Friday, 9 November 2018

Doing Something Right

I've  been horrifically neglectful of this poor old blog in recent times but I'm afraid other things had to come first - namely La-la and the Dude - and helping them to settle into their new life here in Canada.

I'm happy to report things are, thankfully, going well in that regard and therefore I should be able to resume regular posts here in the not too distant future ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
La-la Enjoying The Falling Leaves of Autumn
And The Dude - Enjoying Himself in The Late Summer Heat

However, I had to take some time out today to share a proud mammy moment!

Many parents have lots of dreams and ambitions for their children and I suppose I do too in so far as I would like my children to have a life in which they can fulfill their potential and live a happy life and find true friends to share it with. However, my one over-riding ambition in relation to my children is that they grow up to be decent human beings - to be confident enough in themselves to show kindness and care to others and to be prepared to stand up for what's right.

But life is busy and a lot of the time it simply whizzes by and we find ourselves chasing after it - trying desperately to catch it by the tail - and all thoughts of dreams and ambitions for our kids are tossed aside as we run through the never ending to-do lists in our minds.

The Dude is astutely aware of just how busy a place my mind is and has developed a very smart system of cuddling up to me on the couch whenever he wants to chat or tell me something.  There's no ignoring him as his razor sharp elbow sticks into my ribs!

And so it was the other night as he settled in beside me - chugging away on his chocolate milk and looking over my shoulder at what I was doing on the computer.  As his warm breath hit my neck I asked him how his day had gone.  I got the usual rundown of the basketball games he'd played and some of the classroom stuff.  Then he told me how he had a math's project coming up. He waited for my response - knowing full well that any mention of an upcoming project gets my complete attention.

"Oh," I asked, "what's the story?"
"Oh, we just have a project coming up and we needed to partner up with someone else in the class to do it," he replied.
"So, who's your partner?" I asked.
He mentioned a boy's name who I hadn't heard him talking about before - let's call him Spencer.
"Did the teacher put you guys together? I asked.
"No," he replied, "I picked him."
"Oh, is he a nice boy?" I asked.
"Well, I like him but some of the other kids aren't crazy about him," he told me with a touch of sadness in his voice.
I have to admit, at this point I was intrigued...
"What's the story? Why don't some of the other kids like him?" I enquired.
"Because he's autistic." he replied.
"Oh," I said, fully understanding what he meant and with a sinking feeling in my heart for poor Spencer.  But what my son said next had my heart soaring and bursting with motherly pride!
"I knew none of the other kids were going to pick him, so I picked him," he said with a big smile.
I smiled back at him and wished him and Spencer all the best with their project.

That night, as I gave the Dude his bedtime cuddle, I banished all the to-do nonsense from my head and relished holding him in my arms and allowed myself a small pat on the back. This parenting gig is not easy but sometimes, just sometimes we might actually be doing something right ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Scrappy! One Of The World's True Tough Guys

One day in early April 2008 a little guy was born who had all the odds stacked against him. He came into this world at twenty-nine (just!) weeks gestation and weighed all of 1.13 kg. He was a scrap of a thing and for the first few days that's what we called him - Scrappy.


Scrappy
The first sign that Scrappy was tougher than he looked came approximately twenty minutes after his birth, when the specialist NICU team looking after him phoned down to the delivery ward to confirm that the twenty-nine weeks gestation was correct. They needed to know because Scrappy was breathing unaided - something practically unheard of for a newborn of twenty-nine weeks gestation. They were told his exact gestation was 28 weeks and seven days and he'd literally just scraped into the twenty-nine week category.

Those first few months in the hospital were tough and at one point we nearly lost him but Scrappy came through it all and if there was one underlying trait he exhibited above all else it was sheer grit and pig-headed determination. The latter nearly drove me insane when it came to the terrible twos and tantrum filled threes but it got him through the toughest of times.


Scrappy No More! We Now Called Him
Sumo Baby!
Over the years he's faced other struggles - some health related and some due to the psychological after-effects of being a preemie. However, he has faced them all head-on in his signature, "just get on with it", style.

In recent months he's had to face a bully. It's been unpleasant and there's been much upset. The abuse has been emotional and physical with one incident resulting in a visit to the Emergency Room. I could easily have been that mum posting a video of my son in tears - at a loss as to the nastiness of one child to another. However, not once did Scrappy, or as he is now known - The Dude, not go to school. Not once did this child even think about shying away from yet another hurdle in his life. Instead, he listened to the guidance from me and Big Daddy and he took comfort and confidence from our support. He went and he faced the bully and not once did he stoop to this other child's tactics - no physical retaliation, no name calling, no ugly comments about his family members, no sly comments under his breath in class, nothing. Nothing that is but sheer, cold, hard-headed grit because believe me, there were times when he wanted to do any one of those things but he didn't because he knew that's exactly what the bully wanted. So, he tucked his head down and he toughed it out. I liaised with the school to sort things out and I have to say they've been excellent in their response.

Today he received an award in front of the whole school for, "having a positive attitude while persevering through difficult tasks and for being a kind and caring friend."


