Posts Tagged ‘children’

Yesterday we enjoyed a sunny trip to see my mum at Southport, which included a stroll up the pier and a play on the old penny arcade at the end.

The arcade has lots of old ‘penny in the slot’ machines, which take old pennies, and Lilly’s absolute favourite is the Sooty and Sweep Band – you put your penny in and Sooty, Sweep and Sue play their instruments and sing a different nursery rhyme each time.

A year ago it was her favourite and she listened to about five songs, fascinated at first and then eventually dancing along. It was exactly the same story yesterday, even with 12 extra months maturity under her belt!

It got me thinking about Sooty and Sweep – as far as I know they don’t show it on TV anymore, and I had a thought about getting a DVD to show Lilly what the characters were all about. When my sister was little (she is 8 years younger than me) Sooty and Sweep was her favourite and I remember us going to see the Sooty and Sweep show live a few times (it was great!)

But then again, would Sooty and Sweep seem outdated to Lilly alongside Rastamouse and Peppa Pig?

Some of Lilly’s favourite TV programmes and characters are ones that were around when I was little – Thomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam – but she doesn’t like watching the “old” versions – you know, the ones with the actual models whose mouths dont move – she refuses to watch these old episodes and only likes the computer generated super flashy versions – and who can really blame her?

So then I got thinking about the children’s programmes Lilly and Isla’s children will watch. Will they still be enjoying Thomas the Tank Engine and Fireman Sam? And which of today’s CBeebies programmes will become classics that Lilly and Isla will watch with their children? And how will they be modernised to attract a new generation?

Tony thinks Peppa Pig will be an enduring classic. But how will it change? Peppa in 3D? Smellyvision? Peppa flies a spaceship?

How about the others? Waybuloo – that would work well in 3D! But I think, like Teletubbies, it will have its day and then fade.

Maybe by the time my grandchildren are grown up, they will have brought back Sooty and Sweep…

What do you reckon?


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I’m not generally a neurotic mum, but I am worried, I think.

With two children in nursery I already know only too well how illnesses spread and how delicate developing immune systems are.

I suppose the news about the three year old girl who died of swine flu with no underlying symptoms has scared me. And even hearing about some of my online friends, like The Moiderer and her little girl, who had what they suspected to be swine flu, and were really quite poorly, for a long time. Of course its a mother’s instinct to want to protect their children from something like that, if they possibly can. I had the swine flu jab when I was pregnant, but I suppose Isla’s immunity will have worn off now that she is older than six months. And we talked about getting Lilly the swine flu jab before Isla was born, but we couldn’t decide, and now the government isn’t offering the vaccine to under 5s.

It is sort of ironic that, when they (the government) wanted us all to have the flu jab, lots of people didnt want it. Now we all want it, they say we can’t have it. Oh dear.

I haven’t actively tried to research getting the vaccine privately. But from what I hear, pharmacists who are offering it as a paid-for service aren’t allowing under 16s to have the jab.

So, what about you? Are you worried? If you could, would you get your child immunised? Would you be prepared to pay? Or do you think the Government should be allowing all under 5s to have the jab free?

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Well, as part of my goals for 2011 I told you I was going to do more cooking with Lilly, and that I was going to join in with the Cooking With Kids challenge being run by Cass at Frugal Family.

Well, here we go with the first challenge: cheese straws.

As ever, with our cooking sessions, we waited until Isla was having her long afternoon nap and, as the sound of snoring came on the monitor, we donned our aprons and started cooking.

This is the first time Lilly and I have made something savoury, I think. After we’d put in the flour and butter, Lilly said: “And now, we add the chocolate!!!” Luckily, she wasn’t too disappointed when I told her we were adding cheese, instead. I was a little nervous how these biscuits would go down, as Lilly doesn’t like “hard” cheese. So I fooled her by presenting the cheese ready-grated, so that she wouldn’t realise what it was we were adding (mwahhahahahaha evil laugh!)

 Whether she was fooled or not, I can’t be sure, but she was happy enough adding it, and once we had a dough like consistency, she enjoyed throwing flour all over the table (and floor), rolling out and cutting some shapes.

(NB A lesson I have learnt vis a vis cookie cutters. We have millions of them, but only about five should be made available each session. Otherwise you lose count of which ones you use and have to wash them all.)

Anyway, Lilly was much better at using the cookie cutters all by herself than last time we used them, and was rather pleased with herself as she cut out little gingerbread man shapes, arrows, stars and butterfly cheesey biscuits. I stuck with making the straws, for a bit of variety.

Lilly’s absolute favourite part of this recipe, though, was painting the biscuits with the egg and milk, and sprinkling the cheese on top. (When I say “sprinkling” I actually mean “layering on pretty thick”, so that the biscuits resembled cheese on toast!)

And, I am happy to report that, despite the presence of “hard cheese”, the biscuits went down very well with both of us and have been the snack item of choice in this house ever since.

So, if you want to have a go at making cheesey straws (or shapes) yourself, you’ll find the recipe here. And why not join in the Cooking With Kids Challenge? It’s a really great idea Cas, and I hope we will be able to join in with plenty more challenges during the course of 2011.

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When Lilly was quite little I bought her a CD of nursery rhymes and would play it while we were in the house playing with toys or doing tummy time etc.

When I went back to work the nursery rhymes moved into the car and we listened to the same CD on the way to and from nursery and on any other big trips in the car, like when we went to see Grannie.

