Eeh Bah Mum has moved!

Coo ee! I’m over here www.eehbahmum.com.

Expect the same shizz but better.*

Whilst this will mean nothing to many of you it has basically meant a LOT of swearing to me. So pop over and have a look.

All my new stuff will go up over there and I’ll leave this site out in the cold to shrivel and die.

What a bitch.

See you on the other side folks!

* may not be better

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Babywearing for beginners.

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If you’re a fashionista in a panic you’ve missed a key trend for next season don’t worry!

Babywearing is a way to transport an actual baby. Like pushing a pram except instead of wheels you use your legs. Totes amaze!

Wearing your baby means no swearing as you try to ram your pushchair through shop doors but also nowhere to hide the 6 bottles of wine you have bought.

When I wrote What Does Your Pram Say About You? I deliberately left out slings because everyone knows that wearing your baby in a sling says one thing:

I am a tie dye wearing hippy with hairy armpits.

Now I know this is not the truth I have happily worn both my children and let me tell you my armpits are perfectly hair free.

But it seems that wearing your baby does project a certain image. Whilst wearing my son in New York I was asked if I was into, like, attachment parenting?

I replied yes we were quite attached to our children, more so the eldest as the younger one could be a bit of a pain at times.

Wearing your baby is like walking around in a lovely big cuddle, a cuddle that sometimes ends up with one of you being sick whilst strapped to the others chest.

As you can see there are positives and negatives to the whole babywearing thing: This is what I have learned about slings, wraps ‘n ting.

1-20130329_142046Good Point: They don’t take up much space

Maybe you live in a big palace and you are currently sitting taking tea in the drawing room whilst your Butler reads my blog out to you (I do hope he’s doing a passable Yorkshire accent).

Saving space is not high up on your list of priorities.

When our daughter was born we lived in a tiny first floor flat.

There was nowhere to store a pram except for in the front room. Up 2 flights of stairs. Either in front of the door (Health and Safety nightmare) or in front of the telly (OK stick it by the door).

That is the main reason we bought a sling.

Because we didn’t want anything obscuring our view of the telly.

Bad Point: They can be tricky to put on.

In fact the first few times can be very frustrating.

But then I found it challenging changing my sons nappy at first after having had a girl before. It took me weeks to work out how to stop him urinating in my face.

Wearing a sling is tricky to get the hang of but at least no one pisses in your eyes.

Good Point: They keep you and baby warm.

When it’s cold there is nothing better than a tummy toasted by a sleeping baby.

The other week we went for a bear hunt through the bluebell woods in a bitterly cold spring downpour. I was lovely and warm with my son strapped to my chest snoring and dribbling into my bra.

Bad Point: They can keep you and your baby too warm.

One of the worst trips out ever was when I took my children to a routine doctors appointment via the park on a blistering summer day.

Hot and sweaty I ended up in complete meltdown when my daughter fell off the slide and my son started to overheat. I ended up pouring a bottle of water over us both to cool down.

I arrived at the Doctors looking like an entrant in the world’s most disturbing wet  t-shirt contest (is there any other kind?) with a hot, wet baby and a toddler with bleeding knees.

It taught me an important lesson.

Never try to get anywhere on time with children whatever your transport.  Oh and always wear waterproof mascara when you have small children – you never know when you are going to cry.

1-20120624_142617Good Point: You can go to places that you can’t get to with prams.

If you use public transport slings are  a great option.

The sling was a life saver when we caught a long haul flight that didn’t have a sky cot. With a baby and a toddler.  (Yes I do want some kind of award and possibly counselling.)

Bad Point: You will get vomited and pooed on.

There’s no escaping this I’m afraid (unless you have one of those babies that never throws up and starts using the toilet at 6 weeks).

Vomity breasts are pretty much a daily occurrence.

It’s wise to avoid strapping a baby to your chest if you know ‘The Big Poo’ is due anytime soon.

You know the ones I mean.

Every now and again teeny tiny babies do a poo so forceful it explodes out of the nappy through the vest and the sleepsuit and onto the walls.

If you see that face whilst carrying your child brace yourself for impact and try clear the immediate area.

Good Point: Really useful when you have more than one child.