The Dude Receiving His Award

Lately in the world it seems as if he who shouts loudest and has the meanest things to say - the seemingly tough guy - wins. But there are others far tougher who don't need to shout, who don't need to demean another human being to make themselves feel better - they just get on with life, quietly inspiring those around them to be the better person. It was lovely today to see my son being acknowledged for being one of those true tough guys.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Pass The Salami And Welcome To Buzzmania!

It's been a while since I had a Dudeversation but I was putting the Dude to bed last night and below is the classic that followed!

The Dude: "Mum what's beef salami?"
Me: "It's salami, just it's made from beef rather than pork."
The Dude: "Oh, ok, I'm just confused..."
Me: "Why, what's confusing about that?"
The Dude: "Well, why would it be funny?"
Me: "I'm not sure. It's not really funny. Who says it's funny?"
The Dude: "Well, one of the boys in my class said to the teacher, 'hey Miss, do you want a bit of my beef salami?' and he thought it was the funniest thing ever and was laughing."
Me: (Thinking this is either very strange or very inappropriate behaviour for a ten year old boy.) "What did the teacher say?"
The Dude: "She said no thank you but she looked a bit confused too."
Me: "Oh, I see..." (I was actually seeing nothing!)
The Dude: "Is it funny cuz it's beef salami and not pork? And why would you have beef salami anyway?"

board, bread, camping knife
Pass The Salami - But Is It Beef Or Is It Pork?
Me: "Er, pork or beef, it's not funny, at least not in my world. Sometimes you have beef salami because some people don't eat pork."
The Dude: "Oh yeah, like if you're a different religion, like a Muslim."
Me: "Yes, that's correct, like some of our friends."
The Dude: Silent for a few seconds, then in a voice that told me he had suddenly figured this whole thing out he announced - "Oh yeah! I think the boy who said it is from Buzzmania."
Me: "Eh?"
The Dude: "Buzzmania, I'm pretty sure the boy is from Buzzmania like our friends."
Me: "Buzzmania?"
The Dude: "Yeah - where Z & I (friends names) are from, Buzzmania.
Me: (The penny dropped!) "Oh! Do you mean Bosnia?!"
The Dude: "Yeah! Buzzmania!"

And there you have it folks - there's a new country on planet earth - Buzzmania!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Smiles All Around - Courtesy Of The Dude

Back in November 2017 we instigated a pocket money / rewards program here at Mad Mammy Towers - which even saw one individual planning on making his fortune by getting paid for doing his sister's jobs! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Over the past few months La-la has spent a considerable amount of her earnings but the Dude hasn't spent a cent! When he has pointed something out in a shop and asked for it, I've told him he can get whatever it was out of his own pocket money. This has always resulted in the same reaction - suddenly he doesn't want the thing so much any more!

Then, at the weekend he asked Big Daddy to take him to a local art store. Big Daddy was a little confused because the Dude doesn't do arty stuff. He asked him if he meant a sport's store but the Dude was adamant he wanted to go to the art store.

Once there he went searching for a specific item and only the best would do. He then bought it - out of his own money! - and brought it home. What was this item, I hear you ask, that he wanted so much he was prepared to spend his precious money on???

Turns out he wanted to spend his money on a smile - his sister's smile. After all those months of not spending a single cent on himself, he went and spent his money on an art set for his sister!



Image result for art set





"I just wanted to make her happy and see her smile," he explained to his flabbergasted father and me.

The Dude - a never ending source of parental fascination and maybe just a little bit of pride. ๐Ÿ˜Š




Friday, 9 March 2018

Tacky Tourist Day And Doing What You Gotta Do!

It was dress up as "a tacky tourist" day at school today and to be honest - I had no idea what that meant! So, I was thrilled when it was obvious the Dude had forgotten all about it this morning.



analog camera, camera, casual
A Tourist - Not Very "Tacky"


I was happily (and carefully!) "guiding" him along and almost had him at the door when La-la emerged from her bedroom resplendent as a "tacky tourist" - right down to a pair of binoculars hanging from her neck! Before I could stop her, she looked the Dude up and down and said, "is THAT your tacky tourist outfit?" Aaaaaagh! The Dude looked at me, "oh my God, it's tacky tourist day mummy!" he announced in a very accusatory tone of voice - as if a suspicion was starting to form in his mind as to why I had been "herding" him like a very attentive sheepdog all morning.

Black White Long Coated Dog Dashing Trough Body of Water
I Be Like...


The Dude Be like...

I sighed. It was 9 am. He was supposed to be sitting at his desk at 9:10 am. We did NOT have time to figure out a tacky tourist outfit for him. So, I went full on Irish Mammy - "if you wanted to have a tacky tourist outfit then you should have thought about it last night blah, blah, blah... I warned you blah, blah, blah..." He narrowed his eyes. I could see him calculating - how do I get her to shut up? Then he spoke - in a voice I didn't know he had! ๐Ÿคจ "All I need is a hat." - They were his words but his tone was - "so stop losing your shit, crazy lady." I looked at him, somewhat nonplussed, "ok go find a hat," I told him. He found the rattiest old baseball cap he could and stuck it on his head and, even though he looked like a fisherman, I told him he looked like the tackiest tourist on the planet and shoved him out the door! I find the more I do this mammying thing, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do! Even if that means telling a big fat lie for the sake of everyone's mental health!