Hubby couldn’t stand the nursery rhyme CD, it got on his nerves, but it didn’t bother me so much – and it was so gorgeous when Lilly started to sing along – at first just joining in with the last line of each song then progressing to singing all the words!

But after a while the novelty of one CD wore off and I decided to buy another one to expand our nursery rhyme repetoire. So I bought a different CD from the same BBC series.

I must admit this one gets on my nerves a bit, especially the way the singers try to sing in “authentic” cockney / Bristolian / northern accents when they feel it appropriate. Plus, they go rather overboard on the “zany sound effects”.

But most of all, I find some of the more traditional rhymes a bit disturbing and I’m not quite sure if they’re the sort of thing I should be playing to my innocent little 2-year-old. For example:

“Goosey Goosey Gander” – contains the line “There I met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers / so I took him by the left leg, and threw him down the stairs”

“Who killed cock robin” – rather gruesome tail asking “Who killed Cock Robin”, “Who saw him die?”

“Ding Dong Bell, Pussy’s in the well” – horrible boy tries to “drown” a cat

Unfortunately, Lilly already loves this CD and sings along – even to these rather nasty ones above. I’m thinking of producing an edited version of the CD, i.e. make a new playlist on iTtunes and take out some of the ones I find a bit disturbing.

I only introduced nursery rhymes because I thought they were an essential part of childhood – and yes, Lilly really loves them all. But I’m starting to think there is certainly an argument for some of the old ones to be consigned to history – or some slightly more “PC” versions to be brought in.

Unless I’m being overprotective?

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We have the most amazing chats with Lilly now, she makes the funniest observations and always makes us smile – even when she’s waking us up at 3am (AGAIN)!

Today has been one of those days, we’ve had some really funny conversations. Here’s some of the highlights:

This morning, she was watching (yet another) episode of Same Smile (absolute favourite programme of the moment). There was a little boy making cakes with his daddy and it showed him spooning out icing to put on top of the cakes once they were baked.

Lilly turned to me and said: “I would like glue on cakes, wouldn’t I mummy?”

Driving home from nursery:

Me – “So, you’ve been a good girl today then?”

Lilly – “Yes, I’ve been a good girl. But sometimes I’m not good, I’m naughty.”

Me – “Oh? What naughty things to you do?”

Lilly – “I throw things all around.”

Me – “Why, what things did you throw all around?”

Lilly – “Er… I’ll tell you later, mummy”

Me – “Did you get told off?”

Lilly – “Er, I’ll tell you that later, too, mummy”

Then, at bedtime I got a little bit more of the story…

Lilly – “It’s very naughty to say NO to the other children, isn’t it mummy?”

Me – “Er, well it depends what you’re saying no to. Were you saying no to the children in nursery today Lilly?”

Lilly – “I’ll tell you later, mummy, after I’ve had a goooood night’s sleep.”

Also at bedtime tonight, after putting on her night time nappy (she’s potty trained in the day).

Lilly: “I’m doing a wee-wee in my nappy, mummy.”

Me – “Yes, that’s good, that’s what you do at night, isn’t it?”

Lilly: “I’m doing a wee-wee in my nappy, because, my nappy is very thirsty!”

Aside from the tantrums and the need for constant attention and the regular emotional breakdowns over not very much at all, two is just such a lovely age!

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Yesterday, I was officially discharged from my Oncologist!

It has been five years since I had bowel cancer , aged just 25, and since then, thankfully, my health has been very good with no sign of anything nasty returning.

I have been having yearly appointments with my Oncologist, the consultant who looked after me throughout my chemotherapy. These have been mainly routine, asking me if there’s anything I’m worried about, and having a feel of my tummy. Yesterday was my fifth – and last one.

I took Isla along while Lilly was at nursery. I arrived at the clinic and was ushered straight in by my doctor. He told me I was being discharged and that I had been a “superstar” patient. I introduced him to Isla and we chatted about the fact that, five years ago, our conversation was about whether or not the chemotherapy I was about to have would leave me infertile. The fear of not having children was absolutely the worst thing about the whole experience, but my doctor had tried to reassure me that the chances of the chemo making my infertile were “slim”. But, as I said to him yesterday, a slim chance is still a chance, and you just can’t help but worry.

If I could have had a crystal ball to look into my future and see myself with my two wonderful daughters, it would’ve saved me a lot of tears, worry and anxiety. But then again I feel blessed that I never took for granted my ability to have children, and I hope I’m a better person for experiencing that incredibly strong yearning for a family of my own. If nothing else I hope it has given me empathy for others who have difficulty conceiving, and hopefully means I won’t take my girls or my hapy life for granted.

I was incredibly lucky that my cancer was discovered when it was, before it spread, despite my own failure to recognise the symptoms of the anaemia that I’d probably been living with for years. I’ve learnt that you should listen to your body. Sometimes, being a little bit more of a hypochondriac might just save your life. And I’ve learnt that cancer doesn’t just happen to other people, or just to old people. I’ve also been lucky to have a wonderful husband with me throughout all of this, and a great family.

My consultant asked me yesterday what I put my “success” down to. A funny question. I haven’t “done” anything. I’ve just carried on living. I was lucky to be treated by a fantastic surgeon and to have had great aftercare from my Oncologist. Thank you Warrington Hospital. I owe you a lot.

I have been very, very lucky.

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