Kidtropolis kids event – October half term – London ExCel

** I have been provided with Kidtropolis tickets in return for this blog post. All opinions are my own. Tickets can be purchased via www.kidtropolis.co.uk**

Kidtropolis is coming this October half term to London’s ExCel centre. Between 23rd and the 26th October 2017, Kidtropolis will be running a variety of activities and live shows to entertain your children age 12 and under, although older children are welcome.

I am always on the lookout for great events to attend with George. It was by chance that I stumbled across the Kidtropolis event on Twitter. Those of you that may of heard or seen negative reviews after last years event will be pleased to know I asked the organisers if improvements have been made for this years event and they have taken the feedback on board. To quote;

I just wanted to reassure you that Kidtropolis 2017 offers a new format, bigger and better than last year, with lots more brands and entertainment on the stages. Plus, with all tickets bought, families are guaranteed two shows each – these are selected upon booking.

George will be just under two weeks shy of turning three years old when Kidtropolis runs next week. They have a range of toddler friendly activities on during the week, including live shows from;

  • Peppa Pig
  • Postman Pat
  • PJ Masks
  • Sooty
  • Basil Brush
  • Fireman Sam
  • Naomi’s Wild and Scary
  • Octonauts
  • Captain Calamity Pie and Bubble Spectacular
  • And many more, including many dance acts from Britain’s Got Talent

There’s also a huge range of free activities all included in the price of your entry ticket. Some of these won’t be relevant to your child’s interests or age so I’ll leave you to checkout their website to see exactly what’s on offer. www.kidtropolis.co.uk .  Being mum of a toddler, the activities that stand out to me are;

  • WOW – where learning begins. Mini Professors (aged 2-5), Reading Fairy (Aged 1-5), or Toddler sense session (aged 13 months – 4 years). On Tuesday
  • Kids Out – featuring the famous galleon from Peter Pan, meeting a real life pirate and the chance to get a pic with a 7metre crocodile!
  • Balloon Besties – where you have the chance to purchase a walking balloon.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Meet and Greet. On Thursday
  • The creation station featuring making things with Playdoh or allowing your 1-11 year old to make their mark on canvas. Protective clothing provided
  • Meet the Paw Patrol pups, with different characters appearing at varying intervals each day. Checkout the website for which characters are appearing which days.
  • Auntie JoJo and Magic Martin performing magic shows for all the family and balloon modelling.
  • Geomag and Smartmax magnetic discovery as these are on George’s birthday wish list and we have played with these at playgroups and nursery and they are fab.
  • Biker tots (18 months – 4 years). Teaching balance bike skills using a 12” balance bike in a strider zone.

There really is so much more to do there. These are just some of the activities we like the look of. The ticket allows us a 4.5 hour entry slot so I don’t want to be too ambitious and add too much to our to do list. That said, I have a personal agenda, that is to make sure we see the cast of my own childhood favourite, Rainbow. Zippy, George and Bungle will be there celebrating the shows 45 years anniversary! I’m not that old!

You can access London’s ExCel centre via the super cool Emirates airline cable car so we are hoping to catch a ride. I hope George will be massively impressed. It’s so hard to predict this child’s behaviour. Which in one way I love but it can planning days out tricky.

If you haven’t already, head to the website www.kidtropolis.co.uk and book your tickets now. Your ticket entitles you to entry on a day of your choosing, during either the 4.5 hour morning or afternoon session.

Checkout our social media next week to see what we get up to at the event.

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Drowning emotionally

After feeling on top of the world Monday, this morning has just drained me. Having to justify George’s personality and behaviour to the swim teacher and all the other mums listening. 
I dunno. 
George has been doing marvellously at his swimming lessons and his teacher has taught us so many ways to get him familiar and content with the water. She did tell me weeks ago to expect him to have a relapse at some point but not to be concerned. 

Well that relapse happened. And why did it happen? Well it happened because she raised the pool floor to allow him to touch the bottom which he thought was wonderful and it was a development until the following week when he expected to be able to touch the floor. When he realised he couldn’t he went into fear mode and began clinging to me again, despite the fact he was wearing armbands and even with the aid of a rubber ring or pool noodle. 

Add to this the week following the floor raising his usual teacher was off. George is a stickler for familiarity and a new teacher was just not what he had in mind. 

All this taken into account, today’s resolve boiled down to the fact that I allow him to be to clingy to me. I’m not firm enough. And for someone I need to leave him with family and friends more. This all sounds idyllic but if he doesn’t want to stay with someone I’m not going to just leave him him there crying. But I should. Completely forgetting we had this relapse on the expected horizon and how did we even get onto the subject of who I leave him with? 

