Go places. Do things.

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I have a great job, I really do. But one of the things about a job like mine is that there's never peace. Or space. Pretty much 24/7, there's someone with a question, a problem, or something that I could be doing. So this Easter has been a chance to step away. To be with the most important people in my life, and - frankly - nobody else. To ignore emails and Facebook and Twitter and to seek out space and peace, and to get our knees as dirty as we possibly can.  I hope you're having a wonderful … [Read more...]

Life Moves Pretty Fast

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I remember watching a documentary about childhood where a Dad said that raising kids is just one long goodbye. Every day is a day you're never going to see again. Every moment you look at your child, and see those long lashes resting on rounded cheeks, the inexplicably bruised knees, those eyes glinting with mischief in the sun - those are moments that never come again. Every day they're taller and stronger and just a little bit further away from you. Now, by and large, I'm not sentimental … [Read more...]

How can your child humiliate you? Let me count the ways…

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The nice thing about blogging - as my friend Jen likes to tell me - is that no humiliation is wasted. It's all blog fodder. This of course explains why I have shared stories such as The Worst Smear Test Ever, and (an old favourite) The Time Flea Told Everyone How Many Condoms I Use. But you see, there's even better news. Because if you also READ blogs, you'll know that virtually everyone has been just as shamed as you, on many, many occasions. To prove the truth of this statement, I … [Read more...]

The Worrier.

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Once a month, two cleaners arrive at my house and clean it, top to bottom. It's my favourite day of the month. My cleaners like my house, too. They say things like, "Sometimes you can't tell children live in a house. But we never feel like that in your house, Sally."  I choose to take that as a compliment. I figure after a year of cleaning my house, my cleaners are pretty unshockable. But this week - apparently - I still managed to shock them. The reason? My medicine … [Read more...]

Positive Parenting in Action

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This week our home has become the House of Lurgy. I've been felled by a nasty throat infection that has meant, for large portions of the last 10 days, I haven't been able to speak. This has been quite a blow for me, as people who know me well will understand. We're a fairly chatty family... On Tuesday morning, I woke up completely unable to speak. So after shaking my daughter awake,  in a loving way, I went downstairs and left her to get herself dressed. When she eventually arrived … [Read more...]

What to buy your parents for Christmas

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Every year, I have the same conversation with my Mum. "What sort of thing would you like for Christmas this year?"  "Oh...I don't need anything."  "Yes, I know that, but I'd like to buy you something."  "Honestly, I don't need anything. How about some of that nice bath stuff from M&S?"  This conversation is the single most frustrating conversation I have with my Mum, with the notable exception of any conversation that starts with the words, "I'm using my laptop and wondered if … [Read more...]

Sometimes, it’s just hard.

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This week was hard. On Monday, Flea's school was closed for an annual holiday. Talking to Flea on Sunday evening, I promised Flea I'd do an hour of work in the morning, and then we'd do something fun for the rest of the day. I worked into the small hours to get everything done before Monday dawned. But with ten client projects on the go and a phone that just would NOT stop ringing, it still got to 1pm on Monday before I was able to leave my desk. We went to the local soft play, where Flea … [Read more...]

A Perfect Christmas Craft for Children

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Anyone who knows you will tell you that I'm the sort of Mum who loves to bake and craft with my child in the run-up to Christmas. Or at least... they will tell you that if I pay them enough money. The truth is I can't cook very well. I have precisely one Christmas craft (snow globes) and one Christmas recipe (Bauble Cookies) in my repertoire. Fortunately Flea seems to have inherited my fundamental disinterest in being good at crafts. There's not much I find less entertaining than … [Read more...]

Dear School, I hate you. Love, Me.

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I've been full of good intentions this week. After a month of borderline neglect of my child due to Big Work Stuff happening, I have dedicated myself to the art of of better parenting. I've cooked dinner more often than I've ordered it in, and we're making an extra effort on things like getting to the beach, going swimming and playing at home. I even remembered that Flea's school had a Book Fair after school yesterday, and she needed to take in £3 today to pay for her book. See? That's top … [Read more...]

Stuff That’s More Important Than Homework

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It's no secret to long-time readers of this blog that I'm not a fan of homework. But... Flea goes to a school that gives children homework. Since she was four, Flea has brought home a steadily increasing amount of work, and this term that includes spellings, sentences to write, a book to read, and a maths sheet to complete. On top of that, she's expected to practise for her weekly guitar and singing lessons. My issue is this: Flea gets up at 8am or thereabouts *cough* Monday to Friday to … [Read more...]