Slings are brilliant when you have two children, especially if you haven’t managed to train the eldest to follow simple orders yet (see I still have hope).

Parking the baby asleep in a pram whilst you play with your child in the park/ playgroup/ soft play is a brilliant idea.

Everything is possible when one of your children is asleep.

I was going to do so many wonderful things with all that time when the baby was asleep.

Why does the baby not sleep?

For most of the day (and large parts of the night) both my children insist on staying awake and being entertained. It’s good to have use of both arms even if they are just flailing around in desperation.

1-DSCF3615Bad Point: Some babies don’t like them.

Actually I’m not sure about this.

As with most things there are times when my children were more into the sling than others.

Same with the pram.

Who hasn’t had to force a screaming rigid child into a pushchair? But no one ever tells you their child doesn’t like prams.

Good Point: Great when baby has a cold.

Within two weeks of being born Eeh Bah son had been showered with a million sloppy germy kisses from his big sister.

To no one’s surprise he developed the cough of a grown man and spent the next few weeks sitting and sleeping upright in the sling whilst I gently tapped his back working up all his phlegm on to my chest.

Heaven.

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Obviously this is not a comprehensive list, just my thoughts – we used  a sling and a pram and found both had their place.

I don’t as a rule usually advocate buying stuff for babies. I would rather spend my money replacing all the pre-baby clothes currently pissing themselves laughing at me every time I open the wardrobe.

But I found buying a sling to be money well spent especially when baby number two came along.

And when the wheels wear out you get to buy new shoes!

(Don’t tell the fashionista’s they’ll all want one.)

In which I ask Daily Mail readers what to make of Kate Winslet’s baby news (brace yourselves).

So I was reading The Daily Mail online ( I know: No good sentence ever started with these words but stick with me).

I was reading  The Daily Mail for research purposes when a story broke that was so huge I had to drop everything and write this post.

Shit the bed people Kate Winslet is pregnant!

Unable to make up my mind what I should think about a woman I have never met having a baby with her husband I turned to the comments at the bottom of the article  – 476 at the time of writing –  to find out what readers of The Daily Mail think about  it.

OK so they’re not just readers of The Daily Mail, they are readers of The Daily Mail who have been so moved by a Daily Mail article they felt compelled to comment.

Most comments were negative although to be fair there were a few people sticking up for Kate, an effort I can only liken to watching a small boy trying to piss out a forest fire.

Most worrying were the bonkers Titanic fans who were irate that Kate has still not got it on with Leonardo Di Caprio. Presumably these people are also annoyed that they have been unable to book a holiday to Munchkinland and see the flying monkeys.

Most people wanted to point out that Kate will soon have 3 different children with 3 different fathers which is apparently the worst thing that can happen, like, EVER.

Right…….ok……..I’ll be the one to say it,……… so she will have 3 kids by 3 different men?!?!?

– LW74, Sunderland, United Kingdom, 

Thanks for being the one to say it. Except everyone else has said it too and many of them have managed to make the point without resorting to the random assortment of punctuation you have used.

I suspect LW74 was so incensed by Kate’s actions he/ she/ it simply smashed the keyboard with a fist at the end of the sentence in blind rage. Celebrities falling pregnant can have that effect.

Repeat for several hundred comments.

Many comments pointed out that if this marriage were to fail, and if  Kate met another partner, and if they were to have a child she would have 4 different children with 4 different Dads. A family situation which someone has wittily called a 4×4, making Kate currently a not quite so snappy 3×3.

3 x 3, nearly a 4 x 4

– Proletarian, as are we all, Formerly Great Britain, now Yuk,

Following this theory to it’s logical but somewhat bizarre conclusion if my relationship with Mr Eeh Bah were to fail, and  if  I met George Clooney and if we  had a child I would be very, very fucking surprised indeed.

I’ve sifted through the rest of the comments and picked out my favourites while David Harewood reads the children a bedtime story on CBeebies (Damn you better appreciate the sacrifice).

kinda old and to have all your children by different dads is trashy as helll

– jillymarie, detroit, United States, 

Yeah Kate how dare you be old.

For God’s sake woman! Have some class: Be younger.

