One little brown-eyed, brown-haired boy.

No More Drownings

One little brown-eyed, brown-haired boy sat on his bedroom floor this morning, playing with cars and transformers and Lego bricks. His life isn’t hard. No three year olds life should be hard. To understate it entirely, it’s a lucky accident of birth that my particular three year old is safe and warm in his bed tonight, living here in Ireland in comparative luxury.

His mama rushed to him last night cuddled him and kissed him. She had seen another little brown-eyed, brown-haired boy, ripped apart from his family during a desperate attempt to leave their home, his mother and his brother meeting the same appalling fate as him. Continue reading

Back To School: The Absolute Best Definitive Lunchbox Guide

It’s that time again isn’t it? I can choose to spend either 15 minutes in the kitchen at night at it after all the jobs are done and the couch is calling me, or it can take me 30 minutes in the morning, while also dealing with Dom Jong-il & Ted Jong-un barking their very specific breakfast orders at me. Naturally this means I do it at night maybe once a week. Yes, that’s right. School lunches. My kids are in creche and full day summer camp since I went back to work so I’ve a head start on the back to school brigade. So, contain yourselves now; here is my Absolute Best Definitive Lunchbox Guide.


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If I said these things out loud.

kids questions, science kids, pond dipping

Sometimes I think if I said these things out loud, the things that go through my head, if I wrote them down here in indelible internet data ink there would be a knock at the door and my children would be taken to someone more deserving of their general loveliness.

I am not a natural in the stay at home mother stakes. (It’s a good thing I’m actually going back to work next week for a while – more on that another day) The summer holidays have tested me and at this point in mid August my reserves of patience are low and my fuse short. But! I don’t say the things out loud, instead I curse in my head and breathe deeply and grin and bear and try to enjoy the constant barrage of attention seeking and whining and love. Continue reading

Mrs. Mop & The Elderflower Cordial

It all started when I brought my book downstairs and put the kettle on to make coffee. Who did I think I was, planning a break for myself while my boys enjoyed a play date? Just one last quick bit of housework to do first…

how dare I?
How dare I?

The bottle of elderflower cordial was sitting unopened and full in the fridge when I went upstairs to put away laundry. Then it wasn’t. Three boys appeared upstairs, slinking past me into their bedroom. My little fella touched me; a sweet, sticky touch with an accompanying guilty look. Continue reading

Surprise New Life Skill: Learning To Tie Shoelaces


I went to get elder child’s feet measured a few weeks ago when I realised he only had canvas plimsolls to wear for tennis lessons. I mean, they were fine, it was mostly games and drills and trying to hit the ball at all but still, none of his shoes were really trainer-y enough.

Since starting school time last year, we’ve had to buy shoes with velcro fastening for Dominic. I saw lots of kids in the yard with lace up shoes and hoped their parents tied about sixteen knots in them for the sake of the teachers sanity. And now, cometh the new school year, cometh the growth spurts. He’s hit size 10.5 (28). That’s officially in the “child” category, not “toddler” anymore which is right and proper given he’s five and a half.  Oh there’s loads of school shoes out there which fit the bill but my dude is not restricted by uniform requirements so we get to reject all that boring sensible stuff which of course the shops are jam packed with in the summer.

So I grabbed a pair in Penneys to tide him over while I began my hunt for his AW15 collection. There I was bemoaning the lack of practical-but-cool, reasonably-priced-but-not-rubbish-for-growing-feet velcro shoes out there to my friend Susan, who has a son the same age. She wondered aloud, don’t they learn to tie their laces right around this age? It was like an epiphany. Staring me in the face, a face that admittedly has outsourced the majority of practical teachings to childcare workers for the bulk of their wee lives. Continue reading