Being a parent of boys, there is a frequent chance that I will have to clear up puddles of wee from time to time. They are all pretty good (big and small!) but sometimes having to aim, particularly first thing in the morning when they are really tired, it all becomes a bit of a struggle and well, yes it is usually me who ends up stepping on the wet patch.
One morning last week, we were having the usual manic morning and I was rushing around trying to get everyone out of the house on time. A came down to breakfast and said; “Mummy there was something wet on the floor near the toilet and it tasted funny.”
I stopped and looked at her. She carried on eating her breakfast. Should I tell her that she had probably just tasted someone’s urine? What possessed her to taste it anyway?
In the end, I waited until after she had eaten and gently explained that it was probably wee and that it wasn’t the best idea to taste things off the bathroom floor. She wasn’t bothered in the slightest.
I shouldn’t have worried though as if you Google the medicinal properties of urine (and yes I did do that), it turns out that it is a bit of a wonder medicine, so maybe she knows something I don’t?
I tried so hard to not get involved in the whole celebrating Halloween thing, folding my arms and saying that it is an American tradition and we weren’t going to ever do much in this house. Over the years, that has changed. It started with pumpkin carving and then a little bit of apple bobbing and a few silly games and then last year, we had a full blown Halloween party followed by mass trick or treating. So you could say that I have been converted.
The boys are already starting to talk about Halloween and planning to have friends over again as we had such a fantastic time last year. This year, I will be visiting ASDA who have a brilliant range of Halloween goodies, all at great prices to set you up for a fangtastic night of fun.
If your little ghouls are fans of face paint, the Fiendish Face of Fear Kit gives you not only the paints and tools to create your masterpieces but also has 16 page booklet with photos and step by step instructions to create a range of fiendish faces.
If you are looking for a quick Halloween party treat, the Witches Hat Cake Pop Kit includes ingredients to make 6 chocolate covered sponge witches hats and decorate them. All you need to do is add butter.
The Petrifying Pumpkin can be hung up as a spooky decoration but is also filled with spooky jelly sweets. It would make a great prize for any Halloween games.
I love the Sinister Silver Eyelashes and I might have to try these myself. Great to add a bit of sparkle to any dressing up costume, the eyelashes come with glue to fix them in place.
Anything gingerbread goes down really well in this house and I think my three will be fighting over this Ferocious Fanged Lips Lollipop and my ten year old plans to use it to take spooky Halloween selfies before eating it.
Last but not least, every Halloween needs a good supply of sweets; whether they are to be used at prizes, to give to trick or treaters or just to eat. ASDA have a huge range of suitable treats including treat size bags of Haribo or the amazing Glow Stick Pumpkin Pops which are lollipops with sticks that are glow sticks. These got a definite ‘wow’ from the boys.
This is just few ideas from the huge range of Halloween goodies at ASDA. To find out more and get ideas for Halloween recipes and activities, check out the ASDA website.
We were sent the Halloween goodies from ASDA for the purposes of review. All images and opinions are our own.
I will be the first person to admit that early morning television was my salvation for so many years. All of my children were early risers well until their school days and I can still remember sitting in the dark under a duvet watching the Cbeebies preview from around 5:45. I haven’t done this for such a long time that it has probably changed but they used to do a Cbeebies song on a loop for about fifteen minutes before Cbeebies started at 6:00 with a combination of characters and presenters. It would stay with me and I would then find myself singing it throughout the day.
At 6am, Cbeebies would start up for another day and we would sit a watch the likes of Tellytubbies and Tikkabilla snuggled up quietly before the need to eat or drink kicked in. It was part of our routine, it enabled me to preserve a small piece of my sanity from being up at that ungodly hour every day.
As the children have grown, the mornings have slowly got later and it is now rare (thank goodness) that any of my children wake before 6:30. As they have grown, the television programs have grown with them. A often dominated the choices as she was usually up first and we went through phases of Nick Jnr and Milkshake on Channel Five. It was a gentle way to start the day but I did miss those Cbeebies mornings, especially Postman Pat which I used to enjoy more than the children and would often find myself laughing at and then see the children looking at me like I was some sort of madwoman.
During the summer term this year, the kids all discovered Cartoon Network and I have to say, as much as some of the programs on there are quite good, some of them are downright weird and silly. I would watch bits of these shows with an air of disbelief and disapproval. I didn’t like the attitudes and the language in them at all but wondered if maybe I was getting a bit old.
The other thing that I noticed with this new wave of morning television was the effect it was having on my children. Long gone were the days where they would spend a few minutes watching television and then bounce happily into their clothes and down to breakfast. Oh no, what had replaced this was a surly, grumpy attitude. Getting them to take their eyes off the screen and getting into their clothes had become a real issue and one that caused me to moan and for them to get angry every day. They wanted breakfast in front of the TV, which never happens on my watch I can tell you. It was all becoming a bit of an effort and I realised that I had turned my children into TV watching mindless zombies.
