Friday, 9 December 2016

Book Review - Mum's the Word

I've never been a big fan on books giving out advice on parenting. I've always felt that instinct is a better guide than a book written by some stranger who has never met you or your child but still feels qualified to tell you how to do your job. Books written by parents on their own experiences however are always a firm favourite of mine. Which is why I was ecstatic to have been contacted by two Victorian mums and asked to review their book.

Mums the Word is an essay based book written by two best friends about the ups and downs of parenting. From struggling to conceive all the way to the teen years no stone is left unturned in this book of tales from within the trenches of parenting.

I devoured this book in one sitting, forgoing sleep in order to continue prying into the lives of these two women as they struggled with the same things I have struggled with, and some things that I am yet to face. They shared their triumphs, their embarrassments, their horror stories and the things that in hindsight may not have been such a good idea.

Each of the chapters were fairly short and to the point, one of the reasons this book was so easy to get through in one day, as once I was were at the end of one chapter, I was all fired up and wanting more of their heart warming, often funny stories. This book gave a perspective that can only be had with experiencing the joys and hard work that is parenting. It was honest and charming from beginning to end and I finished the book feeling like I knew these women well.

The thing I found most amazing was the things about childhood that seem to be universal. Some of the stories these women told could have been ripped out of the pages of my own childhood, the games their children played, the fights for the front seat in the car, the sibling wars and the stress that is family holidays, all of which stay the same from one generation to the next. This gave me a sense of comfort, as I now know there is so much of my own daughter's childhood that I will understand, as it will be the same as what mine was, what these children's were, and what most children go through. I also loved the times I found myself nodding along with these women and saying "Me too" or more often "Thank God I'm not the only one who has done that"

I cannot recommend Mum's the Word enough. It is the perfect gift for any parent, or you can buy it for yourself so you can remind yourself you're never alone in your job as a parent, and despite how hard it seems in the now, it all works out in the end, and all too soon as well.

If you would like to purchase Mum's the Word, you can find it here and it is available in paperback or e-book for any tech savvy readers out there.

 I received a free copy of this book in return for this review. All opinions given here are my own and have in no way been influenced by anyone.

Friday, 25 November 2016

10 easy cleaning jobs that your kids would enjoy

Hello again my lovelies, I have a guest on the blog today discussing getting your kids involved in housekeeping, so please make her feel welcome.

Grace is from London, she writes articles related to cleaning, home improvements and parenting.

10 easy cleaning jobs that your kids would enjoy

Kids are better known with their messiness rather than being neat or having cleaning habits. But it is not hard to think of ways which can make cleaning joy and fun. You just need to choose a job which will be easy for your kids. Nobody wants to do something that looks like mission impossible. And it is very important to think of a reward after all the efforts they’ve put in doing the tasks given. It is also necessary for your kids to know that however easy the job is, it is important. This will make them feel of great value. And at last but not least – don’t just give your children to-do list. Do the work with them. Make them feel like they are actually helping you, not doing your chore.

Now it is time to give you some ideas for easy cleaning jobs that your kids would enjoy:

 1. Emptying trash. The most elementary thing and at the same time essential for a clean house. You can teach your children how to divide the trash into different categories – glass, paper, organic, so you can reach two goals with one thing – to keep the house clean and to think green.

2. Vacuuming. Fast and easy. May be the most preferable cleaning job in the house, especially if your children have big imagination.

 3. Dusting. The only thing which may be difficult in this job is if you have a lot of souvenirs or something else which needs to be moved out and then moved back. It makes the whole work boring and there is a great chance something to be broken. So cleaning services nw7 advises you to keep an eye on your kids while they are doing this task.

 4. Mopping. Doing something with water and soap balloons is always interesting for children. And when it includes wet and slippery floor it could become great entertainment. In this situation it is also possible somebody to get hurt so be careful with this duty.

5. Doing laundry. The best thing in this job is that there is no age limit. The only thing kids need to be capable of is passing things. What’s more, you can teach your kids the different colours if they are at early age.

