Saturday, September 17, 2011

Someone's Judging You? So What's Wrong With That?

Those of you who constantly judge - prepare yourselves for my rant!

O.K.  someone is judging you - maybe on Facebook, maybe from within your family or friends.  It could even be that you feel an outsider is judging you.  And inevitably their verdict is guilty.  I honestly don't know how people who are accused of a crime and  tried by a Jury ever manage to get acquitted!   In our ordinary daily lives we mostly seem to be questioned  and critised about our choices, our lifestyle and worst of all - on our style of parenting.  The latter is the hardest one to accept, and it is one of the most hurtful things anyone can do - judge you as a parent, and then pronounce their verdict.   It always seems to be "guilty",  why is this?

You have NO RIGHT to judge others, no right at all.  Until your own windows are clean then don't damned well point your fingers at anyone else.   I say -  what in the hell gives YOU the right to interfere in MY life, and to try to force me to comply with your ways or your thoughts?   Are you so damned arrogant that you believe there is only one way to do something, and that is YOUR way?   Your way or the highway huh?   If my parenting method is different from yours, why does that make it WRONG?   Why does that make me a "bad" mother, and how does that show that my parenting skills are poor?  Who ARE you anyway?    OH?  You are a mother as well?  In that case, you should take a damned long hard look at yourself and your hurtful, destructive comments about other people.   Hang your head in shame for what you have said, because you have just destroyed the confidence of another mum.   Well done - you are such a shining example. 

Just because person A doesn't agree with person B spending on a fancy pram, for example, it does NOT give person A the right to criticise!   OH?  You think it does?  Why?   Put the shoes on your own feet and think how you would feel if you were on the receiving end.   Not good huh?  You would feel crap to put it nicely.   And now what have you done?  You have taken all the excitement away from the long-awaited arrival of that special pram for that special baby.   Nice work.   Whelan the Wrecker could take lessons sometimes.   You disgust me.

If I don't feed my baby the same food as you do - is that a reason for you to get on your high horse and start laying down the law to me about what is best for MY baby?   Did you know my baby had digestive problems?  No?  Well HOW DARE YOU  even comment?   My child is slower at speaking that yours?  Oh dear, I really need to have her checked because there is something wrong, isn't there, and you can't understand why I haven't done anything before this?   EXCUSE ME?  Do you know how many times I have consulted with doctors and health visitors and child behaviourists?  No?   Strange, I could have sworn you knew everything there was to know about me and my child.   MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Well I can't bring myself to cut my little one's hair, it is just beautiful, and is so curly and such a stunning colour.  What in HELL gives you the right to compare my baby's hair to that of an old lion? YOU BITCH.  What would you do if I said that to you?  Oh I know, floods of tears and a huge outpouring of rage.   I am waiting for this one to rebound on you, your remark was cruel, thoughtless, hurtful and ignorant beyond belief.   Were you never told "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"?      Or are you just so hidebound you think people will find your remarks amusing.    Here is the news - they don't

If my way of raising my child is different from yours that makes it different, not wrong.  If my weight is more than yours, we are just different.  I am not wrong.  If I have an untidy house that is my business, it is not wrong. I could go on citing examples for hours, but surely you get the picture?  I AM NOT YOU.    If you and your like had their way we would all be living in a world of Stepford Wives and Stepford Children. 

You want to offer me advice?  Well, thank you!  I will listen, and will choose whether to take that advice or not.  But when you try and impose your will on me - be warned - you will be biting off more than you can chew.  Just keep in mind the biblical quote "judge not, lest ye be judged"  -  and you will be, oh you will be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Negative or Positive? Do You Use Praise? (Part 2)

I loved and will always love my mother, beyond words.  I loved my grandmother, but I don't believe I ever actually had a close relationship with her.  One of the things that prevented this was her belief that children knew nothing.   It is quite deflating when you are full of something exciting you have just learned, to be told "huh! What would you know?".   Unfortunately, this tended to happen rather a lot with my Nana.  Mum?  She was a strange mixture really.  She loved us so much, but was mostly not able to express this.  She would praise you, but then she would ruin it by holding you up as an example to your siblings.  Nothing is more certain to produce resentment and jealousy in people, than to be told that someone else has achieved something you haven't.  Or is cleverer or prettier - or whatever.

