Auction junkie?

Its late because I want to return the commitment my daughter demonstrated earlier today when she very carefully laid out all her unwanted toys, games and shoes and took pictures of them for eBay. My daughter is a capitalist. She wants to buy but knows her mum and dad wont turn her into a spoilt little brat and will only buy things if it is a) Christmas, b) birthday or c) a reward for a significant achievement. So in-between these events, she has to work for it.

I am an only child and I was spoilt. I received pocket-money from each parent (as they were divorced) and I grew up with no awareness of budgeting (as my mum wanted to ensure I never had to worry about money because of her own childhood experiences).

So on the flip side after a few debt car crashes, i want to ensure my children are aware of the value of things and what it takes to earn and therefore be more responsible about buying.

So in addition to housework my daughter is thinking up other ways to make money and has discovered eBay – hence why I have to keep hunting for my tablet round the house. The only problem is eBay is quite addictive – am I encouraging an auction room junkie?

Best go now as an item I am bidding on is about to run out…..

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading. 

How bad could it be? muses Mum

The worst thing about being a Mum is the amount of bossiness and judicial involvement required to try and maintain a remotely civilised household. I sometimes fantasise about kicking back with a big fat cigar in my mouth in a massive armchair (the type that massages your whole body) and saying to the children ‘Do your worst’ with a smile that would rival Hannibal’s from the A team. What would be the worse that could happen?

I’m thinking along the lines of William Golding’s The Lord of The Flies, culminating in a ritual where I am held aloft as my children chant ‘kill the pig, cut her throat’. Then London riot version 2: out in the country, would commence.

Or I might be pleasantly surprised…. how bad would they let their rooms get before thinking ‘perhaps I better tidy up’? Would they start to think twice about chucking milk on the floor and upending a plate full of crumbs once they realised they would have to clean the mess up themselves. Would baby boy finally develop a self-preservation instinct or would he accidentally kill himself without me catching him or shouting ‘no’ for the hundredth time.

I am not naturally a bossy person and I am not that keen at taking charge so that bit of motherhood I find hard but nethertheless I have to do it for the sake of society…..

I am blogging for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Teenager at eight

Its the start of the summer holidays and the beginnings of many day trips. I take my mum, baby boy and daughter to the zoo and baby boy takes along his toy giraffe and monkey in anticipation of meeting the real thing. He gets to see no less than six giraffe, one tiger, four zebra, two tapir, fifteen flamingo, three meerkats, two camels, lots of birds and endangered species i can’t recall their names, but very cute and rare.

While going round the zoo in the heat of the sun, i did notice one or two people get a little bit tetchy and grumpy, namely my eight going on eighteen year old daughter. She is having sleep problems,so my husband and I have enlisted the help of Bach’s flower remedies in an attempt to help wind her down. Clearly it did not work last night.

I know at times, my mum can be a little irritating, but my daughter just could not tolerate her nuances full-stop. It was exhausting to keep nagging her to be more polite and to stop her bossing us about where next to go and when she would be getting ice-cream. She was also being argumentative with my mother and, as my mum got more annoyed, my daughter removed herself more and more from making eye contact and verbal contact with her granny.   My mum then interrogated me as to what could be done and why she was behaving like this as it was extraordinary. In a hot, bothered and tired moment, I did what a lot of Mums no doubt do and blamed my husband’s gene pool.

 My mum seemed satisfied with this answer saying ‘I wasn’t like that at eight’. But kids are getting older and the goalposts changed – i just dont want her to experience the teenage attitude problems too early…..

Only another six weeks to go…..

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Loving Looming

My daughter, like many children under the age of 17 (or even older), have been sucked into the new craze that is rainbow loom. She had begged me for ages to get one, but I dont believe in buying things for the sake of it, there has to be good reason (e.g. birthday, christmas, reward for something impressive etc). In the end my friend bought her a loom and band set in a very belated birthday present (about 5 months late).

Then I kept losing my tablet as the loom addiction took hold and my daughter sought you tube clip demos of all the different styles. I kept hearing the sound of an American girl’s voice through the house as my daughter followed the instructions, “what you wanna do is take the band, then you wanna get your hook and…”

All sorts of colour creations were spun and baby boy became the in-house model, mainly because she could make bracelets quickly as his wrists are so small.

I left her to enjoy it for herself, never thinking to give it a go….until last night. My daughter showed me how to do a fishtail and now I am hooked.

My mum bought more bands today and I am now browsing you tube to see what can be created. Ankle bracelets, rings,charms, you name it, I want to give it a go.

We are off to Camp Bestival next week so I am keen to produce a load of funky bracelets ready for then.

I think, really, I am still eight years old and what’s great is that my eight year old is not old enough yet to be embarrassed by her Mum joining in. We are now a team of loomers.

This blog is for Unicef.Thanks for reading.

Can you spare 5 minutes for a child?

I felt like a bad Mum today, not a nice feeling.

