A Wee Song

A Wee Song

Image credit: freeimages.com {user: delapiedra}

Potty training is the pits.

Pixie is perfectly potty trained at school. Seriously. She’s had one accident in three weeks. I don’t even bother sending the required seven panties anymore. She got the hang of it the first day I asked her teacher to let her go nappy-free.

At home, it’s another story.

“Mommy, I need to wee!” she declares, and off we go down the passage. She pulls her pants down while I put the kiddies’ seat on the toilet. I lift her onto the seat. She smiles. And promptly hops off. “Mommy, I’m done!”

“A little bit longer,” I suggest, and put her back on. “Let’s sing the Wee Song.”

Wee, wee, wee, making a wee,
Wee, wee, wee, making a wee,
Look at me, making a wee,
Wee, wee, wee, making a wee.

(I’ve got mad songwriting skillz, don’t you think?)

We go through the song two or three times before I concede defeat. She hops off the toilet and pulls her pants up.

Not two minutes later,I hear the cry, “Mommy, I’m wet!”

We’ve tried running water while she’s on the toilet. We’ve tried going to the toilet together. We even let her sit on the potty while she watches TV. We’ve promised a trip to Jimmy Jungles when her potty sticker chart is full.

I’m considering putting up her classmates’ photos in the bathroom so that she can go to the toilet with her friends. (I’m only half joking.)

That said, I’m not too stressed about it. She is only two.

But I can’t wait to say goodbye to nappies for good.

Did you have an easy time toilet training your child?

Of Lice and Little Girls

When I dropped the girls off at school on Friday, I got a notice from Poppet’s teacher that gave me chills.

Of Lice and Little Girls

I had lice a couple of times when I was a child. I remember foul-smelling shampoo, and sitting still while my mother combed through my hair with that fine-toothed comb. I remember feeling somewhat jealous of my brothers, whose lice treatment was as quick and easy as a shaved head, although I lacked the courage to tell my dad to shave mine too.

As I absently said goodbye to Poppet while reading the notice, her classmate Cowboy came to greet her. Cowboy’s head was shaved, leading me to believe that Lice Patient Zero was right in front of us.

My one hope was that Poppet had been absent on Lice Day, so I tried not to feel too stressed out about it. “She doesn’t have lice,” I said when I got home, dropping the notice onto the dining room table.

But I couldn’t help playing the scenario out in my head.

Poppet has gorgeous, waist-length, thick curls. The thought of combing through all that hair to look for lice and nits made me want to cry. Poppet freaks out when I tell her she’s having a haircut; there’s no way I would ever convince her to shave her head.

When I fetched the girls from school that afternoon, Pixie’s teacher handed me an identical letter.

I checked the girls’ heads that night, and the next morning, and the next night. No lice, but there was still a sense of vague panic lurking in my belly.

Of Lice and Little Girls

On Sunday morning, just before we left for church, I noticed small white flecks in Poppet’s hair. Cue: Freak Out.

As I tried to investigate Poppet’s head without messing up her hairstyle (because: church in ten minutes) I may have raised my voice as I asked, “WHAT IS ON YOUR HEAD?”

She huffed. “Pixie poured salt on me.”

Salt.

The relief I felt in that moment – Salt!

Later, I noticed Pixie had glitter in her hair. “Poppet did it,” she said. “Now I’m a princess.”

On any other day, the girls would have been in trouble, but in the wake of the Lice Scare of 2015, I let them get away with it.

Have you had to deal with lice yet?

Some Help for Mums on the Run – and a GIVEAWAY

***This giveaway is now closed.***

Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending a “Mums on the Run” workshop with Leigh Fowle, Laura le Roux and Belinda Mountain. The workshop is focused on equipping parents to boost their children’s education using everyday life.

The workshop is run by Raquel Nielsen of A-Z Tutoring. She has a BSc degree in Molecular Cell Biology, a BSc Honours in Biotechnology and a postgrad certificate in mathematics. She is also so enthusiastic about education that it practically bubbles out of her every time she speaks.

First on the agenda was the topic of homework. Poppet will be in grade R next year (eek!) and apparently that means homework will be part of our family routine before we know it. Possibly even before we’re ready for it. Raquel mentioned the importance of changing your child’s thinking to look at homework itself as learning and not just more work in addition to studying.

Raquel also spoke about how we can develop numeracy and literacy with things we use and do in the house. She suggested focused questions to ask while baking together and told us how food like pizza can help with understanding fractions. (Just in case you were looking for an excuse to justify eating more pizza.)

