Things I want my children to know

I am on holidays, and even though I have an assignment due, I made the mistake of downloading the Pinterest app again. If you already know about Pinterest you probably understand why it was deleted all the other times (probably five-ish).

Pinterest has lots of awesome ideas, however many of them only end up as inspiration, not necessarily guidelines. The last few days, it has showed me lots of resources about children – how to speak to them when they are upset, how to change the way we speak to them and many great ideas for them to help themselves too.

Now, there was one about manners, and what they should have learnt at certain ages etc, and although I agreed with most of the points, some of them were too contradictory and too much bull in my opinion.

It made me think though. I decided I’ll make a list over things I want my children to learn. Manners are great, and always great to be reminded of how we act and show respect, but my list is mostly about other life skills. I’m starting out with some things:

5 Things I want my children to learn before they turn ten:

1: How to pitch a tent or otherwise make shelter

We do go camping occasionally, but our tent is so big it needs a brain surgeon to get it up, it’s not quite the best way to learn. We do have smaller tents, and for them to know how to pitch them will be great! I also think that teaching them how to create shelter in nature when they have nothing else would be helpful. I used to be a Girl Scout, so I have a fair idea of how to do it, but If I were never shown, I wouldn’t have a clue! I also know how to create shelter in snow, but somehow I feel we need to work on that a bit later on:)

2: How to cook!

I’ve already started planning this for this year. I want the kids to know how to cook 20 things before they’re ten. Obviously, that doesn’t mean three course meals. If I can get five things taught every year from five, they’ll be pretty good by that stage. Melodie wants to learn her favourites first, and Sophia wants to learn how to make cake. So we will see how we go:)

3: How to start a fire 🔥

Growing up in Norway, we always had a fireplace. One of the jobs we had as kids, were fetching the firewood. Then an adult would start the fire. I can’t remember how old I was when I tried it for myself, but I’m pretty sure an 8-9 year old can learn how to do it. Obviously in Australia we don’t have a fireplace that we’ll light up for three quarters of the year, but we can make outdoor fires! As most people know, we can’t just throw a match at some sticks to create flames, and it does take some skill. I’m not going to start teaching them about running two sticks together just yet, but maybe that’s for the next bracket?

4: How to read music.

At least as much as I can! I don’t need them to know how to pitch a perfect C or hear any note and know which one it is, but I do want them to be able to read it out from sheet music and tell me which notes they are. I realise this is a ‘life skill’ that many people would see as unimportant, but to me, music is one of the most important things we have been gifted with, and having some music skills is awesome!

5: Most household chores:

Man, the amount of people who end up moving away from home with no household competence is astounding. I don’t need them to like it. I don’t need them to be great at it. But I do need them to learn how to vacuum, clean the floors, change their sheets and do the laundry. I do need them to know how to clean the toilets, fold their clothes and do the dishes. They are well on their way to knowing many of these, thank goodness, but they’re not ‘moving-out’ – ready just yet:)

What’s a life skill you think I should add to this list?

I think I’ll end up coming up with lots more things soon, but this is good enough for now:)

Xxx,

Line

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Just wonderful

It’s something about babies, you know. They’re just so… tiny, and gorgeous and cute and adorable and every little face they make, even the scrunched up weird ones make me laugh and smile. Even their cries and whinges and screams seem to make my heart dance and sing.

I mean, the act of growing a baby and making a baby is pretty awesome, but raising a child, being a parent – man, that is pretty spectacular. Being the first one to hold them in the morning and the one they look around for once they hear your voice – it’s priceless.

And then you look at them, and remember that this little child, only days, weeks and months old – is going to be an actual person one day. Sure, they technically are a person since they were born, but while they are so tiny it’s hard to imagine them being teachers or waiters or doctors or bus drivers or whatever they end up doing in their lives. It’s impossible to know what they’ll look like, what interests they are going to have, what their favourite food will be. Will they like books? Tractors? Fairies? Robots? Are they musically inclined? Do they love numbers? Are they athletic? Do they look at the stars at night and imagine themselves amongst them?

Are they going to change the world with their words? Are they going to change the world with their actions? Are they going to be the world for someone else? Are they going to bring joy and happiness to a world of people? Or maybe just to one particular special one?

