Then they all left.

Where has time gone? The months passed in a flash. No time for typing. No time for reading or thinking. Only time to enjoying the last few months with the youngest of my babies – technically it was the summer so I was enjoying time with all three – by enjoying I mean saving what is left of my hearing from their incessant whining and bitching and arguing….BREATHE!!!

However littlest is now in school with the other two. That’s one drop off, one pick up, three lunches, one free mama. A friend sent me The Holderness Family “In the Tub” back to school celebration video, I don’t know about everyone else but it’s a pretty accurate portrayal of my life just now.

I’m not 100% sure that I’m truly celebrating though. I quite enjoyed the time I had with the little lady. Drawing, standing on Lego and spending endless hours looking for the piece of a puzzle that seems to be missing. Then there is shopping with a 3ft monster that stops every 20 seconds to point out every product that has a 50%+ sugar content and letting me know she must consume said products at that very moment or this shopping trip could go really bad. I also enjoyed walking up to the check out in Trader Joes and hearing a little voice scream that we did not find the toy octopus hidden in the store therefor rendering us unable to receive the lollipop from the person behind the register, then walking back around the whole store looking the damn stuffed toy. Yes, I will miss all of that.

The first day of real freedom came the second day of school. The actual first day is really just a pretend day where you show up for a photo and a chat. Day two: I drop off, I wave, throw some kisses then I was out of there. In the space of two hours I had managed to have a cuppa with friends, put petrol in the car, shop(in two different shops) and put all the shopping away. Then I threw some laundry in the machine and made another cuppa. Now I’m no Kitsune (is that the right magical being? the one that bends time!) From drop off at 8 to 10 that’s only two hours. How is it possible I completed all of these tasks so quickly? There was only one thing to be done or I would surly die of boredom or have to have another child and this shop is closed…I took to HBOnow, Yip after being left happily in the dark for so many years saying I would just never ever be a part of the madness, I gave in. I just let myself go, with my fresh made cuppa tea and a handful of those sugar snacks that I can’t eat around the kids, I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. UGH, I should never have given in. Now, just a few weeks into school  I’m so close to finishing the 3rd season. My brain has even started working in a way that I reply to text messages like I am actually in the show. Here’s an example

B: I’m looking forward to meeting you. See you tonight.

Me: As am I, do enjoy the rest of this day. (Say this with a slightly royal accent, cause that’s what’s in my head)

Now yes, it was only short but normally I’d send a little emoji and a “catch ya later” but no GoT has twisted my grey matter.

I’d also like to say that the text was from my husband’s friend’s wife that I’d never met before, it was not some sordid Tinder hook up.

So what I’m wondering is: Does this happen to everyone? Am I so bored with my new found freedom that the only conceivable thing I can think of to do is to watch 7 seasons of Game of Thrones as if it were going to suddenly become unavailable on any viewing platform? and here’s the big and real question…Am I procrastinating?

I know it’s my time now, time to find my feet, time to rediscover the person I was or am. Time which really disappeared 10 years ago along with ability to naturally produce Elastin and collagen. Friends say to me”It’s been a long tough year take a few weeks or months whatever you need just to relax and enjoy, really think about life and where it is headed” Nothing wrong with taking time to reflect, right? But does my real reflection come while watching people being beheaded and hoping that one day I may have a dragon too. I’m thinking, nope! But I’m headed back to that next episode………..

 

 

 

 

Empty Nest

I’m not going to say I want the last kid out of the house and into school. In fact when that moment comes I will be utterly heart broken. Little Silver is a breath of fresh air but she really wants more than I can give her now. I feel her need to be out playing more and having lots of little people around to engage in her madness. I can only be partly mad with a side of “oh shit, I gotta get dinner ready” not that fun a playmate when I disappears to do boring adult things. Last week I put her name on the entry list for school…eeeek. Am I ready to receive the mountains of paperwork and then hit her up with a multitude of injections the kids around here must have to walk through the school gates and into their allocated class.

The injections alone are costly but the tears that they cause will be the real heart breaker. This girl really knows how to make my heart to bleed. She works all the angles, has the face of a baby koala that makes you want to snuggle her in tight and protect her from the world but she’ll bite your face off at the same time.

Luckily School start time is still six months away so I have time to prepare for this. Emotionally for me, I do wonder…Will I get empty nest syndrome? Having spent the past +nine years with a child holding my hand everyday will I find it hard to let go of the last one? Will I automatically need to be impregnated so that I have faith in the fact that I am actually needed by someone all day long(probably not!) Or, and this is a big or, will I enjoy my time and figure out my life. I’ll be safe in the knowledge that all three kids are in a great school, playing with good people and learning from lovely teachers. Why should I worry? I know she will be totally fine going to school, she’s been walking to this school pretty much everyday for two years now. Most of her friends are a year older and go to class there, for her it feels good and she just can’t wait.

For me it’s a real toss up and it could swing either way. The one thing that I have been pretty good at in life so far is mothering. I was once told by an old flatmate (when I found out I was pregnant with #1) that I had the mothering skills of a firing squad…bloody proved him wrong! Turned out I learned from the best and deep down I had it in me all along. As most people do, it’s called human nature an instinct to keep your children thriving. The ability to adjust your sense of self and let them learn real values. How to trust people, who to trust, how to listen, when to listen and having respect for everyone and everything around you. I think the one big thing I want to give the little’s is how to respect and love themselves, at the same time realising that they are not more important than anyone else and no one else is more important than them. So many people live in fear of pissing off someone they deem to be more powerful than them, whether it be a bully at school or a boss later in life. Sometimes they throw their respect and love the wrong way to someone who really couldn’t give a crap about them. Respect is a two way street and should not be based on fear.

