A Challenge

September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Morning all.  Please note that my blog today isn’t necessarily parent/child related but the contents will certainly impact on our children’s lives.  It’s a challenge and a dare.

www.maddmadam.blogspot.com

Happy Day! :-)

The Greatest Show On Earth

September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Read about our experiences of Jerry’s school concert.

www.maddmadam.blogspot.com

 

Happy Day! :-)

The Folk Around Us

September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

This is not a parenting type blog but if anyone is interested my latest blog can be found at www.maddmadam.blogspot.com

Happy Day! :-)

To Have or Not to Have ……….

September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

I ponder the merits of one child over many.  (Oh, and I’ve fixed the blog so you can comment now.) :-)

http://maddmadam.blogspot.com

Happy Day! :-)

Rocking & Rolling

September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Check out the big adventure Jerry and I will be having for the next six weekdays.

http://maddmadam.blogspot.com

Happy Day! :-D

Over And Out

September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Well here I go, I’m afraid to say. I’ve tried, honest I have, but this new blog platform is just not for me.  I shall pop in from time to time to try and catch up with you all.  I still think the parent24.com site rocks!

For those who are interested, life in the Madd House will now be found at http://maddmadam.blogspot.com

Won’t say that I’ll miss you ‘cos I will be around from time to time.

Happy Day! :-)

Ciao

Climbing on the band wagon

September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

In keeping with a lot of other folk here in Blogland I, too, have felt Spring gently bat me in the ear and remind me that life’s too short to live this sedentary lifestyle and I should honestly get up and do something about it.  So Wednesday sees me happily trundling around with the Walk for Life folk again.  Looking forward to it – I LOVE walking! :-)

Friday evening saw me wearing my Mommy-Ogre hat once again after Jerry had decided that she didn’t feel like attending an extramural activity and so she and a friend just wandered off to play elsewhere in the school.  She was in huge dwang with her mother, I can tell you, because this isn’t the first time she’s done it and she admits to remembering the trouble she got into (and the trauma she caused me) the last time, and yet deciding to play hookey nonetheless.  She was grounded for the weekend, except for going with me to buy school dresses on Saturday morning.  Also, much to her horror, I told her that she could no longer go to the Cuban ballet on Saturday afternoon.  She was supposed to go with my sister and she was SOOOO looking forward to it.  She begged me and pleaded with me and made me notes and cards in order to try and get me to change my mind but I was resolute that she should take responsibility for her actions and accept her punishment.  I don’t think I’m her favourite person at the moment. C’est la vie!

Talking of school dresses: the school children are required to now wear summer uniforms again and I had to go and buy new dresses (Jerry grows at a phenomenal rate).  At the shop the attendant let out a huge sigh when she saw Jerry (who is built like a string bean), “The dresses are not very well made”, she said “if you buy them to fit the shoulders it resembles a tent around the body.”  And, BOY, was she not kidding.  So I bought the dresses and now I am going to have to take them in, ‘cos you could probably fit two Jerrys into the dress side by side.  I’m not impressed, though, because the dresses cost two-hundred-and-sixty-ront ………. EACH!  Bloody cheek – to make me pay so much for something that doesn’t even fit properly! Sjoe!

Anyhooooo. Out into a new week we go.  New week … new month … new season … cool!  Let’s make it memorable.

Happy Day! :-)

Too much pressure

August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Back to the question of how we can, and do, influence our children.  I truly believe that whatever attitude we are able to project upon our children, this should only be in a positive influence.  Life is stressful enough for these little beings and I don’t believe that undue pressure, from any avenue, can add value to their lives.

Since the beginning of the year the teachers at Jerry’s school have been laying it on thick about how difficult Grade 4 is.  The kidlets have had, what I believe to be, unnatural fear instilled in them regarding a year in their lives that is still coming and as the end of the year (and the beginning of Grade 4) edges closer I can sense the panic.

Just this morning Jerry earnestly said to me “Mommy, do you think I will make it to Grade 5?”  My heart wanted to break.

We have heard from the school leadership how Grade 4 sees “no more fun” in the classroom.  The teachers apparently just throw books on the desk and tell the children to get on with it.  The teachers are all very, VERY strict.  If the children can’t keep up they can just do the work in their own time because no-one will wait for them.  There is lots and lots of work to be done and it is all difficult!  Sjoe!

I advised Jerry to chat to her friends that are already in Grade 4 and find out how they are finding their year so far.  She said that she already has and they all maintain that its “vrek moeilik!”.

Now here’s the thing: I see approximately 75 children entering Grade 4 every year and just as many children surviving it.  As “vrek moeilik” as it is, they seem to cope just fine.  Granted, the workload is a little more and the standard of work is higher (as one would expect), but is it really necessary to instil the fear of all things unholy in these little beings in order to get results?

I would simply make sure they understand that school becomes a lot more serious when you enter Grade 4.  You are, after all, no longer a junior and are entering the senior phase of primary school.  Where you were once learning to read you are now expected to read to learn.  But don’t scare these little people into doubting their ability to “make it to Grade 5”.  Sheesh! No wonder the high school youth occasionally take their lives.

