Things Little Z says

It’s been quite a while since I wrote one of these and it feels like an age since I blogged. 3 days. That’s forever. With the world gone crazy and death and destruction all over the place I’ve felt a bit meh about everything. So I thought it might be good timing to see the would through a little boys again for a few minutes to make it all look slightly better again.

So here’s what my 3 and a half year old has been saying recently…

On not wanting to go to his superhero party…
Z: But I don’t like superman. I want to wear my bus top. I don’t want to be a superhero.
(After running around Toys R us the day before panic buying the outfit and then shifting work about to drop him off he was definitely going. After a 30 minute battle to get him into it and, probably earning an early morning wrath from the sleeping neighbours, he eventually discovered the cape would fly behind him if he ran up and down the street. Anytime a neighbour asked how Superman was that morning he replied “No” rather grumpily. Grumpy loved his party though after all that.

He has taken to retorting “fine” anytime he realises he has to do something he doesn’t want to. I definitely don’t know where he’s picked that up from…
Me: Little Z why are you acting like a teenager?
Z: I don’t know what that word means

On trying to slip away for a 2 minute comfort break…
Z: Where you going Mummy?
Me: To the toilet?
Z: Shall I help you?
Me: No it’s ok…
Z: I need to help you!
Cue trying to get into the bath / fill it with bubbles / brushing his teeth

Discovering silver linings in every situation…
Me: Brush your teeth
Z: My toothpaste isn’t stripey.
Me: [Carefully puts stripey toothpaste on]
Z: I need red one….
Me: [Tries to squeeze out a bit more Aquafresh]
Z: [3 seconds of brushing] I finished!
Me: You need to brush properly, I’ll help you…
Z: No My DO IT!
[10 more minutes of this...]
Z: I finished!
Me: If you don’t brush properly your teeth will fall out.
Z: Then tooth fairy come?
Me: How do you know about the tooth fairy?
Z: [Silence and all knowing grin]

On seeing the Maltese advert where the guy does the straw thing…
Z: Let’s do that!!
Me: Errr….
Z: [Running to the kitchen to fetch his props] Come on mummy!!
OH: [Runs after him] I want a go!
It took about 10 minutes with all 3 of us trying to stop maltesers rolling about all over the place or melting. I am very pleased to say I did it first!

Z: Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to my magic show! You have to clap now.
[obedient clapping from the mummy and daddy audience]
Then everything gets turned into a frog. I think maybe we need to watch a bit less of Nanny Plum in our house for a bit.

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Gaza and Israel – The latest conflict

Another massive round of air strikes takes place between Israel and Gaza and words like “circle of violence” and “Free Gaza” are once again being thrown about. I wrote about it last year after wanting to do something constructive but not really knowing what.

Sadly I could probably copy and paste that post and just re-post it and, besides the death toll, it would all probably apply. There are still blockades in place over Gaza. The people of Palestine still don’t have the same rights as the Israelis. There is still no sign of an impending peace agreement between the two nations. Rocket attacks are still fired between Israel and Gaza repeatedly and the majority of those killed or injured are still Palestinian civilians.

This time the attacks have escalated from the tragic killings of 3 Israeli teenagers and the murder and burning of the Palestinian teen. Under the face of this the cause of the violence is rooted much deeper and goes back much further. The kidnapping of soldiers, civilians, those suspected to be militants, more civilians and on and on. Time and time again people make the mistake of thinking the Palestinian people and Hamas are the same entity. You hear statements such as “they started it” and with each incident that breaks the fragile ceasefire comes yet another attack from each side. Bomb shelters come into heavy play on the Israeli side and homes and schools act as make shift shelters on the Gaza side.

As of 9am on the 15th July the stats looked something like this:

193 killed – Of which 191 are Palestinian and 2 Israeli. At least 80% of which are civilians and 21% (36) of these are children
1400 wounded
66 schools damaged in Gaza
940 homes destroyed
Approximately 10,800 people have taken shelter in 16 UNRWA schools in Gaza City and about 7,000 in 5 shelters in northern Gaza.

