Archives for February 2013

Things Mushroom *might* be asking…

Earlier this month, I read a great post by Leoarna (from Not different but interesting) over at babyhuddle.   The title, ‘Things my daughter would ask me if she could,’ is pretty self explanatory. Leoarna imagined herself on the panel at Question Time, with her almost-four-year-old daughter asking questions from the audience. The questions are great – some I’m sure we all ask ourselves at times, and Leoarna’s answers are considered and honest. Go and have a read of it and them come back (please). I’ll wait for you. Shall I put the kettle on?

You came back! Thanks. Here’s a cuppa.

Is herbal tea ok..?

Ok, I’m not going to try and write anything as deep as what you’ve just read, but I am going to Kind of ‘steal’ Leonara’s idea (hope that’s ok!). My angle is more like that of Redpeffer’s recent laugh-out-loud blog post, ‘A morning in the life of my two year old.’  I have just discoved Redpeffer’s blog via Britmums, and will be back for more!

If you’ve been following me, you may have read last month’s post ‘Look who’s talking,’ about Mushroom’s limited vocabulary. So, I often imagine what he’s asking me (if I can’t figure out what he’s actually saying) and then answer that.  It makes for some curious conversations…

Mushroom (upon waking): ‘Oh no! Dee dee boo, duck!’ (Starts lifting covers and throwing pillow out of cot). ‘Mummy, duck?’ (more urgently)
My translation: I dreamed that I lost my duck! Help me find it!
My answer: That’s a funny dream! I think your ducks are in the bathroom though, they sleep there don’t they?
Mushroom’s response: Confused face. ‘No, Mummy…’ (Sighs and gives up no the whole duck thing.) ‘Up!’ Starts trying to climb out of cot.

Mushroom: ‘Banana!’ (Points to fruit bowl)
My translation: Can I have a banana? (a reasonable guess, right? I thought so)
My answer: ‘Of course you can. Here you go.’ (Hands over banana)
Mushroom’s response: ‘No!’ Cries hysterically. (Turns out he wanted an apple, which he can say. Hmmm)

Mushroom: Points and CD player (kept under the TV) and dances a little. ‘Mummy? Peas?’
My translation: I want to listen to music and dance. Can you put some music on please?
My answer: ‘You want music? (nods enthusiastically) ‘Ok, let’s dance.’ (I put a CD on)
Mushroom’s response: ‘No!’ Throws himself dramatically on the sofa and cries (turns out he wanted to watch his Baby Einstein Baby Beethoven dvd. Took a while to get to that one! He did dance to it though. That was new)

Mushroom: As we walk along the street ‘Mummy, duck! Da da dee teef… lalala (singing) a, b…. one… Mummy, woo woo?’
My translation: ‘Do dogs ride bikes Mummy? With their teeth?’
My answer: No Mushroom, not usually. Although we might be able to find something on Youtube.’
Mushroom’s response:’…’ (A long sideways look and silence for the next five minutes)

Mushroom: Whinging ‘Maaaameeee. Dar, dar?’ (signs ‘car’)
My translation: Are we getting a lift with our friends to go to swimming this morning?’
My answer: ‘Yes we are. They’ll be here in a minute so we had better get ready
Mushrrom’s response: ‘Yeah!’ (runs off to get shoes). Yeah, sometimes I get it right.

Perhaps I will come up with some more serious questions – like: ‘Why must you change my nappy as soon as its dirty?’ ‘Why can’t I cut my own apple with that super sharp knife?’ and ‘Why can’t I eat the soap?’ next time…


Spreading the love on Valentine’s Day

Today, Mushroom and I spent the morning making Valentine’s gifts for Mr B.

We (well Mushroom really) made a lovely picture:

Work in progress

Then we made red velvet cupcakes for our afternoon snack:

Sweetheart cupcakes

As well as an enormous cake, just for Mr B!

The way to a man's heart...

And, for the rest of this month, I’ll be paying it forward by doing random acts of kindness on a daily basis. Want to join me (links to my other blog – this is me too!)?

What did you get up to this Valentine’s Day? Do comment and include any links below so I can check out your photos too!