Over the years we have discussed mum's attitude endlessly, without ever coming to a proper understanding of her attitudes.  One horribly destructive habit she had was trying to get us to improve some part of our personality or looks by saying distressingly negative things to us.   An example which has always stuck in my mind, and which still hurts, is when she was endeavouring to get me to become more 'outgoing'.  She despaired of me, because I loved to read and would rather stay inside and read than run around the neighbourhood with the other kids my age.   Her way of 'encouraging' me to change was to say that I would never have any friends because I didn't have any personality.  I think I was about 13 at the time, and this was such a devastating thing for her to say to me.   Inwardly, I withdrew further from the other kids, believing that I was nothing.  Self-esteem and confidence took an almost permanent nosedive.    I was always unhappy inside, but pretended to be fine, and laughing and joking to the world.   If I tried to express how I really felt I would be ridiculed and called "The Great Pretender"  (after a song that was popular at the time).   This  was always such a terrible source of hurt to me.   She told me that I had a dreadful laugh and that I needed to change the way I laughed.   Can you imagine how I felt?   These are just two small examples of how destructive negativity is.

Even when we were older she used negativity - and we actually decided it was because she was afraid of new situations, and afraid to experiment.  That she was confident only with things that were tried and tested.   If you told her you had invited friends around and were going to cook a special dinner, she would instantly say "Oh no, you can't do that, you haven't done it before.  What if it goes wrong?".   And things should be done the way she did them, or they were wrong.   Weirdly, I have found myself doing some things  that make me exactly the same as my mum, for example,  telling my daughter that "you only need to use 'this much' water in the saucepan when you cook the vegetables"....  obviously this is learned behaviour.  And quite sad when I think about it, because I know very well we all have our own ways of doing things! 

My father?  He never praised.  You could rush home excitedly from school, full of the news that you had scored 99% on your English exam, only to be instantly flattened when he said you should have scored 150%.   Never a hug or a "well done"  or  "I am proud of you, you have worked hard".    I can remember only two instances in my entire life when he even said something complimentary about me.  Not to me, about me.  And mum was so astonished - immediately she had to  tell me  what he had said.

Which all just lays the groundwork for what this blog is about!   Praise.  Positivity.  Do you praise your child?  Recently, when my little granddaughter finally decided it was ok to poo on the toilet,  I said she should have a reward.  My daughter said she didn't need a reward, the praise they gave her was enough to bring a huge smile to her face.   This was a rule I promised I would use with my girl, and she is using it with her own little girl.  Praise where praise is due.   Forget about the negative stuff, the scolding, the arguments - there are plenty of them anyway!

Concentrate on the good  - ignore the behaviour you want to discourage and praise the behaviour you want to encourage.  If your child works hard, even if they don't get the result they wanted - praise the hard work.  We aren't all clever and we aren't all good at everything.  All I ever asked was that my daughter did the best she could do, it didn't matter whether she won or lost, got an A or an E on her test results.  The main thing was that she tried her hardest.   She worked hard, she reaped the reward, and she had our applause for work well done.    Everyone thrives on praise, whether a child or an adult.   Even when they pretend they don't need to be praised!  Praise is an acknowledgement of your efforts, after all.

Some while back I read an hilarious article in a magazine.  The journalist had interviewed a lady who was a wild animal trainer (I believe she trained animals for film work and the like).   The interviewee said that she was having so many arguments with her husband, as he refused to do the simplest things - like put his dirty clothes in the hamper.  Just small, irritating things that started to take on more and more significance.   She decided she would use the animal training techniques on her husband, just to see what happened.   As difficult as it was, she started to ignore things like dirty socks on the floor, and thank him for small things he did - like washing the dishes after the evening meal.   She was delighted when the training worked.   Six months later they had reached the point where there were no arguments, and both were very happy again in their marriage.  The most amazing thing about this was that the husband said he knew what she was doing, but it was so peaceful not being yelled at and nagged,  that he quite happily fell in with it and did his fair share.  I still laugh when I recall his remarks.  What she did?  She thanked him - she praised him.......

