A four-year old photographer…

I’ve just been sorting out my external hard-drive, and I’ve come across this selection of photo’s.  All of which were taken by Gning when he was just 4 years old…  Looking at these, I can honestly say that some of these shots could have been taken by a professional photographer, with decades of experience!  None have been edited in any way.

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So in my opinion…  Give your 4 year old a camera.  Some of the shots can be amazing ❤

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The moment my heart shattered in to a million pieces…

Monday.  9pm.

It’s a late one, but we’ve just told Gning to pack up, and get to bed, as he needs to be up early for school.  As usual, it doesn’t take him long to start playing up and getting upset, but this was different.  He suddenly became inconsolable.

I made him come and sit beside me, on the settee in the front room.  I eventually managed to get him to start talking…

“Today has been the worst day of my life…”

I thought he was just playing up again, and I replied, “you’re only 6 sweetheart.  If you think today’s been the worst of your life, God help you when you’re older…”

He starts blubbing even more, and then starts to tell me that everyone doesn’t believe him, when he tells them that he went to Disney World, Florida, in the October half term holidays.

I sympathise with him.  I’ve been in his shoes, and he’s walking in mine right now.

When I was growing up, I was one of the lucky kids, whose parents had money.  My parents would jet off to all sorts of luxurious holidays around the globe (Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, Mexico, Hong Kong, Bali…), and whenever I used to tell my (so-called) friends in school where I had been, they used to say I was lying.

It got to a point where even a teacher said I was lying – that there was no chance I had visited all of these countries…

I was labelled a liar, and that was that.  It didn’t matter how much proof I took in to school (photo’s), they were obviously faked.

So back to yesterday.

Gning tells me that there’s one boy in his class who is constantly calling him out.  He’s determined to prove to everyone that Gning is lying, and that he is better.

Then it happened.  The moment no parent should experience.  It only took two seconds, but right there – right then, I actually heard my heart smash.

“I’ll just kill myself…”

Yeah.  He said it.  My 6 year old “miracle baby” just told me that he would kill himself.

I tried my best to stay calm.  I grabbed him, and I held him tight.  The tears started…  I didn’t let go.  I held him against my chest for what must have been only minutes, but it seemed like hours.

I told him to go and get a tissue, to wipe his nose, and I went in to my bedroom.

Hubby was dozing off, as he has to be up at ridiculous o-clock for work.  I closed the door slightly behind me, and I said “I need your help”.  I tried to stay collected, and I told him what had just happened.  I broke again when I reiterated the words…  “He said that he’ll kill himself…”.  Hubby was cool.  He listened to what I had to say, then he got up.

Next thing you know, Hubby and Gning were both going in to my bedroom, and Hubby was cuddling him in the “big bed”.

I can’t have been that long when Gning came out.  He had stopped crying, and seemed calmer – and somewhat happier.  I told him that even though it was really late (it was about 11:30pm now), that he could put his TV on whilst he went to sleep.

Hubby closely followed, and brought me up to speed.

I had a job to do, and I needed to do it without hesitation.  I needed to bypass Gnings’ teacher (which I had already tried speaking to in the past), and go straight to the headmaster.

This morning, I dropped Donut off at nursery, and walked Gning over to school.  He went in with little hesitation.  I then crossed the road, to the head office, and asked to speak to the headteacher.  I was informed that she was in meetings all morning, but they would contact me as soon as they had spoken to her, to arrange an appointment for me to go in and speak to her, face to face.

My appointment is tomorrow.  3:15pm.  15 minutes before Gning finishes school.

Fingers crossed, everyone, this is going to be tough.

Tooth trauma

Gning has had a wobbly tooth for a while now.  It’s not his first – he lost his first tooth a couple of months ago, and we wondered when this second one would come out, because it was wobbly then!

It was 8pm when he came running out of his bedroom, in tears.  “My tooth is coming out, it’s coming out now…”

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We tried to calm him down, as whenever he cries, he always gets himself in to such a state, that he starts hyperventilating.  You can see the tears in the photo above.

I suggested that he goes to brush his teeth, to try to “brush it out”.  He insisted that he spits in to my hand – over the sink, just in case he spat it out.  Nothing.

I suggested he have a go at pulling it out…  Nothing.  I got some tissue, and he had another go.  Then hubby dearest had a go…  Then me.  Nothing.

