Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works. Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight...Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.
You can read the full article here: HuffingtonPost.com
On the subject of food I was interested to see that Graze – the snack box company we all love in the office - has launched kids’ boxes. I’m sure someone somewhere will say children shouldn’t snack and just eat three proper meals a day, but I know my children most definitely like a snack if they’ve had an early breakfast. Graze seem to offer tasty treats with no nasties and probably lots of excitement come delivery day. Novel, whatever your take.
As a child I was devoted to my Snoopy teddy. My mother used to steal it away for a wash when I wasn't looking and I’d bang on the washing machine shouting "My Snoopy is getting dizzy." I dropped it out of the window on the motorway once and my mother had to stop and retrieve it. We found it about ten years ago clearing out a cupboard and it was this desperately sad but clearly loved looking little thing. My two, aged nearly three and four, are both still devoted to their bunnies. My mother bought Coco hers from John Lewis when she was born and when the attachment became clear and I tried to buy another I discovered they had inconsiderately discontinued it! We lost it for about ten minutes at bed time once and it gave me just a taster of what life would be like if the separation ever became more permanent before she is ready.
With Otto there was a strict Jelly Cat rule (no danger of them being discontinued) the minute he arrived; of the four sizes he owns, it is the biggest he is was instantly wedded to. We subsequently tried desperately to encourage the next size down and now he just wants them both!
I know we’re not unique but I read this article on the Mum of Boys blog and it gave me goose bumps. Do read it if there is a bunny in your life and the blog is one to bookmark if you have boys too.
Children’s shoes are a bit like buses: few then many. We have just had a recent splurge courtesy of Startrite after I just couldn’t face taking them in store, in person, because Otto likens a shop assistant clutching a foot measurer to a cross wasp. I am particularly picky about shoes in general and children’s shoes are no exception. You’ll think I’m ridiculous when I tell you that my first shoe shopping trip with Coco I found quite upsetting; it was a tiny store and they kept bringing out pair after pair of multi-coloured – leather – Velcro numbers that didn’t go with any of her outfits (I know). Anyway I was pleasantly surprised at the number of options at Startrite and my favourites are above.
TA and I have a made a conscious decision to try not to fill our diaries too full at the weekends. When you see your children as little in the week as we do it’s so important to have family time when you’re not at work. And that doesn’t mean seeing friends both days, because you invariably spend the get together encouraging your children to play while the grown-ups catch up. My two love an outing (if it was up to Otto, the four of us would sit on the top deck of a London bus and ride around in circles all day) so we set off to the wonderful Bekonscot Model Village with a picnic on a sunny day the other weekend. Well they loved it – as did we and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Finally a bit of a plea for a very good cause. A lovely self-effacing nursery mum I know – who following her ordeal below is now on the board of Chelsea & Westminster’s CW+ – wrote:
Arlo was 17 months, Tuuli was 2 weeks old - I'd made lots of fresh veggie pasta sauce and things before Tuuli was born and froze it so I would have a good supply. In my sleep deprived state I couldn't decide if I could microwave the frozen sauce in the glass jar or not so thought I'd put some boiling water in a bowl and pop the jar in that before heating it. Arlo came running into the kitchen after a bike ride with my husband and without us seeing climbed up to reach the bowl at the back of the kitchen counter (which he had never done previously) and poured boiling water all over himself.
His skin started peeling off immediately; we put him in a cold shower for 10 mins, soaked one of Tuuli's swaddles in cold water, wrapped him in it and jumped in the car to Chelsea & Westminster. Thankfully it was when Andy Murray was playing the Wimbledon final so the roads were empty. We spent 30 minutes in A&E where they couldn't treat him as he was so disturbed screaming and crying. We went up to the burns unit and were given two options: fill him with morphine and do the dressings or try the new distraction therapy they were trialing. I'm much more option B and thought if it didn't work we’d revert to plan A.
The change was phenomenal -we went into a dimly lit room, with serene music playing, a nurse blowing bubbles, a twinkle light ceiling, an interactive video screen and within a minute he'd stopped screaming. The plastic surgeon could then assess him, he had his burns dressed and we walked out 30 minutes later with no need for medication or an overnight stay. He had to go back every day for six weeks to have his dressings changed and always looked forward to it because he saw the hospital as a happy place - truly amazing!
Every day, more than 100 children and babies wake up in London, unaware that their day will involve a visit to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital’s A&E department. The hospital’s A&E department was designed to take a footprint of 60,000 patients annually, yet it currently sees 112,000. The hospital is investing £10 million to expand the department and deliver care to 140,000 patients. CW+’s A&E&U appeal is focused on bringing outstanding art, design and innovation to the A&E redevelopment, transforming the way patient care is delivered. Clinical research shows that calming imagery and music can have enormous benefits on lowering blood pressure and reduce levels of stress hormones, and increasing immune response. Working with leading artists such as Brian Eno, Matt Pyke, Isaac Julien and Richard Woods, with money raised from the text appeal CW+ will be able to create a warm, safe and uplifting environment which offers the best emergency care to each of the 35,000 young patients the hospital sees each year.
Whilst we cannot prevent everyday accidents, we can strive to make these children’s stays as quick, pain-free and stress-free as possible.
If you are able, please text ‘Arlo’ to 70500 and donate £5.