We also discussed how important it is to motivate your child and what kind of reward system works best. Raquel then shared how vital it is not to transfer any of our unconscious issues to our children. It’s no secret that maths was never my favourite subject. The only reason I took it to matric was because I wasn’t allowed to drop it. Note to self: don’t mention that to the girls.

Another topic under discussion was how to communicate with your child’s teacher, particularly if there is a problem. We’ve been fortunate to have had good relationships with all the girls’ teachers so far. Of course, they are only in preschool.

We also spoke about introducing technology into learning. Basically, if you don’t have Tetris, get it.

The workshop is maths-focused, but as a self-confessed maths-phobe, I found it helpful to see how I can instill an understanding of basic maths concepts in my children before they even start learning school maths.

Now, for the good news: Raquel is offering you a space at the next “Mums on the Run” workshop on Friday, 13 March.

To enter the giveaway:
– Simply comment on this post.
– For an extra entry, share this post on FB/Twitter and leave a second comment stating where you shared it.

The competition closes on Monday, 2 March at 9am. The winner will be announced immediately after the draw.

***Please note, the workshop will take place in Glen Vista, Johannesburg south.***

7 Days of Love – Chocolate Hearts

What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate?

Every year I like to send a little something to school so that my girls can give their classmates a Valentine’s gift. Last year we did cookies; this year we made mini chocolate hearts.

The girls were curious about what “making chocolates” entailed, and more interested in eating the chocolate than in spooning melted chocolate into the moulds.

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I bought the chocolate, heart moulds and foil at The Chocolate Den (on Linksfield Road in Edenvale). This is my favourite baking shop, partly because of its name, but also because they have absolutely everything you need there.

The girls each filled in one tray, then licked their spoons clean. I made the rest of the chocolates later.

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When they had all been made, I cut the foil into small squares and wrapped each chocolate. I did this while the girls were at school to avoid the whining for chocolate that I knew would happen if they were around.

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20 kids in each class. That’s a lot of chocolates.

I wrote a little note and stuck a chocolate on each.

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Hopefully there’ll be a lot of smiling kids next Friday.

Do your kids make Valentine’s gifts for their friends?

Back To School

First day of school! First day of school!

Is there anyone more excited than a parent on the first day of school after several weeks holiday?

I’ve been trying to walk the line between talking about school enough to build excitement and talking about it too much to cause anxiety. This is Poppet’s third year at the school and Pixie’s first. A week ago I started a mini countdown with them so that today wouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

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They also got new princess lunchboxes for Christmas. Today’s snacks are yoghurt, Provitas, Mozarella cheese and a banana each.

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I tried to get the obligatory First Day Of School photo but trying to get Poppet and Pixie to look at the camera at the same time is always a bit of a mission.

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I was expecting snot en trane from Pixie, but when we walked into her class she went straight to the table and started playing with a puzzle. She didn’t react when I kissed her goodbye. It’s a promising start, but we’ll have to see what happens when the novelty wears off.

Poppet was eager to get to her class to see her friends, and shrugged out of my goodbye hug as fast as she could. Hmph.

How do you prepare your kids for the new school year?

Three Going On 13

Ah, school. Wonderful institutions of learning and socialization. Poppet started pre-school last year and has flourished in so many ways. She’s made friends with everyone at school, and I do mean everyone. She knows the names of all the children and all the teachers. She’s learning numbers and the alphabet and children’s songs.

Of course, there are ways in which her behaviour hasn’t benefited so well. Her eating habits took a bit of a dive but they’re back on track now. Sort of. Sometimes. She did accuse me of trying to feed her poisoned fish the other night (but for that I blame Snow White).

Occasionally, she says things that disturb me. (I’m not talking about, “I love Barney, Mommy!” although every parent feels a soul-crushing horror on hearing those words.) I’ve had to explain to her that “stupid” is not an acceptable word in our house, even in the context of, “Stupid fly!” I had to make her understand “Oh, my God!” isn’t respectful to God. We’re still working on getting her to stop yelling, “Leave me alone!” when she doesn’t get her way.

Three is harder than Two. She’s discovering her own strength of will and pushing limits of acceptable behaviour every chance she can get. We’ve had to learn to choose our battles – does it really matter if she has Otees or Weetbix for breakfast? – but there are some lines that need to be firmly drawn before a precocious threenager turns into a little tyrant.

The latest gem from her lips was, “You’re destroying my life!” What was this unreasonable thing we were asking her to do? Finish her supper. I know, terrible parents, aren’t we?

She confirmed she learnt it at school, and was made to understand that there would be unpleasant consequences if she ever said that to either of us again. A short while later, we heard a mumbled, “It’s not fair.”

I honestly thought we had at least ten years before she started with that. Three going on 13. Fun times.