When we train a puppy we use the same technique.  As soon as puppy understands what we want, and does it, we praise or praise and reward.   And it works!   So too does it work with our children.  Instead of shouting and fighting with them, and constantly saying "no",   use praise!   When they are quite small and want to do something like play with the electrical socket, just a gentle "ah ah"  - take them away from the socket and distract their attention.   Once they are playing with the alternative and safe toy, praise!   "Good boy, you are playing with your train!".    It doesn't matter if you have to do this over and over, it won't be too long before the little one realises that the attention and praise come when he is NOT at the socket!

And no, I am not advocating that we have a trained seal on our hands, but I do honestly believe in giving recognition where it is due.  We praised Fifi with her toileting - she had a great fear of sitting on the toilet except for wees, so it was a huge achievement for her to use the toilet for a poo.  She had struggled with the idea for months.  What's not to applaud?

I don't believe it  matters what actual words you use,  your child will quickly understand when you say "I am so proud of you!".   We love to tell other people how proud we are of our children - but do tell your children FIRST!   You really will see a difference in the overall behaviour of your child.   Use positive reinforcement, not negativity.   Everything needs balance, as I believe I have said before.  If you are constantly critical and finding fault, or saying "no" to everything then any child will start letting you know how frustrated and unloved they feel.  

The smile on your child's face when you praise them is a delight to see.  And an added bonus?  Your child will grow in confidence each time you smile and say "well done!".

Please feel free to comment - whether you agree or disagree!   Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

Do You Use Praise?

Well I wrote my thoughts about praising your children, and while browsing for some pictures I came across a blog where the blogger was saying that the psychiatrists are now recommending NOT to use praise with your children.  So I have now had to revise my blog, and am thinking that it should now be in two parts.

I am not going to put the whole argument or rationale up here, it is too long - but if you would like to read it in full, the link is 

I don't know about you, but when I sat and thought about what was said on the blog, I found myself disagreeing without any uncertainty.  I cannot imagine going through life without once getting a pat on the back for something which you have done and are proud of.  Hey!  Why do they give Olympic athletes gold medals?  And put them on a podium?  It is a huge " well done" - it is recognition of their hard work and effort as well as the fact that they won, or won a place. One man said :

I was praised too much and ended up feeling like a trained seal. To this day, I want outside   acknowledgement for every task, no matter how trivial.”

I want to make a note here, which I believe is very important -  he says "I was praised TOO MUCH". In  other words, indiscriminately.  Now, I don't know about you, but that to me is a huge tell -  there is such a thing as too little and  such a thing as too much.   There is no point in praise for every tiny thing, and it isn't required anyway.  My belief is that the type of mother who praises indiscrimately is the one you will all recognise - the mum who believes her children can do NO wrong.  And that type of mothering is more smothering than anything else.  We all know what it leads to as far as her children's behaviour is concerned.

My guess is that the vast majority of us are sensible about what we offer praise for - and that the children understand that we are praising their hard work and achievement - contrary to what the psychiatrists say. Their findings say that :

1)  Praise implies judgment.
2)  Praise is a form of manipulation (and kids eventually learn to recognize it).
3)  Praise creates “praise junkies” and lowers self-esteem
4)  Praise steals a child’s pleasure.
5)  Praise focuses on the end result, not the process
6)  Praise is often inaccurate.
7)  Praise reduces achievement

Good Effort!

Some of their points I do agree with, but on examining what we actually do or say in praise and acknowledgement of (for example) Fifi's achievements, then I honestly believe we have a good balance.  We don't praise indiscriminately, nor do we praise simply to get her to comply with our wishes (the manipulation).   We do try to always tell her what we are praising for, but on the other hand we don't withold praise if she has tried hard and not achieved her goal.   We applaud the fact that she has tried.   She tried for many months to put her shoes on the right feet, and finally did it!  She asks us "is this right?"  and we tell her yes, and well done, you have remembered which foot is which.   And that is a difficult thing to do.

