Monday, 1 October 2012

Howe do you do... this?

You know sometimes, when I'm putting your shoes on and you steady yourself by clutching my hair? It doesn't actually feel like stroking!
When you refuse to wear your cardigan because it's sunny, it doesn't stop being ten degrees.
If you could sleep consistently it might have a positive, even jovial effect on my demeanor!
I know Peppa Pig is like catnip for you but is there any chance we could watch a bit of countdown, just once?
You know when I cleaned the bathroom floor, an occurrence already too infrequent, was it too much trouble to actually make it to the loo, in the minutes that followed?
Which reminds me, you know when I get you all wrapped up, organise us all out of the house and strap you into your car seat? Not a good time to tell me you need a wee.
Or when I've just stepped under the shower and you call me to nurse your toe which 'hurt itself'.
While we're on it, any chance you could you eat your food in less time than it would take me to make a tapestry of it?
When I say "Come here" it's adorable that you run in the opposite direction, said no Mother ever!
You know you never listen to me!
And you do get tremendously crotchety when you're hungry!
And what's with the "Why" all the time?

Love always,

Dear Mummy

What does "Come here" actually mean?
When you talk in more than one sentence, I'm lost.
Do you know how dirty your house is from this angle?
This place is amazing, everyday I find something new to marvel at, it's very distracting!
I'm just "exploring my environment".
You're always in a rush.
Did you know that eating too fast can give you indigestion? And if you will give me tosh instead of chocolate! Have you tasted chocolate?
Did you know you're a clothes dictator? How am I meant to express myself?
And you talk too fast considering I'm learning a new language.
You know you never listen to me!
And you do get tremendously crotchety when you're hungry!
And you know everything! Of course I'd ask you!

Love you a million

Baby Girl...

Dear Baby Girl

I love that you share your sweets with me.
That you dance and toss your hair like you're on drugs but you're just high on life.
I love how compassionate and tender you are, always wanting to look after people.
I love that you like to pretend to be me.
I love that you sit in my crossed legs and call it your nest.
I love that you're tough and discerning about people, frequently outraged, yet have boundless affection for those who make the grade.
I love that you're naturally graceful, you must have got that from your father.
I love that you love to sing and make up the words you don't know.
I love that you randomly decide you need a cuddle off me.
Even though you cry a fair bit, you spend most of your time smiling and you make me laugh so much.
I love your imagination, only you can use the jigsaw box as ice skates.
And even though you wake me up a lot, it is cute that all you want is me.

Love you a billion


Dear Mummy

I love that you made me, and look after me nicely.
I love that you make sure I'm safe and comfortable.
I love that you'll stop most things to give me a cuddle
I love that you care about making a nice home for us.
And it is rather great that you think beyond our wellbeing to consider enriching experiences - even though your cooking is rubbish.
I love that you include us in your life and teach us what you love about the world.
I think your wardrobe could do with jazzing up a bit, and it's a relief that you've started asking my opinion.
I appreciate that you entertain my imaginary world.
I love that you share your favourite stories with me.
Thank you for being patient while I work this world out.
It's awesome that you tidy up when I make a mess, so I can do it again.
You're very encouraging, my Number One Fan!

Love you a trillion

Baby Girl

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Howe do you do... making a nice person?

Yesterday was a day for Surprising Sentences... “You don’t eat furniture!” being one, as I picked small shards of wood off Baby Girl’s tongue. Another was: “You don’t hit your sister in the head with the stair gate.”

When Ninja was new, I remember taking tentative steps into discipline. He was hitting My Officer Godmother on the head with a wooden brick. I told him firmly to stop, he looked at me, with an air of defiance and continued. I persisted to admonish him but eventually had to bite down on my knuckle, to stop myself from laughing.

Not because it’s funny to hurt My Officer Godmother; it was the look on Ninja’s face. The lack of concern that he was doing anything wrong, layered with my ineffective reasoning, in addition to not wanting to upset my progeny, mixed with the novelty of being the parent in this kind of scenario and finally the Mother Effect - that thing where having children skews your outlook to believe that your offspring are perpetually adorable. (An essential security measure for parents, ensuring you don’t try to disown offspring when it dawns on you that they don’t do anything you want.) These factors contributed to the ludicrous, comedic vibe.

Nonetheless, I didn’t show him laughing and as time goes on and I continue to teach him the ways of the world, I turn my back or leave the room if I feel that giggle bubble threatening to pop out of my throat... often just a cough will sort it.

Sometimes I have a flurry of frustrations bubbling inside of me but other times, well sometimes at least, I'm just not that cross but I have to show cross in order for his four year old mind to understand that something is wrong, right?

I’d like to transpose the conversation that went on around said Surprising Sentence.

To set the scene, I was in the kitchen making packed lunches. I heard the bang, which I recognised as the stair gate hitting the door frame, no doubt savaging the paintwork, but we pick our battles - they were in good spirits. One larger than usual bang and I stopped what I was doing and waited for what was either a) nothing or b) Minnow doing a silent inhale of agony, gearing up for a deluge of emotion on the exhale.

It was b.

Ninja said, “She hit her head”. Gathering Baby Girl up - spit strings perilously close, her cheeks moist and hot - unable to gather herself even for a second, I asked her what had happened. Ninja pipes up: “She doesn’t want to tell you”.

Hmm, suspicious. Minnow, inconsolable and rigid with shock, then convulsing in pain and finally flailing her finger at Ninja, she was brutal in her condemnation. After I got her the cooling gel pack that we call Mr Bump, which in fact is Mr Happy, not Mr Bump (surely they’ve missed something there?) and calmed her down, I turned my attention back to Ninja. I explain to him that I’m cross that he’s hurt Minnow, but I’m even more cross that he tried to lie about it. To ensure that he’s understood, I get him to repeat after me:
“ You must tell the truth, and you mustn’t hurt Minnow... OK? You must...”
“Hurt Minnow”
“No, you mustn’t...”, he jumped in with...
“Tell the truth.” For the love of God! The Mother Effect fails me!

And I am finally reminded, he is four years old. He hasn’t a clue what I’m on about. I’m not sure if he even understands the word “truth”. I see this is going to be a long process. I’m going to have to pretend to be cross quite a lot, and continue trying not to laugh, in an attempt to give him clear signs of what’s right and wrong.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Howe do you do... wet summers!

