From April 2016

Shameless Plea Post: BiB Awards Shortlisted Blog

BritMums

This is not the post I was expecting to be writing today. It would appear that I have somehow been shortlisted in the category of ‘Writer’ in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards.

Now, this was something of a shock in many ways. Not least because I, having no previous experience of blogging awards, had assumed that the shortlisted bloggers were notified privately before the list was published. Therefore, when I saw the link for the shortlisted bloggers on someone’s facebook page, I opened it just to have a bit of a nosy at who got through. Obviously, I knew I hadn’t got through. I hadn’t been notified, after all. Well, I merrily scanned my way through half of the list, pleased to see some favourites on there, before I saw ‘R is for Hoppit’. I carried on scanning for about two seconds. Wait. R is for Hoppit? That seems familiar. What??

Of course, I picked up my phone and started to call the parents. I hung up the phone. Obviously, I had imagined seeing my blog. It was going to be very embarrassing explaining that I had accidentally announced my imaginary shortlisting. I returned to the list and performed further checks. I could still see it. I called the parents.

Following this, I realised I had no idea what I was supposed to do next. Get a bit excited, go on twitter, hope it didn’t turn out to be a mistake – this seemed like a good initial plan. Anyway, I have now received my notification from Britmums, I have not yet been informed of a terrible mistake, and therefore I am going in and writing my shameless plea post (et voila).

All I want to say is that I am very excited to have been shortlisted. I love writing, and I am particularly pleased to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category.* I am very grateful to everyone who nominated me. I will obviously be thrilled if anyone would like to vote for me now, and the link is below.

If anyone wants to know how this works, the shortlisted bloggers will now be whittled down to five finalists in each category, comprised of the two with the most public votes and three selected by judges. Voting closes at midnight on 18th May 2016. Each person can only submit one voting form. You can vote here.

Of course, I would love and appreciate votes, but there are so many fantastic and talented bloggers in each category – all deserving of votes – that I would like to say please do make sure you vote, whether for me or not.

Thank you to everyone who reads and supports my blog, and thank you for reading my shameless plea post. I will now leave everyone alone, and return to being overly excited quietly over here.

Thank You For Knowing It’s My Birthday: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

birthday-874783_1920It’s time for the Ten Funniest Things Feature. The Toddler is pleased Silly Mummy knew it was her birthday, while The Baby won’t be tricked into admitting anything.

Here’s The Toddler:

1. On her birthday, remembered

It’s The Toddler’s third birthday. She has just had her breakfast, and is about to start opening presents, when she turns to Silly Mummy and politely declares: ‘Thank you for knowing it’s my birthday.’ (A further sweet thank you for knowing it was her birthday has been repeated most days since.)

2. On drawing, mandatory

The Silly Family are out for dinner. The Toddler is doing some colouring while she waits for her food. The waiter brings over the food and apologises: ‘Sorry for the wait.’
The Toddler looks at him and gestures at her paper: ‘I had to draw a lovely picture.’ Yes, look what The Toddler was driven to. Are you happy now, Waiter? She was forced to draw a lovely picture here. Because of you.

3. On Grandma, allowed to read

Grandma is visiting and it is The Toddler’s bedtime. The Toddler is objecting to going to bed while Grandma is downstairs. Silly Mummy asks: ‘Do you want Grandma to read you a book?’
The Toddler is in full sulky mode: ‘No!’ She stomps up the stairs. Halfway up she relents, grudgingly: ‘Oh, alright. If I must, Grandma can read a book.’

4. On abandoning ships

The Toddler has found a way to add some much needed drama to the simple act of getting off the sofa. She clambers down, yelling, ‘Abandon ship!’

5. On becoming a doctor

The Toddler is going to be seeing Grandad later. Silly Mummy has been explaining that Grandad might not play The Toddler’s chasing game because he has a bad knee. A short time later, The Toddler is on her toy phone: ‘Hello, is that Doctor Brown Bear?…Okay…Yes…Bye.’ The Toddler approaches Silly Mummy: ‘I called Doctor Brown Bear, and he has made me the doctor so I can look after Grandad’s leg.’

6. On her recorder

The Toddler has got a recorder. She is pleased with it: ‘I love my recorder so much. I ever don’t want to take it back to Tescos!’ (The recorder didn’t actually come from Tesco – The Toddler thinks all shops are Tesco.)