 6. Folding. It comes as the next logical step after doing the laundry. If folding clothes is still difficult for your children, they can fold only the towels.

7. Wiping the kitchen table. Show your children that it is easy to keep the table and the floor around it clean if they wipe the table after every meal. After that they may do number 8 in this list.

 8. Washing the dishes. Of course not if they are very dirty, greasy, or it is something big like pots for example. At the beginning kids may start with cups, glasses and things that are easy to be washed.

 9. Washing the car together. Don’t expect from them to do a lot in this task, but it will be great fun in the hot summer days.

 10. Keeping their room tidy. Yes, it is possible, however hard. It is a matter of habit. It just takes time, sometimes very long time, of repeatedly and constantly reminding that it will be easier for them to find things they need if they are always at the same place.

I hope you’ve liked, if not all, at least some of the ideas. To make everything look more enjoyable, you can do it like family tradition. Make cleaning and maintenance duties something the whole family is involved in. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Product Review - Strider Balance Bike

Here in Australia summer is just around the corner, and along with it comes the perfect weather for bike riding. I just recently upgraded Miss K's bike, and now she and her cousin Lexi love tearing around the footpaths on their bikes. The last time I took the girls outside to ride together my poor nephew Jacob had to be left out as he's only 2, so he's too little for the bikes I have here, and until recently he's been too little for his own bike. So when Velogear contacted me offering one of their Strider balance bikes for review I jumped at the chance.

Balance bikes are similar to ordinary two-wheeled bikes however they have no pedals, and they are designed to help train children to balance on a bike, hopefully eliminating the need for training wheels when children get to the point that they are ready for a pedal powered bike. By getting used to having to use your upper body to keep a bike upright from the beginning, and learning the way normal bikes move when not stabilised by training wheels early on in life, you can bypass a lot of the fear and frustration a lot of kids feel when they are learning to ride unassisted. Balance bikes are also a lot lighter and less unwieldy as traditional tricycles or two-wheeled bikes with training wheels attached.

Strider brand balance bikes are particularly good because they are so lightweight and generally simple to assemble. The clamp I received for the handlebars was a bit tight, and my brother ended up having to pry it open to get it to fit on the bike, but I had a look online, and no one else had that complaint, so I'm going to put that one down to a manufacturing issue. In the end we got it on the bike and it held the handlebars tight so all's well.

The bike even comes partially assembled, making your first job of putting it together even easier.

All that was left to do once the bike was assembled was let Jakey take it for a test ride. Because Jacob is naturally fearless, I knew he'd take to this bike like a duck to water, and I was right. He couldn't wait to hop on and start hooning around like his big cousins. Jacob got the feel for pushing himself around with his feet fairly quickly, and as he gets more confident he'll figure out how to get some momentum going and lift his feet up for a real rush. The bike even comes with grips on the foot rests to give some friction and reduce the risk of little feet slipping off the smooth metal.

We noticed at first that the steering was a little tight, but some quick research showed that this was an intentional design feature, included to keep the steering a little bit more controlled while children are still learning how to manoeuvre the bike. With use the steering column does loosen up, so the more confident the kids become, the more they will be able to control the way the bike steers.

We set the steering and seat height to the lowest settings at first, and they ended up being the perfect height for my very short nephew (Hopefully he'll be as tall as his dad when he grows up, but right now he's just a tiny tacker.) The Strider balance bike comes with EVC tyres that will never go flat, eliminating the need to do puncture repairs or continuously fill them with air. The 12" bike is suitable for kids aged 18 months to 5 years, and comes with an extra long pole to  raise the seat high enough to accommodate taller children.

The Strider balance bike is an excellent first bike for any child, so if any of you know a little one who is in need of a first set of wheels, check them out at Velogear today.

With Christmas right around the corner, now is the perfect time to check out the range of bikes and accessories available at Velogear. They offer free shipping on all orders with no minimum spend amount, and they have some of the cheapest prices in Australia. They ship to both Australia and New Zealand, so check them out today and see the amazing range they offer.

