Tag Archives: life

Pool worries

By the pool

So we moved house and in the process, we’ve acquired a swimming pool.   When we told family and friends about the pool, we heard all sorts of mixed responses from “Wow! Cool – parties at your house in summer!” to “Good luck cleaning it!”.

The very first week we were here, the kids were overjoyed and so enthusiastic about the pool that they scooped up all the leaves, even going in up to their waists even though it was absolutely freezing in winter.  But that enthusiasm has waned, and as I had suspected all along, it was left to me to do the good old clean.

Coming back from our holidays, all the leaves in the pool had sunk to the bottom, the sides of the pool are looking a bit brown, and I feel that the Kreepy Krauly doesn’t seem to suck as much.  Time for some professional help 😦  Can’t wait till we can actually use it.

I’m considering getting it heated when we saved up enough money.  Is it worth it?

Letting kids make mistakes…

I’m struggling with this one today.  One way for kids to learn is by making mistakes.  We can’t always be doing things for them or guiding them through life.  When they’re young, it might be not holding their hands all the time so they learn to walk independently, letting them try to figure out how to pronounce words phonetically, etc.   Unfortunately, as they grow older, it seems that the mistakes and lessons they have to learn get bigger and bigger, and start affecting other people.

Like what happened today…

T had a dance performance at assembly this morning.  She was required to be at school early for a rehearsal.  I know how slow she can be in the morning, so I made sure I woke her up at the right time, and used my normal technique of informing her throughout the morning that she should be doing X now to get to school on time.   There’s a fine gray line between actually doing it for her, and letting her do it herself but letting her know the (time) impact.  I’ve been trying the latter approach lately.

But today, she was running late.  I could see it coming all morning.  But I decided to let her continue but told her throughout the morning how late she was going to be.  She didn’t really hurry up until I told her that we’ve probably now missed the whole assembly and she got upset because she wanted to do her dance.   In the end, we arrived at assembly after it started and the rest of her dance team were already on stage ready to go!!   She missed the rehearsal, she was unprepared and everyone was waiting for her..  argghghhhhhhh!!!!

It makes me wonder whether I did the right thing – making her learn about letting others down and missing commitments (like the rehearsal).  Maybe I should have intervened this morning to get her to school on time?  But then at what age should this stop?

How long can it take to do hair?

OK.  Both my wifey and I work full time and we’ve come to an arrangement where I do the “morning shift” and she’ll do the “afternoon shift”.  Basically what this means is that my morning duties are to get the girls out of bed, ensure they get dressed and beautify, have breakfast, check their school bags and lunches and send them to school.

Easy right?

The thing I’m struggling with is how long it takes for the “get dressed and beautify” part of all of this.  My girls are only 7 and 9 but they can take aaggggeeesss to do this part.  I mean, it’s really just put your clothes on, brush hair, brush teeth, wipe face, etc right?  For a boy, changing is simple, just wack your clothes on – doesn’t matter if it’s pulled up right.  Hair?  No problems.  For me I just run some product through it and 10 seconds later I’m done.

But for my girls, especially T, the most time is spent brushing and doing hair.  Arrghhh..  the hair!! Making sure it’s absolutely neat and fashionable and not so functional.  There’s heaps of decisions to make like looking for a pretty hair clip or hair band that is within the school rules but individual and pretty at the same time.  Then there’s the hair style – they’ll experiment with a few ways of tieing it all up – one pony tail, or two.  Today, do they want the pony tails to be to the side, back, high or low.  Maybe it should be a head band today.  Or maybe plaited in which case they call on Daddy.   Even if it’s plaited, should we tie the ends individually, or together.  Or french (which I can’t do well, if at all!)

And that’s all after it’s been brushed nicely to start with.  No wonder we’re late for school nearly every morning!

It used to be easier when they were little kids and I did their hair for them.  Or maybe..

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with many ways to speed up the morning routine and have these tips that have worked to some degree:

* Get up earlier!  Yes this seems the most common sense way of not running out of time in the morning. Unfortunately being night owls, even I find it hard to wake up early, let alone the kids.  With both of us working full time, the evening is our main family time.

* Do the hair first!  A strategy from my project manager experience, do the hardest and longest tasks first.  Unfortunately, this sometimes makes T think she has more time to do her hair.

* Do hair at a certain time each morning.  I have a mini agenda each morning – like we have to leave the house at x:xx exactly.  So working backwards, hair should be done by x:xx – Y minutes in the morning.

* Ensure that there is enough equipment!  By this I mean, hair brushes, hair clips, ties, etc.  There is also a balance in teaching kids to look after the hair brushes themselves and putting it away in the right place after using it, but for a while we had only 1 large hair brush between the two girls and this caused major holdups.

* Get hands on – yep, learn how your daughters do their hair.  Learn to plait, braid, tie pony tails.  I’m no expert, but definitely better than before!  Plus, it gets me involved with the girls..   and be able to monitor their head for lice!