7. On seeing friends, on the side

The Toddler is going to an interactive play centre with her Little Friend. However, suspicions are raised that The Toddler may actually be cheating on another toddler friend, when she announces: ‘Today we’re going to see Little Friend on the side!’

8. On hair brushing

The Toddler is stalking Silly Mummy, ominously brandishing a hairbrush: ‘Now, do you want your hair brushed?’ No, not really. The Toddler proceeds regardless. It appears she has noticed that her clients are not always happy with the hair brushing service they receive: ‘And no shouting while I’m brushing your hair.’

9. On Silly Mummy, a bother

The Toddler is on her toy phone, as usual calling ‘Grandma’: ‘Hello, Grandma? Mummy’s a bit of a bother.’ The Toddler turns to Silly Mummy: ‘Aren’t you, Mummy?’ Rude, frankly.

10. On The Baby, her little face

The Toddler has formulated a cunning plan for situations in which she has been asked to stop doing something: exploit The Baby. Silly Mummy has asked The Toddler not to do any more forward flips. The Toddler implores: ‘But look at The Baby’s little face. She so wants to do some more!’ (The Baby is not at all interested – she wasn’t doing flips in the first place. Her little face is ambivalent/bemused.)

 
The Baby’s Corner

The Baby is cuddling her bear, Wilberforce. She approaches Silly Mummy and Grandad, clutching Wilberforce happily. Grandad asks: ‘Have you got Wilberforce?’
The Baby is concerned. This is probably a trick. She should not admit to anything. She sneakily flings Wilberforce across the room and answers the question: ‘No!’

 
 

If you’d like to see further posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature, they can be found here.

 
 

Diary of an imperfect mum

My Name Is Silly Mummy, and I Am a Rubbish Birth Planner

birth-961805_1920I have seen lots of birth plans. Lovely birth plans. Birth plans made by people who have conscientiously researched and deliberated in order to plan for the best birth possible. Hypnobirthing, home water births, doulas. I’m very impressed by these plans, but they do make me wonder if there are other people like me out there. People who didn’t exactly, well, bother.

Am I the only person whose interest in the birth plan was somewhat, um, limited? Anyone? Rubbish pregnant women of the world: unite! Please.

Maybe I’m a bit negative, or a bit lazy, but it seemed to me that the birth was going to happen anyway, and be unpleasant anyway, so I kind of didn’t bother much with the plans for it.

My birth plan was primarily for the baby to exit my person. Preferably without anaesthetics (I’m scared of anaesthetics).

Now, I’m not entirely useless: I did give some consideration to the details. In so far as I filled out the NHS birth plan you can get online. Well, I say I filled it out. For the most part, I looked at it and thought, ‘How should I bloody know if I will want a ball, or am going to stand up? I don’t know what I’ll feel like at the time.’

My birth plans therefore read as follows: don’t know, don’t know, don’t know, NO EPIDURAL, don’t know, don’t know, don’t care, couldn’t give a rat’s arse, yes to random injections for everyone as required (as long as they’re not secretly epidurals), don’t care, don’t know.

To my knowledge, no one ever looked at my birth plans, so I’m quite glad I didn’t make the effort. As it turns out, to the extent that I made birth plans, they were entirely realistic and followed to a tee – the babies came out. That’s a win for the rubbish pregnant women, right? Right?

 
 
BritMumsI am very excited to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category in the BiB Awards. If you’ve heard of my blog, like my blog, don’t want to vote for someone else in my category, aren’t sick of people asking, and have a minute to spare, I would love your vote! You can vote here.

The Princess and The Toddler

grace-kelly-394485_1280The Toddler (sadly, from Silly Mummy’s point of view) is a big fan of princesses. She obtains most of her princess information from Disney films, but today is expanding her field of knowledge to include real princesses.

Of course, Silly Mummy starts with Princess Grace of Monaco, the closest any real person will ever be to a Disney princess. The Toddler likes Princess Grace. She wore pretty clothes and was beautiful. However, there seems to be some mix up with Ben and Holly, as The Toddler insists: ‘And can you show me her elf?’ Yes, The Toddler has confused real princesses with fairy princesses, and therefore believes they must have an elf. Putting aside many issues relating to The Toddler’s grasp on reality, this does also raise questions about what The Toddler believes Ben Elf’s relationship to Princess Holly is. Evidently, she believes princesses own elves. Does she consider poor old Ben to be Holly’s pet?

