I was amazed at something we found on Holiday so I’ve brought it home with me. The kids all get a lanyard to wear around their necks and for every food they try or each healthy food they eat they get a sticker.
I’ve never seen my four year old tuck in so much. The excitement on her face at getting a sticky smiley face to go on her card was beautiful. She had a go at pretty much everything, from squid to salmon to star fruit. And was so proud of herself at filling the card and getting a certificate. It may not work for everyone, but 4 months on its a winner in our house.
Can I tell you my favourite thing about my daughter starting school?
No it’s not seeing her fly out of the classroom with the biggest smile when I come to collect her or when she flings her arms around me for the biggest cuddles. It’s not the stories of finding aliens in the playground with her friends and the drama around it. It’s not even when she sings me 10 green bottles at bed time, just because she knows that new song will buy her an extra 5 minutes.
I’ll tell you what it is, been the bane of my evenings for years, my favourite bit of her going to school is not having to make sandwiches!
It sounds posh so I thought we'd go and have a look at a game of polo at the New Forest club. It was so lovely, we took a picnic and sat in front of the car on a rug eating jam sandwiches and sausages, while watching the ponies hurtle up and down the pitch. The sweetest moment came the next day though, when my 4 year old daughter was asked what she had done at the weekend and she replied "we watched horses play hockey!" Well, it sort of is isn't it?
Another week and another warning that we shouldn't let our children be on a screen for too long. I totally get it, you don't want your kids being zombielike after they've watched YouTube for an hour and a half. Equally I have lots of things to do, the dinner, the washing and it just buys me a little bit of time. It also gives her a little bit of chill, she's been chasing around all day in the woods, getting muddy and to sit quietly and watch an episode of Peppa Pig is great.
I feel like I'm doing good parenting if I say to my four year old "put the iPad down and come and watch the tele!"
And I've seen the tutting majority in a restaurant, when I gave my daughter my phone to watch videos, they look scornfully at me, but what would you rather a full on meltdown tantrum to go with your dinner or a nicely behaved child sitting at table watching a screen.
And then this week another report saying that we need more computer programmers so we should let our children go on computers more, make your mind up.
In the summer holidays were all looking for things to keep the kids occupied, so please can I pass on my little tip to you. Having just got back from a very rainy and muddy Camp Bestival weekend at certain times it was easier said than done entertaining our little rugrats, but we stumbled upon something rather wonderful when inside the tent because rain had stopped playing.
Eating jelly with a fork it turns out is hilarious, tasty and takes a long time cos it keeps dropping off. How brilliant, I'm applying this principle to everything during the next month to see if it will hold off the screams of "Mummmmmmyyyyyyy!" (See my last blog) I wonder what else I can do it with? Spaghetti with a cocktail stick? Drawing only with things found in the garden?
I really can’t believe what I’m about to tell you. We’ve just had a lovely holiday in Sardinia, went to the airport to check in for the return flight and walked away with our tickets. It was pure luck then I looked at the boarding passes to see if we had a window seat for my little one that wanted it so much, and that I clocked that three of us, two adults and a child had been completely split up. No I’m not talking one on either side of the aisle, we were sat 10 rows apart. My daughter is four years old for goodness sake, she can’t be expected to sit on her own, and I doubt she would anyway.
And what about the people she’d be sat with, I doubt if they would enjoy the flight either. I find it completely unacceptable and have since heard that it’s a moneymaking scheme by the airlines to make you pay to book your seat. If the adults are split up its no real bother but the airline would surely not take a four-year-old flying on their own, so how can this be seen as okay? I really can’t believe it. How can I be responsible for her if she’s not even within spitting distance of me. It’s not like they didn’t know her age, they saw her passport, they saw her asleep in the buggy, they even put a luggage tag on the pushchair. You can’t honestly begin to understand what that would do to a parent and what it did to me when I don’t like flying anyway. And what if some thing happened in midair? Would I have to rely on a complete stranger to take her to the toilet, to fire her iPad up to watch Zootropolis and to do colouring in with her?
As it was, I marched straight back to the desk and had stern words, making sure she was at least sat with me. It’s complete madness and I’m getting more cross as I write this. Come on airlines sort it out.
I’m off to my little ones school induction tonight and I’m nervous as hell. Would it be ok to take her or does that flag up that I’m “one of those ” yknow single mothers? Do I look stupid asking what time school starts and finishes? Shouldn’t I just know that information?
What happens if they don’t have garlic bread on the menu every day? I swear that kid lives on the stuff! And I’m imagining her crying her heart out when she realises they don’t do jam sandwiches either.
And will I burst into tears in anticipation like I did in my ante-natal class?