Titchy Jo

all about me, my boys and my adventures in Canada

An Epic Adventure

I’ve been asked by a few fellow intrepid travellers about our recent expedition into uncharted territory, the distant and almost mythical, Disneyland (via the other-worldly LaLAland).  So here’s a bit of info about where we stayed and the lessons we learned during our adventure.

Over the past couple of years we have done our fair share of globe trotting so travelling with kids is no longer the daunting prospect it used to be.  However, this trip was a whole new ball game.  I imagined hoards of sugar addled children running amok, bouncing from one disgruntled character performer to another before crumbling in a dribbling mass of exhausted meltdowns whilst the adults wept inwardly, grimacing through long days of forced fun.  I was pleasantly surprised.  We didn’t lose our children in the melee of the ‘happiest place on earth’ and whilst Theo can now add the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard, Main Street Disney and Rodeo Drive to his impressive list of places he’s had a tantrum it was a genuinely fun and relaxing break.

Before we dove headfirst into the land that is Disney we stopped off in Los Angeles, city of Angels, plastic surgery and the Kardashians.  Far from being the crazy city I was expecting it was laid back, easy to get around and bafflingly, the people were actually fairly normal looking (most of them) and friendly (most of them).  Though there was a higher than average teeny tiny handbag sized dog to person ratio.

We stayed in two fab hotels in Los Angeles.  The first was the Beverly Hilton – home of the Golden Globes and Whitney Houston’s last hours (I don’t think they put that on the website).  It’s an ideal place for swanning around pretending you’re an A-Lister, eavesdropping on movie folk doing deals and catching the Beverly Hills Twitch – the small head jerk everyone has when someone comes into a room, just to check if they are someone not just someone. It has a great swimming pool too.

http://www.beverlyhilton.com/

Our second stop was at the Hotel Mosaic – a lovely friendly boutique hotel, with a laid back vibe.  The place itself was quite grown up but the staff and regulars were happy for the kids to play in the bar area whilst we made the most of the free bubbly between five and six pm.  The rooms were lovely, stylish but homely.  We got a cheeky upgrade to a suite which was well worth it and still cheaper than a Disney resort hotel.  Other nice touches like a hotel car to take you anywhere within a mile, and the very friendly and helpful staff make it a real hidden gem amongst its bigger, glitzier neighbours.

http://www.mosaichotel.com/

We got great deals for both on Expedia.com.

Whilst I’m talking about hotels I definitely need to mention Hotel Indigo Anaheim where we stayed when we ventured south to Disneyland.  We booked it because it was great value and we just wanted a bolthole to crash in.  However, on arrival we were really impressed.  Our family room was spacious, sparklingly clean, newly renovated, tastefully decorated and there wasn’t a Disney Princess in sight. The hotel was a short walk to the entrance gates of Disneyland and just one block away from a selection of touristy but absolutely fine restaurants.  Importantly it also had a bar for much needed post Disney G&T’s.

http://www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/anaheim/laxex/hoteldetail

So, here are my top tips for surviving a trip to Disneyland and LA:

- If you are the parent of a verbose toddler it might be worth training him in the enormity of some of the American population.  This may avoid him pointing and saying loudly “Woah Big Belly” to the first lady he sees across the border and a mumbled apology/explanation from whichever poor parent happens to be with him at the time.

- Kids with carsickness don’t love driving tours of celebrity ‘death spots’

- If visiting Disney California Adventure avoid eating a dodgy spicy Jamaican shrimp dish the night before then going on one of the swinging gondolas on the 160ft high Ferris Wheel.  It was less ‘Mickey’s Fun Wheel’ and more ‘Jo’s Wheel of Doom’.

- Buy your tickets in advance online to save time when you arrive.

- Brace yourself for the ‘creative’ queuing styles of some fellow holidaymakers

- We travelled slightly off season so were disappointed to find a significant number of the major rides were closed.  The tickets however were still full price, this took a bit of a shine off the ‘Disney Magic’.  We did however manage to easily fill two full days.