Dig out your mittens!

Of course it’s sunny! Of course it is, no sooner have our children’s noses crossed the threshold to the school playground and the sun pulls his straw boater down over one eye and folds his hands behind his head. I feel like screaming at him: ‘Do you know what you’ve done!’

On the very first day of the summer holidays I bought both of my charges a new pair of wellies. Firstly because the rain had form and no crappy weather was going to stop us having a good time. But secretly in the back of my mind, I hoped that this one personal exchange might have the Gods see fit to turn our fates into a long, hot, al fresco summer.

It didn’t work.

Something else that doesn’t work is looking at the weather forecast. For some time now, I’ve had the sinking feeling that Mystic Meg might be running The Met Office. And yet they do it so seriously - as if it’s true! They might as well be sticking farm animals onto their clever little maps because Pigs Might Fly!

This summer, there has been one fool-proof method of weather forecasting. In the morning, whatever the weather is doing, it is guaranteed to have done a one-eighty by lunch time. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT leave the house with just what you are wearing.

With this in mind, the longest days of the year were spent with an entangled embrace of extra clothing in every footwell of the car. You literally couldn’t go out without performing a risk assessment for spaghetti-strap shiver-chills, city-short flash-showers, or bejumpered arid droughts. Ultimately we had nothing in our wardrobes but spiders and swinging coat hangers.  We spent many a morning skulking round the hatchback in our underwear.

Furthermore health and safety warnings should have been newsworthy because driving in wet flip flops is just an accident waiting to happen.

Like no other time in my memory have the atmospheric conditions been so erratic, changeable, with no clear direction or goal. I feel quite sensitive to the weather; loving the vibrancy and guppy smiles of a balmy day or hunched while trying to shrug off a grey outlook. So it was a touch unnerving, I’ll admit; a bit like the world’s economy and so many other things that have endured its effects, it felt uncertain.  As with all impressive breakdowns, it made me ponder on whether it’d culminate into a hot and angry outburst or a melancholy cold front. I didn’t reckon on an angry deluge and what came to pass was a friend’s white wedding of blasted buttonholes, ravaged up do’s and The Boy’s chinos muddied up to his knees.

But you know, it hasn’t been all bad. What we’ve spent on cinema trips and countless visits to soft play areas, must have been off-set by not having to buy a bottle of sun tan lotion every week. And the hours of not applying it to wriggling limbs have been used wisely with more creative, indoor role-play in which I’ve been the starring role as: troll, baby, alien and finally witch... or was that just me?

And at least we’ve got our wellies! Bring on autumn, I say. There are so many great things to look forward to in autumn: hollowing out pumpkins; cooing over fireworks; Christmas tantalisingly close. It’s candlelight, crackling fires, decor of every convention, comforting colours; rich berry, burnt ochre, tarnished gold...

You’re never disappointed by the weather in autumn, there are no expectations, it’s always been drab, that’s why there are so many lovely festivals to distract us. We dress accordingly, doing our utmost to stay warm. Yes we can rely on autumn, a straightforward season, a true port in the storm (or just a storm). 

It may be 24 degrees outside but I for one am going right now, to hunt down a recipe for Gourd Stew and dig out the gloves and yards of elastic, this time climate, I’ll be ready!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Howe do you do... first day of school?

Our elders have a penchant it seems, of imparting loving advice that instils horror into the modern mother. At nine months pregnant: “Rest while you can, you’ll never sit down again mwahahaha!” to the swift tune change of: “Enjoy the baby days, they don’t last forever!” 

In seven days The Boy starts school. It’s a pivotal moment: “The baby years, gone so quick”, wizened old crones tell me; “It’s all over when they go to school” say the condescending masses; “They’re not truly yours anymore...” still more fervent cries.

School’s In Forever!

They say what we’re missing is a strong community of women around us, like they had in the dark ages. Really? More of this?

I am going to miss these days. I’ll miss the kids having the abandon to sing and dance, to shout hello to any passing paedophile; to have bums so small, they fall down the loo; their hysterical verbal blunders  and of course their utter devotion to me!  These things aren’t going to last, how can I stop their evolution?

Four and a half years ago, shortly after The Boy was born, I remember thinking, as my life had been tipped, turned upside down, that it’s only four years and I’ll get it back to a semblance of what it used to be. By that I mean that I will have the time to do what I want without the feeling that I’m robbing someone of something. And alright I begrudgingly admit it, it has gone quick.

So here we are. In the interim, I find myself changed. Predictable? Yes. Explainable? Let’s try.
Since my life was hijacked in 2008, and again in 2010, I only now operate on two speeds: intense hyper-power and blasting multi-task optimum-functionality. The thing with habit is, do anything for four and a half years, it sort of starts to feel normal. In addition to life moving at a pace that constantly borders on discomfort, I have enjoyed and endured the full remit of emotions: agony to insanity, hilarity to hysteria, sentimentality to... let’s call it chagrin. Oh and joy, loads of joy, that’s why Pampers and Aptimil adverts are chock full of women laughing their socks off. Oh hang on, no, they’re chock full of women mooning, cross-eyed and exhausted over their newborns.  

And that’s just me; there are now, two more beings running around, full of nascent emotions that need indulging or evading.

The result it seems is that I’ve been turned inside out and backwards and now, cruel fact of life, I feel a lump in my throat every time I glance in the direction of his school uniform.  I have relished this school holiday like none before, knowing my days are numbered. 

To add even more salt to the wound, the brat is only turning out to be a decent sort, all nice manners and loving words, kind actions to Baby Girl and remarkably self-sufficient. Why can’t they take the other one? The one that keeps screaming, “I’m NOT screaming!” at me all the time.

Now hang on a minute, that’s just reminded me, I’ve spent most of the last four and a half years whinging! It’s been hard, at times really hard. Mothering doesn’t suit everybody’s natural skill base. Let’s pause for a moment on those well-meaning elder’s comments (often conveyed with sixty years hindsight) and consider: 

There has been poo... a lot of poo, it’s been everywhere, between my toes, oozing out of the bouncer like a mud party and (courtesy of a helium balloon) it’s even been on the ceiling. There has been a whole library worth of words that have been wasted and useless as no one was listening. There has been less sleep than the statutory four hours the SAS require in order to stay alert. There have been frequent emotional crashes from all parties and more than a touch of physical discomfort. 