I’m pleased for Kate and her husband, but I hope for the sake of her two other children, this relationship lasts the course – it must be confusing to have 3 fathers/father figures in their lives, or am I just old fashioned

– mary, England, 

No mary you’re not old fashioned at all – just easily confused.

My 2 year old daughter can remember all the names of the Octonauts ( there are 8 of them) so learning to recognise 3 different men – one of whom would be her own father would pose no problem whatsoever.

Income secured from third ex husband…. tick!

– Sophie, Wiltshire,

Yeah! She probably only ever became an award winning actress and global superstar so she could divorce people and claim alimony. Bitch.

Thanks for pointing that out Mr… oh, er Sophie.

Wow! A woman made this comment. About another woman.

Christ the world is a sorry place sometimes.

I can only assume Sophie is one of those people so upset that Kate is not with Leo she has turned into a complete bitch…..tick!

If I do not know this woman,.why do I dislike her so much?

– hoolahoops3, Birmingham, United Kingdom

I have no idea hoolahoops3.

Maybe because hoolahoops 1 and 2 are always dissing her?

And at only 37..How many different Fathers???????????????????????

– cyberman12, london, United Kingdom,

Not this again. Three fathers.

Just three.

That’s 20 less (count ‘em) than the amount of question marks you felt it necessary to use at the end of this sentence cyberman12.

Who knew cybermen were so opinionated?

Christ alone knows what cybermen 1 – 11  think about the situation. Does Steven Moffatt know what he’s dealing with? Someone should tell him.

3 kids by 3 different men. My mum will have something to say about this.

– Cherry Menthol, London,

Unfortunately we are not privileged to know exactly what Cherry Menthol’s mum will have to say about this as she appears to have no access to the Internet which on reflection can only be a good thing.

But the kids she has don’t seem to get much of her attention. Kate is looking for LUV after all! They look overweight. Why not stop at 2 and spend time rearing some quality in these 2? So instead of keeping breeding sign up these 2 ones who are already out there for tennis lessons and go there yourself, Kate? Your thighs would benefit from this too…

– Lera, any town, United States, 

I honestly have no words and would like to apologise for even making you read this comment. But I read it and couldn’t unread it so you must suffer too.

When I’ve finished here I am soo going to rear some quality into my children who are already out there. (Books tennis lessons: That should do it)

Something inherently vulgar about a woman having kids with different fathers. I mean 3 different sperm of 3 different men in one woman producing kids? nasty. I don’t have kids myself but am damn sure that if I am blessed to. It will be with the man I marry and spend my life with. There celebrity women exchange men like they change their clothes. It isn’t sending a good message out. Can you imagine her children growing up and they ask their mother where their respective father is? I am not disputing that Kate wouldn’t raise her kids with love or in a good environment. But swapping men and breeding like she does is disgusting.

– Jo, Shropshire, United Kingdom, 

Jo seems a bit confused about the whole process of making babies with her wonderful comment about 3 different sperm in one woman.

I fear for Jo and her beautiful dream marriage.

She seems to find a lot of things nasty and disgusting and talks of being blessed with children as though they arrive delicately wrapped in tissue paper.  I suspect she’s not really cut out for babies and childbirth.

I do however like the idea of Kate’s children piping up ‘Mummy where is my respective father?’

If she wasn’t so rich, she’d be called part of “Broken Britain”.

– stephen, colchester,

But she is rich so stuff you stephen, colchester.

She should be on that Chanel 4 show “Skint” !!!

– A wise guy, St Elsewhere,

Except she’s like, totally not skint.

There’s huge clue in the programme title A wise guy. A programme that incidentally  is on Channel 4 not Chanel 4 which is a knock off perfume that will probably bring you out in a terrible rash.

I hope Shropshire Jo’s dream husband buys her some for her birthday. Every frickin’ year.

And finally a comment that say’s everything I want to say….

Is there no shame anymore?

– Opto48, Surrey, United Kingdom,

I’ll leave you with that.

Since I wrote this there have been lots of articles slamming Kate for her lax morals none of which I have the time or energy to reply to.

I am returning to my original research project.

Coming Soon on this blog: The Daily Mail Readers Guide to Parenting

Top 10 things you will do as a parent that you will not like.

