A Dilemma: Ancient or Modern?

Anyone who knows me will be aware of my complete inability to make a decision. Tea or Coffee? Pizza toppings? Which car park? You name it, I’ve dithered in a completely unneccesary manner about it! In fact, I’m verging on being slightly OCD about it, and sometimes I will actually just ask the children and see what they say, but that causes the issue to escalate if their vote isn’t unanimous! Thankfully though, generally these quandries are over small, inconsequential things. No-one’s life depends on them, and no-one will be upset by them.

The thing is, I now have a dilemma on my hands. I’ve made my decision (a first time for everything!), but I know a lot of people are going to think I’m wrong, and I’m always going to think about this with a guilty conscience whatever I decide – there’s no right answer to this one.

Next month, my daughter has her first Sports Day. She is already very excited about this special event where all the parents come and watch, and they’ve already started making things in preparation with Olympic themes. Although it’s probably not the biggest event in her school life, it’s another first for her, and something she is looking forward to and pretty much counting down the days until.

What she doesn’t know however, is that on this day, my Grandma will turn 100. My only living Grandparent, and probably the family member who’s stood up for me and who I’ve been closest to my entire life.

So my dilemma is this: Do I celebrate my Grandma’s 100th birthday with her, or does my daughter take part in her first ever Sports Day which she is so very much looking forward to?

Not many people get to celebrate a 100th birthday do they? And I honestly think my Grandma is just trying to ‘hold on’ for her 100th birthday, she hasn’t got long left I know that, I’ve been to see her in hospital and ‘said goodbye’ four times now, and my daughter’s Sport’s Day? Well, there’ll be plenty more of those won’t there, in fact give it a few years and the novelty will probably have worn off all together! It’s pretty obvious what I should do isn’t it?

So why is it that the decision I’ve made, is in fact the opposite? I feel like the decision I’m making is really selfish, but I also feel like I have to do it this way. My Grandma is very fragile. She lives in a residential care home (a very lush one with chandeliers and string quartets at dinner!) but last year she had a stroke. The last time I saw her, she recognised my face, but was unable to hear me clearly or communicate. She wasn’t really aware who my children were, so didn’t flinch when one of the other residents insisted they were her children (yes children, not grandchildren!) and tried to take them back to her room, pinning the picture up that my daughter had drawn for her Great-Grandma. Understandably, my children got a bit upset by this! She also gets visibly distressed when there is so much going on around her that she can’t focus on everything at once.

With this in mind, I have actually made a decision that I will support my daughter going to her Sports Day, and miss seeing my Grandma on her 100th birthday. I’m not sure if I feel guilty because it’s the wrong decision, or whether I feel uneasy because I know a lot of other people will think it’s the wrong decision, mainly the other members of my family. I just feel after a lot of thought that if I go and see my Grandma the next day, or the day before, she may not be as upset as my daughter would be if she missed something that was really important to her, and that in reality, she will be aware of missing a lot more. I am also pretty confident, that should I be lucky enough to reach that age, I would insist that my Grandchild made the same decision. I’m not snubbing my Grandma (or am I?) I love her to bits, and am desperate to share her special day with her, I’m just so torn. I’d love to hear what you would do, though if you think I’m totally out of order, please tell me in a nice way because I’m going to end up upsetting someone whatever I choose!

Thank You for the Music?

The second we get in the car, my children start deliberating over which song they’d like to listen to first on the journey. Up until quite recently it’s usually been something Disney related, with the Tangled soundtrack featuring pretty highly. My son also has a soft spot for “Dingle Dangle Scarecrow,although he’s gone off that a bit in the car as he finds the confines of his Maxi Cosi a little bit restricting for its accompanying choreography!

As a music teacher, I’ve come to appreciate a huge range of musical styles and genres, and my husband is very passionate about music too. He tends to favour the more critically acclaimed artists, often finding my tastes incredibly cringeworthy and frequently sniggers that my ‘Guilty Pleasures’ playlist on Spotify actually contains most of my library!

Recently however, I’ve noticed that the children have been starting to enjoy more grown up music. I’m not talking the swearing every other word type, just the next step up from Disney! I’ve found it quite endearing seeing them dancing and singing along to Miley Cyrus, thinking how cute and innocent it all was, but my daughter got me thinking this morning when she’d requested Price Tag by Jessie J on the way to school. The reason she and my son love this song is for no other reason than right at the start she says “Coconut Man!” This never fails to produce uncontrollable fits of laughter from both of them. They then happily sing along to the chorus. The thing is though, this morning, my daughter asked me “Why isn’t it all about the money? What does Jessie mean?”

Thankfully, this is a song with a nice message , but they also love dancing around to the poppy Katy Perry singles, so how long will it be before she’s asking me what ‘sex on the beach’ is or what ‘menage a trois’ is all about?! These are songs that are frequently played on the radio, so should I be avoiding them because they’re only 3 and 5? I’ve never really been the ‘sheltering’ type, but I’m also not sure I was expecting the whole birds and the bees thing just yet either!

I’m probably reading too much into it again, but my daughter is bright and if she’s starting to try and make sense of the lyrics and question their meaning, surely I should encourage this new level in her learning? So is it all innocent fun, or am I already at that stage where I’m going to have to start censoring things?!

Given that my daughter was only proudly telling all of her teachers yesterday that she stayed up until midnight at the weekend (for a very special occasion!) and that she made a MacDonald’s chip carton during ‘art’ at school for no reason at all yesterday, I’m growing ever fearful that I might soon get a reputation that I really don’t want! So tell me lovely people, is it time to act?!