Alvin and the Chipmunks- What New Hell Is This?

Mini, bless her, is sick.

The timing of this bug could not be worse, as today she was meant to have had the starring female role in her class’s play about the Peak District, had learned her lines and was all raring to go. Then the bug hit yesterday and it has been a never ending cycle of sick, even water makes her vom, bless her (excuse the TMI).

That was the end of starring role, right there.

Hence, we have her at home and have done for the last two days, and she has monopolized not just the sofa but the TV too (when her heads not stuck in a bucket so you kind of have to let her).

Despite being 8, she has firmly stuck to her old fave channels of Nick Jr and Nick Jr Too. Despite me trying to introduce the concept of older kids programming. Its a head scratcher, as she loves reading older books like Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter, but when it comes to TV she is still quite happy to watch Ben and Holly.

That I can tolerate. After binge watching, yes, I have my limit, but that is by far not as bad as a programme I was guilty of watching when I was her age but which now makes my teeth hurt.

Alvin and the (fecking) Chipmunks.

Shudder.

For starters, why have they made them look nothing like Chipmunks? They look creepier than they ever did in my childhood, like little boys with tails, a hybrid created by Dave who is their Dad (but who is fully male human, making one think as an adult that he must have had some questionable relationship with a lady chipmunk).

All levels of wrong for starters.

Not only that, but bar some other female chipmunk hybrids they go to school as the only bunch of chipmunk human strangeness and no one bats an eyelid.

I get the idea that they get up to mischief like most other kids TV character fodder as a way of educating the kids on being good or facing the consequences.

But, and this is where the teeth hurting comes in, did they have to do it with those sodding squeaky helium voices?

Double shudder.

All the way through the programme, the more irate or scared or naughty they get, the higher those balls voices go (as an aside, do Chipmunks have balls? Cos I’m assuming they must do, and boy must this three have been kicked in them a hell of a lot of times, but by who? Who knows?).

To top off this squeakier than a squeaky door on Halloween in a squeaky door factory voices, they sing at points during the show too, in the squeaky voices, which get even more squeakier (if that were possible) to the point I fear my teeth, zinging as they are, will literally give up and jump from my mouth for mercy.

Of course, my pair, love this programme most of all, my Sky+ is full of it, either watched ones or one’s they have all series linked ready for more parent related torture.

There were so many other cartoons of better quality (with less stupid voices) that they could have brought back- The Raccoons,  Duck Tales, Heathcliffe and Marmaduke, even Trapdoor and Count Duckula. Why the squeaky hell of Chipmunks?

It’ll be the bloody albums being re-released next. And no doubt those other squeaky voices beggars Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers too.

I am very mean, but I am hoping to slowly shove them in the direction of The Clangers reboot instead  if they must persist in watching shows which are far too young for them.

What shows annoy you the most? Did you love Chipmunks in the eighties?

Let me know, below….

Advertisements

Announcing my Britmums Live 2015 Sponsor!

I am very happy to say I am now sponsored for Britmums Live 2015.

To me, sponsorship is more than just not worrying about the cost of my ticket. To me, I love the opportunity it gives me to work with a brilliant brand for a year and give you readers some great opportunities too (as I’ve done in the past). I am incredibly excited this year to be working with a brand that the Brats already love and who make Mum’s life, lunchbox and day out wise, easier with a healthy option and great range.

My sponsor is HAPPY MONKEY DRINKS!

Happy Monkey Drinks are brilliant for busy Mums and Dads who are conscious about what they give their children. Containing no sweeteners, preservatives, or sugars, they are 100% fruit and nothing more. My pair love them as unlike other healthy drinks, they taste delicious and have no nasty bits to put them off.

Print

The company started out small, and using the combined food industry knowledge of two friends has gone on to win awards for sustainability, and are also approved by the Rainforest Alliance.

I love that the brand started out with great  intentions and big ideas and has never deviated from what they set out to do- provide healthy drinks for kids and do so in an environmentally aware way.

They have a range of milkshakes as well as brand new Fruit Splashie too. If you haven’t tried Happy Monkey, then you really should give them a go, it’s such an easy way of providing healthy fruit to kids, and much simpler than trying to pulp fruit yourself!

You can find out more about Happy Monkey Drinks at their site, or follow them on Social media at Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram too.

I am really chuffed to be working with them, so look out for updates on all my social media channels (and Mini is very pleased that she gets to drink nice drinks she loves and vlog review them too).

Thanks Happy Monkey! I’m not a Monkey but I’m certainly a Happy Mummy!

Dear Mini: With These Teddies, You Are Taking the Piss.

This is kind of a post for Mini, but as I’m kind like that, I thought I’d share it with you all readers. Think of it as a support group for parent’s afflicted with bears as I am.

