“Again Mummy!” – The children’s books I will NEVER forget

One of the things that I was really looking forward to about having a child was sharing my love of reading with them. What I failed to realise was that, before we get to the bit where we can snuggle up at bedtime with ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web’, there’s THIS bit, where we have to read about dogs losing balls and  sheep that are crap at hiding. Over and over again. Every bloomin’ day.

Miss O’s current top picks include:

Fox’s Socks

Charming – the first 20 times you read it. Now, I’m really starting to lose patience with this guy:

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And the Oscar goes to…

I always fancied myself as a bit of an actress at school, despite the fact that my most significant roles were ‘leper number 4’ in Jesus Christ Superstar and the main man himself in Pudsey Bear: The Musical! (yes, that was an actual show, and no, thankfully there is no photographic evidence).

I probably won’t be treading the boards again anytime soon, but it turns out that being a mother affords me PLENTY of opportunities to work on my acting skills!

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“How creative darling – no, mummy’s not crying…”

Some of my greatest acting challenges so far:
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Strangers say the strangest things…

After you’ve had a baby, it’s virtually impossible to get from A to B without being intercepted by at least a dozen well-meaning strangers keen to have a gander at the fruit of your loins and impart some grade A parenting wisdom.

I wanted to share some of my ‘favourite’ Miss O related comments with you!

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“What are you doing mama?”  – “Cherishing the moment darling…”

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When bumps meet biscuits – the antenatal class

Having flashed back to my birth story in last week’s post, I realised it would be remiss of me to overlook that major milestone of birth preparation – the antenatal classes.

Did anyone else find them a bit, well, bizarre?

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Don’t get me wrong, they were definitely worth going to; we picked up lots of tips, made some great friends, and there were unlimited Hobnobs, which is the best way to get any party started (just a note for any international readers; a Hobnob is an awesome biscuit, not some kind of embarrassing medical condition…)

BUT – our classes seemed to be a heady mix of really useful information and REALLY cringeworthy team building games. Some highlights for you: Read more

My birth story (sorry Linda)

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Soooo, we’d bought all the gear, filled the freezer with batch-cooked goodness and packed the hospital bag. I’d completed my birth plan  (‘ALL THE DRUGS PLEASE!!’ underlined several times), and dutifully attended the antenatal classes. We were officially ‘READY’.

Twas the night before my due date and I was so impatient for everything to just START. As far as I could tell, there was naff all happening; no ‘show’, no ‘drop’, no twinges, absolutely nowt. So, I made one last attempt to speed things along with a lip-burning chicken madras from the local Indian, and resigned myself to another week or so of waddling about covered in coconut oil feeling sorry for myself. Read more

The Mum Reflex

There are so many things in life that we do almost without thinking and have absolutely no control over – like saying “mind your head!” just AFTER someone’s knocked themself out, or automatically apologising when some eejit bumps into you in the street…

Since I’ve had Miss O I’ve found that, even when we’re not actually together, like when I’m at work or she’s managed to escape to Grandma’s,  I seem to be on some kind of permanent parent autopilot:

  • I find it physically impossible not to say “WEEEEEEEEE!!!”  when a child goes down a slide. If the child in question isn’t yours (and you’re not even WITH your child at the time!!) you run the very real risk of being labelled the park odd-bod…

 

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“Come away from the scary lady darling…”

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The alternative ‘must-have’ toys list

The other day, I read that companies are already putting together their lists of the ‘must-have’ children’s toys and gadgets for Christmas 2017.

It’s May, chuffing MAY!

Why this surprises me I really don’t know; advent calendars seem to hit the shops earlier every year, and who the actual f*ck is buying those Easter eggs they put out on Boxing Day…

But here’s the thing. When it comes to toddlers, these lists COMPLETELY miss the mark.

Sure, they might play with the toy for five minutes or so once you’ve spent the best part of an hour wrestling with the packaging, frantically untwisting 40 different plastic ties to the soundtrack of your little darling’s impatient screams (I’m absolutely convinced that it would be easier to break into Buckingham Palace than it is to free a  family of Sylvanians from their sodding box). But beyond that? It won’t even make their top 10…

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This is where all the cool toys are kept, right??

Here’s Miss O’s current list of ‘must-have’ toddler accessories: Read more

Why soft play is a lot like going clubbing…

I’ve just rolled in from another action-packed soft play session with Miss O, and realised that it’s all feeling rather familiar; the sticky floors, the dated tunes blaring out at a volume that makes your ears bleed, that faint whiff of vomit…

Here’s why soft play is a lot like going clubbing:

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“It’s so bloody loud in here…”

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Eating out with toddlers – a whole new dining experience!

In principle, I’m a big advocate of taking young children out to eat. I think it’s really important that Miss O is regularly exposed to the experience whilst she’s little, and love that she gets the opportunity to try different flavours and dishes (I imagine that’s also a big plus for her; the food at Chez Mama is hardly 5 star). In practice though, it’s a bit of a mission.

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Pre- and post-baby dining adventures are VERY different beasts:

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