By the way, in answer to Jerry’s question I told her that whatever happened, she and I were going to take it one step at a time, and move through Grade 4 together; and if, for some or another reason, she wasn’t ready to advance to Grade 5 we’d just keep going, one step at a time, through Grade 4 again until she was ready.  I also told her that I believe that she has more than enough brain power, determination and enthusiasm to breeze through the year without any problems whatsoever.

We shouldn’t scare our children into performing and getting results we should simply let them know that we believe in them and we’re right behind them no matter what and then stand back and watch them fly.

Happy Day! :)

How do we influence our children?

August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Each term Jerry’s school requires the children to do two speeches: one in Afrikaans and one in English.  Today is Jerry’s English speech and the teacher has split the class into groups and they are required to act out Jack and the Beanstalk.  It’s wonderfully creative because there are probably about 8 kidlets in each group so they have needed to be creative in order to create roles for everyone.

Jerry plays the part of the giant’s wife, so off she went with Mommy’s skirt and a top, an apron and a scarf for her head.  She made me giggle because she brought me a pair of my shoes that she wanted to wear (she nearly fits into my shoes already, sjoe!).  When I told her to take her own shoes she said “But I’m supposed to be ugly and I don’t have ugly shoes”.  He He He – so her outfit is completed with Mommy’s “ugly” shoes. **Grin**

These children are so imaginative that they created enough roles in the speech/play that some children play two parts.  One little boy plays the cow and a dog, one little girl plays a fairy and a flower.  It’s such a pity that cynicism steps up and squashes this ingenuity.

On that subject, I am constantly amazed by folk that project their bias onto their children.  I made the decision whilst still pregnant to try my utmost NOT to live my life through my child.  And when they’re little it boils down to simple suggestion.  I started with “Ha! Jerry, look!  Your favourite: baby trees (broccoli) or princess coaches (pumpkin) or teeny cabbages (brussel sprouts)!”  Today I have a child that adores vegetables …… ALL vegetables because she started out not having any preconceived misgivings about them.

I moved it a step further. “Wow! That’s so exciting! You’re going to write a test! Aren’t you clever?  Are you excited? I would be.”  I now have a child that is not unnecessarily “scared” of tests or exams but who has a healthy respect for them and prepares and writes her test/exam calmly and comes out the other side, not necessarily having a straight A+ but confident that she did her best and sometimes having learnt a small lesson along the way.

I started her off with the same sentiment about public speaking – she was very puzzled when some children claimed to be “so scared to stand up in front of the class” – they’ve all been doing this since grade 1 for various reasons and the only reason why they may now suddenly feel insecure is because of an idea planted by one or both of their parents.

So, here’s the question: in “making my child” excited etc about things that folk appear to be phobic about am I hitting the opposite end of the spectrum and limiting her ability to exercise free thought?  Whadya think?

Happy FriDay! :)

Unrealistic expectations

August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Awfully glad tomorrow’s Friday! It’s been a week, it has.

Feel desperately sorry for my cousins who have spent the last week and a bit struggling with my aunt who took ill, got better, took ill again and now she’s had to move into a home where there are ’round-the-clock medical staff to look after her.  The poor lady’s body is still very strong but her mind wanders off from time to time.

Jerry’s school is truly marvellous and I wouldn’t swap her to anywhere else.  The education she is getting is top class and the school is a truly splendid environment.  The only problem is that there are a lot of stay-at-home Moms and half-day Moms whose children attend the school and the school seems to cater for them a lot.

Jerry’s school concert is coming up next month.  There is only one concert every six or seven years to enable ALL children to participate in a concert at least once in their primary school career with minimal upheaval – I think it’s a fabulous idea!  But last night I was handed a letter giving information about what is required for the performances.  There are six performances – Wed, Thur, Fri one week and Mon, Tues, Wed the following week and the concert runs from 18h30 to 21h00.

Now here’s the problem: the children are required to be in their classes by 17h30 on each night of performance with their make-up already on.  Sheesh!  I only fetch Jerry from aftercare between 17h15 and 17h25 each day.

So for those six days I shall be carrying a picnic supper to work with me.  Fetch Jerry from aftercare, take her for a quick picnic on the school field, put on her make-up and have her at her class as soon after 17h30 as I’m able.  The poor child will be spending almost 14 hours at school on these days. Sjoe!

And heaven help me if I’m required to work late – the Gorgeous S will just have to put on his big-girl panties and step into the gap!  It’s really not fair of the school to imagine that all Moms are lucky enough to bring their well-rested, fed, make-up-clad children along at a time when most of us aren’t even home from work yet.

At least its just for six days and we won’t have a repeat of this again in Jerry’s primary school career.

And a question: the tickets went on sale yesterday.  Is it just me or are there other folk out there who don’t necessarily have a spare few hundred Rand available at this time of month?  The tickets are R75 – R100 each and I would need to buy approximately 7 tickets for different family members (who would obviously reimburse me when I see them).  So, do I take my bank account into the red or risk not getting a good seat? Hmmmmm!

Anyhooo, Happy Day! :)

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