So feeling confused and embarrassed that my clingy child is in the class below his age group, he’s scared to let go whilst in the water. I now feel like the child I have given up my career to look after is supposedly playing me because I should be dumping him at everyone else’s house and be doing I don’t know what? Reading books on how to teach him to swim? 

Cut to the changing rooms and mine is the only child screaming about not liking the shower whilst everyone looks on like we are a pair of weirdos. He then needs a wee and when we get to the toilet the towel must’ve put him off because he couldn’t control the direction and the wee all went up the wall. I cleaned it all with tissue and left it pleasant. It was clear anyways. It was only the swimming pool water he drank. 

Teacher appears as we are are washing our hands and he’s screaming because the tap is so fast. She must’ve heard all the events so I tell her what just happened in the cubicle and she asks me which one and says she’ll get it washed down. An extremely helpful gesture. I recognise that but another way that I felt crap. As far as I was concerned I had cleaned it up. Now I felt inadequate for not thinking I should ask for it to be washed down. 

I’m really not laying the blame at this woman’s door. Her intention is to make my life easier and help us both. My perception is that I’m doing everything wrong and people can’t believe what a mess I’m making of this child. 

How can you feel like you are doing such a wonderful job of raising your child one day, and feel like a complete failure the next

The pathetic thing is I don’t even stand up for myself or my parenting choices. I just go along with agreeing that he should be the way this stranger says he should be 🙄😔 whilst everyone looks on thinking god knows what. 

Aside from being a bit clingy he’s doing amazingly well for his age. I know that. So what the fuck! Why am leaving the swimming pool holding back the tears and getting home as quick as I can to just cry so hard? 

It’s not even her fault. And I’ve always said I agree that the reason swimming teachers get such fab results is their tough love strategy. 

Pathetic. It’s not even like I take him to other swimming lessons because I can’t drive out of this stupid town due to ongoing vertigo. Ongoing for the last 4 years before you start chucking all your solutions at me. I’m under a neurology consultant but that’s another story. 

You know those days where you question everything. 

Tomorrow is another day. Although it’s quite scary not knowing what kind of day it will be. 

Tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth

We are all looking for ways to maintain our sanity  make parenting easier. Three years into parenting, myself and Gorgeous George’s Daddy are still devising ways to encourage George to wash and brush his teeth.

George was two weeks old before hubs and I plucked up the courage to give him his first full bath. Scared of him being a slippery bugger and flying out of hands, thus causing himself  us to have hurt him, we waited until it was really necessary. We quickly realised this was going to be something George needed convincing was a fun and relaxing habit.

“wash”

We have since devised many ways to encourage our child that the essential act of getting washed and brushing your teeth can be fun. I’d like to add that George has pretty much always loved bathtimes and teeth brushing. His main issue is either that he is too tired or the desire to want to play with his toys is too strong.

Here’s are my top tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth twice a day;

  1. Explain what’s expected. I’ve always explained what is ahead of us. I think it helps to make tasks or trips seem less daunting.
  2. Get them involved. Yes it might take longer but let them have some control. George is almost three and can
  • Fill the sink
  • Wash his hands and face with soap and a flannel
  • Dry them on a towel
  • Load his toothbrush with the right amount of toothpaste
  • Clean his own teeth
  • Spit (Rinsing is not actually recommended by dentists)

I don’t know if this is typical for a child his age and although I still supervise him to help him remain focused, he is more than independently able to complete these tasks. I do assist him when I feel he’s missed a bit. I also try to clean his teeth myself a few times a week to ensure they are getting properly cleaned. I have taught him the proper brushing technique

3. Get a chart. Ask your dentist for a teeth brushing chart or download one like the one here Teeth brushing chart . A fun toothbrush with a character on also helps. Getting your child to choose their own toothbrush in the shop is good encouragement. Just make sure they are age appropriate.

4. Make up songs. Back in the day where I was forever wet wiping George’s face clean of food from weaning etc, we made up a song. To the tune of E I Adio;

We’re cleaning George’s face/arms/bum

We’re cleaning George’s face

We’re making George all gorgeous

We’re cleaning George’s face

This also worked for brushing teeth, brushing hair, putting on socks, coat and so on.

5. Challenge your child to a “teeth race”.

Teeth brushing is important and needs to be done properly for it to be sufficient.

The teeth race in short is you cleaning your teeth at the same time your child cleans theirs. If your child doesn’t clean their own teeth yet you can do this in conjunction with your partner. They clean their own teeth whilst you clean your child’s.

This should also help to get your child from anywhere in the house to the bathroom in a matter of minutes. You can also use this for handwashing etc.

6. Get the toys involved. George’s favourite toy changes almost weekly. Over the years we have tried to suggest that “rabbit” or his “Lightning McQueen” would love to watch him getting washed and cleaning his teeth.

