Your offspring is not only bouncing off the walls but doing flipping triple somersaults as a results of consuming three times their body weight in sugar. You actually google the symptoms of a sugar induced coma. Just in case.
When I started work after having my second, I remember sitting in the shower room expressing for her and in my more melodramatic moments looking down and thinking that it was almost as if my breasts were crying milk for her.
I felt like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders and I just wanted to tell you that everything would be ok but I could tell from the look in your eyes that you were stuck in a vicious circle from which you saw no escape.
As a young girl there's plenty about the world that I don't want her to know about yet (as my scrambling for the remote to switch away from inappropriate TV reveals). Equally though, there's some wisdom and guidance she should know now, over half-way (wait, what?) through her pre-teen childhood. So here it is.
U is for Unexplained marks - everywhere - on your windows, carpets, furniture, clothes you name it, if you've got kids in the house then no surface will remain unblemished as long as there are sticky fingers and runny noses about.
One of the joys of foster care is being a witness to extraordinary, life-changing moments. I shall never forget the day we took three young children to the beach for the first time ever, even though they had lived no more than 15 miles from the sea.
Your child is the least judgmental fan you'll ever have! Reading to your children is not like updating Facebook - in their eyes, you can do no wrong. They are fully prepared to make you their hero, so kick off your shoes and have some fun!
There are other advantages to having alone time too: being able to read in bed at night for as long as I like, repeatedly watching Vikings (if I can't see my husband's beardy face and tattoos I might as well enjoy those of Rollo and Ragnar), not having to watch Arsenal, not having to wade through his clothes on the floor to get into bed, not being woken at 6.15 by his alarm every day.
Exam season can be a challenging time for students, parents and teachers alike. While it is important for a child to feel positive encouragement to help them feel motivated to study, over-scheduling and excessive emphasis on getting good grades can result in overwhelm and unhealthy levels of stress.
We took our boy to his first music festival when he was just weeks old. He did his first camping festival at the age of three. It is now just after his 5th birthday and after our first festival of the year that it has come to my attention that some people frown upon taking children to festivals.
Given that everyone is different and we all have our own ideas about what constitutes personal growth, it stands to reason that some people would benefit from one form of therapy while other people would benefit from another form of therapy.
For all the drawbacks, there is so much to benefit from behind those glowing little squares: the stories, the exploring, the chance to create, the worlds to get lost in, the challenges to overcome, the skills to perfect, the access to so much learning. We can all see it, so why do we resist it so much? Why are screens such a taboo?
How did we find ourselves in Rome? You have an invitation to Aix-en-Provence followed by a spin in Verona, then you find yourself in Cinque Terre, well Florence isn't that far away, and when you're in Florence you can't miss seeing Rome!
When we became foster carers some years ago we decided that we would focus on short-term care, helping to keep sibling groups together while their futures were decided by others. But, as we have learned, 'short term' means anything from a few days to many months, and even years.
Your preparation for your weekend to begin? The sweet sound of the clasp of your bra being undone. And dropping to the floor. Hell it's only 6pm? But it's never too early to let them boobs hang free (and low).
Family dinner time is always such a calming, rewarding and frankly beautiful experience... SAID NO EXHAUSTED PARENT OF A TODDLER EVER. Perhaps, all we need is for a pre-schooler to break it down in an easy step-by-step guide for other toddlers looking to get the most from mealtimes while their mums and dads cry... (Or drink wine. Or something...)