Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hairdressing for toddlers

I have just spent the last half hour googling how to remove papaw cream from hair. 

Strange past time you may think...but obviously one that many have ventured into before I came along. Bizarrely, I got so far as to type in 'removing petr' into Google when it auto filled - removing petroleum jelly from hair. Now, that's just a little bit random. Just how many people out there engage in this unconventional beauty regime?

I had only finished saying today that the short one's hair was a little dry and I have had to add conditioner into her overall pampering package. Clearly she decided that she would take it just that little step further and empty the entire contents of a tub of papaw cream onto her head. Simply not satisfied with just sticking with the personal grooming session, she also decided that the wooden floors needed a bit of a wax, as did the side tables. So much so that on my entering the room to investigate the progression of the supposed afternoon sleep, I go for a skate across the room to land unceremoniously on the bed.

At that point in time, I saw the glistening head of said three year old telling me, 'My hair is lovely and clean...' all the while rubbing it like some unhinged hairdresser. It was about then that I realised the extent of the disaster that now befalls me. One empty 200g tub of petroleum jelly-type product plastered all over the bedroom and child's head.

Closely following this revelation, I lose the plot and start screaming like a mad woman, 'What have you done?' to which she exclaims (as if it is some important consideration at this point of time), 'I'm OK.'

'That's great - but what about my furniture...your hair?'

With the fervour of the aforementioned mad woman the child is thrown, futilely as it turns out, into the bath for a severe hair washing session...take it from me, shampoo, conditioner and water are no match for the aggressive stickability of papaw cream.

So this leads me back to my google search...removing petroleum jelly from hair.
Top answer on Yahoo answers - with some poor woman pleading for any assistance after trying everything....'Well... you won't do that again!' (You can almost hear the sanctimonious tone in the voice.)

Next website suggests I cut the hair. This is not looking good for a child with precious little follicle action as it is.

Next best options...cornstarch, cornflour, baby powder, baking soda, dish washing's looking more like I'll be whipping up a batch of scones, or doing the dishes...

For now these options will have to wait. The child is finally sleeping, looking like some sort of grease monkey...and me well, I'm just shaking my head asking myself, 'Why me?'

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love to read

2012 marks the National Year of Reading in Australia. How wonderful! But as far as I am concerned EVERY year should be the National Year of Reading.

Snuggling down with a baby and a book is one of the most delicious ways of spending quality time with kids. Time so precious.

Research has overwhelmingly indicated that kids who are read to every day are well on their way to becoming readers themselves, before they even step foot into a classroom.

Reading is the most highly valued skill in the world.  Rightly or wrongly, literacy skills are probably the most definitive indicator of social class and future success; more so than any other discipline in the world of education.

Last night, I went to an event at the State Library where renowned children’s book author Mem Fox spoke about reading to children. Her enthusiasm and passion for reading is infectious.  So much so that on leaving one of her sessions you could be excused for abducting some poor unsuspecting child just so that you could read to them!

During her intro, it was revealed that 6 out of 10 children in Queensland are read to regularly. Mem celebrated this statistic – exclaiming how wonderful it was. But how wonderful would it be if it was 10 out of 10!

Here are my tips to try and reach that goal in 2012, the Year of Reading…

  • Ten minutes a day – that’s all it takes. 
  • Join your local library – they are free and regularly offer storytelling sessions for toddlers and young children.
  • Check out - heaps of tips, activities, support and events.
  • Instead of showering kids with chocolate this Easter – consider buying them a book - oh and a handbag so they can accessorise while reading (upside down!)

  • Get dad or granddad in on the act – or any other significant male to show that boys can read too!

  • Have a selection of age appropriate, inviting, exciting, interesting and wonderful books on hand and within reach – do not squirrel them away for good – books are meant to be thumbed, chewed, slobbered on…it is a sign of love!

  • Read a good night story or five to kids, then leave them with some books to read to themselves in bed.  What a gorgeous habit to foster! (And I guarantee they will fall asleep and have sweet dreams)

  • Love the moment, revel in the beautiful words, bring the book to life with enthusiasm and joy.

But above all, have fun!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Yummy mummies

‘Yummy mummies’ – one of those inane expressions that sadly gained momentum because some literary genius noticed that two words rhymed. More’s the pity they didn’t just stick with creating hugely imaginative monikers for celebrities – such as the likes of JLo, Brangelina or TomKat.

Whilst the term is irritating – there is a definite ‘type’ of mummy lurking out there. The type that must be seen, be heard, be admired…

These 'yummy mummies' appear to be doing all the right things, wearing all the right gear, going to all the right places, while parading their offspring like some sort of achievement trophy…but scratch the surface and there seems to be a whole other agenda.

These mummies seem to vicariously live through their kids, gaining some bizarre pleasure out of embroiling themselves in their activities. No doubt some clinical psychologists would suggest that these mummies suffered at the hands of their own parents, and now they are able to turn their lives around.  But the question has to be asked, for who?

Let kids be kids; let kids revel in their own fun; let kids explore, risk take and be independent; let the umbilical cord be severed. 

Otherwise, we are at risk of rearing a generation of over-indulged, over-protected, overly dependent young adults who feel they are owed something.

The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker