Tuesday, 9 October 2012

We love you Milton Keynes

It's been a busy couple of weeks and I have failed miserably to keep up with the blog.  Last weekend was manic, with the BabyExpo in Milton Keynes and the Mumpreneur Business Awards.

The BabyExpoUK exhibited for the first time in Milton Keynes rather than it's usual Brighton home.  After a long drive with a car full of stock, Toddler and weekend bags, we arrived on Friday afternoon ready to set up the stand for the weekend.  The Expo was held in the main shopping centre: thecentremk.  What a fantastic venue.  The organisers, Suzanne and Mel from Whats on 4, did a remarkable job and by 9am on Saturday morning, the whole area was alive and buzzing, full of bright, colourful stands.

Saturday was busy with a steady stream of customers.  Thankfully, the lovely Jana of Spotty Dot who had a stand next to me, was on hand to keep an eye on the TT stand whilst I grabbed toilet and coffee breaks.  It is well worth checking out her website and looking at her gorgeous soft toys and rattles.  She also does a fantastic range of handmade t-shirts. 

There were also lots of things happening on the stage including talks by the lovely Annabel Karmel and sleep expert Jo Tantum.

On Sunday, Nanny Tyke manned the stand for me whilst I headed off to the Mumpreneur Business Awards (more on that in the next blog).  Although quieter on the Sunday, Nanny Tyke still did a roaring trade - especially in our fab slipper socks.  There are going to be an awful lot of warm toesies in Milton Keynes this winter!

A big thank you goes out to the lovely Gillian of Mojo Maternity who was on the other side of us.  She specialises in maternity wear for both taller and bigger ladies.  Gillian herself is tall which was a blessing to Nanny Tyke who will quite happily describe herself as 'vertically challenged'.  The layout of the stand meant that Nanny didn't stand a chance of being able to break it down on her own at the end of the Expo without a ladder, or the help of Gilllian and her husband.  If you know any tall pregnant ladies, I would most definitely recommend checking out her website.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend.  We spread the Tykes Tights love and met so many wonderful mums, dads, nannies, grandads and little ones.  This is one event that we will be putting in our diary for next year! 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Choosing a school

As a teacher, choosing a school for Toddler should be a doddle.  I should know all the right questions to ask and exactly what to look out for and expect.  So why do I feel like I'm going to get it wrong?  It is such a massive decision to make and it will affect him forever. 

There are about 5 schools local to us which are options.  Two of them have been ruled out straight away because of their reputation.  I think having insider knowledge is worse because it makes you more picky.  The obvious choice of school in terms of location, progress, attainment, beahviour etc is ideal except for one major flaw.  It has recently moved into the building that I worked in for 10 years.  The building where I met Toddler's dad, where we worked together, where I taught when I was pregnant with Toddler and, ultimately, where I cried a million tears when Toddler's dad left.  It is only a building - bricks and mortar - but it holds just so many memories.  It is the place of my most happiest and my most saddest memories.

Today I conquered my fears of returning in order to take Toddler for a look around to see if it would be suitable for him.  As I walked in the main entrance, my stomach churned.  It was just like the old place.  Even Toddler recognised it (despite not having been there for over a year) and at one point he even tried to run down to the staff room! 

The Head took us on a tour and, knowing I had worked in the building before the refurbishment, took us around the whole school rather than just straight to the early years area.  It was a very strange experience to see somewhere so familiar look so different.  The early years area looks completely different to how it did when it was a middle school and the whole school in general has a different vibe.  Whilst we talked, Toddler made himself a few new friends in reception and had to be pried away from the wendy house. 

By the time we came home, I think I had managed to lay a lot of my demons to rest.  It's the start of a new chapter for our family and that building.  Time to move on.  I know Toddler will be happy there and can start to make his own new memories of what lies within those walls.

So, decision made.  School chosen.  I think...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Tykes Tights in print!

We recently did an article for Insight magazine.  Although I have seen the proof, the hard copy arrived through the door this weekend:-

Saturday, 22 September 2012

To sleep or not to sleep...

So, at the grand old age of 3, Toddler has gone for his very first sleepover!  He, of course, was very excited about it.  I'm doing ok - I think!

