Child Safety – Retractable Dog Lead As Child Restraint?

question mark

Child safety


Am I being too, I don’t know, cautious? Yesterday while doing the school run I noticed a Mum who was using one of those retractable dog leads as ‘reins’ for her toddler.

The fact that it was a dog lead for a child made me feel slightly uncomfortable to start with.  But then the toddler kept getting tangled up in the long lead it was allowed and I could just see the dangers of the child getting strangled!

The long lead also meant that she was not close enough to assist when needed.

I think it was just wrong.

Am I being to sensitive?

Should I have said something to the Mother?


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

Top 10 Baby Gifts For This Christmas

Stuck for some beautiful baby gifts?  Here are some great ideas………….



1.  Pink organic knitted bunny hat £10 – so cute!  From Angel Cashmere – also available in blue.





Baby Sleeping bag from Bambino Merino


2.  Baby Sleeping Bag from Bambino Merino £59.95 – also available in pink and other colours.





Wallaboo Animal Comforters3.  Animal Comforters from €14.99 – love them!




Nattou Lion Neck Pillow



4.  Lion Neck Pillow £9.95 – from Nattou.




Spook Travel Rattles



5.  Travel Rattles £34.50 – from Spook.  How cool!





Personalised Santa Sack6.  Personalised Santa Sack £20 – from The Organic Baby Company.  A lovely baby gift.






Locally Produced Bib



7.  Locally Produced Bib £6 – from Little Green Radicals.




Reindeer Playsuit



8.  Reindeer Playsuit £32 – from Picalilly.  Serious festive fun…




Skip Hop Treetop Friends Owl and Friends Trio Ball



9. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Owl and Friends Trio Ball £15.95 – from Bebeeco.




Birdie Gift Set



10.  Birdie Gift Set £35 – from Frugi.  A lovely gift.





Hope this list gave you some wonderful baby gift ideas.


Remember to enjoy your day.


Sunday Humour

A little humour to brighten your Sunday…


Unknown6 year old:  “Mum do we own a hoover?”

Me:  “Yes darling, of course we do.”

6 year old:  “Then why do the carpets look like crap?”

Me:  !?!!!

Is it illegal to have your 6 year old hoover the house?  Because that is what he might be doing from now on!!!!!!

Where did he learn the word crap?



Remember to enjoy your day.

©Simone Woods 2013




I Was The Perfect Mum – Before I Had Kids

The first time I pushed my new born baby son to town in his pristine pram I was literally bursting  with pride.  Look what my husband and I have conceived I seemed to shout to the world as I walked along.  Look what I, yes me, has produced.  Aren’t I clever.  Aren’t I amazingly, stupefyingly clever.  I’m so proud, so proud I could just explode with happiness!

And standing in line waiting to pay at Wilkinson’s I gazed down lovingly at my perfect tiny little one, all decked out in his matching hat, gloves and blanket, sleeping beautifully.

‘Lovely at this age aren’t they?’  a voice behind me said.  ‘Pity they don’t bloody stay that way.  Just wait a couple of years and you will be tearing your hair out’.  Then she sardonically smiled.

In my blissful new mother state, I too smiled.  But a smile of pity.  No, I wanted to explain, no not this peerless baby.  I am going to raise the indefectible child.  I have it all planned. I’ve read the books.  My child will be different.  How hard can it be?

How hard can it be?  Well……the hardest thing you have ever done.  Parenting is relentless.  For most of us there is no respite, no escape, no 5 o’clock knock off.  Is it little wonder that at times, most of us have given in or yelled or pleaded or bribed or threatened or said yes just for a little peace.

For instance –

I will never raise my voice to my child.  Instead I will guide my child to correct and moral behaviour, gently and calmly.  Thus showing my child, by example, that shouting and yelling are not acceptable behaviours.

  • Reality – Oh the relief of tension and frustration that is felt when you give in and yell at the top of your voice, inches from your 3 year old son’s face, that if he does that one more time, yes, just one more time – you will put all his lego in the bin. Is he happy now? You add.  Happy that he has made Mummy mad?  Well phew,  Mummy feels better.  Now go to your room and play till I tell you to come down for dinner.

I will never hit my children.

  • Reality – Ok I have actually stuck to this one. And that is NO BLOODY MEAN FEAT.  My eldest is five years old.  But sometimes I am so mad at my son that I have to go into my bedroom, bury my head in the duvet and scream at the top of my voice.  And the mutterings from my husband from time to time regarding the need for a good smack on the bottom – I just ignore.

Other parents will secretly admire my children’s impeccable table manners and wish they had such wonderful parenting skills.

  • Reality – Ok, Ok, you can eat your dinner sitting on the floor – just finish it for gods sake!

I will not use manipulative or negative tactics to control my children.

  • Reality – If you go to sleep and stay in your bed all of the night – we can have McDonalds for dinner tomorrow night.  (And that blows my other dictum out the water – My children will not eat junk food.)

My son will not have chocolate until he is five years old.