I received free products for the purpose of this review. All opinions given here are my own and have in no way been influenced by Strider or anyone else. Searching for Sanity is not affiliated with or Strider Sports International in any way.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

November Fly on the Wall

Welcome once again to Fly on the Wall. The series where a group of bloggers join together to share all of the crazy that happens to us on a monthly basis.

Fly on the Wall

This month there are six bloggers participating, be sure to visit them all, and share the love around.

Menopausal Mother                       
Go Mama O                                                                             
Spatulas on Parade                      
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                             
Southern Belle Charm                    

Me (reading) : What? butt pastel?
Kim: Ooh I love butt pasta.
Me: Oh wait, it says butt paste.
Kim: Well this is awkward, I just admitted I love butt pasta unnecessarily.

Mum: Oh look at this, it's a guest house for an elf, how cute. It's $53? Hell they can find their own bloody accommodation then.

Auto correct strikes again...

My big sister Sam was complaining to me about her newly minted teenage daughter's antics.
Me: I dread the day Miss K becomes a teenager because she'll be a wog teenager. It's going to be drama plus loud.

My sister in law Sam came over for a coffee earlier this week.
Sam: Lexi's end of year concert is coming up next month, if you wanted to come.
Me: Absolutely, we'll be there. (To Miss K) Lexi's school concert is in a few weeks, do you want to go watch?
Miss K: Yes please! I want to be a tree! (proceeds to do her best tree impression)
Me: Well luckily you don't need to wait until the concert to be a tree, you can be one whenever you like!

Nat: Did I tell you I talked in my sleep the other night?
Me: No, what happened?
Nat: So I sat up and said to Dave "Stop lying to Gotham City" so he asked "Why am I lying to the people of Gotham City?" and I said "Cos you're Batman." I remembered nothing of it the next morning when he asked me.

This seriously was easier than going directly to the birthday boy. Despite the fact it took over 2 hours to get my message to him.

Ok so this story actually happened back in August, but I only just heard about my dad's antics this month. When Tristan's dad died, my dad and Kimberley went down to Melbourne for the funeral, and Natalie and Kimberley got to experience my dad's most graceful moment to date.
Nat: When we got to the funeral the parking was full, and there were heaps of cop cars there for a different funeral at the home, so we had to park a while away from the funeral home. At the end of funeral we were walking back to the car, and we were on the footpath, and dad passed a comment asking why we were walking on the footpath when we could cut across the garden, and then he does this majestic prance across the garden. I've never seen him so graceful.

Nat and I were discussing her high school friends.
Nat: Ash stopped liking me when we started drinking together. She didn't like drunk Natalie.
Me: No one likes drunk Natalie, you're loud and obnoxious.
Nat: Dave likes drunk Natalie, he thinks she's fun.
Me: Dave thinks the sun shines out your butt, of course he likes drunk Natalie.

Any of my long time readers know that my baby sister Kimberley has had a slew of health issues over the past year. Well this month she ended up in hospital because her liver failed thanks to an accidental paracetamol overdose. thanks to the staff at our local hospital, by the time she came home she had a staph infection and a blood clot in her arm, and she was stuck with a PICC line in her arm so she can have constant antibiotic infusions for the foreseeable future. While it hasn't all been fun and games there were a few moments we could all find to laugh about.

Nat and I were texting 
Me: So is there any news about Kim yet?
Nat: She has a staff infection
At this point I had to call her.
Me: Ok, you do realise you just told me your sister has an infection of employees don't you? Staph is not spelt with a double f.
Nat: Well I'm just spelling it how Kimberley spelt it.
Me: Of course, why didn't I realise that?

Nat and her new partner Dave were going to visit Kim in hospital after she'd found out about the staph infection, and when he told his mum, her only advice was not to touch the walls. We all had a giggle about it at the time as Kim's infection was in her blood, so just being in a room with her was not dangerous. Nat must have told Kim about it, because she had to have a dig at him when she finally got out of hospital.