- They do offer a ‘Fast Pass’ system for the most popular rides which is worth making use of if you are visiting at peak times.

- Take a pushchair, even if your kids are usually a little old to use one, there’s a lot of standing and walking for little legs and they are also great to cart bags and water bottles around.

- There is plenty to keep toddlers occupied but it may be worth waiting for the youngest child to be over 40 inches tall and therefore able to go on the bigger rides – four times on the trippy dream-themed Winnie The Pooh Ride is enough for anyone, believe me.

- Brace yourself for the LA driving experience, it’s manic – like a theme park ride in itself.

- The Universal Studios theme park was absolutely fab, really well done.  However, again it’s probably worth waiting until your youngest child is over 40 inches tall, or preparing yourself for an epic tantrum outside Gru’s House in ‘Despicable Me land’.

- If going to LA make time to spend at the gorgeous sandy beaches, we decided against trekking to see the concrete handprints at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in favour of chilling out on Malibu beach and then people watching at the incredible Venice Beach – or ‘Camden on Sea’ as it could be known.

- And finally, remember, when choosing what to wear when visiting Disney, comfort is important it’s hot and there’s lots of walking involved.  However, don’t forget the family holiday pictures will be looked at for many years to come – something my brother clearly overlooked back in the day when selecting this spectacular ensemble…photo-86

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Back in action…

After a titchy break, I’m back. Six amazing weeks in the UK and a house move have kept me more than occupied recently.  It’s been an incredible and hectic time and I’ve learned a few things along the way, including:

- Flat pack furniture and two year olds don’t mix

- My Dad has never, in over 70 years, ever used a hairdryer

- My Mum has never had a chip butty *

- It is definitely possible to eat too much cheese

- Beetle larvae make great first pets (as long as you don’t let them escape in the chemist, that seems to cause quite a stir) **

- 72 hours (and counting) of constant, incorrect, renditions of the ‘ABC Song’ can begin to grate a little

- Not matter how many Kale smoothies you drink and yoga sessions you sweat through, there is nothing as uplifting as a couple of boozy, giggly nights with old friends

Despite our new house currently being a little ‘minimalist’ to say the least we do have a sofa and TV in time to enjoy the Winter Olympics in a country that is truly besotted by the spectacle.  It seems Canadians don’t just love the glory sports, the downhill, snowboarding and figure skating.  They are also very fond of the ones where the competitors throw themselves down icy pipes on tea trays or manically brush the ground whilst wearing half sticky/half slippy shoes.  For my part my thoughts on Sochi 2014 can pretty much be boiled down to three key phrases that I have repeated regularly throughout the past week:

- “Oof that’s got to hurt, I hope there’s a replay”

- “Jeez, just imagine how strong their thighs are”

- “Is that actually a sport?  Perhaps I should try it”

With Canada currently 2nd in the medal table and the UK 22nd I am shamelessly cheering for my new country but keeping a place in my heart for my real home, especially when I read headlines like “Chemmy Alcott thrilled with 19th place, inspired by Lady Gaga”.  I think more of the athletes should be inspired by Gaga, the figure skating outfits would be incredible.

* The poor folk haven’t lived

** Ours is called Crystal

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My seven reasons to practise yoga

I recently received an email from my yoga centre giving me seven reasons to practice yoga every day.  They mainly involved balancing mind, body and spirit, doing something with my chakras and generally becoming a wonderful human being.  Regular (not daily, don’t be crazy) yoga practise has been revolutionary for me.  Here are my own seven reasons;

- Increased flexibility to enable me to reach stuff at the back of cupboards.

- Ability to exude zen-like calm even when the two year old is lying face down bellowing on the supermarket floor.

- New found skill of being able to wriggle out of slightly too small dresses in shop changing rooms without pulling a muscle (or breaking a zip).

- Use of vinyasa power flow routines to extricate myself from the clutches of my sleeping two year old.

- Improved balance for walking down steep hills in high heeled shoes.

- The ability to hold my head up high in public wearing ridiculously overpriced yoga gear knowing that I’m actually wearing it for its intended use rather than just being a pretentious twat.

