Monday, 26 September 2011

Ditch the Car and Bring on The Bike

No, I’ve not gone all green and save-the-worldy; I’ve got enough day-to-day concerns to be dealt with before I can worry about what may happen to the world if I keep using my secret stash of 100 watt light bulbs and having luxuriously deep baths. It’s just that I’ve fallen out of love with driving lately. I am a loud and proud Skoda driver (the Yeti, it’s ace!) but a couple of recent occurrences have taken away the fun of the open road.

1) I have now hit 9 penalty points on my licence for speeding. Oh come on, don’t get tut-tutty with me. All high-speed offences were conducted safely away from schools, zebra crossings and old ladies.

2) My car insurance went up ASTRONOMICALLY as a result. You’d have thought I’d just admitted to moonlighting as a get-away driver the amount they want me to pay.

3) I was half a minute longer than planned in a cafĂ© in my small, local town and was slapped with a £50 parking fine (£25 if I send the money in the next 3 minutes). Whose bright idea was it to give parking wardens a bonus scheme??

4) When parking in a residential street recently for Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper’s swimming lesson, I had a run-in with the local busybody. Before I had even put the hand brake on, I was confronted by a furious old bat who had tweaked her net curtain as I arrived and scurried straight out. She banged on my window and told me that by parking there (in a perfectly legal spot), I was going to make it hard for her to turn into her drive (which, unless she drives a Challenger 2 tank was not clearly not true). Before I could even draw breath, she had promised to take photos and send them to the council. She was so aggressive that it got my hackles up, and I told her to take all the photos she desired and send them to the Prime Minister for all I cared, and then flounced off.

Where once I was foot-down and fancy free in my super speed machine, I am now driving like bloody Mary Poppins, keeping religiously to the speed limit, not daring to park in car parks, or on residential roads, or to overtake, or to even think about unwrapping a sweet whilst in the car for fear of what may happen. On a daily basis I have to put up with tail-gaters, light-flashers and flipping-me-the-finger-drivers as I cruise carefully at 30 miles per hour, hands on the wheel in the ten-to-two position as taught, and frankly I’ve had enough.  So, I’ve ditched the car and unearthed instead my rusty steed. I’ve removed the resident spiders, fitted the child seat, and am now a fully fledged cyclist (albeit not in Lycra). Yes, it’s 2 wheels for me from now on. Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper loves it, there is no way that I could ever be accused of speeding even going downhill and with a favourable wind behind me, and by next summer I’ll have a beach body to die for. Ting-ting!


Monday, 19 September 2011

Working Mum's Fantabulous Rent-A-Sibling Service

Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper fell in love last weekend. Friends came to stay with their adorable children Girl (aged 8) and Boy (aged 11) and within minutes she was totally smitten. She flirted with Boy, giggled with Girl, had a grass fight in the newly-mown field over the road and didn’t stop laughing all weekend. Never mind the 5-8 year age gap, they all had a ball. When it came to bedtime, Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper insisted on holding Girl’s hand whilst having her teeth brushed and it was Girl that was called upon for the last goodnight kiss.

Whilst this hero-worship was lovely to see, it also had an astounding side effect. From the time they arrived to the moment they left, Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper was a whole new girl. She was well-mannered, and didn’t fuss about putting on her coat/going to the loo/not having another biscuit. We had no tantrums, no tears, she truly was a girl transformed! If she had continued that behaviour, I would have been forced to change her name to Toddler-Ray-of-Sunshine! She was glorious. Now don’t get me wrong, she is lovely anyway, but there’s normally a toddler fuss at some point in the day. Not so last weekend. She couldn’t have behaved better; it was as if Super Nanny had arrived and waved her magic wand over her.

With the children all happily playing, we had the novelty of reading the papers all the way through uninterrupted, starting a conversation and not missing any of it, and drinking wine in the afternoon without grubby toddler fingers trying to dip in and taste some. Ah, I thought, if only she had older siblings our weekends would be like this all the time. And then came the light-bulb moment – Rent-A-Sibling. It’s genius! One family have bored school-agers and another family has testing toddlers. Mix and match and you’ve got the perfect scenario! You heard it hear first, Working Mum’s Fantabulous Rent-A-Sibling Service. What are you waiting for? Sign your children up now!


