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The Mum Who …

Yesterday, I was The Mum Who had to work at 7am.

I was The Mum Who didn’t push her son to dress up for costume day, because he said he didn’t want to do it.

I was The Mum Who didn’t read the email properly because I was too busy with other things.

I was The Mum Who didn’t realise it was a shared lunch at school.

Yesterday I was The Mum Whose son was the only child not in costume, and the only child who didn’t contribute to the lunch.

I was The Mum Who sat in my car in my lunch break and cried, because I never wanted to be The Mum Who was too busy to give that time to her kids.

Being a working Mum is bloody hard work. Even if I had realised there was a shared lunch, I wouldn’t have put up an amazing platter of themed food like the other mums. Because I didn’t have time. Even if I had fought my son to wear his costume, it still would not have been the detailed costume other kids wore.

I work hard doing two jobs and juggling three kids. Somedays I really feel like I do my best. Yesterday I was not The Mum Who did her best.

I was The Mum Who went to school at pick up time, and apologised profusely to the teacher, I was The Mum Who said it was all my fault, please don’t let the blame fall in any way on my son. I was The Mum Who had someone say to me, “Oh, your son was the one not in a costume?”. I was The Mum Who thought, for a brief moment, that maybe my kids deserve a Better Mum.

And then the bell rang, and my son ran out of the class, and hugged me, and said “I was in a cool costume Mum – my t’shirt is blue so my teacher says I’m a Blueberry!”. My son was completely unaffected by his day. He loved all the costumes, and was perfectly happy not being in one.

I was many things yesterday, but as we left the school grounds I was That Mum Who laughs with her kids. Holding hands with BoyChild while the girls ran under our arms and in circles, all three kids in hysterical laughter. I was The Mum Who works hard so my I can spend afternoons with my crazy kids. I was The Mum Who listened to their stories from school, The Mum Who joked and played with them.

The Mum Who kissed them goodnight, tucked them into bed, told them I love them, and got big, sloppy, gross kisses back from them.

Life is tough. We make mistakes. It’s not always what we hope it will be. After days like yesterday, it’s good to remind ourselves not what we aren’t, but what we are. The Mum Who will do anything for her kids. The Mum Who works hard so her kids don’t have to.

The Mum Who does ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some Days 

Some days writing this blog comes easily to me. The words flow faster than I can whack them into the keyboard. 

Some days I sit and think, I should really write something. Nothing comes and before I know it, I’m scouring through funny goat videos on You Tube. If you haven’t done so, I highly recommend it. Goats be cray cray. 

Some days I look at my kids and think, holy shit, how did I get so lucky? Three healthy, funny, all-round idiotic and cool kids. 

Some days I look at my kids and think, holy shit, why the heck are my kids so crazy/loud/dramatic and when do I give them back to their rightful owners?

Some days my house is tidy, the dishes are done, the laundry is up to date. 

Some days I could report a break in  and the police would legitimately believe our house had been ransacked. 

Some days I adore my husband and want to marry him 100 times over. 

Some days I think about how far away I could get before someone recognised me and sent me home. 

Some days I love my kids so much my heart wants to crawl out of my chest and smother them with kisses. 

Some days I dislike my kids so much I sit on the toilet and cry. 

Some days I want my kids to just grow up already. 

Some days I want time to stop so my kids can be small for a little bit longer. 

But 

Everyday I know how lucky we are to have what we have. 

Every day I’m eternally grateful for my parents who taught me how to be a parent. My step parents for being there for me too. And my in-laws, for teaching my husband how to be a parent. 

For all six grandparents, for being kick ass grandparents to our kids.

Every day I’m eternally grateful for my friends. The friends I’ve had since I was a kid. The friends I talk to every day. The friends I see every few months, and it doesn’t matter because it’s as though we saw each other yesterday. The new friends who made living in a new town so much easier. The friends I can rely on, the friends who I know are there for me. The friends who know I’m there for them. 

Every day I’m eternally grateful for my family. I have three sisters but the women I consider sisters spans beyond that – to my cousins and to the women who married my cousins, the aunties and the uncles. A strong family full of strong people, that I’m proud to be a part of, and proud to raise my children in. 

