I’m not going to lie, this week has been a toughie. Not least because we’ve been taking part in a challenge set by Robinsons, as part of Nutrition and Hydration Week, to get Belle to drink more.

As I described in my introductory post about the challenge, Belle is not naturally drawn to water as a concept. I’m not sure whether she just forgets, or whether the tap feels just too far away at 14 years old? I had one comment on the first post that made me laugh a lot, and which does sound a bit like Belle:

‘I vividly remember being in my early teens at school,’ commented Alice, ‘and not wanting to drink loads because I couldn’t be bothered to go to the toilet!’

Ha!

I can totally imagine that. I don’t remember my school toilets exactly being a thing of luxury. Plus at school you kind of want to avoid doing anything that draws attention to yourself, like putting your hand up in class to ask to go to the loo, so that could be a factor too. Whatever the reasons behind it, Belle doesn’t drink enough. I want this to change, and so does Robinsons. Hence the challenge.

Robinson's Squash'd

Belle last week, looking intrigued as to what her hydration challenge might entail…

So, after our week of trying to get Belle to drink more, what have we learnt? What top tips do we have to help you get your teenagers to drink more? Has Robinsons Squash’d helped Belle to drink more and, if so, has that changed how she feels?

Read on my intrigued chums…

 

1. Get yourself some Robinsons Squash’d

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Before we start, I know that actually I should be calling it Mothering Sunday, but it really annoys Fiancé when I call it Mother’s Day, and so now I do it deliberately, just because that’s the sort of annoying, belligerent girlfriend I am.

(Also, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever typed the word belligerent, which is nice, because it’s good to try new things.)

Mother’s Day then. What do you normally buy your mum for Mother’s Day? Now that we’re grown ups we can’t get away with glueing some dry macaroni and glitter to a piece of card and calling it art, so if you’re anything like me, it will be something from this list:

  • A card – one that doesn’t scream ‘I just went to the supermarket this morning and this was all they had’. (A couple of years ago I got my mum a card that said ‘Best Mum in Somerset’, which I think she appreciated.)
  • Chocolates – mid-range, unless you went SUPER FANCY and made the effort to go to Hotel Chocolat. (Get you, trying to make the rest of us look bad.)
  • Flowers – small bunch of.
  • A homemade ‘cheese stew’ – I received this rather than gave it. If you’re intrigued, you can read more about it in this article I wrote recently for Prima Magazine.

Not a very inspiring list is it? (Apart from the cheese stew.) Sorry Mum.

cheese platter

Just getting my ingredients ready to make my Mothers’ Day gift.

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I saw a tweet recently that made me laugh a lot:

https://twitter.com/EmmainWndrland/status/836118930506805248

With Belle, it would be the other way round:

(Apologies Emma for blatantly copying your tweet for this blog post.)

I would say that getting her to drink enough is the source of about 87% of my parental stress, alongside getting her to go to school and her refusal to eat any foods that aren’t beige. She has a smoothie for breakfast, but she’ll often come home from school, having had about three sips out of her water bottle, and nothing else for the entire day. I honestly don’t know how she does it. If I don’t drink water throughout the day I feel noticeably different – headachey, sick, and generally awful. I don’t understand how she can go through a whole day without it even occurring to her to have a drink.

Are all teenagers this terrible at drinking water?? View Post

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Nixplay photo frame

I have a small family, but I like to think we’re pretty close. Emotionally at least. My sister Annabel moved to Ireland with her husband and two children a couple of years ago, so we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like now. We’ve been over to visit quite a few times, but it isn’t the same as being able to pop over for tea and catch up with what they’ve been doing during the day.

I know that there’s Skype and FaceTime and everything like that, so no excuse really not to keep in touch, but as I’m sure Annabel will testify to, I’m a bit rubbish at it. Work and cooking and boring stuff gets in the way. Every night in bed I think to myself ‘I must talk to Annabel properly tomorrow,’ and then another day goes by and I haven’t.

I’m lame.

I thought the Nixplay Wifi digital frame might be a nice way to add an extra dimension to our communication, and not just because it requires minimal effort from me. (Although mainly that.) It’s basically a digital photo frame, but it links up to an app, meaning you can invite anyone with the app to share photos directly to your frame. You can see where I’m going with this can’t you? Rather than it just showing my own photos, I can ask Annabel to get the app, invite her to share with me, and tada! I can see photos of her and my nephew and niece, Finn and Mia, whenever I like!

‘Cool,’ said Annabel, when I told her about it, ‘I like the idea of sending you snapshots of our life!’

Finn and Mia are only small(ish), and Annabel and I share the sense of humour of a six year old, and so I thought they’d find it quite funny to be able to take pictures of themselves with silly captions and know that they are going to appear in our living room when we least expect it. Belle has a really good relationship with her cousins, and misses them a lot, so I know she’d really enjoy getting to see them more often, even if it was via a photo frame.

Fiancé works away during the week too, and we both miss him being around, (he probably misses us too), so we thought we could add him as well. That way he could send us his latest celebrity spots, with captions of who they are. (He met Will Ferrell in a toilet last week – I do know him – but sometimes I say ‘who?’)

So, we got to work.

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I think I probably take my mum for granted sometimes. I’m not really a gushy sort of person – I prefer to show affection through mild teasing – but she’s not bad. I realise as I get older, and my children get older, how hard it actually is to ‘parent’ once your kids start to form their own opinions. (Damn them, being so sassy and confident.)

No one is perfect of course, but there are a lot of things about my mum that I am grateful for:

  • She is generous with her time and money
  • She is always supportive of me in times of crisis
  • She has a good sense of humour and is fun to hang out with

Okay, that’s enough. Let’s not get carried away. She also has way too many balls of wool in her house, and the state of her saucepans is shameful.

But still, she’s nice.

I’m very lucky with my whole family really. We are all just incredibly intelligent and witty and modest and quite honestly, anyone would be lucky to spend time with us. I mean look at us:

#Muminamillion Photobox Nectar

Basically the Kardashians. This photo is a few years old but it’s one of my favourites because there are so many of us all in one photo. (That’s me on the left, before my hair got quite so grey.) View Post

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