Real girls fly helicopters: why gender really matters on children’s TV

Kids have horrific taste in TV, but you don't hold it against them. Back in the tender early days of their development, when they watched three carefully vetted programmes occasionally and on rotation, I thought this TV thing would be a doddle. Har. They just didn't have trashy opinions yet, and trashy opinions always come. … Continue reading Real girls fly helicopters: why gender really matters on children’s TV

One thousand, eight hundred and twenty-six

  Dear Henry, Today is your birthday, and you are five. You are asleep, finally, after an exciting day where you have made all the important decisions: bacon and waffles for breakfast, a trip to London to visit the 'dinosaur museum', hot dogs and milkshakes for lunch, episodes of Transformers Rescue Bots for an evening … Continue reading One thousand, eight hundred and twenty-six

September. July.

September. July. It's done. It's all done. There I am, waiting at the school gate for the last time in his first year, next to women I have come to love. And here he comes in a queue of friends, crumpled book bag slung over his shoulder, shirt filthy and untucked, skinny legs tanned in … Continue reading September. July.

A letter for three (for Teddy)

Dear Teddy, Today is your birthday, and you are three. You have just gone to sleep in fuzzy dinosaur pyjamas, so thoroughly squashed in by soft toys that you look like a pharaoh buried with treasure. You haven't the heart to banish any of them to the toy box, so we come in later to … Continue reading A letter for three (for Teddy)

‘Stop talking with your mouth. Smile with your mouth’ (and more things I said during Father’s Day photos)

Ah, June. Where skies are clear (lol) and evenings are lazy (wut) and summer feels like it's really here (OH STOP). And I will be found somewhere indoors or out, flinging sweets at two small boys and trying to make them smile simultaneously for a photo. Who was it who liked to believe six impossible … Continue reading ‘Stop talking with your mouth. Smile with your mouth’ (and more things I said during Father’s Day photos)

Angry mummy: everything’s not lost

This is the third post I've written about trying not to be a short-fuse parent. Here are numbers one and two. It's, um, an ongoing series.  You haven't lost if you start to laugh halfway through the telling-off. ('Lost'? Setting boundaries isn't a wrestling match between you and your toddler, self.) This is what I … Continue reading Angry mummy: everything’s not lost

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to tell you this: it’s going to get better

If you are really struggling with tiny ones right now, please know this. I know you spend all your time wearing your children's snot and developing weird, Stockholm Syndrome crushes on Andy from CBeebies. I know that going to the supermarket feels like pushing a ticking bomb that will explode the first time you refuse … Continue reading We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to tell you this: it’s going to get better

Miss Havisham Mondays

*extreme Long Lost Enemy Returns In Dickens Novel voice* well well well, if it ain't our old Monday, come back to 'aunt us! This was taken yesterday, on a Sunday that included a three-hour nap, haircuts, Aladdin (ALADDIN!), and fat, new-bread sandwiches with hot chocolate. If Sunday were a character in a Dickens novel, it … Continue reading Miss Havisham Mondays

I can’t write anything about potty-training you haven’t heard before

I mean, let's be real. I am teaching a small human to direct his waste into a pot instead of in his own clothing. Isn't it weird that this is a skill everyone you know had to learn? And somehow we need to pass it on to our children even though by now we've totally … Continue reading I can’t write anything about potty-training you haven’t heard before