And what really is the alternative? Home school? It wouldn’t stop him growing up. There are people who don’t grow up, and with the exception of Peter Pan, they have carers, carers who might have a thing or two to add to my list of gripes, perhaps an even longer list of hopes and dreams for their charges, and who rightly find my school-mourning, frankly irascible.

So far I can hand-on-heart tell you that I’ve never wished him to be younger, “Please oh please, can we go back to the days of no nights?”, or the ones of “But why?” 

I’m actually really looking forward to learning more about my son, teaching him things that I have the experience and recollection of, like reading and writing, rather than peeing standing up and managing eternal bucketfuls of testosterone. One day he’ll tell me about a book he’s read, or a city he’s visited, or someone he’s met. I can’t wait. I love his take on the world, that’s not going to change because he’s grammatically correct. 

So nothing will change on September the 5th that wouldn’t change anyway, he will still be my son. He will continue to be charming and funny and lovable and with the exception of a few pubescent years, he’s always going to be in there somewhere, I know it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Howe do you do... running?

Running just as fast as I can... be bothered

"Running is totally mental!"

There are two ways that you can read that statement. My first instinct is to infer that running is for heroes and weirdos - you have to be a bit bonkers to put yourself through it.
But then there's the other way to read it. Running, although a physical employ, is all in the mind. This translation I am coming around to more.
I used to run, when I was a kid. Well if I'm anything like my two tearaways, I'll have done nothing but run from the age of two until at least four.
But as an awkward teen, I used to run for the county and would train around the village, always with a cap on, hoping no one would see me, sweaty, red-faced, self-conscious that my shorts were hitched up between thighs, which at the time must have barely met.
As an adult I ran as an asinine attempt to lose the pounds that crept on. It never worked, I'd only compensate with cake.
Two children down the line, I'm in pretty good shape, yet I haven't run for years. The secret? Walking. Just walking. When the kids were born I would walk, while they napped I would pound the pavements pushing their buggy, every day. Never for longer than an hour, but consistently and the weight disappeared. After Baby Girl the workout became harder as The Boy enjoyed a ride on the Buggy Board.
Now, neither one will sit in the buggy, let alone nap. Nor can they move in a linear fashion with any velocity, and in line with my cake addiction, the pounds are creeping on.
So I decided, I'd start walking again and dear reader it has been nothing less than a revelation. Post-bedtime I am now frequently found displaying the fast waddle of an urgent goose.
It has opened up a whole new world to me. A world where other people are out exercising, and they smile and wave, they're happy - its all the endorphins you see. A world where boxes on driveways offer free vegetables because a plentiful crop has been harvested. A world of peace, I pass climbing frames and trampolines, all blissfully silent, curtains upstairs closed - there's a kind of hush. A world where I can listen to my music, think about nothing, say nothing, achieve nothing. It's just a walk after all.

As with everything, it's not perfect. With these balmy evenings, the long shadows make my bum look huge and my head tiny, hands like spades, although even this is quite funny - a shadow version of The Hall of Mirrors. I have to dodge crazy numbers of slug roadkill (sometimes I scoop them up, pop 'em in my fanny pack to fry up later on toast). There are nettles overhanging at every turn, ready to disfigure my already compromised features. I don't have as good a grip on my pelvic floor, as I would like and my thighs definitely meet in the middle.
But here's the funny thing, each time I've done it, at some point I've broken into a run. Anything can set it off, a jog across the road to avoid a car, "I bet that you look good on the dance floor" on the iPod... even an attempt to cover up a stumble... And I can stop! Just like Forrest Gump, I can stop at any moment, there's no stop watch, no race meet to train for. In the past it has always felt like a chore but just knowing that I don't have to run somehow makes it easier, mentally there's no pressure.  It feels good and makes me smile. I come home light-footed, shoulders relaxed, ponytail bobbing cheerfully, eager to down a pint of cleansing water.

On my first return home I gaily recounted to The Daddy the exhilarating fact that I had been beeped at by boys driving small cars... twice. (This MILF effect, pleased me if only to counteract the "Hall of Shadows" effect).
The Daddy asked: "We're you "fast walking" or "slow running"?"
"Bit of both" I supposed.
He did what a nod would look like in reverse.
"Were you carrying that?" he continued.
"Yeah" I replied looking at my hand, (adorned with a hot pink sweat band) and observing its contents objectively for the first time - a (now sweaty) courgette.
His look conveyed that he thought the boys might have been taking the Michael. That perhaps I looked like a pillock. And do you know what dear reader, much has changed, because I didn't care. I might be two kids to the wind and pushing mid-thirties but am thrilled by my self-unconsciousness.

Good to be back with posts of a mumishly fashion too :0) So how've you been?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Howe do you do... the Unmentionables!

The other day I was very pleased to discover this:

My head-to-toe body book, from publishers Thames and Hudson. 
It is a hardback picture book, beautifully illustrated and designed to introduce the systems of the body to pre-school children. 

It is so beautifully done, with imaginative games to play (Body Noises anyone?), gorgeous illustrations and it really is easy to understand. I've found The Boy nose deep in it, in a quiet corner on a number of occasions already! 

In my opinion there should be a book like this in every house. There really is nothing more eye-bogglingly, pigs could be flyingly, calling his name 47 timesingly, distracting than finding out how our bodies work to a pre-schooler. 

There was indeed a book like this in our house growing up. It sat on our book shelf, bottom row, an object of pure mystery. 

I first discovered said book late at night when I, should have been and everyone else was, in bed. I was rummaging through the shelves and, well, let's just say it left me with more questions than answers. The book is similar in that it talks about teeth and breathing and talking etc. But this book, which I affectionately have next to me right now, falls open at page 38. On page 38 are three cartoon pictures, one of a naked man and woman holding hands, one of an erect penis and one of said couple doing the horizontal hoola, presumably after a few glasses of Babycham and a wink and a nod. 

Now please picture my young self sitting in the twilight wondering what to make of this...