I do not agree that praise implies judgment!  Nor do I agree that it lowers self-esteem.  Again, what they seem to be talking about is indiscriminate praise.

Help me out here please?  Maybe I am missing something, but referring back to the man who said he "felt like a trained seal" - surely training your children is what we are all about?  Teaching, training, whatever label you want to put on it?  What do you think, because I would be really very interested in other people's opinions about this.

 Please feel free to comment, I welcome comments from anyone!  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Does Your Baby Really Have A Tantrum?

This little piece is about one of my personal dislikes, and it is probably going to make quite a few people angry with me.  That cannot be helped, it is my own opinion, and we all have those!   I have a favourite hobbyhorse, you could say, and that is the fact that there are many parents who describe their new babies as having  certain emotions and attitudes that babies simply are unable to feel or display.

First among these is that the baby is "being naughty".   A newborn has absolutely no concept of so-called good or naughty attitudes - this awareness does not arise until years after they are born!  Newborns simply have needs that we should be meeting.  They do not "cry for nothing".   I am not going to apologise for any of what I say here, and if you think carefully I am sure you are going to agree with me.   A baby spends the first nine months or so tucked into a cosy water-filled world, with no loud noises (lots of 'white noise'),  no harsh and sudden movements, soft sensations.  They are nourished constantly, without having to think about it, or feel hunger.  They do not excrete, therefore they are totally comfortable.

At the end of that time what happens?  They undergo a painful,  perilous journey into the world, a journey that rivals our labour pains - their bodies twist and turn and are crushed mercilessly, and they are rudely pushed out into our world.  The shock surely must be tremendous to their tiny systems.  For the first time they have to breathe air - and it must smell shocking to them.  Their eyes have to adjust to light of all kinds.  Their petal-soft skin is wrapped not in amniotic fluid, but in harsh material.  They are not cradled in mother's gentle womb but are handled by huge unknown things, that poke and prod and weigh and measure and stick sharp needles in them.   Their organs start working and before they know it they have the first sensation they have ever known of a pinching belly, meaning hunger.  How terrifying it must all be.  And they must hurt all over.

There was a long discussion on Facebook not long ago.  I posted a  comment and it was 'picked up' by one of my friends and reposted, and suddenly there were many mothers joining in.   During the discussion I remarked that a midwife had told my friend that babies who had undergone long, difficult labour were the ones who cried a great deal at the beginning.  Well, it makes sense doesn't it?  Their skulls have been squashed out of shape and their spines distorted, their whole body undergoes tremendous stress - we understand this when we see during a difficult labour that the baby's heart rate drops.  Sometimes it keeps dropping, signalling that the baby is in trouble.  This is when the baby receives desperately needed help.

So it is not a surprise that it takes a lot of recovery from even a normal birth.  A huge adjustment, and this tiny body has to do it virtually unaided.   As an interesting aside, it has been seen that many babies who are unable to settle and  who seem to cry constantly, have improved 100% if they have been given gentle manipulation by an osteopath (chiropractor).  Even gentle massage by mother helps wonderfully.   The osteopaths advise that because of the position the spine and skull are in during birth, and the stresses placed on them, many babies have their bones slightly out of place.  This causes pain.  The only way your baby has of telling you he or she is in trouble, or pain, or needs something,  is by crying.

Manipulation for babies

Although it is horribly old-fashioned thinking, when my baby cried I checked top to toe, is she hungry?  Is she clean?  Has she a nappy pin sticking in her?   Is she too hot?  We had a little check list.   If we went through the list and all was well we would just cuddle our baby, as we believed it was comfort that was needed.  It worked very well indeed.  Babies do not cry for no reason. Crying is baby's way of communicating with you.  Babies cry if they are hungry, uncomfortable, tired, over-stimulated, have pain, are lonely, need comfort,  or are even bored.