Kim: Oh mum it was the weirdest thing, Nat and Dave showed up while I was in hospital, and all of a sudden he just starts licking the walls. It was so strange.

Couldn't start setting unrealistic expectations once I'd admitted I'm this lazy.

We were trying to explain the concept of jealousy to Miss K and we each gave her examples of things we could be jealous of.

Eliza: I'm jealous of you Miss K because you don't have to wear a bra.
Me: I'm jealous of you because you play the piano so well.
Kim: I'm jealous of you because you get to go to kindergarten and play all day and I have to stay home.
Miss K: Mum, I'm jealous of you because everyone says Miss K, you're a d**khead.
Me: Ok first of all no one says that...
I couldn't continue to correct her on her sentence because all of us were on the floor in stitches. That girl is going to be the death of me. 

Well that's all from this crazy corner of the world, don't forget to visit the rest of the bloggers participating today, and also please let me know in the comments down below that my daughter isn't the only five year old with a mouth that would make a sailor blush. I'm beginning to think she is actually listening to everything I'm saying...

Monday, 24 October 2016

Timeline of a 2am spew fest

Scene: It is very early in the morning and you are lying in bed enjoying a peaceful sleep as you do every night. Next to you is the tiny figure of a child, who makes their way into your room every night for snuggles, but tonight is not like every other night as you are about to find out.

