Easter

 

A very delayed post – still in recovery from the Easter holidays.

Easter is over, I can barely even remember it now…the only evidence it happened was the chocolate still left in my fridge (don’t worry, it will get eaten). The 2 week holiday was sprinkled with camp, day trips, wall staring, pleading, and bubbles.

The highlight for Big O was probably the Easter funfair – she dreams of them, asks frequently when shes going to one, and often after being tucked up into bed, I get called upstairs, not to be asked for a drink or a loo trip, but if she can be taken to a funfair.

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We also did the obligatory Easter egg hunt. It took a while for O to understand that most hunts these days don’t consist of actual chocolate eggs (unless done yourself) but clues or tokens instead. So our Easter egg hunt consisted mostly of:

“When do I get the chocolate bunny?”

“When we’ve answered all these questions and once we’ve read all the clues’

“Can I get the chocolate now?”

“No, we’ve only just answered the first question.”

“We need to hurry or I won’t win”

“It’s not a race, everyone gets the prize”

“Can we get the prize now?”

“No we have to answer all the questions and have a nice walk”

“But I’m tired”

“Do you want to get the prize?”

“Now?”

“NO. When we’ve answered the questions on the trail. Let’s go.”

Of course it took much longer due to A chasing down every dog she saw along the way, in the wrong direction, and she is fast. Or preventing her from walking straight into a river to catch a duck. Even with that and “my legs are tireeeddd’ on repeat, going for a walk is still my favourite thing to do with the two girls (and Daddy Caspi, not on my own, no way).

Ducksmall

(A side note to say thank you to Daddy B for making our little adventures, our country walks easier by being the, well, the donkey. Due to issues with my back I can’t carry Little A in the carrier, he does this. And when the whingeing from Big O about being tired of walking gets too much, his shoulders become her mode of transport.)

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Seder night 2017- well it was on Monday.

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“Why is this night different from all other nights?”

This is one of the questions asked at the passover Seder – the special meal shared by Jews to celebrate the escape from slavery in Egypt so many years ago.  Every year the family comes together to annoy each other  to move through the Seder ceremony with the aim of being fed generously usually by the head matriarch of the family – my mum – and minus any breaded goods.  I’m guessing that many seders are quite serious affairs in which the participants sit patiently at the table and listen quietly, perhaps even studiously, as the chosen leader, usually the patriarch – my dad – reads through the Seder ceremony. Our Seder is rather a cacophony of various noises. Firstly my Dad doing what he is supposed to be, then the various grandchildren chatting not quite discretely enough, the voices of their mothers telling them to shush, and my mum telling her own children to schtum. This is together with the the voices, coughs, sneezes of the guests – this year was 22 people in total. Add in various people from around the table correcting the leader or commenting- “no now its the washing hands”, “Oh were we not supposed to drink that cup of wine yet? “I’m not eating that”, “Don’t lick your finger!” Now there is also Big O to remind Papa he’s forgotten a crucial part, and there is Little A to come in with her “Ooooooooh wooowww wossat” every 5 seconds.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way and if you are lucky enough to have young children participate it is all the more special. This is the first year Big O has known what is going on (sort of). After telling me she would be too shy, she without hesitation accepted Papa’s invitation to stand on his chair and since the Ma Nishtana (traditionally sung by the youngest) in front of everyone solo and then all joined in. My other favourite moment was when Papa asked for the front door to be opened for the Angel Elijah. This was always my favourite bit as a child. I’d always open it then run as fast as I could back to the table. O was too nervous to open it herself  but when the door was closed and Papa declared that a miracle had occurred and the glass of wine he’d poured had been drunk  (no need to wonder where that really went) – she was amazed. “I didn’t know he was invisible!” her eyes had welled up and she was wrapped up in the magic of it just as I was.

Find the afikoman (hidden matzo) was always forgotten and inserted towards the end of the evening. To a chorus of conflicting ‘Hot, hot, cold, freezing, warm hot, no warm, no cold now’ it’s a wonder a child ever finds the treasure but when they do they get a prize. Of course Papa did not secretly tell O where some pieces may be hidden or make it incredibly obvious, and of course I’m not upset that grown ups aren’t allowed to take part and get a prize also.

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Little A made me proud also. From start to finish she never grumbled – she grazed continuously on whatever food was going (though she drew the line at chopped liver pate) and made the most of any attention she received.

So Why is this night different from all other nights?

My personal answer is that there is family, food, laughter, enchantment, memories of past Seders and participants, food…other parents to share the parental duties – all in one evening.

