Mum About Town

Emma is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger and online marketer. When she’s not writing, she gets down with her Smalls, bigs-it-up with Him and swans around London reporting for her blog.

Are your children always right?

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 11 November 2013
‘Of course not!’ I hear you chime. But it’s HOW you tell them that they’re wrong that is bothering me most this week. A mother I know of (not Gwyneth P. although she is almost as glamorous but with less hilarious named offspring) NEVER seems tells her child off. It’s almost as if this child lives his own world, ruled only by him. When I’m in the vicinity of this little mite, I want to scream: NO! Don’t do that! But, while of course I refrain, I do wonder what sort of self-assured monster he will be on the dating circuit and how on earth he will respond to his future boss when corrected? Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying my hardest not to judge other parents, but surely we have a responsibility to show our children how to behave? And isn’t their future happiness intrinsically linked to the understanding of right and wrong?

On the other side of this guessing game they call parenting, I do worry that I tell my Smalls off too much. In fact, one of them woke up this morning saying that he had had a nightmare.

‘What was it about?’ I enquired sympathetically. ‘I was being controlled,’ he responded cautiously ‘my whole dream was about being controlled.’

Well, as you can only imagine, this sent me into a total spiral of parental self-examination. Am I even allowing these small beings to live and breathe? Should they decide themselves when is the best time to practice the piano? Or maybe handing in half-done homework might work a treat?

‘Mummy, you’re not listening to me’ he added. ‘I was a robot. A really clever, bionic robot controlled by a super-natural force.’

A temporary wave of relief rushed over me. For the moment, I was off the hook. Meanwhile I think we’ll do some painting after school today instead of those dreaded times tables.



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Halloween

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on Friday, 01 November 2013
It’s at this time of year that I am reminded how scarily different I am from our English-speaking American allies. My Brit reservation and modesty kick right in as I try my best to dodge supermarket aisles, magazine pages and TV ads, all dedicated to what the Yanks call Halloween. Bloodied masks, mini-sized broomsticks, glow-in-the-dark paint, sparkly-coloured hair spray, gruesome table decorations, never-ending spider webs…. it’s all crossed the big pond ready for the retail vampires to spook us out.

But, of course, as a mum I have NO WAY OUT. Especially as dressing up is a rather regular occurrence in our house (amid the Smalls, I should add) – and that’s before the temptation of punk witches, bleeding pirates or a day-glo skeleton. More than this though as, on top of the fancy dress expenditure and hassle, I pretty much need to re-think my parental values for the night. As far as I can see, [which is not far as a) it’s pretty dark and b) it’s very crowded on our local trick or treating well-trodden path] I need to encourage my Smalls to knock on strangers’ front doors. Yes, I’d like them to reverse all that I have taught them over the last 9 years and, once they’ve knocked, I’d like them to beg in front of these strangers. A hungry, innocent face will do. More and more sugar, all in vibrant colours, shapes and sizes, will drop into their little hands. After an hour or so of this begging ritual, I’ll have to allow them to cram their little mouths full of this (usually rationed) evil sugar before a scrap will ensue between the two little horrors as to ‘who has more?’ in their begging bucket.

Having revealed myself as the officially haunted scrooge of All Hallows’ Eve, I don’t mind admitting that the majority of the looted sweets will end up in the bin the next morning. And the only relief will be that Halloween is over for yet another year.

PS of course the MONSTER fun that I had at Home House’s Halloween Party last Friday night is a completely different kettle of (grown-up) ghoulies.



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Saving Mr Banks

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on Monday, 28 October 2013
Along with a huge gust of wind and an almighty downpour, up went our brollies in true Mary Poppins style as He and I skipped out of the house last Sunday night.

We were rushing to arrive at Leicester Square in time for the BFI world premiere of Saving Mr Banks, the film that tells the real story of Ms. Poppins. Along with Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell, we were truly stepping out in time, but if you missed Monday’s papers you might not realise what a treat this film really is.

In fact, the (almost) true story of an author, PL Travers, and the king of manufactured childhood fun, Mr. Walt Disney, had me hook, line and sinker. Desperate not to hand over her ‘precious Mary’, Travers proves to be a tough nut to crack while Walt, on the other hand, is as sugary as Mickey Mouse on a giant spoonful of roller coaster. Despite considerable artistic licence, the duo share heart-rending stories of their relationships with their respective fathers, as we mock and admire the magic of Disney in equal measure.

Of all the family classics, Mary Poppins is a firm favourite in our household. Not least because our Small is a carbon copy of their small Master Banks but also because the story reinforces a message of the parental fun one should have with ones’ offspring. Of course, once Mr. Banks flies his kite (and sticks up a couple of fingers at his workplace), he is indeed saved. And his smalls live happily ever after. Amen.

Saving Mr Banks will be released on Nov 29.



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

If you’ll excuse me

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on Thursday, 17 October 2013
If Downton Abbey were to have a catch phrase, it would have to be ‘if you’ll excuse me’. The Earl of Grantham, for example, hardly leaves a room without uttering these words. ‘If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the library’, he says as he leaves the dinning room. ‘If you’ll excuse me, Bates, while you fiddle with my cufflinks, I’ll tell you what’s really on my mind.’ And so on. As a huge fan of the Sunday night period drama, I’m going to borrow this phrase as an introduction to me, my life and my new home here, The Lady’s website. You see, I’m the magazine’s new blogger and, at present, you’ll have to excuse me as I have more than slipped out of the room.

Actually, I’ve slipped out of the country altogether and I’m currently on board a BA flight bound for New York. Unbelievably, I am being excused of my normal life for a WHOLE WEEKEND. That’s right: no homework, spelling tests, ballet run, recorder practice, laundry washing nor cooking for me. I’ve given Him and the Smalls the slip. Or at least I’ve fed them a good yarn and they’ve gone and swallowed it. Heading for the Big Apple, I’m destined for some precious time with my brother and his family, cleverly combined with a sprinkling of shopping and a line-up of interviews for my blog.

You can imagine how giddy with excitement I am. Mums, in general, are rarely given the freedom ticket and as a freelance working mum (i.e. no big fancy business trips), solo trips are most definitely few and far between. I’m determined to savour every moment of this adventure.

Of course, the troops back home have been instructed with military precision. A detailed document lists all that He could need. During a rushed goodbye, I thank Him profusely for my sneaky freedom, throwing in that as long as I return to a standing house with the same headcount, the rest is His ballgame. Meanwhile, I’m off to make the most of my blue moon where bath time, bedtime and long division quite simply don’t exist.



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.


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