Relentless Parenting: 2013 365 Challenge #110

Learning how to Muck Out

Learning how to Muck Out

I don’t have many words today.

Lack of sleep, residual illness and a day with hyper children have been a recipe for spectacularly crap parenting. Plus the research I did for yesterday’s Claire post left me concerned about how much homework Amber will be expected to do, come September. It sparked an interesting debate on my Facebook page and I feel better for the welcome perspective, but when I’m low little fears become huge. Sometimes parenting seems relentless and my resilience sadly lacking.

I also managed to go to the wrong surgery for a doctors appointment about my infernal knee, and I’m scared to walk the dog in case she runs off again.

Feeding the Lambs

Feeding the Lambs

Looking for the positives, Amber has decided she wants to be a farmer after watching the rangers muck out the lambs for half an hour at the Farm this morning. I think that’s a much better ambition than being a show jumper (especially as she’s never ridden a horse, but happily knows that pigs make sausages and cows make burgers.) They both got to feed the lambs too, because it was raining and cold and there were about five people at the farm. A bit different to Easter week.

Amber's Creation

Amber’s Creation

We also had a great craft session in the afternoon. I managed to leave Amber to her own devices with a project rather than helping her achieve perfect results (as I normally would), because Aaron decided he wanted to decorage a dog, not a dolly. I made him a dog out of some green felt stuffed with cotton wool (Well it’s meant to be a dog anyway) but he’d lost interest by the time I finished it. Amber’s dolly looks like the result of a deep sea accident, or maybe something designed by Vivienne Westwood, but she loves it. And I’m delighted that she’s broken free and created something that looks nothing like the picture on the box. The hardest thing about Amber’s homework will be letting her do it by herself and make her own mistakes.

Mummy's more precise version

Mummy’s more precise version

As part of my research for today’s post I needed to find out how six-year-olds write. I browsed the great Radio 2 page for their 500-word story competition (a writing competition for children), but most were written by slightly older children. Great stories though. My favourite is Cow on a Bus: it’s read by Richard Wilson and is very funny.

Instead, for my research, I dug out an old school book of mine hubbie found during the last clear-out. I have no idea how old I was when I wrote the contents, but judging by the handwriting it must be between five and seven. This was my story including all typos, spelling and punctuation (i.e. none) – if I get a chance tomorrow I’ll scan in the page (including illustrations) for giggles.

One day there lived a little boy he was walk in the woods he met a big giant the boy said he hat a secret tell me what is it I will not tell you I will pick you up and put you in my pocket and he walked to the castle and on the way he met a bigger giant the bigger giant said what is that in your pocket a little boy the two giants walked on to the castle on the way they meta the biggest giant so far when they got to the castle they put the boy on the table and he told them the secret they all ran away and he went home and told his mummy

At least my punctuation has improved since then! 🙂 Hubbie asked what the secret was. I have no idea. I probably never did! Right, time to dredge up some energy for Claire post (it’s 11pm. Have been faffing with photos and research all evening. Tut tut.)


Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog:


Claire looked down at the painstakingly formed words, written in pencil in the lined workbook. It didn’t look like much. With a glance at her niece’s eager expression, Claire swallowed her apprehension and began reading.

One day a girl walked in the woods. She was looking for a handsome prince but only found a slimy croaking frog. I wish my fairy godmother would come and turn this frog into a prince. The fairy godmother arrived in a sprinkle of stars. I have come to grant your wish. She waved her wand but gave a loud sneeze and with a puff of smoke she turned herself into a frog. Oh bother said the fairy godmother as she hopped away with her wand in her mouth. She wondered how to turn herself back into a fairy. The princess couldn’t help because she had run away.

The fairy godmother talked to the other frog and found out it didn’t want to be a prince, it liked being a frog. The fairy frog hopped until it came across a cottage in the woods. A girl with gold hair was climbing out a window, running from the sound of roaring bears. Little girl said the fairy godmother, if you wave this wand and turn me back into a fairy I will help you escape the angry bears. The little girl picked up the wand and ran off with it into the woods. Drat said the fairy and hopped through the window. Hello Daddy Bear said the fairy frog, that little girl with gold hair has stolen my wand. Never mind that said the bear she ate our porridge and broke our chair. She is a naughty girl.

The bears and the fairy frog ran after the little girl. They found her stuck in a muddy puddle waving the wand and shouting at a slimy frog sitting on her head. Mummy Bear took the wand and turned the fairy frog back into a godmother. The fairy godmother thanked the bears and the frog and turned the little girl into a wasp. You naughty little girl, you will be a wasp until you are sorry for stealing the porridge and my wand and for breaking Baby Bear’s chair. The fairy godmother waved goodbye to the bears and the frog who didn’t want to be a prince and went home to bed.

Claire read the story and smiled. She certainly has imagination. There are full stops and capital letters too. I wonder if I should add punctuation? How much are parents meant to get involved in their child’s homework? Looking up at the expectant expression on Sky’s face, Claire decided to leave the masterpiece as it was. She hated it when Carl found fault with a presentation that had taken hours to prepare: why burst the girl’s bubble by suggesting she add speech marks? Maybe they could work on them later.

“Well done, Sky, this is very good.”

Her niece beamed and then nodded. “Yes, I know. I’m very good at stories, Miss Henley says so.”

Slightly taken aback, Claire hesitated before laughing out loud. Oh for the confidence of youth.


4 thoughts on “Relentless Parenting: 2013 365 Challenge #110

    • Oh I know, I’m just really really controlling of creative things: I used to run a Guide unit and I found it impossible not to ‘help’. I’m a neat freak (even though I’m actually not very neat at cutting and sticking I’ve discovered!). Obviously keeping my hands busy with a sewing project is the way to go…!

  1. Pingback: NEW RELEASE - Jenniffer Wardell's FAIRY GODMOTHERS, INC. - Interview

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