Tag Archives: school

If Your Name’s Not Down…

My oldest child has just turned seven years old.  It seems like just a matter of minutes since I was a new dad, clueless and scared out of my wits, yet MM is well on the way to double figures.

As was the case in previous years, our daughter wanted a party this time round.  We booked a local soft play area suitable for slightly older kids – think less ball pools but more trampolines and other bouncy stuff – and those in attendance weren’t disappointed.

Our one issue was numbers.  With a limit at the venue of 25 kids, we had our work cut out.  As well as our three other children, we had to consider their cousins, our friends’ little ones, and of course, MM’s classmates from school.

This last group posed a dilemma.  When we asked MM if she was inviting the whole class, she wasn’t keen on the idea.  Instead, she wanted to handpick who was coming and who wasn’t.

On one hand we understood where she was coming from – after all, who wants to invite someone they don’t like to a party.  Then our opinions, rightly or wrongly, come into play.  If there are any parents or kids who we don’t like, we’re hardly going to go out of our way to include them in our daughter’s big day.

However it’s not that simple.  When the invitations are handed out at school, it’s normally done by the teacher.  Imagine the excitement in a class of 25 pupils, where most of those present have been asked to a party – at our kids’ school they often come running out at home time, with the pieces of paper still in their hands.  Contrast that image with the feelings of a handful of kids if they are left out, excluded while most of their peers are included.  No child deserves that.

Therefore, everyone in MM’s class was invited.  As it turned out, one or two couldn’t make it and others just didn’t come.  However, the friends she did want there all showed up and a good time was had by all.  We’re glad MM made what we believe, is the right decision – she ensured nobody felt left out.

We only wish that was all of the kids birthday’s over with for the year, but alas, no – in just a few weeks the twins turn four.


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A Big Year Ahead

I really can’t be bothered with New Year and all the celebrations it brings.  Despite being Scottish and it being a very big deal in this part of the world, I’ve never bought into all the hype about the end of one year and the start of another.  A lot of the ‘excitement’ is generated by alcohol manufacturers and their advertising agencies – the way I see it, no matter how good or bad your life is on 31st December, there is unlikely to be a dramatic change simply because the clock strikes midnight.

Having said all that, I think it is natural that as we enter a new year, we have a think about our lives, where we are heading and where we want to be headed.  I’m not a resolution type of person, but it will be interesting to see where I, and we as a family, are this time next year.  I just hope I remember to have a look back at this when we approach 2013.

For the first time in 3 years we won’t have the excitement of a first day at school.  Our two oldest will begin Primaries 3 & 2 in August, while the twins will commence their second year at nursery.

MM should continue to handle with ease anything that school has to offer.  We are also hopeful that she grows in confidence and decides on a new out-of-school activity.  It wasn’t so long ago she was attending dancing and gymnastics 2-3 times per week.

Doodle, despite some aggression and occasional behavioural issues, has made a fair amount of progress at school.  Hopefully as he continues to mature, these problems with become less frequent.  His number work at school is very impressive and hopefully when we speak with staff at his school again, the focus will be more on academic performance.

Things 1 & 2 will be entering their pre-school year – hard to believe given how small they still are.  It’s also a bit frightening to think that 2012/13 will be the last academic year when we have kids at nursery.  We notice changes all the time in our two youngest, new words, how they handle situations etc, their noticing things around them etc.  Our biggest worries for the boys will continue to be health-related.  Thing 1 is always a concern with his egg allergy, and at this time of year his asthma is never far from our thoughts.  My wife still has some doubts about Thing 2 and his speech – she thinks he may need speech therapy before he goes to school, but hopefully not.

On the subject of my wife, she began studying for a psychology degree back at the end of the summer.  I had planned to write something about this at some stage, and may do so yet.  She will begin a couple of new modules in the months ahead and assuming has the time she needs to study, she should continue to fly through her assessments and essays.

