Tag: children

How to Prepare For Parenthood

So you wants kids, lots of them, little cute ribboned munchkins running around your home all gleeful. Think you are ready? I’ve compiled a list of things you should try to prepare yourself for parenthood or toddlerhood, cause that’s when it all begins. It’s a breeze till they start walking and talking in my opinion. I think I’ve covered everything but as always if I’m missing something let me know in the comments below.
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15 Lies We Tell Our Kids

We all tell tales to our small for a multitude of reasons whether it’s to protect them, not knowing the answer, to avoid a meltdown or for the sake of our own sanity. If you think you have never told your child a lie, you’re a goddamn LIAR! Here is a list of the most common lies I have my kid and the ones our mammies and daddies have told us.

1. ‘If you keep picking your nose, it will fall off’

Disgusting habit, once they start, they can’t stop.

2. ‘Show me your tongue, if it’s black you are LYING!’

The trick? Only mammies and daddies can see it.

3. ‘We’re almost there’

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? ARE WE THERE YET!!

4. ‘I’m leaving without you’

You have to be willing to walk away and hid around a corner, trust me they WILL follow!

5. ‘We’ll come back another time’

The awkward moment you’re about to leave the park, zoo or toy shop.

6. ‘If you don’t clean up those toys, I will throw them out’

You will never throw them out but it works.

6. ‘If you go outside with wet hair, you’ll catch a cold’

I hated this as a child, I still do. Colds are caused by viruses, not from being out in the cold.

8. ‘Santa is watching you’

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! The biggest lie we have told our kids.

9. ‘I’ll tell the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, fairies…’

Need I say more?

   10. ‘If the wind changes, your face will stay like that’

We live in Ireland, the wind is always changing.

   11. ‘Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis’

This is actually a myth, a MYTH!

   12. ‘If you swallow gum it will get stuck in your gut’

In fact, it will just take longer to digest.

   13. ‘It’s bedtime’

It’s a half hour before bedtime and you trick them into an early night, no harm done.

    14. ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose’

Of course, it does, win, win, WIN!!

     15. ‘They’re all gone’

You really mean ‘I’m going to eat them when you are in bed!’.

The Star Chart

I’m just back from attending Kayla’s first school open evening. I got to witness where she sits, the colourful art work surrounding the room and learn more about the curriculum she will be absorbing throughout the year. Her teacher advised on some activities we could do at home to help with pencil grip and motor skills, literacy and maths. There was also a parenting talk by expert Sheila O’ Malley that was very interesting. I’m now rethinking my approach to discipline and how I speak to Kayla when she is upset or angry.

Her school have a star chart system, where a child gets rewarded for good behaviour, manner and overall performance throughout the day. When a child gets ten stars they get a small prize, great incentive for good behaviour, don’t you think? Kayla told me she has loads of stars, so I scoured through looking for the kid with the most stars, obviously and I couldn’t find her name anywhere.

So now we will call it the poxy star chart!

I see it, Kayla, two stars, two measly stars. Surely it’s wrong? She has the least amount stars in her class of twenty something kids. Some of her classmates are on the way to their third prize. I know it shouldn’t but I almost feel like it’s an attack on my parenting skills. Why isn’t she achieving what her friends are? Why is she lying about how many stars she is getting?

I thought she would be top of the class, teaching the new friends their abc’s in sign language, performing her ballet routine with an audience in yard, I assumed she would be top of the class, student of the month, highest achiever. It’s very upsetting; she’s clearly not settling how I envisaged. Maybe my expectations are too high, she’s four in a whole new environment where she is not centre of attention anymore. I only hope she starts to settle soon and her real personality shines through because she is a good kid, a really good kid.

If she gets a star tomorrow we can have chocolate ice-cream for dinner, it won’t change the fact she is struggling to adjust in school but it will make me feel better haha.

The iPad is on the Naughty Step

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Kayla has been playing with my phone since she was about one, swiping through photos, taking selfies and now at four she can navigate through passwords, buys apps and understands the purpose of the internet.

Kayla could spend hours, and I mean hours on end playing dress the fairy, feed the doggie and doing some Barbie’s make-up. She become totally unresponsive when on the iPad, she gets sucked in and loses control of the real world.

Children develop and learn through social interaction. Whilst playing with touch screen devices, PlayStations and the likes young children are struggling to learn basic motor skills. Electronic play is hurting kid’s brain development and stunting their social skills. A friend recently told me she heard a child had to be re-educated on how to hold a pencil as he had weak hand muscles due to overexposure to an iPad. Imagine a junior infant been taught to hold a pencil again so he could write his abc’s, it’s crazy.

