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 isΒ 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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Babies No More

I’ve loved every (well almost every) moment of being a Mum so far. The laughs, the loves and the challenges it brings, but with my youngest turning 7 in just a few weeks and my eldest about to turn 9, it’s suddenly dawned on me that they’re not babies any more. They’ll always be my babies of course, and although I still want to cherish every moment and freeze time at every given opportunity, I wouldn’t want to go back in time any more.

Some may be sad those baby days are over, others may see this as proof there is light at the end of the tunnel. For me, I’ve realised that this is just another stage that I would like to freeze in time forever, but there are definitely some aspects of parenting that I don’t miss!

You can structure your day without having nap times blocked out

We were always very disciplined when it came to routine. As teachers, we were used to our lives being governed by timetables and found that our children were as predictable as clockwork too, so when we suddenly realised that we could accept invitations at any time without having to worry about when they were going to nap, eat, poo, it was so liberating!

You can have a shower while the children are awake

This was actually my prompt for writing this post. Yesterday, the children were at gymnastics, and rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to drink some tea while it is still hot as I would have done until quite recently, I decided to go for a run (yes really, read about my mission to get fitter here!). When we got back, I quickly got some tea for the children, and asked if they minded me having a quick shower while they ate it. And I did! They may have walked in several times for emergencies, such as needing to know if Qatar is the only country in the world beginning with Q, but I was able to shower and then have some unstinky (me not them!) snuggly time before bed.

A ‘family film’ might actually be something that you genuinely are interested in watching

Going to watch the new Star Wars film was the defining moment here. All four of us equally excited. We didn’t even have to miss any of it to take the children to the toilet every five minutes!

You can wear jewellery

My sister in law recently had a baby. She’s gorgeous in every way and I love my cuddles, but how do 4 month old babies instinctively know which of your bracelets are most likely to break or choke them and then choose those ones to try and eat?! Nowadays I wear my jewellery with pride and for the most part, manage to keep it saliva free!

You can go out for an evening meal

The first time you can book a restaurant for an evening meal – as in actual evening rather than the 4:30pm type of evening meal you’ve had to endure in order to be back for bath time for oh so long – is amazing. A 7pm meal where you can wear nice clothes and aside from a few colouring pencils (and perhaps an iPad for emergencies), nothing else is needed!

8pm is not the middle of the night!

My daughter now finishes Brownies at 8pm. Sometimes we nip into the shop afterwards to pick up a few bits. Nothing exciting here, apart from the fact that 8pm exists again!

Homework is for the children

This term, my daughter has had to complete column addition and subtraction, giving her answers using hieroglyphics and complete a 500 word original story. My son has had to learn his times tables and find interesting ways of displaying them and create 3D models of Tudor houses. Obviously I’m on hand to help with homework, but essentially it is work for them, to extend their understanding and develop their ability to work independently. Which leads me nicely on to the next one…

You don’t have the pressure of having the class bear to visit

This is tongue in cheek, but who can honestly hold their hands up and say they didn’t feel the pressure to get out and do exciting things when Billy the Bear came home for the weekend?! The last time we had the class bear, he’d been to Paris the weekend before and climbed the Eiffel Tower. Aaaaargh!

Babysitting can be free

Older children don’t just pop round for lunch or tea – they have sleepovers – the holy grail for the children concerned and the parents alike! Until of course you realise that you haven’t returned the favour yet and it’s your turn to host a handful of 9 year olds…

You can wee on your own

Yeah right, just kidding – did you really think I was serious?! I’m still waiting for this day, will it ever happen?!

So, moments to cherish or light at the end of the tunnel? You decide, I’d love to know your thoughts!

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