(Stats from Chris Gunness – UNRWA)

Others have evacuated and left where possible to take refuge elsewhere. There is no indication on when or indeed if they will ever be able to return.

No matter the circumstances of each offence the people of Gaza are inevitably always the ones most affected. Infrastructure and lives destroyed in an instant, wiping out multiple individuals from one family. Where people do survive, it becomes a long hard mission to start rebuilding not only their homes and other buildings but also mindset that has been damaged by deaths of those close to them.

To then hear David Cameron staunchly supporting Israel without any kind of balance for both sides is bitterly disappointing. No-one should condone killings or violence on any side and if someone attacked England I would like to think we could defend ourselves in any way needed. To wall in a population into restricted land, limit their rights and put blockades in place for years and them live in what is commonly described as an open air prison, however, not expecting any kind of retaliation smacks of either naivety or just a complete disregard of human life based upon who they are.

On the flip side, defacing synagogues in an attempt to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause does nothing to help it. This should never result in an attack against the Jewish population, many of which want peace between the two nations and don’t support illegal settlements or the sanctions on the Palestinians. The cause should be one to eliminate the blockades and sanctions completely, grant the same rights to the Palestinian civilians as Israel and them the same rights as the Israelis and grant them the land that should be theirs for their own state.

Of course that’s a scenario many probably will only dream of and I know we’ve certainly sat extremely safe in our own homes stating how sad it all is but not actually done anything to help anything.

In a situation as massive as this with little light at the end of the tunnel there are some small helpful things that can be done to help the civilians affected like donating a charity to help with medical supplies and basic amenities and / or writing to your MP to urge the lifting of blockades. With the growing numbers of both the killed and the injured, all media portals have reported dwindling and limited supplies particularly in morgues and equipment to help assist critical trauma victims. With the blockades, whilst some have been lifted over the years, Israel maintains some are still in place as a way to deter further attacks. Both imports and exports fall under this:

As both import and export out of the occupied territory are tightly restricted, goods coming in through the single commercial border crossing with Israel meet only 35 to 50 percent of Gazans’ needs, as Reuters reports.

This particular fact sheet is two years old but I think the majority, if not all, still applies and gives a good understanding of the types of conditions that are in place.

There are a number of recent protests that have taken place outside buildings such as the BBC studios protesting against the biased reporting in the media. One particularly interesting Twitter hashtag is #BBCTruth4Gaza. Another is #StopArmingIsrael. Did you know the US Senate has recently authorised funding of $350 million dollars for the Iron Dome? And that the UK provides arms to Israel?

In the meantime whilst it’s hoped that a ceasefire is mutually agreed on quickly, the proven fragility and repeated violation of it gives a grim reality of what the short term future holds for those wanting to just live and raise their families in a safe and secure home.

In reading a lot of articles over the last few days it’s heartbreaking to see one too many graphic photos of those have been killed. As someone quite rightly pointed out, there is no dignity even in death for them and I definitely didn’t want to share it here which probably makes me a bit selfish. Instead though, I will share this. I think he’s hilarious and mostly has a point. This is a pretty excellent one.

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Post Comment Love

Dearest Little Z – At Age 3 and 7 Months

Hello Little Z!

So (pre) school is almost out for summer and I can’t wait. It means we can start going lots of fun places and hopefully basking in the sun a bit. I still need to plan stuff but I’m sure it’ll be fun. You’ve finally finally settled in and run in and wave me off. Which is typical timing really as I’m not wondering if you’ll end up taking a step back with the 7 weeks holidays. Hopefully not.

