Time

Actually there are pros to this kind of holidays. I’ve been pretty much off grid, which is terrible for us internet-addict, but gives more time to just being… I’ve dreamt of old school mates and wondered what they’re doing, I’ve started thinking about activities I’d like to do when I’m home (but then I won’t have time or energy, it’s only a holiday induced allucination), and best of all I haven’t given much thought about the things-to-do at home. They’re still there, mind you, but I can’t do anything about them, which is quite liberating. 

Tantrums aside, I’ve also spent more time with Pallino, and watched LittleOne grow so much. Pallino and LittleOne together are amazing, they love each other so much that it melts my heart every time. LittleOne smiles every single time he sees Pallino, sometimes laughing out loud if they had been apart for a while… and then I cannot help but smile too! Pallino is also become a bit jealous now. He demands a cuddle right when I need to change a nappy, or I’m feeding LittleOne. I spend most of the time with Pallino, except when I’m doing those activities and, still, he gets upset. It was bound to happen at some point, I imagine. But I started this post thinking about positives, so… Pallino and I started a lovely activity a few days before the holidays and are keeping it up, which is before going to bed we (I) draw on a whiteboard (or a piece of paper) all the good things that happened during the day. It’s only sketches and require a good amount of imagination, given that I’m a very poor artist, but Pallino doesn’t care: if I say that something is, say, the nice dog we saw in the mall, then that muddled drawing there is the nice dog we saw in the mall, no questions asked. This is amazing in itself. Also, filling the paper with good things makes me feel good too, even if the original purpose was to leave him with nice things to think about if he cannot sleep for some reason. And imagine going through the notebook at the end, and remembering all those moments! I love it (And I recommend you to try it, with or without children)

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Holidays at the sea 

I don’t like holidays at the sea. Did I say that already? Maybe I should check last year’s posts. The fact is that after a ten minute swim and a walk, I’m bored to death. And it’s usually too hot to do anything else. Especially if you are in a small village where there is nothing to do in a radius of miles and miles and you don’t have a car anyway. But if you add to the scene a couple of kids, that’s perfection. You now have nothing to do but chase them to put their suncream on, then chase them to put their swimsuit on, then drag them to the beach, where they won’t be allowed to splash water on other people or throw sand  or run in the water by themselves or just play in the sun all day, drag them to the water, drag them out of the water, chase them to reapply the suncream while not covering themselves and you in sand (I don’t think any parent ever managed that one) and finally drag them home where they will resist having a shower with all their might, bringing sand everywhere and especially on your bed when they finally fall asleep. And rest assured, by the time you’ll have cleaned up all that mess and had a shower and maybe something to eat, and attempt to have a nap, they’ll be up and willing to play again. Only that now it’s 1.30pm, the temperature outside is close to the surface of the sun and you’ve got to entertain them at home for hours on end. Repeat twice a day every day. My mum never liked going to the sea and I couldn’t figure out what was not to like. Now I know, she didn’t like going to the sea WITH US. 

OK, rant over. For now. 

Brief sparkles of happiness

I love having friends around. Being able to talk about anything without awkward moments, no matter how long has passed since we last met. The kind of people that stay over and unload your dishwasher without even asking (it seems trivial, but it shows a level of intimacy I don’t expect by many people). It’s so rare and so precious. 

We had two weekends like that in the last month, and even though I’m always tired and there’s a mountain of clothes piled in my bedroom which I’m supposed to sort and store away but haven’t had time to look at for weeks… I was happy.

…I miss my (very few but good) friends who are far away…

Parenting is tough

The sun is shining but I have been anxious. I have tried to catch up with work, and I did something stupid for which I was told off by my boss. I’m clearly not ready to do any work yet. However this triggered all sort of worries in the last few days, from world politics gone mad and the elections approaching, to Pallino’s behaviour. I can’t even vote at these elections, so let’s not think about that. 

We’ve been to a few birthdays parties lately, and Pallino spent them mostly playing on his own. The little time he was with other children, he ended up in a corner while the others threw things at him. Today he broke some toys at the nursery, with other three children. He seems to be struggling to make friends and take a positive role in the group. I used to struggle too. Is there anything we can do to help him? He’s probably just immature in terms​ of social interactions, but how do we help him take his time, without feeling isolated, which is what is happening now? 

For his birthday party, knowing all this, we hired an entertainer to do some storytelling and games. It’s something he enjoys, and everyone could take part in a structured way. It went well. So it’s all good as long as there is an adult to guide the activities. But I can’t make sure there is always an adult with him, because at the nursery the children play on their own as well as doing guided games. To be fair, there is only just over a month to go at the nursery, and then in September he will start school. Will it be better?

Today started nicely, with the sun shining, LittleOne following the EASY schedule spontaneously (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You-time) and me sorting out admin stuff while getting ready to go out. However, just when I was about to leave, it started hailing… so I ended up dressed and with make up on, at home all day. I did sort out quite a few things, like applying for LittleOne’s passport, ordering printing paper, doing my online food shopping etc. 

In the afternoon we had the visit of our priest, to discuss LittleOne’s baptism. He’s a sweet old man, with some sense of humour, I liked listening to him. L has showed off his knowledge of the Saints, readings and what have you, as he always does when he speaks with men of the church. He was very much into the church for a few years in his life, and has a good memory, so can’t help it I suppose. On the contrary, I don’t even remember the basic prayers properly, certainly not in English, and I’ve never been close to the church when I was younger, but I am religious in my own way. I hate showing off though, so I felt quite uncomfortable. I wonder what the priest thought. 

Anyway, we counted how many people will come to the baptism and it’s about 10 adults and 4 children, all Italian. We could also invite the ladies from the nct group and a couple of mums from Pallino’s nursery (one in particular is catholic and we’re getting on quite well, and her son will be in Pallino’s school next year) – this would be 4-6 more people probably. After the ceremony we’ll have a drink in the church hall. 

It will be a busy weekend, with Pallino’s birthday party on Saturday and LittleOne’s baptism on Sunday, and all four the grandparents coming from Italy, as well as a family of friends. Also my oldest sister will come, and another family from London. I’m looking forward to seeing them, actually.