Or maybe they are not…?

Funny little creatures aren’t they. Those miniature persons who has no choice but to trust the people around them. Trust that they will be fed, clothed, loved and looked after. It is so scary and a privilege to know that we have been chosen to do this job, to be the very few they trust, to be the providers of good. We can’t mess up. We won’t mess up. It is too important.

Funny little people. Babies, with all the potential in the world to be very bit as unique and special as the next person, with so many options and opportunities. It’s scary. With so many privileges, how can they fail? What if they fail? What if they fail, and because they fail, with all their options and opportunities and success stories and everything in the world, what if their failure breaks them?

It’s scary raising children in this environment. I just want them to be little and innocent and know that they can do whatever they want. And it doesn’t have to be grand. Or extraordinary. Or fantastical. But it does need to be enjoyable. And fun. And them. It does need to be worthwhile. And inspiring. And them.

I need them to know that failing is okay. Right now, I look at them, and the excitement of conquering and mastering is massive, but their struggle to get there is he most important. I need to keep reminding them how fun and educational and inspiring failing can be. I need to fail in front of them and show them how to successfully fail.

Funny little creatures aren’t they. Sleeping, one in here, one in there, two over there. Best friends forever, enemies throughout life. But they will be there for each other, as will I. They will conquer fears and succeed in challenges and one day, if they decide to settle, they will start the cycle again.

It’s scary raising children. But it is thrilling and exciting and messed up all the same.

And while they are this tiny, just shy of three months, they are just wonderful.

Xxx,

Line

Individualism

One thing that’s so awesome about kids is their individualism. Their ability and want to be themselves in a world where adults and teenagers are told to conform and follow the rules of society. I do think I try to help them nourish their indivisualism by listening to their wants, but it isn’t always easy.

Yesterday we went to buy new sneakers for Sophia. We went straight to the section for girls, picked up some cute pink and purple ones, and she just stands there shaking her head, clearly not impressed. Then I remember: she doesn’t like pink anymore.

‘Which colour do you want then, Sophia?’ I ask encouragingly and she looks back at me with a shrug, ‘ Green or Blue, but I can’t see any.’ And she’s right, nowhere on the rack do they have any other colours than various pinks and sparkles and other pretty shoes. By now we all know that shows don’t carry a big variety, this is not a complaint, (although I do wish there were more varied colour choices for kids) it’s just a bit disheartening when she wants green, and there’s none!

I tell her to move to the next one, where the boy shoes are. We find some blue ones and green ones and obviously she goes: ‘but they’re boy shoes?’ The quick thinking in my head to find the right words and I give it a go: ‘Do you know what they are? They are green shoes. They have been made in the same factory, came here in the same truck, and were put on the rack by the same people. That’s all. The only difference is that they are hanging on this rack. And they’re not pink.’ Nailed it. She tries on the shoes, runs around half the store to see if they are good for running, and she tells me she wants them.

I try to teach them tolerance and openness to the world. I try to show them that just because one person says something is a rule, it doesn’t make it right. We’ve looked at pictures and YouTube clips of guys wearing makeup, girls wearing ‘boy clothes’ and guys dressing up in dresses. I don’t want them to conform to the standards the world is setting, unless it is what they want for themselves, and if they want to wear a tutu, jeans and gumboots all in the same outfit, I say go for it. I see lots of mums who ‘dress up’ their kids and make them into their own little dolls, and although many of them might enjoy it, I bet some wishes they could wear just trackies and boots and jump in the mud. What you wear is never who you are.


My gorgeous, curious individuals – looking at snails.

We are not raising ‘pretty girls’ – We are raising them to be who they are – green shoes, pink shoes or no shoes at all.

Xxx,

Line

Proud mamma

You know what is so hard about raising children? It’s that we’re raising them in a world that is becoming more cynical by the day, political correctness is at peak level and instead of teaching our kids that resilience is key, we have the ‘participation’ award. I try not to do too much ‘bragging’ about my children, but today I got all teary when I knew that out of all the kids we have – at least one of them will be the good we want to see in the world. We’ve done ourselves proud with this one. Hear me out.