All I can say is it is a little jarring! And confusing. You try assimilating a cartoon willy with the real thing when the time... arrives.

Not so with the My head-to-toe body book. I've looked and looked and can't find any rude cartoons in it, not any! 

Like Rastamouse versus Roland Rat, this is an updated, way cooler and much more sophisticated resource. If you have some little person's birthday coming up, this would be a winner with parents and children alike. We all LOVE it and will be adding it to the legacy that is our 'Collection of Body Books' to pass on to the next generation.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Howe do you do... clean?

There is no pleasure sweeter than a freshly clean child...

I think that's right isn't it? Oh alright, let's not get carried away with the hyperbolical statements.

So there are other things perhaps equally sweet: new born puppies; toddlers spontaneously kissing, anything by Anne Geddes...

Earlier this year, time stopped for a while, during which, I HAD to read Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers. It is that rare and special thing, a book that insists you pay attention to it. To prioritise it.

The story follows a young woman at 18 years old, coming out of the fostering system. It is based around the symbolism of flowers and their individual Victorian meanings. If you've not read it, obviously you should. Although if you happen to have any yellow roses in the garden, it might prompt their untimely demise!

There is a part in the book that has stayed with me and it relates to the cleansing of a young child. Until this point, I had never really thought about it, bathtimes had always been somewhat of a warzone with squirters, water pistols and tidal waves all primed to give any adult involved a soaking. Our two are geting so big now, it's like wrestling a couple of distressed porpoises in there. We now only bath them in our scuba gear, flippers and all!

And I'm not going to tell you that anything has changed in respect of the aqua-heavy ablutions, simply that I relish in them. It can be just another thing to tick off the list of jobs to do and I had overlooked the whole basic ritual of it. The sensations: the smell and feel of foamy bubbles; their soft skin and tiny bums; the towel dry and hair comb. Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I'd just drifted off into a Pampers advert! Don't worry, have self-flaggelated.

Nevertheless I was reminded of it yesterday, when Baby Girl was digging to Autralia through the vegetable patch. Sometimes it's nice to be encouraged to break the routine of bath, story, bed (that's my spin on the situation anyway!)

Once I'd got her cleaned up and in her jarmmies, what simple pleasure there is to be had from a warm, Johnson's Baby cuddle. The sweet smell of baby breath, damp hair and the odd trump.

Lord know's there are enough frustrations in life with our need to get stuff done versus their compulsion to explore the world. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses, or the backs of babies necks... preferably one's you know.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Howe do you do... dealing with a poo without a toilet?

Why oh why is it always about wees and poos?

We have just returned from our hols, a brilliant time was had by all.
Although... things have changed somewhat since those pre-baby holidays.
My main preoccupation used to be getting a tan; I now look like a giraffe, my kids having a penchant for randomly spraying me with their factor 50. I am also still finding enough sand daily to fill up an hourglass. And of course the sitting around has been curbed to a greater extent, not least on account of my responsibility for more than just my own toiletage. I'd like to regale a couple of beach-side horror stories for your titillation.

It was after our last trip to beautiful Tenerife that the nightmares started. Baby Girl - just getting to grips with potty training - told me she needed a wee.
Now I know you're not meant to admit it but we all wee in the sea. If you don't you're crazy, especially in Tenerife where walking in any other direction on the hot sand will leave you with first degree burns on the soles of your feet. Fact.

I said to her - to try and extend my own limited lazing around - "just go and wee in the sea". So off she took her naked self. I went back to nonchalantly chatting to my fellow sun worshippers, when one of them cried, "I don't think it's a wee!"

All eyes fixed with bated breath on Baby Girl's bottom, there has been no cinematic moment more gripping in our lifetimes. When finally the chocolate turtle's head appeared, we each reacted as if it was Air Force One emerging from her insides.
Being the one "in charge", it was me that had to respond. And I did, until I got to her and picked her up. Then my mind just went completely blank! I had no stock response of what to do with this situation. My heart was racing like a wildebeest as I looked around for clues. All of my support network were tittering too much to speak any words of guidance. I spotted a toilet sized cabin up the beach and set off at a pace.

I opened the door only to find it was an old fashioned changing room.

Sweat bubbles burst on my temples. I ran around the back of the cubicle but there was just a seafront cafe full of people relaxing, enjoying their elevenses of pistachio ice cream.

At this point can I remind you that I am basically wearing my underwear, carrying a naked child who's poo is - through some form of magic - still attached to her body. I look over to My People, apparently my blind panic, causing them untold amusement. One of them holds out a bucket; finally a sensible solution. I sit Baby Girl down, just in time to hear an unmistakable thud. Phew... I thought.

Crime Scene!

But no, what the hell do you do with a log the size of a Snickers, on a beach with no loo?

The Daddy, in all his wisdom, decided it could just go in the sea. I would like it noted that I did not concur but demurred from arguing due to suffering from PTSD. What was I thinking?

Minutes later when I went for a dip, the whole commotion started again - amongst the slippery seaweed and soapy foam, who should I meet but Turd McCrapstone Esq.

The Daddy got it in the neck. "You were meant to swim out with it! You can't just throw it in and expect it not to wash back again." By now, sultry beach hair and I have been estranged for some time and I am aware that I am behaving like a common, olden days washerwoman who's got a tangle in her mangle.

Finally another sensible suggestion came with the idea of catching the poo (poo catching, you should try it!), putting it in a bag and disposing of it in the doggy bin. They have doggy bins you see, the dogs are catered for!

So that was last time. In comparison, this time actually doesn't seem that bad. I'm not sure how I feel about becoming normalised to this kind of shtick.

I have obviously trained The Boy well, as is clear in his complete confusion of the sentence "just go and wee in the sea". So alien is this concept - he was busy burying himself the last time and obvs learnt nothing from the experience - that he just approached the sea, leaving a good 10 to 15 foot gap between him and the surf, dropped his pants and started peeing among the sun loungers, in particular among three middle-aged English women who had just shared their melon with us (no euphemism intended).
Looks like mine but not mine, think I had time for photos?

All might have been overlooked if I hadn't channelled my inner washerwoman and vocalised my horror so vehemently. I did the hot sand, almost naked, wobble-dash all the way to where he was, but of course it was too late. What can you do?

And so the glamour goes on...

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Howe do you do... calming a crying toddler

I'm not one of those people who doesn't stand for crying, who wants to suppress genuine emotion? But then there are times when you just need them to stop; and there are emotions that aren't so genuine! So here goes:

  • The Cuddle: the first port of call on the crying journey. Sometimes this is enough to wade through the incomprehensible syllables to the source of the tears.

  • The Magic Kiss and Rub: I'm not entirely sure how this works on bumps and grazes - as I have no recollection of being initiated into The Magic Circle - but work it does. Maybe I was hypnotised at childbirth?

  • Distraction: This is best served with a side dish of humour. A good ol' classic in the case of injury on a hard surface is "Have you made a hole in that wall/door/floor/ping pong table?" with close inspection required. Another one I discovered the other day is asking if The Boy's uvula was wiggling. This is the hangy down bit at the back of the throat and will always be on show and wiggling during a good cry. It stunned him right out of his funk!
  • Imitating Their Cry: Caution, this does depend on your child and their likely response. The Boy on the whole thinks its mildly amusing, enough to cease the tears. Baby Girl gives me a look of pure disgust and her outrage only makes her cry more.
  • The Tickle: Again you need to gauge the type of cry before deciding to proceed up this avenue. A tantruming toddler will not find this agreeable in the least. Whereas a whinger, you know the ones that sound like an untuned violin, meh, this might possibly tune them up a bit, as will...
  • The Wiggle: As it says on the tin, everyone loves a good wiggle, try it. You can't really maintain grump face when you're wiggling.
  • The Pep Talk: Along the lines of "Man up" or "Straighten up and fly right" sometimes works, worth a try if they're in the autumn of their Toddlerhood.

  • The Negotiation: OK, how about I get you a Freddy the Frog, but you must stop crying.
  • The Boundary: I don't want to listen to crying while I'm on the toilet.
  • The Ultimatum: We are not going to the zoo if you continue to make such a fuss. Warning! Side-effects are...
  • The Follow Through: You have to actually not go to the zoo, which could be more painful that the original crying but really effective if you can bear it. Done once or twice The Ultimatum holds a fair bit of weight.
  • The Outside: Very effective, especially with very small children. The change from inside to outside is like discovering Narnia apparently.
  • The Beg: Not pretty and vastly ineffective. Sometimes makes me feel better as I laugh hysterically at my own futility.
  • The Blank: N.B. Not for the faint-hearted. I find it really hard to ignore crying, it attacks my senses like napalm, but if you can, word is it works.
  • The Hospital: This may seem extreme but it might be that there is actually something wrong with the Bubba. I have done this twice: the first time, I arrived and all I could tell them was "She won't stop crying!" by which time Baby Girl fallen asleep in my arms; the second time, she had a dislocated elbow, so go figure.
Post Script: Sometimes nothing works. Once a friend of mine, a brutish Daddy figure simply said, "They might just be having a bad day". Oh yeah, there is that, I do always feel better after a good cry.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Howe do you do... flying?

A few months ago, I cried in plain sight on an aeroplane. The worst had happened... OK not the worst worst... actually not second worst either but somewhere up there in the top 100 things that you don't want to happen on an aeroplane.
Right below having one of your children scream for the entire duration of a five hour flight is the heinous experience of having an adult turn to your three year old child and say: 'When this plane lands, I'm going to kill you'.


To which The Boy's response was to turn to me with a look of utter bewilderment and enquiry. I just scooped him up in my arms and told him it was a joke - which I think possibly was the intention. His crime had been being a three-year-old; neither kid had particularly acted out. We've never mentioned it again to him and neither has he.

So we're due to do a re-run to the sun! Yippee! But I'm anxious about the flight so I am compiling a list of activities to take with us for the collective nine hours of seated recreation. I hope you find it useful if you're doing a dash to the sun with your kids this year. If you have any recommendations, please add to the list through the comments section:

  • Comics / magazines with a toy / creative activities
  • Stickers
  • Crayons / colouring books
  • Where's Wally postcard book 

  • Small jigsaws
  • A magnetic fishing game
  • The iPod, which they just call 'the magic'.
  • My lovely friend's portable DVD player
  • New reading books (Have just bought The Snail and the Whale, and Where the Wild Things Live; there's nothing like being late to a party. Both excellent, natch.)


  • Origami paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Plasticine
  • My eye-spy eyes
  • A pea-shooter for any undesirables we might meet on the plane!
Nine hours? This doesn't seem enough!

Well toodleoo folks, through the wonder of technology, there'll be scheduled posts in my absence, so do check in if you can snatch a mo'.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Howe do you do... looking on the bright side?

The Annual Wax, though a painful bore,
Could be worse, I could have to wax more!
I could be afflicted with downy bum cheeks,
Or hairy palms, or zebra streaks...

... just a thought

... I feel... yes there's another coming on...

My physique might be riddled with lady lumps,
But you can't make cute babies without a few bumps!

It's a work in progress, feel free to add any of your own.

I'm on a mission to turn any frown upside down, so next time you have a glum, fed up thought - if this weather continues it could be sooner than you think - turn it around. The results might surprise or at least inspire you:

The rain stopping play, is quite an intrusion,
Perfect for another picnic / den-building fusion...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Howe do you do... routine!

Routine is King!

That's what we tell ourselves, at least it is in this house, and it has worked with moderate success over the last four and more years. You hear phrases like 'the kids need routine' and 'they thrive on it!' I wholeheartedly agree.

Where things might have gone a bit wrong is when components have inadvertently slipped into the routine that you didn't mean to be there.

A case in point, I've just put my kidlies to bed. We have had a bath and bedtime routine for as long as they are old. It has gradually expanded and digressed into a ritual of some significance: the addition of more stories; the necessity for them to put their own clothes in the washing baskets; to turn on their own alarm, but they share a room so we have to remember who did it last night and hence who gets to have the first choice of story in return; Baby Girl's insistence that she choose her own 'wappy' (I implore her every night: 'They're all the same!'); a song; the choice of song. You get the gist.