Babies understand sensation, and I believe that for a long time this is all they understand.  They do not have "tantrums".  Babies don't  understand enough, even about their own bodies,  to attempt to control their world by throwing a tantrum.  Think how long it takes them to learn how to control even their facial muscles in order to smile at you.  The - dare I say it? - ludicrous statement that baby is being "naughty"  makes me see red.   If your baby is uncomfortable, hungry, tired, lonely, afraid - then baby will tell you by crying.  We all know very well that this is the only way baby can let you know.  At first it is so difficult because we do NOT instinctively understand what is wrong.  This only comes with experience and time.

I will repeat - the business with baby having a "tantrum" is a load of rubbish.  What has happened is that something that gave the baby comfort, or that was interesting, or that baby needed - was suddenly taken away.  And the baby cannot understand this, and is saying I need.  Usually, mummy or daddy respond to that need - either for food, or a change of nappy or a cuddle - whatever.  In this instance?  Nothing.  No response from mummy or daddy, and how bewildering, how terrifying must that be for this tiny person?   Remember, this is a little person who has only been in this world a few months..........who can't even understand the words being said to him or her.  And thinking about this, now think about how ridiculous it is say that baby had a "tantrum".

It is one reason I totally disagree with making a small baby try to self-settle at night.  Learning to go to sleep by yourself is a skill that many babies find very difficult to acquire.  The so-called "controlled crying"  to me is an abomination.   All that happens is that your baby is abandoned in a cot to become distressed - sometimes to the point of soiling themselves or vomiting.   And people advocate this method?   The only thing a small baby learns from this is that when it cries nobody gives a damn.   There have been studies which link the distress to later behavioural problems, although I am not going to comment on this, as I have no hard and fast information at all.

I think that some, not all but some, parents only use the "controlled crying" because they are tired in the evening and don't want the hassle of helping baby to sleep.   Please note, I said some!

There will be many who disagree with me I know, and that is fine - however, I will say one final thing to make you think.  Babies and little children do not even understand their own emotions, which is why we have to teach small children such things as what is sad, or angry or happy.   How, therefore, can a baby have a "tantrum" ?

I welcome any comments, for or against.  Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hissing Sid - Will He Meet His Match?

I have been unwell over the past week and a half, feeling very tired and hugely depressed for some reason.  Am being plagued with cruel headaches and stomach upsets, not sleeping, you name it.   It just occurred to my feeble brain that perhaps the reason behind this is psychological.   Now that is just a guess, so we will see what happens over the course of the coming weeks.

You see, my ex is coming to visit and stay with my daughter.  This is something that has been making me feel bad mentally since I was told of his impending visit.  It is enough to make me wish for a worldwide simultaneous loss of all air communication - so that not one plane can get off the ground for at least the rest of his life.  Failing that, perhaps they can beam me up somewhere, anywhere will do.  I have no preference where, so long as it is on another planet.

Can you tell how much I eagerly anticipate his arrival?  This is the man who has no understanding of children, no empathy or compassion, and he is arriving in the morning to stay for weeks with my precious granddaughter.  Who is not yet 4, and is lively, bright, articulate, loud and (dare I say it?) quite bossy at times. She acts up when she is very tired, and is quite a trial sometimes.

My fears are for my daughter's mental state and for the little girl we all cherish.  After all, he was the one who yelled at his only grandaughter when she overbalanced in her bouncer -  she was only a few months old.  She was just crawling at that stage, and none of us appreciated him yelling at her that she was "a silly girl".   Babies just don't understand consequences, and anyone who shouts at a baby is really beyond description as far as I am concerned.  Why shout and make her cry?

When his own daughter was tiny he would go around packing her toys away every time she turned to something new.  No matter how much I asked he refused to leave her toys where they were.  It got so that when he was at home she would just sit on the carpet and not even make an attempt to get her toys out.  She knew that he would promptly put them away again.  Excellent for a child's development isn't it?   He went ballistic when she dismantled a cheap plastic toy I had bought, and when I objected he shouted that she was always "breaking things".   Eh?  That was the first and only thing I had ever known her to take apart, and I couldn't recall one toy she had broken.  Besides, how many children accidentally break toys?

