The last few times I’ve done a Week in Tweets post I’ve been a little lazy.

Maybe lazy isn’t quite the right word, as actually what I’ve done has been more work. Sneaky perhaps. I’ve tweeted as Bee and Belle, tweeted as Nancy Drew, Girl Detective, and in the weeks I’ve been me, I’ve written retrospective tweets. All of this is perfectly within the rules, (as made up by me), but I can’t help but feel it’s all been an elaborate avoidance tactic.

You know why?

Because I am boring on twitter.

Don’t tell anyone, but my tweets are actually fairly dull and sporadic, and I’m beginning to wonder if this whole meme isn’t just a ploy to convince everyone otherwise. So this week, I’m going to pick some actual tweets, so you can see for yourself how dull I am. I will totally understand if you want to unfollow me immediately.

"Rubber duck"

Quack quack

Saturday – Love the new polka dot anti-mould rubber ducks from @cuddledry at @TheBabyShow

Sunday – Casually roasting a chicken.

Monday – How many meals do you make at tea time? wp.me/pJA3j-JS

Tuesday – @liveotherwise Oooh, are you doing @ThinkingSlimmer ? The voice man sounds to me like Jude Law – it is quite seductive!

Wednesday – @GappyTales you could break up an old cheap necklace and use the beads as jewels?

Thursday – Belle is loving the @AngelBerryMe experience. Think she has a bit of everything…

Friday – @TheLadyMagazine My mum was a Tupperware Lady when I was little, and she still has a lot of her ‘kit’, so it must last!

You see??!!

Oh yes, Tupperware is so durable! How fascinating! The Lady Magazine didn’t reply to that one. What a surprise.

I would really love for you to share your week in tweets, tedious or otherwise, if only to make me feel better. Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list. I promise I will read them all and give you a shout out on twitter. I clearly have nothing else to say.

I have a bit of a weird confession.

Yesterday we had a barbecue. (That’s not the confession. That’s not at all weird).

I nearly didn’t though, because I didn’t want to go and buy burgers and buns.

I don’t know why, but I have a bit of an issue with doing stuff that lots of other people are doing. I just don’t like it. It’s hard to understand why, as I don’t judge other people for buying burger buns just because it’s sunny. I’m not secretly standing behind you at the checkout, mocking you inside my head for taking advantage of the nice weather, so why do I judge myself?

I think it’s because it makes me feel a bit stupid and gullible, as though someone is watching and going ‘haha! You fell for it!’. Or it might be a form of stubbornness, where I don’t want to do it just because I probably should.

Perhaps I have some issues.

"Burgers"

Om nom nom

It’s not just burger buns either, there are plenty of other similar things I don’t like to do:

  • I don’t like to eat out on occasions like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
  • I actually don’t like Valentine’s Day full stop, and especially don’t like buying things in the shape of hearts, or pink chocolates.
  • I don’t like buying suntan lotion in the summer.
  • I don’t like buying an umbrella if it’s raining, or worst still, looking like it might rain soon.
  • I don’t like buying insurance for things unless it’s a legal requirement.

Is this normal?

I’ve always just assumed it was, but lately, seeing so many people casually buying burger buns without any sense of shame, I’m beginning to suspect it’s just me…

Photo credit – chotda

When Bee was about 12 years old*, she did a very brave thing. She went off all by herself to one of Do It 4 Real’s UK summer camps. As we dropped her off at the bus, which would take her miles and miles away, (somewhere Up North), I couldn’t help but admire her – she knew no one at all, and yet she very quickly made friends, some of whom, thanks to facebook, she is still in touch with now.

Personally I had mixed feelings about summer camps as a child. The idea of them was always much more exciting than the reality. I’d get totally hyped up in the weeks beforehand, imagining Famous Five type adventures, so that the reality of communal sleeping with strangers, without even a deserted island to explore, was always a disappointment.

Another con is the cost of a summer camp. Unfortunately, they can be expensive, and if your child doesn’t like it due to homesickness for example, then it will be very disappointing for the both of you. There is a positive point to this con, however. Many camps have caught on to the importance of being more frugal in the current economic climate and are therefore offering financial solutions like paying the fee over several months, so that it’s not such a shock to your bank account. When Bee went on her camp, we got a really good discount too for being on a low income, so it’s always worth checking to see if they have concessionary prices.

Home-sickness, shared rooms, parting with wads of cash… Am I selling it to you yet?

"Archery for kids"

Image – Do It 4 Real

Let’s look at the pros.

Firstly, you get rid of your child for a whole week! Brilliant! What will you do with yourself? Have a little sit down probably and catch up on the housework, but still, you can do it in glorious peace!

The real beauty though of summer camps is that it gives your child the opportunity to try out activities you simply can’t provide at home. Bee’s camp had a theatrical theme and try as I might, I can’t provide a cast of actors and singers at home in the back garden. If your child likes the idea of learning archery, climbing, or kayaking, or is desperate to ride a quad bike and play paint balling, then a summer camps could be a great choice.

This counts double if after one week of the summer holidays, your kids are complaining about being bored. One fun packed week will not only be a great experience but give them inspiration for new hobbies during term time, too. There’s nothing stopping them from pursuing their new found interests, and maybe even discovering a passion that lasts a lifetime or which could even turn into a career path.

