Sad Day on My Street!

It was a sad day on my street for me today.  It was officially the last early morning coffee at my lovely neighbour @elladickson’s as they are moving across town on Friday.  I know it’s only across town but it won’t be the same around here.  Funnily, we worked on a project together for 3 years before we knew that we lived on the same street.

It’s been absolutely invaluable having a neighbour so close by with a child of a similar age; being able to pop around in slippers with a half dressed child because they won’t get dressed, slinging our children through each others doors when we’ve had enough, emergency child care when needed, borrowing everything from milk to cat food to chairs, sneaking in and using the tumble dryer when they’re on holiday, cat sitting but most importantly a freshly brewed coffee and a good chat/moan!

I’ve met many mums since having Madame and do spend a lot of time with people I may not normally have sought out.  I wouldn’t call these people friends more as acquaintances.  Ella and I are very different, but I like to think we’ve developed a friendship.  I drink, she doesn’t, she went to Oxford, I didn’t, she knits, I don’t, she’s an avid reader, I’m not and the list could go on and on…..we do, however, both have a teaching background, both like Glee and both spend too much time on the internet.  Come to think of it she’s the person that introduced me to Twitter!  Fittingly, our last morning was spent huddled around a computer me showing her how to use Google Reader and her showing me Google Street View while the little ones were playing upstairs.

For the most part our kids get on well, but they do fight like siblings at times but I’m sure they’re going to miss each other. I’m not looking forward to Madame noticing that they’ve moved.  Luckily, they’re only across town so I hope we’ll still see them.

I need to return their house key but I may slip it through the door so I don’t have to say goodbye again.

Guys, I can’t thank you enough for everything and we wish you all the best with your move!

Why is the Childcare My Responsibility?

I’m self-employed so if I don’t go to work I don’t get paid!  Fortunately, this has only been an issue 2-3 times in the last couple of years since Madame was born.  We decided that I would only go back 3 days a week so I could be a bit more involved.  I have a great work life balance as my job is not that demanding and I still get to take her to swimming, dancing, toddler groups etc.  However, in this move to part-time work somewhere along the line my job has been devalued in our house.

A few months ago our childminder called in sick.  It’s the only time she has ever done it.  Panic set in!  I called everyone I know and even approached friends who didn’t even know how to change nappies.  I couldn’t find anyone.  I even contemplated taking her with me to work but thought the school may frown upon this.  In the end, I had to cancel the training session.

In hindsight, what I should have done was call hubby at work, stomp my feet and demand he come home.  He could’ve taken it as a sick day, still got paid and I wouldn’t have let the school down.  It seems obvious to me now but in my panic state I didn’t see it.

It happened again this week, this time I was poorly and really needed for him to stay home but again but he didn’t!

I can assure you it won’t happen again!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But fool me three times…..

Butterfly World

We went to Butterfly World this morning near St. Albans as they were having an Open House and it was free! Frankly, we’ve never been before because when it opened last year I felt that the prices were extortionate.  In fact, I emailed them about it but sadly never received a response:

Dear sir/madam,

My family was planning on coming to Future Gardens this weekend as we were excited about the gardens and wanted to support a local project.  Sadly, we were put off by the price (£12.50 per adult), especially in the current climate.  I don’t normally contact companies about such things but felt you may appreciate the feedback. Hopefully, if you have a family or open day with reduced prices we may get a chance to come and enjoy the gardens.

When we arrived today we were greeted by a lovely, personable lady who was obviously passionate about the site.  She showed us a video and gave us some bumf about memberships etc.  I noticed a drastic drop in prices and asked her about it.  She said that since it was privately funded (£10.5 million), they used consultants to help them with the pricing.  Being new to it all they trusted them and in her words ‘last year was a disaster’.  She is now backpedalling trying to get people in.  They are now only charging £6 and under 3s are free, which I think is perfectly acceptable.

As it is winter, we had no expectation of seeing butterflies and if you could look past the barren flower beds and the construction site it’s going to be amazing and I can’t wait to go back in the spring!  They have individual gardens, Very Hungry Caterpillar feature Garden, pond dipping and a Play Zone.

We did only see one butterfly but it was rather impressive!

Inappropriate Toddler Toys?????

Shortly after Christmas my 2 year old discovered a couple of our Secret Santa presents!  My first reaction was noooooooo!  However, when I thought about it I came to the conclusion that she has no idea what they are and it’s not going to cause irreparable damage.  You may disagree.

Swear Box


She actually calls it the Money Box and enjoys counting the money as she drops it in.  It doesn’t actually swear so I think we’re safe.

Karma Sutra Cooking Cutters

Besides the sharp edges I don’t think this is dangerous either.  She calls one a horse and the other a seal.   Thankfully she hasn’t noticed the two heads yet!

I’m going to carry on enjoying this innocence for as long as I can.

Boys will be boys

A very good friend of mine’s son started Secondary School this year.  I met up with her last night and asked how he was getting on.  She said for the most part really well but there had been a couple of incidents.

Firstly, his bag had broken so he was using an old lap top bag which a few of the boys had been taking the Michael out of.  He now has a new bag and the boys all want to know where he got it from.  They don’t need to know it came from Argos.

Secondly, a few of them have started saying that he has a hedgehog on his head as he is prone to slightly mad hair.  When he reported this to his mum she said ‘give it a name’…..what??????  She explained that if you do this it takes the ammunition away from them and they won’t know what to do.

I thought this was bloody brilliant advice, non-confrontational and witty.  He now calls the Hedgehog Benjy and the boys are spending their time trying to convince him that there isn’t a hedgehog on his head!