Every day,  I’m eternally grateful for my husband. We’ve had our challenges and we’ve emerged stronger for it. We don’t always see eye to eye, but a good marriage isn’t about that. He makes me smile, he is an amazing father, he’s an all-round good dude. 

And, of course, every day  I’m eternally grateful for my crazy monkeys. Three beautiful, smart kids who make me proud despite driving me insane. I’m grateful for the smiles, the hugs, the kisses, the tender sleeping faces. I’m grateful not only for what I can teach them, but also for what can teach me.

They’ve taught me to look at the world differently. The question things. To laugh when I feel like crying. To cry when I really feel like crying. They’ve taught me to think before I yell. They’ve taught me to put my phone down and be a tickle monster instead. They’ve taught me how to watch toy review videos on You Tube.

They’ve taught me how to love without reservation.

And for that I’m eternally grateful. 

  

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Temporary Tattoos – Not So Much

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This weekend, Princess acquired a considerable amount of temporary tattoos. As in, heaps. A lot. And, she announced to me she wanted to be a Tattoo Queen.

Now, I don’t have any tattoos. I’m not against them, I just don’t have any. Husband has one, a black panther on his arm that he got when he was in his teens. He regrets it, for what it’s worth – but the kids find it hilarious. Probably not what he was going for when he got it, but there you go.

So, I’m not sure why Princess decided she wanted to be a Tattoo Queen, but it kept her quietly entertained for a long time so I left her to it. In hindsight, perhaps I should have paid a little more attention to what she was doing. Soz about that.

Princess adorned herself in temporary tattoos. On her face, on her shoulders (I’m impressed by how she managed to tattoo her own shoulder), on her torso and up and down both arms. Oh, and on her neck. And then, she moved onto her brother and sister and did all over their arms and torsos. That goodness they wouldn’t let her tattoo their faces. Smart kids.

My favourite part of the whole escapade, was when she said to her father, “Hey – Dad? You will be so proud. Your baby girl is getting her first tattoo!”. His face. Priceless.

My least favourite part of the while escapade, was two days later when I thought, I better remove these tattoos, lest it look like we never clean our children.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand they didn’t come off. So, using the tattoos on Princess’s arm and torso, we started to try everything.

Soap and water? Nope.

Babywipes? Nope. What? But they clean everything!

Nail polish remover? Nope.

Antibacterial wipes? Nope.

Oh, shit.

And so, I did what any decent parent would do. I appealed to Facebook. And the suggestions ranged from makeup remover (hello? I use baby wipes!) to a scouring pad (thanks, Mum). I didn’t really want to put turpentine near my 6 year old’s face, and while Mr T’s suggestion of JIF (household cleaner) did work, it also started to strip layers of skin, so again, not near faces.

The most consistent answer on FB was olive oil, which made sense. While I appreciate that people think we are millionaires, alas we don’t have olive oil in the house. We do, however, have common-garden vegetable oil. Worth a try.

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And, it worked. Princess valiantly sat in front of her purple vanity unit with a packet of cotton pads and a bottle of vegetable oil, and she soaked and she wiped and she scrubbed and, gosh darn it, she removed those damn tattoos.

By the end, she was tired and I was tired. She said to me, “I learned my lesson, Mum. No more tattoos on my face”.

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Mr T visibly breathed a sigh of relief.

And so today, she woke up fresh faced and said to me, “it’s so nice to see my own pretty face again”.

That it is.

Imagine my excitement when she emerged from her dentist’s appointment this morning with a grin and a “Guess what the dentist gave me, Mum! Some Frozen tattoos!”.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

Not. On. Your. FACE.

 

 

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How To Toilet Train Your Child 101

Hello and welcome.

Today’s lesson is how to toilet train your child.

I use, as a shining example, my 2 year old daughter, BabyGirl. She is toilet trained, both day and night. That’s right, mums and dads and random others, she is completely, utterly toilet trained and she is not even three years old.

“But tell us, Fantastic Mrs T, how on earth did you achieve such a feat, such an extraordinary (typed in a fancy British accent, fyi) level of parenting mastery?”

Ok, because I like you all, I’m going to tell you.

I.

 

Did.