When she was five and going to school I used to give her pocket money.  Ten pence was to go into her school savings book and the rest she could use to buy something for herself, or save at home.  The grand total was fifty pence a week.   The response to this was that she should be made to do housework to earn the money.   I was so angry.  I disagreed totally.  He was told this, and told also that she helped me with the evening meal, gathered up the dishes afterward, made her bed, emptied and cleaned out the bath after herself and tidied the bathroom.  How much more housework did he want a five year old to do?

This is also the so-called adult who was sickeningly jealous of his own mother playing with his daughter at bathtime.  There were squeals and splashing coming from the bathroom, and he was so angry, saying that his mother "never let ME do that".      I found that difficult to believe also.   Somehow I can't see him enjoying his tiny miracle granddaughter - unless, of course, he has an audience.  He is the one who picked up his tired,  crying 3 year old and threatened to hit her ON THE SOLES OF HER FEET if she didn't stop crying.  I was so upset.  I still am.    He threatened to hit her another time and I said stop threatening - if you are going to smack her, smack her and be done with it.  He said (in a RAGE) that he didn't want to hit her in anger.  I said "what? so you will hit her in cold blood?"   He would threaten and rage at her and she would just shake with fear.  Oh he was a good father.

I recall so many instances from my daughter's childhood, and one in particular keeps coming to the front of my mind.  She must have been 4 years old and had quite a lot of Lego which she loved.  She begged him to build her "a castle".   Now, you and I (I would hope) would do something quite quickly and simply and say "there you go!".  We would have a happy child playing with their Lego castle.  Not him.   He spent about an hour or more, making some ornate structure, getting angry when she tried to help - and was then furious because when he had finished she was not in the least interested in his masterpiece.   I still can't believe that he wouldn't even let her help.

He bought a train track and trains, with a little controller.  It was supposed to be for my girl to play with.  But woe betide her if she laid a finger on it.  If we had guests and the track was out then that was fine, she could play with the switches etc.  If there were no guests - no touching.   What was the point?   I have no idea.   Oh, when our marriage broke up?  He took the train set.............   hmmm.  He was only in his late thirties.

So I am sitting here worrying about our darling girls, and in particular our tiny girl.  She is not accustomed to people shouting at her, or calling her names.  She gets into trouble, yes of course she does!  And she gets sent to 'time out'  if she has behaved badly.   But mummy doesn't shout, she is calm and collected and points out where our girl went wrong.   Daddy doesn't shout - he speaks a little louder if she is being loud, but he is also kind, and adores his tiny girl.  My fear is that he can quickly destroy her confidence, as he did with his own daughter.  And sometimes they can never regain that self-esteem.    I also think that even if any of us did happen to shout at her, it wouldn't be a patch on the vicious tone the ex uses.   In his arrogance he thinks he is fully entitled to criticise and complain and correct.   It is not so long ago that he was still trying to control ME.   Thirty years on, he still thinks he has a right to control me.  He never had that right in the first place.

So.  It will be interesting, as I say, to see what the next few weeks bring.   I am afraid, yes.  He is a destructive person, he has been diagnosed as a sociopath, and he really should not be within a few thousand miles of my family.   Oh, did you know that we all call him Hissing Sid?

Please feel free to leave me a comment.  I welcome any feedback.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Miracle Baby Brings Mother Back from Death

This is not my story, it is a story of a young family here in Australia, and to my mind it is a story about the power of a mother's love, a father's devotion and the unshakeable bond between mother and child.    When I saw an interview on television with Yoshi De Silva, I could do nothing by cry.

The De Silva family are the most amazing, shining example of love that I can think of.  In early March this year Emma and Yoshi De Silva were just an ordinary couple, whose lives had been made perfect by the birth of their daughter Eloise.  Emma and Yoshi had been trying for their first child for three years and Emma had suffered three very painful miscarriages, and so it was with joy that they greeted their tiny daughter.  Emma, 35, was a teacher, as was Yoshi.

Emma De Silva

On March 14 Emma took Eloise for a walk in her stroller, and in an instant the lives of this courageous family were shattered.  As they were walking a car left the highway, hit a sign and then a power pole,  mounted the footpath, and hit Emma and then the stroller.  An eyewitness said that Emma was thrown into the air and landed on her head.  Yoshi said in a TV interview that a mate had called him and told him he needed to get to the hospital  as Emma had been hit by a car.  He said that Eloise and Emma had been taken to different hospitals, so it was a logistical nightmare going between the two.  He thought he would lose both of them, and Eloise had bleeding on the brain and a broken collarbone.  Emma was in a coma and was not expected to live.