I was busy making final arrangements for our holiday in a few weeks time while baby boy was concentrating on a number two for the potty. I glanced at the watch and panicked as I realised I needed to be at the school bus stop to pick up my daughter. But baby boy was in mid poo……

I can sympathise with his predicament as I was scarred for life when my mother, impatiently waiting for me to finish my business on the potty, scooped me up, potty and all and planted me on the back seat of the car while she raced to pick my dad up from work (this was before the era of car seats and slap bang in the era of ‘anything goes’). I recall thinking it strange to be watching buildings go by the window while I  was still, to all intents and purposes, still on the loo, albeit a potty. It was the hardest poo of my life.

So, i didnt want to disturb baby boy prematurely. This resulted in me being 5 minutes late. “Not to worry” I thought to myself as I raced down the alleyway, “another parent will no doubt be standing with her to keep her company”. But when I got the other end and raced o the side of the road, I saw her standing on the opposite side alone and looking very worried while the disappearing backs of other mothers and their children made their way home, apparently not the slightest bit aware of my daughter’s predicament.

This made me angry. Of course I was angry at myself for not getting there sooner, but I was also angry at the lack of care from others.

It is at times like these when you realise how easy it is for awful things to happen to children regardless of how many ‘grown ups’ there are in the vicinity. “It’s not my problem” ….. But what if it was your child?

I am blogging every day for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

 

Dogs with apps

We have 2 dogs, they are so small they are barely there. However, like most small dogs (and humans), what they lack in size they make up for in personality. The older of the two likes running for balls (any type of ball, from ping-pong size right up to giant gym balls). My husband once had a job at a golf driving range, my dog didnt know which ball to pick up first, i swear i could almost make out steam coming out of her ears at the sight of o many balls. She will also retrieve sticks and will attempt any size, whacking ankles as it swings dangerously up and down either end. When you play tug of war with the stick she will hold on to it with such grit and determination, that you can lift her straight up into the air.

My other dog (the younger daughter), is not remotely interested in balls or sticks, but point out a pheasant or a squirrel and she is there in a shot with turbo-charges up her tail. She even attempts to climb the tree to get o the squirrels. She is not terribly bright. In the summer she will endure heat-stroke sunning herself in a hot spot. In the winter she gets so close o the woodburner that you burn your hand if you touch her coat. She refuses to be picked up by anyone below the age of 18 and her tail has the clever knack of forming a ‘s’ shape when she is having a poo.

Now most children would love to have dogs like these in their house. This pleasure is somewhat lost on my daughter. Since last Christmas she has longingly looked at a robot dog called Teksta in the local toy shop. It does everything my dogs do and things they dont (such as back-flips, wi-fi and the ability to work with apps on a tablet). My daughter also mentioned to me  that it doesnt poo or smell. Maybe that is the future of pet ownership – robot pets.

I did find it funny when my daughter was playing with Teksta and the ball and right next to her was my dog patiently waiting for her ball to be thrown.

This blog is to raise money for Unicef. The charity’s latest campaign is to save and protect children caught up in the conflct in Susan – find out how you can help here.

Thanks for reading.

when I grow up

There are not many of us pursuing the dream careers we fantasised about as children. As a parent, i am all too aware of not letting one misguided remark influence the entire future aspirations of my children. This can actually happen, hence the burden of responsibility that is parenthood. How many autobiographies have you read where the author followed what their parents ideally wanted of them and were happy about it? The same goes for teachers, my university lecturer scoffed at my ambition. Sir Jackie Stewart’s teachers didnt rate him but look what he achieved.

So when my daughter starts talking about what she would like to do ‘when i grow up’, i listened without passing judgement but telling her what it would take to achieve particular career choices. For example she said she wanted to be an actress and that she would need to go to theatre school from age 11 or 12. I said we couldnt afford to pay for a special school so the best way to attempt to get in was via a scholarship. The best way to get a scholarship is to do LAMDA exams. “But that would be torture”, she said. I replied that if she felt that way it might be best to think of another route to acting. “But i really want to go to drama school”, i said she shouldnt put pressure on herself too early on in life as it gets tougher as you get older so enjoy being young when you can. But i soon realised you dont know how good you had it when you were young until you are grown-up so that was particularly useless advice.

She then rattled off a list of things she would like to do including: actress, racing driver, writer, midwife or maid for a rich person. She then asked which of the two ideas i liked best. I refused to answer as i said it was ‘entirely your choice’. She then begged me to answer her but i refused and said ‘the best advice i can give is do what you enjoy and the job will come and find you’.

I just hope she doesnt like watching tv and eating crisps to the extent that she waits for the job to arrive.

In the Tarantino film Jackie Brown, De Niro says to Bridget Fonda ‘you need ambition’ (or something along those lines) and she replies her ambition was to ‘get high and watch tv’.

I am blogging for Unicef. Thanks for reading.