Thursday, 29 November 2007

I'm the invisible woman

Well, it seems I have disappeared. I was standing outside school with the other mums and dads, all the children came out - except mine - and the school doors closed.

I could see my children and they could see me. But the teachers couldn't. I hastened to the door, raising a fist, ready to yell:"Give me back my children you blighters!" But Hannah and Rosie popped out with "Where have you been?" and "Why are you so late?" looks on their faces.

But I wasn't late, I lamented. I had been there for ten minutes, waiting patiently, while teachers flitted in and out, passing children to respective collecting people, plonking others onto buses and strapping them down. The teachers had even looked at me and smiled. I had obediently stood in the usual place, with the usual people, watching the usual hustle and bustle. They did not see me. I did not exist.

It's to easy to feel invisible as a stay at home mum. You can so easily get overlooked. You don't get any 'water cooler chat'. Nobody makes you a cup of tea so you can gossip round the kettle about the new girl in accounts. Days are highlighted with nuggets of human contact. The postman gets such a warm welcome he's beginning to look warily out of his van, throw the post into the battered old bread bin and reverse away as fast as his van can. I adore the nice man from Parcelforce too, and Graham who delivers all too infrequent Boden parcels.

Then there are the snatched conversations outside school. Lifebelts of adult contact in a sea of Playdoh and Tiny Tears. We talk about the weather, about getting to school on time and "Isn't it cold." We look up at the rain and say, ruefully, "Lovely day." Then we part and disappear from thought and from view.

I chat happily to the dog, who grins back, tongue lolling. He's a little taciturn for a conversationalist, but he never disagrees.

I don't mind it that much. Some days one wants more companionship than others, but becoming invisible was not something I had bargained for. When the school doors closed with my children still inside and the last parent left clutching theirs, throwing a pitying look in my direction, it really was the last straw.

"What about ME? ME? ME?" I wanted to yell, childishly. Why couldn't they see me?

I'm going shopping tomorrow. What I need is a high vis jacket. Or a flashing light for my head. Or perhaps something orange. Loud shoes. A noisily patterned jacket. Pink hair? Large earrings? Megaphone? "Hand over my children please and nobody will get hurt." Well, I won't anyway.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Something simple after all!

It's strange isn't it, how small children's minds work and how parent's minds can then work overtime in response!

Thank you to everyone who left lovely comments on my "Something Spooky" blog yesterday. Of course I had another opportunity to see what was happening with them and their room this morning, while helping Rosie to get dressed. Hannah, who was sitting on the top bunk had a bird's eye view, of course.

Rosie wouldn't stand on the rug again, so I gently questioned her as to why not. She was facing the window again and she said: "I don't know." Then she turned around, facing in the opposite direction and said: "It's the no door."

Ah ha! Since we had a bit of building work on the house we haven't got round to putting the door back on the bedroom.

Hannah then piped up from the top of the bunk about the door they had on their bedroom when they stayed at Auntie Laura's and slept in the bunkbeds there. It seems they accepted the "no door" while in two seperate beds, but had assumed a new door would arrive with the new bunk beds.

Rosie seems to be worried about somebody suddenly popping around the corner on the landing and suprising her while she is concentrating on getting dressed or playing.

Hannah says she wants the room to be more like a tent and, of course, the tent had a door to their sleeping part and to the outside. So we are going to pin up a pair of muslin curtains to give the doorway a tent-like feel and see how it goes.

Parenting is confusing sometimes. It seems I was just looking in the wrong direction!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Something spooky...

This is something that has been vexing me for a while. My children, Hannah, aged five and Rosie, aged four, are scared of something in their bedroom.

It isn't there at night or when they are in their beds, only during the day. Hannah will not go up to the room on her own and Rosie, although happy to go up to the room on her own, is frightened of a particular spot on the floor. The don't really play in their room very often, preferring instead to fetch toys downstairs to play with.

The particular spot is in the corner of the green rug, about where the bedtime story books are sitting in the photograph.

I thought the problem had gone away; that the pair of them had grown out of whatever it was, save for Hannah's absolute refusal to be in the room on her own, but it has become a problem again.

I was just helping Rosie to change into her school uniform and was trying to get her to stand in front of me on the green rug, but she was completely freaked out about 'something' and insisted on sitting on her bed, which is the lower of the bunk beds (just seen in the right of the photograph). She was shaking, her eyes looked truly scared, and she had goose bumps.

We have just moved the room around. Until last week Rosie had a cot bed by the window where the chest of drawers is now, and Hannah had a toddler bed on the opposite side of the room, where the bunk beds now are. I wonder if, by moving the furniture around, we have disturbed it, whatever 'it' is, again?

They are both intelligent, sensitive children, so I believe that they are sensing something real, not just 'putting it on', however irritating it is to be dragged up there to accompany them every time they want to change their shoes!

I would love them to feel happy and safe in their room. It would be a bigger problem if it bothered them at night, but they have both always slept soundly in there. Even Hannah is happy on her own in there at night. So it is definitely a day time problem, not a night time one.

This is a very old house, dating from the 1500s, possibly as far back as the 1300s or before. The whole farm is a very spiritual place. We have an ancient green lane and various standing stones (all Preseli blue stone as used in Stonehenge).

I just wonder if there is a solution to that small area in the girls' bedroom, so that it is a happy space during the day, as well as at night? All suggestions gratefully received!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

We're off!

Well, I have started it! Day one of National Novel Writing Month. It's been a busy day, what with going shopping for the usual half-term stuff of shoes, boots, insulation for the bathroom walls etc, but I have managed to bash out my first 1,989 words. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I've done it and that is what counts! One thing that is very enjoyable is that it is allowed to be - and positively encouraged to be - absolute rubbish. Editing is banned, the word count is what matters. Only another 48,011 words left!