Really?! I mean, children are so easily amused. Take my children for instance. Plonk them onfront of the washing machine and they pretend that they are in the cinema.
What kid doesn’t love getting messy with a paint brush, paper and bright colours. This is always a winner until the kid tries finger painting. Then it is time for some disaster management!
A favourite past-time is by far flicking through the many, many books they have on their own dedicated book shelves. You know when it has gone all quiet that they are sitting happily sifting through and reading their books. Either this or they are up to no good…
When it is not raining outside, no child wants to be stuck indoors. So on with the wellies and off out with them to explore, dig for worms, smell new blossoms and generally act the maggot.
I got a new bicycle for my birthday last October. My husband bought it for me after a three year sojourn from cycling. Just before the birth of Seren, I fell and broke my knee. That put an end to my cycling days for a while. Back then, I had a lovely yellow mountain bike. When I was out of action, my bike was parked outside all alone. Bit by bit, pieces would get thieved. One day the saddle would get nicked, then the wheels etc. until one day there was only a sad skeleton attached to the pole! Oh, they are ruthless.
I yearned to be able to cycle again. But alas no bike was had and my knee and leg was weak for more than a year. Then I became pregnant again with Olwyn and well I really didn’t feel like taking cycling up again. So last October Peter was missing one day. I think we were actually going out that night and he was expected home. But he was late! I was getting mad and got annoyed when he got home – poor him. It turns out he was at the bike shop ordering my bike. Oh, I felt bad. We all went to pick it up the next day. Seren was so excited that there was a seat for her.
Well, I was only on my bike for a few weeks when the bad weather hit us. I got a puncture. Turns out someone must have been jealous of my bike in college as it was a staple that caused the puncture! With that, there was snow, Christmas and more snow to compete with. I only managed to get my tire mended in January. I haven’t looked back since…
I love the freedom of cycling. I sleep much better as a result of the exercise and it is a great way to relax and unwind after a long day of staring at words. I try to bring Seren out at the weekends and she gets a kick out the bell and going over the bumps.
I have to admit though, drivers really are not aware of their surroundings and it is shocking. And YES, I do follow the rules of the road!
Olwyn's first day
This day one year ago my beautiful daughter, Olwyn, was born to this world. Olwyn has been eager from the onset. She always wants things done now and is keen to get into whatever her bigger sister is playing with at the time. Olwyn gives such sweet smiles with the most expressive big blue eyes and she is always laughing or singing. She even manages to look cute when she is crying.
Olwyn arrived in a rush after a short labour and one day early. Peter was there with me every step of the way with words of encouragement when I thought I had enough. Olwyn’s birth brought us even closer as we supported each other through the emotional rollercoaster.
I did not use the epidural and I think this made things move along quicker. It also forced me to trust my body. It was very powerful and so different to the birth of my first daughter. With my first, Seren, I had the epidural and to some extent I felt lost and not in control. For Olwyn’s birth, when we arrived in the hospital (in a fluster) I was already 5 centimetres. The midwife (a man) let me at it and he was there more for guidance than anything else. He let us three at it and Olwyn was born an hour and a half after we first walked through the doors. I will never forget the thoughts, emotions, tears and laughter of pushing her little body into this world. The elation at my waters popping and her arrival will stay with me forever.
The kids playing
I went to shower after I fed Olwyn and let the new Daddy get acquainted with his precious bundle. When I arrived back in the room, I found him on the phone to his parents in Canada. He was cradling his head and wouldn’t look up. Immediately, I had a gut reaction that all was not well. Peter’s grandmother had passed away that night, about five hours before Olwyn was born. The air was heavy with that news lingering and sinking in. We were left in the room for a good while to cry tears of joy and sadness. The staff in the hospital were so considerate.
Peter’s grandmother was a great woman and we all miss her dearly. In a way, her passing and Olwyn’s birth is what life is all about. A bittersweet day.
It was another typical rainy weekend in Dublin and I thought to myself “What am I going to do with a rambunctious 2.7 year old to occupy her?”. I had just received something in the mail the other day which came in a big cardboard box. Bingo, I thought. I am going to make a cardboard house. Ok, I lie – Pete will do it!
Well, this is way better than spending lots of money on a plastic house in a toyshop. Seren jumped at the chance and was so excited drawing on the cardboard with chalks and crayons. She drew on flowers, butterflies, spiders and trees…
This was not any cardboard house. It was her “treehouse”. This was her little haven where she could escape and read her books or play with her little monkey. Olwyn would sit outside completely forlorn at her sister’s disappearance into this structure. Olwyn would crawl in to investigate once Seren had vacated the premises. But Olwyn did not trust her surroundings and would reverse immediately on arrival!
We have gotten a lot of mileage out of this creation. We still have it folded up and slid under the coach. It comes out on those rainy days…
Today, I was sitting down with my eldest daughter, Seren, and having a little one on one time with her. She is becoming very expressive and is communicating her thoughts verbally. She has started to master the art of story-telling. Seren starts the story with lots of gusto – “one day there was a little boy who had a scooter…”, but it looses momentum then and and her concentration dwindles. Seren usually gets distracted and someone like her little sister grabs her attention because the latter has a toy that Seren thinks is hers.
So there I was, asking Seren what animals she liked. We went through the usual suspects – lion, giraffe, snake etc. And this is what she said to me as if it were the most important thing she has ever said in her whole life…
“I like wriggly worms, but I don’t like mooses because they do big smelly poos and they have huge bums like this!!”(extending her arms as far as she can).
This made me grin like the cheshire cat. What a priceless moment…