I asked my friends for their potty training secrets…

Oh, potty training, my old foe… So we meet again.

As with all things parenting, I thought that with my second baby I’d have a handle on how to approach potty training. After all – I’ve done it before. Pretty well actually! Or is that just in my memory, which has done what memories do in the years since, and smoothed over all the rough bits, leaving just a shiny, two-dimensional, shall we say preferential picture of the way things were? Because this is how I remember our potty training journey the last time round:

When my eldest was 2 years and...

One Might Have a Case of Baby Envy

Clever old Kate has given birth to her littlest prince this morning, on St George’s Day. And for me (as I suspect for many), all hope of productivity for the day went out of the window the moment I saw the news alert pop up on my phone. All day I’ve had Sky News Live on in the background as the world held its collective breath, waiting for the royal couple to emerge from the Lindo Wing to introduce their tiny bundle to the bank of cameras and news reporters waiting outside those famous doors.

Why is it that these moments...

Wear Flowers in Your Hair

It was 2.06pm on a Tuesday afternoon and she walked – late – into our First Year English lecture. I looked up as she smiled at me and slid into the seat next to mine, and what I saw was the kind of girl this world may have conditioned me to dislike. Blonde with long legs and big blue eyes, curvy in all the right places and almost unfeasibly pretty. She wore a brightly patterned sundress and had the kind of face that made people jealous of her before she even had a chance to open her mouth.

Unembarrassed that the...

Learning Lately…

My five-year-old has recently started coming home from Pre-K with homework. I know parents hold different opinions about the topic of young children being given homework from school – it’s so important that they have time to play, after all. But I, for one, absolutely love the concept of homework.

I love that it allows me to closely follow what she’s learning at school and that it gives me a chance to reinforce it. But more importantly, I love that it forces me to make sure the two of us find time to sit down together to focus on it.

It’s not...

20 Years Later

Our 20 year high school reunion is coming up this week.

As it’s taking place on the other side of the world I won’t be able to attend, but the event – and the milestone it symbolises – has raised some interesting discussions and emotions.

You know the ones.

The hyper-awareness of the passing of time. The over-examination of our lives prompted by the prospect of Going Back. That horrible but oh-so-inevitable tendency towards comparison when you put together a group of girls who were all doing the same thing 20 years ago, and then shine a spotlight on the different paths they’ve...

This is Two.

I had forgotten what two was like.

I had forgotten what it was like to hover on the ground below, my heart in my boots, as she climbs higher and higher. “To TOP Mummy!” I had forgotten the fear, the tingling in my fingertips and the sweat on my palms.

I hover, my hands just an inch from the backs of her legs, poised to catch the inevitable fall. She turns. “NO Mummy – I do it! BACK MUMMY!”

I had forgotten the defiance. The stamping of feet and the crossing of arms and the way the word “NO” sounds when it is...

To the Underachieving Mamas

Dear fellow under-achieving mama,

Did you accomplish as little as I did today? Did you underachieve as hard? Not that it’s a competition or anything… I’m just scrounging around for some solidarity.

Did you forget it was library day, or show and tell, or that you were supposed to send money for the bake sale? Did you serve Fruit Loops for breakfast and start counting to three when she refused to put her shoes on – even though you weren’t really sure what threat you were going to carry out if she didn’t comply before you got there? Did you drive her...

January Blues

Oh, 2018. How have you got the better of me already?

I usually start a new year off in a fit of positivity and clarity. Of nauseating gung-ho-ness and “live-your-best-life” enthusiasm. The thing is, I do love a fresh new year – like a fresh white page waiting to be filled with words. A new start, a do-over, a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence full of possibility.

So 2018, what happened?

Do we put too much pressure on ourselves as the minute hand ticks past midnight on New Year’s Eve?

It’s only the third week of January, and as I said...

About Catherine

Wife, mum, tea drinker, shoe lover, South African Brit living in the Bahamas with my husband and two small girls. I write about the gloriously ordinary everyday of motherhood - and occasionally about sunshine, shoes and perfect cups of tea.

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