Kids’ Cogitations: To infinity, and beyond, and then just round that corner

for chain

The 5 year old: Mummy, is infinity for real life?

Me: Well, it’s a real concept. But it is a very hard thing for humans to understand [or at least for this human here!]

The 5 year old: Why Mummy?

Me: Well, er, it’s really difficult when you are a human being to really understand something and to explain something that never ever ends.

The 5 year old: I think the universe has an end Mummy.

Me: Ooh. That’s interesting. How does it end? Is there a wall?

The 5 year old: Hmmm. Maybe there’s another universe and then another universe and another universe until it ends.

Me: I wonder what’s behind the last universe?

The 5 year old: Hmmm.

Me: Hmmm.

The 3 AND A HALF year old: I know where the universe ends Mummy.

Me and the 5 year old: Where?

The 3 AND A HALF year old: just up round that road.

PAUSE

Yep.

PAUSE

It’s a short cut Mummy.

An Open Letter in Response To An Open Letter From Big Business About The General Election

Dear Sirs (and Madams, one assumes)

We are the electorate in the UK. We believe this Conservative-led Government, and any other Government who may come into power, should stop this sickening love-in with Big Business. 

It was most interesting to be informed via a letter from 103 people in the Daily Telegraph, that David Cameron and George Osborne’s flagship policy of progressively lowering Corporation Tax to 20% has been important in showing the UK is open for business. It has, no doubt, been a key part of the coalition’s economic plan. However doesn’t this define ‘economic plan’ in the narrowest of terms? 

If our economy is growing and more jobs are being created, that sounds pretty good to us. A sincere thank you to the entrepreneurs and keen business minds who keep many of us in employment. But please, when writing letters that are going to be used by the politicians and the Press to influence our votes, be mindful of questions such as these:

  • As the economy grows, is the wealth divide reducing?
  • As more jobs are created, are more people being encouraged to leave their desks on time, to get paid for the overtime they tend to give for free, to flourish at work not succumb to stress related illnesses?
  • Do all the new jobs created pay a living wage?
  • Does the average income allow the average family to afford a home based upon average house prices?
  • Is this progress coming on the back of child labour oversees or on UK based staff forever fearful of losing their job unfairly?
  • Are we using this greater wealth to make this Country great for all, via a wonderful health, education, local community and transport infrastructure? Or do all roads (and train lines) really just lead to an elite few in central London?
  • Are you using the power that you have responsibly? Is it right to use your position in society to attempt to influence the outcome of an election?

Because really, there can be employment for all and growth going through the roof, but if politicians perceive the support of big business leaders as more important than the support of the rest of us, democracy is going to break. We will all be a little poorer for that.

We believe a change in course in how politicians deal with big business, such as putting the majority of the electorate first, rather than running around like headless chickens licking the backside of the 103 people who are encouraged to believe that their opinions matter more than most, that this would be a step in the right direction.

 This would send a positive message about Britain and the election campaign that we are all monitoring eagerly.

Yours

Just an undecided voter, and a (Cogito Ergo) Mum

“New Survey Reveals Link Between Half-Baked Advice and Parents Feeling Annoyed”, says Expert.

Abby BoidA long-term study has pointed to a link between half-baked surveys, and mothers feeling generally fucked off.

The research by Dr Cog, a blogger with the sole aim of generating a bit of traffic to her website, reveals that pretty much every parent on the planet, from all walks of life, wishes ‘experts’ would keep their opinions  to themselves unless they know for sure that their ‘advice’ will be helpful to most parents.

In a recent survey of a handful of  mothers Dr Cog says the results, while not conclusive, appear to back current evidence that any old shit on parenting seems to get in the Lancet, and who has time to read the flipping Lancet anyway when you are trying to raise an actual human being, rather than a healthy statistic?

But, she says, experts should still have a choice whether or not to publish divisive, undermining, unhelpful tat. It’s just a shame the media gives it the time of day.

Regarding the findings – published on this blog – she stresses there are many half-baked surveys that insult a parent’s intelligence, although to avoid skewing the data too much, she did try to rule out the main known triggers of ‘how to piss off a Mum’, such as studies on breastfeeding, nut allergies, and taking holidays in term time.

