Mum-mum-mum

…I do so hope this is Zulu’s first word. Alpha went with dad-dad-da – it’s only fair I get one, right? Right?

Anyway.

It’s Mother’s Day – the annual day of carnations, soggy toast in bed and “sleep-ins”. I thought I’d share some great posts about it that I’ve found in my travels because I’m planning on being far too busy relaxing to write anything.

Firstly – and most importantly – not everyone celebrates on Mother’s Day. For some, it it like Hallmark Valentine’s Day when you’re single – it hurts every year and always will. This beautiful post from The Peacock Quill puts it far more eloquently than I can.

Along a similar line is Perfection Pending with this post. I really love that this challenges mums to keep an eye on their expectations.

Just to lighten things a little – here’s an older post from Illustrated With Crappy Pictures. It’s all true. All of it. Although I’d kind of like the trinkets too. 🙂

Then there’s this post from The Ugly Volvo – all she wants for Mother’s Day is for her husband to experience labor. I particularly love that the focus isn’t on punishing her husband – it’s simply about helping him fully comprehend what she’s been through.

Another favourite blog of mine is Cake Wrecks. This page is very often hysterically funny, and this post about Mother’s Day cakes is no exception. For the record, it’s not always a great idea to read this page while you’re eating…

And finally, a very special post from one of my new favourite blogs, The Honest Toddler. I just so happened to be chopping onions when I read it. Darn things made me tear up.*

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have. Enjoy your day today, regardless of how/if you celebrate!

* No onions were harmed in the writing of this blog.

Peace and Dinosaurs

“Mumma, tum here and look!”

I followed Alpha to the family room. In front of the lounge lay Zulu, spread-eagled on the floor. A quick automatic check showed he was breathing, so I started walking over, kicking a pile of duplo on the way.

“Shhh, mummy! Zulu is feeping. Be vewwy quiet. Aww, so toot!”

After reprimanding me, Alpha put on a big show of tiptoeing silently over to his slumbering brother. I silently congratulated myself for raising such a sensitive boy – clearly he’ll be a fabulous father one day.

He crouched down in front of Alpha and leaned in as if to gently kiss his face. My heart melted. It was such a peaceful, beautiful moment.

Then I noticed the dinosaur in his hand.

The world seemed to go into slow-motion as I leapt towards my older son – but I was too late.

The T-Rex was stealthily positioned directly in front of Zulu’s face.

Then – “RRROOOOOAAAAWWRRRR!”

Peace gone.

Getting Crafty

The other day I told you about watching Finding Nemo with Alpha.  In the end I resolved to stick with shows like Peppa Pig and Play School.  Play School is Alpha’s current obsession, and I can’t say I’m upset.  I love Play School for so many reasons – one of them being that I watched it as a little girl.  It’s a locally-produced show using Australian talent (mostly drawn from Home and Away, it seems).  It’s all focused on early childhood learning – everything is done deliberately.  There’s plenty of singing and dancing, and it’s a great way to discover new books to read.

All of those things are great.  The main thing I love about Play School is that it isn’t perfect.  Sometimes the singing is a little out of time.  Sometimes the costumes they make for themselves out of newspaper fall apart.  It is very obvious to an adult that it is done in close to one take.  I love that.  I’d much rather they focus their time on what they present, rather than how.  Sometimes things get a little weird (like the episode they sang Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?”), but I haven’t seen a single episode that I object to.  I’m very much looking forward to the Play School concert that I have tickets to in October.

Another element that is far from perfect is the craft activities they do.  Some days they look like one big Pinterest Fail.  They don’t paint things completely – or they go way outside the lines.  The colours don’t match.  Patterns are out of whack.  Edges are far from straight and some things fall apart almost immediately.

I love it.

Why?  It’s achievable.  I can do that.  Pretty much anyone can do that.

I’m from a ridiculously creative family (seriously, half my family have works in galleries). Me? Not as talented. I’m not totally hapless, but I’m pretty average when it comes to the creative side of things. I watch home improvement shows and read craft magazines and know what I make will never wind up looking the same. So it’s an enormous relief to see the professionals making stuff that I’ve got half a shot of replicating.

I’ve come to realise that craft doesn’t have to be perfect or even complicated to enthral a toddler.

Seriously.

I recently stuck some pom-poms on a cardboard roll. Alpha instantly announced it was his rocket and has been carrying it around proudly for a month.

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The Rocket – clearly my son has an impressive imagination.

After realising this, I’m trying to challenge myself to do more craft at home with the boys. To keep myself accountable, I’m going to try and post about one no-talent-required craft project a week. I can almost guarantee they won’t be perfect. The aim is to keep them uncomplicated and achievable – just like Play School. I hope you enjoy them as much as I intend to.

Here’s today’s craft activity to kick us off.

Quote

“The end. Oh, that was a great movie!”

Recently I tried to show Alpha a movie.  We made it as far as the end of the opening scene (before the title screen) before he piped up with this.

What I learned:

– two year olds have a shorter attention span than I originally thought.

– Finding Nemo is a LOT scarier than I remembered.

– it’s not overly easy to edit fast forward movies on Apple TV.

So in summary, I think we’ll be sticking with Play School, Thomas and Peppa Pig for now.