Tag Archives: kids

Playground Talk – Random Thoughts

Last week I was walking down the road with a friend of mine who’s daughter is at the same school as TBK  we were talking about how they were getting on with them both being  in year 7  when she announced and went into great details about her daughter starting her periods.

I’m not bothered that she told me, dammit I felt sorry for the girl by the sounds of it was hardly a gentle introduction into the monthly merry-go-round of PMS and stomach cramps but it did make me stop and think – I would have been mortified as an early teen if I’d have found out my Mom was walking down the street casually discussing what was going on in my pants with her friends – So what exactly compels us to share so much intimate information about our children with other parents?

As babies we’d discuss sleep patterns and the consistency and texture of poo, in mother and toddler classes it would be first words and and first steps. In nursery and then into school every milestone would be celebrated with clucking and cooing on the playground, the more competitive parents (mothers usually) exaggerating their children’s achievements, the quieter ones ducking the playground politics by discreetly bowing out of my child’s better than yours conversations and now here we are,me and my parent friends in the brink of those dreaded teenage years discussing puberty, periods and mood swings.

So why do we share so much? Are we telling each other all these things to gain reassurance from each other that were doing it right? To get an opinion on things we feel were doing wrong? Are we showing off? Living vicariously through out children, bragging about there progress and achievements, Or are we pre programmed as humans to share things and as parents our children are one of the biggest things in our lives so it’s only natural that these details get shared.

Or is it at as feel some of all of the above?


Is it a bird....?

I’m going on Holiday in October Term time AND taking my 9 year old son with me. I take him out of school every year for a holiday and for other activity days, as was agreed with his school that I be allowed to do so in advance of enrolling him.

Flexi Schooling is the correct term for it.

I take my responsibility as a parent very seriously and TBK consistently scores in the top percentile in his class  and receives glowing praise every year from his teachers, he has friends in school who come home to play (please read create havoc), and is fully integrated into society, he is bright and articulate, and as bias as I may be as his mother I do have the school reports to back this up, His education and social skills are not suffering because of it, if anything they are prospering.

YET the local paper is yet again reporting on an increase of “Truancy Fines” and while the article itself didn’t really rub me up the wrong way.  As, I will never have to pay a truancy fine for my son  as we’ve the proper protocol in place for our educational choices, But taking out holiday leave from the debate,  it still leaves the question unanswered of WHY these young people feel the need to play truant in the first place?*,  What really wound me up was the ignorance of some of the commentators who posted both before and after me.

These trips or in some peoples eyes “absenses” provide an education kids just can’t get when in school and also teaching shouldn’t just happen, and in our life DOESN’T, just happen from 9am – 3pm in the classroom!

On our holiday, just like last year, we will be teaching TBK Maths (currency conversion), Geography (he knows where we are going and surrounding countries) History, (we often like to visit cultural and historical monuments while away and actively encourage TBK to involve himself in the culture). R.E. (Turkey (this years destination)  is a predominantly a Muslim country) and much more, all on a one to one basis for periods of time he would never get in the classroom.

Previously he’s also been out of school to have the opportunity to attend HESFES, (the home educators seaside festival) where he has taken part in wood work and metal work excersizes,  fabric painting and labyrinth building amongst other things, using skills he’d have never developed sat behind a desk.

We’ve taken him out of school to have a hands on learning experience  as a zoo keeper for the day.  He’s had time off to go to an archery day, and to attend other exhibitions and events. Once, when he was in reception class, I even kept him off school on a Monday JUST so he could have a day off, As over the weekend he had participated in clay building with us, visited a monkey sanctuary, spent an afternoon playing drums and for a child of only 6 this was a lot, he needed the rest!

So how about we stop stereotyping parents who take their kids out of the classroom for any period of time as losers (as one commentator metioned) or selfish (as another did) and look at the beneifts these extra curricular activities can and do provide!

The real time and effort should be concentrated on dealing with the parents who’s children aren’t getting any education through truancy because the parents just don’t care!

* Yes I played truant as a teen, and I was duely punished for it by my mother, But I know why I did it. I hated my English teacher and she hated me, proven fact as she marked all my work down and told me , and my mom, I woudln’t get higher than a D,  myc oursework was sent to the invigulator and came back marked higher and I left school with a B (lit) and a C(lan)  Take that Mrs Smith!

Maybe if I’d have been listened to as a teen and moved to another class I’d have attended those sessions I missed and maybe that tis the answer now, listening to what our young people want!

As he’s getting bigger…

TBK is appearing less and less in my online world. Before now the focus of 70% of my blog and at least 90% of my photography was about him, What we’d been doing, where we had been, things he had said and so on.

He’s disappearing though, not because we do less together, or because he’s any less of a focus in my life but because well he’s getting bigger. He now has more of a say in his life and he doesn’t always want to be put on here, because he’ll say something that he then realises has obviously amused me and his first response is “Please don’t put that on the internet” or I’ll pull out my camera and he’ll run for cover shouting “Don’t take any photos of me!”

So now I have to be more sneaky with my observation, I wait until he’s absorbed in an activity be it his homework, playing with friends or just amusing himself, and then stealthily I point and shoot….



I feel like I’m missing chunks of his childhood because I simply can’t remember what we were doing when or some of the faces he used to pull, or every little thing he said to amuse me.

