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We’ve finally unpacked the last boxes in our new house and have even started to tackle the garden in the hope of enjoying an early BBQ if this lovely weather holds on through Easter. M’s room is back to its normal state of untidy with a hint of spring clutter in spite of the indignant promises of keeping the new room clean. I don’t actually ask for clean, after all, she’s 15 but it would be nice to know what colour the carpet was occasionally! I don’t tend to worry too much about M’s room as I’m slowly teaching her responsibility and the universal law of Cause and Effect.
When she screams at me from the upstairs landing “Where’s my PE kit?” 4 minutes before she’s due to leave the house to catch her bus, I reply calmly “where did you put it after I gave you your laundry?” She is beginning to realise a change is underfoot as when she presents me with a constant stream of low level problems, made by her own actions instead of resolving or finding the lost item, I look convincingly confused and say unhelpfully “I don’t know… where did you leave it?” At first this resulted in door slamming, but now half way through a question about her favourite Valentino T shirt, I look blankly at her and she just huffs “never mind” and walks off.
This Cause and Effect life lesson has not been easy and it would be so much more convenient for me just to find or do whatever is missing or she wants, but I’m determined to stick it out and am finally seeing results. M hasn’t morphed into an organised tidy human but she is beginning to realise that she bears some responsibility for her actions. It’s a slow and sometimes painful learning curve.
Talking about painful, J’s new room just means more Lego space. Put simply, he spreads it out, organises it, reorganises it, makes something, takes it apart, yells at me to come and look and starts a new project. He’s fussy about his Lego and the Lego Shop in our local shopping mall is his second favourite place to go after Ed’s Easy Diner. However, he also has a limited attention span for anything that is not actually a building or engineering project, so his room is often littered with various Lego blocks or accessories. It’s a cliché and a regular Meme on social media sites of worn out parents standing on Lego bricks with bare feet. However it’s a cliché for a reason… It hurts! It’s not just me and hubby that stand on Lego bricks but J too and worse, Luke, the dog, is very interested in these bite size hard plastic morsels which are there convenient for chewing. J is learning very quickly about rewards and consequences as I’ve told him in my ‘no nonsense’ voice that any Lego on the floor gets picked up by me and put in the 2 day box. This means he has to wait 2 days to have it returned, and it works! Although bite your lip to stop swearing Lego foot is not a thing of the past, it is now only the occasional trauma rather than an everyday occurrence.
The messiest person in the house is now Baby S as she’s weaning and has taken to it with an appetite and gusto which is delightful to watch… from a distance! So far her favourite foods are anything orange coloured; mango, butternut squash and carrot but she’s not unenthusiastic about spinach or banana. Mostly though she is into anything squashed firmly in her hand and mushed into her face. We have a 3 foot wide area around her high chair which is layered with a rolled up lino that saves the floor, and watching her eat is so funny. She is so eager and enthusiastic, but is so surprised when it goes in her mouth, and I’ve been taking a series of photos of her facial expressions which are very entertaining. I’m using a combination of spoon feeding along with baby led weaning where she holds the food item and it’s an entertaining, time consuming and messy pastime.
Luke is messy and I’m forever sweeping up dog hair as he’s losing his winter undercoat. Baby S is enchanted by him and I’m beginning to realise his peaceful days are numbered when she starts crawling. Everyone loves the new house, the extra rooms and space and if it doesn’t always look tidy or neat it’s because a big messy family lives here and that’s just how I like it.