- Continued disillusions that I will one day have a figure like Jessica Alba.

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Conversations with my kids

Sometimes, on the days that I’m bored of the sound of my own voice, it seems as though everything I say is a constant round of ‘get ready’ ‘hurry up’ ‘eat your dinner’ ‘hurry up’ ‘have you been to the toilet?’ ‘hurry up’ ‘put your shoes on’ ‘HURRY UP’.  Though at more relaxed (possibly alcohol fueled) times I remember that the odd little conversations I have with my kids are one of my favourite things about having young children.

I recently saw a book called “My Quotable Kid”, a lovely little hardback book full of pages to jot down the quirky things your kids say.  It would make a great gift and a fun thing to look back on with your child when they are older.  It also saves you boring other people who despite their best intentions just don’t find your kids as funny as you do.  Brace yourselves, I haven’t bought the book yet….

Just in the past week or so I could have filled tons of pages, including quotes such as;

“Casper:  Oops mummy my voice came out of my bottom.

Me: Do you mean you farted?

Casper: Oh yes.”

“Morning Mummy, I had a dream about dipping strawberries in chocolate.”

“Will was naughty so I told him Santa is always watching.”

Though thinking about the little chats we’ve had this week surprisingly it seems as though we’ve covered quite a lot of other topics too, perhaps there’s more to this parenting lark than just wiping up bodily fluids.  Since Monday we’ve covered the big subjects such as:

Why pets die

Why lots of families have Mummies and Daddies but some have two Mummies, some have two Daddies and some have just a Mummy or a Daddy

Why the bus driver was wearing a turban

Where chicken comes from

Why the moon looks different on different days

Why dinosaurs aren’t around any more

What is ‘sin’

Whether it would be better to be a red Ninja or a green Ninja

Their funny little brains are definitely one of the highlights of having toddlers leading to many conversations that the casual eavesdropper might find rather surreal.   There should be a book on sale called, ‘My Quotable Mum’.  My entries for this week would be:

“Theo I’m doing work I need you to get off my head”

“If you get in the bath I promise I’ll do the unicorn” (don’t ask)

“Theo please don’t sit on people’s heads and fart” (there seems to be a bit of a pattern forming)

“Sorry for putting it outside.  I think humans make better best friends than bugs though, and anyway, you’d only just met him.”

“Well, it depends on the size of the dog, but I reckon the skunk would be scared of the dog and the squirrel would be scared of them both.”

“It doesn’t matter what your feet say you still aren’t watching it”

Every day I feel the exasperated bemusement of Tim from The Office when David Brent is in full flow or as though I’ve momentarily stepped into an episode of The Mighty Boosh, and I love it.

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Happy Thanksgiving – Ramsay Style.

So, it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  I have to admit I did have to do a sneaky little read up on the font of all knowledge – Wikipedia – to find out a little of what it’s all about. It seems it may have been something to do with a chap called Martin Frobisher about 435 years ago but mainly it’s an elaborate Harvest Festival but with more emphasis on roast turkey, pumpkin pie and feasting with family and friends than school kids with out of date tins of pineapple from the back of the kitchen cupboard.  With Neil unfortunately ‘down South’ at a conference in San Francisco the boys and I are celebrating Thanksgiving on our own and with no real idea what we ought to be doing, we’re just doing it ‘Ramsay style’ and starting up some traditions of our own.

We got off to a creative and optimistic start by making little paper boats for all the family and friends we are thankful for back at home.  I’m pretty confident none of our Canadian neighbours were doing the same thing but we enjoyed it.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 9.57.16 PM

Then it was down to the beach to launch the boats off on their journey to our loved ones (glossing over the slight geographic stumbling block that dropping them into the Pacific ocean on the west coast may not be the easiest route back to the UK for a tiny paper boat).  Unfortunately, due to a slight engineering fault (that they were made of paper) the maiden voyage of most of them ended the same way of that of another ship from somewhere close to our hearts…the Titanic.  Summoning all my ‘Mum skills’ I almost managed to convince Casper that despite the fact they looked ‘soggy and flat’ it was the thought that counts and the spirit of the boats will still make it home.