Dr Cog, from the Federal University of Cogito Ergo Mum in Blogville, said her study offers a unique insight because in the population of her mates that she studied, everyone agreed with what she says regardless of socio-economic background.

Most of the mothers, irrespective of social class, were lectured to constantly about how best to raise their newborn – some for less than a month and others for more than a year.

Those who were lectured for longer scored higher on measures of general fucked off-ness.

But Dr Cog does say the study findings cannot confirm this and that much more research is needed to explore any possible link between shoddy advice and parents feeling crap about life. What all experts do agree on, however, is that publishing anything on how women perform their roles in society generally, makes the aforementioned experts famous AND undermines the confidence of new parents, especially mothers, and therefore women. What’s not to love?

Dr Blah, national director of Blagging One’s Way to the Top, said there was strong evidence that if he provided a comment on any article on how best to parent, he would generate some publicity for his department. He kindly recognised that mothers do have a choice in what they do, and whatever choice they make he will be happy to provide someone who can produce a study that judges their parenting skills to be sub-standard.

The Royal College of New Mums said “New mothers need support, not a load of bollocks shoved down their necks at every opportunity. But we can’t do much to help them, because they keep cutting our funding”.

Professor Austerity, chairman of the Royal College of Making cuts, said: “Isn’t it weird that in these tough times, there is still a budget for allowing people to publish half-baked facts? But what do I care, I’m famous now. I’ll probably get a pay rise!!!!”

It is important to note that divisive surveys by ‘experts’ is one of many factors that can contribute to a new parent’s general fucked off-ness. Poor day time telly scheduling, no sleep, and no milk in to make a cup of tea also have an impact. However this study emphasises the need for parents to ignore all ill-considered ‘advice’, and instead suggests we focus on the provision of support to all new mothers based on information tailored to their individual needs and the needs of their children.

But that would make new mums, and women in general, feel good about themselves. Where’s the fun in that?

________

This post was drafted with a little help from this article on breastfeeding on the BBC website.

School run? Unready.

PE Kit: unwashed.

School shoes: unclean

Homework: unfinished.

Book bags: unfound.

Water bottles: unemptied.

This Mum: unfazed and going to bed.

Abby Boid

Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.

Albert Camus.

Perhaps, Albert. Although it could also just be indicative of being a disorganised, lazy moo.

Wish me luck come the call of the school run

x

 

 

 

How to afford a trip to Disneyland by buying cheap baked beans. Fact?

imageSo there I was, husband working away, watching re-runs of Frasier for the 100th time, feeling there must be more to life.

On reflection, I realised life was pretty good and what I actually wanted to do was watch something that wasn’t Frasier.

I lie. What I really wanted to do was watch more Frasier but I was starting to wonder if it was somehow bad for me, constantly wishing I had an amazing spotless apartment overlooking the Seatle skyline.

And a cute dog.

And wit.

God. I love Frasier.

ENOUGH OF FRASIER.

So I did as much channel surfing as my crackly freeview box allows and found myself on the good old BBC.

“How to Eat Well for Less” met my eyes, printed upon one of the reusable shopping bags that one of the presenters was carrying.

“Ha Ha”, I thought as I reasoned that this show promised the nirvana that I had been searching for: easily digestible TV that I could package in my mind as Research For Being an Uber Home Maker.

I am not an uber-home maker.

My home is a shit tip.

I was eating a bag of pretzels in lieu of cooking.

Mediocre home maker is this mum’s dream.

Still, I persevere and as such I willingly took in the advice about eating cheaper baked beans, and not throwing perfectly edible food away, and buying some frozen veg and I thought “crikey, is that it?”. But I stuck with the programme, so to speak, because it was that or a re-run of New Tricks. God, I love New Tricks. Not as much as Frasier mind. And then I dozed off, and then we got to the end of the programme, just as they were announcing the savings.

And I have to say, it was all utterly amazing what this slim young couple with two tiny little children had achieved. They had cut their food shopping from £350 per month to £220 per month just by switching from fresh to frozen broccoli.