1:58am: You notice that the figure next to you is more restless than normal. This fact barely registers in your sleeping thoughts, but you do notice it through your dream.
2:00am: You are woken up by the first choking sounds of an impending spew by the body next to you. In your sleep addled state you have the presence of mind to throw the blankets off her before the spew-pocalypse begins. There is no time to do anything else after that.
2:01am: You turn on the light and see the huge task that awaits you. There is now a vomit covered child sitting on a vomit soaked mattress crying. You run to the kitchen to grab a bucket in case there is any more vomit to come, but you might as well not bother, the damage is done. You insult the small child by offering her the bucket as she no longer possesses the desire to throw up.
2:03am: You gingerly strip off the child and send her towards the bathroom to await cleaning. You figure that area is all tiles and lino so it will be easier to clean if her reassurances she doesn't feel sick anymore turn out to be all lies.
2:04am: You turn to your bed, which now resembles a scene from Dante's Inferno and begin stripping the bedclothes. You sigh as you add  this stain to the long list of pre-existing stains that your child has already kindly donated to your mattress.  The bedclothes are piled up outside the laundry along with the pyjamas.
2:06am: You grab some clean pyjamas and a towel for your child and head to the bathroom to break up the argument that has started between her and your mother, as she insists that YOU are the one who must now clean her up. You throw the clothes on the floor then remember that you forgot underpants. You dash to the bedroom, nearly breaking your next in the process on the mountain of toys on the floor that she insists is her shop. You run back to the bathroom where the argument has continued in your absence and confirm to your child that you are indeed going to be the one who cleans her up. Your mum heads off to make you a coffee. You are going to need it.
2:10am: You end up having to get into the shower with your crying child, because she has just remembered she is terrified of the shower and is refusing to enter alone. It doesn't matter that you already showered today, you're now going to have a record breaking two showers in one day.
2:16am: You have scrubbed your child from top to bottom and she is finally not crying, and no longer afraid of the shower. In fact she is now "swimming" on the shower floor and giggling, her recent stomach fireworks a distant memory. This is the point at which you realise you never grabbed a towel for yourself.
2:17am: You are now standing naked and dripping wet in your bathroom drying off your child. Both of you are shivering, but only one of you is covered by a towel and receiving a rigorous drying off. The other of you is a grown adult and has to suck it up. You quickly throw on your nightgown after a quick check to make sure you ducked the contents of her stomach earlier and curse as it sticks to your wet back. You get your child dressed quickly and send her to the lounge room where your mum has turned on the heater. There is a coffee waiting for you, but you want to complete your next task with an empty stomach.
2:24am: You have dragged all of the soiled bedding to the bathroom and commence rinsing everything off before you put them in the washing machine. This task comes complete with gagging and heaving, because of course, you are a sympathetic vomiter. This is why you needed an empty stomach. The mess compels you to ask your child exactly when they ate lettuce, because you know they hate lettuce, but you have evidence on your sheets that they have somehow consumed it today.
2:34am: Gasping for fresh air you march to the laundry with your newly rinsed pile of laundry and get it into the washing machine. You add a double scoop of laundry powder and some soaking agent with anti-bacterial stuff in it. You hope this is enough to convince your brain that these bed sheets are not horror tainted evil forever more so you can put them back on your bed tomorrow.
2:35am: Before you head to the lounge room you go back to your bedroom and throw open the window as wide as it will go. You hope this is enough to get rid of the smell.
2:36am: You finally get to sit down to a coffee. This is the point where you realise you have nowhere to sleep tonight, as your bed needs to be scrubbed down and blessed by a priest before you will lie in it again. You decide to grab the mattresses from your child's bed and the trundle bed you keep for sleepovers and drag them into the lounge room. But first, coffee.
2:50am: You watch your "sick" child dance around the lounge room with a seemingly endless source of energy. You wonder for about the millionth time since becoming a parent whether she is siphoning energy from you. It is at this point where you remember that her dad is meant to be taking her to the park tomorrow so you send him a quick message explaining that she is possibly unwell so tomorrow's excursion will need to be cancelled. You do not expect a reply because only an idiot would be awake at this time of the morning.
2:55am: You drag the mattresses into the lounge room and set your child up to sleep. You turn on the TV to get her to sit still. Your mum returns to bed, having kindly kept you company during the grossest parts, she is relieved of her duties and free to fall back into the kind of sound sleep only someone whose child has not just thrown up can have. You envy her that luxury.
3:05am: You turn off the lights and try to fall asleep to the sound of Dora the Explorer. This fails as you haven't seen this episode, so you can't resist the temptation to watch. This is why you watch the same movie every single night to go to sleep. You can't sleep through something new.
3:30am: You finally turn off the television. Neither of you are sleeping and you can't handle the excitement of Nick Jr. any more. You spend the next twenty minutes reminding your "sick" child that she is meant to be sleeping right now and stroking her back. Every time she makes a new noise you feel compelled to ask her how her stomach is feeling, just to hear her say it feels good and calm. This doesn't fill you with as much confidence as it should. You do not trust your child anymore.
4:00am: Your child is finally asleep. You think this would be your cue to sleep as well, however this is the point where you discover your daughter makes really loud noises with her mouth in her sleep. (Has she always done this?) Every new noise jolts you awake and you regret not putting a bucket on the ground next to her.
4:30am(ish): You finally fall asleep somehow, but it isn't a restful sleep. You are still paranoid there will be a repeat performance and you can feel the ground underneath the paper thin mattress you are lying on. You resign yourself to the fact that tomorrow is going to be a bad day.
6:00am: You are woken up by a bright eyed and bushy tailed child. She is feeling fabulous and wants food. You turn on the television to distract her and go back to sleep. Might as well catch some more sleep while you can.
9:00am: You are woken up by the telephone. Her father has been trying to get on to you for an hour now and wants to make sure everything is OK. You reassure him it appears to have been a one off event, but she needs to stay home today just to make sure. He informs you he is coming over today to see her, and you resign yourself to the fact that your sleep is over. Thank God for coffee.

End Scene

Saturday, 22 October 2016

October Fly on the Wall - A Walk Down Memory Lane

It is time once again for Fly on the Wall. In this series, a bunch of bloggers get together and show all of the madness you would witness were you a fly on the wall in their house. This month there are seven bloggers participating, be sure to click on all the links below to witness hilarity.

Fly on the Wall

This month seven bloggers are participating, so be sure to click on all the links below to see all the hilarity.

