This week is Anti Bullying Week and it’s made me think a lot about everything I went through during my school years. I was bullied relentlessly at school and I’ve written about it quite a few times now but it’s only recently that I’ve looked back and realised that the abuse I suffered, if you remove the word bullying associated with it, is something the police should have been involved with.
To the National Health Service
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. The NHS gets a lot of flack – as do all services we have in this country – but, without you, I wouldn’t be here. Neither would my husband and, because of that, neither would my children.
A year ago we started the process for Little Man to have speech therapy. It was something I’d been through as a child too and when it was first suggested that he needed help with his speech I was so emotional. I wasn’t sad that he needed speech therapy it was more that we had been working on helping him speak for so long that hearing someone outside of our family confirm our concerns was really emotional. But, it meant that he could start having the help he needed.
Looking back at my childhood I don’t remember a huge amount. I remember the big things – the birthdays, Christmases and the camping holidays. I remember the truly memorable things like having chicken pox, learning to ride a bike, moving house, getting a new car and days out to Brighton and Chessington World of Adventures.
We have been counting down to this moment for weeks – maybe even months. Today is the first full day of our summer holidays and we are looking forward to cramming so much into the next six weeks – as well as plenty of lay ins, lazy days and time at home.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how LP and Little Man’s childhood is different from my own, how it was simpler 25 years ago, things were less material and how I loved more basic things like playing outside, reading and making tents in the garden with sheets. It’s not that the children don’t love those things now, just that life is busier, has more distractions and there are just more options when it comes to entertainment than there were when I was LP’s age.
Back when Little Man was a year old I wrote about how hard it had been having two children so close together. I wrote about how exhausting it was, how relentless it was and how all encompassing it was. There were just twenty months between LP and Little Man. There were two lots of nappies to change, two lots of routines – with milk feeds as well as dinner, bath and bed.
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I look back to my childhood and it was so different to the childhood my children are currently living but can you imagine your children having the childhood that their grandparents had?
Last weekend I decided to confront someone about the way they had been talking about me for months behind the closed doors of a Facebook group. I told them that the things they were saying were not just unfounded and with no real cause. They were vile and much the same as I had heard being bullied as a child all those years ago in the school playground. Their response?
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I have seen so many people sharing interview style posts of twenty questions for their children and I just had to get involved! I’ve never interviewed the children before and Little Man wasn’t interested in participating this time either, but I printed off this handy 20 questions to ask your children worksheet from Shepherds Friendly to go through with LP.