A Soapy Issue…

I’m not talking about personal hygiene here, although if you follow me on Twitter you may be aware that this wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate after I got projectile vomited on yesterday during a lesson (the fact that Ofsted were in school was a minor additional detail)!

My children are growing up so fast and our days of Doc McStuffins and Dora the Explorer are long gone. Nowadays, whenever I switch the TV on, it seems to have been paused on some Disney Channel programme or other – Bunk’d, Austin & Ally, Girl Meets World, Liv and Maddie, you name it, my children love it.

The other day, my daughter asked when she would be ‘allowed’ to watch ‘more grown up’ programmes, such as Eastenders and Call the Midwife as all her friends watch them. Obviously I take this with a pinch of salt, but the fact is some of her peers are watching these programmes, just like some of her peers are allowed to play computer games recommended for over 18s. It has however got me thinking about what is suitable and what isn’t.

We all went to see Star Wars together at Christmas – a 12A, all was good, the same with Pitch Perfect. I remember a few years back all sitting down to watch Grease because hubby and I had both forgotten about ‘that’ scene in the car! Ultimately, it comes down to our own individual judgments I guess, but I’m really not sure with this one. It’s not like the children aren’t allowed to watch soaps and other ‘pre watershed’ programmes, it’s just because they are generally broadcast after they go to bed I haven’t really considered it, but then the children point out that we record other programmes like Strictly and Bake Off and watch them together later. It’s not like there is bad language in these programmes, and I think a lot of the storylines would go over their heads. Yes, they may ask questions, but I’m ok with questions. When I was my daughter’s age, maybe not my son’s, I definitely watched Corrie!

So, what do you let your children watch and when is the right age to move on from the Disney Channel?! That said, I do have a soft spot for Girl Meets World even if it does make me feel ancient given that I grew up with Boy Meets World and he is now the Daddy!

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I Need a Babysitter!

I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this one, so why not come straight to the point?! And before you start wondering, I’m not putting out an open request here for someone, anyone to come and look after my children!

I was watching Eastenders the other night, and saw a toddler nearly drown when her mother decided to let her teenage cousin look after her, just so she could go out a bit earlier, and I had full on shivers that in less than five minutes she nearly drowned, because the babysitter wasn’t doing their job properly.

Until a couple of months ago, if we were invited out for the evening, (and this didn’t happen very often!) it was simple. My husband would get on the phone to his Mum, she’d pop round and hey presto, sorted! If she couldn’t help us out, I’d phone my Mum, or sister in law, or best friend. We just knew that we’d be able to go out, and that someone we trusted implicitly would be able to babysit.

A lot of people will know that in September, we moved to Wiltshire, about an hour and a half away from our friends and family. If anything, in this time our social lives have got more active, we’ve going out a lot more separately. I’ve made some lovely friends through the children’s incredibly busy social lives, and my husband has met a lot of people through his new job, who he has also socialised with. I’ve asked the Mums I regularly talk to already, and I think it might be a bit rude to just go up to any of the other Mums, and suddenly ask them to do me a huge favour when I’ve never even had them round for a cuppa! However, in a few weeks, we have both been invited to my husband’s Christmas social, and the mother in law is away for the weekend, so who could babysit?!

I’d really like to meet the people my husband works with, and I think he’d actually quite like me to be there too! I’m sure I could get someone, but if, for example, one of the mums at the school gates who I trust recommends someone, does that mean I can trust them? Can I just go out, leaving my home and my children in their care when I’ve only met them a couple of times? For some reason, the answer in my heart is no, but if this person is a babysitter, qualified and CRB checked, shouldn’t it be yes? After all, I dropped my daughter off at school for her first induction, having only spoken to her teacher for less than five minutes, and I didn’t have the doubts then? And only a couple of weeks ago, one of the Mums let her daughter come to my house in my care, and she didn’t really know me.

So do I need to lighten up or am I right to feel like this? Have I just been spoilt until now, having the luxury of family just around the corner? What do you do when they’re not there? I think I might just hope for my Fairy Godmother to appear and tell me that I shall go to the Ball. After all, it is nearly Panto season!