We went mad and bought new furniture, the deal was too amazing to give up, so the sofa I am sitting on will be moving to the basement where Alan can finally have his dream, a man cave where he can watch American football. He doesn’t drink but I’m thinking I should get some n/a beer and put a cooler down there for him so that he can pretend as he yells at the tv and gives advice to the players on his team, not that they ever appear to listen to him :o)

Parenthood ain’t easy. Today got reminded of the time Alan kicked one of our kids across the room. I can just hear the intakes of breath and people wondering which authority to inform but bear with me.

So there we were, in the Emergency Room (Casualty) with both kids, Jonathan around… 6 years old and Matthew around 18 months to 2 years old. Matthew with a gash in the back of his head which was bleeding. Apparantly scalps bleed like crazy even when the wound is superficial. I guess I should hasten to add at this point that there had been no concussion or trauma of that type, it was a half inch cut on the back of his head. The nurse bent down and asked Matthew “What happened to you sweetheart?” Matthew replied “Daddy kicked me.” She got this look on her face and asked Jonathan “What happened?” Jonathan said “Daddy kicked Matthew across the room.”

We were immediately separated from the kids and from each other.

So there I am in a room with a very stern looking doctor asking what happened? Me: “Well it’s all my fault. There is a chest of drawers opposite our bed. I had left the top drawer slightly ajar. It’s Sunday morning. ¬†On Sunday mornings the boys come into our room and climb into our bed. Then we play Humpty Dumpty where we lie in bed, our knees up, the kids climb up and sit on our knees, we all recite the Humpty Dumpty poem and at some random point we drop our knees and the kids, like Humpty, fall down and everybody laughs. Matthew was climbing back up onto his daddy’s knees for another go…. Alan has an ingrown toenail. Matthew stepped on his toe, Alan kicked out, and Matthew sailed across the room and ……then he hit the drawer.”

The doctor just kind of looked at me, silent. Then he left the room and after a while they showed Alan in. I said “What did you tell them?” Alan said “The truth, how about you?” Me: “The truth. Oh gawd we are never going to see our children again…”

Then two doctors came in and said “You’re OK. That story is so stupid it has to be true. If you had done it deliberately you would have come up with something more plausible.”

They put a stitch in the back of Matthew’s head and we all went home. Both kids are now adults and no, we didn’t kill either one, accidentally or on purpose. But as I said, parenthood ain’t easy. And to any ‘authorities’ reading this please, accept that sometimes a step on an ingrown toenail and an involuntary kick is just a step on an ingrown toenail and an involuntary kick. Those doctors showed common sense and gave us the benefit of the doubt.

Boy am I ever going to get flamed for this one I reckon……

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Spring must be arriving soon, there is an awful lot of courtship going on out there.

Squirrels should be on Ritalin

Why have playpens gone out of fashion?

When I was a kid we were left to our own devices, I babysat my siblings when I was just seven years old. Was that right? Probably not. Feeding them cornflake sandwiches was possibly not the best idea but I was seven. It seemed OK to me and anyway, was all I could find at the time. In the days of my childhood from the age of 5 or so I could leave the house in the morning and not come home until evening and it was pretty much considered normal. Maybe not for all of my friends but I was by no means the only one.

Fast forward fifty years and parenting is so restrained, constrained and legislated that children are wrapped in cotton wool and never spend a second unmonitored or free. Is that right either? I doubt it. These days if you pay attention to all the warnings about how to parent it’s downright freaky. It’s a miracle any of us made it past toddlerhood.

Somewhere in between when I was a young mother there was a kind of balance. We let our kids play but maybe with a little less freedom that we had enjoyed. And we had playpens. For the uninitiated these came in various forms. Basically they were cages. Some were made of wooden doweling, some were formed with a nylon mesh. Some had cushioned floors. Some not. But the point of them was this – you could put the kid in them and know that they were safe while you got on with doing other things. I’m not talking about leaving them alone for hours. I’m just saying that the kid was OK, could play, or fall asleep, or even cry and they were SAFE. Meanwhile you could go and make the beds, hang washing on the line, make dinner, even go to the loo in peace. I know that playpens are still around because you can buy them. But I have not met a parent who actually admits to using a playpen for at least 20 years.

I know, some of you will laugh and comment that I am only saying this because I believe that ‘in my day’ it was the best. You are, no doubt. right. Hindsight and rosy glasses and all that. But some of ‘my day’ was good. Especially playpens.

Another one……… saw a a newspaper article about some daft thing called a ‘mixologist’ and they even have some college qualification. When I was a lass I was a barmaid. I bet I could ‘mix’ the drinks just as well then as they can now, not to mention pull the perfect pint. I enjoyed the badge of honour of being a barmaid.
Me as a barmaid.