I will make you do things you never dreamed possible.

I will make you do things you never dreamed possible.

Like Katie Price flashing a nipple on her wedding day some things in life are destined to happen.

Once you have children you will find yourself doing lots of things that you said you would never do.

If you do not have children or plan on having children please feel free to enjoy this list with a smug aloofness (imagine you’re a member of the Bullingdon Club) and when people tell you that you’ll be missing out when you’re older remember it basically comes down to this:

We’re all going to end up confused and needing help would you rather have your bum wiped by someone who hated you as a teenager or a complete stranger?

Here is my list of things I thought I would never do but ended up doing when I had them there children.

1. You will baby proof your home too soon then spend the next few months unable to get into your cupboards or up the stairs.

When babies are born they don’t even realise that their hands belong to them.

They are therefore unlikely to stick fingers which they don’t know they have into electrical wall sockets.

They are also highly unlikely to be opening the fridge or falling downstairs of their own accord whatever their older siblings may tell you.

This does not stop parents rushing to make their homes as safe as possible. What this really means is that your baby will grow up in an environment where there is a lot of swearing.

Those plastic plug socket protectors can only be removed with the blade of a knife and a liberal application of cursing.

The stair gates will become a dangerous trip hazard for sleep deprived parents and the fridge lock will leave you unable to access any chilled food. (Top tip: Put a child lock on the cleaning cupboard and never clean again.)

By the time your baby does start to move around and explore the safety measures will have been removed in a cloud of foul language and you will only remember to put the stair gates back when you watch your beloved child bounce down the stairs head first.

2. You will sniff your baby’s bum to check for poo.

I remember seeing parents do this and thinking: Yuk that’s disgusting. I am never doing that.

It is disgusting, and yes I have done it. Lots.

Even more disgusting is the reason why parents do this.

Let me spell this out as clearly as possible: Parents sniff baby’s bums because they no longer have the mental capacity to detect the smell of shit even when they are sat right next to it.

Children are disgusting.

I blame the parents.

3. You will go out to eat and sit colouring in a picture of a man with a moustache making a pizza.

Because when you go out to eat with small children you are given colouring in kits. (I know, amazing!)

There are 2 reasons you as an adult will get stuck in:

Firstly and it is good fun to colour in a picture and you are fantastic at not going over the edges.

Secondly you are too tired to have a conversation with the person sitting across the table from you. You have only left the house because neither of you has the energy to throw beans in a pan.

Think of this as me time. Who needs massages or spa days when you can spend 15 minutes in silence neatly filling in a cartoon of a pizza chef?

Even if it is quite challenging creating a realistic skin tone from 4 primary colours. Honestly how do they expect small children to manage?

( Top Tip: I carry my own skin tone crayon*)

4. You will refer to your partner as Mummy or Daddy.

Even though all the books say you ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT do this because you and your partner will immediately stop fancying each other and you will never have sex ever again.

I wouldn’t worry about it.  There are many, many other things that will stop you from having sex – number one being the baby (total cock blocker).

Unless of course you are one of those people who looks sexy colouring in (Ooh look I’ve gone over the lines, naughty mummy).

In which case having a baby is going to be a total game changer.

5. You will fantasize about the upstairs deck of a bus.

The top deck of a double decker bus will become like the VIP area of the nightclubs you used to frequent – a place of mystery and intrigue, reserved for people whose lives are infinitely more exciting than yours.

But this is not the VIP area of some hot new club.

It is the top deck of a bus.

And you have a pram and cannot get in.

You have officially the most depressing life on the bus.

No wait…. there’s a man getting on at the next stop who is arguing with a copy of yesterday’s Metro.

Phew, saved.

6. You will announce that you are a parent even when it is not relevant.

When you are not with your children you will feel the need to let people know that you have children stored somewhere else.

God forbid anyone should see you sitting there on the train and not realise that you have a baby at home.

‘Can I take that seat?’

‘Yes, I’ve got a 9 month old baby at home.’

‘Actually I’ll stand.’

7. You will shout “Look Cow! Horse! Dog!” every time you see an animal. 

You will do this even when there are no children with you.

It is a conditioned response, especially when you are in a car because this is when you are most desperate to entertain your children.

