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    The secret past lives of cornflakes

    My children know that fish have heads and that their cereal was once alive. A strange thing to boast about, I admit, but one which makes me weirdly proud of my parenting skills. You see, I grew up in a small-ish town in Canada, first in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and later in […]

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    The ultimate family kitchen

    When I was growing up, my dad’s kitchen was the place to be. Somehow, whether it was butter chicken or a zingy Goan prawn curry, every one of his secret family recipes started with onions, garlic and an inch of ginger root, finely sliced. I was always on chopping duty – I still am when […]

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    What are little boys made of?

    Mads was looking through one of the books that Grandpa gave her when he came to visit in the Autumn. Along with his three or four items of clothing, he had brought along an entire suitcase of knitted accessories from the ladies at his Senior’s club, and a stack of children’s books that had been […]

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    Of bunk beds and big brothers

    When we were little, my older brother and I shared a room. We had a wooden bunk bed, a deep reddish-brown varnished pine, with streaks of pale yellow where I had gnawed on the rounded bed posts. I remember the bitter taste of the varnish and the hint of the pine. Bedpost gnawing was a […]

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    A girl’s imagination runs wild

    Four year old Mads has been having trouble getting to sleep lately. She starts drifting off, then explodes into an over-excited state, fidgeting around, rearranging her room, re-aligning all of the stuffed bears who perch atop the battered old red sofabed we keep in her bedroom. She selects a different stuffed animal every night, chats […]

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    Can Supernanny really help me deal with the Terrible Twos?

    Over the past couple of weeks, the terrible twos have grown to such a crescendo that we just couldn’t pretend any longer that we were doing everything right. Obviously we’ve been trying to get it right, but being a parent is all about learning the hard way that you don’t know as much as you […]

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    And this little piggy spilled wee wee wee, all the way home

    Yesterday I was trying to do the impossible – get ready to go out to a posh dinner while supervising two toddlers. I have a fairly large bathroom, so I figured “why don’t I just bring a few toys in, and they can just doodle around in here while I have a shower?”. It seemed […]

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    The difference between boys and girls

    Mads: Mummy? Me: Mm hmm? Mads:  Daddy has a willy and a bum bum. And Elliot has a willy and a bum bum. And William has a willy and a bum bum… [proceeds to name each and every boy in her class at nursery and declare that they too have willies and bum bums.] Mads: […]