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Archive for the ‘kindergarten’ Category

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Next year Cormac starts school and I will finally return to working full-time, something I haven’t done since becoming a mother. I have mixed feelings about working full-time. My career has undoubtedly been stalled by part-time work but the work life balance has been perfect. (I often refer to part-time work in my articles as the secret to happiness). Working part-time also allowed me the head-space to start a second career in writing. I hope I have established the patterns enough with writing to next year somehow combine one and a bit jobs with single parenting. I will enjoy the financial security of working full-time and the new opportunities, but I will deeply mourn that extra time with my children.

Speaking of which, I am feeling a little guilty about the days at home with Cormac. They have been such blank days. My inspiration has run somewhat dry over the last two years. Cormac and I do a lot more ‘nothing’ in the garden and a lot more ‘you watch television while I write the grocery list’ and a lot more ‘you play next to me while I write’ than I did with his big sister when she was at home with me. With his sister there seemed to be endless trips to museums and art galleries, and classes in swimming and music, and picnics in the park with friends. Partly, these excursions have lost their novelty for me so I haven’t been as motivated about them with Cormac, and partly, it felt like the time at home was forever and I thought I would get to them sooner or later, and partly, I just haven’t had the energy for these things during the last year and a half.

One must be gentle to oneself when one has been through the break-up of one’s longest relationship. And one must gently punish oneself with mother guilt, it seems, because that is the way.

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Back by popular demand (yes, really).. here is some more of the children’s art.

Cormac (the 3 year old) is in what Montessori refers to as a ‘sensitive period’ right now, and it is for cutting shit up with scissors. Everywhere we are finding vandalism and little scraps of things.

This one is quite nice because it ended up looking like origami. It was a school notice I had not yet read.

Cormac must be doing a lot of ‘parallel line’ work at Montessori, too (ie. an exercise to teach kids how to be able to write) because I found him practicing them on paper towels at home.

Lauca (the 7 year old) really likes to practice drawing techniques like those you see illustrating children’s books at the moment. She’s quite interested in cartooning, so it’s all quite stylised at the moment and with storylines.

This is our family, I know, we’re so nuclear.

Here is her illustration of a house of chaos. I like how the hen and chicks have come inside the home and that I am having a sleep-in. A lot happens when I sleep-in.

Views of our kitchen garden.

Our beehive.

My sister has moved back here with her partner to have their first baby. I’m very excited.

And they’re renovating their house. Poor things.

Last weekend we went with some friends to wander about in the vegetable gardens of strangers. We found it quite amusing but the kids were bored silly. Oh kids, I can recall about a billion weekends just like this growing up, where we tramped about looking at boring stuff our parents apparently found interesting. Tradition.

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I’ve been going on blind playdates with some very sweet mothers and their sweet little boys because Cormac, my three year old, has been wanting to foster some deeper friendships outside kindergarten. (I’ve somewhat neglected the whole ‘friends for Cormac’ thing because I poured all my overachiever-style mothering into our first child and poor Cormac has been forced to just tag along on her playdates since he was born).

On Cormac’s most recent playdate I was chatting to this new potential mother friend when she happened to mention that her son was coming home with bad language from kindergarten and then she said how shocked she was that this was going down at our kids’ fancy-pants kindergarten. I kind of twitched nervously because we swear quite a bit in our home and Cormac might have even been known to repeat the phrase, “fucking hell” before.

“What kind of language?” I asked. The mother said her son had learnt “the B word.” And then she shyly spelt it out – “B.U.M.” I hope the relief on my face was not too obvious, because bum, yeah, that’s not us. We’re definitely not responsible for introducing ‘bum’ to kindy.

So, I nodded sympathetically. “Yeah, that’s terrible.”

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Cormac just turned three. I got his hair cut, not his first but definitely his most boyish haircut. I thought it might make it easier for me to see him start Montessori kindergarten if he didn’t look so very little.

That’s tomorrow and I’m not feeling that it will make much difference now.

So, I promise I don’t normally dress him quite so hipster. Cormac really looks like he is on his way to reunite The Libertines.

Also, for the curious here’s a photo from the birthday party that his dad ran.

D’awww.

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Sometimes you see this cultural phenomenon and it’s so perfect in explaining everything that you just think Case Closed.

You know, I’ve kinda even participated in one of these photos before. Long story short. Lauca’s first school photo for kindergarten, she was having some kind of melt down (yes, again), and you can’t see me but I am actually in the class photo. Wheeeeeeeeeeee.

Link via Olivine’s Charm School.

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I want this book so much that I almost stole it. It was a book from my childhood and I found it in Cormac’s Montessori NIDO class.

I held it in my hands thinking about how no-one would even miss this old book at NIDO and where else could I possibly find it. Then I thought, what kind of person steals a book from a kindergarten? Me, I could live with that. And then, but you are someone’s mother, you are someone’s mother. So, I didn’t.

UPDATE: I have a copy of the book! Mindy found and sent me a copy. NIDO is now safe from my thieving self.

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If my five year old daughter dressed up in a Spider Man costume for a preschool Halloween party and I put a photograph of her on my blog can you imagine that being controversial? What if I titled the post “My daughter is gay” as a retort to homophobic parents who didn’t approve of her being in a ‘boy’ costume? Can you imagine that post being contentious enough to receive forty-five thousand comments?

No, because even for girls, aspiring to some form of masculinity is not an insult. But if you are a boy, and you have yourself some masculinity, and yet you challenge it in any fashion? This is what can happen.

Do not fuck with masculinity. Because as I have noted before, masculinity is somehow essential, primary, instinctive and more valid than femininity, but simultaneously also dreadfully vulnerable to being watered-down and over-powered. Totally bizarre. Thanks patriarchy.

(Thanks to Tara for the link).

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