A Million Cupcakes

Just a quick one to share a cause I think needs some more publicity. Two amazing kids that I have taught in the past have created http://www.millioncupcakes.org/ in memory of their grandfather, to try and raise money and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease, (MND) which they can explain on the website far better than I could. (Well done to the parents for such obviously brilliant discussion on a complex illness by the way!)

While the disease is terrible, and the idea, (of selling a million virtual cupcakes) is adorable, something much bigger touched my heart, especially while dealing with my own grief.

I’m sure we all remember the first time we lost someone important to us. I was Oliver’s age (7) and really that first grief was really more a first glance at the idea that people do not live forever, that those we love can be lost, and that there’s nothing we can do about it.

The next time I lost someone I cared about, I was around Ella’s age, (11) and this time I remember missing them so acutely that it hurt all the time. I wrote letters, I kept busy, but again, there is a helplessness about death that makes it seem hopeless, especially for a child.

Even at age 19, when I experienced a real loss for the first time, that sense of confusion and despair was no less prevalent. And it’s still there.

And I think that’s why I feel so attached to this particular cause. Yes, I know the children personally, and if it helps-they are both really lovely kids. But more than that, they are taking their grief for their grandfather, and removing the hopelessness from it. They are creating something wonderful and meaningful out of their loss, and if more people can share this cause, as well as this idea, they could actually change the world before they hit their teens, at an age where when faced with loss, most of us are just battling with getting up for school in the morning.

I’m impressed, and I think if you take the time to visit the website and check out the video, you will be too.

So what are you waiting for? Click the link, learn something, and send a delicious (calorie-free!) cupcake today, for as little as £2. And share share share!


Dear Abby…

Try not to laugh. My one year old finds me boring.

He is generally thank God, a happy, smiley kid, and many people insist on telling me that I don’t know how lucky I have it. (as if myself an C have nothing to do with his character traits or personality. Hello? At the very least we’re responsible for the genetics. Anyway, another blog.) And it’s true, he is truly a chilled out kid.

But I’m not sure he likes me all that much…

Ridiculous. Absurd. He loves me. I know that. He cuddles me when he wakes up in the night crying. He smiles when I put him in his highchair, (knowing that food is near) and it’s not as if we never have fun together, of course we do. But those times seem to be less often than they once were. I think it wouldnt bother me nearly as much if it was a general phase he was going through with everyone. But he’s never been more happy to see every other member of our family or general acquantaince in our lives. Grins, Giggles, Arms outstretched.. I get it R, you like them more than me today.Same as yesterday. No doubt same as tomorrow.

So I play with you. I sit down, flex my fingers, put my best baby smile on, and begin. Blocks. Lets make a tower! I place one block on top of another, and then a third. You knock it down and look at me. I do it again, and you oblige. A third time, and you leave it standing there, as if to say, Seriously? this is the whole game? Ok R, too easy. Lets try building one instead. I put one solitary block in your hand and another on the floor in front of you. I watch as you place it onto the other, and after a few tries, you manage to successfully construct your first tower. Yay! I clap enthusiastically, but you have no desire to do it again, once is enough and you’re already on to the next step, of eating the project at hand.

Ok. What’s next? I clap and put my arms out to you, and you scramble onto my lap. We look at each other, and I nostalgically remember the days when I could pull a funny face and keep you entertained. Now even old faithful ‘fish face’ gives me only a few seconds of a half smile. All my best contortions of my facial muscles serve to give me nothing but a glimpse into the future, my teenage boy staring at me grumpily, waiting to be dismissed, a look on his face as if to say ‘You seriously dont get me.’

Perhaps I’m being hugely hard on myself. But whatever games I play with you, I cant shake the feeling that you are fantastically bored. That I’m not able to be as boisterous as your dad, or as appealing as your grandparents, or as interesting as another baby. I cant think of the right things to say, or a different song to sing, or an original game to play. I dont think you enjoy spending time with me.

Truthfully R, you’re not that entertaining yourself. You whine a lot, you need more attention than a well trained house pet, and your conversational skills are limited to say the least. I have to admit that this boredom which worries me so much, is something which I feel many times throughout the day myself. I know that’s normal. But that’s part of the package. I knew when I decided to invite you into our family, that it would be a couple years before you became company. It worries me that you were not appraised of the same deal and in terms of entertainment, as your primary care giver, I might be coming up slightly lacking.

So all suggestions gratefully recieved. Winter is a’coming, and play dates are scarce, as all of my fellow mummies appear to be returning to full time work.. Any ideas/groups for keeping a communicationally challenged 1yo entertained much appreciated.. Failing that, words of encouragement that my baby likes as well as loves me would be great..