Friday, February 16, 2007

The Madness of Modern Families

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Families Thames Valley West

The BBC have been showing a thirty minute tv series called [I]The Madness of Modern Families[/I]. It shows the lengths that parents (well some parents I'm hoping that not all parents feel this way) go to or feel they need to go to be the perfect parent. They have a comical side to them but it does give you pause for thought.

Is there really this big pressure to be the perfect parent in society's eyes? Is being able to hold the best and most talked about (in a good way) birthday party all we have as parents to live up to? Who decided this? Do we in effect end up making our children suffer for this, what affect does it have on them? Is it that important that little Biscuit can count to twenty in every known language when he is a year old? Or that cute little Lollipop gives out the best glitter nailvarnish in her party packs? Or that Florida's Mummy spent weeks making the most amazing school concert costume so she (to me Florida sounds like a girls name, doesn't it to you?) would outshine every other child on the stage and what does it matter if she's only playing a dustbin?

I've not managed to catch all of the series as it's on when I'm putting my little monkey monster to bed and reading him a bedtime story but the ones I've caught a brief bit of are the birthday party one and the extra-curriculum activities one.

I remember on the birthday party one this father said that after so many years of stressing over his daughters birthday party he turned round to her and said (as best as I can remember)

"You can have a party but at some point you'll cry, someone will open your presents, you'll eat and drink too much and be sick, you will argue with your best friend and most of the other children you won't even know. Someone will hurt someone else and you'll be very tired at the end of it all and not have enjoyed it. If you want you can have that... Orrrrr I can take you now to the nearest toy shop and all that money that would have been spent on the party you can be spend on buying as much plastic crap as you want."

It did make me laugh but in reality this is a father who has just felt that he can no longer or most likely doesn't want to be in the "Party Bag Brigade".

This week (which I only caught snippets of) was about ballet lessons for babies, Swahili for toddlers and such.

I'm not sure outside about outside of the UK but here in Jolly Olde Blighty children start school younger than when I was a kid (which yes I know was a similiar time to the dinosaurs roaming around but that's not the point) at just four years old. They attend playschool, or nursery or pre-school, whichever you want to call it although I'm sure there is some difference I'm yet to comprehend between them, from as young as two years old now. I've heard at some places how they are more about the teaching to read and write side of things and not the play and interaction side. Are we so interested in making our little darlings grow up so quickly? I'm all for learning and yes last week when Callum showed me how he could write his name I was proud (even though it doesn't 100% look like his name I can work out which bits are which letter) and showed it off and told everyone. I'm not though worried that he has shown me no interest in wanting to learn the alphabet chart, he can sing the song and that's all that is important to him, and you know what that is all that is important to me, what makes my little boy happy.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this blog. I just wonder why there is all this pressure out there to do all these things and who puts it there. It sure isn't children as they are happy enough jumping in puddles and throwing leaves at everyone.

Anyway I'm off now to start planning for Callum's first "big and proper" birthday party. It isn't until July but I need to make sure I have just the right number of children... and the right type of children to attend the occassion. That the party bag will be the talk of the county for the next year and that I have enough diamond crusted presents for the parce the parcel presents.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dance Dance Dance

Recently I've been looking into dancing lessons for Callum. He's full of energy and loves to dance along to music and follow the dance steps on

Cbeebeis Boogie Beebies.

I found a dance studio that is about a five minute walk from our home and costs £12 a month. Bargain! I asked for the welcome pack and registration form to be sent out so I could read up on it.

When the brochure turns up it has a whole section on dress attire, guess what it said?

Yep... pink tutus!! It did bring a smile to my face. When I get my voice back from this cold I've had I'll phone them up and see what they say for boys but still it was tempting to send Callum to disco dancing for toddlers in a pink tutu. LOL.