With such a busy week coming up including the MK baby expo and the Mumpreneur conference and awards, my to-do list is as long as my arm.  This hasn't been helped by the fact that Toddler's nursery was closed last week so I got very little achieved.

One of my lovely mummy friends jumped to the rescue and offered to have Toddler to give me a bit of peace and space to get some work done.  Her son is the same age and they have known each other since they were both tiny.

So, here I am.  Toddler-less.  Forutunately, I have been getting regular text updates and know that Toddler is having a fabulous time.  I have achieved a huge amount in the few hours that he has been gone so all is good.  I'm not concerned about Toddler not being able to settle or getting upset as he often stays away from home when he goes to his Daddy's house.  This, however, is still a huge step in growing up - staying overnight with people who are not his family.  Aw, my little boy is growing up!

So, no bedtime routine to think about, no listening out in the night, no 7am alarm clock.  Sounds great but I still can't wait to see him tomorrow!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Do you own a domain name?

In my inbox this morning, I had an email from a company claiming that another company wanted to purchase my brand name and some domain names.

Do these companies not realise that I google absolutely everything?  I’m sure that their company is legit but these companies prey on small businesses and use other ‘interested’ companies to basically try and get you to buy up domain names through them at extortionate prices.  I don’t need tykestights.asia, .eu, .net etc.  With a well maintained .co.uk site, none of these other domains would ever rank higher with google for my customer base.  And besides, if I did want them, I would much rather pay a couple of quid to 123.reg than the hundreds of pounds they want me to pay them to protect my name.  Yes it is a good idea to protect your brand name but if you choose not to, your brand name is protected on a first use basis anyway.

If you ever get one of these emails, just beware that it is a scam to scare you into purchasing domain names through them.   Just google it and you will find that there are lots of companies – mostly in China, who are targeting small businesses.  Here is the email they sent me so that you know what to look out for:

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this,please forward to the right person/ department, as this is urgent, thank you.)
Dear CEO,
We are the department of registration service in Asia. Currently, we have a urgent issue needing to confirm with your company. On Sept 12th,2012, we received an application formally. One company named "Shadi Management Group Ltd" wanted to apply for the Brand Name"  tykestights  "and some domain names through our body.
According to our initial check, these domain names and brand name are as similar as your company name. So we confirm with you if this company was authorized by you. If it was neither authorized by you nor your branch company, please contact us in 10 working days.
Best Regards,

Tom Tan
Auditing Department  Manager

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

What's in a name?

I was thinking the other day about nicknames.  I remember at school that many of the others in my year group had nicknames, although this tended to be mostly boys.  Lots of nicknames are surname based. 

This got me thinking about my own nicknames for Toddler.  He has loads but mostly all a version of the same thing.  These are the ones I use the most:

-          Tickle

-          Tickle monster

-          T monster

-          Bunny

-          Munchkin

I can’t see any of these going to school with him! 

Did you have a nickname?  Do you use nicknames for your children?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Understanding the mind of a 3 year old.

Being a single parent isn’t easy.   I don’t mean the day to day stuff, although that can be a challenge too.  I mean the stuff that appears out of nowhere and throws you.

Toddler has started having issues whenever he comes back from his dads.  Last time, when he got home, he poo’ed his pants for 5 days in a row after being clean for months.  It might have just been a natural potty training blip but it still makes me paranoid that there is something going on in his head.  Every time he comes back, he has an unsettled night.

Last night he woke twice and was really angry both times, crying and kicking his blankets about.  When he got up this morning he was still really angry.  He couldn’t tell me why he was angry but I am now pretty convinced that there is a pattern emerging.

His dad and I have been able to put our personal feelings aside where our son is concerned.  We are friendly and amicable in front of him and we even go for family days out together for Toddler’s benefit.  We still get on as friends and he speaks to his dad every day on the phone and he enjoys looking at photos of himself when he was little and daddy lived with us.  Of course, Toddler can’t remember daddy living at home – he left when Tom was 1. 

He has also started to play one of us off against the other.  Yesterday he told me that when my favourite song came on the car radio, he told daddy that it was my favourite then daddy turned it off and he was sad.  After speaking to daddy, I found out that he did indeed tell daddy it was my favourite song then daddy asked him if he wanted to listen to it and toddler said “no, you can turn it off”.

I wish I could get into the head of a 3 year old and see exactly what is going on.

I have googled the subject to death and found that the unsettled, angry behaviour is quite normal but it still makes me feel guilty.  I am constantly wondering what I can do to make the situation easier for him.  He knows that we both love him and he enjoys the days out that we have together. 

Any advice?  I don’t want to end up with a screwed up angry teenager!

Friday, 7 September 2012

When 'manflu' strikes!

This week has been manic!  What with the start of Tykes Tights season, car troubles and a million other things.  Phew.  Thank goodness it is the weekend!

Let's end the week with a bit of fun.  I came across this website earlier in the week and had a good giggle.  With winter around the corner, I am sure there are lots of men who are getting prepared for the onset of manflu.  Us women should make sure we know exactly what to expect when this terrible illness strikes our loved ones!  (Sigh - there are times when being single has it's advantages!)

For a tongue in cheek view on 'manflu', check out


Thursday, 6 September 2012

So what is all the fuss about?

Since the launch of Tykes Tights two years ago, we have been overwhelmed with support. 
Who would have thought that so many mums out there were suffering in the way I did.  Lost socks, cold legs and unhappy bunnies.  I have also chatted to some lovely mums who, having grown up, or experienced living in other countries, have also been willing to shout from the rooftops about the wonders of boy’s tights.
This is what they have to say:
“I was surprised how difficult it is to find tights for boys in the UK. I grew up in Germany where most children wear them. There are plenty of colours and patterns to chose from in the shops to suit boys and girls. This is in sharp contrast to the UK. Here, tights are very much considered to be for girls only although they are a great piece of clothing for children of both genders. Our 20-month-old son has been wearing tights (sent to us from Germany until I found this website) ever since he was a baby. They are great at home where he wears them with a jumper and a pair of thick socks. They keep him warm without restricting his mobility. Tights are brilliant for outdoors too. Worn under trousers or dungarees they have kept our son warm during recent cold winters.”  - Michaela
“In Poland boys wear tights till approx 7 years old (where they go to kindergarten) . When they are 7 and go to school they are not eager to wear tights and then we buy them boy’s leggings and socks together. When they are without shoes you can see only socks but under the trousers they wear boy’s leggings. For my boys it is ok and my sons’ colleagues also wear boys pants when they start going to school.” - Agnieszka
"I was amazed that I could not get boy's tights in England.  I grew up in Italy where boy's tights are very common.  I expected there to be a greater variety in England as the weather is so much colder.  I am so pleased that I have found Tykes Tights, especially with the cold winters here in England" - Mariella

It seems like the rest of Europe are way ahead of us.  Why has it taken us so long to catch up?  I would love to see rows of boy's tights in every department store (Tykes Tights of course!)  Maybe one day...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Boy's tights - you either love them or hate them!

I love talking to people about boy's tights.  I love the reactions you get when they realise what you sell. 

Imagine the scene - I'm at a babyshow or Christmas market, a young lady, her partner and little boy saunter up to my stand to have a look.  We start the small talk whilst they have a look around.  I explain what we sell.  Cue the following reactions:

Lady - either a) Looks really interested, makes eye contact and dives for her purse
            or     b) Looks at you with concern, makes a polite excuse about her husband probably
                          not liking the idea and heads for the exit.

Man -  either a) Looks at you with concern, turns away and runs
             or    b) Just turns and runs

Of course, this is not true of everyone I meet but there is definitely a pattern emerging.
I think I only rarely sell boy's tights to men.  It is usually the ladies or the grandparents that go for the idea.  I think men are scared of tights! 

Occasionally, I will come across someone who won't bother with the polite comment and will tell it how they think it is.  Apparently, putting a baby boy in tights will affect their sexuality!  "I don't want my boy growing up gay" is one I have heard too often!  I would love to come back with a quick retort but I guess it's not professional.  Instead I just smile.  Another one I have heard is "You can get them cheaper in Asda" - oh really, do Asda sell boy's tights? 

