The Toughest Job

It is often said that parenting is the toughest job and at times it can feel that way, but I love my salary of hugs and "I Love You Mum"s.

Well, that should speed the internet up!


"Mum. I was just thinking... You know how the computer down here is really slow. What if we download the internet onto the computer in my room and then I can play everything up there, only faster!"

MMR Vaccine Scare Doctor To Learn His Fate

And once again, the article mentions the rise in measles cases from 1998 to last year (56 to 1144) and report it in a way that indicates it is due to the decline in MMR vaccination rates. No mention of the immigrant population explosion (the majority of which are unprotected), no mention of the number of adults who contracted the disease and no mention of the uptake rate on the individual vaccinations.
The doctor who sparked the worldwide scare over the MMR vaccine will hear today whether he will be punished by the medical regulator.

MMR Vaccine Scare Doctor To Learn His Fate

'Working mothers are to blame if their children misbehave' says a leading psychologist


Oliver James has controversially suggested that mothers of toddlers should stay at home.

'Working mothers are to blame if their children misbehave' says a leading psychologist

Common pesticides linked to ADHD in children


Children exposed to chemicals used on crops and in household products could have a higher risk of attention-deficit disorder, according to U.S research.

Common pesticides linked to ADHD in children

'Long-term harm' of toddlers' TV

The amount of television watched by toddlers is linked adversely to their future performance at school, researchers warn.

'Long-term harm' of toddlers' TV

Crying-it-out 'harms baby brains'

A parenting expert says leaving young babies to "cry-it-out" for long periods can harm their developing brains.

Crying-it-out 'harms baby brains'

How much TV should a child watch?

Parents should not berate themselves when they resort to putting their children in front of the television.

How much TV should a child watch?



B - "I don't want my dinner"

L - "Why not?"

B - "Because I just said goodbye to my potato"

L - "Well, maybe you should say hello to your potato and reacquaint yourself with it and eat it all up"

B - "Okay then. Then maybe I will kill my potato."

L - "So why don't you kill it by eating it all up?"

B - "That's a good idea"

Thank Goodness For School!


I have to say that after my experience at the weekend I am so grateful that my mother decided to send me to school after all.

She came to visit and had a little Dora The Explorer Toy 'Laptop' for Beth. They sat next to each other on the sofa and Mum was helping Beth operate the game.

"Can you find the letter one?" I hear my mother say. o_O

Sweet Dreams Little One


Recently a lady I know lost her little boy. He was taken away to sing with the angels when he was only a few weeks old. This beautiful, warm, pain struck lady has blogged about her loss and the effect it has had on her, her husband and her family. It is with shame that I look back on my life and realise just how self centered I have been. That I have never known real loss and the pain and the suffering that go hand in hand with that and yet I still dare to feel sorry for myself and my lot in life. My brother lost his little girl when she was only 4 months old, I was devastated when I heard the news, but I was so wrapped up in my own grief at the time I never once stopped to consider how much worse it must have been for him and his wife.

So I have followed the posts that this lady has written and cried at every one, knowing that the pain I have bottled up inside me is only a mere shadow of what she must be feeling. The loss I have experienced is like a handful of dust blown into the wind in comparison to the raging whirlwind of emotions she must be experiencing, and yet I read her posts and it brings back the memory of my time of suffering and my brothers. The times when my little one went to sing with the angels and so did his. This didn't happen simultaneously, I was only in my teens when my niece died and my little one was taken from me around 10 years later. I didn't get to see or hold either of the little ones. I never got to hold their hands or to see their little faces.

I was over the moon when I knew I was pregnant. The bump-to-be was nicknamed Doris, I don't know why but I was sure it was going to be a little girl. I used to talk to her and sing. I remember leaving the office in my lunch hour to walk around the park in the sunlight, my hand stroking my belly where I knew she would be growing underneath and I'd be singing an old Doris Day song in my head "You Are My Sunshine".

The plans I made, the dreams I dreamed, the longing I had to hold her in my arms. Yet within weeks of conceiving her she was taken from me. Oh God I loved that little baby so much. I still don't understand why she was taken. I still cry when I think of losing her and yet it has been 16 years.

I have 5 other beautiful children now. I love them all, more than I could ever adequately express with words, but I feel guilty. Guilty that I still feel the pain and loss of the little one who I never got to meet. Guilty that I still grieve and morn for her. Feeling, at times, overwhelming hatred at a life that can be so unjust and so unfair. Having had a little one as such a total part of my life even for such a short amount of time. Yet never being able to feed her, hold her, change her nappy, or dress her. Never being able to take her for a walk in the park, or to feed the ducks, bounce her on my knee or rock her whilst she listened to me sing her song.

