Monday, June 25, 2012

Product Placement 101

It occurred to me the other day that the amazing amount of fights I have with my four year old about what to wear, could all be significantly reduced with a little 'product placement'. So she chooses to wear the summer dress with the shredded hoodie to go with it and the too large shoes that were her sisters. Well now Roberta get your act together, hide away certain particulars and 'product place' others!!! Not on her bed, that's too obvious and she'll just ignore that. You place them surrepticiously in her drawers ie. perfect skivvy on top of the pile in the right drawer and skirt you want her to wear in the  other with leggings nearby. The jacket you want her to wear you grab on the way out and stuff in her kindy bag. And you buy her new boots and shoes and hide the others. Imelda's got nothing on this kid.  Voila. Done and dusted and not one fight.

 I remember when my older daughter started to dress herself at a very early age I would sensitively notice people giving her a certain onceover and I'd say, "My girl dressed herself today," with a nod nod wink wink look to the other person. I can remember her looking up at me when it happened a couple of times and then she kind of just stopped dressing herself for a while. I learnt from that and carried guilt about how I'd stupidly wrecked something that I should have been proud of no matter what others thought. I will never do that again and I just agree in a proud way, if someone says about this child, "Oh did she dress herself today."Because I got's the child that I should be first trying to prove my loyalty to not anyone else. But that doesn't prevent you from 'product placement'. Of course the hair argument is still ongoing for both of my girls. For a very curly haired younger child who would love to have straight hair like her sister's there are only so many ways her hair can be done. Thank god for her latest whim which is to have pigtails. Today she went off to kindy looking very 'Cindy Brady' and for the moment enjoying it. That is until one too many people point out to her that she looks just like Cindy Brady and then it's all bets off. Not too keen to keep that look going once someone comments, are my little girls.

Anyway 'product placement,' extends to the kitchen and getting rid of all the not nice fatty foods whilst having plenty of fruit in the bowl and remembering to offer it. Easier said than done but still we can try. Sometimes I cut up carrot and apple in the morning and put it in a bowl and I'm always amazed at how quickly it disappears and then I think why don't I do that more often but then I don't!
You revert- and the snacks basket for recess is filled with biscuits, barbeque shapes and boxes of sultanas (that's ok). Lately my older two children have been taking Tim Tams to school. I convince myself that that's okay because they're not going to have any other sweets in their day and you need a slight sugar fix at recess time. Thank god for the kindy who has a 'no unhealthy food' policy- but then I'm always wracking my brains about what to put in there. The poor kid in my morning rush gets apples chopped up and carrots chopped up most days and a plain old sandwich while her brother and sister feast on Tim Tams and other exciting naughties. And why you ask don't I give the same apples and carrots to the others. I do! But they eat that for 'fruit time' and then I'm still lost on what they should eat for recess and- I revert.

It's all too much of a rush. I know that I should get up earlier in the morning but I just can't seem to get it all happening. Every morning when I wake up I look over at the clock and it's always,  7.10am and then, well the game's almost lost. What happens is I visit each of their three little beds about three times gently at first whispering lovingly to them, "Time to wake up lovey," until by the third time my voice is showing a certain gravellyness as I say, "this is the third time I've told you to get up." Then follow certain gems such as, "I'm not your slave you know!" That line is repeated numerous times throughout the morning.

Gradually they dribble out to the table and we have a nice breakfast together but then follows the hardship of the dressing and the guinea pig feeding and the brushing teeth and just putting socks and shoes on for my 9  year old and well the 11 year old really doesn't have much trouble because he's taken to sleeping in his clothes so he can be ready quicker. So there he is in all his glory lying in bed with his school windcheater on zipped up with his prefects badge and athletics badge and sundry other badges winking at me as I greet him in the morning. And at night he says 'goodnight Mum, dI love you, could you put on the airconditioner and bring me a warm milk.' And then this morning the 9 year old couldn't bear it anymore because she said it was so unfair that I spent all of my time with the 4 year old because she could go to kindy later and I had heaps of time after I !!!!!!!!drove them to school!!!!!since they'd missed the bus again!!!!!! and I have yet again to travel the 100kmh 13 kilometre drive to their school in another country town!!!!! when they could have got up when I called them and caught the bus that leaves very nearby at 8.05am.   So the 9 year old was so upset with me that she started screaming at me in a wild animal kind of way, 'it's not fair....' and I tried to point out that she could be putting on her shoes and socks while I was doing the other one's hair and then I could do hers. But she was having none of it and kept right on at me until I bent and widening my eyes and clenching my fists did a very adrenalin pumping silent scream!!!! which must have looked quite frightening to my nine year old because she suddenly went quiet and allowed me to finish brushing her hair which was a mass of tangles because I forgot to buy conditioner. I could hear in the hallway older brother and little person very quietly saying, " Mum, we're going to the car now, we'll see you out there." And then my beautiful nine year old girl and I walked quickly to the car in silence. We backed out in silence and we drove in silence to school watching the pony's in the paddocks and the beautiful silent stillness of the country surrounds and we arrived at school to see my husband standing at the pedestrian crossing. Because he's on yard duty nearly every morning. No people, in answer to your oft repeated innocent statement  'that must be great having your husband as the school principal at your children's school because he could take them with him in the mornings.' Only an occasional occurrence!

So we pull up to see all the kids crossing the road for the Monday morning assembly and yes the Principal's wife is pulling up with her children late again. Get over it. We're here aren't we! I tell other parents, my role is to make them all feel good. They laugh and maybe there's some truth in that. I remember when my 11 year old was in reception, there was a casual clothes day and only he and one other child were dressed in their school uniforms. To make matters worse, their class had a special prayer session to which all the parents were invited and he was given a role to play so it was very obvious. I went into my husband's office and said, " couldn't we between us have somehow got the message that it was a whole school casual day today." He was too focused on other stuff to do with the running of a school. We laugh about it now and we learnt from it. I'm pretty good at making sure my kids have what they need for special event days. And I know that I have to keep up with all that news because he's just so busy. And I went home that day and brought back casual clothes for my son. For the record the other parent came up to me afterwards and said, " I was feeling so bad but then I saw that your son had his uniform on and I thought, oh well if it's ok for them, it's ok for me." See a very important role I have. Making the other parents feel comfortable and okay.

So Life Tip for the Day- Get up earlier than your kids. Get them up earlier too. And never think that your kids don't know what's really going on when another adult and you think your having signal that they won't get. And if your son goes to bed in his clothes just let him, it will help you be on time.
And most importantly - Product Placement- at every available opportunity.

Singing tip for today- Get lots of exercise and be healthy of body in order to sing with vigour.  Singing is an activity which requires both stamina and power. If you practice each day breathing deeply right down to your stomach and below. Filling up so that you can even feel your air coming into your back. Then try singing a long note and holding it. This exercise when repeated often will assist you to hold those power notes like Adele and Kelly Clarkson.

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