So, will you be packing your kids of this summer for a week full of muddy fun? Let me know…

*Actually I checked with her after I wrote this and she reckons she was only nine! Amazing…

Today I wasted ninety whole minutes of my life. Ninety minutes that I will never, ever be able to get back.

Today Belle and I went to watch Top Cat The Movie.

Now I didn’t have high expectations – I’m used to watching crappy kids’ films and I’d seen the trailer, so I knew it wasn’t going to be exactly high brow:

The trailer however did not do justice to the full Top Cat horror that awaited us.

I’m not a big fan of 3D films at the best of times, mainly because I have to wear the 3D glasses over the top of my ordinary glasses, and I look kind of stupid, but also I just don’t see the point with something like Top Cat. There was nothing in the film that benefited from 3D, it just feels like jumping on the 3D bandwagon.

Even a bandwagon can be bearable though, so long as you spend more than about 49p on the 3D effects. I suspect that this was roughly the budget for Top Cat.

The 3D was such poor quality that often there were just random objects in 3D, standing out as though in mid-air – a bowl of snacks on a side table for instance, where the bowl appeared to hover about a metre away from the table top for no reason. At other times, the cats and the background couldn’t decide which was meant to be at the front, and it all became rather confusing.

It was a little bit like watching a 3D film but without the glasses on – nothing looked quite right.

And the plot?

Hmmm…

I can’t say it exactly gripped me. In fact I tried my best to think of anything at all I could do to not have to watch Top Cat and the gang’s crazy antics. I gave myself a hand massage – that passed a nice few minutes. Then I was stuck. If we’d not been in a corner I might have slipped out to the ‘toilet’ and just hung about in the lobby for ten minutes. That would have been infinitely preferable.

I really can’t say anymore. I just want to put the whole thing behind me and move on.

Well she’s less under it to be honest, and more over and around it.

“Mummy!” she yelled, unwrapping the parcel waiting for her in the kitchen. “You’re the best Mummy in the whole world ever! I’ve always dreamed of having my own microscope but never thought it would come true!”

She does loves a bit of drama. She’s trying out for Oliver at school at the moment. I think she has a pretty good shot.

The parcel was indeed a microscope, courtesy of Galt Toys, although I’m doubtful that it will herald any amazing scientific discoveries, as it costs less than £20. Still, Belle was over the moon about the prospect of being able to see bugs close up, so who was I to crush her dreams?

"Microscope for kids"

Belle’s Microscopic Monsters kit, courtesy of Galt Toys

 

Try as I might to help by carefully reading aloud the instructions, Belle was having none of it, and was ripping bits out of the box before I even had chance to fetch her lab coat.*

She seemed pretty content fiddling about with the preloaded slides, so I left her to it and went to make a cup of tea. After about ten minutes I came back. “How are you getting on?” I asked, adopting that very motherly ‘arms folded thoughtfully across chest with mug of tea in hand’ pose.

“It’s awesome!” she said. “Look through there, you can see my blood!”

Blood?

I’d only left her for ten minutes.

“Blood?” I said, trying to sound casual and not like I wanted to call an ambulance. “How did you get blood on a slide?”

“Oh it’s fine,” she waved me away, peering back through her beloved microscope, “nothing to worry about.”

I had a look through the eyepiece, slightly hesitant about what her blood might reveal, but to be honest it looks to me just like the fungi slide. And the one she did of her own hair. Perhaps I was missing something. Belle though was adamant that all her slides looked different, and as long as she’s happy, so am I.

Who am I to stand in the way of science?

*She doesn’t actually have a lab coat, but how cute would that be? Or possibly a little menacing, depending on her mood.

A recent study by Flora Cuisine has revealed that over a third of mums in the UK are preparing up to three meals each evening in order to satisfy the individual preferences of children and partners.

Three meals!? I find cooking one meal tedious enough, but three? Crazy times.

I’m pretty sure my Gran didn’t used to cook three separate meals every mealtime. My mum just got fried eggs and chips and was grateful. So what’s going on here? Are we raising a generation of fussy eaters, or of parents too frazzled and disenchanted to argue?

Now I’ll admit that sometimes I will ‘tweak’ a dinner to make sure there is at least one type of vegetable that Belle will eat, but that’s just a case of a few extra peas here, and the removal from her plate of anything courgette based, it’s not that I’m cooking entirely different dishes. Who are these women with all this time on their hands?

"peas"

Eat your peas or you don’t get pudding

The survey also showed that us mums are rather lacking in imagination, or possibly motivation, with 72% of us just cooking the same meals over and over again. Oh the joys of parenting! Around two-thirds of us apparently own recipe books we don’t use because the ingredients are too expensive and the recipes too long and complicated. Makes sense to me. I only buy them for the pictures.

So what can we do about this? Well, there’s the ‘shut up, eat it and be grateful’ school of thought of course – that saves on the cooking time but increases the risk of whingeing – or you could argue that it’s good to provide kids with choice, and to give them food they enjoy. Flora are taking a different approach. They’re putting together a recipe book full of cheap and quick meal ideas from real mums. Post your recipe on their facebook page and you could even win a prize! Fish fingers and baked beans anyone?

What do you think? Are we just spoiling our kids and creating extra work for ourselves or is it important to cater for everyone’s tastes?

 

Photo credit – mschmidt62