I found Kayla on YouTube last week, not in her account with videos I think is suitable for her to watch. She was on the iPad without my permission, flicking through recommended clips that I did not think were appropriate for her age. Not only did she spend four-minutes on the naughty step, but I banned the iPad for a week, myself included. I made the iPad available to her, leaving it lying around the house, I left the internet on and it took me long enough to realise the house was very quiet.

Kayla became ratty and irritable as she suffered withdrawals from the iPad. It’s not the first time either, so now I have now limited her usage. I’m trying to show by example, I’m constantly on my phone. She doesn’t understand why it’s okay for me, but not for her. So I’m limited access by switching off the internet and not leaving devices at arm’s reach. I’m going to started making her earn time with the iPad too. I introduced more educational games and story apps. Playtime can be more productive and I have now specified what apps she can use.

It’s so different for our generation of children, Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere, the modern day playground is almost virtual. Social media is crucial to our generation of children but it’s our job as parents to make sure that technology is being used wisely. Digital technology can be an excellent educational tool if used appropriately. We don’t need to deprive them of technological intelligence but I refuse to allow screen based technology erode her little brain.

So There Goes Student Of The Month

It’s week four in big school and Kayla has settled considerably well, or so I thought. Today while collecting Kayla, the teacher called me aside and asked for a ‘chat’. Like that I was sent to the bold corner, standing aside while all the other mummies and daddies collected their children.

Obviously thinking is everything okay? Did she fall? Was she upset today for some reason? Now as the next class of twenty something children get called name by name, the teacher approaches me ‘we had an incident today, didn’t we Kayla’. Teacher then proceeds to tell me my ‘little angel’ had hit not one but two other children in her class today.

So my darling as if butter wouldn’t melt daughter was a bully today. As someone who was bullied for years through small and secondary school, one thing I cannot stand is a bully. Teacher witnessed Kayla hit another pupil, unprovoked. I’m very disappointed and shocked to say the least.

Her school have a very strict anti-bullying policy; it was something I read through with a fine tooth comb. The schools I attended had awful approaches to bullies, almost leaving me more vulnerable for speaking up through my childhood. I’m happy it was dealt with abruptly, it proves bullying is totally unacceptable within her school. Fortunately for her she will get away with it this time, as both incidents happened in the one day, next time there will be consequences.

Maybe she was a little frustrated, maybe the other kid done something when the teacher wasn’t watching, we will never know. Anyways she has only got her iPad back after watching videos on YouTube without my permission, looks like it’s going to be gathering lots of dust again. She seems very embarrassed with her behaviour and genuinely sorry, only time will tell, so hopefully there will be no more incidents like this in the future.

                                                                          

Tales of a Tired Mom

After many challenges, questions and occasional tantrums with the small, bedtime can be quiet frustrating in my household. Last week it was an utter success but unfortunately it was replaced by a week-long of sleepless nights from sundown to sunrise with thanks to my two nocturnal children.

I woke up one of the mornings to find Frankie naked from the waist down and Kayla in his cot changing his bum. With the happiest grin, thinking she was the cleverest, smartest, greatest kid in the world, I refrained from screaming, I got up went the toilet counted to ten returned and took over what she had started. Not a wipe left in the 60 pack and they are all face down in his sheets. Lovely, thanks Kayla you’re the best (sic). The two of them smiling and cooing, whilst I looked on as if I had escaped from an asylum after another sleepless night.

Last week I considered giving them up for adoption. They spent four of seven nights acting the complete bollox, here is a recorded timeline of one those nights…

7.45 Story time with the four-year-old.

8.05 She goes straight asleep, success!

8.15 Feed baby his last bottle.

8.30 Babies bedtime.

8.37 Baby cries, race up the stairs to put soother in mouth.

8.39 Breathless, sits on stairs for a few minutes.

8.42 Boils kettle, makes coffee.

8.50 Baby cries.

8.51 Trying to avoid eye contact with smiling baby.

8.52 Tuck in, soother, kiss goodnight.

9.01 Baby falls asleep.

9.03 Clicks kettle, mammy time.

10.30 Bedtime; creeps back into room, don’t breathe, get into bed.

10.41 Baby wakes up for soother.

10.50 Baby coughs.

23.04 Baby falls asleep and snores heavily; surprised neighbours cannot hear.

23.10-23.20 I fall asleep.

00.07 Four year old wakes up – to warm.

00.13 Now she’s too cold.

00.14-00.20 She falls asleep.