Yoshi said that just before the accident they had been talking and they agreed that their life was perfect.

Eloise was just 19 days old.

Yoshi, Eloise, Emma's father and sister

Only three months before the accident Emma's mother had died from motor neurone disease.

Yoshi told media that he was a "broken man" going between visits to his tiny daughter and his critically ill wife.  After a week in hospital, Yoshi was able to take Eloise home, and he took on all the duties of a single parent.  He even joined a mother and baby group, and says it was throughout this time that he understood the depth of the bond between mother and child.   He worried that Emma and Eloise would lose that precious bond, and  would take Eloise to the hospital each day to see Emma, so she could have some "skin to skin"  contact with her mother.  Doctors told Yoshi that they wanted to turn off Emma's life support.   He asked them what would happen if he did that, and the response was that Emma would probably die.  They weren't detecting brain activity and her injuries were catastrophic.  Yoshi refused, and refused to give up hope. 

For weeks Emma showed no signs of response, until one day,  weeks after the accident, her eyelids fluttered.  The next  response was a small grin.  Then she moved her hand.  Eloise would lay on Emma's chest and stroke her face and give her baby kisses.   Emma seemed to know they were there, and would become restless or move her arms, sometimes she would cry.  Eighty four days after Emma's accident she woke up, holding Eloise in her arms.

Yoshi firmly believes that it was Eloise who brought Emma back, that Emma knew Eloise was with her every day for eight weeks, needing her mother back with her.   During the television interview the reported posed the question to one of Emma's doctors, who agreed that it was more than likely Eloise who caused Emma to awake  from her deathly coma. The doctor described Eloise as a miracle.

Emma's father and sister have been tremendously supportive, and her father kept a daily journal, including photographs, of Emma's slow recovery.  It will be a long slow road for Emma, who is having to learn to walk and talk all over again.  She retains her cheeky sense of humour, and has shown such courage through her rehabilitation.  Almost six months after the devastating accident Emma is still slowly finding her way back.  During the interview Emma told Yoshi  "I want to make love"  which brought a smile to everyone.

I pray that she can fully recover and that their lives can go forward as they were meant to, with such love and hope. I have put some links below for you to read the story, and a link to the video of the tv interview.  I do recommend you watch the video.

If you wish to read more you can go to the following links :

and for the interview, the following :

The World Before Google

Well the title is misleading really, because this isn't all about the world before Google.  It is a bit about it, but I just wanted to reel you in and get you reading!   This blogging thing is not all it's cracked up to be and that is solid fact.   Talk about get confused.   The first obstacle today came when I realised I had forgotten to bookmark or note where my blog was located - and that was fun.  You see, it is not on Google yet!  It is a blog which is owned, or run or something, by Google - but not yet searchable by using Google.   Talk about a hooraw.   Luckily, I had absently clicked a box to inform me when someone commented - and there was an email!  Believe it or not, you are only reading this because my dear friend Nel left me a comment!

Before Google?  Well that was so long ago I hardly do remember it.  But I do recall there were several different ways of searching on the internet, different programs or "search engines"  (why engines? chug chug chug, I think!)  we could use.  They were very hit and miss and sometimes the search results were surprising to say the least.   Don't tell anyone but I searched once and my search engine hacked into a university computer....... I had a whale of a time learning all about microbiology, advanced brain surgery and suchlike.  Shame I understood none of what I read though! 

