Say Cheerio to Hunger

December 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

My 2 year old son adores cereal. So it was no real surprise to catch him tucking into three full boxes of the stuff the other day. That he had first emptied out all over the floor. It was hard to pretend to be mad at him.

But then I thought…what a luxury, that I can laugh at this kind of misdemeanour, sweep the food into the rubbish, and buy some more. How many children around the world can be so indulged?

In some areas of East Africa, a child is dying every six minutes from starvation. There is a severe food shortage. The rains have failed and families have lost their crops, livestock and food supplies. Food and water prices have soared. This crisis was predicted and could have been prevented.

Food price hikes, according to research by Save the Children, may have put the lives of up to 400,000 children around the world at risk.

Now I know I can’t post those Cheerios to Africa. But there is something practical that I can do. I can take a minute to sign the Charter to End Extreme Hunger petition. Take a positive step to help those millions of children around the world who exist on the edge of survival, always close to disaster. Urge your friends to do the same.

This post first appeared on technorati.com

Sign the petition
Have a look at what other bloggers are saying here
Talk about the campaign on twitter using hashtag #66cities
Contact me for a letter to send to your MP via theyworkforyou.com

Use the fork, Luke

October 18, 2011 § 4 Comments

I can’t deny that I was pleased when my four year old started showing an interest in Star Wars. I’ve loved the films (original ones of course, none of this Jar Jar Binks nonsense) since I was a little girl. My mum’s ill concealed Han Solo crush meant we watched them rather a lot.

At junior school we had a vicar who would pay a visit. We thought he was a Russian spy who had a secret transmitter stashed in his dog collar. He only won our trust when he conducted a sermon using  Millenium Falcon and Death Star models and started talking about the forces of good and evil. Clever man. From then on at church we replaced the word “lord” with “force”, solemnly reciting  “May the force be with you. And also with you” during those interminable services. 

When 4yo and I first cracked open the box set I have to admit I was a little concerned he might be a little young for the shooting and the fighting. I needn’t have worried. Shoot ’em ups he can handle; it’s the emotional content he struggles with.

Last week at bedtime (often when he voices his concerns) he asked me: “Did Darth Vader know he was Luke’s father, when he cut off his hand?” He’s obviously been mulling this over for a while and has now come up with a version of events that he’s happy with, telling me yesterday: “When Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker were playfighting they should have turned off their Lightsavers. Then Luke would still have his hand. They could have just punched a bit and wrestled.”

On the plus side, I am now able to delve into my entire back catalogue of bad Star Wars jokes. At dinner time: “Use the fork, Luke,” and one that I’m saving for the festive season: “How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker was getting for Xmas? He felt his presence”.

I tried to take a photo of 4yo playing with his “lightsaver” as he calls it. Sadly he was too quick for me. He also looks like he’s doing a John Travolta impression.

Why I love the terrible twos

September 22, 2011 § 6 Comments

I LOVE two-year-olds. Forget tantrum twos, terrible twos, and the rest of the bad press. Two-year-olds rule. Babies, yeah, they’re cute and stuff. They gurgle and laugh and have good pudgy thighs. One-year-olds can be very sweet, but they’re also pretty hard work, as they find their running (and falling) legs and their sense of mischief. Three-year-olds, they ask some great questions and come out with some amazing ideas, but they don’t half strop about and give you ‘moody threenager’ lip.

A two-year-old though, is just starting to communicate properly. I can’t get enough of asking my 2yo to say words. He puts about ten syllables into ‘elelelelephant’. He says ‘thithin’ for chicken. ‘Yeth peeeeeese’ when he wants something, or ‘allllwite’ when I ask him not to do something. I know hearing about other people’s children’s cuteness is pretty nauseating, but imagine it in the tiniest meekest of voices, and surely your heart might soften just a little bit. My favourite is when he flops on the sofa and says ‘shit down hyeyah’, and sounds like the Queen pointing out the royal lavatories.

A two-year-old is just beginning to develop an understanding and fascination with the world around him. ‘PLANE HERE SEE!!!’ my little boys shouts out, pointing excitedly, or doing that weird jumping thing that’s not quite a jump, as he hasn’t quite worked out how to get both feet off the floor at the same time. Or ‘BUS!!!’ Or ‘CONKER!!!’ The fact that he sees these things ALL the time doesn’t seem to wear down his sense of wonder. He even does it to us. ‘MUMMY HERE!!!’ ‘DADDY HERE!!!!’ when he comes into bed first thing in the morning, as if it’s such an incredibly pleasant surprise to see us there.

That’s the other thing about 2yo’s. The unconditional love. To a 2yo you really are the dog’s cahunas. They can’t get enough of you. They follow you around the house with their tail wagging. They sit on your lap and bring you stories and stare at you wide eyed with love. A 2yo really is the most amazing creature. I’ll try and remind myself of that next time mine is hitting his brother over the head with a wooden toy, or arching his back and screaming when I try and pin him into his carseat.

Babies are boring

September 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve just realised that my baby is now 11 weeks old, and I’ve hardly written about her at all. I think that this is because (whisper it) babies are a bit boring. Strike me down.

I mean, I think she’s completely beautiful. Although she’s probably not, as I thought that with the other two as well, and looking back on baby photos they weren’t really. Just to me.  She’s also extremely easy. Apart from a bit of a colicky start, now she’s on the infacol she burps like a beery lad. She also now sucks her thumb and settles herself back to sleep during the night. I’m really enjoying breastfeeding her. So what is there really of any interest to say? Er, I like putting her in pretty dresses? She’s smiling a bit now and punching the toys on her baby gym?

So no, she’s not exactly tabloid fodder. She likes to drink milk, have a good night’s rest, and not strop too much during the day. I don’t tend to wax lyrical about the beauty and amazingness of my children on here, I tell them how amazing they are all the time, and I think that’s enough. So here’s to boring babies. Boring and amazing.

silent sunday

September 11, 2011 § 5 Comments

silent sunday

August 28, 2011 § 11 Comments

Silent Sunday

Birth

August 3, 2011 § 4 Comments

The theme at Sticky Fingers’ Gallery this week is Birth. I’m too tired to do anything other than be literal, so here’s a picture of Fara taken six weeks ago, just after delivery. I enjoyed childbirth immensely (this may be a lie). However the moment she was placed in my arms I loved every vernix covered inch of her.

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