why? At the end of the day, we are all people. Why ignore or outcast someone ‘just because’?

Have you experienced anything like this?

Email me, I’d love to hear your stories.
Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Lunch box ideas?

School lunch box ideas.

With the school term fast approaching I’ve been thinking of different foods that I can use in my little mans lunch box that are nutritious and yummy.

He is a very fussy eater so coming up with different food ideas that he won’t get ‘bored’ of but foods that will also sustain his hunger, give him energy, are healthy options and are a nice variety.

He is only 3 but is very picky. He used to be a great eater and ate everything I have him, right up until he was about 2.5 years old. Then, like a switch, he ‘didn’t like anything’.

I try many options in his lunch box but the majority of the time, the lunch box comes back with the prepared food still not touched. Such a waste of good, wholesome healthy food.

I’ve tried asking him what he would like to eat. He still won’t eat it. I end up packing things that I know he will eat. Not always the healthiest options but he will eat it.

It makes me question, is it better to feed them what they like and want knowing it will get eaten?

Or pack him what I think is a better and healthier option knowing that it may possibly come back home untouched and know, my little guy went hungry as he didn’t like what was prepared for him?

He isn’t one of those children that sees other children eat and decided he wants to eat the same. He isn’t swayed by peer pressure. He is very head strong and is very confident.

So below are some options that I pack for my little guys preschool lunch box. I’d love to hear what you pack in your little ones lunch boxes.

Vegetable pancakes –
Yes I purée vegetables and put it in a pancake mix then make ‘regular’ pancakes. Great way to hide vegetables as my little man loves pancakes but ‘doesn’t like vegetables’.

Cereal –
I pack either Nutri grain or mini wheats. Yes I know they have sugar, but not as much as Cheerios or fruit loops and many other cereals. My little man will eat both and it’s a good easy way to get him to eat whole grains.

Crackers –
I make home made ones with my ThermoMix, they are quite healthy and really tasty. He eats them plain. If I have made a batch I will pack brown rice crackers or vita wheats. Again he eats them plain. Another easy way to have him eat while grains.

Cheese sticks –
A good source of dairy and protien and they keep well. If I have no cheese sticks I will cut up cubes of cheese. Full day of course.

Yogurt squirts –
I pop these in the freezer the night before school to ensure they stay cold for his lunch box. He will only eat vanilla and that’s fine. It’s another way to get dairy in his lunch box and brewing a squeeze pack, no mess and no need to pack a spoon.

Fruit squeeze pack / jelly squeeze pack –
I know some of you will think SUGAR but, I go for the lowest with no added sugar. He refuses to eat solid fruit even if I cut it up, so this way he is still getting fruit, some fibre and it’s a ‘sweet treat’.
I have tried making my own and using the refillable squeeze packs but he won’t touch them. I’m happy to buy them as its something I know he will eat.

Left over cold meats –
Example of i make mini meatballs for dinner, I will cook extra and pop those into his lunch box. He happily eats them cold. Or an extra sausage. Again if u cut it up he will eat it cold. Or even chicken tenders or home made chicken nuggets. So easy to make, good source or protein and iron and he will eat them cold.

Cold pasta –
Befor you think I’m nuts, it’s easy. I cook either shells or spirals, let them cool and put some in his lunch box. He likes cold pasta. I usually do while grain pasta or spinach. He won’t eat the ‘red’ but I find he doesn’t mind the ‘green’ or ‘brown’. Good carbohydrates and being low GI keeps his energy levels up.

Banana bread fingers –
He thinks it’s cake 😉 occasionally he will eat it. Plain though, no butter and it must be cut in rectangles. I again make my own in my ThermoMix so has almost no sugar and I again make it on half kamut and half wholemeal flour rather than plain white. Kamut flour is high in protein. You could also use chickpea flour.

An alternate in the banana bread fingers could be mini fruit muffins? If you make them yourself you can cut down in the sugar. I know some may question why cutting down on sugar in children.

Well 1 it rots teeth, 2 it can cause health issues and 3 if sugar is not burnt within the body from activity or exercise its stored as fat and our nation is already overweight. I don’t see I big issue in using either natural sugar sources such as fruit over refined sugar and I also think so much food has hidden added sugar that by cutting down on some can not hurt.

I don’t send my little man to school with muesli bars as its a nut free environment. I also don’t like the idea of roll up as its loaded with refined sugar.

I’d love to hear your ideas for fussy eaters that won’t eat a sandwich or cut fruit and vegetables.

Email me :
Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Meeting house Preschool

This wonderful new preschool have recently reopened its doors in the Lane Cove (Sydney) area.

Its teachers are lovely and it boasts wonderful new equipment / facilities!

Absolutely  worth a look if you have a preschooler.