Travelling in a car with small children is like shaking a can full of soda, one small flick and it will all kick off and everyone nearby is getting a sticky face.

8. You will laugh at Michael McIntyre’s jokes.

Just the stuff he does about being a parent.

You will either laugh because you find his parenting material funny (improbable) or because you are tired and grumpy and glad bad things are happening to Michael McIntyre (more likely).

9. You will re assess what constitutes soiled clothing.

You’ve been wearing that jumper all week but is it actually dirty?

Yes, yes it is. It is a dirty jumper.

Once you have a baby the washing basket becomes less of a place to put washing in and more of a storage receptacle for clothes that are not quite dirty enough.

Vomit and poo stained clothes will forever be jumping the washing queue leaving clothes that are just plain old dirty in laundry basket limbo. Until you decide you need to change and then you will sort through your dirty clothes and refresh them with a baby wipe. **

10. You will drop your baby.

Or, even better smack it’s head on the door frame in the middle of the night after spending hours rocking the little bugger to sleep.

Peaches Geldof was photographed talking on the phone whilst dropping her baby out of her pram. I don’t care what you think of Peaches to me she is a fellow mother, a young woman whose own mother was actually pretty fabulous.

And she dropped her baby.

It happens.

This or something like this will happen to you but the good news is there is unlikely to be any paparazzi on hand to catch your moment of shame.

Dropping your baby is not bad parenting it is just parenting.

———

If you have children and find things on this list you haven’t done please leave a comment and let the rest of us know how you managed it.

If you do not have children yet why not make your own list of things you do not intend on doing, pin it to the fridge and cross them off one by one as you watch all your principles vanish when the baby arrives.

———

Eeh Bah Mum won an award – I was voted Best Mommy Blogger at the Badass Blog Awards! If you voted thanks for making my Ass officially Bad.

If you want to you can follow me on Twitter but as a 40 year old woman  I refuse to ask you to like my page on Facebook as it’s too degrading.

*I absolutely do not do this but I have definitely thought about it.

** This may just be me.

A letter to my beautiful daughter (or as Jo Swinson would prefer Dear Fugly)

You are without doubt the most frustratingly brilliant person I have ever met.

Your beautiful brother is totally amazing too but we’ve seen it all before and are therefore less impressed. (Am I allowed to call my son beautiful as he’s a boy?)

I wanted to write you a letter to capture where you are in life as things are moving pretty fast. You are 2 ¾ years old, your favourite foods are pesto, sausages and fruit.

Although you demanded grass for breakfast today.

In a southern accent.

It is half term and although you and your brother are not in school yet as a family we suffer. Our daily routine (Get up, poo, fight, playgroup, lunch, afternoon of fighting) is sent all to cock.

Yesterday I took you to a session where a lady brought in some unusual animals for you to touch and hold. You held a snake, a rat and a cockroach and saw a tarantula and a giant African snail.

Afterwards there was the usual playtime and snack, a biscuit.

All you have talked about since is the biscuit.

In fact you are still talking about it today. I hope as you grow older biscuits retain their air of fascination for you. And you remain unimpressed by snakes and rats crawling all over you.

You are a lovely big sister and often help by opening the stair gates for your baby brother. This  morning when my back was turned (OK I was on the loo) you informed me that your brother had emptied the bin all over the floor and was eating rubbish. Thank you for attempting to tidy up by dragging the bin liner down the hallway.

Half an hour cleaning the pair of you up and we were on our way to messy play (there’s definitely a joke to be made about this but I was too busy wiping to work it out).

You wanted to paint a picture of your daddy. It is not very good but he will say it is the best picture he has ever seen, he may even cry. It is the first time you have ever painted a picture that is not just splodges. ( It is still just splodges.)

Not keen to get messy yourself you encouraged your brother to nose dive into the bath of jelly and  roll in the rice crispies then got upset when blinded by cereal he walked over your painting so you pushed him over into three different colours of paint.

I was forced to apologise for the mess you both made.

At messy play.

You haven’t yet learned to blow. It was your brothers first birthday recently and we let you blow out the candles .

We watched your eager face turn red with effort as you sprayed the shop bought cake with globules of gob until you had drowned the tiny single flame with your spittle.

