I wish I’d written down all of the things I swore I’d never do.  It would be hysterical to look back on it now and muse on how high my expectations were. I’d like to interview my former self and find out exactly how she thought she could get it all right, every time, without resorting to prescription painkillers or  parenting professionals.  I read Gina Ford whilst pregnant with my first child, we even tried some of the techniques before we realised that parenting by numbers was never going to suit our child, or more importantly us as parents.

One of the things that I remember feeling most strongly about was television.  Now admittedly I’m a bit of a telly addict, but I do have issues with children sat comatosed in front of the digital babysitter all day.  It’s one of the reasons that I gave up on a childminder way back when…I hated the fact that the television was permanently on.  The boy wonder obviously didn’t like it either, in the three hours he spent there twice a week he refused to eat or drink and I soon realised that both of us being completely miserable wasn’t conducive to any kind of work/life balance and found other ways to manage.

Apart from a very brief flirtation with Milkshake, the rule in this household has always been ‘No TV in the mornings’.  I’d prefer no TV at any time to be honest, it turns my children into monsters….all that pent up energy has to come out FAST and, for the boy in particular, that’s a big issue.  But I’m not a complete horror of a mother, they do have TV, generally after school, after they’ve got changed and had 15-20 minutes of ‘productive time’ – oh no, I take it all back, I am a complete horror of a mother…

The ‘no TV in the mornings’ rule has always extended to weekends too.  We’ve never really thought about why, it just has, and none of the children has ever thought to question us, well not a great deal, and not enough to change our over-expectant-parent minds.  In turn we appear to have bred three relatively intelligent children with very active imaginations.

Take this morning for example, the OH has been ill with manflu and needs his recuperation time.  I’ve been feeling a little tired too so it was no surprise that we slept till 8am.  Waking up to a bed devoid of children was a surprise though.  Then we heard the gut-wrenching sound of hysterical giggling, followed by lots of shushing when little people tuned in to our awakeness. A vaguely sweet smell wove its way up the stairs before the 4yo bounded into the room in a cloud of baby talc.

Me: “What have you been doing?”

4yo: (glancing at the 5yo who has also just crept into the room) “Mummy, next time you go ice skating can we come?”

Me: “Well, I don’t know, do you think you’d be able to ice skate?”

4yo: “Yes, we can, we’ve been practicing in the kitchen, you do it like this…” (makes swishing noises and glides around the bedroom)

Reluctantly I made my way downstairs, not really knowing what to expect.  This is the site that greeted me:

no images were found

Guess who’s allowed to watch TV on weekend mornings now….

And the award for most over-expectant parent goes to….
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39 thoughts on “And the award for most over-expectant parent goes to….

  • October 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm
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    Oh my gosh! Is that icing sugar or flour? I’d have had a fit. Cos cleaning both with water is a NIGHTMARE.

    Poor you!

    Becca x

  • October 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm
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    Ace! It doesn’t stop them, you know – my two know they can watch telly if they get up without us but their stomachs call them and I’ve found the raisin tub emptied or rice krispies over the kitchen floor.

  • October 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm
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    such joy…maybe mum and dad can try it with them :). Bugger the cleaning up!! Can you tell mines now a teen. He’s lying in bed as I spread the powder :)…cheers Leesa

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:23 am
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    How great! Such imagination & it’sonly talc after all! I was like you – really worried about the effects TV would have. Also I was at college so a reasonable amount of quiet was necessary. As I understand it, my DS is still quite strict with how much & what he watches although there is always noise of some sort in the background!

  • October 3, 2010 at 7:34 am
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    Brilliant! *serious face* sorry about all the cleaning and all that. I genuinely don’t think watching TV stunts their imaginations. I’ve always been quite relaxed/lazy about TV watching. And while behaviour can be an issue, it really doesn’t seem to stop them thinking up interesting ways to create housework. Mine ice skate by filling bath with shampoo…

  • October 3, 2010 at 7:50 am
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    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! *makes no attempt at a serious face, doubles over laughing* BRILLIANT!

  • October 3, 2010 at 8:28 am
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    I’ve decided that when the eldest starts school in Jan i will be introducing some rules in this household. There seem to be few at the moment, i think a result of a traumatic first few years when we had the second. I gave in to most things, just to keep my head above water. That’s why i dread those houseguests without chidren. the ones stil with the overinflated ideals about parenting. i can hear them tutting from the corner.

    M2M

  • October 3, 2010 at 10:00 am
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    Ok is it wrong that my first thought was “I TOTALLY WANNA TRY THAT OUT”?

    Yes?