I guess, like Marmite, you either love 'em or hate 'em.   I'm not going to try and convert the haters, afterall it is a personal choice but I will make sure that for those of us who love boy's tights, there is a wide range of gorgeous styles to choose from each winter at Tykes Tights, ready to keep those little legs toasty warm. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Questions to ask your toddler

I saw this on facebook a few months ago and thought it would be fun to try it out on Toddler then repeat it in a few years and compare his answers.

These are the questions and Toddler's answers aged 3:

- What is rain?                       R R R R R it goes pitter patter rain drops.
- What makes you happy?     When I do a poo on the potty.
- How old is your daddy?      14
- What is Big Brother?           I don't know
- What is food for?                 For tummies
- Why is the sky blue?           'Cus it's supposed to be blue.  Sunny and cloudy and blue.
- Where do babies come from?     Tummies
- What is God?                       I don't know
- What does mashed potato taste like?   Yummy
- What does music make you feel like?   Errr tingly
- What is your favourite flower?      Errrr, green!
- Who is the prime minister?         I don't know
- What is your favourite sweet?     Yellow sweets.
- What do you do on holidays?      We play at the beach
- What happens if you tell lies?     I don't know.
- What happens if an adult tells lies?   You get happy.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?    In this house.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Being a Work At Home Mum

I often get asked whether I will return to my former profession which was teaching.  The answer is I don’t know.  I loved teaching but it is one of those professions where you can’t leave your work in the office.  Being a single mum, I want to make sure that I separate my work life from my home life.  I don’t want to be marking books whilst Toddler is running amok trying to get my attention. 
Ok, I guess that sounds rather hypocritical as that is indeed what I am doing now – juggling business and a toddler.  I think that the difference is that being my own boss, I can set my own deadlines and break up my working day to see to my toddler’s needs.  If Toddler is poorly or having a bad day, I can get the most important tasks for that day done, then close the laptop and spend quality time with him.  In a teaching job, I wouldn’t have that option.  Maybe, one day, when Toddler is at school himself and not needing me so much, I would return to the world of teaching but for now, here is my list of why I love being a work at home mum:
-          I get to choose my hours to fit around my family

-          My son is seeing business in action – promoting a positive ethos to working

-          I love the challenge – learning new things every day

-          I get to watch my son grow up and be part of every developmental step

-          I am able to be there for my son when he is poorly or needs me

-          I am my own boss.  My success or failure lies purely in my hands.

Of course, being a work at home mum has it’s disadvantages too.  The most common one being that I get stuck into something that needs my undivided attention, and all of a sudden, so does Toddler.  The other big downside is that inevitably, the large proportion of my workload tends to be done when Toddler is in bed.  I don’t think I have managed to get to bed earlier than 1am any night this week but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Today was a great reminder for me as to why I love my job.  It was a beautiful sunny day so after picking Toddler up from his nursery session, we headed to the beach for the afternoon to make the most of the weather.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

To bath or not to bath?

Toddler has always loved bathtime
Since Toddler was a tiny newborn, we have shared baths together.  When his Daddy lived at home, we would take it in turns to have a bath with him.  Now of course, it's just me.  Toddler still has a daily dip in the bath as part of his bedtime routine but about once a week (usually at the weekend) we jump in together.  Toddler loves it and I often use it as a bribe if he doesn't want to go to bed. 

The only thing I don't like about shared baths is that I like my baths nice and hot, Toddler likes his cold.  I'm not talking warm, but proper cold.  We compromise in that I have a soak in the bath by myself for 10 minutes then put the cold water in at one end for him. 

Toddler loves to pour water over my head, use my legs as a slide and stick foam letters onto my tummy to write his name.  It is such a lovely experience and always very chilled out.  A nice calming way to end the day - no stress, just lots of cuddles and laughs.

But when do shared baths become inappropriate?  Toddler is now 3 and of course he knows that boys have 'dinky's' and girls have bottoms.  He knows that boobies are for feeding milk to babies.  He often compares our bodies when we bath together which in my opinion, is a healthy way for him to learn about the differences in boys and girls.  At what point though is he 'too old' to have a bath with his mummy?  Now at 3?  4?  5? 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Happy Birthday!

I have been terrible at posting regularly on the TT blog so, to give myself a kick up the bum, I have decided to challenge myself to post once a day for the whole of September.  Hmm, might prove trickier than I think but I will give it a go.  What better day to start than on our 2nd birthday!