Maybe this one might just make it…

photo-50

The boys are also thankful for finding some pretty awesome looking crabs.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 10.04.56 PM

Then it was back to the house for a cosy afternoon with fellow British pals Miles and Philippa and a traditional Ramsay Thanksgiving Spaghetti Bolognese.  Casper had rather freaked out at the thought that these barbaric Canadians actually put poor turkeys IN THE OVEN and then EAT THEM (he hasn’t quite made the connection between cows/horses and the nondescript ‘mince’ in bolognese – probably for the best, I haven’t quite managed to admit to myself what’s actually in it either), plus the thought of cooking a huge dry old bird just for me and two pre-schoolers wasn’t exactly appealing.

Now it’s time for my favourite of all our new Thanksgiving traditions – a glass of wine and re-watching Ricky Gervais’ amazing ‘Derek’ on Netflix.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

x

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Great Britain

As the nights are drawing in and festive adverts start appearing on TV my thoughts have started to turn to my trip home at Christmas and all the things I love and miss about the UK.  Not just friends, family, Stephen Fry and decent telly but all those other things that are quintessentially British and/or for some unfathomable reason just haven’t made it over to Canada.  Here’s a little and in no way exhaustive list….

Pub Grub

Pomp and ceremony

Boots Advantage Card

Creative swearing

A Cuppa (in the South)

A Brew (in the North)

The NHS

Tracey Emin

Budget Airlines (except of course Ryan Air)

M+S Dine in for 10 Pounds (and pants)

Sue Perkins

Birds Eye Potato Waffles – they’re waffly versatile

Accents that vary sometimes from one end of a street to another – and being able to identify a lot of them.

3 for 2 at Waterstones

All the Russells: Brand, Howard, Kane and… Grant

Coke and crisps in a beer garden

Derren Brown

At least 95% of the population being able to do a Gary Barlow impression

The smell of Persil

The Archers theme tune

November 5th*

Foxes and Badgers

Wearing shoes inside

Spotted Dick (snigger) and Birds custard

The default setting when talking about your country / hometown / mates being ‘slag off’

BIll Turnbull

Mothercare

The Guardian (in my actual real life hands not online)

15 hours free pre-school a week.

Crossing the road wherever I like

Boris Johnson

Online grocery shopping

Janet Street Porter

Mince Pies

Chocolate Hob Nobs

The Carrs – Alan and Jimmy

Shopping for everything all in one place

Keith Lemon actually on mainstream TV

Old Fashioned Sweets – penny or otherwise

Banksy

Calpol

The Royal Mail

Paloma Faith

Squash – Orange or Lemon not Butternut

Mint flavoured kids’ toothpaste – not oddly contradictory Bubble Gum flavoured rot

 

 

*Well, they do have that in Canada but it’s just a day

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A Far Fetched Fairy Tale part 2

Another totally made up, no way based in reality at all, fairy story…

Something strange was happening in the kingdom.  Ever since good Prince Jasper started going to pre-school in the mornings time was being oddly distorted.  Of course, dear readers, we have all been taught that an hour is made up of sixty minutes, always the same, never changing since the dawn of time.  But in the kingdom the hour between six and seven pm, just before bedtime, seemed to stretch on for days.  It had become known as the witching hour, a time when a terrible curse descended on the small princes which made them act like over-excited hyenas running, shouting, howling and fighting.  The King and Queen had become used this phenomenon but now the exact opposite was happening to the hour between 7.30 and 8.30 am, which zipped past quicker than a blink of an eye.

Every morning, no sooner had the Queen dressed one of the Princes the other had stripped off again refusing to wear anything but his favourite robes which were currently in the royal washing machine having been covered in pasta sauce the day before.  Prince Jasper then decided that he could not possibly survive the rigors of a grueling morning at pre-school without a full three course breakfast.  He sat eating leisurely whilst the Queen hovered close by brandishing his toothbrush like a sword ready to poke it into his royal cake-hole at the first possible opportunity.  Just as the beautiful, albeit rather harassed, Queen thought they were ready to leave she found her two heirs huddled around the ‘throne’ discussing what had been produced when Prince Leo, as he said, had ‘been sick out of his bottom’ following a mild stomach ache.  And sure enough, every morning, in what felt like ten minutes, the whole hour had disappeared and they were late again.