Baking In A Tornado            
Menopausal Mother             
Spatulas on Parade                                                              
Never Ever Give Up Hope                                     
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy             
A Little Piece of Peace                              

So this month has been pretty quiet for us, so this time I am doing something different. You see I've only been doing Fly on the Wall for about three years now, and there have been many hilarious moments that happened well before I joined this series that I haven't had a place to share elsewhere, so today's Fly on the Wall is actually a look back at some of the shenanigans that have happened before I started this blog.

I was walking past my dad one day with a bag of cotton wool in my hands.
Dad: Ooh marshmallows. Proceeds to take a ball of cotton wool and pop it into his mouth. That's not marshmallow.
Me: Yeah dad don't eat those, they won't taste too good.
Dad: Why didn't you say anything until after I put it in my mouth.
Me: I didn't think it would take you that long to realise it wasn't food.

Ben was living with me for a while back when I was about 24. One day we came home and found one of his cats had been hit by a car. I was given the task of collecting the remains off the road, so I scooped it up in a plastic bag and took the bag to Ben.
Me: Hey, you know what? You could totally make a puppet out of this.
Ben looked like he didn't know whether to laugh, cry or punch me. Luckily for me he chose to laugh.

*Now I'm not sure if this story is an overshare, but my family still love to tease me about my stupidity.*
When I was 20 I booked an appointment for my first pap smear. I was very nervous, and the doctor could tell, so she was just making small talk to try to distract me. For the record, she was looking at my medical records when this conversation happened, I just didn't realise that until after I had put my foot in my mouth.
Dr: So I see here that you smoke yes?
Me: You can tell that from a pap smear?

Nat and I were arguing about a line from the song Linger by Cranberries.
Me: I think it says do you have to pull my finger.
Nat: No, that's not what it says, it's something about linger.
Sam walks past both of us to the bathroom, then sticks her head back out of the door.
Sam: Let it linger Nat, let it linger.
Me: Did she just fart and tell you to let it linger?
Nat: I hope not.
Me: Oh wait, I think that's the lyric.

Nat: Now don't laugh at what I'm about to say OK?
Me: OK.
Nat: Breakfast cereal scares me...
Nat: You're not saying anything.
Me: I'm waiting for the rest of that sentence. It's really hard not to laugh at you right now you weirdo.

When Ben, Nat and Kim were still kids, they went to the pool together heaps one summer. Kim was always worried that Ben and Nat were going to do something to embarrass her. One day Ben decided it would be fun to scream "I'm the girl in the blue bikini's brother" as he did a belly flop into the pool, just to embarrass her. Unfortunately he hit the water before he could say the word brother, so he just ended up screaming "I'm the girl in the blue bikini!!" We still give him hell for this nearly ten years later.

Ok so today I am going to finish with a joke that Miss K told me this month.

Miss K: Knock, knock
Me: Who's there
Miss K: Banana
Me: Banana who?
Miss K: Knock, knock
Me: Who's there
Miss K: Banana
Me: Banana who?
Miss K: Knock, knock
Me: Who's there
Miss K: Banana
Me: Banana who?
Miss K: Knock, knock
Me: Who's there
Miss K: Orange
Me: Orange who?
Miss K: Orange you glad I'm not a banana in a fruit bowl?

Well that's all from this side of the world, be sure to visit the other bloggers participating this month and I shall be back with more madness soon.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Teaching Good Sportsmanship Like a Jerk

One of my biggest fears in life is that my daughter is not going to be a nice person when she's all grown up. I shudder at the thought of my sweet caring little girl being an absolute jerk to someone and not giving it a second thought. Of course there is nothing I have seen yet to indicate that this is going to be the case, and I take every opportunity to teach Miss K about being considerate and thoughtful, but human nature means we're all jerks sometimes. And I was a jerk this week.

