Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Let The Children Lead

I stare at the children sleeping by night and dwell on the imperanence of life.  How short this part of my life will seem to me even though I well remember how long childhood lasts whilst you're there yourself.  I've got to make the most of it I tell myself and resolve for a good day the next.

 Yesterday I remembered this as I awoke.  I wanted a day untouched by the outside world. I wanted to step out of time into non-time in my own surroundings. I wanted the day to last longer than it really would.  I wanted for time to stand still or elongate a little, for these are precious days where I have the children all to myself.

The children bought their morning snacks in to my room after Cliff left for work, what left to do but hunker down and while away many many moments together reading cuddling laughing.
And as we eventually got up the change came ... I glanced at my phone sitting on my bedside table, ordinarily would have picked it up, even gone back for it had I forgotten it 

Today I'm buying myself some more time with my kids
                                                                                                                      I thought. 
I turned it off, left it where it was. 

Like I might blend pastels together on paper so the activities of our day started to blend, seemlessly flowed, naturally rhythmic from one to the next.  

So from breakfast to garden snacks.  If you've never tasted fresh homegrown peas, you've not lived!

We trundle down to the veg beds to hang out and feast on natures bounty, unzipping pea packets and de-hatting the strawberries.  Just chillin’.  Unwashed and still in bumming about clothes but we were all content.  By force of habit I wanted to announce we should all go inside ande get ready to start the day, wash, dress, tidy a little … but no, the day had started many many moments earlier, perfectly.  I love that outside there's no clock to check or chores to spy out of the corner of my eye, so I thought

I'll let the children lead.

Zander lets his imagination lead.  Another story living in our garden.  See the rainbow mouse eating the peas he thoughtfully placed inside the nest.

Even heavy showers of summer rain could not interupt our flow. 

A midday bath is a refreshing joyus change to our usual rhythm.  They love baths and water is so calming and sensory, especially when Zanders pickin’ herbs to infuse, today Sage.  Yesterday it was chamomile and butterfly lavendar ...

Usually baths are rushed atfer dinner and not much fun for anyone but they can stretch out for as long as the children want during the day, it works so well.
The day did stretch out, my time with the children was more full, I had the chance to look inward towards the centre of my life and happily put the outside world on the back burner. 
I hope for more of the same tomorrow.  Usually we would go to Woodmice, the forest group we attend.  But something’s not right with Zander - he doesn’t really seem to dig it at this present moment.

We stopped going over the winter - way too cold for the half hour cycle ride each way.  And  spring was cold too.  When we returned, though we felt like old hands, we knew very few there. The group is much bigger too now. I’ve persevered quite a while since we returned, each bar one (when the group was much smaller) he’s been unsettled whiny rude and aggressive to me.  It’s stressful for me to try and deal with this behaviour in public even if I do remain calm on the outside, inside I'm trying myself in knots.
It’s my last connection to the Steiner School since he grew out of the Parent & child group in the autumn and since I accepted I cannot afford a place there for him once he reaches school age. It’s nice for me to hang out with like minded parents, I really need that.  They are the most like minded people I know probably in terms of what we want for our children.

But my kid’s not happy.  His week is very busy when I think about it.  One day at nursery, two with the childminder and her children and then weekends are normally hectic with shopping and other boring must do tasks.  So I've been pondering, maybe he's pining for some time when it's just me him and Gaia exploring the world together.  With this in mind we are going to the botanic gardens tomorrow instead, just the three of us.  Perhaps also he's not too different from his Mama - I have an incling his spontaneous side is getting antsy.  I've said it before - rhythm is a funny old thing, not enough and we feel lost but too much and life begins to feel restrictive.

I'm reading Heaven On Earth and it's made me realise how  similar my ideals are to Steiner as there's an incredible amount that I do already that follows this approach to parenting.  I want to weave ever more into our lives and then perhaps loosing our connections doesn't matter so much.  We can dip back in as we wish I guess and before I know it he'll be in school and if Gaia would like we may return for some quality mama and daughter time.  But for now I'll follow my boys lead and my instincts.
We have had some lovely times there though ...

The children found a dead shrew.  I loved that this little girls Mama didn't mind her picking it up.  My initial reaction was look but don't touch, as I said it it seemed bizarre given that we were staring into another little ones hands.  They dug a hole and burried it, each child picking a flower and throwing it in.

The Elm tree has died, dutch elm disease.  The bark has come away over the last year, we bought a piece we found back last year and now these amazing patterns made by beetles burrowing under the bark have been exposed.  I would love somehow to lift these patterns and make a block print of them, I may go armed with plasticine next time.

She's a chinchilla, she finds a dust hole and settles in!

The Cow Horse - highly confusing for little people!

Rest of the week randomness ...
Loving this one taken by Cliff.

This is Mr Bloom's Nursery, apparantly. I think it's a T.V programme Zander watches with the childminder.  He spent a lot of time making the veg and flower beds then filling them with crops and scarecrows, gates and paths.
I don't write poetry very often anymore, I don't have the space and time in my head normally but they appear as if from nowhere once in a while, so here's how I was feeling last week.  I've not tinkered too much so it's quite raw

Lament of the working mother

My little ones head is hot this morning
He whines in a poorly way
I’ve a meeting at 2
But I know what to do
Stay home and make sure he’s ok.

We healed with hugs
And we healed through art
But still he’s flushed and warm
In an ideal world I’d stay home once more
Until we completely show illness the door.

He needs tenderness and hugs
Hot chocolate in his monkey mug
His cheeks are flushed, he has a sad little cough
But I packed him off with a spoon of pink
That will have to be enough, today, I think

It’s not just the illness that’s doing my head in
It’s the hours I toil
The money I earn
Then I pay for someone else
With my children to play

It’s the four years I could have had him all to myself
Yet I’ve gone out and worked
To provide dinner and beds

It’s the education I want for them and cannot afford
The surroundings I don’t earn enough to provide
It’s the damn tax credit office and their innumerably requests
For proof of that and proof of this.

It’s the housework that gets left un done each night
As my children peak my priority list
It’s the books stacking up that I've no time to read,
Hell sometimes I feel I don’t have time to sneeze

The friends I have no time to see
The person I haven’t the time to find and be
It’s the enthusiasm for cooking I’ve lost
And the garden that’s waiting and wilting so much
It’s the making ends meet with too short pieces of string

And so,                                    I’m hopelessly                                 daydreaming ….

I'm blessed X


  1. Lovely to catch up with your blog again, after our babymoon!
    Very happy belated, birthday blessings to Zander and Gaia :)
    This is such a lovely post and gorgeous photos too.
    (Zander would have been Jahara's name if she was boy btw!)
    much love
    Gina xxxx

  2. Beautiful post, gorgeous photos and I love the poem :)

    Blessings sue x