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And now I am F&$%ing exhausted (no difference there then).

It was Mothers’ Day…

Mother’s day, it is a lovely idea. I appreciate the sentiment but it never really lives up to  the hype. I’ve never yet been able to actually stay in bed or fight the urge to tidy up or find time to be pampered without interruption (that’s not to say I never to get to any of those things….there are 364 other days in the year). I suppose I’ll be able to enjoy it in that way when the kids are older, for now we celebrate as a family (and therefore, it is not a stress free day). Of course I am very much in favour of rewarding (generously) mums for the really hard job they do day in and day out, especially whilst children are still young; physically, mentally and emotionally challenging in various ways as they grow up. The result of all that energy is how rewarding your children can be. Though mine do bug me every day frequently, they also make me smile even more.lovemamaNot all still have their mums around, so all the more important for us that do to appreciate our own and spare a thought for those that can’t. My mum is a great support and hopefully I’ve learnt well from her, thank you Mum x
Grandma

 

Gryffle

The poor dog. He was the first baby. Gryffle (Griffle) aka toilet brush face, chicken, Fuzzbutt, Lil’ Jerk. Our Welsh Terrier. I’m his Mama too.

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He was just skeetering along happy in his ‘only child dog’ status, until Big O arrived and eventually Little A. mamadaddyGryff02

He is a good boy, always gentle to them, though doesn’t seek them out. Sure, to him they have their perks. They don’t guard their food very well and their playroom furniture is pretty comfy; but we can’t deny, he’s had to adapt to a decrease in attention. He has to compete with the girls, and of course since he is a canine and not human, they come first. Still, we do love the fuzzball and remind him every day (mainly after 7pm when O and A are snoring).

So Gryffle, your sisters are bathed and combed every day and you…..Gryfflescruff

And finally they get round to sorting you out, and you appear to lose a few lbs:gryflesmart

 

 

Booking Parent’s Eve…

Big O’s second parents evening is approaching, and so as parents we are directed to book appointments. An email arrives stating your date options accompanied by a two page visual + descriptive guide on how to book your appointment. What it should really have said was “Log in via this link…..then refresh and click like a manic click addict who needs a hit desperately until you manage to book a totally inappropriate time that in no way suits you whatsoever”.parentsevesml

You sit there refreshing the screen until 9.30am arrives and booking opens. As it is Reception luckily it’s just 2 teachers, how I will simultaneously book more teachers than that and get a good appointment time I do not know. Booking screen appears,”OOOh check me out I’ve got the first slot, just click confirm, no its gone, ‘busy’ ok quick next one, confiiiirrrrrr- no now its busy.  Quick second teacher, book her instead, confirm YESSSSSSSSS, back to other one now (which in the last 4 seconds has had most of the slots booked) don’t be picky, just pick! CONFIRM, YESSSSSSS and done.”

I thought watching and waiting to click bid in the final 10 seconds of an eBay auction was stressful but this can definitely outdo it and instead of winning the item, you win a session of crossing your fingers that your child isn’t the naughty one, mean one, smelly one (all of which we have none in our class of course). Somehow I managed to book two not-so-terrible appointments (with a 25 minute wait in between) but I think I need a mindfulness session and possibly massage after those 3 minutes.

 

Bad Mama

So just the other day, I seemed to forget I had a 16 month old. I’m waiting to pick up Big O from her class, letting Little A have a wander around and talking about juice (juice!?) with another mum. Meanwhile others have arrived and have entered the cluster around the door.  And suddenly Little A pops into my head “Where’s A?”

FringeMamalostA

So I start manically looking at the feet of other mums as I spin around “Where is she where is she??” Then I hear “Elinor?!” I turn round and A is through gate 1 (which is never closed behind anyone) and halfway up the path leading to another gate. She is happily standing with another mum as I grab her and I display a face declaring “Oh my G-d, can’t believe what a terrible mother I am!” whilst I’m assuming the look on other mum’s face meant “Oh my G-d I can’t believe what a terrible mother you are!”

Alala

That was probably less than 20 seconds.

I then ran back to the door to be greeted by Big O “Mama I don’t want to go to my swimming lesson” and Mama has to then calm down the inner anxiety and flusteration (wish it was a word) and get back to Mama business, starting with dragging both into their car seats and then escaping the dreaded school car park.

Of course I know this happens all the time. I also know I’m not a bad mum, but we have to have a nice stab of mum guilt to offset against the occasional buzz of confidence just to make life more exciting.