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On not being perfect

I recently discovered Guilty Mum‘s brand new blog, which is based on the notion that most mums feel guilty about most things, most of the time. According to one of Guilty Mum’s posts from last month, the top ten reasons for feeling guilty include working/not working, going out/not going out, breastfeeding/not breastfeeding, sending your child to nursery/not sending… You get the picture, we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. But let’s face it, being a parent is tough and although we often complain about being judged by others, we are are own harshest judges. Remember before you had kids? Didn’t you judge that Mum in the supermarket, giving her toddler a chocolate bar just to shut him up? Or that Mum who let her daughter watch TV for over an hour while she chatted on the phone to you? Well, that’s you now, that is. Or maybe not, but my point is that whatever you may have thought you would do as a parent, now that you are one, it’s unlikely you completely measure up to your own high standards of parenthood. So, don’t we all feel a bit guilty then, for just not being perfect?

Well in 1953, paediatrician and psychoanalyst David Winnicot developed a theory called the ‘Good enough Mother.’ I could explain it here, or quote Winnicot himself, but instead I had a look around and found this article by Sheila Quirke (‘Mary Tyler Mom’), which covers it all much more eloquently than I ever could. To sum up, in Sheila’s words:

“Embrace the concept of “Good Enough.” Breathe it in, breathe it out. Let it wrap around you and soothe your tired, worried, guilty soul. You will fail your child. You will. It will happen. Some of us do it daily. Some more spectacularly than others. What Winnicott tells us though, assures us from his mid-century psychoanalytic throne, is that it is okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

So, in keeping with this theme, I have a challenge for you! List the top five reasons you’re less than perfect. Then – and here’s the hard part – list five reasons why you’re good enough. You can relate the first to the second but you don’t have to, it’s completely up to you. I’ll go first:

I’m not perfect because…

  1. I let Mushroom watch too much TV (more on this in a future post!)
  2. I let Mushroom eat chocolate and sweets occasionally
  3. Mr B and I are not always consistent with discipline
  4. I shower myself before getting Mushroom dressed. Every day. An Aunt commented on this and that’s when the guilt started
  5. If Mushroom cries in the night I bring him into our bed rather than settle him back to sleep, thus teaching him independence. I also cuddle him to sleep almost every night :-/

I’m good enough because…

  1. He doesn’t watch adverts (if I can help it) and I (usually) watch TV with him. Mr B says we don’t watch much TV at all (I’m not sure what his benchmark is though). We have learned a lot of Makaton sign language from watching CBeebies ‘Something Special’ together
  2. He eats much more fruit and veg and is really the least fussy toddler I know when it comes to food. He’ll try anything, even raw lemon (he told me that was ‘hot’! I think he wasn’t keen but he ate it anyway)
  3. Mushroom knows the rules, and when he’s ‘getting away’ with something. Perhaps that’s consistent enough
  4. He (usually) plays happily while I shower, which only takes 5-10 minutes (try telling that to pre-baby me!) and it means I can completely focus on him once I’m dressed. It also helps us get out of the house on time
  5. That’s somewhere between teaching independence and attachment parenting right? So either way I’m halfway ‘right’ (whatever that means). And it’s not every night…

Your turn! Either submit a comment via the box below, or write your own blog and either put the link in a comment, tweet or DM me so I can come over and comment on your blog! If you tweet, please tweet @Mushroomsmum (that’s me!) and @GuiltyMumUK too.


Fighting world hunger together. We can do it IF…

Did you finish your dinner last night? If not, what did you do with the leftovers? make something for the next day? Feed it to the dog? Throw it out..? We often give little thought to the food that we  chuck because it’s past it’s sell-by/best-before date (it’s often still good to eat a while after these dates) but in some parts of the world – and in some case closer to home than you might think – children are going hungry every day.

The world produces enough food for everyone, yet hunger kills over 200 children every hour.

This year as David Cameron heads the G8 group, over 100 charities have joined forces to coordinate a social media campaign to address this issue. The PM has called a ‘special event’ on hunger the day before the G8 so this is a once on a generation opportunity to make a real difference to world hunger. This goal is within our reach, IF we act together…

There’s enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food…

Tell a million – How you can help:

IF you have 30 seconds

sign the petition:

IF you have two minutes

follow @savechildrenuk and and  on social media & share the campaign link with your friends using the hashtags #if and #tellamillion

IF you have five minutes or more

Write a blog post about the campaign and help to tell a million people about the campaign. There’s a social media kit over at Save the Children which has everything you need. Or, you could even just reblog this post.

Go, spread the word