Happy birthday… to everyone?

So it begins.

Diesel has his first school birthday party tomorrow.  Only four weeks into his school life and we are doing this already.

Which brings up all kinds of questions.  What ARE the rules of the prep party?  Do I stay at the party, or drop and run?  If I stay, can I take my other kids?  How much should I spend on a present?  And now that he apparently wants a party, do I invite just his friends?  All the boys in the class?  The whole class?

Help! I feel like a new mummy all over again with all these firsts! I’m not sure my perfectionist (and slightly competitive) personality can deal with all this party stuff.

So, more importantly, will there be wine?

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Genetically speaking

At 8.30 this morning I remembered I had a parent teacher interview with Diesel’s teacher.  Which was at 8.30.  Considering it’s a good ten minute drive to the school and then a five minute walk dragging three kids up to the classroom, we were going to be quite late.

Thankfully his supremely patient and lovely teacher was happy to squeeze in a quick chat before the bell.  She had no particular issues with him, and I didn’t expect any.  He’s a bright kid and he seems to enjoy school.  He has made friends easily.

The things she did mention though, are all too familiar.

He is quick to raise his hand but hesitant to answer questions.

He is quiet in class and rarely speaks up.

He doesn’t respond well to confrontation or discipline, and will refuse to make eye contact.

He can hang back at the start of the school day when confronted with all of his class mates at once.

As I have mentioned before, he is so much like me in many ways.  We share a fear of confrontation.  Social situations, particularly where there are a lot of people in once place, bring on an illogical anxiety.  We are not keen on public speaking.

Yes, I am all of these things, but I don’t feel that I have ever modelled them in front of him.  Particularly in recent years, I have learnt to overcome most of these fears, at least on the outside.  He wouldn’t know that my heart is beating too fast within my chest on the way to a party.  He hasn’t seen me sweat before addressing a crowd.

So how is he so much like me?  How can these fears be contained within a random piece of DNA?  How could I, without meaning to or wanting to, pass on these slivers of my personality that he will have to learn to deal with as he moves through his life?

I try not to feel guilty.  Instead, I try to feel grateful that I know how he feels and that perhaps I can help him navigate through the tough times.  That maybe he will be better and stronger and more resilient than I was.  Achieve more, be more and change more.

Is there anything you passed on to your kids that you wish you hadn’t?  Do you think genetics influence personality more than environment, or the other way around?

Breaking up the band

My big boy starts school today.  Off to Prep in his new uniform, bright white new runners, oversized hat and school bag full of unused textas and books.

I’m excited for him.  So excited for him to be off on this journey of learning and discovery of independence.  For him to discover the value of friends and look up to someone other than me for some of the answers.

I’m sad though, that I will no longer be the person he spends all of his time with.  What his friends think is going to start being more important than what I think.  And his teacher will be there to answer the questions that I used to answer.

What makes me even more sad is that school is breaking up the band.  The precious little band of brothers who follow each other around the house all day.  The two oldest are only 20 months apart.  They grew up together.  As much as they fight and hit and whine, they love each other.  A lot.  I know they do.

I wonder if Dubs will be lost.  If he will miss his built in playmate during the day.  Or if he will flourish with a bit more space and time to do the things that he wants to do uninterrupted.

As much as I’m looking forward to perhaps getting a little more quiet in my day, I think I’m going to look forward to weekends and school holidays, when my little band of brothers will be united again.

Completely, utterly and overwhelmedly grateful

I have had a busy week.  Lots to do.  Lots of time sitting, staring at my computer screen.  But all week I have been filled with a sense of gratefulness.  Truly feeling like I’m being poured full of the stuff, almost to overflowing.  It is a wonderful feeling.

At four weeks old, my small baby Peanut and I found ourselves in the Royal Children’s Hospital while he battled a particularly tenacious infection in his tiny knee.  He had two weeks worth of IV antibiotics and two operations to clean out his knee joint.  I can’t remember back to that time without my chest tightening with anxiousness.

Last week, at just ten months old, my baby started walking.  And now, he toddles freely around the house, with no indication at all that there has ever been anything wrong with his leg.

So grateful.  Grateful for doctors who rush us off to the hospital and those who look after us so well once we’re there.  Grateful for complete healing and clear x-rays.  Grateful for indestructible tots who don’t let anything stop them.  So very grateful.

Linking up with 52 weeks of grateful at Kidspot via Maxabella Loves.

The mornings series {link love}

OK, so I have not taken any of my own advice this week, which means I’ve been writing blog posts until midnight and waking up after my kids, feeling crabby and fuelling myself with coffee.  So I thought I’d take the easy way out today and share some brilliant blog posts by other people!

My big boy doesn't start school until Tuesday!

These are all about getting your kids into routine – something I don’t need to go on about when there is already so much awesome info in the blogosphere!  Check them out, and please leave any tips or links you love in the comments or on the Facebook page.

Kidspot gives us seven ways to get to school on time.

More routine ideas over at Kleenex Mums.

The Organised Housewife has fantastic morning routine printables to help your kids get ready.

The Planning with Kids blog is literally FULL of amazing tips for getting back to school.

Starting next week I need to get myself to bed earlier and start reading my own blog – ha!

How are you going with before school/kinder/work routines?  Any last bits of advice to share?