Blank Parenting

Yesterday, I was pretty stoked when I put a white board up in my son’s room. This wasn’t a new idea. Indeed, their whiteboards have been stacked up on top of each other in our kitchen no doubt sprouting cobwebs after I’d appropriated them for my writing.

Yes, like so many best intentions, the whiteboards had been derailed and I guess you could say that the track crew has been leaning on their shovels for more then an extended lunch break!

Anyway, there was just one unexpected hitch. What on earth was I going to put on it?

What with this empty white board screaming out at me,  my mind went blank in what was probably a rare case of writer’s block.

Of course, I could’ve just left it up to him. After all, it is HIS room, HIS whitebard and ultimately “HIS life”.

But, no man is an island…especially a child who is still growing up and needing, at the very least, a bit of steering if not a total re-direction. If your kids play Minecraft of similar no further explanation is required!!

Fed up raving at the kids like a rabid dog,  I was tempted to simply repeat the list of actions which has been laminated and parked on the kitchen table to ticked off.

However, I also wondered whether I should write some encouraging messages on it. That it should be a happy board, not a grumpy one.

I ev en wondered whether writing “I love you” would probably have a much better impact than “make your bed, tidy your room. Have you done your homework? Stop hitting your sister!” Don’t you think?!!

Besides, if he feels loved, he might just do all of the above because he feels valued, appreciated and wants to be part of the team.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I’m sceptical too!

Yet, as much as you might be loved, what matters is that you feel loved and too often that gets lost in the translation. So, a few reminders, even if they seem a little cheesy, wouldn’t go astray.

At this point, I started to wish Mr Squiggle was still around and he could come and help me out. He’d know exactly what to do. As for me, I’m still feeling overwhelmed because, like so many of us, I am so caught up with getting it right.Indeed, too right and dare I mention the p word… perfectionistic!

Mr Squiggle...I still love the little guy. He was incredible!

Mr Squiggle…I still love the little guy. He was incredible!

If you are not Australian or of a certain age, you won’t have heard of Mr Squiggle. So, here’s a quick introduction.

Mr Squiggle was a marionette with a pencil for a nose, who visited his friends from his home at 93 Crater Crescent on the Moon, flying in his pet rocket (named Rocket). Mr Squiggle was a cheery, scatter-brained character who would often be distracted and would occasionally go for “space-walks”, and his assistant would need to calm him down to get him to focus on the task of drawing.

Mr. Squiggle was created by Norman Hetherington, and the character first appeared on the Children’s TV Club on ABC TV but was spun off into his own programme which first aired on 1 July 1959. Children wrote in with their “squiggles” and Mr. Squiggle would turn them into recognisable drawings by connecting lines with his pencil nose. More often than not, the picture would be drawn upside down and then Mr. Squiggle would gleefully declare: “Upside down! Upside down!” – asking his assistant to turn the picture the right way up and reveal the completed drawing.

The last episode went to air just over 40 years after the first, on 9 July 1999.

So, inspired by Mr Squiggle, I could draw Mister a picture. I could even draw a picture of him. He’d love that and indeed, he’d probably like to draw on there himself. Have some fun!

I could also say I love you.

Moreover, being an 11 year old boy, I also opted for a joke:

“What does a computer do when it’s too hot?”
“It opens Windows”.

I am also going to write important reminders on there. Not just pick up your putrid socks and undies and put them in the basket but “Scouts Tonight”.

If all of this fails, I might just have to resort to employing Mr Squiggle’s enigmatic co-star, Bill blackboard. Bill, who was a rather grumpy, cantankerous character who contrasted well with Mr Squiggle’s friendly, dithering creativity, could well have been the inspiration behind Grumpy Cat and certainly could use a motivational coach.This grumpy blackboard’s catch phrase was: “Hurry Up”.

The rather cantankerous Bill Blackboard.

The rather cantankerous Bill Blackboard.

I hate to admit it but Bill Blackboard could well be impersonating me on a weekday morning!!

Anyway, here’s my end product:

The finished Whiteboard: a joke, a drawing and love from Mummy!

The finished Whiteboard: a joke, a drawing and love from Mummy!

The joke went down very well but when my daughter saw it, she said my writing was too big and it didn’t have anything he needed to do on it. So, Miss 9 was instructed to re-do it but leave my picture alone. This was her contribution:

I should have waited for Miss 9 to get home from school. She did a great job with the whiteboard. She even added the date.

I should have waited for Miss 9 to get home from school. She did a great job with the whiteboard. She even added the date.She left my drawing alone.

All this goes to show that I can take a mole hill and turn it into a mountain and truly stress myself out in the process. It also shows that I need to consult the kids more in the decision-making process and that they can make some veryt useful contributions. After all, they’re growing up!

By the way, in a previous post I wrote about moving on some of the toys the kids have outgrown to make way for growth. Although the car bed is still parked in the lounge room, the dolls’ house left today. I am not only proud of Miss for being able to let it go but she also used her knowledge of knots from cub scouts to tie the dolls’ house on my friend’s roof racks. Well done! Very impressed!

xx Rowena

6 thoughts on “Blank Parenting

  1. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Barbara. It can be quite a challenge to reach kids . I prefer the more gently guiding approach rather than a more authoritarian style but there are times, like now with Mister, where I’m needing to shorted the leash and be more firm. Having this combination of messages wraps the tough love up in a more appealing guise.

  2. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Tom. I’ll put that one up today. Please keep them coming. I have friends who can tell joke after joke after joke and it’s more challenging for me , even though I appreciate a laugh.
    By the way, I’ve been walking the dogs at the beach most mornings. We’ve met a new friend Spitx, a young German Spitzer supposedly crossed with Jack Russell, although there’s no sign of Jack Russell in him. He’s a dog who looks similar http://swns.com/news/blind-german-spitz-dog-uses-echoes-to-find-his-way-round-9275/ He’s such an energetic dog and races off to greet anyone who walks past. He caught up with a terrier yesterday and they were a good energy match and they were jumping and wrestling each other. He makes my two appear incredibly placid.
    Another dog update from the beach, do you remember that photo of Bilbo staring over the sand clif which I posted recently? Well, today Lady was peering over the edge and it started to subside. Did she jump!
    Hope things are going well at your end. I’ll have to pop over xx Rowena

  3. roweeee Post author

    Ooh yes! For some reason they seem to think everyone else needs to work while they do what they want…not on! xx Ro

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