If you were having a baby, would you prefer a boy or a girl? How about a child who’s cold and unemotional or warm and empathetic? Intelligent or average? Musically gifted or tone deaf? Extroverted or introverted? Kind or selfish?
School’s out. Finally! Sports day tick, birthday parties done, picnics over, packing up? Hope so.
“Mom, are we going on holiday tomorrow?”
“No darling, next week.”
These days it’s not about being on holiday, rather where you’re on holiday. And the expectation is that you’re on the next jet (ideally private) to Ibiza or Puglia. The Hamptons or St Tropez.
Do you remember your third birthday party when the theme was third birthday party? Will Jack remember his, ‘I am three, welcome to my bakery?’ Today birthday parties are a big business with equally big expectations. Parents are trying to outdo themselves and each other and the bar keeps getting higher.
Our new series looks at how competitive it has become to be a fashionable urban mum. From what you wear and what you give your children to eat at lunchtime to what you plan for playdates and where you go on holiday this is an extreme case of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ often with hilarious results. Each fortnight our mum of two Gia, a feisty former New Yorker, reveals just what it is really like at those school gates, often offering advise and tips on how to survive in the world of designer ankle biters!
A trip to the hairdresser has never been straight forward in our family. I have been known to send my husband to a different hair salon each month over the past six years. His Middle Eastern background granted him a beautiful Afro which has always required, in my opinion, special attention. My eldest son, five, inherited the tight curls or the “scruffy hair”, as he calls it. My younger son’s straight hair seems to fall directly in his eyes. My own hair’s not much better with its radical transformation into hay and straw after my second pregnancy. Thankfully for our family we have now discovered Michael Van Clarke (The irony is that Michael himself was my husband’s discovery. But don’t ask), a true gem on the quiet corner of Beaumont Street just in the heart of lovely Marylebone.
Holding the front door open with one hand and blowing kisses with the other, I feel an all too familiar sense of panic as I leave the flat to meet my husband for a romantic anniversary dinner. I’m SURE our nanny thinks I’m a horrible mother for leaving before bedtime. Three texts to her en route to the restaurant and no reply. I’m SURE she’s reading them extra stories to compensate for my lack of attention. As I hand my coat to the coat check with one hand, I ring the home phone with the other. No answer Must mean then aren’t sleeping yet. Must mean they are upset with me!
It has been a long summer for most parents, particularly as the weather wasn’t the best for keeping kids entertained. Although children have finally gone back to school, many parents still have toddlers to keep busy, and if you haven’t signed your older children up to every after-school class going, there is still the dilemma of keeping them away from the TV and doing something a bit more creative between school and dinner.
Reversible Pure Cotton Blanket – £18.00; Pure Cotton Dungarees & Tee featuring Peat Pea – £35.00; Pure Cotton Sundress & Matching Pants – Pea Print – £26.00; Stewart Strawberry Toy – £9.50; Tom Tomato Toy – £9.50; Carry Carrot Toy – £9.50; Gene Aubergine Toy – £9.50; Peat Pea Toy – £9.50 all from Busy Peas
Just because they can barely walk, throw temper tantrums and their table manners leave little to be desired, it doesn’t mean that your babies and toddlers can’t be cute and fashionable too. This summer why not kit them out in adorable sundresses and funky onesies that will have everyone cooing over them.
While we happily cover our children in 50+ sunscreen, make sure they have a sun hat and keep them out on the midday sun without protective clothing we are not so careful with their eyes. But unfortunately the majority of sun damage to the eyes in done during childhood.