No, these are not my bears, they are Mini’s bears. There are fecking loads of the buggers. Or to be specific, its not just teddy bears. We have Hello Kitty. We have Beanie Bears. We have soft bodied dolls.

She has also stolen my childhood bear, Mrs Ted. As well as the three Mothers Day bears she has picked, supposedly for me, but which were pinched within five minutes of being handed over.

It takes me 20 minutes to remove and replace said Bed Bears (as this is just the bears etc on there, I’m not even sure how many are in the toy box under her bed, along with various variations of Barbie, Monster High and Bratz). If I fail to put them back in their “section” (I kid you not), she knows and moans at you whilst removing them to put them back.

Yes, they have categories and sections.

We have the Hello Kitty section. The Cat section. The Teddy White Family (not a section and sounding like a minor furry version of the mafia).

The one that makes me laugh the most is a recent variation. She got around £10 in birthday money, and a few days after, we popped into one of our local second hand shops. It was there that she spotted something she has coveted, and pleaded for, for months.

A Baby Oleg from Compare the Meerkat.

At one point, when we didn’t have transport, she tried to explain why it was perfectly reasonable for me to make up a car to purchase Insurance for simply so she could get a Baby Oleg. She saw no reason why this was completely ridiculous.

Seeing a brand spanking new one, in its box for £4 when she had £10 of her own made her jump up and down with glee.

However, this has started the newest “section” down to Oleg’s cot/box. The “Under ones” section.

Just a small selection of the bears…….

Included with Oleg is a George Pig, a Me to You Bear with her initial, amongst other little bears. They must stay in their box and they go every where with her indoors.  

I know later I will get told off as I changed her bedding. And I accidentally managed to knock the buggers out the box and I have no idea what bears go in bar Oleg and George.

So, despite me putting clean bedding on, that is new One Direction set, and I’ve put all the books back on the shelf that Littlest knocked off, she will not notice that, she will notice the bears being  in the wrong place.

How long does this bear nonsense last?  The only bears I had on my bed were the aforementioned Mrs Ted (a mothercare bear given to me a day after my birth in 1982), an orange bear I think I was given by a cousin and have no idea what happened to, and Roland Rat.

Littlest is just as mad about dogs.

Save me from the scourge of bears.

One more bear and neither child will fit in their bloody beds, and if they think they’re pitching up in mine, they can take their bears and sleep in the shed.

These are all the ones she wanted to take to her Aunts for ONE NIGHT!

Littlest and his Dog collection. Ridiculous

I think I may need to slyly lose some of the furry critters, especially as Boot Fair season is upon us and will no doubt bring in another influx.

No more bears. Just no. Or dogs. Or Hello Kittys. Enough children!

(Looks shiftily at the enormous pile of records I bought in the last two days and denies all knowledge of hoarding responsibility).

Dear Mini. No, I Am Not Embarrassing (Yet)

As I said in the last post, its my darling daughter’s birthday on Friday and her party Saturday. It seems we should be OK with attendees now as we have around 25 kids coming to dance, stuff their faces with food and generally have a good time (well, that’s the idea anyway).

With that in mind, I’m baking up a storm in the kitchen, trying to make sure everything is completely allergy OK for Littlest (after all, you don’t want to have to call 999 in the middle of a kids party).

I was doing just that for the last hour, aided and abetted by my MP3 player.

At which point, Mini, never shy of telling us what she thinks, caught me in the kitchen dancing to Taylor Swift. Which is only on my MP3 player for walks home with her in the first place.  In my defence its a nice sunny day, all is good so I do tend to sing along to anything that happens to pop up on it when my hands are covered in biscuit batter and I can’t skip the song.

If looks could kill, readers, I would be pushing up daisies and my biscuits would be handed round as a teary eyed last hurrah at my wake.

Back in the day (when she was under 6), she would love coming in the kitchen and dancing and singing with me. Not anymore.

According to her strict law, if I dare dance, sing, or horror of horrors (as I did suggest it) twerk, she will never speak to me again, and her name, even worse, will be “mud” at school (I kid you not, her words, not mine).

She flounced out the kitchen and grabbed her iPod to no doubt diva strop up in her room.

Surely, fellow parents, the whole “my parents are so embarrassing” thing is not really meant to rear its ugly “yes you can pay for and organise my party at great cost but please fade into the background pronto” head until she turns 13? Not 8!

Nope, not in our house.

It was the same at the disco, which I stayed at as there were quite a few lovely Mums from school helping out and actually, for a school disco the DJ played some top tunes at the Junior part.

I got death stares, all night. Despite one of the year 6 girls telling her “your Mum can really dance, how cool”, I think Mini would have much preferred me to bugger off home and stay there in my slippers.