The most recent addition - and it was too cute to not to continue - is The Boy's urging me to "catch" the kisses he blows me. But you see, this didn't stop at one; a once sweet end to the day is now a battleground.
'I'm only going to catch one,' doesn't have the same ring as, 'I've glued it to my heart'. Don't think it helped that I pretended they were bouncing off the walls. See... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ditto to the idea of replacing our usual bedtime song with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer over Christmas, I should have acknowledged they are creatures of habit, slaves to routine; you just try re-introducing Mr Sandman on 1st January! Rage. Pure Rage.

What goes on in your home, any crazy routines you've fallen into? Food colouring in the bath? Little people 'helping' while washing up? Lengthy farewells at nursery? 'I love you more,' 'NO I love you more!'... please share the crazy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Howe do you do... pregnancy?

Poor Oscar Wilde!

I have a great affection for Oscar Wilde, with his witty and candid aphorisms and scandalous behaviour. Those who know me well, will know how much a fan I am!
He is not known for his compassion, so I don't wish to condemn this quote about his wife's second pregnancy. Furthermore, it is a pretty close depiction of me during the months of Baby Girl's gestation, and I do like a candid report of things, so it makes me titter... many things have changed since the nineteenth century, but not this!

"When I married, my wife was a beautiful girl, white and slim as a lily, with dancing eyes and gay rippling laughter like music. In a year or so the flower-like grace had all vanished; she became heavy, shapeless, deformed: she dragged herself around the house in uncouth misery with drawn blotched face and hideous body, sick at heart because of our love. It was dreadful. I tried to be kind to her; forced myself to touch and kiss her; but she was always sick, and - oh! I cannot recall it, it is all loathsome."

From Franny Moyle's brilliant book Constance, The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde (John Murray).

Ouch! Would love to have heard her side of the story. She was a remarkable woman: in part responsible for us now not wearing restrictive clothing and boned undergarmets and a fashion icon of her time. (Think Kate Middleton 100 years ago.)

NB: I should state, this is a thermometer, not a pregnancy test... I knew I was pregnant! (Apparently temperature testing is 'du rigeur' when your children regularly kick holes in their uterine sacks!)

The Boy has just seen this picture and marvelled at it: "Mummy you were soooooo fat! He then saw one of me in bed in the penguin PJ's he knows and loves and said incredulous: "But you can't sleep like that!"... Quite dear boy, quite!

And of course it was all worth it!

So was it just me... and clearly Constance Wilde? How was it for you?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Howe do you do... TV catch-up?

I'm feeling good. I have put in some quality hours with TV. She needed it!
She has been suffering some prolonged Pepper Pig marathons recently and we all know what that's like. Peeeepa Pig, do do do do do do do do!

So when Baby Girl woke me up at 3.30am to tell me she needed a drink, and I found myself at a loose end I thought, perfect chance to do a good deed for TV.
I rewarded her patience and selflessness with a smaltzy Glee and a thought-provoking Cougar Town. This week Jelly Bean's pearl of wisdom was: 'Don't expect to get anything out, if you don't put 100% in'. Wise words indeed!
I was glad I had decided not to try to multi-task the ironing into the mix but had given TV my full attention!

My vacuum has also lost it's wheel, I have to carry it around... a lot like a baby. You see, and here we all were thinking I only had two dependants... Happy Friday one and all xx

P.S. If you aren't with us on Facebook, why not check it out... today's topic:
Is there anything scarier than a naked doll? 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Howe do you do.. telescopes?

Excitement is rife in the NFM household as we draw towards The Pirate Party, this weekend. We have been tinkering with our pirate outfits, which are now becoming quite elaborate, and a brainwave managed to get through the mayhem today.
You may recall a few weeks ago I intimated that I was designing a telescope. Turned out that fascination in CDT, although good grounds for marking me a misfit at school, wasn't entirely wasted!

First I took the inside of a kitchen roll and the inside of a roll of tin foil. Then cut slits of about 2 cm around one end of each.
The kitchen roll, being the larger of the two, needed the slits folding in and the tin foil ones were left out. I then just pushed the tin foil roll inside the kitchen roll.
This piece of engineering makes a retractable telescope, virtually the same as an actual telescope... well, except it doesn't make anything bigger. But I think it will go down well at the Pirate Party. For Baby Girl at least. It was Easter so the decoration ended up being a bit camp!
Still it was perfect for an afternoon of 'Ahoy there'ing and 'piece's of eight' (no idea what that means), and will hopefully be a hit at the party!

If you liked this, why not also try: Red Bottle Rocket and
Red Bottle Rocket - Part 2

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Howe do you do... technology?

Anyone fancy worms for tea? I'll just pop and get my can opener...

Today's post is about technology usage in the presence of the kids and was inspired by Ben Arment's short blog earlier this week, which I don't seek to argue with as it is noble and its sentiment is spot on.

However I would like to open the conversation up a bit and perhaps engage some feedback?
Have you ever noticed that Internet has a capital 'I', a bit like God. I worship daily and I use it, as Ben mentioned, as my link to the rest of the world.

I use it...
  • When I'm stumped for ideas of things to do with the kids
  • When I have a parenting question that needs answers
  • As entertainment for the kids
  • When I feel like Dr Doolittle's push me pull you
  • When I need to ground myself into the adult world for a moment
  • When I've spent a number of hours with two toddlers: swinging off my hair, repositioning my house and being generally unco-ordinated and irrational (me and them)
  • To show the kids my treasured kid's TV shows on YouTube
  • To show them slideshows of pictures of themselves
  • To connect with someone when something funny has happened at home. I'd like to use the metaphor of, does a tree falling make a noise in an empty forest? A joke isn't funny when there's only one of you laughing. Or the only one knowing why you're laughing!

So I'm still going to monitor it, 'cos this machine is addictive, The New York Times says so, and I agree. But I'm going to continue to use it, as long as the kids aren't climbing up the cooker, without too much guilt, and follow it up with an activity to engage the kids, because what a resource!

An apt illustration of my very point can be found here: Willo the Wisp. And next time you're reaching for your laptop, blackberry, Iphone, beware you don't get caught in a thinks cloud!

For more ideas: Websites and Reprimands

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Howe do you do... the Magic Faraway Tree?