01.36 Baby wakes up – doesn’t know what he wants.

01.45 Falls asleep *snores (pokes baby to try stop snoring).

02.30 Baby wakes; I let baby cry it out.

02.50 I give in, bottle time.

03.56 Loud bang followed by four-year-old calling for mammy.

03.57 Tucks her in, rubs back (she fell out of bed HAHA), kisses goodnight.

03.59 She now needs to go the toilet (WTF, considers telling her she has a mattress protector).

04.00 Carries child to toilet, wipes bum, washes hands, tuck’s in.

04.06 Find four-year-old creepily loitering around bedroom door.

04.07 I allow her to co-sleep.

04.10 Baby wakes up.

04.15-04.25 Everyone asleep and snoring.

06.05 Beep Beep… BEEP, stupid van reverses up the road (I consider throwing rocks from the window).

06.40 Neighbour slams door leaving for work (considers throwing rocks again).

06.41 Everyone’s awake.

07.00 Daydreams about adoption, running away and working nights.

I’ve yet to meet a mom who hasn’t had their fair share of sleepless nights. I choose to be a mom; I choose to have two children, i do love them, it comes without saying. My god its hard work, if you’re not wiping butts, wiping up sick you’re nursing a boo-boo. So dear friends and family STOP judging me on my high level of caffeine intake, telling me I look tired, and do not judge my appearance. I am tired!!

Things I've Learnt Being A MAAAmmy

1. You will no longer laugh at the parents of hurricane hell raising children on Channel 4.

2. Counting to three will be your most commonly used phrase.

3. You will spend most of your days with a howling resident on the bottom step of your stairs.

4. You question how people in bungalows discipline their children.

5. You prefer cuddling and kids movies to hitting pubs and clubs.

6. Your home will be covered in valuable pieces of artwork that didn’t cost you a thing.

7. You will sneak sweets like it’s a contraband substance, soon mastering ramming anything that tastes good into your mouth and be able to exchange conversation with your small normally.

8. It doesn’t matter how many books, magazines and articles you read about caring for your child, every child is different and they all progress at their own pace.

9. Everything you do is an adventure.

10. Showering with a locked door behind you is a luxury.

11. Children do not understand why a mammy would ever want to have any privacy.

12. You will inherit ‘shower schizophrenia’, a constant belief your baby is crying whilst you shower.

13. You often finish up showering with only one leg shaved and have you will have a frequent presence of unwashed conditioner in your hair.

14. You may have an audience whilst showering, shouting the most awkward of questions.

15. You will never wear white again.

16. Children have one level of volume, LOUD!!

17. You are easily manipulated by puppy-dog-eyes.

18. Your washing basket will never be empty.

19, If you mop the floor, it’s guaranteed they will spill something.

20. You will spend most of your days threatening to throw away their toys, if they don’t clean them up.

21. It is perfectly acceptable to sniff a childs butt in public.

22. You can do almost anything with one hand.

23. You will re-define “sleeping-in” to any time past 7:30am.

24. You will have impeccable packing skills.

25. That it’s very rewarding to have a purpose other than yourself.

26. You will realize how amazing it is to watch children grow. Observing the confident-creative little people they become.

27. You will be wiping butts for eternity.

28. There will be a never ending trail of mush, crumbs and spills.

29. An early night is going to bed the same time as your children.

30. You will use baby wipes to clean almost everything from random spills to your whole bathroom.

31. You will have perfected the straight that’s-not-funny face when it’s actually quite hilarious.

32. You will never judge a stranger on their child’s behaviour. If anything you will sympathize.

33. Bedtime will become one of your favourite times of the day.

34. You need caffeine to get through your day.

35. Children get inhuman bursts of energy at bedtime

36. Silence is not golden. Never trust a quiet toddler.

37. Your food always looks tastier.

38. You wouldn’t change anything.

A Little Rant on Katie Hopkin's

Potty mouth Katie Hopkins is at it again. You may remember her from when she appeared alongside Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning last year – the one judging CHILDREN by their names.

Kayla for instance is a ‘common’ name. That name you hear ‘screeching’ across the playground. I’m pretty sure Katie would not allow her adorables to play with my fun loving, clever and very intelligent little girl. The one who everyone says is one of the brightest kids they know. She hasn’t even started school yet and she can read words, write her own name, add numbers and can shine out on stage, dancing at ballet recitals in the Helix at four years old. The abc’s and 123’s have been rolling off her tongue since she was one one. But Kayla (the name, not the child) would be too common and not bright enough to role in her play group.