Melodie had her first gym competition this morning. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to do it, but I talked her into it by explaining that ‘it’s not about competing’. She was happy and have been a little bit excited for a while. We got her dressed this morning, did her hair, all went down and sat there watching her perform (?) on the four apparatuses they had today. She did bars, beam, floor and vault. I thought she did quite well on floor, the other ones I had no idea if it was good or not. By the time it was time for their presentations, I had been watching her waiting for the next thing, while she was happily sitting there, smiling, talking with her friends, bouncing up and down and generally just being the awesome kid she is. Many of the other girls were bored and just sat there, while my Mel clapped along to the cheerleaders entertaining us while the scores were tallied up.

As they got ready to hand out the trophies, I was slightly worried. I had seen the other kids, and was pretty sure Melodie didn’t measure up to them, and although she had a cheery disposition this morning, you just never know with her emotion. Also, her BGL’s had been fluctuating heaps this morning, which often plays its part in her emotions. What if she was going to be sad that she didn’t place? I really can’t deal with that kind of heartbreak at the moment, so I braced myself, hoping I wouldn’t need it. They handed out their ribbon without us seeing them, then announced the first, second and third place. None of them were Melodie. I looked at her, she cheered for her friends, so far so good. 

After they were done, I came up to her, and she showed me her ribbons, she had placed third on the floor, and she was super excited, with a fourth and two fifth places. I turn to Simon and said: it’s a third! That’s amazing! She was beaming.

She skipped out to the car carrying her ribbons, saying ‘I can’t wait to share this with my classmates on Monday!’ And as I put all the kids back in the car, comes her pure saying that broke my heart, but in a good way:

“You know, I am so happy. One of the girls got all the number one ribbons, she is amazing. And I am so happy the other girls got the second and third, because they are so nice and I just love it when people do well.’

I had to go behind the car and just smile to myself. Because she obviously didn’t care about her own winnings and there was not a trace of disappointment. She was just genuinely happy that the other girls had success and that was it. If we can manage to get the other girls to her level of compassion and care for others, then we have certainly added some good back into this increasingly cruel world.

And yes, I am bragging, and yes I am endlessly proud of her and yes, I will try not to make it a theme:)


My gymnast and her ribbons<3

(And she did come third in something:))
Xxx,

Line

Aussie day 2017

For Norway peeps – today is Australia Day. Much like our 17.Mai, but not really at all. But we celebrate it still!

We got up in the morning and went to the event the local council had put on. There was free breakfast, entertainment and lots of fun for the kids.


A free breakfast is a good breakfast and this was no exception! Thanks to the Playford Council for putting it on, we did this two years ago as well and we’ll probably attend again!:) 


The girls got to play with bubble fun and Sophia met quite a few celebrities!


We cuddled some natives – and nobody were scared!


And they even got pony rides around the area! 


They decorated cookies and bounced in castles and made their own lizards and got balloon animals and had an awesome morning out – before heading home to spend the rest of the day at he beach.


We went to Glenelg this time, which was not as busy as expected, and with beach cricket, waves and Ice cream in Moseley square our day was set. Our plan was to conquer another three beaches, but by the time we had dinner at IKEA (I know, lol, but convenience and air conditioning makes for a winning combo) the girls were pretty spent so we headed home for the evening anyway.

A pretty awesome day with a pretty amazing bunch of people – and a decent way to finish off the holidays me thinks:)

I hope you’ve had a great Australia Day as well!

Xxx,

Line

Thoughtful Tuesday: My kids WILL scratch.

A few weeks ago I took Sophia to see a doctor because she’d been having this cough for ages, as had I.
Anyone who has spent some time with her, or heard me talk about her in the last three and a half year knows she is an active child. And by that I mean she climbs trees, jumps up and down from rocks, rides her bike and splashes in puddles. She slides across the floor, dances and sings, runs and skips, scales any climbing obstacle and swings like a monkey to get extra speed down the slides. She loves action, and we’ve never really stopped her fun times. Also, she has never really hurt herself. No broken bones, not even a fracture. No open wounds and no cuts that needed attending. In fact, I am unsure if she’s ever really been to the doctor before? Of the three, she’s the only one who’s not been taken to the ER ever, and we have mentioned this many times while touching all the wood at the same time. She just loves being active, and although this means her being high and low all the time – she’s been uninjured so far.
She does, however, have scratches. Her legs have bruises from running into this thing and that thing, her thighs have scratches from falling here and sliding down there. Her fingers have been bitten by bugs and crushed by rocks and her hair has tangled from playing in a bush and jumping on the trampoline. It is what she does – she is busy being a child, and we let her.