By this point, Gning was in hysterics, and was punching out and kicking at hubby.  Hubby was getting impatient, so to try to calm the waters, I asked Gning what he wanted me to do.  He’s crying, his crying is upsetting me, and daddy is getting annoyed.

The tears come again, and Gning decides to phone grandad (my dad) to try to calm him down.  It worked somewhat, as he then went to brush his teeth again.

Almost an hour later, and we were still nowhere.  That blasted tooth was still stuck in the gum, yet it was even more raised than before.  This was coming out tonight – like it or not.

I managed to speak to Gning, explaining to him that we were going to give it one more go – him, me, then daddy.  If it didn’t come out then, he would just have to go to bed.  I explained that if he accidently swallowed the tooth (more tears), the tooth fairy would still come; and they use special magic, through the belly button, to remove the tooth!

In to the front room, and Gning has another couple of goes at pulling the tooth with a tissue.  Nothing but more tears.  He’s starting to hyperventilate, and complains of a sore chest…

Now, I bought my car insurance through compare the market (not off topic – promise!!), and with it, I got a free meerkat.  I got one of the limited editions, “Sergei” as “Obi Wan Kenobi”.  I didn’t want to unbox it – I wanted to keep it as a collectors toy – which it should be, but I promised Gning that he could have it – out of the box, if he let daddy have three attempts…

Attempt 1 – Gning screams.  He kicks out, and shakes.  Nothing.

Attempt 2 – Gning shakes, and digs his fingers in to my arm…  And it’s out.

I unbox the toy, and hand it over.  Gning goes to rinse out his mouth, and although still whimpering, he goes to bed happy, with his tooth in the special bag that he got from the tooth fairy.  It’s under his pillow now.

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Yikes.  Only another 18 to go, and then 20 with Donut…  *sighs*

Just say hello

As schools are back this week, I thought it would be a good time for me to take Donut to a play centre.  It’d be quiet(er), and there wouldn’t be any “big kids” running around.  I had decided on taking him to a lovely little play centre, called Playdays Cafe, which is in St Helens (Merseyside).

Now, I’m a member of several websites, that encourages mums to make friends with other mums – so I decided to extend my little party of two to be a mummy social.

One particular website I’m a member of, is (ironically) called Mummy Social, and does allow you to set up events, and invite other mums in your area (or further afield, if you wish).  So I did.  I set it up about 10 days ago, and hey presto!  My invitations were automatically sent out to those in the St Helens and Liverpool area.

It was the eve before my “social”, and no one had clicked the “attend” button on the site.  However, I wasn’t disheartened.  As I said – I was already planning on taking Donut anyway.

I quickly made a post on a local mums facebook group, extending the invite there, and I did get a lot of interest – 4 other mums said they would be there with their little ones.

This morning started off as usual.  Gning and Donut decided they wanted “milk and cookies” for breakfast, and as soon as they were ready, we were out the door.  I dropped Gning off at school (just started year 1), and Donut got really upset, because he wasn’t going to school (he goes to nursery, three times a week).  I explained to him that we were going to play instead, so he hurried me back to the car…

I arrived at the play centre early.  A lot earlier than I had invited the mums for.  I had said 10am, but I was there for 9:30am.

I’m one of those people who suffers anxiety, and I did have a mini panic-attack this morning, thinking that people would actually turn up!  What would I say to them?  Should I just say hello?  How would I keep the conversation going..?

Donut quickly ran off and started playing.  He knows this particular play centre inside out, and has a habit of climbing up to the tallest part, then starts crying.  He gets “stuck”.  He isn’t really stuck…  He just realises that he’s at the top, and can’t remember the way down.  This is exactly what happened at 9:55am.  He stood at the top of the frame, looking down at me, sobbing.  One of the girls who worked there shouted up to him, “are you ok?”, she asked.  I replied that he always does this – he just can’t remember the way down.  I stood up and went to help him, but the girl had beat me to it.  “Don’t worry about it – I’m used to going up and down this thing.  You just sit down and enjoy your coffee”, she said with a smile.  Brilliant.  Mother of the Year award goes to a complete stranger, who shot up the climbing frame quicker than I could pick up my cup.