I was so absorbed in just coping. Absorbed in trying to bring this “thing” into the world to love him and educate him, to feed and bathe him, and as he got older organise nursery and school and play dates,  all the time rushing around finding babysitters so I could go out and get to work on time.

I was so busy trying to balance his life and my life and still be me and with being a single mom that I forgot to remember and savour every moment. And of course not having a blog or decent camera back then to document it all as it happened meant so much more got lost in the mire that was my brain around that time.

And now he’s getting bigger and I’m begining to realise that soon my now not so little boy wont be be even this little anymore and I’m worried about what else I might forget. I still rush around trying to balance everything out, but now I have help and now I also realise how important it is to stop and remember. You only get one chance at this, so I try to remember and I try take as many photos as possible.

Be it ones he’s posed for, or ones like these when were waiting in the car and he doesn’t even know the camera is about…



…until that is I’m spotted and he pulls THAT face and rolls his eyes in THAT way and gives me another ” MOM, STOP TAKING PHOTOS OF ME!” for me to remember!



Sweet Dreams

I was tucking the blonde kid into bed last night he suddenly looked at me all serious then lay staring at the ceiling…

me: What’s up baby?

tbk: Just thinking….

me: Oh what about?

tbk: I don’t know just lots of stuff

me: Like….?

tbk: You know just lots of stuff like robot factories and unicorns.

me: (dubiously) ok…

tbk: ’cause you know if I think lots of robots and unicorns then it goes around over and over in my head then I fall to sleep and dream about that stuff and then wake up early in time for school so I can go and learn stuff and it makes me clever.

me: really?

tbk: yeah because you have to dream to be clever!

Scientist Jordan

Sweet dreams then kidda!

What goes around…

This week has been BUSY, everything is changing and it seems to be happening at 100mph, I definitely feel like this evening is the first real opportunity I’ve had to relax. Not that I’m complaining. Change is good especially when it’s changing for the better, But I’ve so many new and exciting things happening that it’s hard to keep up with myself let alone everyone else but sometimes it is nice to just sit and relax.

Tonight was my “sit down and relax” evening, we had take away for dinner and sat together to eat TV off, music on and we chatted about what we’ve all got going on and what we’d been up to today. The following is the blonde kids thought of the day…

TBK Mom do you believe in karma?

ME I think so why hun?

TBK Because I don’t.

ME Do you know what karma is?

TBK Yeah it’s when you do something nasty to someone and then something nasty happens to you.

ME Yeah it’s kinda like that, why do you ask anyway?

TBK Well today in school I tried to stop Lewis ball and I stopped it too hard and it bounced away and I got shouted at for being mean but it wasn’t really mean as it was accident and then someone threw it back and it bounced on my head and the teacher said “That’s karma that is, you kicked his ball away and now you’re hurt”. So is that karma?

ME Kind of I suppose yes. If you did kick the ball deliberately. (Giving him THAT look)

TBK Well maybe I do believe in karma then – just a little bit.

I’m not sure whether to be upset at his half admission of guilt to being mean to Lewis or whether to be impressed at yet another display of his understanding of the English language and his definition of “karma”

Whatever I decide I think this conversation will always be held as an example of “What goes around comes around”

We survived…

The television amnesty is over, not that anyone is bothered. We survived quite well without the grey box in the corner, so well in fact it has hardly been switched on even though it is now “allowed” and both myself and James have dragged ourselves away from the computers outside of the predetermined “shut down” hours with out suffereing any major withdrawal symptoms.

The blonde dude didn’t once complain of boredom, We’re looking into purchasing a different selection of board games for him and we’ve looked online to see what activities are running at out local library. He has even gone as far as to suggest other activities we can partake in AFTER the ban was complete.

He didn’t even ask for the television when he went for dinner at my parents which is amazing as he is allowed free reign of the remote control when he’s there…..I think I can call that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

For one week only…

I have come to the realisiation that in our house we rely way too much on technology to keep us occupied. If we’re not on the internet, there is something on the television to watch or the wii or playstation to play with so I have made a decision.

As of Monday morning for one week only there are new restrictions coming in place.

There is to be NO television AT ALL, ALL WEEK – Not even BBC Breakfast News (my alarm clock of choice) No consoles AT ALL, ALL WEEK. No computers (and that means no internet) between the hours of 6pm and 8pm EVERY EVENING. I would make it a longer period if it wasn’t for James actually needing to make a living and hence needing internet access.

We are actually going to DO things. We’ve plenty of books, board games, packs of cards and art and craft things so along with the recently purchased Jenga, we have plenty to do indoors. We have the beautiful Staffordshire Green Belt not 5 mins walk from my house and Brownshore Lakes are only 10 mins away. There is the local park and the speedway, There is the newly refurbished nature reserves along the canal all on our doorstep, so its time to go exploring!

The blonde kid in his defense does get out regularly but I’ve become pretty complacent about it so to motivate us were turning off and getting going!! I’m hoping we can get into the habit of looking around us before reaching for the remote. Maybe we’ll need longer than a week to really get over our technology addiction but maybe a week will give us a head start.

Maybe I’m being too adventurous, Maybe the blonde kid will miss Ben 10 and Dr Who far too much and will pack a bag and leave me for the technological safe haven of my parents. Maybe we’ll have too many withdrawals ourselves and succumb within a day and a half – we’ll just have to wait and see!