The kingdom lay in the foothills of great mountains and so was very hilly.  Every morning the usually fragrant and delightful Queen would push Prince Leo strapped safely, though not necessarily happily, in his carriage up the steep hill outside the castle.  Prince Jasper would hop on and off the ‘carriage-board’ at the back stopping to check if every single stone they passed was a dinosaur egg and to pick up leaves and sticks to add to the enviable collection that stood outside the castle door, surely the most comprehensive collection of its kind in all the land.  Fortunately he always made sure he was standing on the board so that his darling mother had the daily treat of pushing both him and his brother up the steepest of the hills.  Because of the bizarre time distortion situation she always had to run up the hills in a manner more befitting a champion fell runner than a Queen.

The young princes began to worry about this.  Their beautiful and kind mother was changing, her face glowed red, she huffed and puffed through flared nostrils, a great heat emanated from her and what little make-up she had managed to slather on her face in the morning slid into her stinging red eyes as she looked forlornly at the Queens of other kingdoms whizzing past in 4×4 carriages, without a regal hair out of place.

The young Princes thought very hard about this and came to the only logical conclusion, their wonderful mother was turning into a dragon.

Their fears were confirmed when she picked up Prince Jasper after his lessons.  The Queen had regained her composure, gave her beloved son the warm motherly hug that he had become used to and asked him what he had done that morning, hoping to hear intriguing tales of elaborate games and learning.  Prince Jasper though very carefully and answered,

“I wiped my own bottom”

The Queen, trying desperately to remain positive and encouraging said “well done dear”, but didn’t quite manage to stop an odd little squeak emerging from her mouth.  Prince Jasper was worried, it was happening again.  What if the dragon took over and they never got their lovely mummy back?  This called for desperate measures so the Princes decided (and this is the far fetched bit – brace yourselves) to work together as a team to stop the morning time slip and banish the curse of the dragon for ever.  From that day forward they were always ready quickly and on time in the morning, with absolutely no distractions, not even when the felt absolutely compelled to have an impromptu wrestle.  It worked, the curse was lifted.  The princes found they had plenty of time to stop and look at interesting things on the pavement, climb and walk along garden walls, use fire hydrants as pretend telephones and skip with their lovely mummy to school happily ever after.

The End

p.s Unfortunately the curse of the evening witching hour remained forever.

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A far fetched fairytale

I have decided to write an entirely fictional, in no way based in reality, bedtime story for my children, I can’t think why….

There were once two handsome young princes, let’s call them Jasper and Leo, who lived in a faraway land where bears roamed the lush mountainside and strangers talked to each other in the streets.  Every night the two boys went straight to bed when their mummy, the Queen (who incidentally was stunningly beautiful, an intoxicating mix of Natalie Portman and Sienna Miller), asked them to.  Even when Leo thought he had a bee in his nose or super powers in his bottom he just snuggled down and went straight to sleep.  His elder brother Jasper never suddenly needed a drink or a trip to the loo or to practice some yoga moves and head-over-heels.  Issues such as, ‘why do girls like Tinkerbell?’ ‘when will I be old?’ and ‘what shall we have for lunch tomorrow?’ were always discussed calmly, long before bedtime.

Jasper and Leo’s adoring mummy never had to utter such phrases as, “will you both just take your swimming goggles off and go to sleep” “if it looks like poo and smells like poo it probably is poo” or “please, I’ve asked you enough times now, stop licking the mirror”.  If the young princes awoke in the night they didn’t leap on each other, turn all the lights on or shout in each others faces.  They spoke softly to one another until they drifted back to dreamland letting their delightful mummy sleep undisturbed until morning, when they gently serenaded her with nursery rhymes and never ever stripped totally naked stood at the top of the stairs singing “I’m naked, I’m naked” whilst Jasper banged a xylophone and Leo danced a jig.