 

 

Nothing.

Wait – what? Nothing? As in, nil? Nada? Nothing? 

Yup. Ok, so I’ll climb down from my pedestal now. Alright, I’ll take off my Perfect Mother crown too. You want the medal back too? Fine.

It’s true – BabyGirl is, and has been for some time now, completely dry, both day and night. And, yes – we essentially did nothing. We didn’t force her, we just let her do what she was ready to do. And, as luck would have it, she happens to be a relatively early toileter.

As well you know, she is our third child. So, I was entirely Not Bothered about whether or not she toilet trained. The fact is, she has never been a heavy wetter, and holds pee like a camel. Seriously – this kid goes hours without peeing. Not I. Oh no. More often than not, it’s her waiting for me in public loos. I won’t lie, I use her as an excuse. Often. Shhhh.

But I digress.

Here’s the thing that I’ve learned from all this parenting bizzo – kids learn things at different times, at different paces, and to compare any two children is like comparing the gestation periods of animals. We don’t criticise the elephant for her 18 month gestation period (good LORD, imagine that!) for being considerably longer than, say, the gestation period of a dog (which, btw, is 58-68 days)(you are welcome). Why? Because it’s nature.

Toilet training, too, is, by-and-large, nature. The nature of the child. Princess first showed interest in toilet training when she was quite young, around the 18 month mark. However, she wasn’t comfortably, go-out-without-a-nappy-and-three-spare-changes-of-clothes dry until well after her third birthday. And, she was still wetting her bed consistently at six years old. BoyChild went through a wonderfully enjoyable period (sarcasm) of pooping and peeing all over the house between ages 3 and 3 1/2, and then suddenly was just dry, day and night in the same week. Thank heavens. And, as mentioned, BabyGirl is dry, day and night, before she is three.

Each child is different.

So, really, my advice for toilet training, is that I have no real advice. Except, perhaps, let nature take it’s course. Introduce your child to the concept of using a toilet (let’s be honest, we all share the damn toilet room with them anyway, you might as well tell them what you are doing in there). Once you take the tentative step towards letting them leave the house without a nappy, pack plenty of spare clothes and don’t look back. They will absolutely pee all over a store floor at least once. You will die of embarrassment and not go back into that store for at least a month after, utilising their online store and delivery service instead. But then, you move on.

These are all learning steps, for you and your child (and also, for the surly store lady who had to clean up the puddle)(she needed a lesson in being nice to the mother whose child accidentally pee’d all over the floor, and also perhaps a lesson in gratitude that it wasn’t poop).

I am happy to announce that we have now graduated from the training toilet seat to using the real, adult seat. And, great news – she’s only fallen in the loo once. Oh, how I laughed helped her out like a responsible mother.

And that, ladies and fellas, concludes my lesson in Parenting today.

The next lesson will be on how to successfully have three children go to bed nicely and sleep through the night.

When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

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1

The elusive Sleeping Through

When you have a newborn baby, one of the most talked about topics is whether they are sleeping through the night. Which, in itself, is a ridiculously unattainable goal – we consider “sleeping through” to be bedtime till awake time (say, 6pm – 8am, how awesome would that be?!) but the “technical” definition is 6 hours without waking. So, by definition, could be 2am – 8am. Not awesome.

Your little baby wakes two hourly. Then four hourly. Then, if you have a super great sleeper like Princess was (note: was), by 6 weeks she will be sleeping 10-12 hours uninterrupted. I know, right?! She was such a good sleeper, that we (bless our naive cotton socks) asked our doctor if we should be concerned. If only we knew. If only we knew.

On the flipside, BoyChild was a horrendous sleeper. In his first year, he didn’t sleep more than four goddam hours E.V.E.R. I understand why they use sleep interruption as torture. I get it. I feel for anyone who has to be subjected to that. I’m confident that Mr T and I both lost a large portion of our sanity that year. I’m not overly confident mine ever came back.

And then, you have BabyGirl. This amazing baby slept twelve hours at a time, from a very, very young age. That’s great, I hear you say. Well, no. She slept the wrong twelve hours. She would stay up until 1am, 2am and then crash out for 12 hours. Which is all well and good except for, oh, you know, the other people in the family who had places to be at 9am.

