Holidays · Parenting

Sunshine or Showers: Keeping Kids Entertained on Caravan Holidays Regardless of the Weather

Sunshine or Showers: Keeping Kids Entertained on Caravan Holidays Regardless of the Weather

Holidays are the perfect opportunity for families to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, and caravan holidays, in particular, offer a unique blend of adventure and convenience. Whether exploring the countryside or parking at a picturesque beach, a caravan holiday provides a flexible and affordable way to spend quality time with your family. However, keeping kids entertained, come rain or shine, can be a challenge. In this article, we’ll explore various activities suited to different weather conditions and touch upon the importance of caravan insurance and residential static caravan insurance in ensuring a worry-free holiday.

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Opinion · Parenting

For shame (or “Why Marketing to Children Should be Illegal”)

You know how there are those professions which discerning, self-respecting people would never go near? You know the ones, traffic wardens, ambulance chasers, defence lawyers who work for paedophiles, Conservative politicians…well I’d like to take this opportunity to formally add one to the list. Todays entry is Marketing Executive, specifically those who work for toy companies.

As I’ve mentioned before, we let Sausage watch telly, and as much as Husband and I favour CBeebies for its no-advert, generally educational programming, Sausage’s favourite shows are mostly on Nickelodeon, which means that she’s subjected to a barrage of targeted, and sometimes not so targeted advertising. When we first had Sausage, I always vowed to never let her watch the channels with ads after my sister-in-law recounted a story to me, which at the time, I found horrifying. She was in the kitchen one day, doing some cleaning and her son, who must’ve been about three at the time, walked in and said “Mummy, why don’t you use Cillit Bang? I gets rid of the grease every time”.

It astounds me that companies who make cleaning products advertise on kids’ TV, but it goes to show that it still pays off for them, when even kids end up touting their wares! But it’s the toy adverts that bug me. Fortunately, Sausage is still largely unaffected by them, she hasn’t quite hit the “I Want” stage yet, but Husband and I still try to stay abreast with whats out there for kids, so if we see something which we think Sausage will like, we’ll inevitably look it up and see how much it costs. It was on one of these “Ooh, she’d love that” occasions that I found out about those toys on the market which are so cleverly advertised, but prohibitively expensive.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce the Puppy Lane range. This range of toys is extensive and includes a cottage and dog, sofa, garden, kitchen, postal set, car, which combined will set you back around £250. Then when you factor in the Strawberry Stables add-ons, you can almost double your money. Now, just for the added effect, in the advert, these things are all pictured together, which means when your kids see it, they want the whole kit and caboodle, which is only natural. It’s just such terrible blood-sucking behaviour from the toy companies and it’s the parents who pay for it, with both money and guilt. Shame on all you Don Drapers out there.

Husband and I have always gone out of our way to make sure that Sausage has everything she needs, without turning her into a spoilt brat. Our families are also hugely generous as she’s an only grandchild on my side, and one of three on Husband side. The girl has MOUNDS of stuff. But on principle, we’ve steered away from the Puppy Lane gear. If she were to say that she desperately wanted it, I’m sure her Daddy and I would crumble, but ’til then, Worlds Apart wont see penny one from us.

It’s the families who have more that one child that I feel sorry for, the ones who have to please more than one set of big, pleading eyes. It must be tough, and I know you could argue that they chose to have that many kids, but by the same token, the toy companies chose to price a lot of us out of the game.

So, you, Marketing Executives will be added to my list and forever more be added to the Douchebag Hall of Shitty Professions. I hope you can live with that.

(Just for the record, these shit-heads earn a ridiculous amount of money, and so probably never worry about the price of things, and sleep soundly in their big houses, whilst the rest of us rant about Strawberry bloody Stables. Knobs.)