Blimey, how did we get to 2 years already?  So much has changed in that time.  Most recently, of course, our brand sparkly new website. 

At age 2, Toddler was confident on his feet and just starting to put words and sentences together.  He was becoming a proper little person in his own right and no longer my baby.  The year from age 2 to 3 was full of change.  By his 3rd birthday, he was talking for England, potty trained, independent and full of character.

Tykes has followed the same kind of path.  It has grown as a business and has found its own feet.  Hopefully, this will also be a big year of change.  Both my babies are growing up and I am very proud of them.

With the Mumprenuer UK awards at the end of the month, lots of baby expo’s, xmas fairs and markets booked up for this coming winter, there is a lot to look forward to.

Happy Birthday Tykes Tights!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Going for Gold!

Now that the news has sunk in a little bit, I can start to think rationally again.
Yesterday, we found out that Tykes Tights had got through to the final of the Mumpreneur UK awards.  It is the first award that we have ever entered and I didn’t think for one minute that we would get this far. 
Finalists were due to be announced on Wednesday and I spent most of the day refreshing my twitter and facebook feeds for updates only to find out that due to the larger numbers of applicants, results day would now be Friday.
So, yesterday, back to refreshing every few minutes until I saw a twitter post saying that finalist emails had been sent out.  I kept looking at my phone for the green flashy light to tell me that I had  a new email.  I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t come.  Afterall, out of all the small businesses in the country, it was unlikely that I would be recognised on my very first attempt.  I wasn’t disappointed as it was kind of what I was expecting.  I had looked through lists of previous finalists from 2011 and 2010 and recognised a lot of names and companies – people who had really made their mark – it was quite daunting.
A little later, I fired up the laptop.  Seems my email and my phone aren’t talking to each other properly as there, in my inbox, was an email from Mumpreneur UK!  Shock, excitement, confusion, panic – I think I went through a whole range of emotions in those first few minutes.
The email explained that over 1200 businesses had applied for the awards.  That’s a lot of application forms to go through!  There are 9 categories and 8 finalists have been chosen for each category.  Tykes Tights has made it to the ‘Best Mumpreneur Product’ category which is primarily for mums who have invented their own product (another reason I didn’t think we would get this far) but is also for mum’s who have brought a unique product to market.
Now we have a month to wait!  Good news is that I get to go to a fantastic conference next month, listen to some inspirational women and pick up lots of information and advice.  All this will be washed down with a lovely 3 course meal and the day will end with the award winners being chosen and prizes being given out.  Can’t wait! 
I have now got to submit some paperwork and sample products to the judges.  I have to tell them why Tykes Tights deserves to win.  I need to impress the likes of Jo Elvin (Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine) and Vanessa Gold (MD of Ann Summers). 
No matter what happens on the day, whether we walk away with an award or not, I am completely honoured and overwhelmed at having got this far and that Tykes Tights has been recognised as one of the top mumpreneur companies in the whole of the UK!

 Boy’s tights rule!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

What are little boy's made of?

Since Tykes Tights launched in 2010, it has been rather a solitary mission.  I feel like it has been me against the world, trying to promote the advantages of boy's tights.  Of course, I have met lots of mums and dads along the way who have the same views as me and have returned each year to stock up on their boy's tights which is great.  But banging the drum on your own is no fun.  Until now!

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce you to Slugs & Snails!

Slugs & Snails was started in Ireland by Kat for exactly the same reasons as I started Tykes Tights.  Neither of us were able to find tights for our little boys.  Whilst I emabarked on finding the best qualitly boy's tights from other parts of Europe and importing them, Kat's journey led her down the path of designing and manufacturing her own range of tights for boys.  For the past year, we have both been banging our own boy's tights drums but this winter, we will be banging our drums together.

Slugs & Snails tights can now be found on our own website.  They are bright, funky designs which cover the whole tight - not just the ankle or bottom and come with anti slip soles meaning your little one can race around without slipping.   Each pair of Slugs & Snails tights comes packed in a box making them perfect for gifts.

Click here to visit Tykes Tights and check out the range of Slugs & Snails tights for yourself!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Babies in the office?