Now, dear children, there is a reason for this.  One day Jasper and Leo had been out skipping hand in hand with their darling mummy, whose tinkling laughter was filling the air with joy, when they stumbled across a wild eyed old hag sitting and rocking by the side of the road.  She was dressed in rags, slurping down cup after cup of sticky black coffee so strong the smell alone made their eyes water, snarling and gnashing her teeth at any child that passed her way.  The boys were terrified and clung to their mother’s chic skirt (from Victoria Beckham’s A/W 2013 collection).

“That, my dears,” she said, cradling her cherubic sons close “is what happens to a mummy whose children don’t let her get enough sleep.  One day it might happen to me.”

The boys were so shocked they vowed to always behave at bedtime for fear their wonderful mother would turn into a terrifying ogre.  From that day forth their lovely mummy was always calm, serene, well rested and had plenty of energy to run the kingdom, think up fun games and catch up with Breaking Bad on Netflix.

The End.

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The wonders of modern technology

It’s a rare rainy(ish) morning in the summer holidays and cabin fever started kicking in about an hour ago, every single piece of plastic tat we own has been strewn across the floor, I’ve read Thomas Gets His Own Branch Line what feels like about thirty times and now the gruesome twosome are using my bed as a trampoline.  So what else is there to do when the boys are distracted but have a sneaky look on You Tube?  I just spent five blissful minutes blocking out the shouts of ‘oh no there’s a dinosaur coming’ engaging my mushy brain and watching a video of Tim Minchin discussing the balance between humour and existentialism in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  Of course, I only ever use it for this kind of thing.  I have never, no way, ever, wasted my precious time watching cats dressed as sharks riding automatic hoovers. I have absolutely no clue what ‘Charlie bit me’ means and have definitely never ever seen a video that in any way resembles a Gran ruining a wedding by accidentally throwing Pimms over the bride (though that last one is excruciatingly sad, awful and hilarious all at the same time, so “a friend” told me).

This started me thinking about what our time in Canada would be like if we didn’t have access to modern technology.  It would have been a far scarier prospect and we’d feel a lot further away from home.  Social media has made the world a much smaller place, I can keep in touch with my friends and family on facebook, instagram photos of wherever I am before I’ve even left, tweet my random thoughts and find out those of Stephen Fry, catch up with news online – both world news and local news from home.  I can watch British TV shows on Netflix, buy birthday presents online to be posted directly to someone’s door, and most importantly find out what z-list cast members of reality shows I’ve never watched are wearing on their summer holiday.

I didn’t even have a mobile phone until I left university, to set up my first email address I had to go to the house of the only boy in the village who had the internet.  It wasn’t THAT long ago when I was at uni and went on a trip to Mexico.  In order to make our one obligatory phone call home to the parents we had to go to a phone office and purchase a card so we could make a short crackly call that had just enough of a delay to make it sound like everyone was cross with one another.  The language barrier caused a slight problem when Neil tried to buy his card from the female attendant by pointing at the only phrase in our guidebook that contained the word Ireland, “Besame soy Irelandes” – Kiss me I’m Irish.  I think she wondered how he was intending to pay for the card. Why they chose just that phrase to print is also a bit of a mystery…though it did get him the phone card.  Now at the touch of a button we can make freakishly futuristic video calls – to anyone, for free.  It’s amazing.

The other day we ‘FaceTimed’ my parents who had the Mo Farah race on the TV, they just turned the camera around and we were able to watch it and cheer along with them.  It’s been wonderful for the boys.  Toddlers are notoriously bad on the phone, silent heavy breathing at best. But with FaceTime and Skype they can play with their cousins and friends, pull faces, show them their toys and generally keep up their relationships.  When we visit home or people come here it’s as if they have only just seen them.  The same goes for me and Neil, when we manage to meet up with our friends in the flesh we can skip all the ‘so, what have you been up to?’ ‘how’s Canada?’ nonsense and basically cut straight to the important stuff – which seems to mainly involve childish jokes and good natured ribbing (and there we go – even as I write ribbing I know that somewhere in the world at least one of my friends is smirking at the tenuous innuendo – and I hope you are, that is why you are my friend and why I love you).  The only downside is I have to tidy up my house (or at least a small corner of it) before calling home.