Frankie on the other hand is up there with the Oscar’s, Oliver’s and Alfie’s. He would probably be aloud play. Yet his personality is yet to be completely discovered. Who is to say my little man could have a learning difficulty or even have an attention disorder? Yet he is already being judged by name. How can someone could judge a child over what their parent has named them is beyond me! It’s something they have completely no control over.

I feel sick to my stomach hearing the latest comment, ‘Hannah the perfect name for a dyslexic kid’. My mam is dyslexic, when she was in school there was no such thing as a special needs assistant. She had no choice, she had a tough upbringing with no extra attention to help her battle the spelling and grammar demons which she later learnt to adjust into her life. Back then teachers would just brand you stupid. This made her work harder, prove people wrong. She was super strict when it came to me and my brother’s education. My arm could be hanging off and I’d be still sitting there waiting for the school day to end before getting it stitched back on. I had full attendance for six-years running.

Someone very close to me, a teen, could not read or write their name up until a few years ago. How it has messed with their head and made them feel worthless. How someone can judge someone based on their intelligence or slag of someone with dyslexia is beyond me . Would you slag, or comment on a child who had a physical disability? No! Nothing but a bully.

How someone can judge, criticize or comment on any kind of disability repulses me. Real education is based on good example. I’m trying to raise my children open minded. Women will marry women, men will marry men, and everybody has different skin tone, religions and cultures. You do not judge somebody if they have ginger hair, tattoo’s or if they are plus size. I’m teaching my child to define a person by their character, their personality, on how they treat people not by their appearance, their background and especially not by their name.

We are rearing the next generation of children who thrive on the basic tools we teach them. People need to change their egoistic attitude towards others. We need to inspire, mentor and lead by example as parents. Not judge others on their names, disabilities, race, gender etc.

Rant over!

Beach Hack | Talcum Powder and the Sand

My latest parenting beach hack is just in time for summer. For some talcum powder is not only fantastic at keeping babies’ bottoms dry and helping to prevent nappy rash – baby talcum powder is my secret weapon at the beach. It’s always in the boot of my car along with some suncream. (more…)

UV-Buddy Bracelet Review

UV-Buddy.com

UV-Buddy.com is a small family run business based in the United Kingdom. Husband and wife James and Gemma decided to act on their concerns of prolonged exposure in the sun and the very harmful effects that ultraviolet light can have on your skin. They then decided to produce accessories that would help raise awareness and provide people with guidance to stay safe in the sun.

The Product
All of the products featured on UV-Buddy.com are state of the art color changing beads. Each of the beads have different pigments that change color and depending on the pigment added to each bead, colors will vary under UV light. Each bead works 50,000 times before the pigment is lost and will no longer respond to ultraviolet light.
UV-Buddy have a great range of products at very reasonable prices. School bag charms, phone accessories, bracelets, necklaces and more. There is something to suit everyone who would like to be aware of when to protect their skin.

What Are UV Rays?
UVA rays can cause premature aging and wrinkling of your skin. UVA rays can contribute to more serious skin conditions and skin cancer, such as melanoma. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer and  is believed to be also associated with severe UVB sunburns.  And finally UVC rays are the most dangerous, but luckily these rays are blocked by the ozone layer and as very rarely reach the earth.

The Review
I received two colorful UV-Buddy bracelets over a month ago, one for myself and one Kayla. Kayla’s has a very cute teddy bear on hers and both had a UV-Buddy charm.

We popped our bracelets on and excitingly headed for the back garden when suddenly our bracelets started to glow. Confused as it was a very cloudy day, I though maybe there not working properly. I then read the information leaflet that came along with the bracelet and I was astonished to find out ultraviolet light can still shine through the clouds.

Previous to receiving our bracelets, only if it had been sunny or there has been a good weather prediction, I would lather Kayla up in factor 50 before getting dressed. Like some mammies, if it’s raining, cloudy or windy you wouldn’t expect the UV rays to be strong so I wouldn’t bother.
So then I decided to leave my bracelet on the window ledge at night and as crazy as it sounds some days it glowed and others a little dimmer of light shined from it, proving the ultraviolet light could damage her skin if I didn’t protect it.

We now have a routine before breakfast to check our bracelets before getting dressed so we can decide how we will protect our skin from the harmful UV rays that day. These bracelets should be in every school, creche and home. It’s so important that we teach our children to protect their skin at a very vulnerable age. I would recommend UV-Buddy to EVERYONE!

I received two uv-buddies for reviewing purposes, all opinions as always are my own!