Show them Mr Monkey how you wash your hands

If the toy is waterproof it goes in, or even simpler, use a favourite bath toy, or the toy can sit on a ledge from a safe distance to the water and “watch”.

This method can often mean that wash time takes up to 10 minutes or more but I often leave him to get on with having fun whilst I sneakily get a face wash in. I am then free to do my makeup or get dressed, empty the litter tray, or even have a quick clean up.

7. Following on from the “bring a toy” idea, suggest that mr car is all dirty and needs a wash. Before you know it your child will be elbow deep in bubbles and foam and getting clean without even realising it. Let’s face it, if they are that grubby then the bath is an easier option.

8. Songs, songs, songs. I had a tiny turtle, row row row the boat, I jumped aboard a pirate ship, any songs or nursery rhymes, preferably water related to distract your little one whilst you wash them.

9. Bribery! I insist that we cannot go downstairs in the morning until we have washed and cleaned our teeth. The bathroom in our house is upstairs, playing with toys happens downstairs. If like mine, your little one is eager to get up and play with the toys, then insist that they can’t until they have had their wash and cleaned their teeth. Works for me.

10. Buy fun soap. Here are a few of our favs. George enjoys mixing different colours and textures so we often have several different soaps on the sink edge at a time.

So what do you think of our top tips? Do you have any to add? Obviously I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and means of encouragement.

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The scrupulous word

Thursday 28th September 2017 is National Poetry Day with the theme this year being;

Freedom

I may be a little late to the party but I’ve been living it up in sunny Caister, Norfolk. However, now holiday mode is officially over I’m not going to let the opportunity of a poem pass me by.
I wrote these words with the aim to inspire, provoke thought and contemplation, promote compassion and encourage positivity and love. Enjoy.

The Scrupulous Word

Talk to me nicely
Earn my respect
I’ll always be kind to you
But with cause and effect
I’ll be brutally honest
Without holding back
If I feel the respect is on a one way track.

Don’t take me for granted
My chances are rationed
I expect good manners
Call me old fashioned
Apologies, thanks, they are all worth their weight
Excuses and ignorance are behaviours I hate.

Be accountable for the actions you make
The words that you spit and lies that you fake
Stand up
Own the words that you speak
The thoughts that you feel
Let strength beat the meek

Take me as I come
I’ve got nothing to hide
My remarks are to help
Not to hinder or snide
I’ll say what I feel if I think it’s of use
A promoter of kindness against the abuse

 

I’m here for anyone that would like to talk anytime. Much love.

If you would like to read more about compassion, check out this fab website I stumbled upon by Sharon Bull A compassionate voice .

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Hair care review Frezyderm UK – finding a child friendly styling gel

So our dude is nearly three in a couple of months. He’s always had floppy long hair. Not ponytail long, but long enough to run your fingers through. I’m reluctant to shave it as  it retains his baby quality. Although I’m not the type to go on about how I wish they would stop growing up so fast.

So dudes latest hair cut was actually at the barbers and he had a little shave at the sides. They kept the top long and floppy and styled it with a slick of gel. This looked cool. He felt like a big grown up boy which is all important now he has started preschool.

I wasn’t sure though. I loved the look but it felt too harsh using such products. He’s still only two. Plus as soon as he got a bit sweaty the gel just made him look like a greasy mess.

I made it my mission to find a child friendly hair gel. Well I didn’t get very far if I’m completely honest. I found a few detangling sprays but that’s not what I wanted. Then my sister in law pointed out Frezyderm to me.

Frezyderm UK  is a family owned and trusted dermocosmetic brand. Their motto being;

Inspired by you

Established in 1986 in Greece, they offer premium skincare and hair care solutions for all ages and skin types. Their products strive to meet strict pharmaceutical standards and they are fast becoming the go to brand for dermatologists across the globe. Living in the society that we do where by allergies and sensitivities are more prevalent than ever, Frezyderm will no doubt be a such a life changer for so many. You can find more on their products here https://www.frezyderm.co.uk/

Although George doesn’t suffer with any allergies or sensitive skin, Frezyderm fitted perfectly with my desire for a gentle hair styling range. I contacted them and asked to kindly try some of their kids haircare range in return for a review post on my blog. (There’s the disclosure right there, wink). As always I promise my review is completely my own honest opinion and my integrity has remained.

Although none of our family suffer with allergies or sensitive skin so I cannot comment on that aspect of whether the products caused any less irritation than others.

The price of these products is a little higher than a lot of brands, however they are very specialised and I know that the free from allergens ranges very often tend to cost more than brands which contain “nasties”.

I have always assumed you are paying for the research and dedication that has gone into ensuring the product won’t cause you or your child unnecessary irritation or harm. Obviously everyone’s skin is different so there’s no guarantee of anything but I’d recommend you try them yourself if you or a member of your household does suffer. Frezyderm could be your saviour.

