Why I hate soft play…

soft play, ball pit, Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson

Soft play session: Sonny Jim and pal

I’ve been pretty good at avoiding soft play. Particularly – and especially – during school holidays.

But the other week, I capitulated. And Dante’s circles of hell have nothing on these padded-cell like death traps as far as I’m concerned.

I understand to the uninitiated, this probably seems unreasonable. What could be better for parents than indoor wonder worlds of mazes, slides and ball pits? So, consider this my attempt to enlighten you. Here’s exactly why I hate soft play centres…

1 Other people’s kids: You’d think no parent would want to be the one with feral kids. You’d think wrong on this. I don’t know what happens, but when kids get inside these centres they turn faster than a Mogwai in rain. Continue reading

Preschool has left me an emotional wreck!

preschool, Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim

First day: Off we go to pre-school

So, last week was the week.

The week I’ve been dreading. The week I’ve gotten tearful about more times than I’d like to admit. The week I’ve been so tempted to push back. To put off. To ignore until I can’t ignore it any more.

Last week, Sonny Jim started pre-school.

It was only two mornings. A grand total of six hours. But it has left me something of an emotional wreck.

On his first morning, I was stunned in the best way, when my rather shy boy shed not one single tear when I left. Simply gave me a kiss, a big wave and a reminder to be “back soon mama.”

It didn’t last.

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He’s ready for pre-school… but I’m not sure I am!

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, Pre-school

Big step: Pre-school starts this week

This week Sonny Jim is going to start pre-school.

He’s almost two and a half, it’s only for two mornings a week and it’ll do my rather shy little lad the world of good.

But, however I dress it up, for me it’s a big HUGE (I’m channelling Julia Roberts here) thing.

It’s my boy’s first real steps of independence. Of venturing out into the world without mummy (or daddy) there to hold his hand. It basically marks the end of his babyhood.

And although I think he’s so ready for it – I’m not sure I am.

In this respect, I don’t think it makes any difference what age your little one first starts nursery/pre-school/school – it’s still a wrench.

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Why have I not realised the boon of family pubs?

Zach Willsher, Benfleet, Essex, Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim

Living the life: Sonny Jim at the Zach Willsher

I made a bit of a discovery last Saturday night.

My brother was celebrating his 30th birthday at the Zach Willsher in Benfleet.

And, as most of my family were going to be there, including rather a lot of my cousins we don’t get too see that often, I decided we’d head along too.

Nevermind that it’d be a late night for Sonny Jim and he’d probably be rather grouchy on the back of it come Sunday.

His daddy was out at the football, so we’d give an evening at a pub a whirl.

What I hadn’t accounted for though, was the brilliant little play area at the Zach.

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Nothing prepared me for this bit of mummy life… (yes Fireman Sam, I’m looking at you!)

Fireman Sam, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

“A good fireman is never off duty!” Sam has all the lines

Prior to having a toddler, clearly, I was never going to let any baby of mine watch children’s television.

But, well, real life happens doesn’t it? And sometimes the only way you’re going to be able to cook dinner / put a wash on / have a wee is to stick the television on.

And so, it has transpired that Sonny Jim has fallen under the spell of Fireman Sam.

And I have questions. Questions that our daily dose of Pontypandy life is not answering. Questions that I can’t be the only parent watching their gazillionth episode (I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea) is asking themselves.

So, to get them off my chest, and in the spirit of solidarity with other Sam addicts, and hopefully, to stop me fruitlessly asking my agog toddler, here are some of the most pressing… Continue reading

Why cousins are so important

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, family, wedding, cousins

Giggles: At the last family wedding

LATER this summer, Sonny Jim will be flying to the south of France to attend a family wedding.

My second cousin once removed (or is it third cousin?!) is getting married and while I HATE flying and am dreading the 4am taxi with toddler in tow, I really wanted us to go.

This cousin was one of my best playmates when I was little. There’s just six weeks between us, and a mere couple of years between us and her older sister, and almost all of my favourite childhood memories feature them in some way or another.

We didn’t live especially close (me on Canvey, them in Goodmayes) but every school holiday we could be found at each other’s houses.

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Inglorious death of the family album is too sad

Triplets, Nineties childhood

Throwback: Me and the triplets, circa 1990

Last week my triplet (I know!) brothers and sister turned 30.

Which gave me an excuse to dig out the old family albums, tucked away on the top shelf of a wardrobe at my parents’.

For an hour or so I got lost in a little bubble of nostalgia. Laughing at our chubby cheeks and gap-toothed grins.

And then I found myself thinking about the rather inglorious death of the family photo album.

Most of us new parents have probably got more photos on our phones of our little ones in the first month of their lives, than there are in existence from our entire childhoods.

Pretty much every single day of Sonny Jim’s life has been snapped on my phone. A fair number of them end up being posted on Instagram, and being WhatsApped to his daddy.

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