I was inspired to write this post after watching a fantastic two part BBC documentary called “Babies in the office”.
For those who didn’t see it, London based taxi company, Addison Lee, trialled the American trend of allowing staff to bring their babies into work.  At the start of the trial, many of the staff were a little wary of the idea and to be quite honest, I did wonder myself how they would be able to meet their targets and continue a normal working day amid the chaos of a dozen little people. 
We all know that little people can be rather demanding.  What do you do when you are in the middle of an important phone call and all of a sudden, your baby starts crying?  Would the babies become bored of sitting by a desk for 8 hours with no other stimulation?  Surely being stuck in an office cannot possibly stimulate a child in the same way that, for example, a trip to a baby and toddler group can?
After the first trial week, many of these issues did arise.  The babies and the staff all had to fit into a new routine.  At times, some parents had to leave the office early because their children had had enough and some parents were unable to meet their deadlines or hit their targets.
It was decided that the trial would be extended for a whole month.  During that time, it became clear that the office was not really an ideal environment for a toddler.  Although many of the toddlers did find a nice routine and were stimulated by the environment around them, we all know how demanding a toddler can be.  We also know how inquisitive a toddler can be and you can’t really afford to take your eyes off them for a second!

Parenting is a full time job.  So is working.  Is it really possible to combine the two?
The longer trial proved to be a success.  The parents and babies found a system that worked for them and the company found that some parents were even meeting their pre-child targets.  Ok, the level of work achieved might not have been as it was before the babies arrived but the company were not just looking at what they could gain in the short term.  Addison Lee discovered that by allowing parents to bring their babies to work, they were creating loyalty within their staff.  Many staff that would have given up work to look after their children, were returning to their job thus saving the company time and money that would be required to recruit and train new staff. 
By the end of the trial, Addison Lee had to make a decision.  Were they going to continue allowing staff to bring babies to work or would the idea end when the trial did?  I am delighted that Addison Lee have become the first UK company to allow babies into the workplace.  Based upon the results of the trail, smaller babies are welcome into the office and the older babies and toddler s have been provided with on-site crèche facilities.  The positives for both parent and child outweighed any negatives.

It’s a huge step forward in dealing with childcare issues in this country.  Many parents, including myself, either give up work, change their career or take a step down the career ladder in order to raise their children.  Addison Lee are helping parents to work whilst still being there for their children.   Juggling work and children is never going to be easy , Addison Lee have taken a step closer to making it easier.   
 What did you think of the programme?  Would you welcome this type of scheme in your workplace?  Have you felt like you have had to choose between a career and being a parent?  Would you take your baby to work?

Monday, 9 July 2012

A day in the life of a Tight wearing Tyke - part 2

Quite a long time ago, I posted “A day in the life of a tight wearing tyke”.  I thought perhaps it was time to do another one.  Afterall, a lot has changed in that time.  In the first post, Toddler Tyke was just 18 months old, he is now a strapping 3 year old and has a completely different daytime regime.  Another big difference, is that Daddy Tyke was then living with us, now it is just Mummy and Toddler so, of course, many other aspects of daily life have changed to take this adjustment into consideration.

So, Toddler’s day starts anywhere between 7:00 and 7:30.  He usually lays in his bed talking or singing to himself until he hears me call him.  Then he comes running into my bedroom and jumps into bed for a morning cuddle.  After a sit on the potty and getting dressed, it is downstairs for a drink.  Cup of tea to wake mummy up and usually milk or ‘nana’ milk for Toddler. 

3 days a week, it is then a mad rush to get to nursery on time but today is Wednesday, a more relaxed start to the day as we don’t need to be anywhere until half past 9.  Toddler’s morning routine includes spending at least 15 minutes deciding which cereal he would like.  Weetabix?  Shreddies?  Shapes?  We go through all the options but usually come to the same end result – Ready Brek with raisins. 

After breakfast, it is upstairs to do teeth.  Sounds so simple doesn’t it?  After procrastinating, choosing several toys to take, forgetting something very important when halfway up the stairs and having to go back down for it, more timewasting and eventually we get to the bathroom.  Cue time to clamp mouth tightly shut whilst twisting head in all manner of directions to avoid the toothbrush.  Sigh!

