Childhood – The Old Skool Way – How It’s Supposed To Be #Memories #Childhood

We all spend time moaning about our kids and their behaviour. It’s a parent’s prerogative, isn’t it?

Bitmoji Image
I have to look out for them…

Then we complain about how they never go out, and spend the whole time on phones and screens (devices we have given them…)

But we are too worried to send them out, like we used to go out. The world is a big, bad place, after all. Social Media and the internet tell us of all these awful things that happen out there. We wrap them up in a certain amount of cotton wool, because we all want to protect our pecious offspring.

A bit too much helicopter parenting, making sure you know exactly what your child is doing at all times, and with whom. Running yourself ragged to get them to all the places you have booked them into to keep them busy, getting frustrated at the cries of “I’m bored!” throughout the weekend and, oh, don’t talk to me about the longer holidays!

It is sad that many of us don’t have the confidence to send our kids out with a little slack on the leash we tend to keep them on.

I hold my hands up. I am guilty of this overprotectiveness.

Bitmoji Image
I NEED to know waht they are doing ALL the time…

But I am also aware of the fact that they have to grow up some time, and they do need to assert their independence. They are going to need to know how to deal with the world, after all.

I’ve hesitantly allowed Lil Man to go to the park with his friends, not long after an assault happened there, (dropping him off, and making sure he was with the right mates, before leaving), I have given Lil Princess the opportunity to walk home alone now, as she has to get ready for Secondary School next year. I’ve left them alone for a short while, as I do grocery shopping. They’ve walked to the shops alone.

Listing these things makes me wonder why I feel they are petty things that all kids should be doing anyway, but it has been hard letting go, believe me. And even if I feel they are ready, and capable of dealing with things, their dad is even more over protective of his children… so I do feel for them sometimes, battling against both of us, just so they can be kids… and experience everything we did.

However, today, we managed to overcome a big step.

Bitmoji Image
I let them go!

The kids.


All afternoon.

On their bikes!

Ordinary, isn’t it? Something I remember my brother doing every day in the holidays. Disappearing after breakfast on his bike with his little gang of friends, appearing to eat lunch then disappearing again. If I had been the active, outdoory type, I’d have been allowed to do the same, but I preferred my book time, or a walk to the local shops, running errands for my mym (and buying teen magazines or cheap makeup from the chemist!)

Anyway, today the kids enjoyed a proper Old Skool kids afternoon, and they loved it!

Bitmoji Image
I let them be kids!

We live in a cul de sac, and there are a few other children, but no one we knew. Then, a few months ago a new family moved in and they have a boy a similar age to Lil Man, and two girls, younger than Lil Princess. We fed them samosas on Diwali as we all stood out in the street at night, watching the Gurdwara fireworks display, and the bonding started.

The boy has come round a few times, playing Playstation or football in our garden, and Lil Man has been over to his house too.

As the days are better and evenings longer, we get back from school and they have been out, on bikes and scooters, in the safety of our road, and my two have joined them for short whiles. But their bikes were at the in-laws.

Today, we got back from Lil Man’s match, after picking their bikes up, and once they had eaten lunch, they went out… at 2pm… and I didn’t see them until nearly 6pm!

That was a biggie for me. But I read a little and snoozed on the sofa, knowing they were only outside.

Bitmoji Image
Relaxed mum…

When they got back, they were relaxed and happy, having made even more friends, as children from other familes that live on the road joined them too, and they rode bikes, played football, ran races, played games and chatted. All normal kids stuff, that didn’t involve screens at all!

They have now got a little gang of friends together that live here, who can safely get together, of different ages, and different backgrounds too (English, Indian, Polish, Arabic, African) and just one afternoon out together has made the atmosphere in our house totally different.

No arguing and angsty behaviour, just happy children who have exhaustend themselves in the most natural, child-like way.

There’s a lot to be said for fresh air, and just playing.

Here’s to many more afternoons where finally, my kids can be kids, the way I remember childhood.

What do you remember about your childhood that seems to be missing in our kids lives nowadays?

July 12– Flash Fiction  – Broken Fence

Charli’s prompt this week:

July 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence. You can mend it, leave it, or explain its place in a story. Go where the prompt leads.

Broken Fences: Realised Dreams
Many an afternoon, I’d sit there, peering through the gap in our broken fence.
It was like a portal to another world.
I’d see them all laughing, playing together, running around freely.
Oh, to be able to laugh openly with friends.
Laughter was in short supply here since my Daddy died, and that new Father had arrived.
He didn’t want no brats running around the place. It was bad enough I existed.
To escape the prison that our home had become, I’d come and sit here.
For the first time in years my Mummy seemed happy.
I didn’t complain.

