Club Petz Bam Bam the Hamster from IMC Toys

Sometimes there are toys which you look at and you want to run a mile, but your child… your child is completely head over heels. Club Petz Bam Bam the Hamster falls into this category. This cute little pet was made to be added to our madhouse after we disappointed 5-year-old B with the news we couldn’t add another real-life hamster to our 3 cats and 2 dogs menagerie.Club Petz Bam BamThe arrival of Bam Bam was met with ridiculous amounts of excitement, and the moment the “Try Me” button was pressed the squeals of delight began. And I realised this pet would definitely be best confined to the boys’ bedroom.

For the moment Bam Bam is ‘hugged’ he begins shaking and bouncing and giggling with laughter. And that’s the thing. He’s a little loud. And it’s contagious. The boys love him. Cuddled Club Petz Bam BamI can’t knock it. Bam Bam is really cute, and furry. And you can completely see why Bam Bam makes children laugh.

And the boys loved him so much that of course Bam Bam went to bed with them that night. And of course the next day they insisted on taking Bam Bam with them for their sleepover at Grandma & Grampy’s (oh, I tried to contain my laughter!).

So, yes, Bam Bam is definitely one to bring smiles and laughter into the life of a child. And Bam Bam makes it really easy to get a child in a sulk to have a strop when you’ve managed to make them laugh by putting Bam Bam on their stomach. But Bam Bam is loud. Bam Bam is best creating happiness in a child’s bedroom. And then life is good. Cuddled Club Petz Bam BamIMC’s Club Petz Bam Bam retails for £19.99 and can be found at Smyths, Amazon, Tesco and other retailers.

Disclosure: We received IMC’s Club Petz Bam Bam for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Why I’m a bad mother

I didn’t realise it, it just crept up on me. I have never compared my children but somehow I ended up treating them differently. And as I prepared for a meeting with the Head and the boys’ teacher it became clear. Why I’m a bad mother.

Like most/ all mothers. I just want my children to do well. But somewhere. Between the boys starting school in September and my meeting with the school in June. I had changed.

My first question to my daughter when she returns home: “Did you have a good day at school?”

To my sons: “Did you behave at school today?”

I am a bad mother.

What could possibly be going through the minds of my boys?

My daughter has never not wanted to go to school.
Even when I naughtily tried to persuade her not to go (she was feeling poorly and the day was going to be particularly tough for my hubby and I was working away), she agreed to have a day off, went to sleep, woke the next morning and went to school.Why I'm a bad motherMy boys regularly wake up wanting it to be the weekend or wanting it to be the school holidays.

And I let them down.

I found myself participating in a few threads this week on my multiple mums Facebook page.

I found myself again appreciating the difference in raising boys.

I found myself voicing how different I have found the Reception year with my sons in comparison to my daughter.

And I feel like a bad parent.

Because I know my boys are awesome. 

But I haven’t been prepared for raising boys.

My boisterous boys.Twin fun in multipleI know I wouldn’t have them any other way.

They are loving, caring, feisty, raucous, physical, naughty, cheeky, intelligent, funny boys.

They don’t like being bored.

They don’t like being told what to do.

They don’t like people being mean.

So what are they doing wrong?

 Or what am I doing wrong as their mother?Twin mom

And yes.

It’s all about what I’m doing wrong.

Because they’re five.

They are five.

Let them live.

Let them learn.

Let them be loved.

Bye Bye Milk Teeth

Another milestone is upon us. The first of the milk teeth has fallen.
It has the sharp intake of breath.
One of my boys, my babies, has lost his first milk tooth.Losing your first tooth - bye bye milk teethAnd of course he couldn’t be prouder.
As I hold back tears.
It’s ok.
He really isn’t old enough yet.
His first milk tooth didn’t fall out of its own accord.
For I am a mum of boys.

He went out on his scooter the other month, and scooted towards the beach he scoots towards most days.
But this was the day he’d stumble and catch his tooth on the handlebar.
And we’d have a rushed trip to the dentist.
And it would be ok, he could wobble it when it was less tender and it would fall out.

Then they’d be the phone call.
That (somehow) he had collided with a child on lunch break at school.
And it looked painful. His tooth.
Coincidentally, he’d had a check up booked for the dentist that afternoon.
Of course it was the other front tooth.

