Luke, I am your father…not your friend

Ok, so I’m not up on the Star Wars reference (I know it, but I’m possibly the only person who has not watched the film). But here’s the thing – I am going to be my children’s parent, not their friend.

It always amazes me when people say they want to be their child’s friend. It amazed me more when I heard that someone had said it on a parenting course that I had been thinking of attending. I’ve had years of experience of being a friend, so if I need a course on anything it’s certainly not that.

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Fencing for safety…and sanity…

As BabyBoy and BabyGirl hurtle closer to their third birthday I’ve been wondering…it is time to stop the childproofing?

Our house is a mass of fences and gates. Gates to keep them out of certain rooms. Fences to keep breakables out of reach and to discourage indoor parkour. Continue reading

Pondering Preschool

Preschool has crept up on us. Suddenly, it seems that EVERYONE is at preschool, five days a week. And BabyBoy and BabyGirl are not yet three. I want to cry.

Cry because I did my research, I made my decision…..and still the societal pressure is forcing me to second-guess myself.

Are my kids going to get left behind? Are they ever going to be able to hang out with kids their own age? Am I stopping them from asserting their burgeoning independence? Continue reading

The Spontaneous ‘Sorry’

I’ve never been a fan of the forced apology for young children. To me, it seems to pave the way to ‘sorry’ becoming a get-out-of-jail-free card, liberally used to negate playground pushing without any real empathy or understanding involved.

Nevertheless, I have cringed whenever BabyBoy and BabyGirl, who are not yet three years old, have knocked another child or snatched at a toy….and they do not utter the words I know the other parent wants to hear – ‘sorry’. Continue reading

The Grandparent Files: A Pre-Holiday Scandal

As we wind down (or gear up, depending on your point of view) for the summer holidays and all that traveling with young children entails, my stress levels are rising. And they have not been helped by the obligatory pre-holiday visit from the in-laws.

We are taking BabyBoy and BabyGirl to visit my parents this summer (woo hoo!). They live overseas so it’s a big deal for us to go. My in-laws, on the other hand, live a few hours drive from us and we see them all too regularly. However, this has not stopped my mother-in-law from acting like we’re emigrating.

‘Grandma’s going to miss you sooo much!’
‘You’re going for such a looong time!’
‘BabyBoy, will you talk to Grandma on the telephone while you’re away?’

Yes, she’s piling on the guilt thick and fast. And those are sentences she has said to my 2 year olds.

But as a final, parting shot she decided to remind us that she still, still, has no respect for us as parents.

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The Diaper Bag Debacle

Ah, the diaper bag. A new mum’s new best friend. An essential piece of equipment, true, but here’s a secret….there is no need to go out and buy a ‘diaper bag’.

What makes a diaper bag a ‘diaper bag’? Is it the teddy bear design? The hundreds of pockets? The ubiquitous included changing mat?

No, it’s simply a bag that you are using to carry baby stuff in. In fact, the only essentials are enough storage, easy clean, looks good and ideally allows you to be hands free. Here’s why…

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Easy Craft 3: Coloring-In and Sparklebox

Coloring is an excellent way to hone your child’s creativity and pre-writing skills. With the right equipment, it can also be high on the list of no-mess, no-fuss arts and crafts.

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The thing with coloring in for little ones, is that the drawings have to be simple. Like the one picture above. And the best thing is there is a resource which has such drawings available for free – Sparklebox.

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