Life · Personal · Relationships

The Age My Mother Was Then.

I’ve had this post brewing in my head for a while now but I had to get my Mum’s permission to splash her private life around my little corner of the internet.

When my mother was 35, after a lifetime of gynecological problems, she was given a full hysterectomy. Uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, the lot. My sister was around five and I was about 13 and as far as I was concerned, my Mum had kids and she didn’t need her reproductive bits anymore so it was best to get them gone. She had endometriosis and her insides were so badly fused together that she had to have tissue removed from her bowel and spine and was told that this could mean, in a worst case scenario, she could also lose a portion of her bowel and have a colostomy bag, so when she came out of surgery and they’d managed to save her bowel, all we could feel was relief.

In the years since, I’ve heard my Mum talk about her grief at losing her ability to reproduce at such a young age, but it’s barely registered. Until yesterday, when I was sat on the bus on the way home from work. I’ve been having some gynae problems of my own, pain that the Doctors cannot explain and wouldn’t investigate (I was told a couple of years ago that they wouldn’t do a laparoscopy because I was too fat. My GP has since sent a strongly worded letter about how ridiculous this is).

I was sitting on the bus, going through the worst thoughts that were whizzing around my head, and it suddenly occurred to me how awful it must have been for my Mum. I’m almost 28, not quite the same age, but somewhere in the ballpark and the thought of having the decision to have more kids taken out of my hands in the next 7 years is devastating. Genuinely scary.

I rang my Mum last night, just to let her know that I finally get it. I know it’s a bit late for sympathy, but she said to me that if she could have she’d have carried on having kids until there was about six of us to look after. That’s what my Mum does, she looks after people, she’s even taking her Nursing degree at the moment. I wish I’d known at the time and could have been more sympathetic to her grief. I guess sometimes it takes a bit of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to really get it.

Review

Schleich Farm Life

When Sausage got to a certain age, she started to really get into animals and was keen to learn everything she could about them. My little sister is 8 1/2 years younger than me and I remembered that when she was about Sausage’s age, she too was mad about animals and collected miniature rubbery plastic models of them from a particular childrens toy shop. She’d go in there once a week and get a new species for her collection and it was the highlight of her week.

This shop is still around so I went to see if I could find the same toys, and the toys were still there but the range was hugely diminished and seemed poor quality.

A few weeks ago, I was asked if Sausage would be interested in receiving some toy animals from Schleich, a German company who specialise in animal toys and action figures, so of course we agreed.

We were sent a selection of farm animals including a couple of horses, a cow, some bunnies, a puppy, a sheepdog and a giraffe. I’m not sure how the last one works on a farm, but nevertheless we were happy to receive it! We also received a water trough.

One thing that struck us about every single one of these toys is that the attention to detail is superb. The animals look almost lifelike, the painting is beautifully done and the toys have a certain heavy quality to them that makes you think that these toys will last for many lifetimes. I certainly intend to save them and give them to Sausage’s children, in a couple of decades time!

One thing that I didn’t realise until I started looking for pictures to go with this post is just how  extensive the range of toys really is. There are no less than 34 breeds of horses available, with several models within each breed, and that’s not to mention the dozens of different dogs, humans, vehicles, buildings and hundreds of animals available. I’m impressed and overwhelmed by the amount of choice available and recommend these toys to just about anyone.

Go over to the Schleich site and have a butchers at wants on offer, I can guarantee you’ll be as impressed as I am. Sausage, of course, loves the toys and has set up a farm on her bedroom floor that no one is allowed to move! I think we can safely say that these toys are a hit with us.

Opinion · Parenting · Personal

When Did Your Kids Become Aware of Death?

I’ve had this post in my head for a while but have been finding it hard to find the right words. Sausage, just recently, has been talking about dying. During her games with her dollies, she’ll talk about them dying from one illness or another (mostly due to starvation, if I remember rightly…) and she starts random conversations about people passing away.

When my step mum died last year, I thought I did a really good job of hiding my grief, but looking back I know I failed. She saw me crying, utterly bereft, in denial, angry – the full set of emotions that goes with losing a loved one. Maybe this has contributed to her sudden awareness of mortality.

Then there’s Disney.

I wrote this post not long after I started my blog, but due to that wonderful parental pressure that kids know how to exert, Sausage now watches a small selection of Disney films, with Lilo and Stitch being her absolute fave. In fact, there are FOUR Lilo and Stitch films and a TV series, all of which she now has. In Lilo and Stitch 2 (for those of you who haven’t seen it…) Stitch’s batteries run out at the end and everyone thinks he’s dead. Sausage fixates on this part of the film and even though he comes back to life, often says repeatedly “Stitch is dead, isn’t he Mummy?”.

I always said that I wanted to protect Sausage’s innocence as much as I possibly could, but there comes a time in a child’s life when they start to ask questions.

“Daddy, why don’t you have your cat Mitzy anymore?”

“Mummy, why don’t we see Lorraine anymore?”

She also became aware of the concept after seeing charity adverts on television. She asked her Daddy why the little girl in the Water Aid advert looked so sad and Husband explained that she and lots of other kids didn’t have any clean water to drink, to which Sausage responded that she wanted to give her Christmas money to the little girl to help her. Husband made a donation on Sausage’s behalf (though not out of her Christmas money) and he and I were bursting with pride at our child’s kindness.

And how do we answer those questions without touching on the subject of death? To an extent I feel like I’ve failed her, should have given her a more imaginative answer and skirted around the issue, but at the same time, I don’t condone lying to kids when the truth will do. I think I just have to come to terms with the fact that she’s a bright kid and it was time for her to learn certain facts of life. She’s only three and a half, though. Seems horribly young.

Do you know when your kids became aware of death and dying? Did they hear about it from you and how did you handle the subject?

Meme

What Was Top Of The Charts The Year Your Kids Were Born?

I’ve been tagged in a meme by one of my favourite bloggers, Mama Syder of The Syders and I’m pleased to say that this one is right up my alley. Also, it’s been aged since I’ve been tagged and I do love a meme, so I was well chuffed…until I did a bit of research!

The meme itself is NO problem, a great idea in fact. The rules are:

Post a video of the number one song in the charts when your kids were born.

“Excellent!” I thought. Except, the number one song in the UK charts when Sausage was born was this monstrosity:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwIGZLjugKA&ob=av2e]

I’m REALLY sorry if you clicked play on that and were subjected to a bizarre redneck raping two formerly brilliant songs.

I was going to cheat and use the US number one for that date, but that’s ‘I Kissed a Girl’ by Katy Perry and I can only insult my blog with shit music once in a day, so if you want to see the video for that one, you’ll have to go and look for yourselves!

Now, I get to tag some peeps!

JoJo of JoJo’s So Called Life (@jojokirtley)

Vickie of Never Found the Plot (@mumfordnsons85)

Stacey of ‘It Takes a Woman‘ (@svmitche)

Lexy of ‘Mammywoo‘ (@mammywoo)

Hannah of Metal Mummy (@MetalMummy84)

It’s your turn, post a video of the song that was number one on the day your kids were born and then pass it on to 5 other bloggers.

Have fun!