Attempts to show The Toddler Princess Grace’s prince are abandoned when Silly Mummy looks more closely at the picture she is waving at The Toddler and concludes it was probably from Grace Kelly’s Hollywood days, not her princess days. On account of the man appearing to be Clark Gable, not Prince Rainier of Monaco. Easy mistake to make. In fairness, The Toddler would not have challenged it.

Moving on from Princess Grace, The Toddler is shown a picture of a young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. The Toddler, presumably thinking about her own sister, points at Princess Margaret, and says, ‘And is that the naughty sister?’ Silly Mummy snorts at the accidental accuracy of this question, and considers showing her a picture of Edward VIII just to see what would happen. But then it would be a little worrying if she did ask: ‘And is that the Nazi uncle?’

Princesses Beatrice, Eugenie and Anne do not impress The Toddler – they are not wearing suitably princess-y dresses. Princess Charlotte causes some confusion, as she appears, in The Toddler’s opinion, to be a baby.

Silly Mummy’s princess knowledge exhausted, help in locating princesses is sought from Google. Some of the European princesses are deemed to be acceptable by The Toddler, but she has one key question about each one: ‘Can she dance with a dress?’ (We’ve moved on from fairy princesses, who own elves, to Cinderella, whose purpose is to get a new dress and attend a ball.)

Silly Mummy feels that enough princesses have been looked at. The Toddler objects: she is looking at princesses. Silly Mummy points out that she is not, in fact, looking at princesses anymore. Silly Mummy is looking at princesses (not a favoured hobby of Silly Mummy’s), while The Toddler runs around the room, ignoring princesses, and screeching, ‘Can she dance with a dress?’

Silly Mummy refusing to view more princesses, The Toddler announces: ‘Then I need to see Daddy’s princesses.’ (Silly Daddy looked rather shifty, but the question of who his princesses are, and where he keeps them, has still not been answered.)

Silly Mummy Makes (Wrecks, Semantics) a Fairy House and Fairy

fairy2Today I am branching out slightly with a craft post (non-toddler related). I am toying with the idea of creating a new category for this type of post, probably called: ‘What Is Silly Mummy Doing? Who Cares?’

So what did Silly Mummy do last weekend, I hear no one ask. Well, in preparation for The Toddler’s birthday, I made a fairy from some wire and a wooden bauble. Because I am Blue Peter now. And a little wooden fairy house. I didn’t make the actual house. I am Blue Peter, I am not Tim Allen (Home Improvement or The Santa Clause – either is applicable to the production of a small wooden house for a child). You can tell the house was not made by me, because it is not made of a fairy liquid bottle & some double-sided tape.

Actually, there is double-sided tape involved. I love double-sided tape. I firmly believe it is stronger than superglue. Or at least quicker. Superglue is strong, in all fairness. After being held in place for about 30 minutes. Up to 29 minutes, superglue is about as sticky as milk. At 29 minutes 30 seconds superglue is strong enough to effectively bind your fingers to your project, but not the project to itself. At 30 minutes, the project is permanently bonded, and will look lovely as soon as you have it medically removed from your hand.

Superglue was involved in the making of the fairy. She looks better now she doesn’t have fingers attached to her hair. I make no comment as to whether there is still fairy hair attached to my fingers. Superglue, incidentally, will evidently not bind a wooden bauble to a piece of wire. Nor will double-sided tape. I really don’t know if the fairy’s head is actually attached. The fairy could meet a distressing end. Still, The Toddler does like to shout, ‘Off with her head!’ It’s not usually literal, but things change.

fairy4

So, yes, back to the double-sided tape…the house decorations are attached with double-sided tape. Seems to work. Double-sided tape should be utilised more frequently in architecture, in my view (actually, I think there is a good chance it is in current new builds, but I digress). The house has also been painted (by me – go me) in stains for garden fences. I don’t think that was quite what I meant to use. I think I meant to use those paints people who upcycle use to stain furniture. Couldn’t find those. Found fence paint. Did I mention I’m excellent at crafts? At least I didn’t Ronseal it. The doors were only briefly stuck together from painting them. They open again now.

fairy3

There you have it: an entirely pointless post, a craft idea to avoid, valuable bonding products advice, and a (*ahem*) lovely homemade/decorated fairy and fairy house for my daughter. It’s the thought that counts, right?