Sleeping through the night. Does it actually exist? I found myself lying in bed at 4am last night, staring at the ceiling, asking myself this very question.

Kids, the little sneaks, they are so good at lulling us parents into a false sense of security. Suddenly, without warning, you will realise that, holy moly, the kids are all sleeping through. They go to bed at 7:30, and by 9:30 you realise they are all asleep, and you and other half haven’t spoken in two hours. You look at the peculiar person sitting across the room. You wave. He waves. You say, “hello”. He takes off his headphones, pauses his computer game, and says “what? did you say something?”. So romantic. So romantic.

Often we will have a run of, say, a week where all three kids sleep properly. Naturally, we don’t notice until they stop, and we realise how easy we have had it.

I wonder, I do – at what age will I actually ever sleep through the night again? I mean, our kids are past that text book age bracket of waking in the night for actual legitimate reasons. You know, like needing to be fed, or have their nappies changed.

To give you an idea of the sleeplessness I experience, this is a snapshot of my night last night.

7:oopm. BoyChild goes to bed.

7:30pm. Princess goes to bed.

7:40pm. Princess goes back to bed.

7:46pm. Princess GET BACK TO BED I SWEAR TO ALL THAT IS HOLY WHERE THE HECK ARE YOUR PYJAMAS?!

8:00pm. BabyGirl starts her nightly ritual of *ahem* self soothing to sleep. On my leg.

9:00pm. BabyGirl falls asleep hard. I slip a nappy on her and carry her to bed. Thank goodness she is such a deep sleeper.

11:00pm. I head to bed. I am so accustomed to kids staying up until all hours that even when they do go to bed early, I don’t.

12:00pm. I turn off Toddlers and Tiaras and go to sleep.

12:30am. BoyChild sleeptalks.

1:15am. BabyGirl falls out of bed.

1:30am. Princess sneaks into my bed.

1:50am. I notice Princess is in my bed and carry her back to her room.

2:45am. I leave Princess’s room after sitting next to her until she falls asleep.

4:20am. BoyChild decides to use my ensuite. He turns on my bedroom light, then the bathroom light. Pees. Flushes. Washes his hands with soap. Dries his hands. Turns off bathroom light. Turns off my bedroom light. Cries that it is dark and can I please take him to his room?

6:50am. Boychild is up for the day. He quietly tells me he is awake and then disappears into the living room.

7:28am. Princess crawls into my bed. I tell her to go back to her own bed. She says it’s day time. I say she is mistaken.

7:30am. My alarm goes off. FML.

 

Coffee.

Coffee is the answer to your question.

Coffee is always the answer.

I am holding out hope that, when all three kids are somewhere between the ages they are now, and the age when they start going out at night, there will be a year or so when I might sleep like a normal human being. Because, once they hit their teens, I suspect the sleeplessness will rev up again. Worrying about them, about what they are up to, about them getting home safely. I now understand why, when I got “mildly intoxicated” as a teen, I staggered into the living room to find my parents sitting there, just patiently waiting. “I think I’m in trouble” I slurred, before turning and smacking clean into the wall. My parents, they knew their shit.

And, once the kids leave home, will I sleep then? Or will I be so used to waking, that I will naturally wake at odd hours? Lets be honest, will my bladder ever sustain a full night’s sleep? I doubt it.

Sleeping through the night? I fear that ship has sailed. Oh, to return to my 20s when husband and I would sleep till noon. What’s it like, I wonder, waking when you want to as opposed to when a smaller version of yourself tells you you should wake up?

Who the heck knows.

 

 

 

 

 

1

Don’t Be A Dick.

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To all my children, on this fine day

As I sit here with coffee, watching you play

I think about your life, all the impressions you’ll make

And how I can teach you which pathway to take

So here, my dear cherubs, are some words of advice

Take them on board or discard them if you like

But please take this one snippet, if nothing else sticks

Be kind, be nice, and don’t be a dick

Be generous, courteous, put others first

Take care of the needy, nurture those who are hurt

Don’t be shy with your hugs, don’t be guarded with your smile

You’ll be surprised in your life, a nice grin goes a mile

You’ll get hurt, that’s for certain – it’ll suck, that’s for sure

But learn and move on as you close that old door

It’s ok to be angry, to yell and to scream

It’s ok to be sad but please, don’t be mean

Because the person you are is the person you’ll be

And how you live is reflective of the positive, you see

So be courageous and strong, stand proud and think quick

And if all else does fail, please – don’t be a dick.

