On the post-newborn phase and not getting stuff done

My babies

One of the inevitable truths of babies is that they rarely do what you want them to do, when you want them to do it. Take napping, for example. Last week I could really have done with my baby girl taking regular, predictable naps in her cot. But, like all good babies, she refused to comply with convenience and ended up spending a week of only napping on me, on the sofa. And here we come to the post-newborn phase of babydom. Or, as I like to call it, the “I Have So Much To Do and No Longer Have The Excuse of a Newborn Baby” phase.

You see, when your baby is a newborn, no one expects much of you.  It’s taken as a given that you will live in the same pair of pyjamas for two weeks’ straight, eating only food that can be shovelled into your tired, ravenous mouth with one hand. Achieve anything beyond getting out of bed and you can pretty much call your day a success.

But slowly, silently, the newborn days ebb away, along with your excuse for sloth-like behaviour. People no longer tell you to “sleep when the baby sleeps”. It’s no longer acceptable to live in a house that resembles a crime scene. Somewhere around the 3 month mark, you’re expected to have got to grips with this whole baby thing and start rejoining normal society and all that goes with it. [Read More…]

Learning to read and write with the LeapFrog LeapReader

LeapReader review

One of my favourite things about the age of four is seeing Frog’s reading skills develop. She has always loved books and stories. When she was tiny she used to read stories to her dolls and teddies in her made up toddler language. Now she’s four and three quarters (“don’t forget the three quarters Mummy!”) she’s discovering a new relationship with words, unlocking the secret meanings behind those black squiggles on the page.

Frog has taken to reading with ease. I’m regularly surprised by her quick recognition of words and ability to use phonics to work out what a longer word says. I was interested, then, to see if the LeapReader would suit her, or if it might be just another educational toy gimmick for gullible parents.


We were sent a LeapReader, along with the science and maths activity book Engineering a Win. Frog’s been playing with nothing but the LeapReader, slowly working her way through the activity book, since Saturday. She’s even spurned her usual Frozen toys in favour of it, so they must have done something right.  [Read More…]

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