My Grandad recently wrote in a letter to me that his own parents would have thought modern technology was unreal science fiction.  If tech has come on so spectacularly in my lifetime I can only imagine what it must be like for him.  I’m not saying he’s old but when he was young he could have shot Downton Abbey as a fly-on-the-wall documentary.

Just a note to Casper and Theo – boys this will blow your minds – when I was your age kids TV was only on for about an hour a day, we couldn’t choose what we wanted to watch, we only had three tv channels that actually worked (as a treat we sometimes watched The Smurfs on Channel 4 but they always looked as though they were in a snowstorm).  Oh yes, and our first computer game was just text loaded onto the tv screen by a tape (ask me what a tape is – it was what we had before CDs, while you’re at it you may as well ask me what CDs are, ask Granny about records).

Here’s the ‘Gran Pimm’s’ video if, like me, you haven’t seen it…

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By George!

So as the most hotly anticipated birth in decades has finally happened, I thought I’d better jump on the bandwagon and share my thoughts on the whole hoopla.  So here goes, firstly, massive congratulations to the warm, loving parents who are doing so well in giving their little bundle of joy the best possible start in life, Sach and Roxy on the birth of your beautiful little girl, Tiree Rose Rastogi.  Well at least that was the most eagerly awaited news in our house this week.  In other news a couple I have never met, though who seem really quite nice and decent and I’d probably like them very much if I did ever meet them, have also had a baby, apparently called George.

I love how newborns are a great leveller, no matter what riches and privilege Prince George has been born in to, one thing’s for certain, right now he is totally oblivious to it all.  There are also a few other things that I think are pretty much certain and seem to come hand in hand with having an heir:

- Right now, nearly a week in, royal or not, the adoring Mum and Dad will be exhausted.  Possibly, as I was shortly after Casper was born, to the point of hallucinating (I was breastfeeding him in the early hours – or at least I think I was  – and wondering how I would squeeze the Casper I was feeding into the moses basket next to the one that was already sleeping in there – I still have no clue which was the real one and which was the figment of my imagination).

- On approximately the 14th September 2015 he will start to find poos, willies, farts and boobs hilarious – this affliction will never leave him.

- No matter what far flung and exotic parts of the world he visits, inspirational people he meets or incredible experiences he has he definitely won’t appreciate them until he is at least eighteen.  This Saturday I took my boys to the beautiful Rainbow Park near Whistler where they played in warm crystal clear water whilst gazing out onto stunningly imposing snow-capped mountains all around.  They, however, were most excited by the fact they got to eat crisps and drink juice with a straw.

- He will at some point lie on the floor, kick and scream and have a totally illogical and uncontrollable tantrum in a public place – fortunately for most mums this can be confined to embarrassing though survivable places such as the supermarket or the library.  I hope for Kate it is some where similar rather than say at the state opening of parliament, when she’s in the middle of launching a ship or at Great-Granny’s birthday party.

- He will deposit a variety of bodily fluids on the bodies/in the hair of his nearest and dearest.  For little Prince George this will just happen to be senior members of the Royal family, I doubt he cares, though I doubt they’ll care either – that’s the beauty of being a newborn, you can get away with anything.

- As he enters the ‘terrible twos’ he will embarrass his parents by saying or doing totally socially inappropriate things.  My two year old recently approached a heavily tattooed gentleman on the beach and roared in his face for no apparent reason.  Fortunately again as a mum out of the public eye this can be contained and is even fairly amusing…though I suppose they do have experience of dealing with Great Grandfather Philip to rely on.

Anyway, Congratulations to William and Kate and Sach and Roxy and all the other lovely people who have become parents this week.

Yeah whatever, when can we eat the crisps?

Yeah whatever, when can we eat the crisps?

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