You will rise and you’ll fall; you’ll laugh and you’ll cry

You’ll grow from adversity often not knowing why

things have happened to you in this way or that

sometimes life makes as much sense as a squid in a hat

But I say it again, and I’ll keep going on

Be proud of yourself. Be kind and be strong.

I’ll love you regardless of choices you make

I hope that I’ve taught you well for everyone’s sake

I’ll stand by you proudly through thin times and thick

But my dear child, I ask again – please, don’t be a dick.

Thanks, love.

Mum xx

 

 

 

 

 

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Things I’ll miss

This is the last week of the school holidays. It has been six weeks of … I wanna say fun?

I mean, of course I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having my children around, hanging off me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

However, there are some things I really am going to miss.

The way my kids play so happily together, all the time.

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They are so good at negotiating, they never bicker. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to say, “stop being so darn polite to each other, you little angels”.

The movies we have watched

I’m not sure if once-a-day-for-three-weeks-straight is really enough time to reallyy grasp the true genius that is the One Direction This Is Us documentary movie. I really will miss having this on every day. I mean, on one occasion it was turned off before it finished – what if the ending changed that one time?!

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Of course, a day wouldn’t be complete without a movie to counter the depth and realism of the One Direction movie, which is why we felt compelled to watch Barbie – The Princess and The Popstar every day also. Oh, the drama. Oh, the feels. Oh, the dance moves and high end animation.

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The Housework

I am certainly going to miss the housework when the kids go back to school. I mean, how will I ever fill my time, when I’m not doing three loads of washing a day, because apparently we need to change our clothes to match the movie that happens to be on (see: above). And the toys. The Toys. I love picking up beads from the floor. And I love it even more if I get to pick up the same beads an hour later.

The Endless Requests 

I’m pretty confident the reason we have children is because we feel our life to be lacking without constant requests for food, water, toys, games, clothing.

All. The. Time.

I mean, the very last thing I want to do on any given day, is sit down long enough to finish a cup of coffee. Or, answer an email. And I absolutely don’t want to make an important work-related phone call without being interrupted at least eight times. More than anything, I appreciate the fact that, when I moved my phone call outside, the kids followed me.

I am, after all, their very reason for breathing.

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The Lego

I love Lego. It encourages creativity. And builds fine motor skills. And it’s fun.  I will miss standing on it once school starts back. I will miss it being in my bed. I will miss it being in the washing machine.

The noise

Silence is over rated, really. I think it’s fair to mention here, I’m sure the neighbours will miss the noise as well. They might deny it, but I know they love it. They love the expressions of emotion, the not-at-all-over-dramatic cries, the mum-is-about-to-lose-her-shit warning sirens. They love it. I know they do.

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Of course, when all is said and done, I wi

I will

I will mis

*ahem*

I will miss my ki

I will miss my

come on, you can say it

I. Will. Miss. My. Kids.

At least BabyGirl will still be with me. UNTIL MAY. Let’s take a moment to digest that.

And I will be able to drown my missing-my-kids sorrows with help from my other child.

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2

The Boy in the Pink Togs

Today we went to the pool. When we got to the pool, there was a boy there, wearing a pink swimsuit.

Princess loudly exclaimed, “THAT’S SILLY! PINK IS A GIRL COLOUR!”

I was horrified and scolded her immediately. Because, there is no such thing as “boy” anything and “girl” anything, right? The feminist in me (I blame my mother) gets stabby at the mere mention that boys can’t wear pink, or girls can’t wear blue.

I should mention at this point, that the boy in the pink togs was, in fact, my son. Let me explain.

Last week it was a scorching hot day, and we walked for approximately 2000 steps (courtesy of my new-xmas-present-FitBit) in the horrific heat to go for a swim in the local outdoor pool. When we arrived, I realised that I had left BoyChild’s togs at home. ALL THE WAY AT HOME.