 
 

(Please Note: This is not a review, a fact I imagine everyone responsible for the products I mutilated/used is grateful for. I have not been sponsored by double-sided tape. Covered in it, yes; sponsored by it, no.)

 
 
BritMumsI am very excited to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category in the BiB Awards. If you’ve heard of my blog, like my blog, don’t want to vote for someone else in my category, aren’t sick of people asking, and have a minute to spare, I would love your vote! You can vote here.

 
 

Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

Toddler Interior Design Tips

Toddler Interior Design ImageIn the first article of our new lifestyle section*, we are telling you how you too can achieve that quintessential ‘small children live here’ home, with 15 tried and tested toddler interior design tips.

(*We don’t have a new lifestyle section.)

 
 
The Style

1. The key look is chaotic chic. No, not chic…what’s that other word? Mess.

2. Clean, uncluttered spaces are not what we are going for. In a properly designed room, occupants should stub their toes twice and trip over five times for every square metre of floor space.

 
Feng Shui

3. Feng shui is very important. The idea is that the location and arrangement of items affects the feel and energy of the room. The arrangement to aim for here is everything you can find piled on top of each other in one tiny space. The feel this should give to the room is ‘precarious’.

 
Decorating

4. Mismatched walls are very in. This should be achieved by crayoning on random areas with random colours. Mismatched sofas are not, however, in. They should therefore be crayoned too, in order to blend with the walls.

5. Inject some texture and pattern into the room by leaving greasy fingerprints and crushed raisins everywhere.

6. Stickers (preferably of Peppa pig) are a great way to rejuvenate any room. Liberal application of mostly torn stickers on every single surface will give the place a completely new look.

 
Furniture

7. Throw cushions are a vital addition to the quota of soft furnishings. These are primarily to be used to surround oneself entirely, thus forming a ‘house’ (it is important to design multiple impromptu ‘houses’ within your actual house). Alternatively, they may be placed on the floor as padding for various furniture jumping pursuits. Which leads us on to…

8. Furniture should be as dangerous as possible. However, it should not be obviously so. The key here is to find ways of making perfectly innocuous furniture highly dangerous. Be inventive.

 
Features

9. It is important to have a strong feature in a room. An artfully arranged younger sibling squished into a corner is ideal. The sibling display should be kept in place by sitting on it.

10. A water feature is a nice touch, and can be cheaply & effectively achieved by overturning a free flow cup on the edge of a coffee table.

 
Storage and Organisation

11. The ideal place to keep everything is blocking the doors.

12. A great space saving tip is that beds and bookcases do not need to be separate items. Simply pile all of your books into your bed and then sleep on them.

13. Cupboards and drawers are design features only: they are not to be used. The contents of cupboards and drawers are best placed on the floor.

 
The Little Touches

14. It is good to have Lego sprinkled about liberally. This adds colour, texture and a generous dash of pain to your environment.

15. It is important that there is a lived in feel to the home, to avoid a cold, sterile atmosphere. This is best achieved by breaking as many ornaments and pieces of furniture as possible.

That’s Bonkers: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week

baby-215867_1280It’s time for the Ten Funniest Things feature, and we’re a little bonkers (but all the best people are). This week, The Toddler would like you to stop fussing, while The Baby would like it to be known that this post is hers, not yours.

Here’s The Toddler:

1. On Silly Mummy, too fussy

The Toddler has decided to pour her water onto her toast to ‘cool it down’. Silly Mummy objects to this plan of action. The Toddler thinks Silly Mummy is overreacting: ‘Oh Mummy, stop fussing, Mummy! I always pour water.’ (She does not in fact always pour water on her toast. This idea has not been trialed before.)

2. On Silly Mummy’s suggestions, bonkers

Silly Mummy has made a suggestion that The Toddler has some doubts about. Doubts that she subtly voices: ‘That’s bonkers!’

3. On cleaning the bathroom

The Toddler likes Silly Mummy to do cleaning and tidying in the bathroom while she has a bath. She is in her bath: ‘Mummy, can you do the cleaning?’
Silly Mummy knows her place: ‘Yes, I’ll get right on to it.’
The Toddler nods, and picks up her duck: ‘And I’ll get right on to toys.’
Silly Mummy can’t help but feel that she has drawn the short straw here in the division of labour. Nonetheless, the cleaning and tidying is started. A short while later, Silly Mummy declares: ‘Right, I’ve finished the cleaning.’
The Toddler looks around: ‘You need to do it again.’

