How do you deal with losing a pet?

When you children hound you for a pet, they go on and on – or at least my son did until eventually we gave in and let him have the two baby guinea pigs that he had seen.

He was very good and paid for them out of his own money, along with the cage and everything else that he needed to go in it. They were named Fluff and Scruff – Fat Fluff as he became know because he was greedy and also because he had a fat orange strip on his brown body, and Scaredy Scruff because he was quite nervous and anxious!

We have had them for nearly five years now and they have been well looked after – fresh fruit and vegetables twice a day, dry museli and hay! They were always given grass and put out in the run in the summer and came inside for cuddles when the cats weren’t around.

The children’s friends were always excited to see them and sometimes they were allowed to hold the or stroke them which they always loved. Fuff and Scruff were part of the family, and living just outside the back door in their double storey cage, it always made me chuckle when I opend the fridge to hear them squeaking for food – even when they had just been fed!

Well, today is a sad day. My son came down to feed them this morning only to come in sobbing – one of the guinea pigs had died. Fat Fuff was lying on the floor of the cage, whilst Scaredy Scruff was making noises for her food. It is a hard lesson for kids to learn, and although he is eleven, he is a sensitive sole, and this hit him really hard.

Dad fetched the other piggy in and he was allowed to be cuddled, while we put Fluf into a box to be buried – not a nice job but one that had to be done. We discussed burying him in the garden but my son didn’t want that, so instead we rang Nan and asked if we could bury him there instead. Fortunately, Nan agreed, so Dad took him aroud and buried him behind the shed. We are often at Nan’s so this seemed like a nice place for him to be.

The afternoon was spent getting the old cage ou so that Scaredy Scruff wouldn’t be on his own outside. My son asked if Scruff could stay in his bedroom for a few days so he had some company – we agreed as long as the cage is cleaned out regularly during the week.

All day my son has been sombre – often with little tears trickling down his cheeks. It is so horribe to see your children like that. My daughter didn’t know how to react and kept showing us these little nervous smiles – not having experienced any death yet, I’m not sure that she knew how she should react.

It’s been a tough week, and this really has topped it off! It is never nice when an animal dies and I don’t even want to think about our cast who are 13 and 14, as my son has always had them in his life. BUT, death is something that we all have to experience and come to terms with adn today has been one of those life experiences that we all have to go through.

We talked about how these things happen and how sometimes there is nothing that we can do and that nature has to take it’s course. We talked about how it is ok to feel sad, but how important it is to remember the nice things and the good times.

For now, all we can do is make sure that Scruff isn’t lonely and gets lots of cuddles.

RIP Fluff, you were well loved and we hope that you make lots of friends in pet heaven and that they feed you as well as we did x

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It started with a ……gum shield?

So far, the transition from Primary to Secondary had been plain sailing. Son had settled in well, made new friends, hadn’t got lost (much) and seemed quite happy. Until this morning…….why do these things always happen when you are in a rush or have to be somewhere at a certain time? Today, I needed to be at work on time because it’s assembly day and I needed to take my tutor groups register. Today was also the day when my son’s emotions, tiredness and feelings of being overwhelmed decided to come to the surface-all at once.
It started with a………gum shield! Desperate to play rugby, my DS got up early this morning to boil up this lovely, brightly coloured piece of rubbery stuff so that he could mould it around his beautiful teeth in preparation for rugby training this afternoon. On first attempt, he heaved but he boiled it again and prepared to give it another shot. Round two lasted a few seconds longer, but by round three he was gagging! I could see him getting more and more frustrated and tried to encourage him to leave it, explaining that he probably wouldn’t need it the first time anyway. Well, at first it was a trickle, then proper tears and finally full blown sobs. It started with the gum shield, then he was hot ( worked himself into a state ) and then he didn’t feel well and didn’t think he could manage school.
At this point, you are torn between caring for you son who has bravely entered the big wide world of Secondary school, worrying about what work will say if you phone them and say you can’t come in after seven weeks off or giving your child some tough love because you know it’s the right thing to do!
In my head, I knew he was just tired and that everything seemed ten times worse than it was. But my heart was telling me that he needed a big hug and some downtime. Cycling three miles a day when you used to have a three hundred metre walk to school is a big change. Couple this with a new environment, making new friends and lots of homework every night, and you know as a Mum that it’s going to have an impact on them.
So what did I do? Well, we sat and had the hug and we discussed the issues. I calmed him down and he composed himself. I gave him the choice- did he feel ok to go to school? Could he manage to get through the day knowing that he could come home, chill out and have an early night? Now at this point, I know some of you are probably thinking that I am mad to even give my son a choice….but that’s where you are wrong. You see, I know my son and I know that he will always endeavour to make the right decision. He wiped his eyes, washed his face and told me that he wanted to goto school. He told me that the bike ride and the fresh air would probably make him feel better.
He sent me a text to let me know he had arrived at school and was ok. He text me at break to let me know that the morning had been good and he felt better. But when he sent a text at lunch, he said he was tired. I told him we would have his favourite tea and an early night….he sent back :~). My son doesn’t text me often, usually just to ask me if he can go to a friends, or pop to the shop on the way home. Today he needed my support. Yes, it broke my heart to see him upset and going off to school, and yes I was late for work, but today my son learnt a valuable lesson. He learnt to persevere. He also knows that I am there for him, and our little text messages through the day got him through it.
What has today taught me? That I have an amazing son that I am really proud of……a boy who won’t give up at the first hurdle. As a mother I couldn’t ask for anything more!

