Friday, November 30, 2007

The Truth about Birds and Bees

In a time honoured tradition, the subject of Designer Babies has yet again begun to raise its contentious head. As with every other element of being a parent, the idea of creating another living being for the sake of saving a sibling (whether through ‘natural’ or ‘artificial’ means) invites criticism from every corner. As you would expect, the obvious factions (Church, Pro-Lifers etc) are quick to add their weight against but the thing that fascinates me is the number of people, ordinary people, with average lives and medium intelligence that are hopping up on the soapbox to judge and criticise. Are we so far gone as a society that we can’t even allow a sick child every opportunity to get well? Can we honestly say that put in the same position, we as parents (or even carers) wouldn’t grasp at every opportunity made available if it meant relief from suffering?

When is that we become parents anyway? Is it at conception, adoption or even implantation? Is it not possible that a person could love one child enough to want to help them by providing the best possible genetic match, but then still love that match as a person in their own right? And shouldn’t every single situation be judged and evaluated in its own right without the knee jerk reaction which seems to be inevitable these days.

There was a time when we would reserve judgement for behind closed doors or bite our tongues except in private but with the internet comes certain anonymity, a divorcing of emotion with devastating effect.

I look at my boys and there isn’t a single thing that I wouldn’t do to relieve their pain and I’m in the fortunate position where I am not faced with life threatening illnesses or long term suffering. I worry that they are growing up in a world where a parent is assumed to be incapable of making decisions for the benefit of their children. Where even through pregnancy, insemination or adoption the route taken is questioned and analysed and inevitably ridiculed somewhere and by someone. When did parents stop being the protectors first and foremost? As children we automatically assumed that our parents would always put our interests first. Even when the outcome wasn’t what we wanted or expected, deep down we assumed that they had our best interests at heart. I want my children to have that same security, growing up believing that their interests are always in the forefront of our minds. Only question is, how do you ensure that in a society overridden by doubt and suspicion?


Friday, November 23, 2007

One month and counting

When you choose to live in another country, you accept that a fair amount of travelling will be necessary around the holidays if you're to remain in with a chance for an inheritance. When you choose to marry a foreigner, have children and live in another country you realise that what was once a fairly simple (if tiring) process has at once become a nightmare of paperwork, planning and anxiety.

I have known that we would be flying back to my home country with the boys for Christmas since May but have managed to avoid all thought of the actual flights until now. With the leaving date now a month away however I have to face the inevitable and start working on the plan which will[hopefully] ensure that some semblance of sanity remains after the fact. So far I have....

* Pack sparingly but plan for every eventuality
* Self medicating is a life saver (for those around me more than for me :-))

I've done my research, this site does an incredibly good job of listing all the practicalities and pitfalls but my problem is I seem to only be able to focus on the solutions which I haven't used because I've read the advice too late! Hell, I keep getting stuck on the fact that we're not only flying to a country which is 12 hours away, we're taking a connecting flight first which means the entire journey takes around 24 hours. What was I thinking and why didn't anybody question my sanity at the time?

All joking aside, I am nervous about taking the boys on their first flight even though both dad and I will be there so we should be able to control them even if they slip into their demon suits (which they thankfully seldom do at the same time).

Baring all this in mind, please let me know if you have any useful tips for flying long distances with 18 month old twins. All advice is welcome, no advice is to good or bad for consideration[1].

Yours in anxious anticipation,

[1] seriously, somebody suggested giving the babies something to knock them out but I recon the best option would be for the RO and I to take something to knock us out and leave our fellow passengers to fend for themselves!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Parental Question, advice please!

For once doctor Google hasn't answered my question properly so I'm throwing it out there...

My boys have taken to slapping themselves in the face. The internet can't seem to agree whether this is normal or whether it is some kind of acting out. More importantly if it is normal, how do you deal with it? How do you react? The boys laugh whenever we try to intervene and I don't want to scare them but I also don't want them to think that it is ideal behaviour when they are frustrated. Keen to hear your ideas and thoughts on the matter.

Other than that, the boys are going through such a lovely phase. I dread jinxing it but I find that I moan and complain so often and it isn't fair when they make us laugh so much. Sleeping is ok, not perfect but ok. More often than not they end up sleeping with us from about 4am onwards but as long as they sleep when they get there, we are learning not to mind too much.

We're looking forward to our holiday over Christmas if a little anxious about the long plane trip - will be tapping the collective for advice on travelling with toddlers closer to the time so you can't say you haven't been warned ;-)!!!

In the meantime, have some funny pictures - after all that is what this blog is all about....

Meet Darth Vader and Yoda .... in all their glory :-)


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

the worse nightmare

I used to read current news. I used to love curling up on a Sunday afternoon and drifting off after paging lazily through the black & white print. Perhaps I was naive and kept my rose coloured spectacles on, or maybe I was just capable of turning a blind eye to the horrors but no more.

Every week I help out at our village corner shop and one of my chores involves packing up all the unsold newspapers to be returned to the mill. Despite a concerted effort to look elsewhere I am continuously drawn to headline after sensationalist headline about the horrors that us humans willingly inflict on each other. Most prevalent being the Madeleine McCann case which seems to divide the nation into those who believe that the McCann are involved and those who don't. Unfortunately the press seem to have placed themselves squarely into the done it camp and are doing all they can to fan the rampant rumours.

Perhaps my distress over this story stems from being a parent but I'm not convinced that is the csae because as a parent I should be horrified that their daughter went missing from beneath their noses. Instead I get angry at the blatant attempt to implicate the parents as if it is simply a formality. God! When did we all become so selfish?

People complain that the parents aren't warm enough/emotional enough/distressed enough and that Kate in particular seems to lack maternal skills. The internet is rife with rumours that they sedate their children - don't all parents at one point or another sedate their children? What about the cough medicine that makes them drowsy?

Show me a parent who hasn'tmade any mistakes and I will show you a liar. None of us can say that we have been with our children 100% of the time and all of us must admit that if wanted, the opportunity has always been there.

Too often we let the press control the emotional rollercoaster. In this though the stakes are too high, the horror too unspeakable to contemplate and so we wait for an outcome, any outcome to find closure. I only hope that the outcome is one that we can all live with.