Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stand for Children

An election campaign enters its last days here in Ireland. I’d like to suggest that people consider the rights of children when they cast their vote. How will children fare after the election, if your preferred political party gets into office?

“Poverty is the root cause of many challenges facing children. The recession has compounded the difficulties for children already living in poverty. Their family incomes have been slashed by cuts to social welfare, increased taxes and increased family debt. At the same time, the public services many of them rely on for support in their education and development have been cut back. Some children have lost vital services that made all the difference to their learning and well-being while others are waiting longer for services already stretched to breaking point. Ireland’s most vulnerable children have paid enough for the mistakes of grown-ups; they must not be asked to shoulder any more burdens of recession. We must protect them as we try to rebuild our economy in the interest of protecting their childhoods and futures.” (The Barnardo’s Children’s Manifesto)

What can you do?

Barnardos are running a promotion that aims to put children’s rights at the centre of the political manifestos for this election. They’re offering people the chance to directly contact their local candidates to express their concern through a Facebook app. (Or, you can write to them directly yourself!) The link to the facebook app is

It’s worth checking out The Children’s Manifesto on their website, at the following link: The Barnardos website is

I’m going to think not only about my children, but about other, vulnerable children in Ireland when I cast my vote on Friday.

This is a charitable post. Barnardos contacted me asking if I would share this information with my readers, and I was only too delighted to do so. I received no payment for this posting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There's a Hedgehog Amongst Us

Going into it, I felt the evening would end in a blog post. My first school play. Well, not my first play - Zach's first play. He's five. He played the very demanding role of a hedgehog in the chorus. Some of the time, he looked at the audience and sang. Sometimes, he picked his cuticles. He'd look around quite often, perhaps trying to spot me or dad in the audience. He did some of the arm movements in unison with his classmates, but not all the time. His headpiece was on sideways, obscuring one of his carefully made up hedgehog eyes. At the start of the night, I'd been ready with figurative sharp pen poised in imaginary hand to make fun of him and all the kids. But, he was fantastic.

We were super proud of our little hedgehog. He behaves like a wild animal sometimes at home, so we knew he could pull the characterisation off to a tee. He was excellent at filing on stage and taking his place; and then following the teacher off the stage again at the end. He’s got a future in the theatre: Cleaning it or building them or painting them, something like that.

He looked so precious in his costume. I had to make the outfit. Correction: I commissioned my friend to make the outfit, 'cause I don't know how to sew or even cut a straight line. The outfit was lovely. However, there were four other hedgehogs all in identical outfits they'd clearly sourced from somewhere, and I thought: why didn't the other mothers tell me about these? Because, Lory, you never talk to the other mothers. It isn't snobbery - I just don't know them. I smile shyly at pick up times in the afternoon, hoping one of the mothers will say something to me. I must make it a point to start going to the monthly school committee meetings in order to 1. Contribute and 2. Get to know these women. I'm not looking forward to this further infringement into my precious little writing time, but it'll have to be done. Otherwise, next show Zach will be the odd hedgehog out, again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Comedy of Errors


5 year-old is laying on top of 2 year-old again, in an apparent attempt to suffocate him. I pull him off. “Don’t lie on your brother please, especially not on his head. That’s the sort of thing that makes him bite and scratch you.”

While I chat with 5 year-old, 2 year old crawls up behind 5 year-old and takes a bite out of 5 year-old’s leg in retaliation.

5 year-old is now hysterical, I have to comfort him. I try not to say I told you so. It’s hard; I have to bite my lip to keep it in.

I take 5 year-old to kitchen, clean and dress puncture wound. Hope for the best.

2 year-old follows us out to the kitchen. He’s walking blindly, his blankie over his head. I’m about to take him and put him in time out for biting, when he walks right into the wall (which he can’t see through his blankie), falls to the ground holding his forehead and starts to cry hysterically.

I take 2 year-old in my arms and comfort him. A large blue lump has already formed on his forehead.

Everybody starts to recover, calm down.

Not long later, 2 year old takes basin of water out of kitchen, and pours it on living room floor. Why he does this sort of thing (all the time) I don’t know. He loves sprinkling juice, yogurt, water, milk all over the place. It’s some primal instinct to...I don’t know what, maybe pee on everything to make it his? Not sure. (When he takes his diaper off, lots of pee happens all over, too.)

Anyway, he pours the basin of water everywhere. I go to pick him up and take him to time out as, primal instinct or not, I’m trying to curb this behaviour. He tries to run from me, slips on the water mess he just made and slides right into the corner of the wall. Slams forehead right next to spot where he already slammed his forehead. Cries hysterically. For the second time that day I comfort him instead of putting him in time out. I’ve got to re-examine my methods.

As I’m putting 2 year-old down in the sofa, 5 year-old starts complaining about being cold. This is not a surprise as he’s only wearing a t-shirt (and its winter). I’d been trying to get him to put a sweatshirt on for 3 hours.

Going to the utility room for clothes for 5 year-old, I miscalculate and slam my nose into door. It hurts so much I want to cry. Blood drips down my nose. Boys see me and start to cry hysterically. I clean up my face and reassure them.

Finally, everyone is calmed down. I put on the TV. I just need to keep everyone still for 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Things I’ve said to my kids

I’ve seen these lists before. It never fails to amaze me how mothers all over the world say things they never thought they’d utter. I’m also impressed at how each time, the sentences are different. There is an endless supply of wacky, surreal and unexpected situations presented to us by our children. These warrant replies in kind. Such as:

DO NOT eat poo

Don’t sit on your brother’s head.

If you spit in his face one more time, I will have to put you in time out.

That’s it! The toy is going over the hill (we live on a ridge, and over the hill to the side of our house is nothing but brush and bramble)

Please stop putting dirt down Max’s shirt (diaper subsequently filled with a mixture of soil, urine and poo.)

Don’t eat off the floor! And if you’re gonna eat of the floor, don’t lick the floor

Off the Television set!

Put the scissors down! .... (To the 2 year old – he robbed kitchen shears from the dishwasher tray next to me and ran)

It is NOT ninja time

Don’t wipe your nose on the sofa cushion

Don’t eat paper clips

Don’t feed him play-doh

No, you can’t drive

I'd like a laugh - Tell me some of yours! 

Creative Commons License