Something I felt was worth highlighting is the branding. Frezyderm subtlety brand their kids haircare range boys with a star and girls with a flower. I know that gender stereotyping and branding is a hot topic right now. I feel, as I said, that their branding is very subtle but I did feel the need to ask Frezyderm what the difference is. This was their response;

“The two sensitive kids shampoo boys and girls have an equivalent structure of composition having as a first priority the safety and the effectiveness. But, the shampoo for girls offers an enhanced detangling effect because of the girls’ long hair.”

This seems completely logical and I think it mirrors other brands that produce different haircare products for men and women.

Hair

So that’s my take on the shampoo and styling gel we tried from Frezyderm. In true Gorgeous George’s Mama fashion I felt it apt to write a poem about this fab find. I know mama’s of children with sensitive skin and I really hope this leads them to finding some fab and friendly products for their daily routine.

Our children’s skin is delicate

Some more than the rest

When it comes to keeping them clean

We only want the best

No nasties to make them scratch or wince

Frezyderm is their friend

To make your child all clean and fresh 

You’ll love this stuff no end

They may not have a perfumed smell

No soap or silicones

No allergens as well

If gluten doesn’t like you too

Then these products are definitely for you 

So why Frezyderm I hear you think

Look no further than your child at the sink

Next time they need to get themselves clean

Frezyderm will work a dream

The shampoo creates a wonderful lather

It won’t sting their eyes if some slips in after

The hair gel really does the trick

On mama’s hair too and it doesn’t stick. 

It holds just how you’d like it to

Without making your fingers feel like glue. 

I’ll stop the gushing and just say

In return for some products I’ll send people Frezyderm’s way

But only because I truly like

The way their gel helps dudes hair to spike

My search for child friendly hair gel ends right here. 

And I’ve also found a way for you to bathe your child without fear. 

Fear of flare ups and discomfort may now come to an end

If you give Frezyderm a try and maybe recommend a friend. 

Until next time………………

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Mummy’s first day at preschool. 

Ah it’s here. September. Back to school. It feels like when you are starting a new job. Excited but nervous. The kid? Well he’s oblivious. I have a two (nearly three) year old. He doesn’t NEED to go to preschool. So why am I putting us through this?
 

Well he’s always gone to nursery as I DID return to work for a few months. After I left I kept it on just to give myself some child free time if I’m honest. 
My health hasn’t been fab in recent months leaving me unable to drive to where George attended nursery. We had to make the difficult choice to remove him from the wonderful privately owned nursery that he attended from ten months old. 

We opted to get him a place in the government preschool adjoined to where will hopefully be his school in the future. 
This was always going to be somewhere he had to end up eventually. 

So why the anxiety Mummy? Well in his private nursery he was in the presence of two carers and roughly six children per room. I was reassured he would get the love and attention he would at home. He would be in view all the time so no one could hurt or bully him. 

His new preschool is linked to the primary school. When he starts tomorrow he will be in the regular presence of 27 children and 6 carers. I attended the settle in day. It’s a large space both indoors and outdoors. The carers physically could not be everywhere and see everything. 

There were what can only be described as several sadistic shitbags that I wouldn’t want to be left alone with George. I know the apron strings have got to be cut loose at some point and he’s got to learn to find his own way of dealing with things in the world. But he’s two. You can’t even explain to him. 

When George has been upset by other children I often respond by removing him from the situation and giving him a cuddle. I know some parents may argue that he should “man up and hit back”. I’ve asked George if he would hit another child back that hurt him and his response was “why?”.
This left me realising this little boy is being kind, thoughtful and considering just like his mummy and daddy. We are raising him to be as such so why would we suddenly tell him to hit people!
That said, hubs is teaching him to box. Although he currently only uses that on hubs. 

So I turned to my gentle parenting train of thought and suggested that if another child hurts him anytime I’m not around he should say 

“stop! That’s not nice, I’m going to tell a grown up”. 

Again I asked him if he would do this instead of his current method of simply standing and crying until someone rescues him and he said “no, I’ll just stand and cry”. 

So here I am. So excited for my little boys first day of preschool. All the wonderful new toys and children to play and interact with. New staff to meet and learn the schools ways. We have attended several seasonal open days there and he has never wanted to leave due to the sheer expanse of the place and how many activities there are to do. 