I only had myself to blame. It was a habit that I had got them into because I was tired and lazy first thing in the morning, but I am sure that I am not the only parent who has used to TV as a survival tactic in the mornings. When I discussed the matter with other parents, there were quite a few who didn’t allow their kids to watch TV in the mornings and for those who had made the decision to stop, they reported a big improvement in general attitude.
With R starting middle school this year, we need to leave the house earlier so I decided that this would be a good time to start a new regime; No More Morning Television. It was met with some disgruntlement and I told them at the beginning of the summer holidays that this was going to happen once they were back at school to give them time to get used to the idea.
So far, so good. There have been a few moans but generally I am finding that mornings are going much more smoothly. I did relent one morning with A when she woke up ridiculously early and I allowed her half an hour, but I am now wishing that I had implemented the rule much earlier. They are slowly realising that there are other things to do in the morning, such as getting ready and brushing their teeth. Breakfast has become a nice relaxed affair, not a mad rush because we are running late. They still have TV time after school of course although it seems that Cartoon Network has stopped working on our television, I have no idea why, but they don’t miss that time in the morning. One morning last week, they even went out and had a game of football before school which would never happened in the TV zombie days.
As for me, do I miss those early morning snuggles with my babies in front of Cbeebies? If I am honest, no I don’t. I actually quite like having an extra hour in bed so I am quite happy to bid farewell to children’s television in the morning and anyway I can always catch up with Postman Pat on iPlayer if I feel the need.
Sometime my nine year old boy scares me.
Is that an awful thing to say about your own child? I gave birth to him, nurtured him, watched him grow and at times he is the most caring and loving child of them all.
But there are two very different sides to his personality. One minute he is this loving and affectionate boy who will do anything to help you. The next he is a boy filled with anger and rage, who won’t listen to anything and refuses to be told what to do. Out of control. That is the stage that scares me. He is getting bigger and stronger and sometimes gets quite physical.
My reaction to these rages probably doesn’t help. I try to stay calm but when someone is in your face, shouting at you rudely, it is hard to stay calm.
Tonight was a rage night. L couldn’t and wouldn’t settle last night and we all knew that today would be interesting today. We have an exciting weekend this weekend, so I asked him to do his homework so that it was out of the way. A reasonable request I thought, but apparently not. He would not settle and kept moaning and running off. I tried to keep him on task and then the rage came on. He became aggressive and shouted at me. I tried to get him to have a shower and he shouted no and shut up at me. I got cross with him and tried to take him upstairs and he pushed me over. At that point, I knew I couldn’t win and backed off to let him calm down. My husband arrived home and received a similar reaction. This rage was one of the worst for a while and has lasted for about three hours with consistent poor behaviour and some of the worst language I have ever know him to use.
It is draining and exhausting.
What causes these bouts of anger? Tiredness is a big factor. He often struggles to settle at bedtime, his mind is always on the go and he will come down at night time, his face white with tiredness almost crying that he can’t sleep. My husband and I often look at each other knowing that the following day could be a long one.
Not getting his own way is another trigger. For L everything is black and white. There are absolutely no grey areas. People have asked in the past if he is on the Autistic spectrum and although I don’t think he is, I can see why people might think it. He sees things in a certain way and therefore for him, that is how things are and he will not see it any other way. He also takes things very literally, if you make a joke, he often won’t see the funny side.
He often seems troubled, almost sad. Yet when you talk to him, he can’t talk about it and will say that he feels sad and he doesn’t know why. I find this particularly hard as I feel so helpless.
He is a complex character. I describe him as a square peg in a round hole as he doesn’t always fit in and is perfectly happy with his own company. He does have friends at school but when he played for a school football team, the other team members didn’t take to him and he has recently left the team as he doesn’t enjoy it any more and has openly said that he didn’t feel part of the team.
I have blogged before about L being a gifted child. He is a gifted child, there is no doubt about that. He has a memory for information and statistics like I have never seen before and some of the things he talks about make my head spin. He has a thirst for knowledge and loves learning.
If you look at descriptions of gifted children as opposed to bright children, it is frightening how that is description of my son. He questions everything and will openly and sometimes rudely question adults about information or decisions that he thinks are wrong. He has no problem with questioning authority. He throws himself completely and utterly into topics that he finds interesting but will only barely tolerate those subjects that he doesn’t enjoy. He is creative, always thinking outside the box. He has a strong sense of justice; especially concerning things that affect him. Yet, he is emotionally sensitive and over thinks everything.
Maybe part of his behaviour stems from this I don’t know. Maybe it is one of many contributing factors? What he lacks according to my husband is the ability to process. He reacts without thinking. My husband has done some cognitive behaviour therapy training with his job and he thinks this is something we need to help L and I am willing to try anything both to help him and help our family as his rages impact on us all.