Park Wars #LostChildhood

I didn’t grow up in this area, but I grew up in an era when we ran out of our houses as soon as we were allowed, played until we were hungry, and came back home.

Our parents didn’t have to fret about what we were doing. They knew we were in the park, or riding bikes with our friends.

When we started secondary school, there was no fear about us walking to school alone, or with our mates.

Fast forward thirty years and it is a different ball game everywhere we look.

As a parent to a near teenager and a child who will start secondary within the next couple of years, I have an honest fear of what could happen.

My child walks to school, and back, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. He wants to pop into the park for a kick about with his mates, as kids that age naturally want to do. It took us a while to gain the courage to actually let him do that.

The thing is, though I trust my child, and have every faith in him, that he wouldn’t do anything wrong, it’s the rest of the world that I can’t be sure of.

The recent incidents in the local park have caused a great deal of unrest amongst many parents. Articles and posts have been circulating around Facebook, and other Social Media networks, getting everyone rather worried.

I want him to grow up independent, and able to make decisions for himself, but equally, I don’t want to be sending him out like a lamb to slaughter.

( You want to know what happened? A couple of weeks ago a gang of teens beat an innocent lad with a baton, and there have been allegations of organised bare knuckle fights happening there. These are just some recent incidents, but they are becoming more regular, and in turn, are scaring families away from a beautiful park and play area.)

I dropped him off there, to that very park (it’s our local park), last Saturday, tentatively, to meet some friends. I was reassured to see some Community Police Officers circulating at least twice whilst we were parked up waiting for the others. This week though, with all the press and publicity the incidents have received, it was decided that the boys wouldn’t meet. They were sensible about it, reasoning that it was too unsafe to go.

Yes the police can be around, but if someone was to flash a knife and the officers were at the other side of the park, if there at all, they wouldn’t be able to stop something happening. The boy’s words. They also want to know there will be CCTV cameras installed for safety.

Maybe social media has a lot to answer for.

Is it scaremongering of sorts? Who can we blame?

One thing’s for sure though. Our kids are losing out on a lot of chances to learn independence skills because we have this fear of letting them out into that dangerous environment.

I feel saddened that our children don’t feel the freedom of childhood that we did. Instead they end up kept at home, where they are glued to screens. Then we worry about childhood obesity.

Or we run them, and ourselves, ragged, sending them to extra-curricular activities, to get them out of the house, leaving us a pretty penny poorer too. At least meeting at, or riding their bikes to the park is free.

What do the kids want? The chance to meet up with their friends, with no worry about who could turn up, cause trouble or steal bikes.

How can that happen? Park wardens, like the good old days, and proper CCTV cameras installed as a deterrent, and evidence if needed.

Maybe the council could see to use some of that exorbitant council tax we pay to do this, so the youngsters of this region can actually be kids for longer, instead of wannabe gangstas in training…

Reminiscing all those good times! #ThrowbackThursday

That’s me!

Well, as I’m sat back at home, in the midst of my parents, and all things that remind me of growing up, even though they moved house, I felt it would be an ideal time to think about my childhood… and add some pictures into the mix too! (apologies if they are messily edited but I don’t know who would be happy to be included on the blog and who wouldn’t, so I have tried to blur faces out as best I can, apart from my mug anyway!)

I think I’m one of the luckiest people alive to have been been born into the family that I have. If you have read my blog from the early days, you’ll know how much my parents, and family mean to me. They have given my brother and me a most amazing upbringing, colourful and loving, with so much family mad culture thrown in, so that despite being in a different country, we missed out on nothing!

We spent most weekends visiting various members of the extended family, there was always something going on, from weddings, to new babies, to birthdays, to deaths, never a quiet moment!

In fact, having such a large family it was inevitable that there would be something going on. My brother was a sportsman so a lot of his weekends were taken up with training and matches, so Pops would literally split himself in two, dropping my brother, then taking us places, and picking my brother up, before getting us… This was the era of one car per family, it’s how things were done!