4. On being angry

Silly Mummy has told The Toddler she can’t do something, and The Toddler is not happy: ‘I’m very, very angry, and I’m going to throw Mummy away!’

5. On changing her mind

The Toddler has been asked to come to the bathroom. Halfway there, she changes her mind and suddenly stops, announcing: ‘I think not.’ With that, The Toddler marches back to the living room.

6. On making tea

The Toddler has made Silly Mummy a nice (*ahem*) cup of tea: ‘Mummy, I’ve just made you a cup of tea…and there’s a scrambled egg in it. But it’s a bit dirty.’

7. On being informed

Silly Mummy has asked The Toddler to see if The Baby wants to eat her dinner. The Toddler reports back: ‘She’s been formed into me, no.’ (Silly Mummy thinks that’s ‘informed me’.)

8. On her day, not good

The Toddler has received some bad news. She is not allowed to pour bath water all over the bathroom. She admonishes Silly Mummy, the bearer of this news: ‘I’m not having a good day with you, Mummy.’

9. On dealing with estate agents

The Toddler is ‘helping’ the estate agent who is at the house. By talking to him incessantly while he tries to get on with his job. Silly Mummy attempts to intervene: ‘The Toddler, can you go and watch Ben and Holly, please?’
The Toddler turns to Silly Mummy: ‘No, I’m just dealing with something. You watch Ben and Holly.’

10. On Abney and Teal, bonking

Silly Mummy enters the living room, to be confronted by The Toddler shouting, ‘Mummy, are they bonking? Are they bonking?’ Erm, what?! Hasty investigation from Silly Mummy establishes that The Toddler is talking about Abney and Teal on CBeebies. Who are bouncing. Bouncing.

 
The Baby’s Corner

The Baby has learnt the phrase ‘mine, not yours’ (Silly Mummy can’t imagine who she might have learnt that from). She is now in the toy aisle at the supermarket, chatting with other children. Okay, not chatting, exactly. More waiting until they touch a toy, and then pointing her finger at them and yelling: ‘Mine, not yours!’

 
 

If you’d like to see further posts in the ‘Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last Week’ feature, they can be found here.

 
 

My Random Musings

The Toddler Highway Code

girl-358301_1280Toddlers, of course, spend a lot of time on the move. As such, they have needed to formulate a set of rules for navigating the busy toddler thoroughfares of the living room, bedroom, garden, park or softplay.

 

The Toddler Highway Code

(Applicable to all toddler roads and pathways. I.e. anywhere a toddler is choosing to toddle at any given moment.)

 
1. Right of Way

Under toddler road rules, a toddler has right of way at all times. As does everybody else. This rule has been criticised for causing chaos and numerous small child pile ups. However, the toddlers refuse to consider any amendment: they’re too busy all running at once.

2. Give Way

Under no circumstances should you ever give way. The presence of other toddler road users, cats, baby siblings or tables in no way negates this rule.

3. Lane control

Weaving is favoured. Lanes should be changed as erratically as possible. As should direction. Ploughing into oncoming traffic (i.e. baby siblings) is encouraged.

4. Checks before manoeuvring

It is very important that you do not, under any circumstances, check behind you before performing a manoeuvre. Do not check in front of you either. If you are able, perform the manoeuvre with your eyes actually closed.

5. Crossings

Crossings are neither acknowledged nor respected in the Toddler Highway Code. All persons attempting to cross the path of a toddler do so at their peril.

6. Parking

The basic toddler parking manoeuvre of sitting on your bottom should be performed suddenly and in the middle of the thoroughfare.

7. Acceleration

Acceleration towards all walls and other hard objects is encouraged.

8. Braking

Should be sudden and for no apparent reason.

9. Overtaking

The aim here is to overtake in the most dangerous, impractical manner possible. Close overtaking of wobbly baby siblings is approved. Overtaking in doorways, narrow spaces and on corners is ideal. Elbows should be used wherever possible.

10. Distractions

Proper toddler passage should be accompanied by as many distractions as possible. Phone use, wand waving, talking and having a basket on your head are all encouraged. Under no circumstances should you be looking where you are going.

 
 
It should be noted that it is usual practice to be screaming at all times during toddler transit. The toddlers would like it to be known that this is in no way a reflection upon the reasonableness or safety of the Toddler Highway Code.