Kat from Bambino Goodies is one of my heroes. She is everything I fantasise about being (an organised, arty, crafty, colourful, original, earthy type of mother) – and then I wake up and remember I am the neutral loving, control freak, can’t sew a button on, bossy type of mother. We do seem to share a love of Made in Chelsea though, and I bet she didn’t see THREE different cast members last week, so perhaps it is only a matter of time before I catch up in the mothering stakes. I am sure these things are related.
We do both love kids parties though, and I know it’s outrageous, but as opposed to wardrobes and furnishings, I do allow bright colours at parties – go ME. So she inspired me with this post on party bag favours on a budget, and just to show she is not ALWAYS THE BEST, I am totally going to outdo her. Following are some genius ideas for cheap-ish party bags (I am also the best at boasting. Is that tautological?)
I have a son who is very original. For example, he enjoys making car noises, pretending to be a robot, and reading about dinosaurs. Particularly pirate dinosaurs. I know – unheard of for a four year old boy. Clearly dressing him in pink tee-shirts and encouraging dancing has done NOTHING in the battle against gender stereotyping. But more than dinosaurs and cars and trains, above all other things he wants to be a superhero (his special power would apparently be ‘running faster than daddy’ – I never said he was a genius). And so, for his birthday all he wanted in the world was a superhero party. Which causes some distress for a mother who is ambivalent about superheroes and character-based parties in general. So I turned to my friend da Internet – and discovered a lovely world of non-Pixar superhero parties. And thus a superhero party that suited both mother and son was initiated.
As much as we all try and remain completely impartial regarding the direction in which we steer our kids’ interests, there is a very fine line between nurturing a child’s natural abilities, encouraging their given interests (very important) and steering them towards the achievement of your own unfulfilled ambitions and lost hopes and desires. I am of course not one of these parents but, as luck would have it, my children have exhibited some very early genius in their play with lego. So when I crouch by their cots at night whispering ‘architect, architect, architect’ in to their sweet little ears I am merely celebrating the good fortune that has ensured that their natural abilities and my hopes for them happily coincide on a path to greatness.
This complete lack of self-interest and impartial guidance will undoubtedly ensure that we avoid tnhat whole messy parent-child conflict in this area.
I do recognise, however, that things don’t always go according to plan and in my open mindedness I don’t want to discourage my children from being anything they want to be. At least not right now. Unfortunately, creative professions don’t have the cache they should for a toddler. It’s challenging to dress your child as an architect, art director, costume designer, scriptwriter, filmmaker or commercially successful artist on dress-up day. Black rimmed glasses and turtlenecks just don’t have the same impact as a white coat and stethoscope or fireman outfit.
We’ve been spending a lot of time recently talking about children’s birthday parties. Well, I have been talking, Jacqui has been doing some head shaking. And some muttering under her breath. But I think secretly she is obsessed as I am. Because I am a little bit. I think it’s the cake. And maybe the idea of bunting – I do love a bit of bunting. But mostly the cake. Oh, and umm of course, the delight on small children’s faces.
I’ve just rounded out 6 months of new motherhood (actually the second new motherhood, if you know what I mean) and Kate 6 weeks, so I thought it would be timely to give you my list of top 5 things new Mums don’t like to hear.
- When are you due? I think we all understand why this is number 1. No need to draw a picture. Only marginally better than the straight out, not quite as innocent and far more direct, “God you’ve still got quite a stomach, when does it go down?”
- Is that your grandson? GUTTING. I saw an actual real life exchange of this very nature. “No, this is my son” came restrained answer through gritted teeth as veins visibly throbbed in the neck. As a helpless bystander to this train wreck I mentally tried to stop the words as they came out of the offender’s mouth and jam them back in from whence they came, visualising myself goalkeeper style diving to catch them before they reached the victim’s ears. Alas, there was no hope. Those words slammed like a freight train in to new mum’s stomach so hard you could almost hear the air knocked out of her.
Well most wouldn’t even attempt it, but there are a lucky few that perhaps have flexible hours, an understanding boss and colleagues, a quiet place in the office where they can express milk and the ability to get away from their desk for about 20 minutes at pretty much exactly the same time each day to do so, and these people could perhaps give it a try.
I am one of the lucky people whose work pretty much meets all those criteria – except for occasionally, but not often, not being able to get away to express for 20 minutes at exactly the right time. The baby is five months old and I wanted to continue breastfeeding until she was at least six months. But the breastfeeding-after-returning-to-work isn’t working out.
I started a new job last week. Just four hours in the morning. Perfect, one would think (except for the pay that barely makes it worth working after paying for childcare, but that’s for another post). I thought I could easily continue breastfeeding with this kind of easing-back-into-it schedule, ‘The baby will only skip one feed and I can express one feed at work’.
No, I’m not actually writing a review of my new baby. Although if I was, it would be quite glowing at this point. Apart from her propensity to cause scream-out-loud-pain to my left nipple. (Sorry, that noise you heard? That was the sound of our twenty male readers rushing out the door – yes, you may run, but you can’t hide from the screams you can probably hear from West London).
So I’m pretty much head over nappy in the 10 day old new-born fug. Forgive me please if I cannot wax lyrical this week on the situation in Syria as I might usually do on these hallowed pink pages. And I fear my cutting edge wit has deserted me a little in a haze of washing little white bodysuits, sleeping bolt upright with iPhone in hand, lying on the couch eating reverse double choc chip cookies (how I loathe you so, your sweet sweet reverse white choc chip evilness) oh, and managing aforementioned nipple pain (keep on walkin’ guys).
No I’m not talking about Kate’s dance moves. Although I can assure you she can pull off the snap and pop manoeuvre competently. No I am speaking of child birth. Yes, right on the heels (well, 5 months after…heel-ish) of Kate’s announcement, “Jacqui finally pops” one can almost hear sounds akin to a child with bubble packing as the onedayyoullthankme team pops again, this time to the tune of the third member of Kate’s brood – a lovely little girl. She’s totally gorgeous (no I know, I know but actually she really is) and that can not be said about many newborns. Congratulations Kate, Captain Sensible, sensible junior and the lovely, newly relegated to middle princess (formerly but no longer known as the youngest). We hope she brings you much joy and doesn’t steal all your toys (the kids’ toys Captain, not yours. You should be sharing by now).
Wondering what to do about a gift? Apparently the newest addition to Kate’s family very much likes Chocolate and Pipers Brook Sparkling.