Too many passing phases

As babies my two boys were a wonder to me, and a chore. I loved them deeply but resented the all-encompassing attention they needed. In the depths of baby shit, painful and bulging boobs and delirious inadequacy, I looked ahead to the time when they would be able to use the toilet, communicate their needs, and …

Perfect parenting is bad for us, and our kids

From the moment my first son was born I’ve questioned my effectiveness as a mother. In the early years I was confounded by decisions I had to make – How much do I let him cry before I pick him up? Do I feed him every four hours or when he’s hungry? Six years later …

Limit screen time for triple benefits

I’ve been trying to limit my children’s time in front of the TV since they were knee high. I know it’s bad for them but I’m not sure why, something to do with brain development. And I’ve tried, believe me, not to succumb to the gentle and mesmerising promise of a half hour’s peace at the end of a hectic day.

To future girlfriends of my sons, “I’m sorry!”

Five years ago as a mother-to-be, I hoped and prayed for a son, a golden boy who would carry his father’s genes and name into future generations like a gallant captain of destiny. To my utter delight, two years later I had a hot-headed, tantruming toddler with a penchant for sucking everything that came within his reach, including his playmate’s dummy and any old soggy fag butt that he came across on the street. I also had another six-month-old who giggled at every move the two-year-old made.

Too Many Toys?

Opening the front door I’m confronted with a sight that could suggest we’ve been burgled. I keep my eyes focused on the middle distance to avoid looking at the detritus at my feet…

Why kids need frustration

At a recent trip to a toy store I witnessed a G-force-strength tantrum over a Woody doll. The mother was attempting, and failing, to wrestle her whirlwind offspring into his buggy while around them other parents stared aghast at the poor woman’s attempts to pacify him. “Perhaps you can have a Woody Doll for your birthday darling.” She says as she tries to strap him in. He screams louder. “Shall we ask Grandma for one?” She tries over the din. That doesn’t work either so she quickly grabs the toy from the shelf and marches to the till.

Big School

My four-year-old will be going to school in September. I am both dreading it and looking forward to it, and it has brought up a number of issues that I would have preferred to avoid.

The mystery of the space time continuum

It seems only yesterday that I was at the hospital screaming my head off as my first son battled his way out of my womb. Well, actually he was a breech baby so the hospital, in it’s wisdom, decided it best for all that I had a C-section, so in fact he was yanked out …