Update

Husband has just reminded me of a quote from a man who could, quite frankly, say everything better, more concisely, if a little swearier than me. Looks like I’m not the only one:

By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising…kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I’m doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan’s little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: ‘There’s gonna be a joke comin’ up.’ There’s no fuckin’ joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself…borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something…rid the world of your evil fuckin’ presence.

The late, great Bill Hicks.
Opinion · Parenting · Personal

The True Cost of Parenting

The True Cost of Parenting

Some friends of mine and Husband’s are expecting their first child at the beginning of next year, and they had us over for dinner at the weekend. We were going through the usual baby-related chit-chat (and I swear, I have tried to lay off of baby-talk as I know it’s maddening for a Mum-to-be to have the same conversation with every single person she speaks to) and we got to the subject of shopping. Or more accurately what they were planning to buy, to prepare for their new arrival.

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Parenting · Personal

No Kids Allowed?

No Kids Allowed?

Okay, anyone who is of faint-heart may want to turn away now. Because I have something to say, and it may not be pretty or delicate. It’s something I feel strongly about and if this turns into a rant, don’t blame me, you were warned!

I would really, really like to know; why do people have children if they don’t like spending time with them? I was reading a post from a fellow blogger this morning, where she talks about taking her family on a skiing holiday, and one of her friends told her that with the day care and classes for kids, she’d barely have to see her kids whilst away. As you’ll see if you read the original post, Mediocre Mum had no intention of palming her kids off to strangers for the whole holiday, but the fact that it was said, so out of hand, like children are just accessories, dragged out when we need them, kind of got on my nerves.

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Parenting

What Makes Kids ‘Fussy Eaters’?

What Makes Kids ‘Fussy Eaters’?

I was just standing at the kitchen sink, doing the washing up (I do most of my best thinking whilst washing dishes!), and I was marvelling at how diverse Sausage is when it comes to her eating habits, compared to a lot of kids her age who are super fussy eaters. This week alone, she’s eaten a chicken biryani, a homemade lasagna, a three-bean stew and a roast dinner, including carrots, greens and baby sprouts, not to mention a whole punnet of strawberries and half a bunch of grapes.

It got me to wondering how many other two-and-a-bit year olds eat as well as Sausage does, is she unique in this, or are others so willing to try new things?

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Parenting · Personal

An Ode to Winter

An ode to winter

Photo by Tim Gouw

When I was younger, if you’d have asked me what my favourite season was, my answer, without hesitation, would have been summer. I loved summer, I felt it was my season. I loved the heat, I’d be delirious with excitement when the longer nights set in. I was born in June, a true summer baby. When I first started living with Husband, I’d drag him out on twilight walks to sit in the local public gardens, just so I could soak up the balmy evenings.

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Humour · Parenting

Things You Never Think About…Until You Become a Parent

Things You Never Think About…Until You Become a Parent
  • Note to self; I must remember that Sausage has been eating lumps of red Play Doh, before I change her nappy and panic about all the red bits in her poo.
  • Hmm, I wonder if there’s a more practical way to deal with an attached child than to have them actually sitting on your lap while you pee?
  • Oh, wow, she moved over a bit, that means I now have FOUR WHOLE INCHES of my kingsize bed, all to myself!
  • I wonder if I can cut her hair/fingernails/toenails while she’s asleep, so I can avoid being kicked in the teeth/stabbed?
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Humour · Parenting

A list of people who I might allow to read my child a bedtime story. Or, an open letter to Shane Ritchie.

Richard Briers

Richard Briers - bedtime story

I’ll admit it, I’m a enormous fan of The Good Life and I often have it on while I fall asleep, so it’s a bit like a bedtime story in itsefl! I also have machinations of one day being just like Tom and Barbara (but it would be an awful lot of effort, doing all that work and maintaining that impish charm and Cheltenham Girls College accent, wouldn’t it?)

Richard Briers is the man who EVERYONE wants as their Grandad, isn’t he? Such a kindly old so-an-so, with a perfect voice for narration, to boot!

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