"Please can I try to eat my weetabix dry this morning mummy?"

We have survived (and shockingly actually managed to enjoy) a day trip with the boys to London, are in the midst of negotiating our 3 year old's need for food to be 'just plain' and 'separate' and had the realisation that sometimes you just can't stop them crying. 

Time spent putting gloves and mittens on: at least 5 hours just over this weekend

Time spent planning our day trip to London: 2 months

Time spent actually in London: less than 5 hours

Light-bulb moment of the week: I am actually shaping human beings and if I don't want them to shout at me, that probably means I need to not shout at them...(must practice more coping mechanisms to use when I find Aubrey midway through dragging Leo very quickly by one arm which is being grasped at a worrying angle, around the wooden floor - needless to say Leo is grinning hysterically with dribble cascading down his chin onto the floor; just adding to the health and safety issues)

Aubrey's  (3 yrs old) question of the week: "Please can I try to eat my weetabix dry this morning mummy?"  This has been asked every day this week with an increasingly whiny emphasis on 'please' and an ever more strained look on his face...I have compromised to let him have them 'plain' (no fruit/yoghurt etc on top - they have to be in a separate bowl) as pretty much every food item now has to be...(apart from when I do his food 'separately' without him asking and then he obviously says "no I want mine 'together' like yours today"...aaagghhhhh!!!) He also begged me to let him have his toast "just by it's own" but I held fast and said it had to have at least spread on). However, I am contemplating letting him try the weetabix dry one morning; just to see how long he'd battle on before admitting defeat; and it might even mean I could listen to The Archers uninterrupted for once (yes I do listen and am completely addicted;  I did only start listening to it after I had just given birth to Aubrey, so I blame it on my hormones at the time, and now I'm far too entangled in the story lines to give it up).

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#makemehappy Week 8: Christmas Decorations (that you don't want to throw in the bin immediately)

I was quite happy with the decorations Aubrey picked to make this week from Pinterest; although too fiddly for him to do completely by himself, I knew that with my help they could actually look non-bin worthy enough to be displayed for the next month (I know I should want to display everything my children make but I am just not that selfless).

What you need:

  • Clear plastic (from packaging/old clear wallets etc)
  • Paper/card/foam in different colours
  • Other small crafty bits such as mini pom poms or sequins
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape/decent glue/needle and thread (I used my sewing machine as there is a chance that I may have been using this craft as an opportunity to test out a technique for a future new product...)
  • Ribbon/string

How to make:

  1. Cut out some bauble shapes from the clear plastic (you'll need duplicates of each as you have to sandwich two together)
  2. Cut/tear/screw up all the bits of paper and card
  3. Sandwich two bauble cut outs together and stick around the edges, leaving a 2cm gap (so you are left with a little pouch)
  4. Push the crafty bits into the hole and then seal the gap and attach a ribbon/string to hang it from

Overall Rating:

7/10 - quite a fun thing for grown ups and probably older children to make, a good craft to work on over a week or so as you can do it in stages.

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Car journeys can drive you to distraction (if you don't distract the backseat passengers first)

So we had a really enjoyable (if I'm being honest - too good to be true, so we should have known our luck was about to run out) weekend away; lovely festive fun with family and friends, got to see the look of utter delight on our three year old's face when he stepped into the London Transport Museum (worth the 2 months spent planning the trip) and this afternoon we get into the car on schedule to travel home...we're feeling pretty pleased with ourselves...after all what could possibly go wrong now?  Then I hear a soft sobbing coming from the back seat...Aubrey has inexplicably started crying and doesn't stop until nearly two hours later.

At this point I find myself thinking 'how did we not plan stuff for him to do in the car??' 'why did we not think the car journey needed as much military planning as the trip to London did??' 'why did we think we would get away with no meltdowns in three whole days??' So we do our best to stop the tears (I ask him why he is crying and what we can do to make him happy and he says through sobs "I...don't...think...there's...anything...you...can...do" I know, I think it actually broke my heart a tiny bit when he said that).

We spend an hour trying to play car based games and Sing EVERY song we know in desperate off key voices, then I have a eureka moment - we packed his favourite book (Children's Transport Encyclopedia) at the last minute, so I ask him if he'd like to have a look through it. He goes quiet. I think he's taken the bait when he asked in a soft pleading little voice "can you read it out to me Daddy?" And full marks to him - he does, for the next 30 minutes. Here is an excerpt 'In the 1870s and 1880s, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler developed the first...' I can't even type out anymore without drifting off, so I was glad at this point that I was driving and not the appointed reader. 

Finally Aubrey seems content and just as his sniveling trails off, his younger brother Leo obviously takes this as his queue to wake up screaming; not stopping until we get home. As we pull into our driveway, we practically leap out of the car of horrors; even if it is just to get into the house to change a dirty nappy.

So I've learned something new this week; you don't always find out why they're upset (and they probably don't know either) and you can't always stop them crying; but if you're having fun most of the time and you didn't leave anyone in London then you're probably doing a pretty good job. 

Emma Cruickshank