Sunday, February 10, 2008

Seize the "teachable" moment!

Every so often in the Beehive we have a weekend that just needs to be written off!

This weekend was that one!

On Friday at school I was part of a group of parents participating in a Health and Sexuality talk with a nurse. In a very large nutshell, it was about how we can teach our children about sex, puberty, self esteem and the likes. It was an good conversation and I came away with some excellent info, the most important was the ceasing of "teachable moments".

Saturday was the first of those such moments. Not related to the topic by any means, but early evening saw Master Beehive the elder and younger fooling around (as so often happens after dinner); remember the "witching hour" when they were babies? Well believe me, that continues for as long as they are children, manifesting itself in different ways and in my household, that becomes the "mad half hour". Children running wildly around in all different directions and doing all manner of things - fueled by fuel in fact - whoever said that children's behaviour deteriorates when they are hungry hasn't been in The Beehive after dinner of an evening!!!!!

I am chatting with Mr Beehive in the kitchen whilst needlefelting my gnome (nah! not as rude as it sounds, think voodoo but with an end product - the stress relief is G - R - E - A - T !!!) when I hear a tinkling sound. You know when you hear something, you know exactly what it sounds like but your brain refuses to register that this is what it could possibly be because, if it is.....well that would mean the inevitable has happened........and that couldn't possibly be so - or could it?

Apparently yes!

Mr Beehive the younger comes running through to say that Master Beehive the elder has put a baseball through the window. You know, STILL not registering (and I haven't even had a drink!!) I am SOOOO slow on the uptake, that it is not even in my radar that he is telling me that his brother has just broken the lounge window with a baseball!!??!!

Suddenly the realisation hits and the red mist comes down.

I storm through, see the evidence and send him forthwith to his room telling him I will deal with him when I have calmed down. Recalling an example in a book I read a while back, perhaps Life with Boys or something similar, where a dad talks about the exact same scenario and how he deals with it with his 11 year old, I decide to draw on this and go up to calmly talk to him. Together we come up with a suitable reprimand, in this case, some of his pocket money to help pay for the repair (this is the one thing that hits him hardest!) and discussing the fact that his dad and I are not upset with the fact the window got broken as it was an accident and yes, he didn't mean to do it, but more that he was irresponsible and was playing with a hard ball inside the house.

Anyway, cutting a looooooong story short. This morning I am awoken by whispering and swiftly attaching my extendable-mummy-ears catch on that he has just charged his poor brother $10 for the priviledge of entering his room!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously if it wasn't funny, I could have swung for him. He was dutifully ordered to return the toll!

So, teachable moment number one!

Teachable moment number two came on Sunday at breakfast time. Sitting down to scrambled egg we got onto the topic of the chicken and the egg and the fact that they lay eggs and we don't have eggs.

"But we do!" says I

"Where? We are mammals!" asks MB the younger

"Well mummy has eggs, like a bird really and they need fertilising with a seed before they become a baby"

Mr Beehive looks ominously at me! Ignoring his look, I am empowered after Friday.

MB the elder says

"Daddy has the seed"

"There you are!" I say, gleefully ! Woohoo that was easy!!


More silence


"Well alright but how do the egg and the seed get together?"

Mr Beehive smiles a kind of smirking smile, the kind that says - ha ha now you did it!

"Sex," says I............

Thus endeth the second teachable moment!

So what with an abundance of teachable moments, and a childbirth class at school that found me on the floor of the school music room with a large blue ball between my legs (make of THAT what you will!) this weekend only had to end with one of them falling sick.

Poor lamby LMB! She is flushed and hot and feeling decidedly sick. I returned from the class at school to find her asleep on the sofa and since then she has been in the sling as I try to cook the dinner.

Which the bogging dog ate the left overs of, so now I have to think of something afresh for dinner tomorrow night. Something that doesn't involve ANY teachable moments methinks!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Golden Potty Awards!!

The worst parent of the week award goes to...........

.................drum roll...................................


This afternoon LMB was somewhat desperate for the toilet. Why is it that girls who are desperate to go to the loo, leave it until the last possible moment, until that point whereupon their move from their strategic crouch on the floor will open the floodgates and send pee everywhere? Hopping from one foot to the other, she had managed to remove her dungarees (I know, very helpful for her, but these are the only ones she owns and she loves em!) but was wailing for help. Feeling compassion, I hoiked her up onto the seat just in time. I handed her some toilet paper and left the room, calling behind me to remind her to put her clothes back on.

"But I am wearing my knickers mammy."
"Wow, that was quick!"

I turn back to check and see her still poised on the porcelain pot and glance at the crumpled dungarees on the floor. I return back to sorting the washing in my bedroom.

"You haven't you silly thing, they are on the floor. Are you tricking me?"
"No mama, I have my knickers on"
"But I put you on the can't have your.......... knickers............. on.........(*shiiiiiiiiittttt*)"

Realisation dawns, I leg it back to the bathroom to see her sitting forlorn, still on the toilet, trying to desperately remove her sodden undies, toilet paper in hand!