I think I’ll start counting the weeks so I know how much time I have left with my baby at home teaching her all the things I think she needs to make it through. I know this time shall slip away so quickly, I’ll blink and August will be here with another lunch bag to fill. However when I look into her eyes and she talks excitedly about going to school. What else can I do but smile and let her go however much it tears my heart.

 

 

Kindle be gone.

Road trips with young ones are just not what the used to be and I blame the invention of tablets. Up until last Christmas we did not own a tablet, or that’s a lie, I did, but it was mine and the little rats were not getting their filthy paws on it. Then along came amazon with a deal…$35 for a kindle fire. How could I refuse? Number one was getting older and as much I had resisted the electronic madness there comes a time when you have to let them enter that world. But you can’t get one child something without getting the others the same…Right? So before I knew it there were three Kindles all wrapped up and under the tree. The kids seemed easy about it start, only playing in them every so often. Still interested in all their other toys and actually socialising with one another. But slowly, slowly the beast grew and now I don’t have any idea how to moderate this unruly monster that I, myself brought though the door.

For me, sometimes it’s an easy out. I need to make dinner or clean the house in peace so out comes the tablets. In the past few months I’ve become unceasingly lackadaisical, handing it over to stop the constant whine “Mum, can I have my Kindle?” “Mum, when can I have my Kindle?” “Mum, Mummy, Mum, I really need the Kindle!” Then there’s the harrowing screams when the battery runs out, I always think someone is close to death. The arguments the ensue when one kid realises that one of the others have 100% battery but theirs only has 98%. But when will the madness stop? What’s a mum to do? The husband I have had talks about how to moderate it, how to give them a little but not make it so they are like shit faced junkies waiting for their next hit. Do we time it? just an hour a day? or only allow it at weekends? The guidelines on these things are ever changing and I can’t keep up.

We don’t take them to use them out of the house (The kindles, we do take the children out of the house!) unless we are travelling. Which brings me back to road trips. This past Thanksgiving week we spent a lot of time in the car. We drove up to Sacramento, which is about a six hour drive but then add in dinner and toilet breaks, we talking more seven hours. So the Kindles came with. It was great to start, they played happily, still talking to one another, requesting Alicia Keys to be on the stereo constantly. And may I point out the The Element of Freedom was released in 2009 – I mean seriously, I thought it was about two years ago, what happened to those years?

While in Sacramento (the state capital of California), we looked around the amazing old town, which has a history with the Gold rush in 1848. The area has 53 historic buildings and is registered as a national and California historic landmark. It also has a darker side, and was once known as the worst skid row west of Chicago. Today is it still super rough around the edges. Due to it’s river location it is very industrial with lots of edgy graffiti on disused buildings running the length of river from our hotel to tower bridge. Perfect for a rock band photo shoot! But the area still has a huge homeless population, it pains me to see so many people wandering around, kicking the dirt, looking completely lost when you know that they should be receiving real medical help. I guess the cost of medications and healthcare will make it nearly impossible for these people to stand a chance.

A friend recommended that we take a trip to the rail museum, which is located in the old town. The place was filled with historic trains and employees in costume who had the knowledge to answered every question. The carriages were filled with artifacts, and placed on moving platforms that swayed gently, so you really get a feel what it would be like to travel in these trains back when they were operational. The play area for kids had…yip…trains. They could watch the vintage train sets bimbling around in their vintage tracks, then play with the wooden trains. Pretty much a perfect day out for anyone. Even if you’re not a trainspotter(which I am not!) But throughout the day I heard the word Kindle, 700 million times. They kids dreamed of the drive back to L.A. so that they can play their bloody kindles. The immediate moment was lost. Screw the trains, who gives a shit about historic train or even playing for that matter when there is a Kindle sitting in a hotel room all lonely and sad. How could we have left them there? What if someone breaks in and steals their precious box of plastic and microchips.

The journey home was quiet, apart from the cogs of my brain ticking around trying to work out a solution that will end this madness.

A few days later we were headed to Carlsbad for the night. I was quite excited, having seen friends photos for the area. It always looks beautiful with lovely beaches and desperate housewives style homes. And yeah, the Kindles came with…they needed to experience the beach life too…right?! While driving down the freeway I noticed a massive building wrapped up like a giant Christmas present, with a freaking huge red bow on top…I tried and tried to get the kids attention but their eyes were glued to their screens. How could they miss such an amazing Christmas miracle? The bow itself was about 3 stories high. What the hell were they thinking? How can Plants vs Zombies or slither.io be better then a giant bow on a building? ugh I give up!

I’d love to tell you that Carlsbad was as good as I expected but the weather was crap, with two storms headed our way. We pretty much hid in our hotel room watching out the window as other hotel residents took pictures of the palm trees blowing sideways. The next afternoon we had a cold, windy walk on the beach.  Then lunch at Benihanas before enduring another quiet ride home.

This past week I’ve come to the conclusion that, I’ve had enough, no child of mine is going to miss the craziness that is America. Or miss the songs we can sing, the chatting that we can do. The good family times that we are missing out on due to a $35 piece of plastic. But now comes the hard part…weaning them off. I’ve had a few people who don’t have children telling me that they would just lay down the law. Which is lovely and slightly naive. I want to understanding their needs and really, Jacob and I are the only ones who have to live with that crap, so a full cut off may not be the right thing!

So, What’s the right thing to do? What are the limits? What do you all do?

I’m wondering if a mysterious ant colony may invade the house and eat up or carry off the kindles! That’s a totally realistic reason for their disappearance, right?