There are still positions available – it comes highly recommended!

Nothing better than a recommendation from a mummy whose children already attend the centre.

Word of mouth is the best advertisement I say 😉

Check out its website – very cute!

http://meetinghouse.org.au/?page_id=574

Taming the toddler!

Taming the toddler!

Dressing my 2 year old of late feels like I’m wrestling a crocodile – not that I’ve wrestled a croc but it seems that since he started preschool, a whole new world has begun!

Simple tasks like dressing him is full on with him running around being cheeky and making it more of a game, I get one leg of his pants in then he runs off expecting me to chase him with the only contained leg falling out, back to square one.

Although this is cute and can be a fun game, I’m 6 months pregnant and get out of breath easily and also can’t move as quick as I normally can nor can I manoeuvre myself as well with my tummy! The simple task of dressing that once took 5 minutes now can take up to 20.

He only goes to preschool 1 day per week and has only been a handful of times. This is also his first time in any day care / preschool facility as I’m a stay at home mum and whilst I was working he had a nanny one day per week whom would come to our home and care for him there, therefore he was still in his comfort zone.

So since starting preschool – which I do believe is good for him and will get better, the drop offs are very hard with tears and tantrums from my lil guy and him shouting ‘me no likey preschool’. ‘I go home now’ and ‘peese mummy no go’. Breaks my heart every time! Perhaps I’m just a clingy mum or not tough enough? However I am re assured by the centre director and other staff that he does calm down and settle after approx 15 minutes of me leaving.

I also know that it’s not the preschools fault that he is behaving this way, he is only 2 and being put in a new environment can be challenging for anyone.

On pick up I get the best reception from him with a huge smile then him running towards me followed by huge hugs having both his innocent little arms tightly wrapped around my neck and have him almost climbing up on top of me to get closer then followed by a big kiss. Makes my whole day to get that love from him as I certainly do miss him.

That evening and next day though can be tiring as he becomes extremely clingy and needing with him following me everywhere I go and holding my hand even walking around our home.

This I love, but bed time becomes another challenge with him no wanting to go to bed alone and insisting that I stay in his bedroom with him. If i try to leave I get tears and heartbreak. I think to myself, be tough and just make him stay alone to sleep but then my softer side says, why not sit with him, he is two and he won’t want me to ‘hold him’ for too many more years. Yes he says in the sweetest little voice ‘peese mummy old me’ which means he would like my hand to rest on his heart whilst he falls asleep – bless him.

He has also learnt lots of new sentences, including him putting his finger across his lips and saying ‘shhh, stop it, sit down’ something I’m guessing his teachers must say? And another one ‘umm I dont think so’. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad his vocabulary is expanding and he is learning better sentences however not sure I like those particular sentences coming from my ‘just turned 2 little guy?.

Another wonderful side effect from day care is the lashing out. He has certainly been asserting himself, mainly with other boys and generally it’s a jealous thing, like them playing with his toys or even being too close to me. He has never been an aggressive or rough child but the past 2 weeks have shown me that he can be quite rough with pushing and throwing things.

From studying my counselling course I’ve learnt that it’s very normal for a toddler or child to lash out or behave aggressively when they have a major change in their young lives as they are stamping out their emotions, asserting themselves and also trying to work out how and where they fit into the change.

It’s almost like they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can get, asserting themselves and making their own path. This does settle down but it’s a big adjustment for them.

Should you try to tame a toddler?

My theory is to allow them to show their personality but set boundaries. I’m not going to raise a brat or disrespectful child. My little man already has boundaries and though I do discipline him I also explain why I’m disciplining him and try to help him understand what he has done wrong and how not to do it again.

I’m not huge on smacking but I do believe in time out. I sit my little guy on his bed, get down to his eye level, ask him to look at me whilst I’m talking to him and speak to him in an assertive but compassionate voice. I don’t like to raise my voice but he does recognise the difference in the tone in my voice and that he is in trouble. He then sits on his bed with the door closed for 2 minutes. I then go back to his room and explain again what he has done wrong and generally find that he is remorseful.

I’ve heard that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds? Gosh! I love my little guy more than the world but he certainly tests me and keeps me on my toes at times, here is for hoping 3 isn’t worse!

How do you tame your toddler?

What are your experiences?

Is it just us or is parenting an emotional rollercoaster?

Every day brings its highs and lows and unexpected loopty-loops.

There are moments of absolute joy that lift us up and take our breath away. And then there are trying moments such as those when the little one decides to draw all over your nice white walls with black permanent marker that bring us down and also take our breath away.

Yet through it all, there’s something in us that forgives our little ones need for attention and we forget, open our arms, scoop them up and love them all over again!

The uncomplicated love of a parent.