There is so much technical crud - and I repeat crud - in the world today.  I have my theory that the producers of the technical crud sit huddled over messy desks, with eyes squinted and mouths pursed into tiny pouts - just absolutely beating their brains to come up with  new unpronounceable, unintelligible, and nonsensical words and terms for their cute little inventions.  Perfect example is a Wii.   Now, for the uninitiated, that is NOT pronounced as "Y" but as WEE.   For gawds sake, who thought this up?  Every time I hear someone talking about being on their WEE I collapse laughing and they look at me very strangely.  Can you hear the inventor of the word WEEING himself as well, when he thinks of the millions of people worldwide who have been totally sucked in by this term?  Oh, says your mate, I am just going to exercise on my WEE!    My daughter was playing with her WEE last night.  How perverted is this guy?   He must have known exactly what he was doing when he named it?  You bet he did!  
Tell you what, you aren't going to see me buying one of those any time soon.  I won't be the butt of that guy's evil sense of humour.......pardon the pun.

It's the same really for the terms used on the internet.  Take the word BLOG for instance.  Yeah, yeah, ok, I know it stands for "web log"  but before I found that out I tried to figure it out for myself.  The closest I could get to the meaning of the word "blog" was bullswool log.   I guess my definition is closer to the mark in many cases!
Before Google we had heaps of choice when we were helping our kids with homework research etc.  We had a rather ancient encyclopaedia in 12 or so volumes, which took a fair amount of wading through to find answers.  We had a shelf full of dictionaries, which can be amazingly helpful - like mini encyclopaedias really.  We had the public library - but the decent one was at least 3/4 hour's drive from here.   We had our own recall, and could pick other people's brains, and we had (still have) many reference books in our own little home library.  

If we were ill, we consulted a how to do your own hysterectomy manual (missing page 5), or the Book of Home Remedies - or, stranger still, we saw the G.P.   For any real emergency we trotted off for a seven hour wait in the overcrowded anteroom of the local Accident and Emergency Dept.  Now we Google our and our family's ailments.  And end up on the local Crematorium site checking prices, while eating our Valium sandwich. 

Before Google and online games, children used to play outside - we built treehouses, went hiking, rode our bikes miles through the country. I remember trying to bring home a huge pumpkin I had cadged off a local farmer.  Balancing a pumpkin on the centre of the handlebars does NOT work.  The number of times I fell off before I reached home doesn't bear thinking about.  We would play stupid games like Cowboys and Indians - my doll was burned at the stake so many times it is a wonder there was anything left of it!  We played board games!  Wonders will never cease!  

Before Google the world was simpler, slower, safer really.  Oh I know the internet and all that jazz has vast amounts of wonderful knowledge floating around out there.  But it also has vast amounts of MIS-information and frightening facts also.  Unless we are selective and careful we can land ourselves in a lot of trouble.  And I don't mean just downloading a Trojan either.  

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog........
Way back then, the nasties of the world were relatively isolated, and many were thus prevented from practising their foulness.  Now?  With information accessible from their own homes, the scam artists, conmen, paedophiles and the like have instant access to others of their ilk, and can form 'rings' around the world, swapping ghastly photographs and information.
The same with explicit pornography - it would be a safe bet that there are very few of us who haven't stumbled onto some obscene (and I mean really bad) porno site.  The last one I stumbled onto popped a picture up of two grown men fondling what appeared to be a girl in her very early teens.  It actually made me ill.

Yep.  The world before Google was slower, it was harder to connect with people as we only had the power of the pen, and later on some of our homes had telephones.  The world was also safer for our children, our teens and young women.  There was no easy access to sites showing 50 ways to torture your ex girlfriend.   On the other hand?  If our young ones left home we didn't have a simple, instant way to contact them.  We would have to wait days for a letter and/or photograph to arrive, to let us know they were safe and sound.  We had no quick help in the middle of the night when our baby was screaming in pain and we were demented with worry and fear.   If we lived alone we were lonely.

Letters please!
My conclusion?  Nothing will change what is in place regarding the evil on the net, except constant vigilance by parents and law enforcers.  That aside, the advent of the internet and Google has, for the majority of us, been a force for good, taking us out of our little narrow world, and dumping us willy-nilly into the lives of millions of other people.   It has created safe places for people to befriend and help others, allowed us to travel even though we are unable to because of illness or lack of funds. And perhaps through people interacting on the internet, we will eventually all join hands and be a tremendous force for worldwide peace.

What do you think?  I welcome your comments!