Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Grumblebees

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Princess has taken to school life like a fish to water and I have no doubt in my mind that she loves every second of it.

She will often tell us stories of what she's been up to that day, what stories they've read and charm us with newly learned nursery rhymes. The last week or so however, she's been different.

She won't sleep.

Now in Princess world, this is nothing new. She stopped napping at 10months old, will often still be awake gone 10pm at night and bright as a button in the morning. This time though, it was something different keeping her awake. She was scared.

This is new for us. There's not much that scares Princess. Don't get me wrong, she has the odd small anxieties like shadows in her bedroom and she was rather freaked out by the Scream masks during the Halloween period - but nothing has ever scared her enough to stop her from even venturing upstairs.

I've been on annual leave from work for nearly a fortnight so I initially thought it may be the change in routine. After about the 4th or so night of melt downs, tears and tantrums whilst trying to get her to bed, she finally succumbed and told us the reason.

She was frightened of the Grumblebees.

A flash of recognition came in to my mind. Earlier that day, on the way to nursery, she had told me that once we got home she was going to help me tidy my bedroom. When I asked why she said that if my room wasn't tidy, then the Grumblebee's would come and get me. I didn't think much of it at first, just assumed it was a story she'd heard, or even one she'd created - her imagination is huge.

Later that night though, after again another round of tears trying to get her to bed, we gave in and left her be on the sofa. She was quiet for a while, fiddling with her fingers and I assumed it was because she was tired. Eventually she came over to me crying and showed me her hands. She had picked her nail right down, and then had even started picking it across so only half of her nail was left.

When I asked her why she had done it, she said because she was tired.

I could have cried. My happy, confident and bright girl had physically hurt herself in order to stay awake. She was that terrified of going to sleep.

I was furious. I googled the Grumblebees and found the book online. It's about 2 older bee's who teach their niece & nephew a lesson by showing them how 'gross, uncomfortable and horrible' things can be when you don't 'clean up after yourself, get enough sleep and misbehave'.

In some ways it sounds fairly innocent, but I don't agree that the nursery should have read it to her. For a start, the reading age is 4-8years which is not within the right age group anyway. I've had a word with her teacher, and explained how it's effected my girl. The teacher herself was shocked as I explained the lengths Princess had gone to in order to keep herself awake. She too was worried, and rightly so. She agreed to speak with Princess and explain to her that the stories we read in books aren't real. I'm not sure if it will work, but hopefully hearing it from someone else will help her realise.

 The nursery haven't mentioned anything since, but Princess is still afraid of the Grumblebee's; even after Grandad said he had captured them all and put them in the bin. She's not slept properly in nearly 2 weeks. The lack of sleep is causing her to be grumpy and misbehave. Ross and I are struggling to handle bedtime because she simply refuses. We've relented and agreed to let her sleep on the sofa until we go to bed, but that just means she'll mess around for as long as possible, fighting sleep.

There's not much more we can do. We've spoken to the source who have agreed to help. We've tried reading her different stories at bedtime in the hopes it will take her mind off of monsters. We've tried having her in our bed which doesn't make much difference.

All I can hope, is that it is another night time phase she will grow out of. We've always had trouble with her sleeping routine and bedtime habits - she's incapable of sticking to a routine for long. Most of the time she settles in to a routine that suits us all by herself, but after a few weeks, that routine can change. It doesn't matter how strict, persuasive or adamant we are - if she doesn't want to sleep, she's not sleeping.

In future, I will have more interaction with the nursery about the books they are reading to Princess.  I don't want it to get to this point again. I think her overactive imagination and the fact she's an intent listener has just allowed her to misinterpret the story. But even so, I think parents should have more involvement in the books they read to our children. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Weeks That Were - Sports, Reports & MOT's

Since my Clean 9 results, I've been pretty quiet over here - I've been enjoying my new found weight loss. Also, not much interesting has happened.

Although over the past few weeks, TONNES has happened. However, because so much has happened, I haven't had the time to update the blog.

We saw Princess take part in her very first sports day! I won't bore you with loads of pictures - mainly because the school doesn't allow any to be shared on social media - but I was so proud of how well she did.

We were a bit worried at first - Princess can be competitive. However she's not the most sportiest of children. Our fears were soon dashed though as we watched her eager to take part and actually begin to enjoy herself once she got in to the swing of things. There was a hiccup during the running race, reason being because she didn't win. At first she was at the back, but next thing you know, she's overtaking kids like she's Michael Schumacher and speeds her way in to 3rd place. She could well have come 2nd if she hadn't given up at the final hurdle after realising she wasn't going to come first. There were a few tears and was adamant that was IT, but she eventually got herself back in there and went on to win the tomato & spoon race.


As well as her very first sports day, we also received Princess's first school report. I was so pleased to read the comments the teachers had written about our girl. She's confident, sociable and eager to please. She's attentive, imaginative and helpful. All of this we already knew, but don't get to see as much of at home. They don't set targets in the first year at nursery as the teacher said all children start with a clean slate - neither of them better or worse at something than another child. When September starts the will all receive individual evaluations that they will base their reports on. Right now though, we are so proud of where she is. She has fitted in to school routine so well, and I know that given the chance, she would go at least 3 days a week rather than the afternoons she does now.

 Unfortunately, all of this wonderful praise coming our way over our brilliant daughter, could  not help the car pass it's MOT. When Ross called me and told me it had failed - I wasn't surprised. We had expected it to fail over the CV boot (I don't know what that is - I'm just pretending) However, it failed on more than that. The handbrake wasn't working properly and the brake pipes were severely corroded.

After a quick trip to Ross's friend at the garage at the top of our road - we were informed that the pipes weren't corroded, just had surface rust. At most, it should have been an advisory, nowhere near a fail. We panicked. We didn't have the money to replace them at £300+. So we did the next best thing... we cleaned them. That's right, yours truly got underneath a jacked up Vauxhall Vectra with a scrubbing brush, some sandpaper and some grease and cleaned away. Ross changed the brake pads to get the maximum hold from his handbrake and I scrubbed until the pipes sparkled.

It passed!

The most annoying thing about the situation is that if we'd have had the funds to replace the brake pipes - we would have. But it turns out that the fail was completely unnecessary and all they needed was a clean, not replacing. They didn't even get an advisory on the retest! That's how good of a cleaner I am! It feels like the garage failed it, hoping Ross would have paid them to fix the car when it didn't even need fixing. My tip would be that if you ever feel like your car was unfairly denied an MOT, then remember most garages will do a free brake/tyre/engine check. Get a second opinion!

So there are my weeks that were.

I feel like I'm falling behind again, but I'm trying. Things are tough, but they're looking up. We're getting on with life day by day and enjoying the good parts whilst we can.