Back downstairs for shoes and coat.  (Coat?  In May?)  This can easily take 20 minutes and usually results in mummy Tyke counting to 3 with the threat of the naughty chair if Toddler doesn’t act upon the given instructions.  Toddler has to do EVERYTHING himself and his way. Often he succeeds but often I hear the words “You must do it mummy” when he realises that actually, he can’t.   Finally, all ready to leave and Toddler decides he is taking his train/peppa pig van/gruffalo bag/slinky/torch with us.  More procrastinating as I tell him in no uncertain terms that we do not need to take toys to Toddler Group.  Instead we agree that Toddler can take his imaginary friends – Twigs and Tree Fu Tom who he has cradled gently in his hands.  Finally, just as I think we are going to get out the door.  Toddler reminds me that Tree Fu Tom and Twigs haven’t brushed their teeth.  Of course! Silly Mummy! After digging out the imaginary toothbrushes to brush their teeth, I am informed that the toothbrushes aren’t kept in the kitchen and I ‘must’ go upstairs to find them.  Sigh.  Count to 10 and calmly tell Toddler that these are the only toothbrushes we have and if he isn’t happy with that, Tree Fu Tom and Twigs will have to go to Toddlers with dirty teeth.

Amazingly, we arrive at Toddler Group just 5 minutes late.  Toddler quickly rushes off to socialise with his little buddies and grab the tools before anyone else spots them whilst I settle myself down for a good old natter with my buddies.

After Toddler Group, it is home for a quick lunch, sit on the potty, grab Toddler’s rucksack and off for an afternoon at nursery.  I don’t need to go into more detail about doing all this I’m sure.  If you need more, just re-read paragraph 5!

4:30 and it is time to pick up Toddler.  Mummy has managed to do a few jobs, a couple of orders and not a lot else.  (Except that lovely cup of tea drunk in complete silence and finished in one sitting!)
Toddler 'helps' me make dinner by taste testing every ingredient as I try to add it to the pan.  After dinner it's play time which at the moment seems to revolve around pretend play.  Toddlers current favourite is making the sofa into a train and taking me on a journey.  He also likes to sit on his trampoline and pretend that he is an ice-cream man - I have been sold some very strange sounding ice-cream flavours over the last few weeks!

Bath and bed are not without their struggles.  Again, procrastination and independence seem to be the theme and everything takes so much longer than it used to!  After I have read Toddler his chosen story, he then likes to read it to me, his own version.  I love listening to how creative he is when he 'reads'. 

Some things don't change from my first post, Toddler in bed and it's time to get to work - maybe with the odd glass of Rose thrown in!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

2012 – I’ve been waiting all year for you!

Last night, as the clock struck 12, I had a text from one of my best buddies:

“Happy New ‘your’ Year chick. Hope you’re smiling it in. Loves ya! Xx”

At that precise moment, I knew exactly what I should do and plastered a huge great big smile on my face to welcome 2012 in. As you already know, so I won’t go on about it, 2011 was a tough, challenging year for me personally. All I wanted to do was get it out of the way and start afresh. Now my chance has arrived and I am grabbing this New Year with both hands, ready to take control.

Already, I have got lots in the pipeline. This is going to be a fantastic year for Tykes Tights – so many wonderful plans and goals to be achieved. If I ever doubt myself, I look back over some of the wonderful emails I have received in the last few months – words of thanks, praise and encouragement from so many customers. In fact, it was one such email that I received a few days ago that inspired me to do a bit of creative writing for a national newspaper. Watch this space!

The most important thing to remember as we start a new year is that life is what you make it. It will try to knock you down, it will try to squeeze the air out of your lungs but you are in control. If you let it beat you, it will. If you take each challenge, no matter how big, with a smile and a positive mental attitude, you can get through it. I have already proven that to myself. So, yes, this is ‘my’ year and I am ready to rock and roll so fasten your seatbelts, put that smile on your face and let’s enjoy the ride!

Wishing you all a positive, happy and successful 2012!

"People become really quite remarkable when they start

thinking that they can do things. When they believe in

themselves they have the first secret of success."

~Norman Vincent Peale~