A few weeks ago, we had a couple of kid-free days. Imagine, no wake-up calls, no well... anything! We faltered around for a bit like new-born foals, wondering where to place ourselves. We went out and had lunch, and at the end, we remembered what we'd eaten! We played cinema roulette, big mistake, but the perfect opportunity for a little snooze!
The following day we decided to walk the substantial mileage (the long way) to Frodsham, our neighbouring market town, to take back a DVD. Armed with left-over pizza and some chocolate buttons (some habits die hard) we went on our way. It was actually rather lovely.
Although remarkably quicker, the car would have stolen from us the opportunity to see how our local landscape has changed in the last five years, or at least the non-buggy-friendly bits. Houses have been built, new benches erected and a horse track of some grandeur (its all rock and roll).
One thing that, thankfully, hasn't changed is the Magic Faraway Tree. Well, I say magic. It probably isn't actually magic. Faraway, on foot, yes. Essentially there is a wood between here and there called Snidley Moor. Now if that is not the perfect place for a Magic Faraway Tree, I'll eat a spoonful of cinnamon (try it, or don't, make someone else try it, it's really funny, probably best it's not a child, I digress).
Herein lies a tree, a largely hollow tree, it claims to be one of the oldest birch trees in the wood. You can well believe it, gnarled and cloaked in lichen, you have to hope it won't suddenly breathe its last gasp while you're fondling its nether regions because inside is a notebook and the tree invites passersby to add their thoughts and musings.
This is a special tree because we discovered it on the day that we found out I was pregnant with The Boy (Yes The Daddy did walk me that far, we were novices!) but we didn't add a note about our news - we were buzzing with excitement, think it was superstition that stopped me, even with all the wood to touch - I wish we had though, for posterity and to perk up the content of said narrative. It is mostly 'Hello from the Wednesday Ramblers', 'Hello from the Thursday Ramblers'... do you see my point?
I would like to suggest to The Powers That Be (The Woodland Trust, I think) that it should be made a Wishing Tree. A safe harbour for your hopes and dreams in this crazy, stormy world. And it would make taking the kids, when the time comes, that little bit more magical... and better fodder to get stuck into while eating your picnic.

Grandparent Appreciation Moment
I would like to say a (words aren't big enough but gigantenormous almost does it) thank you to our parents for affording us these days of being kids again, or at least not being the parents. All our love xxxx

If you liked this, why not also try:  Walking with Monsternauts and Not That Primrose Hill!

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Howe do you do... Cars?

I've never been a boy, not so far anyway. And yet for the early years, certainly, I have been the main influence over The Boy's choices: clothes, toys, activities etc. And it has just been a given to me that these choices would involve cars. He's got a really cute applique t-shirt with a mustard coloured racing car on, wellies, dotted with cars all over, a mountain of toy cars (our living room is starting to look like a miniature scrap heap!) And up until recently I've done my sums based on the logic of Boy = Car.
As some of you may know, I have watched the Disney Pixar films Cars and Cars 2 with such repetition that I could recite them verbatim. 'What?... Did I forget to wipe my mudflaps?' That doesn't mean to say that I understand them. I still can't quite get my head round Axlerod's beef. Is he an oil tycoon? Isn't he? It's a complex storyline, that's all I'm saying, with not enough love-interest for my liking - bring Sally back for Cars 3! I get that they are exciting but they're people cars, animate anything and add cool music and it takes on a new dimension. Or so I thought....
Given The Boy's obsession with said films, it was The Daddy's brainwave that we should take him to see some actual bone fide racing cars. So for his 4th birthday, that's what we did, and wow, it was an education.
The first thing I saw, which you don't see in the Pixar films, is a man dressed head-to-toe in fire-retardant getup including balaclava, brandishing a fire extinguisher, the works! It looked like something out of a horror film and appealed to my sense of drama; the real-life cars are really dangerous it seems.
Obviously the actual races were brilliant, the sound of the engines as they approached and flew past. Baby Girl loved it, (perhaps Girl = Cars too?) she got really excited when they approached and put her own sound effects into the mix 'meow': animal noises being her main point of reference.
Next what I liked was the fact that the crowd and the stewards, including Balaclava Man, gave all the racers a clap when the race had finished, while said racers waved from their bucket-seats, very civilised! What is it about a lot of people doing something for the same end? It just gives me a buzz. I feel the same way about watching Glee, it's the co-ordination, the team-work and the dedication to be the best, it just gets me, makes me want to cry a bit if I'm honest.
Next we went to the pit to see all the behind the scenes stuff. We could see the previous racers returning. I think if these cars were really people, they might be a bit high-maintenance for me.  Each one needed four men to steer / guide them carefully back to their pit even though they'd just been raggin it round the track. And they each had a selection of tyres they take everywhere for different weather, presumably they were welly tyres and flip flop tyres, or perhaps trainer tyres.
Anyway, on to the next race and the fresh cars were lined up, firing and ready to go. I always thought that the impression of cars as impatient to get going was an affectation on the Cars films. It's not, it was hilarious watching them as they almost jumped out of the pit. It was as if they were not built to drive that slow; that's probably exactly what it is (I know these things now I've been to one race!) They just seemed sort of... hard to control, jumping forward and then stopping and then another lurch and a bunny hop, revving as they go, I could totally imagine them with personalities.
Once these frisky four-wheelers got on the road, another set were duly lined up. This time we were around the front, so we could see the drivers and The Boy gasped in horror 'Mummy! He's asleep!!!'. I was thrilled, the driver wasn't asleep; he was 'Getting in the Zone'. You know in his head he was reciting. 'I... AM... SPEED'. It was an awesome moment. When he opened his eyes, he stared right through us, focused on one thing and one thing only: THE WIN - even though there was huge confusion as Baby Girl tried to scamper up the trouser leg of a man who was not, as she thought, Grandad - the Racing Driver was unperturbed. Good on him, he gave me a bit of a spine tingling moment.
All in all it was a great day, the atmosphere was really chilled, we ate ice creams while we watched helicopters arrive, I learnt what a safety car was and clapped without knowing why, I don't think it'll be the last time we go. I can only imagine if I actually understood the world of racing, it might be even better!

If you liked this, why not also try: Red Bottle Rocket and
Red Bottle Rocket - Part 2

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Howe do you do... the London Book Fair?

