Tag Archives: parenting

Who needs television?

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.

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Nicholas the Scarecrow

On Halloween, we walked up to Airfield National Trust in Dundrum. Airfield is an urban farm and gardens in Dublin city. Airfield House dates back to the 1820’s and is still standing. There is a beautiful walled-in garden that has the most amazing herbaceous borders. The trees were filled with little ghosts and lots of carved out pumpkins. The place was magical. Although rain was forecast, the weather behaved itself and the rain stayed at bay.

Animals are a prime attraction for the children who visit here – hens, pigs, sheep, cows and a gaggle of geese. Airfield was choc-a-block with scarecrows made by the visitors. Some were quite life like, although others were just downright creepy. The idea was to make our own scarecrow. I loved this idea as it really gets the kids’ imagination going. I wonder what it feels like for a little child to stand under a scarecrow, with its arms flapping in the wind and its huge grin leering down.  

Seren and Olwyn were fascinated with these creatures towering above them and even more excited at the prospect of making their own. So off we went to the designated area to assemble the scarecrows. There was a nice lady, dressed up as a cow, on hand to help out. There was a pile of clothes to choose from, although we did bring our own. We found a discarded Keith Haring designer jacket and picked up a few other pieces. We went about picking up straw. The place was a hive of activity with other families creating their own masterpieces.

There was a table set up in the centre of the tent with string, coloured paper, markers and other craft material for the children to create the scarecrows’ faces. Pots were provided to stick these onto. Seren was enthralled with the scissors and it took some enticing to get her away from it. Seren drew the scarecrow a little picture to put in his pocket.

 She named him Nicholas. This did not come as a surprise as she names everyone Nicholas! Next job was to hang the guy up. Our cow-lady friend came over and helped us find a spare post to staple him to. Although our hands were frozen, we were all proud of our new “friend”.

This was a great way to spend Halloween. We walked home full of chat about this and that. Seren even got see fireworks for the first time in her life. This was magical for her. When we got home, we lit our pumpkin and Seren got dressed up as a pirate.

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Tree-house

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…

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Conversation with a two year old

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…

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