Category Archives: Little Man

You can call me one of THOSE mothers…..

This post has proved to be a little more tricky to write than I was expecting, mostly due to my conflicting feelings about the matter, which I am still struggling with to some degree.

It was Little Man’s first parents’ evening on Tuesday and, due to an existing and unmoveable commitment on the same night, we were unable to attend.  I was really disappointed to miss out on this and obviously keen to find out how he’s been getting on at preschool so I emailed to ask if we could arrange to come in and speak to them at another time.  They duly rang my husband to make an appointment, which was great, but at the same time mentioned that the preschool manager wanted to be in on the meeting too as ‘there have been some issues regarding LM’s behaviour that we want to discuss’.  GULP.

Up until now, I haven’t really said too much on Twitter/Facebook or even to other friends about what the precise issues are as I was ashamed.  Yes, ashamed.  It feels so terrible to say that about my own son, but it’s true.  I was ashamed of his behaviour and, as a firm believer in nurture over nature, I was also ashamed of myself.  I felt like an abject failure.

You see, Little Man has been being rough with the other children there, including hitting them.  I am mortified.  Where have I gone so horribly wrong as to result in him not knowing that that kind of behaviour is not acceptable?

I have been beating myself up about this for the past week, worrying about how we can tackle this, worrying about whether I’m at danger of raising a future bully and, truth be told, worrying about the judgements that were doubtless being made on me and my parenting skills by not only the preschool staff but also the other parents.

Now you’re probably thinking, ‘how shallow’, and you would be right.  Unfortunately though, I am the kind of person who does care about how they’re perceived by others.  I know I really shouldn’t, and that’s what I’m struggling with now.

The worst aspect of motherhood so far, for me anyway, has been the judgement.  Mothers judge other mothers far too freely.  It starts straight away with the notorious breastfeeding vs formula feeding issue, which I am absolutely not going to get into now.  It continues with any number of other matters, (dummies, controlled crying, baby-led weaning etc) all of which there are strong, conflicting opinions on.  I have no problem with anybody holding a differing opinion to me on any matter, life would be incredibly boring if we all agreed.  What I DO have a problem with however is when someone, who invariably doesn’t even know me, decides that they can make a judgment on what kind of parent I am purely based on a momentary observation or enquiry into one of my choices.

I’ll hold my hands up here, I’ve done it in the past.  Haven’t we all?  I’ve seen the children creating mayhem in the shops or throwing a tantrum in the middle of a restaurant and thought, ‘Well, they clearly can’t control their children!’ but I really should have known better.  What we see, and what we think we know about someone is usually merely only the tip of the iceberg.  There could be all kinds of reasons for what we’re seeing or why somebody has chosen that particular option in raising their children.  And that’s just it, it is a choice.  Unless it’s illegal or endangering their children or others; their children, their choice.  Also, as I have come to realise, there is always more to something than meets the eye.  Those children misbehaving in the restaurant?  Maybe they’re just having a bad day and are usually really good.  Maybe some well-meaning grandparent overloaded them with sugar just before they came out.  The fact is, we don’t know and we shouldn’t judge.

But people WILL judge, I know this.  So, as hard as it for me to do this, I am being brave and saying this:

Go ahead, judge me.

Decide that I am a shoddy parent because my son is having some behavioural issues at present.

Blank me when you pass me outside preschool.

Don’t invite my son to your child’s birthday party.

I DON’T CARE.

You will never know how upset I was at hearing about the times he’d been in trouble and you will never know how I’ve stayed awake at night agonising over how best to tackle it and put it right.

My priority now, and all I currently care about, is my son and ensuring that we do all we can to help him over this and to ensure that he gets the support, insight and understanding to deal with whatever frustrations and issues are causing him to behave like this.

I’m going to finish now as this is making me start crying all over again but my last comment is this:

If you are so quick to judge and exclude a 3 year old boy and his parents then are you really any better than a playground bully?  I genuinely hope that your children never do anything you might consider to be less than desirable so that you won’t have to experience the same feelings I have.

Thank you for reading,

ladyofessex

x

Silent Sunday – 20.11.11

Silent Sunday is inspired by the lovely Jay at Mocha Beanie Mummy

A Mammoth Christmas!

My Little Man is often tired on a Friday afternoon after a full week at preschool and, with the weather becoming colder, damper and generally more unpleasant, it is a good excuse to crack out the snuggly blankets and the DVDs.

Last year was the first time he really understood Christmas and, as he clearly remembers what a big deal it was, he’s already getting excited about the impending celebrations.

We’ve decided to take him to see Father Christmas this year (last year we thought he might have found it all a bit odd/scary) as well as a few other Christmassy activities.  Some things we are doing indoors, like making a ‘cut & stick’ list for Santa and colouring some special pictures for decorating the house.  However, sometimes he’s too tired even for that and all he really wants to do is relax with a spot of TV.

There’s nothing I love more than a film with a Christmas theme (Elf, quite simply, ROCKS) so finding an animated film with this theme that also has all his favourite Ice Age characters in it is fantastic!

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas is released on DVD exclusively in Asda from 21st November and there are some special in-store activities taking place this week.

For my local readers the Asda in Thurrock will be hosting an activity day on Monday 21st November from 9am – 4pm and for my readers further North the Asda in Rotherham will be hosting their activities on Tuesday 22nd November from 10am – 4pm.

The activities taking place are:

  • A meet and greet with Ice Age characters Sid and Scrat
  • Free goodies
  • The making of an ice sculpture in store
  • Free face painting

And here’s a teaser of the forthcoming Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.  I spoil you, I really do!  Enjoy…..

A carnival in your living room!

A few weeks back we were invited to a special screening of Rio at London Zoo in advance of its release on Triple Play Blu-Ray and, knowing how much Little Man loves birds, we were delighted to accept!

The fun started for Little Man as soon as we told him we would be going on a long tube journey.  He loves trains of all sorts and has never travelled underground on the tube, only going the few stops locally that are all above ground.  Well, he was excited but also strangely calm.  In fact, he quickly mastered the art of appearing like a regular commuter who does the same journey every day.

I hope there won't be any delays!

We were a little flustered by the time we arrived due to silly me underestimating the walk through Regents Park to get to London Zoo but, once inside the pavillion, we very warmly welcomed and Little Man was delighted to be given two plush toys (Blue and Jewel of course!) to keep him occupied.  He also managed to occupy himself with various sandwiches and crisps which were absolutely delicious!

There was a lady there painting Blue onto all the children’s faces and I was convinced that there was NO WAY Little Man would get this done as he has always shied firmly away from face painting on previous occasions.  However, once he saw every other child there had either already had it done or was in the queue waiting patiently to get it done, he, of course, didn’t want to miss out!  I was really impressed with how still he sat while it was being painted on and, as you can see, the results were fantastic!

How cool?

It was now time to watch the film, and I can honestly say it was really enjoyable.  As with most animated films there is humour not only for the children but also for the adults who are watching along with them which is always welcome!  The colours throughout were amazing but the carnival scenes were particularly vibrant and fun.  When we got home I asked Little Man if he would like to watch the film again which got a resounding “YES!” in reply, so I guess it will be making its way onto his list for Santa!

His favourite part of the film was, and I quote, “Little Blue dancing in the jungle” and mine was Linda getting caught up in the dancing on the carnival float.

The bit he liked least was “Mean Nigel” and I would have to agree!  Nasty birdy!

After the film there was a Meet the Macaw experience when one of London Zoo’s parrots was brought into the room by her keeper.  She was a very impressive bird who seemed to enjoy displaying the full span of her wings upon instruction from her keeper.  Beautiful!  Little Man even managed to get tickled by her very long tail feather as he walked past which prompted lots of giggles!

An unexpected bonus to the day was that we now had some free time to explore other areas of the Zoo which was absolutely brilliant!  Little Man was really excited to see the Big Cats particularly but the penguins were also a lot of fun!

We had a really fantastic day and I would recommend the film to anyone!

ladyofessex

x

We were invited to London Zoo for this special screening as guests of Premier PR.  I have received no payment or other compensation for this review and my opinions are, as always, honest.

Hakuna Matata – I need some of that!

Ever had a spell where you feel like the slightest thing can stress you out to an unbelievable level?  That’s the phase I find myself in at the moment.  I’m very lucky, there’s nothing major going on, everyone is healthy and all the ‘stresses’ are things that can be relatively easily sorted with some time and effort.  Still though, I find myself having to remind myself on a regular basis to ‘chill out’ or even to do what Frankie famously said and ‘Relax’.

Perhaps I need to watch one of the few Disney films I’ve never actually managed to see – The Lion King and, in particular,this clip!

Luckily, there’s never been a better time to watch The Lion King with it being re-released in cinemas today, but with all new 3D – very cool!

The DVD has also been re-released as a Diamond Edition and I am pretty sure this will be making its way onto my Little Man’s Christmas list for Santa.

Here’s the trailer in all its glory – I really want to go and watch it at the cinema now!

http://www.premierpr-online.co.uk/player/player_480x300_auto.swf?file=http://www.premierpr-online.co.uk/cinema/lk3d02?user=ppr

ladyofessex

x

Rio – Join the Party!

My little man loves birds.  Me, not so much with the flappy things…..

He’s even started a ‘feather collection’ *boak* which, let’s be honest, consists entirely of pigeon feathers which aren’t the most colourful.  We don’t really get many opportunities to spot exotic birds in our particular area of East London / Essex so when I was invited to attend a special screening of ‘Rio’ at London Zoo next weekend followed by a ‘Meet the Macaw’ experience, I fought the fear, thought of the grin that would be plastered all over my little man’s face and accepted!

I can’t wait until next Saturday to watch this film.  It’s from the same team behind Ice Age so it’s bound to be funny and to completely captivate my 3 year old.  Watch the trailer and tell me you don’t want to see it too…..

http://www.premierpr-online.co.uk/player/player_480x300_auto.swf?file=http://www.premierpr-online.co.uk/cinema/ri0202?user=ppr

Rio is released on Blu-Ray triple play from 24th October 2011.

Ham & Cheese Mini ‘Bread’ Quiches

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After realising that Little Man would be taking a packed lunch to preschool every day from now on, I started to think about how I could keep them interesting and varied for him.  At the moment, I think it would be a good idea to stick to traditional ‘picnic’ type items that don’t require cutlery as I’m not sure on the preschool’s policy on this.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I recalled seeing a recipe for mini quiches that used bread as the crust instead of the usual shortcrust pastry which I thought would be not only quicker but also easier to do and get Little Man involved at the same time.

A quick search on Google and I came up with a few variations, so I decided to wing it and create my own.  Here’s how I did it:

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In the absence of my pastry cutters, I had to improvise!

Firstly, I had to cut out the bread discs.  I think white bread would probably work best for these in the same way that it generally toasts better, but in an attempt to keep them fairly healthy I used 50/50 bread which seemed to work fine.  You could always try wholemeal bread which should work, it just might not be as ‘strong’.  My pastry cutters were last seen at my Mum’s house but she’s convinced she doesn’t have them, so who knows where they are?  I had to improvise so I used the biggest mug I could find which just happened to be a Starbucks one!  Ooh, I really fancy a Starbucks now – skinny peppermint mocha to go please!

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6 bread 'discs' ready to be buttered

I’d decided to just make six mini quiches as I’m currently trying to follow a wheat-free diet so they would only be eaten by Little Man and Big Man and I wasn’t sure how long they would keep for.

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Buttered and ready for the quiche filling

I buttered the non-stick muffin pan that I was using and also buttered the bread discs to give a ‘seal’ so the egg filling wouldn’t seep into the bread and make it soggy.  I think the next time I make them I would roll the slices of bread out slightly to make them thinner and also use something bigger to cut the discs out with so that they come up slightly deeper with room for more egg filling – this would give a better filling to crust ratio!

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My Commis giving the eggs a good mixing!

Then, while the bread ‘crusts’ were baking and colouring (about 10-15 mins on Gas 6, approx 190 degrees celsius) it was time to make the filling.  I used 2 medium sized eggs with about 100ml of milk and into this I added some turkey ham, shredded, about 50g of grated mature cheddar and about a tablespoon each of flat leaf parsley and chives.  Obviously, you could change the fillings to suit.  Next time, I’ll probably try bacon, mushroom and use a bit more cheese as that flavour didn’t really come through enough.

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Lots of lovely herbs for extra flavour

There was a bit too much filling as the bread crusts weren’t really deep enough and my over-enthusiastic helper didn’t stop pouring at the right time so some of the egg mixture overflowed the crusts and went around them in the muffin pan.  I was worried that this would cause major problems but it really didn’t in the end.  I suppose that you could possibly make ‘crustless’ quiches in this way, maybe by putting the egg mixture into a paper case, then I could have them too!  I baked them for about 15-20 minutes on the same setting but as my oven is old and decrepit I wouldn’t take my timings as gospel on this!  Basically, you want them set and golden brown on the top.

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Straight out of the oven

On getting these out of the oven I managed to burn myself yet again so I’m really hoping my Bio-oil experiment works!

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Voila! Finished & cooling.

Little Man took one to preschool in his lunch the following day and he ate it so I’m guessing he liked it!  Big Man also tried one and declared them tasty so it looks like I’ll be making them again soon!  Let me know if you decide to give them a go or if you have any other suggestions for different packed lunch options for Little Man.

Thanks for reading!

ladyofessex
xxx