I recall one year where, I’m not sure I know the exact number, but I believe we had something like 50 odd invitations to weddings and functions… And on one occasion there were two weddings on one weekend. Now our Indian weddings aren’t a one day affair, we have a week long celebration. These two weddings were in two different towns, one near London and one in Birmingham, where we lived. I recall being picked up from school and getting changed in it, en route to,London, on a 2 hour journey, attending one pre wedding function, then falling asleep in the car in the early hours of the morning, on the way home. A little sleep then up again for the other wedding in Birmingham on the Saturday. Then another trek back to London on Sunday morning for the actual wedding day there!

Now me as a child, well. I was a little imp, from all the stories I hear! I didn’t stop chattering away, in fact I would apparently follow people, toddling after the, saying “Hello!” until they replied! Mum always tells of a story where they were pushing me around in a pram and two Welsh ladies followed them around, thinking I was like a doll! They asked if they could take me home with them! Obviously Pops and mum said no!

Me at around 6 months with my eldest aunt and one of my first cousins!

In a Gurdwara, a Sikh temple, men sit in one side, and ladies on the other. At weddings it was, and still is quite usual for children to cross back and forth, from parent to parent, bored of sitting for 2-3 hours. One wedding, I was doing just this, and at one stage mum glanced over to Pops to see where I was, but I wasn’t there! They caught each other’s eye mad realised I wasn’t in the room. I’m not sure how old I was, 2 maybe, but after scouring the temple, they ventured outside and saw me on the pavement, holding an English man’s hand, being brought back to the temple. He had seen me toddling down the road, and seeing no one with me, assumed I would have come from the temple which was a few metres away. Thankfully, those were the good old days, kindness prevailed, and I was brought back to my parents… Not whisked away! Silly child that I was!

My gorgeous mum and I

Oh, and wasn’t I the most difficult child, for my mum, when it came to eating! I was a Nightmare!!! Being the first child, my mum went through hell with me, she’d make all this amazing fresh food, and I would refuse it, milk? Nah! Ice cream, Yes please! She went to the doctors, worried for my health. The doctor apparently asked if I was happy, energetic, normal generally, and mum said yes. The doctor looked at her and asked why on earth she was worrying for then! When my own children did the same to me, she said “It’s payback time!”

We grew up with many other children around us, it was a great time to be a kid! And due to the fact that my Pops was the youngest of a few siblings, it meant that some of my cousins were older than him! So I had what we call nephews and nieces, the children of our first cousins, the same age as me! To confuse yourself further, read here!

Me with two of my cousins children, my nephews!

There were so many of us, that fun always ensued but there was also a fair share of arguments too! I remember one time specifically. I was, and am, a calm person, but like all big sisters, I HATED my little brother at that time. Still, he was my little brother, and I did love him really, so once, I heard some of the kids picking on him. I stormed out and said if they carried on, said that once again, I’d punch said child in the mouth. I’m not violent, AT ALL! But the kid played my bluff and said whatever he had been saying, again. And I didn’t hold back. One good punch to the teeth, and there was blood everywhere! Luckily he didn’t hit me back! I think he was in shock that I actually carried out the threat! And this is how much of a goody two shoes I was…when he went to his mum and told of me, no one believed him, as I could NEVER do something like that!!!! We still laugh about it to this day.. Yes, he is still talking to me!!!

I could go on, and on, and on about growing up, but for today, I’ll stop here, over the next couple of days I’ll aquaint to you to my private school life, and my summers in Kenya too! I hope I haven’t bored you too much, but enjoyed retelling these stories!

The End Is In Sight – SATs Day 4

So the first two Maths, or Numeracy, papers are done.

They were hard again, yes, but the Arithmetic paper, which now takes the place of the Mental Maths test, was pretty much in line with what the pupils had been practicing. The Reasoning one, or the word problems paper, part 1 was tough. Again it’s not just the maths skills involved, but the wording of the questions that can boggle the minds of adults, let alone the children.

I knew he’s find it hard, but you know what, at least he gave it his best.

Actually, one of his friends said to me that he whizzes through things and gets them right! Not sure of the truth in that but nice to see his mates have faith in him!

Today is the last day of tests. One more Maths Reasoning paper, so more stupidly worded maths problems. 

Again that whisper will be in his ear, to do his best. That all we can ask.

I’ve already suggested to his teacher they should have a pyjama day tomorrow, to come in and be able to chill for the first time in many months!

Wishing all the SATs takers luck again for this last paper. 

Please, step back after today, amd try and remember what it’s like to be kids again. Enjoy yourself, play, be merry. There is a lifetime of education ahead of you and I hope you are able to access it positively without too many scarred memories of this last few months.


Previous Older Entries

My interactive peeps!

%d bloggers like this: