Dear Toddler

Dear toddler, Every day you’re learning. The world is bright, new and exciting and every day brings new joys and challenges. At the moment, you see everything with curious eyes. Each leaf, tree, butterfly, cow and tiny ant is a new discovery. Every day is a fresh start and a reason to smile. Each time we see each other, you laugh and I wag my tail to show you how much I love you. I was there when you took your first few steps. I was so pleased for you but I couldn’t explain. I tried to tell you but nobody…

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Parenting manuals versus maternal instinct

Almost every day, I read about or speak to someone who has sage advice from a parenting manual.  The advice is never the same twice.  Your baby should be sleeping through the night, leave it to cry. You’re emotionally damaging your baby, don’t let it cry. Your baby is too skinny, use formula. Your baby is obese, feed it less.  You’re not interacting with your baby enough, it will be developmentally delayed. You’re over-stimulating your baby, it won’t sleep.  Your child is too whiny, you’re mollycoddling it. You’re not letting your child cry, you’re damaging it emotionally. Your child has too…

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The impact of screen time on behaviour

This week, I wrote in my Thursday photo post that I had noticed a real link between Libby spending a small amount of time in front of a computer and a deterioration in her behaviour.  I want to put a couple of things in context. Firstly, I’m not judging or criticising anyone for letting their children watch television or use iPads or other technology. After all, I’m only writing this because I totally understand the need to use a screen to entertain children sometimes, because I did just that this week.  The second thing I want to make clear is that Libby…

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A finger puppet show

This weekend has been all about being outdoors. After all the excitement yesterday, the girls had an afternoon nap and then we decided to do something a little bit calmer.  We were lucky enough to be sent some gorgeous crafting materials by Sykes Cottages and invited to make some finger puppets. They have the instructions on how to make them on their blog, and they’ve been kind enough to share them with us as well, so here they are: Now as you’ll notice, the penguins are incredibly easy to make with quite basic materials. Libby and I were assisted by some…

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Do we really need it?

Everywhere I look, I see children with the latest gadgets and technology.  There are television series especially for young children to help them learn. There are apps, websites and games to keep them entertained and assist with their development.  Occasionally, my girls watch the TV or a film. Libby enjoys nursery rhymes on YouTube and Lia likes to watch as well. They both dance and sing along. Libby knows all the words and Lia joins in with some of the actions.  And yet, I can’t help but feel that they learn more from actually doing things the old way, tech…

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No I’m not a pretty girl

This afternoon, Libby said the words that no parent to a little girl wants to hear. I brushed her hair, put a clip in it and put her glasses on before she went to the park. She asked me why I’d put a hair clip in and I said, “Because it looks lovely. You always look lovely and now your hair is nice and tidy as well. Shall I show you in the mirror?”  She nodded, so we went to the bathroom mirror.  She looked in the mirror and I said, “Look, what a pretty girl.” She said, “What a not-pretty…

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Betrayed by a family member

Yesterday, we had one of those incidents you hope will never happen.  I suppose when you mix babies, toddlers, dogs, cats and adults together in a confined space, something is bound to go wrong.  Someone who has been part of the family for years lets you down in the worst possible way. Yesterday, when my back was turned for a moment, I heard a blood curdling scream from the baby. By the time I got back into the room, she was crying. It was that awful, serious sort of crying where she was so upset that she couldn’t actually cry.…

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