Donut made his own way down, with guidance from the girl, and was so happy when he reached the bottom.  He did his little happy dance, and even “high fived” her, before she made her way back behind the counter.  Next thing you know, he’s up at the top again…  Only this time, he remembered his new learned skill, and was back down!

There were plenty of other mums, and carer’s of children, in the play centre.  I looked around, looking for any glimpse of familiarity in their faces.  Was that the girl who replied that she would attend?  I’m sure I recognise that little boys face…

One mum was heavily pregnant, and looked really stressed out.  She had a little girl with her – I’d say about 18 months old or so, and the tiny tot would not leave her side.  The bump had to climb over the 1.5ft barrier occasion on occasion to force her daughter to play.

Another mum was there, and had what looked like a 3 year old boy, and a baby boy – around a month old.  She looked a natural.  Laughing, chasing the child around, whilst “wearing” the baby on her chest…

Then I realised that Donut had disappeared again.  I thought that he was up on the frame again, but then I heard him laugh.  I turned around, and noticed that he was in one of those coin operated rides, with another little boy of a similar age, and the machine was on.  Mum of little boy was at their side, smiling.  I shot over to their side, and apologised that Donut was taking over her sons’ ride.  She laughed, and told me not to worry about it.  Her son doesn’t usually mingle well with other children, but he seemed to like Donut.

It was now 10:20am.  I was getting bored, sitting at the table alone.  If anyone had turned up from the Mummy Social site, or facebook group, no one had made an effort to try to find me.

I hastily posted a status on the latter mentioned group, asking if anyone was there, and if they were too shy to say hello – because I was in the same boat.  I did get lots of replies, but all were “sorry, I forgot”, or “I didn’t know you meant today…”.

I called Donut over, and asked him if he wanted to go home and see daddy, which he said “yes” to.  On with his shoes, and home we went.

I think the point that I’m getting to here is not about anyone else turning up, it’s about something much more.  I was sat on my own, and apart from the other two mums’, who seemed to be there without any other adult company, there were other “groups” of mums / child-carers.

Did you know that 4 out of 5 people would rather use the statement “I’m depressed”, rather than “I’m lonely”?

If you’re with a group of friends, and you see a mum sitting on her own – smile at her.  Say “hello”.  It’s not much, and takes no effort at all, but you may just bring so much more to that persons’ day.

Seek out the mum who is focused on her smartphone.  Most of the time they will say, ‘Oh, did you mean me?  Hi.’  A little eye contact, a little smile, a little victory for humanity.

You never know – you may just have met your new best mum friend by one simple word.

Recipe – French Toast (my version)

Looks fancy, tastes absolutely delicious, and is incredibly easy to make.

French toast is one of those “posh” breakfast items that you think will take too long to make, but really – I just made 8 rounds in 5 minutes (minus the clean up – which I’m going to do after I’ve finished this post).

I first had French toast when I went to stay with my fathers’ friends, in Wisconsin, USA, and it was sublime!  However, when I got home, I couldn’t remember exactly how my host made it, so I winged it…  It worked out well, because now it’s a family favourite – even Donut (aged 2) has just wolfed down two slices!

Ingredients

3 large eggs

A good splash of milk (whole / full fat milk is best)

White bread (this recipe accounts for 8 slices)

Sweet mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, mace, allspice, etc. – readily available in supermarkets, such as Asda, Tesco, etc.)

Coconut oil – for frying

Toppings – golden syrup, honey, seasonal fruit, icing / powdered sugar…

Method

  1. Mix the eggs, milk, and a good shaking of the mixed spice in a bowl – ensure the bowl is big enough to fit a slice of bread, without bending it.
  2. Heat the coconut oil over a medium to high heat, in a frying pan.
  3. Place a single slice of bread in the egg mixture, and turn it over – make sure the round of bread is fully covered.
  4. Add the egg-mix covered bread to the frying pan, and give an extra little shake of the mixed spice.  Leave for 30 seconds or so, then turn it over – repeat the process by adding another little shaking of the mixed spice.  After another 30 seconds, turn the bread over for one final couple of seconds – just to allow the second shaking of mixed spice “cook” a little.
  5. Repeat the process with as many rounds of bread you can…
  6. Serve with a helping of syrup or honey, fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or icing / powdered sugar.
  7. Best enjoyed hot / warm, although, rather lush cold too, ha ha.
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The French toast shown above is an image found on Google…  My French toast was scoffed before I could even think of getting my camera!