As a family we will hopefully manage to fit in at least couple of holidays during 2012.  As MM told one of her grandparents the other day “it will probably be a caravan.”  She’s right – we will more than likely we will again stay at a caravan park or parks due to reasons explained in a previous post regarding accommodation and facilities.

I’m hopeful we will also enter a brave new world – camping.  After buying a tent at the start of last summer, the horrible weather (lots of rain) meant that we didn’t have the opportunity to use it.  We will start off with a night away, relatively close to home, and see how it goes from there.

Most importantly, hopefully we will continue to spend plenty of time – at home and further afield – as a family.  My hours of work mean we are quite fortunate in that all 6 of us can be together on a regular basis.  Long may it continue, whether it be reading books, playing in the garden, going for lunch or to one of the many parks we have reasonably nearby.

I suppose I should finish by talking about me.  After child and family, there will be one other issue which will undoubtedly dominate my thoughts.  I’ve already written about my job or career prospects and I’m hoping that by the time I read this back, I will have more of an idea about what I’m going to do in the long-term.  I think I’ve been waiting for some kind of sign from above regarding what I should do – it’s yet to materialise.

I’ve gone into previous years with the same attitude but I’m beginning to feel as if time is against me.  If I keep on thinking and debating much longer I’m going to be in my 40’s.  My dilemma is pretty much the same: do I study for some type of business/academic type qualification, or do I do something entirely different?  I feel as if this route is the ‘safer’ option, but there are no guarantees with any job or career in the current climate – there’s also the cost of any course I undertake.

On the other hand, I love writing and it would be great to think I could make any kind of career from it, even part-time.  However, I’m a bit reluctant to put all my eggs in one basket when it comes to something where there is such a small chance of success.  Whether this is realistic, or simply negative, I’m not sure.

The other option is to learn something completely new, e.g a skill via a short course, and set up a business in the months or years ahead.  I would love to work for myself but it’s about having the right idea and going for it.

I’m hoping that my thoughts become clearer.

Elsewhere, I am hoping to run a half-marathon later in the year.  I’ve competed in a few previously but it’s been a while so it will all depend on my training.  I’ve no doubt I will be posting about running at some point during the year.

Slowly but surely, my driving has improved.  I’ve never been a danger, just not overly confident.  Hopefully I will continue to progress and I would also like to learn more about how cars actually work and have an understanding of potential faults or problems.

Home improvements will be high on the list this year.  In the next few months our kitchen will be given a massive overhaul (long overdue) and some decorating is required after we swapped bedrooms around in the last few months.

Lastly, regardless of what happens with any writing career, I will carry on with this blog.  I really enjoy writing about my kids and life in general, and hopefully I will come up with some interesting articles over the next 12 months.

Some more traffic to the site would be good but I’m not overly concerned about that.  I’m very grateful to anyone who takes time to read anything on my blog.

Happy New Year.


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Filed under Life In General

Good To Be Back

I haven’t been posting as much on the blog recently as I had hoped.  I would really like to be publishing at least a couple of pieces a month on here but that hasn’t always been possible.  Life in general tends to get in the way, with the circumstances and people I write about also being the reason why I can’t write…if you see what I mean.  Hopefully I will have a couple of other posts on soon.

The summer holidays have come and gone and we now have two kids at school and two at nursery.  It’s all gone well in the opening few weeks of the term.  Doodle is enjoying school and despite the odd ‘discussion’ with teachers about his behaviour, he seems to be thriving.  We haven’t actually been contacted by the school regarding his conduct, but we have the eyes and ears of his older sister in the next class.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 have shed some tears but their early days at nursery have probably been easier than we expected.  The staff can even tell them apart, though that is thanks in part to them wearing different coloured trousers.

MM is a worry, she seems shy and lacking a bit in confidence, though missing a couple of days of school in the first week with a bug probably didn’t help.

So that’s where we are at the moment, back in the work/school/nursery merry-go-round.  Hopefully I’ll be more prolific when it comes to writing for this blog…but don’t hold your breath.


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Filed under Parenthood