You’ve not quite clicked that your lovely keyworker has left last week. You think she’s on holiday. I didn’t really know how to tell you she’s not coming back so I’ve just carried on lying. She’s gone off to become a Nanny for a family not too far away from us. I can just imagine her as her a very Northern Mary Poppins calling all her wards “spud”. I remember you greeted your Daddy and I with a “hello Spud!” for about two weeks after you picked it up. There’s a chance she may come back after the summer holidays if things don’t work out but I bet she will be fantastic. She is a natural with children and they are a very lucky family to have her. Your new keyworker is really lovely too and asked me a hundreds of questions about you. I realised later that she was trying to get to know you inside out very quickly and that made me feel a lot better about the big change.

Something irked me a bit this week. You ran to that little boy I don’t really like very much and excitedly told me he was your friend. He promptly turned around and huffed he didn’t want to be your friend. What??! How very dare he. There is a part of me that’s secretly glad about this as he has a potty mouth but you were so sad I wanted to pick him up by his ankle and give him a telling off. Of course that would have been pretty mean of me and I wouldn’t really but I was very aware that the mother lion side of me unleashed itself very quickly. It reminded me of the film “This is 40″ when the mum goes over the top telling a teenage boy off for picking on her daughter. I think that’ll be me. Obviously I am going to have to rein it in and just let some of these things happen as its the real world and you need to learn. But Bleurgh bleurgh.

You decided over the last few weeks that wee-ing in the loo was boring and wee-ing on the floor was more you. Thankfully the accidents are now at a minimum. Its taken a bit of lying and threats of giving your Thomas underpants to your cousin to do the trick. Apparently a potty training regression is normal in boys but having your heart in your mouth constantly watching out for wee or that desperate cross legged wee dance is pretty draining. Hopefully this time its been nailed for good.

It was our wedding anniversary this month and you were a bit confused with the cards and presents being exchanged. You kept asking why people got married. We eventually asked if you wanted to get married and you thought it was a hilarious thing and then shook your head at us as if we’d asked the craziest thing ever. Ah well :)

You keep saying you need go to on holiday again. Your Daddy says you sound just like me. You’re doing such a good job even I have to tell you to cool it down every so often. You natter non stop though so its either listening to this or nursery songs. Maybe we will after your uncles wedding. We best start planning. And if Daddy is good then we could take him too! You tend to get distracted by a toy or Topsy and Tim every so often so it may take a while.

So until next time….Mwah!!

Dear Little Z 3 years and 7 months


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When the axis shifts on your blogging world

A couple of years ago I went to my very first blog conference and I left with the axis of my blog world shifting slightly. People knew what I now looked like. I knew what they looked like. Some bloggers looked really different in the flesh. Some older, some younger, some nice, some not so nice. And I walked away questioning some of what I blogged about. Was I brand? Did I want to be a brand? Should I be blogging bigger and badder than I was doing? The immense amounts of inspiration and information overload had me questioning something I’d happily been pottering around for a year.

Over time I have learnt a LOT about the logistics and marketing of social media and blogs through this little portal e.g. How to promote on facebook and Google+, how to make that beautiful Pinterest pic, how backgrounds will make the simplest of photos a million times better, the best times for promotion on each of the platforms. Whilst by essence blogging is about the spontaneous sharing of true feelings, there is now a meticulous method of sending it out into the ether and, in turn, directing traffic back to it. All this gives you a bit to think about and get swamped with if you’re not inclined to keep up with the ever growing social media ways. It definitely made me think about how much I actually wanted to invest into the blogging world.

So over the last few months I’ve taken a bit of a step back and thought about it a bit. It’s made me rein the blog back in and make some changes. I’m not sure that it is even noticeable to the naked eye but having looked at what I like, what I don’t like and tweaked things a bit it feels like I am blogging for the love of blogging again and not simply to keep up with the masses and that makes me happy. I’ll always want hits and comments but I think that’s pretty natural if you’re putting your words out there on the internet. After all, if you didn’t then you’d be writing them in a private diary.

Whilst my blog is my “brand” to an extent, to me, it will always be just the bloggy space where I bang out random musings and humorous anecdotes about my son and our little life. It’s the place I build our memories and have a bit of a moan every now and then. The place I can look back every so often, read it back and chuckle to myself because I had forgotten about how he did that or how he went through that phase. There are other times I cringe and wonder why on earth I ever wrote that.