    Oh, ok. In that case, “oh no! What a shame. Your floor is covered in baby talc. Whoopsy.”

    *SNIGGER CHORTLE*

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm
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    I so loved that it was your kitchen not mine.

    Second thought was LMAO how when these things happen we grab our cameras before anything else.

  • October 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm
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    Talc skating for the 2014 Commonwealth Games!

    That is hilarious for the neutral reader, but I know of the exasperation caused by bored little minds. A bit of goggle box of a morning isn’t going to ruin them. 😀

  • October 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm
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    Brilliant! Well it wouldn’t be if it was my floor obviously. But what on earth is it?

  • October 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm
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    Ha ha! Sorry to laugh, but gosh you have children with initiative. I am sorry to say that at weekends my OH and I were jolly glad to put the tellytubbies on for 40 minutes and sneak a snuggle. Looking at your pics i am pretty glad we did 🙂

  • October 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm
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    Ha ha. Love it! And that does rather look like fun!

  • October 4, 2010 at 2:08 am
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    So you’re telling me that limiting their TV is what makes my children such manic, mess-making monsters?
    Does anybody have the number for the local cable supplier?
    Mine did something similar once, but used books as ice-skates and dishsoap to glide on. Fortunately the books were from a box I had put aside to bring to the thrift shop.
    I’m sure they were plenty sorry and cleaned it all up themselves, right?

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:09 am
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    Wonderful, sounds like the day I came down to find snow (aka washing powder) all over the kitchen – such imagination

  • October 4, 2010 at 10:01 am
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    Ouch!
    Weekends are pretty much the only time our two watch telly – not conducive to a lie-in if they don’t (and like you, I had all sorts of great intentions before becoming a parent. Ha!)

  • October 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm
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    I’ve always thought there is a little room for TV in every child’s day 🙂

  • October 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm
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    It’s baby talc! Actually cleaned up pretty well…. It was just so funny I couldn’t find it in me to be angry! x

  • October 4, 2010 at 6:53 pm
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    That’s the great thing about having a dog – the canine hoover!

  • October 4, 2010 at 6:54 pm
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    LOL! It was good fun by all accounts – Obviously I didn’t even have a sneaky slide 😉

  • October 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm
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    We’ve always got the radio on, although I prefer to work in silence, but I’m anti the TV as background noise. It just sucks them in! I think we’ve got a pretty good balance, but I’m sure in years to come we’ll hear all about how restrictive we were!

  • October 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm
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    It’s deffo more a behaviour thing in our case – too much and it all kicks off! I’ve seen your bath – I’m not sure you could manage a full pirouette in there…

  • October 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm
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    Is THAT what you call support?!

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:04 pm
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    Ha! You have to do what suits you and your children – that’s why I’m so anti parenting books and one-size-fits-all answers. Advice is all very well, and sometimes a different perspective is very welcome, but ultimately you know what you need, where your boundaries lie and what’s not acceptable – then you just need to work out how to effect that! x

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm
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    Not wrong exactly – but I’m totally hiding the baby powder when you come round, and the flour, and the icing sugar….. x

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm
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    D’you know what? The fact that I could blog about it completely turned it around – spudballoo left some wonderful advice here not so long ago, it was to parent as if someone is watching you. Sometimes your blog is that someone. This WAS funny, but it would have been easy to get annoyed…I’m really glad I didn’t x

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm
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    maybe just the tiniest slide 😉

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm
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    You’re right of course…..and yes, talc skating could be a potential winner for the UK.

    It’s always good to reappraise your default setting – in our case, TV in the morning was an automatic no…. good to have a rethink 🙂

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:10 pm
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    Johnsons Baby Powder – I really should have linked to them shouldn’t I? Missed a trick there… x

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm
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    That’s exactly what I said to them: “Well done darlings, you have such a lot of initiative…” 😉

    I might have to set up some sort of surveillance camera for next weekend!

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:12 pm
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    Their giggles deffo bore that out!

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm
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    Absolutely D – how could you not KNOW this?! Your children sound like they’d get on very well in this household….stay exactly where you are!

    And yes, obviously they were contrite and cleaned it all up, then then stripped and made all the beds and cleaned the bathroom.

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm
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    *sigh* what are we supposed to do with these children Jen?!

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm
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    exactly!

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:15 pm
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    That really should be printed on the welcome mat shouldn’t it? “Leave your great intentions at the door”…

  • October 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm
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    That’s exactly what I’ve always said 😉

  • October 7, 2010 at 9:54 am
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    Hee hee, I bet their feet smell lovely. 😀

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