I’m only 33. I don’t even feel like I’m in my 30s (I actually have good excuse for that as I’m constantly asked if I am travelling with a student bus pass). So frankly, I don’t consider myself in the OAP, embarrassing parent bracket quite yet.

I think I shall just hide at the party and dance in the corner. Behind a curtain. Quietly.

How about you guys? Do you get told you’re embarrassing? How old is your child?

🙂 Enjoy the sunshine 🙂

Organising Parties: Pre-Kids and After

Can you believe it, Mini is 8 next Friday. Eight! Where did the time go?

(Although, to be fair, sometimes she acts far older than 8. I have to remind myself that she is so young still).

Thus, after much moaning by Mini discussion by us parents, we decided to have our first party for a birthday since her 5th one.

Its taken three

At the last party. No those aren’t very big 5 year olds at the front. 

years to get over that one. The mess, the screaming masses of kids running around and the cost- blimey the cost alone could have paid for a small weekend mini break away from the Brats. Which was frankly what we would have liked to have done directly after said party but no such luck.

However, being that she’s still relatively new, we thought that to aid her in the fitting in process we’d throw a kick ass disco and up her cool points. Or at least give me an excuse to go baking mad in the kitchen for the first week of the Easter holidays.

Invites went out at the end of last week, and I did expect a few yays and a few nays quite swiftly as I put my email and mobile number on them and a request for a response. After all, an email costs nothing, and, as with the old school, when we swapped numbers we’d immediately add said Mum or Dad to Whatsapp.

No such luck. We did get a few no answers as some folk (it would appear half of Earley) go away to far flung haunts the minute anyone cracks out the Easter Decorations. We have had a couple of yes votes, mainly though from Littlest’s little contingent of friends we’ve allowed him to invite so he doesn’t get too pissed off by the no doubt questionable music that Mini has personally chosen.

So now I’m kind of twiddling my thumbs, not quite knowing how many party bags we need, or how much food. I was going to collar some of the yet to answer lot yesterday but, alas, both the pair of them had succumbed to plague like symptoms so were confined to the sofa.

In desperation, I even group emailed all the rest of the Brownies that she had not had enough invites for to at least up the numbers. Responses thus far? Two. One yes, one no.

It makes me remember that organising a party pre kids was so much more easy and fun.

Before kids, you needed some crisps, perhaps some chicken nibbles from a very cheap box from Iceland, at the most a bit of a pasta salad.

Now, you have cupcakes with obligatory cupcake toppers. Ours are sadly and unforeseeably out of date now being that they feature the original line up of One Direction before Zayn buggered off to go in a, erm, another direction shall we say. If it wasn’t bad enough that him leaving made Mini bawl her eyes out (he was her fave that week), they cost me a bloody fiver for 10.

Then you have to make sure as not to offend anyone with certain food groups they don’t eat, or poison those with a genuine allergy, like Littlest.

Back in the heady no kids days, the main ingredient of a party, a barbecue or just a Saturday night was a good amount of alcoholic beverages. No one cared what type, if it said Vodka, Lager or Wine, so long as it didn’t feature Tesco Value stripes, it was all good.

Now its sugar free, organic, no fizzy, no added shite stuff. Preferably with bits of fruit in it. When I was a kid, no one cared how radioactive it looked, but now they do and folk prefer their kids to keep their teeth intact for as long as possible.

Then there is music. Pre-kids tunes were tunes, the bassier and throbbing the better. Turn it up loud, turn off the lights, Bobs ya Uncle. Party.

Now I have to spend 5 hours going through every single rubbish song that my daughter has liked since age 6. Swearing in music and sexual references are a complete no no. Which you’d think would mean spinning a Pop Party album as they’re meant for kids.

Hell no.

It was a good job I checked owing to the amount of use of the words “sex”, “fuck” and “shit” amongst others and variations of those that were peppered on these albums. Sesame Street words of the day these were not. One record started with the rallying cry of “Fuck you Muthafucka” shouted at top volume. Lovely.

No one wants to be that Mum who allowed the offspring of other Mums to come home swearing like a docker after their do. So even though the music is enough to bring me (and Littlest) out in a rash, it wont lead to children learning new vocab.

Then we have the hall hire, the disco hire (although we do luckily know a very nice mobile DJ so we do cheat a little on that one) the outfits and the party bags.

The bloody party bags. We didn’t have those bastards at parties before Brats. Can you imagine leaving a party as a young, child free adult and being given a party bag (or tat bag as I like to call them).

No such luck with this day and age.

Its not difficult to find stuff to shove in the buggers, in fact God bless Amazon and Job Lots on eBay for saving me cash. Its the stuffing the buggers afterwards. Its a military operation  of checking for anything sharp, anything inappropriate, and do you put sweets in or not? If so, how many and what do you do about allergies and religious food no nos?