The confirmation came this year when I went to Britmums and didn’t feel like I had to rush about trying to take it all in and implement all the good tips within 24 hours of leaving the venue. Instead, I had an excellent natter with some good bloggy friends and went to the sessions that genuinely interested me and were natural to me. I walked away with a list of things I’d like to do on my blog but all things that would be nice to haves, including dreams of becoming a travel blogger. How amazing would that be? Not a rough and ready traveler mind, it would be a luxury hotel hopping one, sampling all the best places to reside in and trialing the room service of some of the best hotels in the world. They would of course be located within walking distance of some amazing historical monuments allowing me to take countless photos. I’d also have to bask in new cultures and cuisines, for the readers.

In the absence of copious wads of cash I’ll park the travel dream for now and continue to blog on my blog and potter about with the other social media platforms.

Post Comment Love

The Very First Sports Day

Panic ensued last week when I went to collect Little Z from Pre-School and saw a big notice saying it was Sports Day the following afternoon.

Arggggh! How did I not know this? I had to go to work. Was I going to miss his very first Sports Day? I know what they were thinking…”she’s always working that one. Never takes part in the fancy dress or baking”. Terrible terrible parent.

After some urgent enquiries all was ok again and calm was restored. Sports Day would only be an hour at lunch time so I could rush there and rush back and the pre-school really didn’t think I was a terrible parent at all.
Ok the last bit was just mostly in my head.

The Other Half was so excited upon hearing about it that he booked the entire day off work within minutes. I feared this would be a coupling of the extreme sporty cum self appointed coach and the ultra lazy and a free spirited 3 year old that does what he wants thrown into the mixture.

The big day arrived and off we trundled to the local football club to see our little athletes in action. The Other Half practically jogged there warming up for the all important Daddy’s race. He wasn’t being competitive. Just supportive. Of course.

Having not been to a school Sports Day since my own many many moons ago, I naively expected a structure typical of any organised sports event. What I discovered about pre-school Sports day for the next hour was both surprising (to me mostly) and hilarious….

For instance….

1. It’s pretty hard to get a large bunch of 3 year olds to follow instruction for too long. You should expect a few attempts to escape after a while of sitting down waiting for their turn to run.

2. Preschoolers can run pretty fast in their attempts at breaking free. Keyworkers can run even faster though. Maybe it’s in their training before they qualify.

3. The little ones will keep eyeing up and getting distracted by the ice cream van that’s been ordered to reward them at the end of the day. They really need to place that ice van on the pitch at the finishing line.

4. The kids races are absolutely hilarious. There is energy, defiance, free styling, tears and a lot of excitable screaming. And that’s before they even start running.

5. There are some parents that take a 3 year olds Sports Day really seriously. Probably at the top of this spectrum is the parent that turned up in full running gear. I think they were some kind of professional athlete. I think it’s unfair to have made me run against them. I wanted to be them.

6. I found out I’m pretty unfit. I came third last. To be fair running isn’t my sport. I happened to be quite a discus thrower at school. For some reason they didn’t have this on the day. I was made to run against the professional athlete looking person. Did I mention that already?

7. The Other Half came second, apparently. Unfortunately he didn’t listen to the instruction about running back from the finishing line so I’m pretty sure he came third last too. The official score is second though. Second.

8. Little Z opted out of the sack race and free-styled it across the field instead. He also decided to bat the egg in the egg and spoon race. Running with both myself and Daddy screaming with delight was probably his favourite moment of the whole event. He now asks to do Sports Day every week.

9. They should maybe have a medal for the adults too. Some of the parents looked a bit gutted to find they were exclusively for the little people. Likewise for ice creams.

10. I’ve said this before but keyworkers are pretty fantastic. How they manage such large groups of little people with consistent patience and love is amazing. Oh, but get out of their way whilst racing. Whoever said Dads were most competitive were wrong.

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