Last month, we were lucky enough to be sent a Little Tikes STEM Jr Wonder Lab to review. New to hit the market, the STEM Jr Wonder Lab is the only STEM lab designed for preschoolers and the boys were almost incoherant with excitement when it arrived and they were told that it was for them!  At almost four, they are at this funny age where most of their current toys are suddenly seeming a little ‘babyish’ for them but at the same time, the next step up in toys still seems too grown-up to hold their interest.  Their favourite way to play seems to be energetically outside and a new climbing frame and scooters have been big hits recently, but with school fast approaching we are also keen to encourage them to focus their minds on more cerebral pursuits.  So we were interested to try the Wonder Lab, which is… View Post

Everything is changing. Some days I feel as though I’m on the crest of a huge wave and if I stare ahead I can see the city in the distance and it is beautiful. But if I look down, all I can see is the gaping chasm threatening to devour us. I feel as though I am holding on to everyone tightly, too tightly. The children fight this control and I find myself engaged in petty power battles with people half my size; when I raise my voice my sons shout back, and I am shocked that my sweet and respectful toddlers are capable of such defiance. I try to remember to breathe before speaking, to give myself that moment, but on some days I am so tired that if I pause for even a second, I fear that I won’t be able to start again. The girls have just… View Post

Featuring images and video by Hannah Palamara Honestly Feminine. I take my little boys to one of my appointments; they are due their MMR vaccinations and we are keen to desensitise them to anything medical. We dash for the bus together in the rain and sit up top on the double decker, pretending to drive. We laugh about how we almost missed the bus and they tell me, over and again, how kind the driver was to stop and wait for us. I look down at their bright little faces, their shiny big eyes, and I feel overwhelmed with pride to have grown and formed these sweet boys, these good and appreciative humans. We purchase magazines and blueberries for the appointment and they promise me that they will not disrupt the appointment, that they will sit quietly and listen to the baby’s heartbeat and if they are good, they can… View Post

Some mornings, I wake up smothered in children as though I have transformed into one of a litter of kittens: Zaza, who becomes liquid to fit into the exact shape of my body, Sasha, like cuddling a wooden post, Emmy who demands ‘duddle, duddle’ until I pull her inside the duvet against my chest and insistent little Polly, who takes my hand and tells me, crossly, “Need clothes”. It feels so right, so perfect, that I don’t know how I was ever me before I had them, how I ever slept in until ten o’ clock and then, self-indulgent and somnolent, cooked breakfast as though still in a dream. August passes in a gloom of grey skies and drizzle; we feel as though we are waiting for the warmth to return, for the gold of summer to bless our skin again, but we find ourselves passing the bank holiday weekend… View Post

The alarm penetrates my dreams; through the fog I feel her roll out of bed and to the bathroom and I lay quietly for a while, listening to the sounds of running water, the hairbrush clattering against the sink.  I am awake, but barely, when the children pile into our room: the boys, chattering like magpies about breakfast and nursery, Olympia, taking my hand and urging me upright – “need clothes!  Need breakfast!  Quick!  Run!” – and little Emmy climbing aboard the mattress to collapse against my shoulder.  Her kisses feel like pecks from a small bird. Downstairs, we serve Weetabix in coloured Ikea bowls; they all have a favourite colour and we are neurotic about getting it right.  Periodically throughout the meal, Olympia declares herself ‘the minner’, which incences the boys; they pause in their race to protest that no she isn’t, she hasn’t finished, until the heated voices… View Post