There was no way we were going back, and there was no way the kids were going to tolerate not swimming. So, I dug and rummaged through our swimming bag and found for him, a pink rash vest (that I’d brought along in the hopes that BabyGirl might want a little more coverage that her silly little toys allowed – she didn’t) and some blue swim nappy pants (spares, should we have a Code Brown while swimming. We didn’t).

Now, I didn’t think that BoyChild would accept this swimwear. I didn’t think he would, because there is very much “his” things in our house, and “the girl’s” things. Not because we have girl things and boy things, but more because his sisters hate to share (looking at you, Princess).  Back in October, BoyChild’s preschool had a “Dress in Pink” day to acknowledge Breast Cancer research. No matter how much persuading I did, there was no way he was wearing pink that day. Nope. No way, jose.

But, he did wear the pink togs. I don’t know why, but I didn’t question it – I was just relieved the issue was over.

And so, I bring you to today. We decided to go to the indoor Aquatic Centre, and the kids put their togs on. BoyChild bypassed his regular red top and blue shorts, opting for the pink top and blue swim nappy once again. I asked him, are you sure that is what you are going to wear?

“Yup, Mum. These are my togs for today. I like them”.

Well, there you go then.

And so off we go. And we get to the pool, and my own daughter is the one to laugh and point at him. I suspect it was as much sibling jabbing as anything else, but nevertheless is was not ok.

To be perfectly honest, I was very much en guard at the pool today. I was closely watching how the other people reacted to BoyChild and his pink swimming top. I was on edge, nearly willing someone to make a comment, so I could delve into an unhinged rant about gender and children.

I don’t want my kids to grow up with preconceived ideas about gender, and what they are and aren’t allowed to do. I realise that it’s an uphill battle, given the colour of the aisles in department stores and the packaging that every toy, drink or random other product comes in.

So, what can we do to make sure they know that they can choose whatever colour they want?

Dress your girls in blue, but offer them in pink as well.

Dress your boys in pink, but offer them blue as well.

If you kid wants to wear green, so be it. If you kid wants to wear flannel pyjamas, a tutu, gumboots and a sailor hat, so be it.

No one made a comment at the pool today. Perhaps people saw him, went home and mentioned to someone that they’d seen a boy in pink togs today. All I know is, I went swimming with a four year old boy, who had a great time in the pool, and probably didn’t give a second thought to what he was wearing.

Long may it last.

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Kiwi Mummy Blog Review – Wattie’s Little Kids Range

One of the advantages to being a parenting blogger is getting the awesome opportunity to review products designed especially for kids. Through the Kiwi Mummy Blog site, Wattie’s have sent me a box of products to review from their Little Kids Range. And we all know how much I love getting stuff. And talking about stuff. Win win, really.

Now, funnily enough, Princess also loves getting stuff and talking about stuff. I got the carton in the mail and excitedly we opened it up and looked at the contents.

Not feeling 100%, I said that we would have a proper look in the morning. Sadly, Princess put the box on the bench and, true story, stared wistfully at it for a good ten minutes.

That night, I had the hideous misfortune of getting the Worst Headache in History. No exaggeration. I was out for the count. Husband had a small, early morning shift so was home in time to take Princess to school. When he got home, I was head down, bum up on the bedroom floor whimpering and Princess was dressed and ready to go to school. “I got myself ready” she proudly told her Daddy. “I even made my own lunch”.

Even from my death bed, my thoughts immediately went to that box of Wattie’s samples sitting on the bench.

Sure enough, once the multitudes of medication had kicked in enough for me to lift my head, I came out and looked in the box. Yup. Every packet open. I didn’t ever see her lunchbox that day but I can guarantee it was chocka block full of items from the Wattie’s Little Kids Range. It was.

And so, my review has added contributions from Princess, aged 6.

It would pay to mention as well at this point that, due to BabyGirl’s dairy allergy, Wattie’s were really good in ensuring that the majority of products were dairy free.

