Sunday, 13 January 2013

Starting 2013 with a bang......

Well..... the bang of my rib cracking as I fell off the fence helping to lift wooden veg planters over the top. It was the first day that all of us had been well since Boxing day and with a burst of welcome energy I dived out into the garden, then retreated to A&E several hours later for a check up and have spent the last week in considerable discomfort. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be, unless I feel better and then do too much, but I am heartily sick of sleeping sitting up!

Sitting in state on the sofa has given me plenty of time to quietly (or not so quietly depending on what is happening around me!) observe the finer details of our family mechanics. There are areas that could do with some tweaking and the time to think has allowed me to come up with some solutions that may work for us.

Some of the tweaks are around when to do activities with the girls with a very active and inquisitive toddler who will climb ON the table and stomp all over things, and WILL NOT be distracted by something different, as he wants to see what THEY have. I am wondering about putting a little table in the kitchen for crafting when they want to make things (those that have seen the size of my kitchen will laugh at that - it will have to be put in and out as the kitchen is tiny!!!). And possibly putting boards on our bed for the girls to play with their small world toys so that they can set up scenes without having to defend them. Neither solution ideal but in a little house I'm thinking I need to be creative about these things!!

Other tweaks are about helping out with chores. I am getting huffs and puffs, eye rolling and accusations of making them do EVERYTHING when I ask them to carry out fairly minor tasks so need to address this too! Possible solutions are a pictorial chart for each child for morning tasks such as making bed, teeth, inhalers, opening curtains, putting books away etc. Another is to ingrain habits of everyone spending ten minutes after mealtimes doing chores together such as the dishes, laundry, having a tidy up etc.

Bedtimes are also sliding out of hand again. Faith does gymnastics late two evenings a week and Eve once a week and I find these really throw out other evenings and tired children into bed isn't great. Eve is beginning to express her wish to bathe alone rather than in company, so I'm thinking about shorter but separate baths with the other sister getting some one-one time with Mummy or Daddy whilst not in the bath. Some bedtime rules need reinforcing as well. We let then self-regulate when they turn their light off as Faith needs much less sleep than Eve and after years of fighting with her to get her to go to sleep at a certain time, we realised it works better to let her sleep when ready....... BUT the permitted bedtime activities list has been strayed from and it is working to keep them awake longer rather than help them wind down and sleep so that needs nipping in the bud!

I find that these kind of issues pop up now and again and we need an analysis of each family member's needs and a re-jig to meet those needs. Part of it is the children growing up and the stages of their development. Part of it is the natural fall out of several weeks of illness and injuries leaving me parenting at less than 100% I learned long ago that when I'm ill I have to let a few balls drop or I prolong the illness and get run down and miserable. Picking those balls up again afterwards can be hard work but is much easier than battling through an illness. As long as there are clean clothes, hot meals (albeit not quite as healthy as normal) and the house is vaguely clean then I let it go and blitz when I am better!

I must be nearly better as I'm writing lists of things that need doing. They are scary long lists, of the annoying variety where the thing you really fancy doing can't be done until the job you are procrastinating about has been done first. Ah well, we'll get there in the end!

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