A rose by any other name?

A rose by any other name...

A rose by any other name…

The nature of a thing is indeed more important than its label.

I wore round-framed National Health glasses, very much in the style of John Lennon, from the age of two until I was sixteen. Worse than that, as a very young girl a plaster patch was placed over one eye in order to train my wandering pupil to focus. I felt neither stylish nor accepted. I simply felt different. Helpfully, this was pointed out at regular intervals by my classmates. Well I certainly hope they were trying to be helpful- at the time it seemed very nasty!

‘Speccy four eyes!’ and ‘Pirate Pete’ all may have been well intended but I can assure you that by the time I was twelve my response to these frequent jeers was less than polite.

You may have heard the oft-told fable, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you!’ Those of us who were victims of vicious taunting as children know that this simply is not true. Name-calling can hurt very much indeed – in fact its effects can be life long. Continue reading

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No means No!

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When my eldest son was two years old he was a consummate actor. Hurling himself face first onto the ground, red with rage, he would wail loud enough to be heard in Blackpool.

Andrew wasn’t too fussy about his audience and would think nothing of lying down in dramatic fashion, middle of the supermarket, to shamelessly exploit the embarrassment of his mum. Not getting his own way was a complete travesty of justice in his view and the world should hear about it! (I will be reminding him of this when he has children of his own!)

There can be few more public places to run the gauntlet of disapproving onlookers than Tesco. Every one of them secretly felt relieved that curly haired bundle of fury wasn’t with their child, every one of them a silent, disapproving witness to my parenting ability- or lack of it!

Happily, the defiant phase didn’t last very long- but at the time it seemed endless. Every well-planned shopping trip became, in my minds eye, a potential battle field and I would plan for it like a well trained commando.

His brother was much more placid. Sam did however perfect the art of becoming rigid, like a cardboard cut out every time we tried to put him into his car seat and he would object very strongly to being put down if I needed to do any housework. I wouldn’t swap either of them however for all the tea in China.

Of course it would be so much easier if we were all given user manuals when first handed our babies. Instead like most parents, I made it up as I went along.

Continue reading