And so it came to be.

Two wobbly front tooth.

Until this.
The head contact had won the race.A cheeky letter from a five year-old to the tooth fairy - bye bye milk teethThe best bit about these siblings?
A big sister to show you the way!

Living Arrows 21/52

This week’s Living Arrows post is one of the random places you decide to pull out your camera. But Saturday was a first for me, I took my children to the cinema.

They’re not deprived! They’ve been to the cinema lots, as treats- with grandma and grampy, with friends, and for parties. But never with me.

I’ll be honest, once someone took them and the ‘first’ had happened, I didn’t feel the motivation. The attention span of my 5 year old’s doesn’t fill me with confidence.

And I sort out don’t mind that, I’d rather they loved to play rather than sit still for long(ish) periods of time. But still, the cinema holds so many wonderful memories for me, there is still the pull of the big screen.

And life plays its course, thanks to the lovely Sarah from Boo, Roo & Tigger Too I was able to take the three of them.

And it was wonderful. I needed this time out with my children.

And their smiles.

The lovely face of CM Living Arrows

The cheeky face of B Living Arrows

The naughty face of E Living Arrows
Living Arrows

A twin education

I wrote last week about the outspoken childminder who ‘opened up’ on her view of my sons’.
I’ll be honest, the upset I felt has been replaced with anger tinged with humour.
Reflection has made me more angry about her behaviour than able to consider her words valid.
I also have sympathy, I think for the parents, who have the children in her care, and hope they aren’t subject to her judgement.
I still standby my consideration, that I have yet to meet a parent with the same approach. Most parents seem to know that as readily as a child may have poor behaviour inflicted on them, so the following week they may be the one demonstrating poor behaviour. Such is the nature of children. And the playground.

However, the words did provoke me to contact the boys’ teacher to explore the boys’ behaviour and what I could do as a parent to better support my children.

I have no doubt I caught the teacher off guard, I’ve not contacted the school before for anything other than illness notification and I am not the parent who does the school run so am not familiar.

We talked things through, about the cyclical nature of their behaviour which has a telling off at its heart. We talked about their relationship, how they behave as they might at home- they are very physical with each other.

As a side note this, for me, has been one of the most trying elements of my boys. One will hurt the other, we will discipline them (naughty step, separation, etc), there will be an apology, five minutes later the other is complaining they have been hurt. Having witnessed the events which have just unfolded.

The teacher confirmed all incidents of poor behaviour had been addressed with Mr J.
Generally speaking they are naughty, they are lovely boys and good learners, but they fidget when they’re bored, and if the other is in touching distance they will inevitably end up brawling.

I asked whether separating them would be of benefit.
The response was in the teacher’s personal opinion there may be an advantage.
So I asked how we could make it happen.

There is so much behind this.
I had originally wanted to separate the boys.
They are so similar.
Some twins do not have similar interests, but the boys do, they have similar personalities- with nuances which make them individuals.
And I was originally concerned the teaching team would get them confused.Trunki Spike and TangI was also of the opinion that siblings shouldn’t be in the same class. I suspect if me or my brothers were in the same class the arguments would have been legendary.
Yes. My sons are twins. There should be an additional filter of consideration. But not a blanket consideration.

So I’m a little cross that once again I didn’t follow my instincts as a parent.
That I agreed when I was told the school policy is not to separate twins. Even though I know through TAMBA this may not be upheld if parents present an alternate perspective.
I am annoyed when I hear my sons speak about themselves in the third person because they’ve learned to differentiate themselves for people.
And that they complain that people cannot tell them apart.

And then, the worst part dawned on me.
Yes. This might be the right decision.
But how?
How do you decide which child to take out of their class and put into a new one?

And it’s because children are awesome. (Especially mine).
I asked them.
They decided.

It’s also addressed another issue.
This year E decided he wanted to move his birthday going forward to March 17th (I don’t fully understand the date, he is insistent it should be the day before his sister’s birthday). Why? Because he’s afraid people will muddle up his and his brother’s presents.
But now, his perspective is he’d be happy to share a birthday with his brother, because now he can invite the children in his class, and his presents won’t be muddled because the children in his brother’s class will bring gifts for B.
Problem solved.