  • Reality – I held out till he was two and a half.  Then I caved.  Yes you can have that chocolate before dinner, but you have to eat your broccoli.  Ok, yes you can have another – just have a mouthful of peas first.

The incidents I describe above are true, and they are funny and I do shake my head with a wry smile at the enormous gap between my expectations of parenthood before the fact and the reality after the fact.  And there are many posts on Mummy blogs and stories in slummy mummy books describing just such moments when we as parents have failed to be consistent or fair or grown up with our children.  And it’s ok they say, because nobody is perfect, everybody is hiding such behaviour so don’t feel guilty.  GUILTY.  No need to feel it.

But I did.  And I knew that I wanted to some how do this parenting thing better.

I started with me.  Doing ‘me’ better.  Because – who knew – kids learn by example.

And the irony is, is not any easier.  But it is better.  Better for me and better for my children.

Next week I will talk more about the doing it better.


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.


© 2012 Simone L Woods

Yelling at our Children – Succumbing to the Dark Side of the Force

Luke: Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive.


When our second baby was born, my eldest had not longed turned four.  Used to being, for those four long years, the apple of our eye, numero uno and the sole recipient of all our love and affection, he did not at all take kindly to being replaced, as he saw it, by this crying intruder.

We had primed him, we believed, before baby arrived.  Explaining to him how Mummy was having a little brother or sister and how Mummy would be very busy with the baby for a while, but it doesn’t mean that we love you any less.  It’s just that tiny babies take a lot of looking after.

It became apparent very quickly that whatever priming we had done had gone in one ear and out the other.  What four year old can process how things may change at some point in the future?  This kind of reasoning/thinking doesn’t register on their radar at all.  They are four after all and we should not expect more from them than they are able to give.

Fortunately for me, my mother and father stayed with us for the first few weeks after the birth and the responsibility of childcare of eldest fell on their capable shoulders.  They bore the brunt of the anger, tears and naughty behaviour.  Where was Mummy? Why can’t she play with me?  Why are you taking me to nursery?  I don’t like the way you cook dinner.  Why can’t I see Mamma!  Why!

It would break my heart to hear him yelling and crying.  I understood he was desperately unhappy at the huge change in our household and just wanted me back for himself.  Real feelings of wretchedness and guilt would wash over me; unable as I was to always go to him as I nursed our new baby.  In the first few weeks, I can remember cuddling him between feeds in the middle of the night as he slept and missing him so much.  I can only imagine how he missed me.  This was so different from the blissful, bonding guilt free feelings experienced with him as a baby.

Sal Severe, in his book ‘How To Behave So Your Pre-Schooler Will Too’ (more on this book later) uses the following analogy to illustrate how your child feels when their new sibling comes along.  I think it sums up the situation beautifully.

“Imagine that your husband or wife sits you down one day and happily explains that as she/he loves you so much, and as you are so wonderful, they have decided to have another wife/husband.  A while passes and you forget all about this and then suddenly one day a younger, cuter husband/wife arrives and stays!  Everybody ‘ahhs’ and ‘coos’ over them, almost always ignoring you.  Can you imagine how hurt, rejected, confused and angry you would feel?  This is how your child feels when you bring the new baby home.”  The lesson from this – don’t underestimate how this change is going to effect your other children.

When my parents all too soon left, I was then the usual recipient of his bad behaviour and I admit that I did not always handle this in the way I should have.  I very quickly found that I spent most of my time yelling at him.  How quickly things had changed and how quickly we were all becoming miserable.

I new this could not continue, I did not want to spend my life yelling and my children certainly didn’t want to be yelled at.  There had to be a better way to deal with all of this.  So between feeds and late at night I did some research on the internet.  After looking at several books, I purchased ‘How to behave so your preschooler will, too!’ by Sal Severe, Ph.D.  I knew that it was the way I was handling the situation that had to change, and this book appeared to address this concern.  I am so glad I purchased this book.  It addressed this concern and so much more.

The books stresses, that as parents, we must learn to control our anger if we want our children to be able to handle theirs.  With so much of parenting we all to often fall into the trap of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.  Children learn by example, and by allowing yourself to become angry and yelling, you are telling your children that it is ok to become angry and yell themselves.

I have found controlling my anger to be especially difficult when I am under the strain of lack of sleep and it is easy to forget that I must lead by example.  I am constantly reminded of the scene in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ where Luke asks Yoda if the dark side of the force is stronger.  No Yoda replies, it is quicker, easier and more seductive.

And this is why we yell at our children, because it is often quicker to get results and it is easier than exerting our will, taking a deep breath and using more desirable techniques of behavioural control.  Yes, and yelling is very seductive because it makes us feel better by releasing all that tension and frustration that has built up inside us.

But like the dark side of the force, yelling is wrong.  It’s the wrong way to behave toward our kids.  It’s only by remaining calm, at peace, being passive that we can choose the right path.  Listen to Yoda.

May the force be with you.

© 2012 Simone L Woods