Yet my protective, worrying side is scared. I know children, as fickle as they are, can be put off by things after only one traumatic incident. That said he still absolutely loves any child that hits him so perhaps he is also going to be a forgiving soul too. 
As I wave goodbye tomorrow and give him a big kiss and a squeeze, I’ll run home and immerse myself in some wall knocking down (yes seriously, it’s on my to do list). And when I return I know my fears will be banished. I know he will have had a fab time. I know he will excel and flourish even more there. But I know this worry is here to stay. 
As he grows, so will my worry. I’m losing the grip. He will no longer have me to protect his every move. He’s two for crying out loud. It’s ok I tell myself. There is always home schooling. 
And then there are the other mums. What if none of them want to be friendly. What if they all know each other and aren’t very welcoming. Perhaps you can tell but I was bullied at school. If I was the person I am now I don’t think they would have been so successful but then perhaps if I wasn’t bullied I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now. 
We all just want our children to be happy, safe and protected. Don’t we? 

So for all the anxious mummies in the playground tomorrow, I feel you. A few words of wisdom for each other and a bit of support and I’m sure we will all get through this. And for the mums of the sadistic little shits, (although you probably don’t call them that) I feel for you, really I do. It must be tough looking after a kid like that, you have my empathy. 

Good luck to everyone starting or returning to school tomorrow, Daddy’s too. I’m sure this probably applies to you. Although I can’t help feeling Daddy’s just get on with things without all the worrying us women do. Would love to hear from some Daddy’s with little ones starting or returning to school. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Has becoming a mum made me lazy? 

There are days I feel I’ve definitely fulfilled my potential as both a mama and a human being. And then there are days where I feel outrageously lazy. 

Lazy
These lazy feelings rarely happened when I worked a 9-5. I worked like a maniac as often my workload was more than the hours I could fit them into. Always working against a deadline. Patients needing their meds, doctors wanting the drug charts, the pharmacy closing for dispensing and so on. 

Evenings were for cooking and prepping for the following day at work. Weekends were precious down time, a chance to have fun (wink, wink) and to keep on top of the house work, most of which would be blitzed on a Sunday morning whilst hubs was at footie training. 

Lazy
Cut to life as a stay at home mum. Life feels like one big weekend. Although of course hubs only joins us here and there as he’s working working (a bit like out out). Unlike myself (rolls eyes, ha ha).  

The cleaning well it happens when I get sick of looking at everything, things start to smell or my feet are getting covered in too much grit when I walk around the house, bleugh. We live in a two up, two down with me, hubs, George nearly three and three cats who mainly live indoors. 

Lazy
My house isn’t filthy as such but I have no set routine. I just do stuff when I can be bothered. There feels like a permanent flood of toys flowing in my direction along with crumbs and chalk dusk, magic sand and pieces of cut up paper. Chuck in the tumbleweed style balls of cat hair floating my across the laminate in the toddlers back draft and thus sets the scene. 

Then there’s me. If we don’t have plans and I’m not stood at the kitchen sink (why the heck do I feel like I live at that sink!?) Then I’m sat on the sofa watching George play. Or reading him a story or watching a film together. Doing some something research, planning or blogging related on my phone. 

Then there’s the dust. I used to be the type of gal that dusted the tops of her door frames. I felt compelled to after watching so many episodes of “Four in a bed” and seeing how much this disgusted people. Now I don’t know where the dust goes but it’s not on the duster as that thing barely comes out of the cupboard. 

Lazy
Why not? I hear you thinking. I honestly don’t know. I’m sure I could fit it in but now I’m a mama maybe I’m just lazy. Every moment of my time that isn’t commanded by George, I mentally tell myself to sit and chill. 

“You deserve this” I reward my lazy self. 

Do I though! I used to be on my feet 8 hours a day at my job. Yes I was tired but I was a fit size 12. Ok so I’ve been on migraine prevention tablets that made me gain 3 stone and go up to a size 16 but could I shift that quicker if I just got off my arse? 

Genuinely I don’t know. I have to be sure not to over exert myself too much at times as it makes my migraines more susceptible. But excuses aside I really need to maybe make myself a cleaning routine. 

I put a ridiculous amount of effort into days out, playing with George, DIY, tending to and revamping the garden. It’s literally the cleaning and tidying that makes me feel like I’m the laziest mofo of the land. And yet I know that if I made a schedule for every task that I will inevitably miss, I’ll then proceed serve myself a lovely helping of guilt. 

What do you think? Are you a stay at home parent or working parent? Do you feel any lazier since becoming a parent? Do you have any tips for staying on top of the household chores? I’d love to hear them. If nothing else but to make myself feel a little less like the lazy biatch I probably am. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

2017 – When every day is judgement day.

2017 has brought with it an increase in access to the internet, which, in my opinion, has increased our so called “knowledge”. We all think we are so damn knowledgeable about everything. Parents are literally the worst culprits of this.

Looking at my examples below, you’ll come to the conclusion that as parents we can’t do right for doing wrong. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with what you are doing or have done. Is it any of their business? No! Are they with you 24/7? Doubtful! Should you give a toss what they think? Absolutely not! Will our children all turn out ok in the end? More than likely.

