Thursday, 27 October 2011

Radio Four anyone?

I know I have always been a little bit old before my time (I was knitting long before Madonna et al made it trendy and I always thought nightclubs were far too loud well before I hit my thirties) but this week has confirmed it.
On Monday I visited the hygienist for a routine scrape and spit. I am ashamed to say it was my first visit to her despite having moved to the area over a year ago - you know, nappy changes, vegetable blending and the entire series of West Wing all needed my attention before any thoughts could turn to dental health.
As I shimmied myself down into the dentist chair, my lovely hygienist reached behind her and flicked on Radio 4 before getting to work. How wonderful, I thought, as I relaxed back and listened to the afternoon play unfold. When I was in London, my young and vibrant hygienist would have Radio 1 blaring while he listed the bars and clubs he would soon be frequenting once he had finished chipping off the plaque from that hard to reach spot at the back of my wisdom teeth. Although I would never begrudge him his youthful exuberance, I somehow felt in better hands with a professional who prefers The Archers over RnB.
Now onto smaller matters. Since becoming a parent, ducks have become very important in my life. There is a river that runs through Wimborne (our lovely town) and there is no getting past the ducks that live on it when walking to the shops. The little man loves the quack quacks and we have to spend at least ten minutes gazing at them over the wall before I drag him away, usually kicking and screaming. So when I spot a new rubber duck on the market, my ears prick up - and I have found a good 'un. Cuddleduck is by Cuddledry (the creators of the wonderful apron towel) and comes in a glamorous gold polka dot. Go to my other blog for a quacking (sorry) review: BabyMoonBlog.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Clean my teeth? You're having a laugh

Michael McIntyre, Eddie Izzard and all you other comedy wannabes, step aside - there's a new kid on the block. Me, in fact.
I don't mean to blow my own trumpet but lately I have been hilarious. I have never been so funny - well according to my 15-month-old that is. All I have to do is put on a silly voice or squint up my eyes and wrinkle my nose and he is in floods of laughter. He is the best crowd I have ever played to - and he doesn't heckle, unless he needs a nappy change. Of the many joys that come with being a mum, hearing his unbridled chuckles at my antics comes somewhere near the top, although nothing quite beats that first smile does it?
However, his delight in me soon turns sour when I take off my funny hat and attempt to introduce that ultimate instrument of torture - the toothbrush. No matter how many silly faces I pull, the message is clear - he does not like having his teeth cleaned. Which is why I had to tell you about the breakthrough we have had this week in our dental standoff.
For a few weeks, he liked his toothbrush and would chew away happily on it but then suddenly I couldn't even show him it without his lower lip wobbling and his brow furrowing ready for the full-on drama that quickly followed. To be honest, I think I should have replaced it sooner as the bristles had gone stiff so I couldn't blame him for not being too keen having it scraped along his newly showing teeth. But by the time I realised this he hated the sight of the brush and I needed an alternative. I did what every other mother would do in this situation, I turned to Google. And there I found Brush-Baby. This clever company makes chewable toothbrushes, made of rubber that not only cleans the teeth as they gnaw down on it but, it turns out, is wonderfully soothing. We put ours in the fridge when he is teething and he loves it. So instead of the twice-daily battle in the bathroom, I simply pop a bit of toothpaste onto the rubber bristles and hand it to him at the end of a meal while he is still in his high chair. He sits happily chewing away and cleaning his beautiful smile as he does. I found it in Waitrose and it cost over a fiver which did make me baulk but I would pay twice the price knowing how successful it has been. Go to to have a look.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

October - the perfect month for a day at the seaside

We are so lucky to live near the sea. It meant that, when the arrival of October also heralded a few bonus days of glorious sunshine, we headed straight for the beach.
Knoll Beach, to be precise, nestled in the Purbecks and a 30-minute drive (plus short ferry ride) away from home. If you are ever that way, do go. It is owned by the National Trust so you have to pay but what you get is a wonderful stretch of sand with a naturally wild backdrop and views over to the Old Harry Rocks on one side and Bournemouth's distant skyline on the other.
The little man was in his element, busily clambering in and out of other children's beach excavations, munching cucumber sandwiches whenever the desire took him and gathering up great fistfuls of gloopy seaweed, flicking it about a bit to remove any excess wet sand before returning it to the waters it had come from. The National Trust should put him on their wage sheet as our little patch was neat as a new pin by the time we had left.
So what tips did I pick up for the perfect, hassle-free day at the seaside? (I know summer has probably been and gone but there's always next year):
Number one. Always put suncream on little arms, legs and face etc while in the car and not on the beach when, with their playground stretching out as far as the eye can see, the last thing they want is to be clamped down and smothered in Factor 50. It also gives it time to dry. Sand-encrusted toddler is not a good look.
Number two. Invest in one of those half-dome tents with special sand pockets to anchor it down; it might have been sunny but this is Blighty and the breeze was up. This gave us a lovely shady spot to shelter, read books and change under but, more importantly, it acted as a rather upmarket windbreak - essential for all days out on the UK coastline. Ours can be zipped up and is just large enough to take a small child, several large adults, chairs, rugs, picnic hamper and towels, if the heavens open.
Number three. If you can, bring reinforcements. For me this was the little man's grandparents who were on hand to help with the standing-up nappy change (always awkward), the erection of aforementioned tent, and to gamely share the shiftwork following the little man around and making sure he didn't toddle into the sea and all the way to France.