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
The other night dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you
In my arms
When I awoke dear
I was mistaken
and I hung my head and cried

And baby, I still do hang my head and cry. And I bet you would have been beautiful, and clever, and just, oh, so wonderful. I love you sweetness, and I always will. One day, we will be together again and I will give you that hug and that kiss and all my love.

Sweet dreams little one. Rest in peace.

Home Education, School and Autism - Part 1


When I first started discussing starting a family with my (then) partner over 16 years ago, he stated that he thought we should home educate. Like many parents, even today, I did not know that home education was a legal option let alone know how one went about it. I went to the local library and sure enough there was a book on the subject, just the one, called "School's Out" by Jean Bendell. I withdrew it and read it in a matter of a few hours, but it was enough to form the opinion that home education was the way to go. I just didn't know where to go for more information or who to contact. As if someone was looking out for me a few days I spotted an Education Otherwise car window sticker just a few days later. Unfortunately I could not get any other details from the sticker as the car was driven past me, but I wrote the name down in the back of my diary for future reference.

A couple of years later, I was delighted to discover I was pregnant. I spent most of the pregnancy knitting, albeit very slowly, and reading. A lot of the books I read were about hyperactivity in children, on account that my husband had been diagnosed with hyperactivity as a 10 month old baby and he already had a daughter who was hyper-active. We were still intent on home educating, so I looked up the telephone number for Education Otherwise and became a member.

By the time our little boy was a year old we were adamant that home education was the right choice for him. A lot of our decision making was based upon our own experiences in school and the alienation we had felt in that environment. There were also other factors that I took into consideration including, but not limited to, the following

  • Children should learn things they are interested in. For things that they don't like their 'teacher' has a responsibilty to utilise the childs interests to make the subject engaging.
  • Children should be able to use the toilet when needed, as well as being able to have a drink when they are thirsty or a snack when they are hungry.
  • Children should be free to socialise as they wish and make friends with who they wish. Socialisation should not be forced upon them.
  • Children should be directly involved in their educational choices. Their education should not be imposed on them.
  • Their education should be well balanced and free from political or religious interference.
  • A child's home can provide a better learning environment than a noisy, crowded classroom.
  • A child should be free to learn in the way that works best for them and at the time of day that suits them best.
  • And most of all, learning should be fun.

Our son was naturally inquisitve, full of life and eager to explore everything, just like any young child should be. Shortly before his second birthday a little baby sister arrived for him. Never at any point did we consider that we would not home educate her also. We just carried on as we had been. This was the time I decided to inform my family of our decision, especially as our little boy was getting to the age where I was expected to put his name down for nursery school. The most surprising reaction I had was from my brother, a public school teacher, he said "Oh we were thinking of doing that for our girls. I can recommend some good books for you to read.". That was when I was introduced to the works of John Holt and from him A.S.Neill.

By the time our little girl was 2.5 years old our marriage was over and I was in a position where I had to make some major decisions regarding the future for myself and my two children. As I still needed to work I chose to send the two children to a local private nursery. It operated on a one adult to 3 children ratio and as far as nurseries go, was very nice. I was never truly happy leaving my children there from 7am until 6pm, 5 days a week, but it was necessary at the time.

According to the law, if a child is to start school they must do so at the beginning of the term that they have their 5th birthday in. I waited until the last minute before I withdrew my son from the nursery and was fortunate enough that he was able to get a place in our local school which was very highly rated by both the local community and by Ofsted.

Unfortunately he did not fit in right from the start. Apparently he was disruptive and the staff gave me the distinctive feeling that I was being unreasonable when I insisted that he wear long cotton trousers if he were to sit on the nylon carpet. They allowed him to change into his PE shorts during the day, so I insisted in which case that he would be allowed to sit upon a chair to prevent the eczema on his legs being aggravated. During the 6 weeks he was at the school he had to be returned to the class several times after escaping to the toilets or cloakroom as he was finding the level of noise unbearable. There was nothing the school could do about the noise level, it was an open plan room which accomodated three classes seperated by built in bookcases and pillars. I withdrew him from the school at the end of the half term and decided to find another school for him to attend.

As my work contract had finished and I no longer had an income I moved into my boyfriends house. My daughter was removed from the nursery and I applied for a place at the school opposite our new home. The school was an old fashioned design and although it was not highly rated by Ofsted the staff seemed friendly. I suppose at this point I could have chosen to home educate again but given that my daughter was hyper-active (good job I did all that reading!) and I was newly pregnant it seemed the right thing to at least give the new school a try. If I had realised the disasterous effect that it would have on my sons mental well-being I would never have sent him there.