I think Tuesday of this week will go down as one of my favourite days... actually ever!
I took it upon myself to trot off to The London Book Fair 2012. I saw an advert for it last year - as it was happening - and made a promise to myself that this year I'd go.
So 'I just touched down in London town' and joined the throng of industry insiders surge through the doors of Earl's Court at 9am.
As my twitter followers will know, I am a huge fan of kid lit. I don't know where we'd be without it! Reading in this house is a bit like going to the toilet. Essential at bedtime, wake up time and sporadically throughout the day. So bedtime - that's obvious; wake up reading is an awesome, chilled-out way to start the day. We read sporadically through the day and it generates conversations we couldn't hope to have otherwise and ideas to initiate play. And let's not forget actually reading on the toilet as a distraction on those long drawn-out visits!
My first high point at the fair was meeting Messrs Stuart Reid (Author, Charming Kilt Wearer) and Calvin Innes (A Publisher and a Gentleman). They were representing the publishing company My Little Big Town as well as their respective books: Gorgeous George and Stuart the Bug Eating Man. Both I'd like to say, right up my street.
I took a moment at the fair to dip into Gorgeous George and here's what I found:
"Mr Swan (would) wear special gloves with the fingertips cut off them. George thought that this was because Mr Swan could keep his hands warm and still pick his nose, which was quite a good idea because when George wore gloves and picked his nose, the fluffy fingertips were always getting gummed up with bogies..."
My thoughts exactly... I tittered while surrounded by serious Chinese businessmen discussing heaven's only knows what. If you have kids a little older, I'd definitely recommend this as a laugh-out-loud addition to your bookshelf.

Excitement reached fever pitch next when I attended a seminar featuring Julia Donaldson. She is our Children's Laureate and has been asked by Waterstones to choose her favourite ten picture books to help the uninitiated find their way around the overwhelmingly well-populated picture book arena. Her picks included: Dogger, Dogs Don't Do Ballet, Otto the Bookbear, The Snorgh and the Sailor, Mad About Mini Beasts, Frog and Toad are Friends, Handa's Surprise, Six Dinner Sid, Would You Rather and The Day Louis Got Eaten.
I would have liked to see something a bit quirkier in there too. My faves right now for quirky are: Tom Macrae's The Opposite or Yokococo's Hans and Matilda.
Being in the same room as such an icon of children's publishing was pretty heart-stopping and due to the joy of twitter, I had remembered to bring my copy of the Gruffalo and got it signed! It was all too much. Time for lunch!
Already having met some wonderful people, the afternoon was more of a mooch about. I stumbled across the Children's Innovation Zone where there was a talk going on about a product which I think is just bonkers brilliant!
Smellessence - it's scratch-and-sniff technology in a book. Not the stuff of our childhood stickers that wears off and doesn't really smell like it should. Due to launch summer/autumn this year, the book that was promoting this technology engaged three of my passions: kid's books, Victorians and trumps!
What's more to like? The Famous Farter is a true (ish) story of Frenchman Joseph Pujol, whose employ was creating a musical performance of his guffs at the Moulin Rouge in the 19th Century (wish I had a time machine!)

Here you can see Author, David Boyle and Publishing House, Bonnier's, Anne Weinhold in what must be one of their career highlights. Some might think being dressed as a whoopee cushion is beyond the call of duty but Anne took it in her stride and it was the most beautiful display of whoopee cushion apparel I've seen!

It was an excellent day. I left a bit crumpled and weary, feeling dazed, bemused, elated, a little sad for it all to be over. Until next year, dear friend...

If you liked this, why not also try: What would we do without books?

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Howe do you do... Poo Flicking?

The Sport of Kings...

We have undertaken a new form of familial outdoor pursuit... cycling. I know, it's not exactly kite surfing but since having kids, their nubile tendencies have somewhat undermined our natural passion for everything outdoors.
I mean we've walked... boy have we walked! We've pushed: buggys, trikes, bikes. Carried on: backs, fronts, shoulders. We've: dawdled, ambled and schlepped! So to be on bikes, en famille, with the wind in our hair, is quite a development!
Our first outing on Friday saw us take to the forest where the route unexpectedly finished through the hair-raising, off-road track now known as Mudsville. (N.B. Cycling uphill through mud, gears slipping, breath heaving - not a good look.)
So today when The Daddy suggested a sojourn down by the canal, it seemed altogether more rational.
Largely is was. The easy terrain however did hot last long and at the Daddy's inclination, we chose the grassy route, not the paved one. Bumpy is one word you could use... thigh-burn is another.
Add this to the fact that Baby Girl had taken to:
a) Bouncing on the back of the 'Girl's Bike' - alongside the terrain, forward progress was hindered by two sources of bounce and
b) Using the waistband of my trousers to warm her hands, exposing... well, you get the idea.
I think I may also have further alarmed some Septuagenarians, who might be unaware that 'Shut your face!' is a  modern term of endearment. In this case directed at The Daddy, when he suggested the grassy route was my idea.
I digress. It was an awesome morning, beautiful sunshine, happy kids, yummy picnic. PICNIC!
There was one thing we had not considered in our sense of new found freedom.
'Daddy? I need a poo!'
Oh bums!... quite! After some analysis of the options The Daddy was given a tissue, an empty crisp packet and tasked with the job. I was tickled until...
'Need poo!'
So it was we turned part of the lesser-used picnic area into a communal toilet - the offspring excreting in tandem. The Boy finished first. Shocked as I am almost daily at the level of excrement produced, I wasn't really concentrating. The Daddy having found a stick was duly flicking the offence into the nettles but he too took his eye off the...
Meanwhile The Boy, taking huge interest in Baby Girl's continued development, came bowling back into the pooing area and walked straight through his own poo. His name was used in a variety of sentences generally conveying disappointment, dismay, disbelief. Sigh. Time to go home...

Today we will be mostly... playing 'Mini Car'. The first person to spot a Mini Car on the road, has to shout... you guessed it... 'Mini Car!' Then say what colour. You see learning, its all about the learning. Scoff!

If you liked this, you may also like: Springtime and Celebrities  and Shadow Puppets and Lies
and the unmissable: The Parent's Job Description

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!