Mummy and Daddy don’t really like chocolate cake anyway.

Thank you for making me glad I hadn’t gone to the effort of baking a cake.

Your favourite question is ‘Mummy what are all the peoples doing?’  We walk round the supermarket providing a constant commentary on events in the aisles, like an audio description for the blind but in real life.

‘That man is choosing some cheese, the lady is buying some food, they are arguing in the vegetable section, now they are embarrassed about arguing in the vegetable section’

You are learning new words everyday and your questions are becoming more and more embarrassing and difficult to answer.

‘Why is that lady old? What are those peoples? ‘

We are but a few new words away from total embarrassment.

To my eternal shame you are not yet nappy trained. I think this may be payback, I was so proud when you started walking at 9 months now I am embarrassed when people notice you are still in nappies.

You could not care less.

You: Mummy what’s that smell?

Me: It’s you darling.

You: Oh.  (continue kissing baby brother and calling him Lucy)

Right now you are asleep all hot and sweaty on the sofa dreaming of daddy and biscuits.

And I have written this, so that one day we can look back and remember just how brilliantly frustrating you were.

Coleen Rooney stole my baby name!

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Aargh Coleen Rooney stole my baby name!

Is the shout going out from literally no one.

Klay?

Let’s hope s/he’s good at tennis…. or pottery. (Seriously is it a boy or a girl I have no idea.)

Even the Kardashian’s have given up on the whole matching names beginning with K thing.

Naming a baby is the fun part of having children. Personally I think the mother has final say in the decision because no one should argue with a woman who’s just given birth – even if she is off her face on gas and air and wants to call the baby Biscuitfingers. (I would LOVE to meet a child called Biscuitfingers.)

There is some debate as to whether you should let people know what names you’re considering before the baby arrives.

If you’re Coleen Rooney then obviously yes. For the rest of us mere mortals? I’m not sure.

On one hand every time I mentioned my favourite name to people they sniggered and said it reminded them of vaginas.

On the other hand if I had kept schtum my daughter would be wandering round reminding people of vaginas.

People often like to wait until baby arrives and see what s/he looks like before they choose a name. This has always struck me as a dumb idea.

Your baby will look like an angry walnut.

They all do. Unless Angry Walnut is one of the names on your list seeing your baby will not help. You’ll just spend the next week wondering if she looks a more like a Maya or an  Evie when she poos.

Mr Eeh Bah and I are the very last in both our families to have children – great for hand me downs – terrible for choice of names available.

Instead of dressing Kate Garraway as a granny the campaign to get people having babies earlier should focus on this stark fact:

If you become a mum later in life all the good names will have gone.

We had a tricky time finding names that worked with both a southern and a northern accent.

I met a woman who had named her baby boy Oak, a lovely name until I ruined it by pronouncing it with a Yorkshire accent. Every time I grunted his name it sounded like I had been punched in the stomach yet it was her face that contorted in pain.

If you are looking for inspiration Mr Eeh Bah’s name choosing theory was this: If I was a teenager at a party and I met someone with this name would I want to get drunk with them or punch them? (Mine was: Will people think of sex organs when they hear this name?)

It’s good to look at the things you love for an inspirational namesake. I am a huge fan of all things 1920’s. (Weird that I love reading about the escapades of the Bright Young Things but think that all the cast of Made In Chelsea are massive twats.)

Eeh Bah daughter is named after one of the first women to have bobbed hair – she caused uproar when she was spotted on the streets of London wearing trousers and whistling for a taxi.

It is only now I write this that I realise the modern day equivalent would be Anne Hathaway getting out of a car with no knickers on. (It seems my daughter was destined to remind me of vaginas.)

To be honest I’m not sure why we even bothered with proper names Eeh Bah daughter usually goes by the name of Pookins or Bubbles and Eeh Bah son has now advanced from Dick Douche to Ting Tongs.

Be warned whatever name you painstakingly select you will immediately meet 10 other babies with the same name all of whom will be in the same school year as your child  – one of whom will be an absolute dick.

Oh and if anyone out there is upset that Coleen Rooney stole their baby name have you considered Biscuitfingers?

