Little care packages for little boys
We’re off to Rome for a few days tomorrow *eeeep!* leaving my parents in charge of the boys. Can you believe it’s the first time I’ve left them for more than one night in all the time I’ve been a mum? How did that happen?
Anyway, whilst I’m really looking forward to our trip, the boys are a little sad so I’ve put together a little care package for them with a treat and a note to open each morning we’re away.
I started by making some labels and notes to go in each day’s package.
Then I wrote each of them a little note with instructions on what to do with their parcels - the main point being not to rip them all open at once on the first morning!
Their first day’s treat is a little cuddly animal each with a message telling them what each one’s name is and what he likes to do and eat. Their task is to look after their little cuddlies all the time I’m away.
I didn’t want to go overboard on treats for them but I did want each morning’s treat to make them smile. So Friday’s parcel contains a couple of chocolatey treats and a little note from me asking them how school was and reminding them to be kind to each other!
Faced with a long weekend looming ahead of them, I decided Saturday’s parcel ought to contain some ‘doing’ things so Xavi has a couple of cool picture books (including a story about a robot with no bottom) and Louis has a sketch pad and a book on how to draw cartoons. I am hoping these will give my Mum and Dad at least an hour of respite…
Sunday’s treats are all sweet-related. I figure by that point my Mum will be so exhausted she won’t care what or when they’re eating. I have put a note in telling them only to have one before breakfast though!
I am sure I will miss them like crazy but I hope these little packages will remind them each morning how much they are loved and will keep them happy. I am SOOOO excited about spending some time away. We went to Rome for our honeymoon a whopping ten years ago on Friday. It will be ace to go back again.
I’ve got a little baking blog post scheduled for Saturday but I’ll be back ‘properly’ on Monday, catching up with the portrait project and sharing some bits on Rome too I’m sure.
I hope you all have lovely weekends x
Oh I do love the festive season! Not so much the shopping and the frantic lead up to the school holidays, but more so the tradition, the planning and the gradual gathering of all that is Christmas to us - these are the things that, as the boys get older, mean more and more to me each year.
I think there comes a time in every family’s life when the festive customs you grew up with and held dear as a child are ready to be passed on - with a twist - to your own children and added to with a carefully curated set of new traditions that they will hopefully hold dear and one day pass on to their children.
So this year we’ll be having friends to stay in the weekends leading up to Christmas and taking them ice-skating in a beautiful hilltop location, we’ll make gingerbread decorations and a gingerbread house or two, we’ll paint our own set of Father Christmas Russian dolls, go to the panto and invite our neighbours and friends to join us for cocktails, mince pies and churros dipped in thick chocolate sauce on Christmas Eve.
And then the traditions from my childhood will take over - the carols from Kings, the Christmas Eve treasure hunt that my Mum and Dad used to do for us every year (the last clue was always taped to the underside of the toilet), the smoked salmon and scrambled egg Christmas morning breakfast and the family to lunch on Boxing Day.
Yes, there will be the usual fraught food shopping, the last-minute present wrapping and the inevitable meltdowns along the way, but I for one, can’t wait…
The above shots show how we’ve welcomed December and the start of Advent so far:
∆ Bottle brush trees - oh how I love these, they’re just waiting for a reindeer or two now
∆ I spent a happy evening last night making these whilst watching The Killing (not easy to keep up with the subtitles whilst concentrating on stamping but hey ho…)
∆ Our much-loved Advent house
∆ A special sign for Father Christmas pinned onto the fireplace this year
∆ Ikea advent candles
∆ Another new bauble (I know, I just can’t help myself…)
The playground can be a harsh place can’t it? I still remember feeling really miserable a handful of times when I was at primary school and that was a loooong time ago.
This week, Louis, AKA son no.1 has been struggling to understand why one of his friends is behaving in a less than friendly manner and I have struggled to find the right words to comfort him whilst also explaining that this one boy in particular probably isn’t a real friend worth worrying about. Louis so desperately wants to be part of this boy’s group but we’re now at two play date request rejections and one outright friend request denial and it’s really starting to upset him.
I asked one of my school mum friends what she would do - she has three children, one older, one the same age and one not yet at school, and she used to be a teaching assistant so she knows a thing or two about playground politics and she thinks it’s all about the power game. One child wanting to have and retain power over another. Withholding the precious goal of ‘being your friend’ whilst being perfectly happy to play together when it suits.
The thing is, these sort of things tear me up. I’m not the most confident of people. My husband practically had to force me to go on the radio the other day (oh how I laughed as he cajoled from his position as a veteran broadcaster - he was on another BBC show two days prior to me and suddenly HE’S the expert!).
But anyway, I’m full of self-doubt at the best of times so it is awful to think this other boy’s throwaway comments in the playground are leading Louis to think he’s no good at making friends and that nobody likes him.
Oh what to do? I heard Xavi saying to Louis that he will play with him at lunchtime but when you’re 7, it’s all about the bigger boys isn’t it? The self-appointed top kids in the class. It’s getting hurtful to my little boy and I wish it wasn’t so.
Sometimes you just want to wrap them in cotton wool and keep them oh so close beside you don’t you?