Just imagine this though, we take her to the doctor for a cough, and I left feeling as if I had been accused of being violent towards my child. Sophia was wearing a skirt on this day, and sandals. She sits down on the chair doing exactly what the lady asked her to do. This was a new doctor we hadn’t seen before, but she seemed nice enough. Until she asked me:
“I can see she has a lot of bruises?”
“Yes, I mean, she does a lot of playing, and you know, that happens.”
“Hmm…”
“Do you do lots of playing? Climb trees and stuff?” she asks Sophia.
She doesn’t answer immediately, not really sure what this question is. So I add:
“Trees, trampolines, rocks, bikes – you know, she loves playing with everything this little one.”
The doctor didn’t even look at me, but continues:
“Hmm… It’s not a good look, is it. All these bruises I mean. It could come from lots of things.”
At this point I am sitting there, slightly shocked, not really sure what to say about this suggestive statement. The doctor goes on, still talking to Sophia:
“You need to stop climbing trees okay? Don’t play so rough, okay? You need to be careful when you’re playing and maybe not ride your bike so much, huh?”

My poor little girl nods her head, confused as anything.

“It doesn’t look good having all those bruises, people might think that you’ve been hurt by someone.”

I take Sophia and leave, not really feeling like I understood what was going on, not until I came home and told Simon about what had happened.

And then I got angry.

Not because I was low-key accused of causing her bruises. Not because she was talking to Sophia and ignored me, her mother. Not even because she asked about them in the first place.

BUT because she had the audacity to tell MY child, my whirlwind of a child to NOT climb trees anymore? Because she told her NOT to ride her bike, and to be ‘careful’ when playing and not playing so rough?? HOW DARE SHE? How dare she, a medical professional, try to impact and change the way my daughter plays. Where does she get the right to tell her that playing rough will cause bruises WHICH DON’T LOOK GOOD! I, as her mother, and Simon, as her father have absolutely ZERO care when it comes to how she looks. She is four, and she is not going to start caring about her own body image now.

She is not going to worry about other people looking at her body and getting ‘ideas.’ She should look at those bruises, think “Oups!” and carry on playing. She should band-aid that scratch and get back on that bike. She should walk around barefoot and stub her toe and roll down hills getting grass stains on her knees. In no circumstance should anyone, let alone a stranger, Doctor or no Doctor, tell her NOT to do those things as she could get ‘unsightly’ marks on her.

I mean, Yes, How dare she insinuate that we would hurt her? I get that she has a duty of care towards her patients, but if she actually thought so, is that not jumping the gun a little? Because of some bruises on her legs? Shouldn’t she have checked out the rest of her body? Shouldn’t she have sent me out of the room and talked to Sophia alone? Should she not have contacted the authorities and started an investigation? At least maybe called us back a while after to check again?

I do not, never have and never will condone any kind of violence against children. Not in any shape or form – and those who know me know this.

I will also never tell my children to stop playing the way they play. Of course, I supervise them and do tell them to get down or stop doing something if there’s a high chance of them hurting themselves, but mostly – I let them play and have fun! Miraculously, they very often know their own limits – and because we let them, they have balance, skills and instinct that help them. They scratch their elbows and skin their knees – but nothing worse than what a band-aid and a kiss can’t fix. And hell if I’m going to stop letting them enjoy themselves. If that means being accused of hurting them, then so be it.

Because they are MY kids, and I am in charge.

And don’t you dare tell them to stop doing what they love.

