Is it too early to have a Christmas themed blog post? I hope not. I usually gage it by the Christmas lights being switched on in shopping centres so it seems to have officially started in some parts. I have an axe to grind, a bug to bear, a rant to rave…. Now when in my pre-parent days I heard people harp on about the over indulgence and materialism of Christmas I used to nod in agreement but secretly felt they were probably a bit of a scrooge or at least ‘tight’. Now, having become a mum and this year being the first that 2-year old BearCub seems to understand, I am outraged that the nets of marketing aimed at my seemingly innocent child have worked and fully ensnared him! Suddenly my son not only wants, but also expects, ‘everything’. Any shop we pass he is asking to buy a plane or car and any vague acquaintance that visits the house is questioned as to what they have bought him. I like to think I am not a materialistic person and we do try to avoid Milkshake in favour of Cbeebies in part due to the onslaught of child aimed mass marketing – in part due to the annoying presenters. Where has my ungrateful and greedy child come from? We have tried having the chat about not expecting presents every day and that gifts are deserving of special occasions only and I even put a ban on all gifts between a couple of weeks back and Christmas. However this all proved futile when BearCub’s Grandma returned from Australia and presented ‘just a few little gifts’ which turned out to be a massive remote controlled car and a mini motorbike – both gifts I’d deem as a main Christmas present – and with Christmas just 5 weeks away!!!! Grrr!
I really want my son to grow up with the literal awe my sister and I had when we would open our second-hand (and clearly used) presents with delight then go upstairs when it was over and find one last extra present – a Commodore 64 our mum had worked extra hours to get for us. We literally cried with joy and complete amazement! Instead my 2-year old already expects to receive whatever he wishes for!
I had a wealthy friend who would allow her children to select one toy to keep and then go with her children after Christmas to give their other gifts to less fortunate children. Maybe a step too far but I love the idea of teaching that giving is better than receiving from a young age.
You’ve probably seen the new John Lewis ad by now – you know the one everyone is raving about. Since being pregnant I have gone from a gal who had never cried at a film in her life to someone who gets choked at episodes of Holby City. The striking point of the J.L ad is the fact that we are so familiar with children impatiently counting down until Christmas in anticipation of the gifts they will receive that we are wholly touched when we realise this boy’s excitement is at that thought of giving a gift to his parents. This would obviously never happen in real life but, I do think it serves as a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. As to how we teach our little darlings that it’s better to give than receive when they are currently going through the stage of not at all understanding why they should share anything in the world…well if you have the answer please do let me know!!!
I am going to share a little more about me than I ought to in this post. (I’ve had a few glasses of wine!) This evening I have realised that the phrase, “you must have pissed yourself laughing” can only have come from a woman…
Yes, I am talking about the lack of pelvic floor muscles I have post baby. Yes, I do mean that post child an irritating cough or a mis-timed sneeze can have rather worse consequences than it used to, and yes, I am insinuating that “piss yourself laughing” could be rather more literal than it used to be!
To anyone reading this who may be pregnant, or considering becoming so for the first time, please follow the antenatal teacher’s advice and do those rather odd exercises to tense your pelvic floor muscles, it might just make the difference between being able to go to a comedy gig post- child and not!
I recently met up with 3 mates who I used to live with at university. We were once young and carefree, enjoying our late teens and early twenties in pubs, bars and clubs… Now, our discussion as 30 (plus) year olds is rather changed. 3 out of 4 of us have kids and the 3 who do were fervently persuading the 1 without to do pelvic floor exercises right now to save embarrassment later.
When I tweeted about my hate of coughing-fits with post child pelvic floor muscles I received support (I won’t embarrass anyone by saying who this came from!). In fact, one person suggested that it was a conspiracy – who bothered to do the pelvic floor exercises and therefore who can tell you if they work or not?!
So the question I pose is this – what one thing would you tell a friend who had just become pregnant and why? I would definitely say “for goodness sake do those pelvic-floor exercises, no matter how ridiculous you feel.” What’s your best piece of advice?
I am too tired to write a deep and meaningful blog post this morning and I’ll tell you why: Whose stupid idea was it to change the clocks twice a year? Obviously they were not thinking of the impact on Mother’s across the nation whose little darlings get up at 5.30am like mine does! What on earth were they thinking and just who does this benefit?
Well apparently it’s all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a chap called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent.
Basically, he reckoned that you could improve the population’s health and happiness by putting forward the clocks by twenty minutes every Sunday in April and do the opposite in September (quite obviously not a parent!). His idea was not taken up, even though a ‘Daylight Saving Bill’ was introduced some five years before the outbreak of World War One. But once the war started, it was considered prudent to economise, to promote greater efficiency in using daylight hours, and in the use of artificial lighting. And so in 1916, ‘Daylight Saving Time’ was introduced.
Hello? This was therefore about three reasons: improving health and happiness and economising due to the war. Not a very extensive study admittedly, but I’m yet to meet a person let alone a parent whose happiness, health or utility bill has been helped by this out-dated notion.
Let me tell you the affect it has on me: BearCub has never needed much sleep. He sleeps through the night pretty much without fail (apart from when he’s ill) but he has always been an early riser. I have done everything to try to change this including pain-stakingly moving his bed time 10 mins a time to an hour later. As is the pattern I will finally get him into a routine of sleeping until a grand 6.30am when the clocks will change and we’re back to 5.30am wake ups! I can handle anything past 6am but just that half hour earlier tips me over the edge. I’m particularly dreading this weekend’s change as BearCub has taken to waking at 5.30am for the last week which means I’m in for a 4.30am little alarm clock on Sunday morning – joy! It will take me a good few months to get this back to anywhere near 6am and then the clocks will go forward and bedtime will be mucked up with a knock on effect on wake ups!!! Bloody daylight saving!!
The other morning I discovered that my two and a half year old is well on the way to a life of petty crime… I was in the kitchen attempting to repair the carnage that breakfast in our house inevitability brings, and the munchkin was happily playing in the dining room. I could hear her ‘tidying’ the coasters and ‘putting away’ her toys. All is well, I thought, and ploughed on with the washing-up mountain. Next I hear her ask, “Can I play with Stanley, Mummy?”
Stanley is a plastic money box that Nanny brought her a few weekends ago. Nanny works in a well-known bank (as they say on the Beeb!) and the plastic money box is in the shape of the aforementioned ‘Stanley’ the dog, which is in the adverts at the moment. The money box caused some hilarity (and some squirming from me) when, the munchkin went round asking all the guests in our house for “some coins for my moneybox”. That’s OK when it’s the people who brought the moneybox, and even Mummy and Daddy, but when she started pouncing on friends we had staying and saying, “No, I want a silver one!” it got a touch embarrassing!
Anyway, I digress, on this particular morning she was merrily playing with Stanley, “Shall we go over here, Stanley”, “Come on Stanley let’s go for a walk” etc and then I heard the tinkle of money being dropped into the money box. I knew there were a couple of pennies on the side that I had found in the lining of my handbag earlier, so I paid no heed, but then I realised there were a good deal more tinkles that there had been pennies…
I popped my head around the door to see the munchkin emptying coins, one by one from my purse into her moneybox. She looked at me and in all innocence said, “Look Mummy, I’ve found some real money for my money box”!
If this two and a half, what hope is there?!