I expect she is now scarred for life!!

Mum's day / Dad's day

When I teach my childbirth and parenting preparation classes, sometimes I do an exercise called Mum and Dad's day, highlighting the importance of communication in the early days of parenting and how easy it is to misinterpret something that you don't see in reality.

So, I think I need to re-introduce this exercise into my own life:

Mum's Morning

6.15 Get up check state of hair and make decision not to wash it as there won't be time, have quick shower. Turn on computer to check e-mails later in day. Throw on clothes, fling hair into ponytail. 6.25 Go downstairs to breakfast chaos to find no Mr Beehive, LMB has poured milk into the apple sauce, Master Beehive the elder and younger are both gnawing on chocolate chip granola bars for breakfast and the dog is howling in the yard. Start by clearing up and reprimanding the boys for poor choices. Re-set the table and put on wellies to go and get the dog in before he wakes the neighbours. Toast bagels for the boys' lunch boxes and intercept argument about who stands on the stool to get in the way and then following fight with Mr Beehive the younger pulling the Little Miss off the stool by her feet! Get milk for Master Beehive the elder who has suddenly developed an accute inability to walk, remove empty orange carton from fridge and replace with fresh open one. Make bagels to discover no lunchboxes. Send boys to retrieve lunchboxes from school bags. Wash both boxes hastily and dry them manically, debating the second most important use for my hairdryer in a crazy household. Remind boys to choose their fruit, close their boxes and put them back in their bags. Load dishwasher. Clean table, clean children, supervise teethbrushing (a little too late)...........clean bathroom (!) Open curtains in various rooms, remove Mr Beehive's snack plate/wine glass from previous night. Open bathroom window as it smells like a duck's crack. Find Master Beehive the elder's school book behind the toilet. Pick up Master beehive the younger's glasses and hat strewn on the dining room floor. Continue up the stairs, meet Mr Beehive looking clean and dressed and unstressed coming out to pretend to be interested in the dressing process. Snarl at him, he retreats back into the bedroom and half heartedly tries to help me make the bed which I deliberately re-do around him to prove that it is too late trying to help when I AM ACTUALLY DOING IT! Put two baskets of clean washing on the bed to remind me to sort it into piles later for putting away. Make children's beds, open curtains, help LMB choose something to wear, chivvy along Master Beehive the younger. Retreive another library of books from down the side of Master Beehive the elder's bed. Wave off Mr Beehive, clean my teeth, put on slap, help LMB re-dress as she got to the loo too late. Print off important stuff for meeting this morning, remember I still haven't done the preparation for work on Thursday and write myself a list. Get sidetracked by the need to change as the Little Miss gives me a hug holding a purple crayon and draws on my jeans and then sidetracked further trying to trace the cause of a disgusting smell, finally realising that it is a dirty diaper that LMB did for me this morning at 5.30am which has been left in the bathroom. Give kids a 10 minute warning to get on socks, sweaters. Give 5 minute warning.
Go downstairs make sure lights are off, put on coat, collect together lunchboxes and bags and leave them on the stairs for boys, lay out coats. Notice that the laundry basket has been put in the kitchen and immediately get my hackles up feeling irritated that Mr Beehive thinks I need to know the washing needs to be done (*insert eye rolling emoticon!) Kick the basket!
Spend the next 15 minutes chasing Mr Beehive the younger into actually getting his stuff on and getting out of the door into the car. Little Miss in the meantime is down the garden, playing in the mud! Re-dress LMB for the second time this morning, check my watch, panic as we will be late and Master Beehive the elder will get a tardy mark and then blame me!!
Finally get all children into the car at 8.15 ready for school.
Get to school and realise I have left the photocopies on top of the pile of washing to be sorted in the bedroom!

Dad's morning:
6.10 Get up and go downstairs, pick up newspaper on way to bathroom. 6.20 Emerge sometime later. Put radio on loudly. Check blackberry. Empty dishwasher, wash up few items with back to children. Presume they are making breakfast, but can't hear or see them, still, think what a nice surprise that will be for Mrs Beehive! Check blackberry again. Take dog out to yard. 6.25 Come in and go upstairs. See Mrs Beehive has put on computer, go on few websites and download stuff to ipod. Shave, Clean teeth, take a nice long warm shower, style hair, cut toenails, dress. Notice Mrs Beehive isn't happy when she comes up, feel confused, help to make bed, pick up laundry basket on way downstairs to leave by machine to help Mrs Beehive. Get coat, briefcase together, check blackberry one more time before arriving at the office. 7.10 Say good bye to children and the wife, leave. Arrive at work, have coffee, settle into day!

Perhaps I should devise the "nine years later" game for my classes??!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Today's post can be found here

Oh and here is Master Beehive the younger after playing a game this afternoon with his brother called "You've got to be kiddin' me". This was apparently a forefeit!