Is Valentine’s Day for children?

I know, weird question right?

I should specify my intentions really.  I don’t mean school goers entering into the world of their first crush’s, or over-sexed teenagers lusting after anything with a pulse, no my question relates to something a lot simpler.

The purchasing of cards by your toddler / baby.

Now, I have bought a Valentines card for the wife from the cats before, but that was a bit of fun.  The expectation is there, I feel, that it is my duty to buy and give cards from my three year old and 11 week old to their mother.  As a gesture.

I don’t know, is this a normal done thing?  Does anybody else buy the childrens card for Mummy? 

I know it’s a nice gesture, as a sign of appreciation I suppose, but isn’t that what Mother’s day is for?  Why do they get two occasions?!

With this being a simple cash flow operation (spot the old romantic in me!) for Hallmark and the such, I am loathe to part with any more cash on these sort of opportunities.

However, am I just being mean spirited?  It’s true that I don’t like spending money and this is maybe the reasoning for my questioning and doubt.

Valentines Day for Mummy

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Children Shopping: No I don’t want to buy one

Another weekend has ended, and the monotonous depressing grey of Monday has arrived.  Great.

Work this week is going to be busy, as usual, with meetings, endless typing and a lot of boring and irrelevant talking.  I suppose that’s normal but I wish something different would happen.  Anything.

I might have to change the brand of my tea bag for excitement.  Whoa there, let’s not get drastic!

Anyway, at least the weekend was enjoyable.  Sunday was the usual, a bit of tidying here, a bit of lounging there.  Saturday however was different.

On Saturday, I went out on a ‘Daddy / Daughter Day’.  Nowhere exciting mind, just out to look around the shops in nearby Chelmsford.  Now this may not sound like an adventure, but I’ve only before taken her out on my own to the local town for a couple of hours.  Where we live it is not possible to take her out on my own too often, so we usually always go out as a family.

A taxi and train ride was completed successfully.  A wander round the shops (on Daddy time and not to the march of Mummy!) was pleasant.  Lunch in Burger King was enjoyable (no burgers were consumed, neigh!).  It was just a nice change, you know?

The darling child did not play up or try to run away, which is always a fear when single parenting, and the day was very nice.  Spent too much money though.  Her fault.

This only emphasises to me the need to get back to living in a town.  The countryside is nice and quiet, but the lure and accessibility of a town centre can not be ignored.  I’m a city boy really, I miss it.

Two options; move or learn to drive.  Both expensive and both take time.  I want to do both but it’s just not possible.

It is true, which you don’t realise at first, that children do change your life in more ways than you could ever imagine.  I didn’t realise that the kids would make me want to move back into a town.

If only I could change things….

Father and Daughter

New set of wheels

This week we begun the preparations.

Well, technically we started ages ago but it’s just not going very quickly.

But now we have physical proof and not just the repetitive, ‘yeah I’ll do it tomorrow’.

We have bought a new travel system.  A fresh set of wheels for the upcoming baby! Now, before you start saying that it’s bad luck, like some of you were thinking, it is also going to be used for Sophie as well so that should knock any superstitions sideways.

I remember last time that it didn’t take us too long last time to choose a model.  Basically, we picked the cheapest and sturdiest looking.

This time however, we are lucky enough to have a little bit more money put by to spend.

There are so many!  Big wheels, three wheels, with car seat, without car seat, lasts nine years, lasts four years, and so on.

After a good month or two, we have settled on one.

A Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe.  Or something.

We had it delivered the other day.  A remarkably small box for the gargantuan that came out of it.

It’s a Toys R Us special so is adorned with their ‘I Love My Bear’ iconography.

It’s a lot bigger than the last one.

Putting it together was fairly straight forward too, apart from the fact I have to take the wheels back off and put them on again properly.  It wasn’t my fault.  It was late and the wife was going on  and on in my lug hole!

Anyway, as the main pusher of prams, I can’t wait to actually get it out on the road and see how good it is.  It certainly seemed to be easy enough to push around the living room (although I didn’t see Mickey Mouse when I ran over him).

