A parenting wake up call thanks to Dear Zoo
Waaaay back in 2012 I attended a blog event with Little Bean and Beanie Boy for the 30th Anniversary of the favourite children’s picture book ‘Dear Zoo’. Not only did we get to take part in lots of fun Dear Zoo inspired activities but we also had the opportunity to meet the author and have him sign a copy of our book. That book is still a regular feature of bedtimes and is currently one of Jelly Bean’s favourites.
As I snuggled up on the sofa in the boys’ room last night to read Dear Zoo with them, they excitedly shouted out each animal and why they were sending the animal back; Lion . . . too fierce, Monkey . . . too naughty . . .
When we reached the Camel, Jelly Bean shouted out Camel (which makes a change as he usually calls it a horse??) and then Beanie Boy shouted out “he’s too GRUMPY Mummy, just like you”. I laughed initially and then looked at Beanie Boy to say “you cheeky little monkey” and he looked at me quite seriously and said “but you are quite grumpy lately”. Well you could have hit me with a spade, I felt like someone had completely knocked the wind out of me. I asked him why he thought I was grumpy and he said that “you’re always too busy and you keep shouting at us”. I did point out that perhaps if they did as I asked them first time around I wouldn’t need to shout but that ultimately, yes he was right. I have been pretty grumpy with them all lately and noted to myself that I must try harder to be a little ore light-hearted. I have always had a tendency to be a little too serious but I certainly don’t want my Beans to look back on their childhood and say they had a grumpy Mum so I need to make some changes . . .
The trouble is, my Beans are an extremely spirited bunch and they fall out, well, loads! They will argue over just about anything, they even argue about the fact they are arguing in the first place??? I do try to leave them to it but like me they all have very loud voices and it goes right through you. I’ve come to realise that reward charts, and the like, really don’t work very well in this house as Hubby and I tend to forget because we get so caught up in daily life. The Beans are great when they have direction and I’m happy to provide that but I also believe they should be able to find their own entertainment (that doesn’t involve fighting).
How do you manage to stay light-hearted and be a fun Mum when actually you’re just a little bit stressed out??