Xxx,
Line

Michael Jackson

Children are whimsical, weird, wonderful and wacky. They’re fantastic, funny and frustrating. Messy, marvelous and magical. Daggy, doozy and dangerously lovable.
Somehow I have scored the winning goal and have ended up with three of the most adorable little creatures. I mean, they make me laugh and cry and experience every emotion possible – sometimes all in the one day.
I could go on forever, in post after post, about my girls and how I love them. And I sometimes do. But I wanted this post to be about one of them.
If you’ve been following my blog (and the previous one) for a few years, you may remember reading about my predictions for Sophia. She was legit only 2-3 weeks old when she deliberately moved herself from her tummy to her back. I remember being at home and rehearsing harmonies from Beauty and the Beast when she was 7-8 months old, and she would sit in her chair singing loud and proud with me. To the point when I could hardly hear myself.
Ever since she was very little, she has loved all the attention she can get – and she soaks it up like a sponge. She will sing and dance and play music, and with such emotion you’d think she was auditioning for a lead role on Broadway.
We started her in dance lessons last term, and she has been loving it. They got to perform on stage a few weeks back and she couldn’t get enough – and continues to talk of how she is going to do choose her songs and costumes for the next performance.
A typical middle-child, she is, and although we sometimes struggle with her misbehaving, it’s her quirky ways and endless cuddles and kisses that finds its way back to us at night when we watch over her as she sleeps. It’s funny how quickly and much is forgiven and thrown out the window; how many bags of flour and washing powder she can empty out onto the floor, how many tubes of toothpaste end up on the mirrors and floors and items of make-up she gets into, oil-cans she happens to have a play with and cans of WD-40 is sprayed everywhere – at the end of the day, she hugs me harder and kisses me softer and smiles the biggest smile – and it’s impossible to feel anything but a huge and immense love for her.
In six months she, too, will be ‘leaving the nest’. It will be her time to be off to Kindy (for Nordmenn, so e det altso aaret foer forste klasse. 15 tima med skule-forbereding kvar veke). She has not had a single day in childcare in her life – yet I am positive she will be more ready than many of her peers then. She is so chock full of confidence so she will be alright.

If you have read all of this, you may be questioning why I named this post Michael Jackson. I wanted to tell an anecdote about our little one.
Now, MJ is not a big part of our life. I mean, we listen to his music sometimes, but as with many other artists, we don’t necessarily talk about them – the music is just there. So when Melodie was invited to a MJ-themed birthday party a month and a bit ago, we had to do a google-search to show them who this person was. We talked about it a few times, and then that was it. Since then, I can’t remember talking about him much at all.
A week or so ago, Simon was at home with the kids while I was at rehearsal, and when I come home, he tells me about how Sophia had walked down to the storm water drain (avloepskummen) that’s just down from our house, bent down and called out:

“Michael Jackson!! ARE YOU THERE??”
I cracked up laughing of course, and so did he. Out of all the things she says, all the ridiculous, random things she comes up with – that one pretty much took the whole cake. But it didn’t stop there.
Today, Melodie and her had fashioned some mobile phones out of some mail we had received, and as we were driving to meet up with some friends, they sit in the backseat calling people and playing games or whatever their imagination came up with. And then:
“Mamma,” she says, and I can hear by the tone of her voice that she is cranky. I ask her what is wrong.
“Michael Jackson is not listening to me.”
She has apparently called him on her phone – and he’s there – but he refuses to listen.
I don’t know what the deal with MJ is. I just can’t deal…