See, its a mental minefield.

I can already feel new wrinkles and grey hairs sprouting with every day that passes before this sodding party. And its not even here yet.

I’m off to make 50 soft baps, and find more music.

I’ll let you know how it all goes down…..

 

Don’t Mention the C Word (Yet)

Why people?

Why is my sodding Facebook feed and my supermarket walk filled with the dreaded Christmas already?

I swear if the supermarkets get any earlier, we’ll get the run up to Christmas type adverts from January 1st onwards.

I say dreaded about Christmas, but I do enjoy it, I just enjoy it from the correct time in December.

I don’t even start thinking about presents until mid November. Yes I know there will be those of you who have already done all their shopping, and had it wrapped, and their cards written, probably since July. That isn’t what Christmas is about.

 Christmas wouldn’t be fun in our house if I hadn’t left it up until the last minute every year since records began. The only year I was ahead was last year, and it felt weird having everything sorted so early on (by early on I mean mid October).

It should be a law in this country that, until after firework night (another custom hijacked so now you get 3 months of fireworks rather than one night as it should be), no shop is allowed to display anything containing the words “tis the season” or ” ho ho ho”, or hang anything remotely tinsel related, anywhere.

As soon as Mini brought home an Operation Christmas Child leaflet from school, she came home and stuck her Christmas list to the fridge. It brought me out in a rash. That and my purse hid in trepidation. I don’t think she quite got that the child she was meant to sort out for Christmas was many countries away, not in her house.

Every advert break is met with choruses of “I want that” about every multi-coloured plastic tat that the toy companies chose to display. And you just know that, if you do give in and buy a selection of the tat, by Boxing Day most will be chucked in the toy box, and the choruses of “I want that” will begin all over again.

I don’t mind planning the food, I don’t even mind the hit my bank account takes.

But please, lets be sensible, and celebrate Christmas when it should be celebrated.

A New Frontier in the Parenting Day to Day

That’s a bold title right there, isn’t it?!

I was quite tempted to title it “True Confessions of a Home Ed Virgin Aged 32 3/4”, but was concerned I may get sued by Sue Townsend’s people.

By that alternative title you’ll gather what we decided to do regards Littlest and his lack of school, not to mention my lack of choice (eg-attendance at shit school or criminal record/massive fine/made out to be a crap mother) of what school he went to.

I got some lovely comments from you guys online, so thank you very much, and I did indeed find out who runs our local council.

Luckily, it was Labour, who are my preferred party anyway and who are clearly after any vote they can get (owing to politics in this country turning into a Democracy version of X Factor).

Bless them, I messaged their Facebook page on a Sunday, not thinking I’d hear for days, if at all. Give them their due, I received a messaged within an hour, saying they’d look into it and suggesting they were as baffled as me.

Down to them, suddenly the Reading Admissions team changed tack. Gone were the threats of court and the “get your kid to our choice or else” conversations. These were replaced with soothing words of consolation and understanding.

I told them though that, politely, he would not be taking a place at the school 9/10 parents we had spoken to would choose not to send  their pet Guinea Pig, let alone their child, and had investigated educating him at home.

No arguments were forthcoming this time, thank the Lord.

So, with my trusty laptop (yet not trusty net connection- bloody TalkTalk, but that’s another post to come soon), I researched Home Ed, the Nation Curriculum, our rights and responsibilities, and anything else I could think of.

The Net is great for newbie home educators, its a vast tank of knowledge waiting to be sourced, both for me as “Mum and Teacher” (as opposed to my usual tag of “Mum and Nurse, Doctor and Consultant”) and for Littlest too. There are hundreds of websites with age and curriculum appropriate material on them for Year 2, and some of these are already known to Littlest as he used them at the old school last year.

Basically, we can set the pace and style, as long as knowledge gets in his noggin. And, unlike other kids, he doesn’t have to share me as a teacher or his source material. If he is unwell, we can do quiet games. If its warm enough we can, as we did on Friday, go on a nature walk. He didn’t even realise he was learning doing that.

It has been a bit scary at times- the first day was a nightmare of him being a cheeky sod and telling me I’m not his teacher, I’m Mummy so he can be a bugger as he’s not at school. But all I did was fire up my net again and ask for advice from those in the know with Home Ed who suggested rather than sitting down and talking at him, to go and do practical number work with sums in the shops instead. He took far more in that way than he did with it on a page.

We have been playing Boggle and Junior Scrabble which are great fun ways to promote spelling and looking at words which will add up to the biggest score. We even made a full Box Trolls costume from old cardboard boxes- not something he would have done at school due to time and material constraints.

Its not going to all be easy, of course, but compared to what we have been through the last few months, its definitely less stress.

Feel free to say hi if you Home Ed too x 🙂

We’re off to do art ourselves.