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Our sense of humour

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 07 September 2015
What really tickles you? And your Smalls? Do you laugh at one and the same - or are you mostly amused by each other's presence? I only ask because, after 8 weeks of living in close quarters, I'm a little overly finely tuned into our family sense of humour ... as well as (occasional) lack of...

My first observation is that only the most curious will make us all laugh simultaneously. This could be an air steward with a high-pitched voice, any food ordering miscommunication and absolutely includes any cheeky queue barge.

More often than perhaps we should, the three of us tend to find Him pretty amusing. Over zealous sun cream application, temporarily hiding his 'precious' sunglasses and the way he deal with intense heat can have us rolling in the aisles.

Small, in contrast, isn't so keen to be the butt of any joke, which brings me conveniently onto the geek that is Mr Bean. One of the most successful British cultural exports ever, this character is a real divider in our family. The males find him sidesplittingly hilarious, particular Small whose uncontrollable laughter can be heard in the next street. Mini and I feel utterly stressed out by this hapless, awkward, self-conscious, childlike, disaster-prone weirdo.

Last weekend we tried our hand at Mrs Doubtfire. I'd actually forgotten just how funny Robin Williams is when his first-time boobs ignite. Again, the Smalls were divided. Mini couldn't quite see past the male-female conversion to find any of the film the least bit amusing. Small is still giggling in his bedroom when he remembers certain episodes.

The bottom line is that finding life amusing is more important than I think we all realize. It binds and reassures us to know that we were, at that moment, on exactly the same page. Bearing in mind the strains, stresses and lack of comic moments in everyday life, I think we ought to take laughter that bit more seriously.

The art of suncreen application

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sorry, but there is no art, trick, nor right way of applying sunscreen to a hot and sweaty child. It’s much like learning mouth to mouth resuscitation on a crash-test dummy, great in theory but no comparison to the real thing. Here is what I have learnt:-

A child will not voluntarily approach if you have sunscreen visible in your hand so you need to be cunning. Otherwise, chase down said child, and employ the element of surprise to disrobe him/her before he/she realises what is happening.

Use a distraction tactic (“I have a secret to whisper in your ear”) to hold your victim whilst uncapping sunscreen with one hand and dousing as much liquid on skin as possible because you won’t get a second chance. Again before he/she is aware, cover every millimetre of head, shoulders, knees, and toes, to withstand a nuclear explosion. Disregard the whining, “it’s too cold/hot/sticky/gooey/ yucky/burning”. It is guaranteed the sunscreen will leak into eyes so with your third hand or left foot, grab child’s hands before they do a better job of rubbing the sunscreen in their eyes than you ever could.

I should have mentioned this up front, as there’ll be ferocious squealing and wriggling, and like a Girl Scout worth her chest full of badges, be prepared. Also ensure your own clothes are at throw-away stage as you will be covered in more sunscreen than your victim who will make every attempt to slither away. Don’t let go yet.

If you consider dressing a child an exercise in contortion (yours and theirs), it’s a doddle to dressing a child marinated in more grease than a serve of buttered chicken. This is your final step so grit your teeth, and use any and all threats to get the job done. With the skerrick of remaining energy as you clean up the debris and collect the bags of towels, drinks, toys, and your sanity, remember to plop a sunhat on your victim with your final threat of “we are staying home if I see that hat come off”.

Nanny V has now demonstrated every what-not-to-do in the Nanny Rule Book, but I trust you appreciate a sense of humour is your most effective tool.

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