I’m in no way disciplined enough to commit to weekly reflections, so will be loosely going for a monthly approach instead.
This has been our January…
Good bye to Lego, Barbies and Enid Blyton
The influx of Christmas gifts was good motivation for us to have a bedroom clear out. While ready to remove some clutter I didn‘t expect so much of the childhood favourites would go with it. Mia has firmly made the decision that she no longer has any need for Lego, Barbies or any of the Famous Five/Secret Seven/Mallory Towers books. Hannah has no interest in any of the above, so off it went (she’s into dolls and Roald Dahl). The books have gone to charity, the Barbies were mainly unsalvageable so were shown the tip, and the Lego has been packed away, ready for another childhood. I don’t know whether to enjoy the achieved tidiness we’ve aspired to for the last 11 years, or have a good cry while looking through their baby books. (Who am I kidding? I managed ¾ of a baby book for child #1)
Oversized and overpriced “JoJo” bows
The latest “must-have” accessory for girls aged 4-10 appears to be huge, sequined, bright bows “designed” by one of the little girls featured in the American reality TV show, Dance Moms. They are the type of embellishment which looks perfectly placed on little fake-tanned ladies in a beauty pageant, and less well placed on little British girls walking to school on a grey January morning. Nevertheless, for the bargain price of £10, your child can be the proud owner of such a bow. Don’t be tempted to think you could procure a garish piece of ribbon from the market and fashion something similar for £1 though. It won’t have the special JoJo charm (literally a physical sparkly charm attached, not just charm-ing), and ALL of your friends will know it’s not the real deal.
Hannah has been desperate for one of these, and with £5 pocket money saved, begged me to pay the rest. With Christmas barely behind us and big holiday to save for, I told her she’d have to keep saving. She managed to talk her sister (who probably now regrets bragging about how much of her pocket money she managed to not spend) into going halves with her. It was a heart-melting moment, considering how much they usually bicker. Maybe they will be friends for life after all.
Makeup and handbags
For my eldest in the early days of Year 7, the concept of wearing makeup every day – to school – was strange, and she struggled to understand why some of her peers did so. School isn’t a special occasion. Mascara just gets smudged in PE. They’re so naturally pretty, they don’t need makeup. She also noticed that some of the older girls took a big handbag for their school bags. How did they fit everything in there? Wasn’t it hard to carry?
Fast forward just 4 months… guess who leaves the house with carefully applied makeup and her school stuff crammed in a handbag?? Is that her caving into peer pressure or asserting her independence? I’m not sure. (Apparently it’s not peer pressure, because her friends who all have one told her not to get one) We’ve not made it a big deal, but I have let her know that she’s old enough to make those decisions herself, and is also old enough to deal with the consequences, panda eyes and sore shoulders included.
A Young Voices Star
Hannah has been excitedly practicing a number of songs old and new for the past few months, in readiness for her Young Voices performance earlier this month. She was part of a choir of over 5,000 children who performed in Sheffield Arena in January 12th. She sang, she danced, and she got just as excited over the packed tea and coach trip as she did the event itself. The show itself was a mixture of old and new pop classics, traditional British songs, and performances from trendy beat boxers and street dancers I’m too middle aged to have heard of. Overall a lovely night – go Hannah!!! Don’t ever stop getting involved and loving every minute!
Back to school
Every month, Mia’s school hosts an evening where parents can go and participate in lessons to support their child’s homework and learning. While they are a godsend for parents like me who didn’t really grasp mathematical/scientific concepts the first time around, it’s not always the number one choice of things to do after 8 hours at work!
Usually, my OH and I take turns going with Mia, this time as I was flying solo so Hannah came along too. While I thought little of it, Hannah was beyond excited to see her sister’s school and have a go at a real life science experiment. She spoke about if for days beforehand, and grinned all the way there. Mia was chuffed to show her around, point out where she had some of her lessons and find the photo of her netball team in the display. Seeing them together sharing the experience made it a sweet evening, and reminded me that with another lens the seemingly mundane can be magical.
Bring on February!