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Whisper Words of Wisdom

A child psychologist I met at a recent wedding told me that all a child really needs in life is self-confidence and the knowledge that they have a loving, stable home. No expensive education, posh holidays, funky gizmos and gadgets; as long as they have the top two, they will succeed and be happy as they grow and develop.

Fine, you say, I can give my child that. A loving family? Tick. But how do you really give your child unlimited confidence? Coo enthusiastically over their finger-paintings? Marvel at their play-dough prowess? Applaud wildly at their recitation of Incy Wincy spider? Will that work? Is it enough?

Well I’m not taking any chances. No, I’ve come up with another way. I plan to harness the power of sleep and positive messages. Now, I have to confess at this stage that I tried something similar for my A levels many moons ago with an old walkman and a recording of French vocab. It failed dismally. Still, it can do no harm to try.  So this is what I’m doing; every night when I go up to bed, I creep into Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper’s room, smooth her ruffled hair and whisper sweet nothings to her – how much she is loved, how special she is, how lucky we are to have her, what a fantastic mother she has (ahem!!)….. Anyway, the idea is that all this goodness will seep into the very core of her whilst she sleeps, and will help develop a healthy sense of self.

Will this work? Who knows! But I’ll keep you posted……


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Welcome, Welcome

Hello and welcome to misroc&babyroc and Officer Mummy. Very nice to see you here. Any tips on dealing with inquisitive toddlers greatly appreciated!! x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Questions, Questions and More Questions

Yes, we’ve hit that stage with Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper where every second sentence is a question. Honestly, she must average around 3,000 questions PER DAY, and every question gives you a little insight into the workings of her wonderful mind. Here are a few my recent favourites:

1)         “Mummy, what’s under the grass?”
            “ Soil, you know, what we plant the seeds in at the allotment”
            “What’s under the soil then?”
(Yikes, can’t remember, is it magma or something or is that just in films??). Says confidently:  “It’s the Earth’s core darling”
            “No Mummy, I think it’s a witch and a troll”

2)         “When I’m a big girl can I marry Daddy?”
            “No sweetheart, I’m already married to Daddy.”
            “Ok. I’ll have to marry Grandpa then”

3)         “Why is that man wearing a skirt” (said in very loud toddler voice)
            “It’s not a man it’s a woman with very nice short hair” (Excruciating!)

4)         Said in huge voice in hospital waiting room after ‘internal’ scan: “Mummy, why did you take your trousers off for that man?”
            Sniggers in the waiting room and a few sympathetic glances
            “Umm, because he wanted to see mummy’s tummy darling”

5)          “Daddy, how heavy is air?”

6)         “Mummy, why do ladybirds have spots?”
            “Umm, I’m not sure actually.”
            “Is it so they can match my tights?”




Morning All. Well the bad news, on firing up my computer this morning, is that I've discovered I didn't win the Euromillions on Friday. The good news though is that I have four new wonderful followers, so hello and welcome to Lynsey, MummyDichotomy, Phillipa and Topsy Toesy!


Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Warm Autumnal Welcome... my new follower Lillian. Hello there! x

Bring on Autumn....

The girls in the office were moaning today about the end of summer and the approach of Autumn. Well I, for one, am delighted that Autumn’s nearly here , so wrap up and enjoy my Autumn Love List:

1) Tights
Proper, thick, warm tights can work miracles and can turn unshaven, pasty, mottled legs into gorgeous, slim, supermodel pins. Magic!

2) Autumn Food
Goodbye skinny, virtuous salads and hello steaming pots of hearty casseroles and stews…..mmmm……

3) Sloe Gin
Wait until the first frost (which, based on the weather recently, won’t be too long) then pick loads of luscious sloes, bottle them up with plenty of gin and crack open a fine vintage bottle from a previous year for ‘quality control’ purposes

4) Bonfires
The crackle of flames, smoke on the breeze, hot mulled cider, holding hands with gloves on, fireworks, chunky scarves, warm kisses on cold cheeks. What’s not to love?

5) Crunchy Walks
Toddler-Not-So-Tiny-Temper loves these – forest walks that take twice as long because there are just so many leaves to kick

So come on everyone, cheer up, put the suncream away and embrace Autumn!