By the way, this isn’t a product review or anything.  Just telling you what’s going on, keeping it real.

In that respect, I may have to ‘Pimp My Pram’….

 

It’s all a bit wooden…

Now, in my day all you needed was an empty toilet roll and a cardboard box, add to that a small pinch of imagination and you were off, sailing the seven seas or chopping up a dragon…

Ok, probably not doing that, and I’m pretty sure I was not born in 1948…  But my point is, compared to my generation, the availability and diversity of toys is far greater than ever before.  Which begs the question, to me anyway, is there a particular type that is better than others??

In this day and age it’s all about fads and trends.  The latest film or cartoon spores an almost indefinite line of merchandise which any child insists that they can’t live without.  And are fully prepared to lay on the floor, screaming and hollering, until they get it.  Wars are started over less.

Whilst giving in to the demands of a relentless child is by far the easiest way forward, it is often the most costly.  You can’t have one character without another, you can’t have one t-shirt without having the other, etc, etc.

However, there does seem to be a new range of toys coming back into fashion though, the unique style of wooden toys.  I am all for this, and would encourage parents to at least try this route.  There’s something more, I don’t know, appealing to having a solid, well made toy in wood.

None of this plastic rubbish.  The sort of thing that would pierce your foot but then will ultimately break. A bit like a bee after it’s stung you, a last act of defiance, if you will.

There’s the ultimate in luxury for little girls, the doll’s house and accessories, and then the classics such as jigsaw puzzles, play food and kitchens.  Obviously, the range will be a lot more extensive in your modern toy shop, but sometimes it’s nice to be different.  To be a bit ‘retro’.

I must admit, I’ve missed the boat with my daughter, but I think I will definitely try these toys with next child.  I haven’t got anything to lose really.  If the child doesn’t like it, they are robust enough to be put into the cupboard for the next one (I hope the missus doesn’t read this!).  Or, if you are ‘frugal’, it will always be a good thing to pass on to family and friends with children.

The inspiration for this post is due to a friend on facebook.  They have set up a company that specialises in this area of the market, and by the looks of it, are getting it spot on.  The range of toys they have evokes a lot of memories and intrigue in equal measure.  If you are thinking about venturing into the wooden world of toys, check them out: Teeny Tiny Wooden Toy Company.

Week 19: Have we still got…

Here we are at Week 19.  The guide says that this week we are up to about 20cm or the size of an average pear and that development is really underway now.

‘Sensory development is well underway, with your baby’s ability to taste, smell, hear, see and touch all developing in their specialised areas of the brain.’

How do they know?

I mean, it’s all well and good saying that they are starting to see, smell, etc, but how do we know?!  They could be making it up and basing  it on a 16th Century guess…

I mean, c’mon, how can it by developing it’s sense of smell, if it starts sniffing now, it’d get a nostril full of liquid!!  And what’s it tasting?  A plain, bland flavoured jelly?!

Obviously, I didn’t pay attention in school when it came to science, and I will probably be blasted for those last comments, but that’s what came to my mind, anyway.  Don’t even get me on how it’s starting to use it’s lungs…

That aside, the arguments rage on in the household.  Loggerheads are at.  Stations are battling.  Same questions.

I still haven’t started the decorating, or the sorting out.  I know time is moving on, I appreciate that, but I’m not a machine!  Come on, the football has only just finished.

Paint Tins

Whilst I’m thinking about what paint to buy, Mummy has the catalogues out looking at furniture, prams, toys, etc.  I won’t start talking about priorities here (I have just cited football as an excuse).

All the while the pages of the brochures are flicking, my mind is asking  ‘didn’t we still have that in the cupboard? Hang on, that’s downstairs, I know where that is’.  Problem is, all I can here is the cogs whirring and the sound of a cash register going kerching!

Oh well, I’m sure this will rumble on for a few weeks or months.  Just giving you all an update.

Note: If the need arises after battle, I can be identified by my shoes.