...is it really that time of year again? Can it really be two years since Lordi triumphed at the Eurovision and we all had hopes of a resurgence of Eurovision excellence? Sadly it hasn't happened. They should have just stopped the Eurovision after Lordi, nobody could beat that. This weekend is the UK's pick our entry thingymebob on the tv. I have seen 2 of the "acts" and yet again they are complete rubbish. I had hopes for Scooch last year but they did pants too. This year we have to choose from a bunch of X Factor rejects - Andy Abrahams, Michelle Gayle, and 2 girls who are as nondescript as every girl band on the tv talent shows. The songs are all shit too. Sorry, the UK's poor attempts to win the Eurovision reduce me to cussing. I am beginning to think they don't want to win. Who doesn't want to go and watch the Eurovision at the NEC?! I do. I'd have flags.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Another thing that causes much competition amongst mums is party bags. BB has been to 2 parties this year, he has a better social life than me. Anyway, the first party, the party bag was really nice, I was impressed. It had the usual, bubbles, cake, a little toy and it also had a Mr Man book and a little car. I thought that was over the top. But oh no. Last week BB went to another party, a joint party for 2 little girls he knows. The bags this time were out of this world. First of all, the bags were professionally printed with his name and "thanks for coming" on the front. Then a big helium balloon was tied to the handles. And inside he had bubbles (but coloured ones), cake, a big Enid Blyton pop up book, a rubber duck, another balloon, some biscuits...and a t-shirt from Marks and Spencers!!! Marks and Spencers!!! We tried to work out how much all this must have cost, and there were 19 kids there. At least £20 each. Madness. And all for a one year old's birthday. Hiring the hall was £80, then they provided food and drink. The babies have no idea, it's all for the parents benefit. BB has another party there (same group of mums) in April, she must be terrified of what she has to do to top this one. And what on earth are they going to do for their 2nd birthdays? BB had a small party at home and I invited the mums over for tea. I'm not bankrupting myself to be labelled "mum of the year" by everyone I know! It's all crazy. I never knew having a baby would open up this world of super competitive parents. I'm not playing I tell you (where's the gold bibs for our next party?) ...
Now I know I keep harping on about baby groups, but honestly, they are a minefield people. Veritable minefields. Worse than an office environment really. Why is this? Let me expand: Baby Babs goes to two different baby groups, henceforth known as (a) The Baby Group with the Oddbods and (b) the Toddler Group of Peril. I've already talked about the Toddler Group of Peril and the many accidents that are awaiting unprepared children. The Baby Group with the Oddbods was the first group we started going to, for 50p and a cup of tea you can't go wrong really. Not many mums go, most of the mums I know go to fancy groups with waiting lists of 20 and planned activities for the whole time they are there like artwork and music and crazy things. The babies are only 1, can't they just have fun? These groups also cost about £3.50 a session. Baby Babs can colour in at home and play drums on the tupperware. He doesn't need "planned activities" thrust upon him. He probably wouldn't want to draw with his feet when they told him he had to anyway!
But I digress. The Baby Group with the Oddbods usually has 6 or 7 mums and their kids, but the one week I didn't go as I was sick the Oddbods turned up. We know them from the local school - man and wife, matching shellsuits, on the social but have a car, sky tv, smoke heavily. You know the type. They turned up one week with their son. He proceeded to bash the skull out of my friends little girl with a skittle. Did the Oddbods say anything? Or even remove the weapon? No. They just sat there. My friend had to say to the little boy that they "didn't do things like that" and in the end the lady running the group had to intervene. But I have thought long and hard about this. If it happened to Baby Babs, what would I do? First of all I'd want to slap the kid hard, and then the parents. But I probably wouldn't say anything to them either. The politics of baby groups is very complicated. It's all polite conversation and "ooh how old is your little cherub?" but nothing of substance. Where we really should be saying "excuse me, could you tell your son (little b*stard) to stop hitting my child?". But then there would be an argument, and bad feelings, and then I'd end up banned from the group for being argumentative! Because there isn't any vetting policy on who can turn up, and there are no rules for behaviour established, the kids (and parents) can do whatever they like. Luckily the Oddbods didn't turn up this week. But the worst thing is that I know they label us "normal" mums as rude and untalkative and I can just see the day when they complain to a teacher or someone official about their treatment and it all goes up the swanny and they are on the front of the local paper saying they have been treated unjustly. Oh it's all fun and games having kids.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
So Baby Babs survived his next trip to the Toddler Group of Peril (see below) but only just. He didn't bang his head this time mainly as every time he set off I had to shadow him just in case. But the minute he decided to sit down and play and I thought it would be ok to take my eyes off him, he picks up a car and the wheel comes off. Obviously. Luckily his aunt spotted it and took it out of his mouth just in time. I know these things happen, but at official baby groups I would have expected they were forced to take health and safety seriously. At least check the toys regularly. In these days of suing the council for tripping over a leaf, or your employer for hurt feelings because your boss said you looked a little tired, I suppose we've all grown used to the nanny state. I mean, they banned some pancake day race last week as all the health and safety forms to "protect" the children were too much for the officials. But it seems this hasn't quite reached the group we go to. Which is fair enough now I know! What on earth will happen next week?! Crack cocaine in the playhouse? Razor blades on the wheels of the prams?! We will see...