And, of course,
The school have been fantastic.
They’ve stopped me from making a knee-jerk reaction to some outsider, who doesn’t know my children from Adam, affecting my judgement.
As any good school would, they’ve asked us to put in place a plan to make sure a considered conclusion is reached for my sons.
That we look more closely at them over the coming half term.
And meet in May, to agree what would be best for my boys.
And potentially discuss with the Governors why, if it is the result, separation is right for B and E.

In many ways, I do not support this course of action.
I do not think I, as a parent, should need to justify my options to people, who, if my children had different birth dates, would not have a say.
I do not see why I am fighting a blanket rule.
When we agree all children are individuals.
That this is an issue simply because they were born on the same day.

But like them, I am not an expert in multiple births.
My twins are individuals, as are all twins, so why should my view about my boys determine how all multiples should be treated.
So, hopefully, the Governors like me might understand the emotional attachment of a parent.
And make a decision based on, like me, wanting the best learning environment for each child.
Which, in B and E’s case, might mean they are too much of a distraction together.

So, here we go.
Let’s see what a more considered future holds for them.
And believing, because the school, for me, has been fantastic,
Will ensure, whatever I think, that B and E have, as individuals, the most positive learning experience.

Siblings – March

We are in countdown to a seventh birthday, which seems traditionally to mean the trips to the beach after school have started, Spring is breaking through.

This month I seem to collected a few photos of these three together, but our trip to Jackson’s Bay was the most needed. B has been off school, and so poorly with it, he sleeps all afternoon and getting out after school just seemed the right thing to do. Especially as my reprieve from overnights in London is over, knowing how much I’ll miss them increases the need to make the most of the moments.

CM is on an absolute high, everything needs a countdown, we have so much to look forward to, but most pressing is her birthday.

E is just awesome, still as inquisitive as ever. I do wonder if he can start a conversation which doesn’t have five questions at the start. Today’s conversation was focused on his concern that in London my hotel room doesn’t have a couch. He hooked me in. It turns out in his head I do exactly the same in London as I do at home- work at my desk, go out with friends, sit on the sofa, go to bed. When responding that I go to an actual office, and I have meetings, his response: “Oh, so you do meetings rather than work?”. 

But of these three.
I wrote yesterday about how much the bond between them seems to be changing so much as the boys personalities develop as strongly as their sister’s. Maybe because these are the months where they seem closest in age. Now there seems to be a bit less of the older sister, and more of three siblings, equally strong-minded, equally loving. The arguments are now impassioned, as E’s sense of justice grows ever stronger. But the fun they have, the laughter, just been fortunate enough to be able to listen to it. It is what makes life wonderful.Siblings - March Siblings - MarchSiblings - March Siblings - March

The Me and Mine Project

Living Arrows 11/52

Last week I decided the give us all the day off, and we jumped in the car, headed over the Severn Bridge to Bristol, and spent some time at The Wild Place Project, as guests of Trunki.
I love days where I get to see all aspects of my children- the good, and the bad. I am taking back our weekends, as I have really come to miss our time together, and as much as I didn’t mind taking us all out for the day, it reinforced that weekends should be about us.
B was coming down with something, something which got him quite badly that night, so in the day he was a little more clingy – a little more shy.
E however seemed to be in complete extrovert mode, and I’m trying to reign in my excitement, as Trunki had brought some photographers. Every time I lost sight of him I found him posing for one of the wonderfully patient photographers.
We are in the countdown to CM’s seventh birthday, when I lose the sympathy vote when I tell people I have a 6-year-old and 5-year-old twins (and then quickly feel guilty, and reassure it’s not as close as that), but these past months the bond between them has increased. I didn’t think it could, CM has always been the best big sister, but now it seems they’re siblings without the age gap. Yes, CM’s the bossiest, but E’s the most argumentative, and when B wants to sulk – well, sometimes he puts me to shame.
And this was the race.
You know when they all got off the start line together, when E didn’t cheat, when CM wasn’t having a strop, and when B had enough energy to compete.
They really are, with complete bias, the best. Living Arrows with Trunki
Living Arrows