They were all delighted. As was I. I quite like frozen broccoli.

I did start to think that perhaps they were getting carried away as they started to plan their dream holiday with the exorbitant savings they had made, but who was I to piss on their economy ketchup? Huzzah for “How to Eat Well for Less”, my new favourite programme. Fact.

So there we were, all feeling very jolly. The family onscreen beaming, me wondering if you could buy frozen bags of pretzels – golly – there’s gold in them their freezers. Then I reached a sort of blanket across the knee, curled up on the sofa, pretzel crumbed covered euphoria, if that is possible, as  “Yep”, agreed the presenters, “£5000 can buy one hell of a family holiday.”

My excitement continued to grow: Cheap baked beans = a trip to Disneyland. Count. Me. In.

“Hang on, though”, I thought, “£130 per month savings does not equate to £5000 per year does it?”

No. No it does not.

I’d made a mistake. For in my dozey, pretzel induce fug, I’d missed the punch line. This slim couple, with their tiny children, and their reasonable sized portions of mediocre looking meals were munching their way through £320  of food per week.

Per week people.

Fraiser doesn’t spend that on his household expenses and he is loaded. I should know.

Then I thought, I need to tell people about this. But I was shy. For this is not generally the blog you come to for home running tips, because, like I say, I am shit at home running.

But clearly I am selling myself short.

My three boys are growing.

In one sitting, my husband gets through the amount of pasta that the packets says will feed a whole family.

I am quite fat. In an jolly, bouncy, overeating kind of way, not a palid, type 2 diabetes, fast food sort of way.

I feel I have failed the bank account if we spend more than £75 per week on food. £100 per week means we will eat well and also get royally pissed.

How do I it?

Well, I thought about it long and hard.

Here are my tips:

  • Don’t throw edible food away
  • Don’t by ready made sauces
  • Buy frozen fruit and veg
  • Buy cheap cuts of meat
  • Embrace the lentil. Or the pearl barley. Or porridge oats.
  • Write a shopping list
  • Stick to it.
  • Don’t spend £350 a week on food ever.
  • Don’t think you have something to teach the nation if you manage to shave £130 per week off your food bill  and still manage to spend £220 per week on actual edible food.
  • £220 per week.
  • Jeez.

Well check me.

I’m definitely in line to have my own TV  programme very soon.

Actually, screw that. I’ve got things to do. Like watching Frasier.

And eating pretzels.

There really isn’t that much more to life, and what more there is, should not cost £350 sodding pounds a week.

Uber homemaker?

That’s me.

Fact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Rotherham Taught This Mum

Abby Boid

Me in the Rotherham years

I grew up in Rotherham. I lived in the same house from being 3  to 18, when I left for University.  My parents still live in that house now, 20 years later.

Me, my husband and the kids visit now and again. Not as often as I’d like. The boys love it there. While I’ve lost touch with most of my old friends, It still feels like home.

The report and national press coverage that I saw last week about Child Sexual Expolitation in my home town has, needless to say, left me and my family reeling.

It is hard to write about what’s happened, and is still happening. Perhaps it is because it is too close to home. Perhaps, given I have lived on the South Coast for nearly 2 decades, I am too far removed to have anything valuable to say. Perhaps it is because it has all been said already. Perhaps, given the relatively charmed life I have lived, I don’t know jack and should keep my thoughts to myself.

Still, Rotherham is a part of me. It feels wrong to ignore the events that have unfolded there. Continue reading

Bubbles: A poem to lift my mood after reading some depressing online articles.

What mother's teach their children

I need a change of mood
I need to breathe, feel soothed
To find joy in those little things

I need to turn away
From a world that says
“It’s hard time’s we are living in”

I’m turning off the news
Listening to my own views
Trusting my faith in human nature

There’s bubbles in my bath,
There’s sparkles in my laugh
So long doom, I’ll catch you later

And should you drag me down
And kick and beat me down
I’ll jump up smiling, and then I’ll turn and run

Back to familiar beds
To stroke small, gorgeous heads,
Breathe in the joy of being their Mum

Sleep tight
x