Oh, how life has changed.

It’s been exactly one month since my life changed, and I’ve been trying to work out exactly what I was going to write to update you all.

My hubby was offered a full-time job to start on 10 July, and if we were both to be in work, there would be problems with childcare.  Yes, we had the option to put the kids in to a private nursery, but even with both of our wages, this would leave us out of pocket.  So there was a decision to be made, and quickly.

On 7 July, I worked my last day with the DWP.  I am now a “full-time, stay at home mummy”.  I am now one of the people who I either envied… Or slated.

I was envious because they got to stay at home with their children.  They got to watch their children take their first steps.  They got to hear their children say their first words.  As a full-time working mum, I missed those moments.  I would never have them again, and it ruined me.

I slated the other “full-time, SAHMs” because they had no interest in working.  Their kids were in full-time school, and all they did was sit on their arses all day, watching Jeremy Kyle, or spending their dole money on alcohol and tobacco.  I am positive that most of the mums that fell in to this category were “baby boomers” – only interested in popping out another sproglet because they got more money…

Yes, I am one of those people who turns my nose up at the “minions”.  Yes, I do think I am better than all of the SAHMs that fall in to the latter category.

So now I can hear the comments, “what gives her the right to say that?”

Well, allow me to explain.

Today marks one month since I last worked for anyone.

Since then, I had enrolled on to an online course, and completed a new qualification.  I received my PDF certificate just a couple of days ago, and I am waiting for the “hard copy” to come through.  The certificate confirms that I had passed the final assessment with a “Higher Distinction”.  I have purchased various equipment that I will need to take my qualification further, started a Facebook page with my new “job”, created a Twitter feed, and built a website from scratch.  I am now “up and ready to go”.  My new career will allow me to choose my own hours; and means that I can do something that I have always wanted to do.

Meanwhile, it’s the summer holidays; so Gning is off school for 6 weeks.  I’ve had my two boys with me 24/7 (almost) since I left the DWP – we have had days out, here, there and everywhere…

Gning has been off for 2 full weeks so far (we’re just in to week 3), and so far we have been to:

Acorn Venture Farm (Kirkby)

Gulliver’s World (Warrington)

Treetops (soft play centre in Golborne)

Heysham, Morecambe, Knotts End and Sunderland point (all one journey – Lancashire)

Martin Mere (Bursough)

Windmill Animal Farm (Burscough)

Speke Hall (Speke, Liverpool)

I don’t think the boys have done too badly so far, and there are still (almost) 4 weeks left!

I’ve started a scrapbook for them, so they can keep track of what they’ve been up to, in the summer of 2017.

So what else have I been doing?  I’ve kept on top of the front garden – mowing, raking and strimming.  The back garden is much to be desired, and I really need to get out there, but the weather has been so bad recently, it’d just be like walking in a swamp.  I’ve also scrubbed the kitchen; got on top of all the washing; cleaned the front room – several times; and kept on top of the bookings over at the village hall.

I’ve got lots of other plans, but I need a bit of a rest first of all.  These past 4 weeks that I’ve been off work have been a bit of a whirlwind…  The first 2 weeks, I practically did nothing.  My brain was set to “holiday” mode, lol.

Here’s me, Gning and Donut – I took the selfie yesterday…  I think being a full-time SAHM suits me…

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What’s for dinner?

We have a bit of a thing in our house, where 3 of us like donner meat, and 1 of us doesn’t.  Unusually, it’s the hubby who doesn’t like it…  He’s always called it “road kill”, and this conversation sort of spiralled out of control one day, and kebab meat is now known as “dog”.  This brings me on to the conversation I’ve just had…

Me:  “What’s for dinner?”

Hubby:  “I don’t even want to think about it yet – I’m fed up of cooking…”

Me:  “Well, we can either go the chippy, or we can go out for dinner?”

At this point, Gning and Donut come in to the room.  I ask Gning…

Me:  “Would you like chippy tonight?”

Gning:  “Yes!  I want dog!”

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Parenting done right if you ask me.  He loves donner kebabs with salad and sweet chilli & mayo – just like his mmymmy.


**For my readers who are not from the UK – a “chippy” is a take-away.