Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A cranky day

 Today has been Biscuit Wednesday when we go and collect the boys from school and sit with them at their house until their parents return at 7pm. Its a long time for little boys who are tired from being at school and the last thing they want to do is read from their books and learn some more.. Grandpa takes them in the garden for a bit of football practice, but that leads to tears as he seems to always win and Josh thinks its terribly unfair... Somehow my husband keeps his cool and doesn't get upset, but says its all how life is and Josh must learn that winning doesn't come easy or every time.. Don't think that Josh is that glad about this philosophy.. Meanwhile Sammy who also is doing his reading practice decides that he is fed up with learning and wants to watch TV and then bursts into tears when he is told to finish his reading first.. So all in all a cranky type of afternoon.. It did get better when they had their tea and ate and stopped feeling hungry.. amazing what a little food can do, and then they did watch the television and calm down and then did play games on the screen which they loved to do until their parents returned. Its a long day for these two little ones, as their parents leave them with a childminder at 7am to go to work.. so they are up at 6, which is an early start and then not to bed until around 8 so no wonder they are tired.. But this is normal in so many families all over the modern world.. My daughters all work and they have had to devise similar routines for the children.. wanting the best of things a nice home and holidays means in many cases mums cannot stay at home as the finances are so stretched and another income is needed.. Of course everyone has higher expectations too, and so it goes on getting drawn tighter and tighter into the wheel of work, not having time with their children, and buying all the things that they think is necessary to be happy in this world. They are all money rich but time starved and I cannot see this cycle ending soon.. Of course it is not happy medium either when there are no jobs and you have to scrape by, but I wonder what level of income is truly needed to be happy.. When my kids were young, we only ever managed to get away for a holiday with all the kids once- and that was a week in a caravan in Cornwall. WE never thought that holidays were a right, we didn't have the money, so we found other things to do in the summer holidays .. they went to stay with my parents for a couple of weeks, they played with other children in the street.. the idea of a family holiday just didn't come into it.. The children had toys when it was their birthdays, or Christmas, but never very big ones, or expensive and they were so happy with them . Nowadays if I look at what the grandchildren have as far as toys are concerned, they could all, without exception open a toy shop each, they have so many!! Is this what their parents are working so hard for??.. And clothes, the choices of clothes to wear each day is amazing and of course only the very best and most expensive... do they really need so many things to be happy ?.. When I was small, we seemed to live a much more simple life.. Yes we did go on holiday each year as my dad being a french teacher organised french trips with my mother, so we went along, but never on our own, always being part of a troup- we had maybe a couple of pairs of shoes, best one, ones to wear daily plimsolls for sport at school and maybe a pair of wellingtons if the weather was wet.. never any designer named shoes either.. We had a piano, which we sang around when guest or family came around.. My father played the violin, my mother sang  and my brother and I were encouraged to sing too. WE had a radio which we listened to, and later we managed to have television, but it wasn't until I was in my mid teen years.. so we found other ways to amuse ourselves... reading the most obvious choice. We would go to the library each Saturday and stand waiting to be allowed to go and choose books... I still feel that near sick feeling of excitement whenever I am in a library waiting to choose my next set of books.. I could not get enough of reading, and spent many many hours lost in my own little world... Reading wasn't just for school, reading was for all the space of time you could manage to capture and have the time to sit and travel in your mind all over the place, into adventures and situations... reading was more real sometimes than real life!  Money isn't really what keeps people happy its the sharing of experiences, the time spent together- bonding doing things. You don't need a whole shelf of shoes or wardrobes of clothes or so many toys you forget what you've got, its learning together sharing values and understanding how to be amongst other people and to try and get along with everyone.. One day my daughter came and told me a little girl kept pushing her over in the playground and hurting her., I said  'tell me about this little girl, is she unhappy with you, why do you think makes her act like that?' My daughter looked at me and said,' well, she wears glasses, and has sticky out ears and no one likes her much.'. So I told my girl the next day' ask her why she is unhappy and say you will be her friend.'. so she did and they did become friends and she stopped being hurt in the playground.. I do think that sometimes trying to understand the other persons point of view or to think about why that person is doing bad things to you, gives a different perspective that might change everything..  I always try to put myself into the other person's shoes, and it helps a lot to get answers when you think that there are none.. Just like today when those little boys were being cranky, they needed to be fed, loved and cared for, and then they were happy again..

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