A lot of Miss K's time these days is spent preparing for school next year. Kindergarten is teaching her the education side of things, and the social side of things, but it's still my job to teach her basically everything else. I assumed that teaching children to be good sports would be included in her learning at kindergarten, but either the opportunity has never come up before, or Miss K has never shown that she needs the lesson there. She's never really shown me before this week that she needed it either, but I found out this week that she is quite happy to gloat when she beats someone, and I wasn't ok with it.

Part of this problem will have come from me. I have always encouraged a healthy interest in competition in Miss K, as I feel it is necessary to get ahead in life. But because she is only five, I let her win a lot when we compete against each other. (Except when it comes to running, she beats me fair and square when we race, I'm just too chubby and lazy to really run.) So Miss K has a confidence that she can win with ease thanks to me. Now I know that confidence is key, but too much confidence leads to arrogance, and I don't want my child to be a fat head. So I've slowly started winning more and more, just to teach her that winning isn't always guaranteed, but that just makes the wins she does get bigger in her mind. And with her new victories came gloating.

Miss K and I were bored the other night so we decided to play a few board games for an hour before bedtime. We started with Kerplunk, which I've had in our games cupboard for years now, but we've never played so I was excited to introduce her to a game I loved as a child. (We even had a Star Trek version because my big sister is a giant nerd.) I won each game, but the longer we played, the harder I had to work for my victories, as Miss K got a feel for the strategy that is Kerplunk. This is where her sense of competition was good. She was happy to lose, but she learned from her losses and used that lesson to bridge the gap between us in each new round. Eventually we got bored with having to reset the game each time so we swapped to Hungry, Hungry Dinos (Yeah, yeah I know that's not the real game, but board games are expensive OK?) Now Miss K was in her element. She loves quick fire games and beat me hands down every single round. I wasn't letting her win either, these were real losses for me. I was impressed by her performance until she started calling my dinosaurs losers.

I was shocked by her attitude, I've never gloated around her as I find that behaviour really off putting.  I tried the Mike Brady method of lecturing her on the dinosaur's feelings. (Yet another in a long list of bizarre conversations I've had to have with my daughter.) I let her know that it isn't nice to point out that someone is a loser if they don't win a game, and using words like that can hurt someone's feelings. She agreed with me and I thought the matter was settled, but she went back to calling the dinosaurs losers straight away. So Mike Brady lost round one. I decided it was time to lead by example, and this is where I became a jerk.

It's like the old lesson we used to teach our children when they learn how to bite, if they bite us, we bite back. (Of course I don't condone biting your children, please don't bite the kids.) But if you want a kid to know how something feels, you let them experience it. So I swapped the game to one where the odds were stacked in my favour; We had thumb war. (Another throwback to my own childhood and the many thumb wars I had with my big sister where she usually beat me easily.) I won the round of course, and then I proceeded to do a victory dance (which may or may not have included a song calling Miss K a loser).

Yeah, yeah, I know, I was a huge meanie. I can only imagine how many of you are burning up with rage right now, but Miss K got the point straight away. She now knew how it felt to be called a loser, and she knew how horrible it felt. Now you may think I overreacted, she was insulting a plastic moulded toy that is unable to feel emotions or even hear her words, but that wasn't the point. One day she is going to play sports with other children who do have ears and feelings that can be easily hurt, and I don't want her to be the jerk gloating over winning a stupid game when it actually matters. I reiterated how words can hurt feelings, and we talked about the correct way to behave whether you win or lose, and we finished our match by telling each other "Good game".

So while I don't officially condone calling your kids losers, or gloating around them, or deliberately beating them at games, sometimes you have to be a jerk to prove a point. Hopefully my daughter now has a better sense of humility, and will be more gracious with her wins and her losses. Or one day I'll get a huge bill from a therapist for all the damage I'm doing as I stumble through being a parent. Only time will tell.

I would love to hear about any other parents out there who have had similar ethical dilemmas that they solved by being less than perfect. Hit me up in the comments down below and let me know how much you now pay for therapy per month. I get the feeling I'm going to need to start a savings account very soon.
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