Apparently there is something unusual and a little bit intriguing lurking out there on the internet. It’s called a mummy blog. IJ, aged nearly eight, has just informed me of this and has announced that she is thinking of starting one.
I have no idea what has come over her.
Naturally I have explained to her that mummy blogging is a bad idea. It’s highly addictive for one thing; it will frequently have her staying up long past her bedtime reading other mummy blogs, and there will be occasions when she suddenly feels the need to log back onto the computer late at night just to reply to a blog post, or a tweet.
It will also cause her to neglect whatever else it is she planned to do with her day and have her scribbling ideas for blog posts on the back of envelopes which will then cause embarrassment when she has to cross this out before handing over the birthday card.
But she is having none of it.
Clearly she thinks that mummy blogging can have some fabulous perks, connect her to a supportive community of like-minded people on-call on twitter whenever you need them, and result in the postman arriving at her door with everything from fruit juice to garden play equipment.
Alas no. That is not the case at all.
She has realised that the only way anyone gets the opportunity to spend time on the laptop in our house is when they suddenly announce: “I need to write a blog post.” Then they can hog it indefinitely to the exclusion of everyone else.
Clearly she is trying to tell me something.
I’ve explained to her that to write a mummy blog you need to be a mummy. As she knows that becoming a mummy has something to do with boys, so she has run a mile at the thought of it.
The computer is now all mine.
This announcement was made with what can only be described as a smug grin and in a voice that projected a new found confidence - a confidence that was not so apparent when she left for school this morning.
After dropping this bombshell she then pointed out more than once that the child involved was very small and also a boy, which seems to have added to her sense of achievement.
Clearly I have failed as a parent. The thought crossed my mind that by Monday word would have got out and the whole school would know about this. We would no longer be welcomed at the school gate. Hostile glances would be passed in my direction. We would become outcasts.
It would mean a new school in a new area. We might even have to change our names.
I was possibly getting a little carried away, but the situation did not bode well.
With IJ still excited about her ‘achievement’ she was taken into the kitchen and placed on the chair now known as the ‘interrogation chair’ where I demanded an explanation. She was told to tell me every last detail about how she had come to beat up a small innocent child, a classmate, a fellow human being.
She seemed very keen to tell me. There had been a race in the school playing field. The whole year group were involved. Towards the end of the race IJ was behind the small boy in question but quickly managed to catch up and overtake him.
So she had in fact beaten him, in the race. Before she tells this tale to Granny I have advised her against using the expression‘beaten up’ and explained that this might result in confusion and unexpected punishment.
I have apologised for looking at her with an expression of disbelief and horror and she has now been removed from the interrogation chair.
Perhaps she had found the numeracy paper too hard or had misunderstood the comprehension question and had been unable to finish her paper.
Whatever it was I was certain that it could be easily fixed. These are only Year 3 assessment papers after all, the results of which will not follow her round for the rest of her life and determine her future career choices.
There is no cause for alarm.
So I sat her down and asked her what was bothering her: poised, attentive, ready for anything, except this:
“Mummy, I’m worried that when you’re dead I won’t know how to buy a McDonalds Happy Meal.”
Suffice to say she is now sitting in the kitchen with an apple and muesli bar revising for tomorrow’s assessments.
After that I might start teaching her Latin.
More revision and healthy eating is to follow.
It’s not every day you see a child waving a pack of Durex under your nose, but thanks to a trip to Boots at the weekend that’s exactly the scene that was played out in front of me, by my own daughter no less.
This was not the result of the aisle we were looking in, let me quickly point out. It was an innocent, family-friendly shopping trip, or at least it was supposed to be. I was standing in the queue waiting to pay and minding my own business when the incident occurred.
The packets of Durex were at my daughter’s eye level, not mine, next to the painkillers and other last minute ‘essentials’ you may discover you need moments before you pay for your shopping. Or not in our case.
In the ‘olden days’ when I was seven years old, you’d find packets of sweets shouting out for your attention in these aisles. But retailers bowed to public pressure and understood that children would grab the sweets and a difficult situation between parent and child would ensue.
Common sense prevailed, although not enough sense in this case. Now we have a difficult situation of a different kind, which is easily solved, I discovered, by suddenly noticing there are sweets nearby and pointing to them. It proved an excellent way of diverting attention away from adult contraceptives.
Never have I been more relieved to see a tube of Smarties.
But I'd like to suggest Boots re-think their merchandising.