Thursday, 19 April 2012

Getting Dressed - A Very Good Idea

Mornings have always been unbelievably stressful in this house. Actually I'm lying, not just mornings, whole days. The screaming and mentalist tendencies of the simple action of getting dressed could sometimes take over 5 hours.. After which time I was loosing the will to live and The Boss was having a great time. The point where The Boss started realising she could choose was when it all changed. She would absolutely not, no way wear anything I told her to wear. Even down to knickers and socks. Every morning turned into a full blown battle just to get out of the door. I did on a number of occasions take her out in her pyjamas, just shoved wellies on the bottom. I thought she might feel silly, but she quite liked it. Sort of like a naughty treat. I suppose when I go to the shop in my pyjamas on a Sunday morning with my coat over the top I sort of like it too.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I took the advice of a friend and started saying to The Boss that she must get dressed before breakfast. It took about 3 days (thats the usual time span for new routines to settle - strange) for her to stop screaming at me and actually realise I meant business. Stick to your plan, don't back down and don't under any circumstances scream back (its hard, we've all done it) then those little angels eventually realise that this getting dressed thing is quite fun. I have always found that involving The Boss in choosing their own outfit makes for an easier time but some bananas outfits. We now leave the house mostly happy with The Boss dressed head to toe in pink or blue or as a rabbit super girl. Oh to be 3.... How on earth this has taken me 3 years to work out I don't know.. x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Shit Trip.

A little trip to the shops, surely shes old enough to cope with that? Surely I'm able to cope with that? The Boss and I have had so many tantrums in shopping scenarios its put me off for life. But its ok now, right? Wrong! Thought we'd make a little trip to the local shopping capital to get some sheets for the bed (what an riveting life i lead). TK Maxx, I'd been informed, was the place to go.

So, off we trundled on the overground, happy smiley faces all round. This is fun! Heading to the aforementioned shop all giggles and grapes I actually felt a bit like a rabbit in headlights.. totally out of my depth.. already stressed. I'm literally shoving breadsticks into The Boss's hands.  Then we're in. Goodness, what a wilderness of stuff.. so many things.. who needs all this gear? Right, stop looking at the plates with want, stop browsing the unnecessary garden furniture, I'm here for sheets.  Ah, is this it? Simon Cowell would even turn his nose up at some of these. Revolting. Beyond vile. Then there's the selection that'd keep the Pat Butchers of this world happy... hmmm probably come on the wrong day. Lets go. But hang on a minute, whats this? Sunglasses, swimwear, jeans - all the brands, at a fraction of the price? I'm dragged in, and I'm not kicking and screaming, I'm walking in of my own free will.

What am I doing? I'm insanely broke, don't really need these things and have a bored toddler screaming for toys that are most conveniently placed next to the pay counter.  I mean, she's wailing, shouting at full volume. I'm so embarressed but instead of just walking, I feel some kind of insane sense of shopping morality: you're making a scene, make up for it by spending the little money you have in their shop. I should have just left albeit with a toddler verging on the edge of madness under my arm. I leave about an hour, two swimsuits and a couple of pairs of sunglasses later. They're nice. I'm weak.

We then go to an 'indoor playgroup' that I've read about on the wibbly wobbly web.  It sold itself on having a bouncy castle and cupcakes at 80p. How bad could it be? We walk up to the door, which looks like the entrance to the sort of club you'd frequent if you lived in a seaside town, I open it and am greeted with the cacophony of screaming kids and rabbiting mothers meetings. A normal playgroup! I hear you cry. Its wasn't. Its a terrifying nightmare of a playgroup. The kind of playgroup that, if they had one, would be languishing in hell. Can someone please open an indoor playgroup that doesn't stink of poo and resemble a wet weekend at Butlins? Without a thought I turn round and flag the nearest bus home. The Boss is fine with that.

Phew, home at last. If that's what going to the local shopping centre is all about I'll stick with my little village please.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Television is ok. Ok?

Urm... I feel that I need to make a slight correction to my earlier blog. I was harping on about how Peppa Pig is bad for the kids and that TV when I was growing up was like far more superior, yadda yadda yadda. But I feel I need to re-state my view on this rather contentious subject.

Television watching for children has been rather unfairly thrown into the same box as drink driving for adults. Evil and something the stupid people do.  Its something that parents who can't parent do. A past-time for simple folk. Its not enough for mums to be worried about breast feeding, getting back to work, vaccinations or any of the other ka-zillion things we worry about in early parently, watching TV is another one. There has been many a time where I've had friends over and The Boss starts interrupting precious gossiping time so I guiltily pop on the goggle, hoping no-one will judge me. Its a magic tantrum stopper sometimes, and who, in their right mind, wouldn't want to exploit that?

It isn't really about watching TV though, is it? Its about what is watched, how long its watched for and what the kids are NOT doing whilst watching. Lets make sure the television being watched is educational. The Boss has developed a fondness for the Beatrix Potter films of the books, the infamous stories are a delight, the olde English language mesmirising (One of The Boss's favourite words is 'Gracious'.) We watch Disney films together (the happily ever after theme is another post entirely..) and when I am trying to clean the house there is Mr Tumble and Show Me Show Me and Peppa Pig (yes, I am now condoning it). A limit of a couple of hours a day is probably enough too. You've seen how children become monsters if they've watched a bit too much.. Its like sweets.. too much E101 and they start spouting gibberish. Scary stuff. Lets read more, play more and get covered in glitter lots more too.

Try reading this book 'The Toddlers Busy Book; by Trish Kuffner.  There's one for Pre-schoolers too. A wonderful activity book packed full of ideas to keep little people entertained.  What I loved is that everything they suggest can be achieved using stuff you've probably already got in the kitchen cupboards and it requires recycling the recycling box. Re-using the rubbish. So cheap and green. Right up my street.

In conclussion, let it be known from this day forth, and it sort of pains me to say this, but I quite like Peppa Pig. It drives me completely mad and the rambunctious marketing that surrounds it is beyond surreal, but The Boss loves it and so do all small people. It can't be that bad.. can it?