And those that supposedly turn out perfect may no doubt make some poor choices in adulthood. Perhaps they’ll make choices that mess up their lives and make us judge them moreover. There are many, many ways to live and grow. Very few are the “wrong way”. Please just stop judging.

Stop judging yourself, judging others. Stop making snide comments and passing hurtful looks. Instead try offering help to a parent that looks like they are struggling. Try offering praise to someone who looks like they are doing a “good job” by your standards. Appreciate that there are other ways to parent, and enquire with the person politely about their method. You may actually find a “better” method for your own parenting/grand parenting.

Any of these sound familiar?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, bottle feeding her baby? Poor kid is missing out on all those nutrients. Why doesn’t she breastfeed. Why doesn’t she want to give the best to her baby?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, breastfeeding her baby? Attention seeking she was. Getting her boobs out for everyone to see. Just so she can make the rest of us feel inadequate like we aren’t doing the best for our babies.

Did you speak to that that mum at the park? 5 kids she has and she wants more! She’s so selfish. Those kids will never get the attention and love they need with that many to look after!

Did you speak to that mum at the park? Her little boy is an only child and she doesn’t want anymore! She’s so selfish. That child is going to miss out on so much without a sibling to share it with.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking juice and eating chocolate and sweets. More fool her. All their teeth are probably rotten and it’s all her fault.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking were drinking water and eating homemade sugar free muffins. More fool her. First chance they get they will be stuffing their faces secretly with sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks. And they’ll miss out at birthday parties. It’s all her fault.

My gosh did you see that mum letting her kid run along on the pavement? He could’ve run in the road and had an accident any minute. I was on edge just watching. She’s so irresponsible. (I’ve actually heard this one).

My gosh did you see that mum making her kid hold her hand and wear reins whilst walking along? Give the kid some space or he’ll never learn. She’s making a rod for her own back.

Did you see that mum ignoring her child and looking at her phone? Look at your kid for crying out loud! Watch him play.

Did you see that mum following her child on all the play equipment? Step back and let him breathe! Let him play by himself.

Did you see that mum shouting at her child in the supermarket? You should never speak to a child like that! She should always remain calm and composed.

Did you see that mum in the supermarket letting her child get away with lying on the floor screaming whilst she quietly stood there? She didn’t do anything! She’s teaching him it’s ok to be a spoilt brat.

The list goes on and on. Moral of this post…we all do things different. Every child is different and has their own needs. By all means if you are genuinely concerned for the safeguarding of a child then please take action by reporting to the appropriate authorities.

If you believe you may be guilty of being judgemental of your fellow mama, try our three simple steps;

(1) Take a moment to think of some of the reasons this mum is doing what she is doing. Appreciate that she knows her own children and her own mind. She may be having an off day. She’s made her own choices after weighing up the facts for herself.

(2) Close your eyes and walk away. It’s not your child. It’s not your way. If there’s no safeguarding issue. You are just being a bitch. Mind your own business.

(3) Do you remember when you had your first child and when you no doubt did exactly the same thing she did? You’ve since changed your style but it doesn’t make your choice any better. It’s YOUR choice for YOUR child at THAT time.

Just to be clear. None of the above opinions are my own. Thankfully I don’t hang in circles where opinions like this are expressed. You only have to click on the comments of most Facebook stories to see this type of know-it-all negativity.

Do you think we are giving each other too much of a hard time? I know I give MYSELF a hard enough time. I don’t have anything left to berate others and wouldn’t dare. We won’t judge here.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My potty training tips.

I present to you my potty training tips. I personally prefer the term potty practice. Training makes me feel like I have a puppy that needs teaching. From my own experience, George will do things when he is ready. It is my role to guide him and just show him a good way of doing things. Not to train him, not to show him the right way. To guide him towards a way that works for the both of us. All the while gauging what he feels comfortable with.

I am by no means claiming to be an expert. Blimey who really is! We are all so different, we have to adapt things to our own and our child’s specific needs and capabilities. But we have smashed this so called potty training in 5 days. After 5 days George was dry DAY and NIGHT. I will admit he had one night time accident, but I will explain how to try to avoid this later on in the post. I read so many mums saying how awful and horrific the process was. Aside from day 2 where I had to clean up 6 wees it really was easy.

  1. Look for signs your child is ready. However, this isn’t always a good indicator. At 18 months old George was telling us he had soiled his nappy and getting the bits for us to change it. I took this as him knowing when he needed to have a wee or poo. I introduced the potty, quite successfully for a day or two. Until he needed a poo. He was bare bottomed and started pooing in the kitchen whilst standing, he ran in the living room screaming, poo pebbles falling around his ankles.