Heinz Little Kids Mini Corn Cakes – Tomato

These crunchy little corn cakes (kind of like mini rice cakes, but a bit crunchier) are really, really delicious. And that is me saying that! I really liked them. In fact, all three kids did. These are aimed towards the 1-3 year age bracket, they are ideally sized for little hands and aren’t over powering with flavour. They are crunchy without being tough, so ideal for little teeth. And they taste good, despite not having tons of flavouring. The tomato flavour is subtle so perfect for kids who turn their noses up at anything flavoured (I’m looking at you, BoyChild). Like I said, all three kids really liked them. Four, including me – I’d eat them for a snack quite happily!

Princess: I really liked these crackers. They are small and yum and I like them crunchy.

Heinz Little Kids Wholegrain Cereal Bars – Apple and Blueberry

These are little muesli bar-type things that, once again, are portion sized perfectly for little hands and little stomachs. But the age guideline is just that – a guideline. Princess put two of these in her lunch that first day, and asked me to buy more when they packet ran out. Again, the flavour was subtle, which is great for little taste buds.

Princess: These were so good oh my gosh Mum you need to buy these every day? Can I have some more? And the box made a good swimming pool for my doll?

Heinz Little Kids Fruit and Vege Shredz – Peach, Apple and Veg

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These were the clear winner of the day.

“They’re made from 99% Fruit and Vegetable juice and purees and are shaped and sized for little fingers to easily pick up, encouraging independent eating”.  –Wattie’s

It’s funny – last year I actually purchased some of these, with the plan of telling BoyChild they were lollies and seeing if he would eat them. Back then, he was terribly fussy and barely ate anything (he is considerably better now). He eagerly picked them up, shovelled them into his mouth, then looked at us with a look that said, “how could you? I trusted you” and spat them out. *shrug*

This time around, Princess took a pack in her lunch (they come in small bags, a great portion size for morning tea) and absolutely loved them. BabyGirl had a packet for her lunch as well, and devoured it. So, I thought, hey – let’s see if BoyChild will eat them. What do you know? He did. He didn’t go crazy for them like the girls did, but he ate them. Which, in his world, is a win-and-a-half.

Truth be told, the entire box of these didn’t last a day. When Princess came home from school, her and BabyGirl had another pack each, and then shared the last pack after tea.

Win.

Princess: I really really really REALLY love these. They are like lollies but not because they are good for me and have veges and are good for my teeth and I really love them. Mum will buy them again she said.

Heinz Little Kids Brekky To Go – Banana Oats with Cinnamon

Heinz-R-Little-Kids-R-Brekky-To-Go-Banana-Oats-with-Cinnamon-150g

I wasn’t able to give this to BabyGirl due to it’s dairy content, and because of the “baby” packaging, Princess and BoyChild weren’t interested either. No worries – I called in the assistance of a little guy we will call Baby J. He is one of BabyGirl’s friends and a keen eater.

This was no different, Baby J loved this. These sachets are ingenious – we practically lived off them when the kids were tiny. They are a perfect shape and size for the kid/baby to feed themselves. They simply hold it and suck out the contents.

The great part about this particular product is that it is breakfast in a tube. They should make these in adult. Maybe they do? I’m not sure. But I would buy it. When I’m running around the house trying to get Princess to school and BoyChild to preschool, poor old BabyGirl often finds herself sitting in the car eating toast from a plate while we drive to the various drop offs. Or, carrying the toast with her while we take Princess to her class. Truth be told, yesterday both her and BoyChild had toast-on-plates-in-the-car. At least they had plates, right? My point is, a breakfast on the go thing like this would be handier (and considerably less crumby!) for those rare (read: common) mornings when I am darting about like a headless chicken.

Wattie’s Little Kids – Spaghetti Bolognese/Hearty Beef Casserole

Wattie-s-Little-Kids-Spaghetti-Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of Mr T’s favourite meals, so we have it at least once a week. The kids tolerate it, so when I saw this tin I thought they might scoff at it, perhaps poke the noodles a little.

The girls loved it. I served it as their dinner when Mr T was working late, and we went through two tins between the girls. Once again, not overly seasoned and the veges were blended in well enough that super-sleuth Princess couldn’t pick them out. BabyGirl is (and always has been) a great eater, so she just wolfed it back, no holds barred, making me regret the decision to get rid of her bibs. A mess was made, that’s for sure. But they loved it. Definitely something I will consider getting again, especially for those cold winter nights when Mr T isn’t home for dinner (and, frankly, I can’t be bothered cooking a fancy, nutritious dinner for the kiddos).