Happy name choosing!

How To Survive Playgroup.

This is why we don't stay at home.

This is why we don’t stay at home.

If the idea of walking into a room full of angry babies, exhausted mums and germ ridden toys fills you with dread then know that you are not alone.

The whole idea terrified me and I’ve performed stand up comedy.

Playgroups can be noisy, intimidating places and as the responsible adult it is generally considered unacceptable to burst into tears and throw yourself on the floor screaming if you decide you don’t really like it.

But playgroups are worth the effort. In time you will learn to love them, so much so that by the time July comes round you’ll be horrified at the thought of going cold turkey over the summer holidays.

We do at least 3 playgroups a week – as we have recently moved I don’t even have friends to gossip with. I have been to groups in London and Yorkshire and there are essentially no differences between the two (Yorkshire playgroups feature more songs about farm animals and tractors).

If you do decide you hate playgroup it’s always worth trying another to see if it suits you better: I once went to a playgroup where I was the oldest mum there.

By 20 years.

I felt like Kate Garraway in that stupid ad. ( Don’t get me started on that.)

I go because my children love playgroups and I love my children.

I go because I see how much they learn being surrounded by other children.

I go because if I stayed at home with a 2 year old and a 1 year old every day I would look just like Granny Mummy Garraway by the end of the week.

Here are the 10 things you should know about playgroup.

1. There will be tea and coffee.

It will be awful.

It will also often be served in cups and saucers.  Like an evil round of Total Wipeout sleep deprived adults are challenged to carry scalding hot drinks through a room packed with toy cars and manic children.

If you want good coffee go to Caffe Nero. Entertain your own children.

 2. There will be toys.

Lots of them.

Take a moment to look around the room and marvel at all its hideous plastic glory. Thank the Lord that none of these toys are cluttering up your own home.

There will be one toy that will cause 98% of all trouble.

Every single child will want to play with this one toy. It will probably be a pram, a slide or a ride on car. This is the law of the playgroup: The more toys there are in a room the more children will be attracted to just one toy.

3. There will be germs.

Everywhere.

You will catch colds, coughs, sneezes, tummy bugs, slap cheek, foot and mouth and anything else that is going.

Sorry.

The other option is isolating your child from all contact with other children and letting them catch everything when they start school. The decision is yours.

4. There will be painting or crafts.

Just as Grandma’s house is the ideal place for small children to bake, playgroup is the perfect spot for painting and crafts. Remember to admire whatever crappy effort your child produces and try not to be caught stuffing it in the bin outside the church door.

5. There will be one child sitting quietly doing puzzles.

This will not be your child.

I had hoped this role was allocated on some sort of rota and that one week it would be my daughter quietly amusing herself whilst others looked on in awe. I seem to have been left off the rota.

(If I had a child who sat quietly and entertained themselves I would not need playgroup I would be sitting at home watching This Morning, painting my toenails and writing a blog about  what a piece of piss small children are to look after. )

6. There will be one single male.

He will look totally out of his depth.

His partner will either be heavily pregnant or have recently given birth. Basically the situation at home is so terrifying he has decided playgroup is the better option.

Women go to playgroup because they want to get out of the house, men are sent to playgroup by women who want to get them out of the house.

7. There will be well meaning volunteers.

They will either be brilliant with small children or totally ineffectual. Who cares? They have volunteered to spend a morning picking wooden bricks up off the floor that your children have thrown.They are wonderful, misguided people.

8. There will be snack.

To work out what type of snack simply look inside the cavity of any toy where you will find a handy guide in the form of a half eaten snack from last week.

9. There will be singing.

It will be awful.

A platoon of Gareth Malone’s could not make a playgroup singing session sound good.

You will sing Sleeping Bunnies. Twice.  Despite the fact that it is a song with no discernible tune.

You will sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat and learn some dubious wildlife survival tips.

You will sing a sexist, outdated version of The Wheels On The Bus. (Altogether now:   The Mummy’s on the bus read Gra – Zi – Ah.)

10. There will be tidying up.

It will be wonderful.

If tidying up at home involved throwing everything in a plastic box and hiding it in a cupboard my life would be improved immeasurably.

So there you are playgroup for beginners.

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