Hubs and I used gentle voices and told him it was fine and tried to get him to sit on the potty. We told him not to worry and quickly cleaned up. From that point he refused to use the potty or the toilet. Preferring to stand and scream and cry that he wanted a nappy on. For fear of him hurting himself by holding on to his toilets, we reverted back to nappies.

We spoke to him lots and tried a few times in the months following that to get him to try the potty again. At his 2 year check-up at 23 months I told the health visitor what had happened, half expecting a “why isn’t he potty trained yet?” lecture. She was so supportive and told me to leave it a long while as he was clearly traumatised by the poo-cident.

Note our successful 5 days leading to the farewell nappy parade happened at 33 months.

  1. One of the most important things is to avoid making a big deal when accidents occur. We are all human. None of us are 100% perfect. I really believe this will only put your child off the whole process even more if they see you getting angry or upset over spilt wee. I know myself that if I am doing something and someone reprimands me for the way I am doing it, I am very reluctant to perform that task again in the presence of that person.
  2. On the flip side, complete over the top praise is definitely necessary during potty practice. Did you ever see “Look Who’s Talking Too” when John Travolta and Kirstie Alley sing the pee pee on the pottayyy song. This so needs to happen. Along with numerous hi-fives, cuddles, and stickers for the t-shirt and facetimes and phone calls to grandparents to tell them what you just did. Anything that makes them feel accomplished, special, amazing and worthy. They need this so much. I really believe this helps immensely.
  3. I’m not going to tell you to prepare as such but it does help to have a few items in place before you start. Personally the items that have got us through this transition are;
  • A potty. We don’t have the latest all singing all dancing character potty. We have a bog stand, white, cheaper than cheap floor potty.
  • A toddler toilet seat. This helps make the seat smaller so they can sit comfortably without fear of falling in the toilet bowl. A seat with handles is ideal. Ours again was cheap and cheerful, easy to sling in a bag and take out with us.
  • Pull-ups. Because if accidents are going to happen, it’s a damn site easier. Some people choose to remain housebound during potty practice, we still had to go about our lives. So for bedtimes, trips to other people’s houses, or longer than 10 minute car journeys, pull ups are a godsend.

I’d recommend the more expensive ones with a wetness indicator so your child can aim to ensure the indicator doesn’t disappear. Otherwise they will just try and use it like a nappy potentially. FYI, they don’t hold much wee compared to a nappy. If you can get them with a favourite character on, bonus points! The character helps to encourage them to wear the pull up. You’ve just won the “you aren’t going to wear nappies anymore” battle and yet here you are presenting them with something that looks very much like a nappy. Confused much. The character will help distract from the point. Emphasis this is just to catch accidents which won’t happen but it’s ok if they do.

  • Big boy/big girl pants or knickers. If you can get them with a favourite character bonus points!
  • Loo roll. You’ll suddenly go from the Queen/King of multiple uses for baby wipes to the Goddess/God of loo roll and lessons in how little you actually need to use.
  1. Rewards chart. I know many of you will shudder at the thought of such a system. I too was against them having followed gentle parenting methods for the first year of George’s life. As he evolved into a toddler however, I realised that no ONE method was going to suit us when it came to parenting. Instead we choose to take advice from parenting styles we agree with and then adapt them to our child and our way of life.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so fearful that as soon as he received ten stickers and got his hands on that new toy, the pants would come flying off and he would scream for his nappy back. One week later and he is still totally rocking the pants and has sampled so many types of loo and loo seat I don’t think he will ever contemplate using a nappy again.

How we used the reward chart was to give a sticker for every poo or wee on the potty/toilet. He chose the sticker and stuck it on himself. The chart was beautifully handmade by moi. With inspiration taken from Pinterest. There are a huge choice out there and many seem overly complicated. I chose a simple, ten stickers and you get a new toy. This meant he could literally complete the chart in a matter of two days, if you consider how many poos and wees you do in a day.

Tuesday morning saw the chart at 6 stickers but unfortunately so did Tuesday evening. We had so many accidents Tuesday, he only made it to the toilet the once, first thing. Wednesday being a new day, we discussed with George the idea of removing the stickers he had earned and starting again, in light of the accidents. He was more than happy for us to do this. And so we began again. By Friday lunchtime he had his 10 stickers. The last of which was earned at nursery.

I’m wondering if because the chart was so simple and short, this allowed us to accomplish the unthinkable so quickly and successfully. I could be wrong. It’s worth a try though.

potty6. Many other mamas recommended I provide a form of distraction for little one as he sat on the toilet/potty. Especially when trying to overcome the “fear of the poo”. Distraction suggestions ranged from singing songs to reading a favourite story or blowing bubbles. We opted for me to read him a story which we kept in the bathroom.