Xxx,
Line

The Best Laid Plans

Every school holidays I get caught out. I keep thinking I am going to do stuff with the kids – plan it properly so that we don’t have two whole weeks of boredom and driving each other up the walls. But I quite end up failing. And I think the reason for this is that I never actually make plans. I also end up only finding activities that will cost a lot of money (and with up to four children on the holidays the cost gets up there!)This time I am going to do it, and I’ll write down twelve of our activities down and share it here (this way I will be held accountable for it, and then if anyone wants to join us in our plans, you’re welcome!).
1 and 2: Craft days! One of the weeks I will have the girls making sculptures out of what we call “trolldeig” in Norwegian, and then paint it a few days later. I remember doing this as a child many times and it was great fun. A little messy, but fun! The other week I shall have them cutting and pasting and gluing and whatever else may take their fancy.
3 and 4: Going to the city! The kids love getting on the train to the city, but I have done it enough times with them and know they get restless after a few minutes, so we usually drive to the Bonython park car park and get on the tram from there instead. It ends up being free, and the girls get to learn how to act on public transport without having to spend an hour on the busy train. We will take on trip to the markets (we all love them, and haven’t been for ages!) and one to the museum. They are both free activities, and not to much walking for little feet either.
5 and 6: Playdates! Hoping to arrange a playdate in each of the weeks – maybe a picnic lunch at a playground or something like that (who’s in?).
7: The WInter village! So Adelaide is putting on a snow show this month, and with skating rinks both in the city and the bay we need to at least get to one of them – more inclined to go to the city as it has the alpine village with markets and mulled wine (I might feel like home!).
8: The movies! So I have been promising the girls to see Finding Dory for ages, but you know, time and all that doesnt always work in our favour, so chances are we will go see it during the holidays! If we’re lucky, it might be in the drive in so we can rug up and see it there!
9: Beach time! So, I love the beach, and always feel so much better on the inside after having been breathing in that ocean air for a while. The kids obviously love it too, and even though the weather may be less than comfortable at the moment, there’ll be nothing stopping us from rugging up, making some hot chocolate in a thermos and packing a lunch to eat among the sand dunes while the girls let their imagination run wild in the sand.
10: Visiting the library. So, I have never actually taken the girls to the library before. They know what it is, but we’ve never gone there for the purpose of finding books and reading them or taking them home. We need to do this (if I can get them to be quiet long enough!).
11: IKEA! I always looove Ikea and love going there, and now that Sophia is old enough to go to the playland, I can actually walk around and see stuff without having to lift her down from every bed and chair and table their is – and they usually have activities on during school holidays, so there might be some balloon animals for them as well! Combining this with a trip to harbour town won’t hurt either!:)
12: Baking day! So I always try to do lots of baking during the holidays to prepare for the next term of lunches for the girls. They love helping me, so I’ll take advantage of that and try to get some done while they are here!

So that ended up being 12 activities. Considering there are three weekends and ten days, we should be able to get all those in, and I hope we can – they are all things they all love doing, and should keep them happy for a bit. In addition to this I have also bought a couple of those school activity books that might keep their minds busy for a bit – here’s to hoping!

image

Adding some photos from Sunday, when we went to Ballywire Farm and fed the animals and played some minigolf. Simon won as always, but the girls had a blast and the donkey nearly ate Sophias toy cat. It was windy and chilly, but there were heaps of animals and the girlies loved it!

What are you doing for school holidays?

Xxx,

Line

Science projects

Just thought I’d share three easy and quick experiments you can do with your children.
I always make mine come up with a hypothesis before we start, as if it’s a proper school project.

  1. The Melting Snow.

We did this one in Norway, where there was actual snow, but you can easily do this with any frozen substance (preferably ice to minimise the mess.).

Ask the child what happens if you take the ice out of the freezer. When they have said it will melt, tell them to divide the ice into two containers. Place one of them in a hot spot and the other in a cold spot (In the sun and in the shade, on the counter and in the fridge). Ask them which one will melt first. Discuss why and how and what along the way. When one of them has melted, spend some time talking about why this happened the way it did.

melting snow

  1. The Volcano.

If you’ve never made a volcano in school, now is the time – it is super easy! All you need is a container – it can be a small bottle, can of drink – the best is a cylinder with a small hole on top. You need some baking soda, vinegar and dishwashing liquid. Make a mix of mostly vinegar and a squirt of dishwashing liquid enough to fill a bit more than half of your container. Put about a heaped tablespoon of bi-carb soda into the container and place it onto a tray or take it outside where you won’t mind a bit of mess (If you want to, you can put some food colouring into the vinegar mix, but this will obviously be messier.). When you are ready, pour the liquid into the container and watch it froth! The kids love it! If you want to go all out, you can add dinosaurs and make a clay volcano before the mix is put in, but I haven’t bothered so far. Still fun!

volcano

  1. Will it mix?

Get some oil in a glass and water in another, ask your child if they will mix. Have them pour one into another and see what happens. Tell them to mix it as well as they can and see if there’s a change. Then, add some dishwashing liquid. Magic!

My kids love things like these, and they are so easy to do and you’ll have everything you need at home.

In the name of science – go and science it up! Happy Sciencing!

Xxx,

Line