To blog or not to blog, that is the question!

Ok, so I started writing a blog when we went on holiday just over three weeks ago. Have I enjoyed it and should I continue I ask myself…….well, first of all, it is something that I have really enjoyed doing. It is definitely better use of my time than trawling through FB, and I am keeping a record of the more important things in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, FB is great for keeping up to date with what friends and family have been doing etc, but putting your blog out there for others to see and read, just seems….I don’t know, more satisfying?
And there’s the other side to it too. Since blogging and embracing @Twitter, I am finding lots of people writing about things that I am interested in. It allows me to share other people’s experiences that are similar to mine and I hope eventually that I will have a wider network of people to share and comment with.
Considering that this time last year I was only just learning to Tweet, I am pleased with how far I have come and it has inspired me to carry on. This week I have already contributed to #WordlessWednesday and now #SilentSunday, and joined in with @Britmums with their #snaphappy moments!
I know that I cannot sustain updating my blog on a daily basis so I am going to aim for once a week, twice if I can and even more if eventful things happen! My aim now is to try and comment on other people’s blogs and find new and interesting ways to share my blog with others. I have already linked my FB and @Twitter account this week, so now it’s onto Google+, Pinterest and many more……
I would really welcome any comments or advice from those of you who are already blogging – thank you to @superamazingmum for the encouragement and information already gratefully received!

Scared? Proud? Sad? How do you feel?

How did i get here? Where has the last eleven years gone? One minute you’re dropping them off at Reception, then next they are off on their own to BIG school!

So, my son was invited to attend a Summer Club for his new secondary school. The first day was yesterday and he was really excited about going. We had planned that I would drop him off in the morning and then we (his Sister and I) would walk up and meet him with his scooter. We’d walk part of the way together and then stop in the park for an ice-cream ( I needed to check he knew where he was going) and then he would go the rest of the way on his own (gulp). This was in preparation for him riding his bike to and from school, the longer term plan! All went well…..I met him at 2.00pm, remembering to meet him up the road a bit as instructed, and waited for him to come out. He had a big smile on his face and was telling me everything that he had been doing – making Angry Birds catapults, completing the Looney Literacy challenge and making cakes….that he didn’t eat all of so he could show me! It sounded like he had really enjoyed himself. But, and there was a but coming….

DS: I burnt my finger Mum! (Now at this point, you must understand that I am a Food teacher.)
Me: What?????? What do you mean you’ve burnt your finger? How?
DS: well, I was taking the tray out of the oven with a tea towel and….
Me: What do you mean a tea towel, where were the oven gloves? Why weren’t you using them?
DS: Mum, it’s fine…..it’s just a bit sore that’s all, don’t worry about it, I’m not!

Well, that told me. And there I was filled with a huge mixture of emotions all in one go…..sad that my not so little boy is going to big school, scared because I know how busy lessons get and that sometimes accidents just happen and proud because he didn’t make a fuss and was taking things in his stride! I know that I need to back off and stop worrying quite so much, but as a parent you can’t just turn your caring side and emotions off at the flick of a switch. Oh no, this is going to be a whole new learning curve for me. Don’t get me wrong, he has had his independence for a while now….playing out with his mates, going down to the shops, playing tennis over the park etc. but it still does not compare to the feeling you get when they just go off on their own into the unknown!
So, this morning, as he got on his bike and said goodbye Mum, I was left standing on the doorstep filled with the same roller coaster of emotions as yesterday……sad to see him go off to Big School by himself, scared that something might go wrong with his bike, he might fall off or go the wrong way but most of all proud that he was happy and confident and looking forward to another day at his new school! Let’s hope that when he starts in September, the transaction will be a smooth one. A happy son equals a happy Mum – long may it continue!

How did you cope with your child moving on to Secondary school? I would love to hear about your experiences.