7. Take their potty with you. When we took George to nursery on day 3 of potty practice, we had discussed him using the potty their and he agreed. On collecting him they told us he had refused to use their potty and only wanted his own. We took his own in on the friday and this problem was solved.

When we came to going on our first trip out, we took our seat adapter from home. However, despite having familiarity with the seat, he was still upset the first time he needed a wee and stood in the toilet and cried. I placed him on his seat and explained it was the same as at home. Used my usual distraction techniques, song singing, look at that bug on the wall etc and he realxed and did his wee. After that there was really no stopping him.

8. If all else fails talk about how it looks. We discuss what shape his poo’s are. It gives him determination to try and do a different shape next time. We do a wee in the toilet first and tell him to do a wee on top of ours so they can be flushed away together. All things that make him feel safe and reassured. It can be tough for toddlers to let go of things, even bodily functions. Knowing they are with Mummy and Daddy’s or they are being big and copying you can help them relate.

9. Share the love. Get them to tell everyone you encounter what they have achieved and how wonderful they are doing. get them to recognise and brag about their own accomplishments with potty practice. Ultimately you are also encouraging discussion of bodily functions. Something that, as we grow older, can often develop a stigma. I’m a great supporter of nothing being out of bounds. Your bodily functions can tell a lot about your health and I don’t believe we should ever be embarrassed of them or teach our little ones to be.

10. Best of Luck to all you potty practisers out there. If it feels like too much hard work then stop and wait a few months and try again is the best advice I can give. There will obviously be people out there who have persevered and successfully said farewell to the nappies.I can only give advice based on our experience. I’m not here to play the smug mum or knock anyone else’s methods. I aim to help.

So take these tips on board if you will. Change them to suit you, completely ignore them altogether if they don’t suit you or your child. You know me though, I love to share so I couldn’t resist. Would be great to know my tips have helped at least one person.

Best of luck to you all. If you have any tips you think may help our readers please feel free to add them in the comments below.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Ain’t No Pleasing You – Why I really mustn’t grumble

This post is a shameful admission that I am a bit of miserable, moaning Mama. Ain’t no pleasing you is a Chas and Dave fav that myself and hubs like to sing along to. We have both mutually agreed that it is most definitely “my” song. I’ve come a long way from my song being “You’re so vain” by Carly Simon. Ain’t got no time for that shizzle anymore. Although I’ve always tried to still do my makeup most days since George arrived. Anyways, I’m waffling (blame my Dad for that trait).

Being a Chas and Dave fan it felt very apt to use two of their song titles to summarise this post. I often listen to “Mustn’t Grumble” as a way of reminding myself that no matter how tough or bad things seem, there is always worse and things always work out.

I can’t explain to you who I was Pre-motherhood but I can tell you what I wasn’t. Complaining and moaning was not on my agenda Pre-motherhood. I was known for my optimism and always being able to look for the good in everything. (Or at least I felt I was ).Yet as George gets older I feel as though I am moaning and complaining more and more.

The last thing I want to be remembered for is whingeing, moaning and sapping the fun out of everything. Never fear though. My solution to happiness is here and it starts with a theory I have. The theory as to why I may have this negative personality trait growing within me.

My desire to want the world to be a better place for George is leading me to see any negative aspects and want them hidden or fixed before he becomes aware of them.

Whereas previously I have chosen to live these past 30 years hoping on and off of a cloud. Avoiding news and turning a blind eye to anything that was less than perfect. Now I can’t just do that.

I can’t control what George witnesses and experiences all the time. No one wants their child disappointed or upset. I’m starting to realise that it’s a human emotion that we must all experience. I can’t stop it. Whether it be that you can no longer hand feed the sheep as he is so used to at our local farm. Or that the dinosaur puppet show I bigged up was actually a woman with a duster on her hand.

Nine times out of ten he is oblivious and none the wiser, happily smiling and enjoying his day. Maybe that’s the best part of me he has inherited. I’m trying so hard to go back to that part of me and stop looking for and dwelling on the negative. Be that with people, places or events.

Recently I have tried to just sing, dance or be silly to get past it. If I am starting to feel disappointed in a situation or a person’s behaviour, behaving like a child and making George giggle reminds me that the world is still ok. As mothers, parents, grandparents, we all (I would hope) want our children to live happy and fulfilled lives. I’m sure this is a natural attribute.

Miserable moan bag is not something I wish to remain a part of my personality and I shall try hard to eradicate it before it starts to rub off. The last thing I hope to create is a miserable mini moan bag.

Can you relate? Have you noticed a shift in your character or personality trait since becoming a parent? Do you think I have come to the right conclusion or could there be another answer as to why I am suddenly so critical. I have always had pretty high moral standards.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, if you would. And I’ll be sure to send some positive thoughts your way.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Life through the overactive imagination of one ordinary lady turned mama.