The Hearty Beef, I was sceptical about, I won’t lie. Perhaps it drew up flashbacks of the baby shower game I once played where we had to try unmarked tins of baby food and guess their flavours. I did not guess Hearty Beef correctly.

That being said, I gave it to BabyGirl on a rainy, cold day for lunch. I needn’t have worried – she looked at it, poked it with her fork, tasted a bit with her finger, then it was all on. She devoured it!

These cans are certainly not appetising for adults, but they aren’t intended to be. They contain food and seasonings suitable for the subtle tastebuds and small tummies of little kids, and they really are ideal for that reason!

I’ve said it a few times, and I will reiterate – this Wattie’s and Heinz Little Kids range is perfect for its target market – kids aged 1 – 3 years. The portion sizes, flavours and packet sizes are ideal for little hands and little stomachs. I was impressed – it’s been a little while since I’ve looked at the toddler/baby food aisle and I feel like I’ve missed out on some ideal morning tea/lunchtime snacks for not just BabyGirl, but for the older kids as well. Will definitely be buying many of these again.

If you want more information, head over to the Wattie’s website  and have a look at the full range

And, have a look at Kiwi Mummy Blogs as well, for more reviews as well as access to lots of other blogs written by other Kiwi Mummies!

Finally, Princess has asked to have the final word:

I think that this is a really neat product. I liked the muesli bar a lot and I really loved the Shredz, they were like lollies but better because they are healthy. I love them.  Thanks, okay, bye.

Kiwi Mummy Blogs
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12 Questions About Life – Princess, Take Five! BoyChild, Take Two

We last did this back in January, so I thought it might be fun to do it again.

Princess doesn’t find it as much “fun” as she used to, it was almost as though the weight of the questions overwhelms her. Poor kid. And BoyChild absolutely loved it – initially I thought he was just spouting random words and sentences but upon reading over it again, I realise he was answering the questions pretty well! Despite the fact he was also playing with Lego at the time and battling his dear little sister who was determined to steal it from him.

An so, here it is (once again, previous answers in brackets)

12 Questions About Life – by Princess, 5 years, 10 months

1. What is the meaning of life? That’s too hard

(Astronauts)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher

(Doctor or Teacher)

3. What makes you most happy? When I laugh

(Mummy)

4. When do you feel most loved? When Mummy cuddles me

(With Daddy)

5. What are you afraid of? When my teacher dressed up like a ghost at Halloween and scared me. I screamed.

(The dark)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Another American Girl Doll.

(Another American Girl Doll. If you wish on a star it really does come true)

7. What is the funniest word? Tickle bum. No – shake your booooooteeeeee.

(Lila)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Make loom band bracelets

(Put the DVD into the DVD player)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Clip the ‘S’ clip onto the loom band bracelet at the end

(Paint my nails)

10. What makes you mad? BabyGirl hitting me

(Stomping)

11. What is the meaning of love? Going to school. Because I love my teacher.

(Stars. It truly is)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Buy a Lego Friends Shopping Mall

(Buy an Elsa doll).

12 Questions About Life – BoyChild, 4 years, 4 months

1. What is the meaning of life? What’s that mean?

(Elevators)

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A cat

(Cool kid)

3. What makes you most happy? Counting

(People)

4. When do you feel most loved? With Dad. No, Mum.

(Stars)

5. What are you afraid of? Shaun the Sheep Movie

(No.)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Fish

(No thanks)

7. What is the funniest word? BING!

(Funny)

8. What is the easiest thing to do? Lego

(Open doors)

9. What is the hardest thing to do? Play Bingo

(Going backwards)

10. What makes you mad? Squares. BABYGIRL TOOK MY LEGO ARGH!

(Doing poos)

11. What is the meaning of love? SHE TOOK MY LEGO!

(Cool)

12. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? Get a Paw Patrol Garage

(Buy lemonade)

https://havekidstheysaid.com/category/12-questions-about-life/