Well, I know you wouldn't believe it judging by my youthful countenance, but today I have officially been parenting for a decade.
(I'll give you a moment to let that sink in)
Yup! Today Big Lad turned the handsome age of ten and into his double figures he took my wistful delusion that I would have this parenting lark nailed by now. As he blew out the candles on his (amazing) cake this morning, away blew those fanciful desires and I was faced with the cold, hard truth that I will ALWAYS be making this up as I go along.
And so the kindness for our Ramadan Calendar kicked off. Little Lad had bought his brother some very thoughtful presents with his own money, all carefully selected during a rather lengthy shopping trip. I mean, who doesn't need a bucket of neon green slime, a massive bag of handmade fudge and a rainbow coloured football? And the hug he gave his big brother after the gift-giving ceremony topped that kindness off perfectly.
Big Lad also enjoyed our gifts as much as I'd hoped he would, including a giant map of the world which I bought on a whim yesterday. I just had a feeling it would make him happy and bloomin' heck was I right. He unrolled it immediately after opening it, sprawled it across the living room floor and then placed every other gift he opened on a specific country (if you don't know the kid that sounds really weird. If you do, well, #standard) Goalkeeper gloves on Spain. Bucket of slime on Uganda. New footie boots on Russia (obvs). And we ended up with a geographic feast of birthday delights for him to cast his eye over as he devoured his cakey breakfast.
Reason number two today was a bit spesh was that we attended an open morning at a local secondary school with the birthday boy himself. Poor Little Lad was carted off to school as usual and the rest of the Yardimci clan hopped on a ferry to cross the water and check out Dartmouth Academy.
Whilst we were being shown around this very impressive school (and I was sweating off the terror that he was old enough for this shit now), Big Lad wore a big, proud beam as well as a rather large birthday badge so that the majority of people we passed wished him a happy birthday. One arty-farty teacher (possibly my spirit animal) sang an off-the-wall birthday song to him at the top of her voice in the art studio. He took that kindness graciously and I think it pretty much sealed the deal for him. All I can say is . . . brace yourselves Dartmouth Academy.
A little more birthday kindness shone out of us later in the day as we took Big Lad's bezzie mate, Noah, out for birthday treats after school. Remember Noah from day seven of Ramadan Kindness (who could forget the therapeutic 'Nana Juice' and bizarre get well card)? We opted for a picnic and footy at the park followed by the cinema, which basically involved a LOT of dinosaurs, butchered limbs and people running around in cargo pants.
We all ate our own body weight in sweets, I spent a good amount of time convincing Little Lad that in front of a giant cinema screen is NOT an ideal place to practice your flossing, and yes, after a while, I buckled and let them all go and sit in the front row where the seats were empty.
By the time we got home my kindness levels were SPENT, as were those of the Lads. Hence a swift dismissal to bed with firm instructions to bloody well stay there or else. And, as every parent knows, that is sometimes the kindest thing you can do when you can feel the exhaustion tugging on your very bones. If I'd allowed them to stay up any longer there's a chance they could have witnessed something even nastier than those chomping dinosaurs, and nobody wants to see that.
So with that, I'm off to bed to refuel on the kindness levels so I'm ready to take on another day of Ramadan Kindness tomorrow. Until then . . .
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