Guest Blogger @ Essex Baby

Bonding can take time

‘Bonding’ – It’s a word you’ll hear throughout your whole pregnancy, a word that describes something exclusive and expected. After the birth it’s often used as a barometer to see how well you’ve settled into your new role as mummy and you may also use it to gage whether you actually love your new baby or not. Here’s the worry: bonding should have no bearing on whether you love your baby. We are built to love our offspring. Some days when they really try us, quite often we may not like them, but love is always unconditionally there. It’s what we do, we love. It can sometimes be a struggle to make the distinction between bonding with your baby and loving your baby and this can lead to feelings of inadequacy or failure as an exhausted, hormonal, scared new mum.

You’ve read all the baby books, you’ve heard how your peers fell in love with their babies instantly, how it felt as if they had already known this little person for an eternity. It’s wonderful when this happens, but it’s not always the truth for many new mums.

I for one, held my gorgeous, precious new born son close to me in the pool when he was born and I talked about him as if he was someone else’s baby, a stranger almost, trying to decide whose face I was looking at, trying to find a genetic connection as proof that he was ours. I had spent a long time during my pregnancy ‘bonding’ with my little avocado pear right through to the point where he became a cantaloupe melon. I had conversations with him, I named him, I loved him. My impatience dictated that I get a 4D scan so I could see his face. I watched the DVD over and over, I even had the photo in a frame, pride of place on the mantel piece. I knew him… yet when the time came and he was in my arms, I felt as though I didn’t know him at all!

I expected a familiar face, having studied it for so many months and I expected to feel as though we were one, as we always had been. But when you’re there holding another human being who you just delivered into the world, it’s pretty big stuff and for some, me included, it can be a bit hard to get your thinking brain around.

This lack of bonding wasn’t exclusive to the period of time between me birthing him to me birthing my placenta. It took days, weeks, months before I felt truly bonded with this amazingly adorable child.

Some of those days I felt so awful, almost like he deserved another mother, one that was able to bond without question. Some of those days I would just stare at him thinking “who are you?” His face (even after all my swooning at scan pics and DVD re-runs) was unfamiliar to me.

Sometimes I felt he looked quizzically at me, thinking the same thing that I was. It felt at times that we were two strangers stranded in the same place and our challenge was to ‘bond’. Yet it was clear that neither of us was in any rush to hit the bonding target. I did have a quiet confidence that together we would hit it at some point though. In all honesty I would say that we started bonding at around 15 months – probably around the time I felt we were really interacting and he was allowing more of himself to me.

This boy does not and has never liked cuddles. He loves space around him. He would fight me if I dared to put him into bed with us (I tried so many times). When he’s ill he’d rather roll around the floor crying than sit with me for comfort (which is heart-breaking I can tell you). He has the concentration span of a gnat and got bored of me routinely, so we were always out and about where there were distractions which allowed no opportunity to bond. But at around 15 months he would bring me a toy or a book and actually sit with me, only for a minute or so, but in that minute I started to notice him looking into my eyes and making a subtle connection, and then I started to feel my heart speed up and my body swell with maternal recognition. He was my boy, I was his mum and we had started our own unique journey towards our own unique bond!

Anyhow, for all new mums out there, who may be feeling the same thing, or who may worry about bonding once you’ve given birth, just relax. As Dr William Sears says:

“Bonding is not like instant glue which suddenly and irrevocably cements the mother-child relationship together forever. Bonding is a lifelong process of mother-child interaction”.

There is no guilt like a mother’s guilt!


Trawling through my business Facebook profile I came across an article that had been shared. It struck a chord with me as the headline of said article was:
‘My warning to parents is simple: one in five children put into nursery early will develop mental health problems’

My son is 20 months old and attends nursery three full mornings a week. I don’t drop him into childcare on my way to some high flying full time career, and in fact I don’t ‘work’ at all. I made a conscious choice to put him into a nursery regardless of my lack of employment. I’m sure knowing this you may initially pre judge and come to your own conclusion that I must be a lady who lunches. I’m not (although I do like lunch…….and dinner…..and supper, I digress). I don’t spend hours in the salon having my tresses tended to by a slightly over tanned, over enthusiastic teenager called Cindy and I don’t wander around the shops buying more stuff I don’t need.

I send my little man to a perfectly lovely, homely environment where he can socialise with other little people, play with toys he doesn’t have at home and splash about in muddy puddles without me crouching beside him gritting my teeth whilst trying to lead him away from the fun he’s having thinking ‘that’s another load of washing right there’. And I send him there because I have zero family around to lend a hand and I have three other children and two step-children (all ranging from ages 9-17) that also need a lot of me. I have an amazing partner who works hard and supports my every move and he needs a lot of me.

I have to be Mary Poppins, Molly Maid, Nigella and Dita Von Tease in every 24 hours. It’s a big ask, I am but one mere person. I have to do all this whilst being mindful that we unfortunately live in a society that would condemn you as a bad mother just for sitting your toddler in front of Cbeebies for half an hour so you can scrub the loos; for not having introduced your little one to the Gruffalo or The Hungry Caterpillar by the time they can sit up; or for having them in Converse rather than Clarks just because they are way cooler (guilty).

On top of the already mammoth task that is bestowed on stay at home mums/dads I am also a birth doula and that means I spend a lot of my time visiting clients or networking with other birth workers. I couldn’t do this with a toddler in tow regardless of how adorable this particular toddler is. And aside from all these roles I play day to day, I have to factor in a little bit of me. A mother could easily loose herself in mothering and some mothers don’t feel the need to have ‘me’ time, but unfortunately for this mum, it’s an essential basic need I have. For me to fulfil this need, I do this: write my blog, watch an episode of Made in Chelsea (I’m a reality show whore) or even just sit in silence. Nothing dramatic, nothing diva-ish, nothing ‘woe is me’ – just escapism from everything.

So, I have a million and one reasons to justify using day care but there will always be a part of me hidden deep in my primal, back-to-basics-brain that feels there is no reason to abandon my child at his tender age; that I will never get this time with him back; and that I’m failing him as a mother. However I can’t allow that part of my brain too much air time because back in the caves, women didn’t have to worry about housework, homework, make up. They didn’t have to worry about the hidden dangers in their diets or whether or not to vaccinate. We have so many things to consider in the modern world and a zillion judgement calls to make but ultimately we have to do what’s best for our families as a unit and just accept that guilt tripping is just another face to mothering.

My Modern Day Christmas

For our partners and our children, Christmas is a magical day where there are presents in abundance, good food on the table, a tin of chocolates in every nook and cranny of the house and it’s a guaranteed period where there is no screaming for chores to be done.

For us mums however (or maybe just this mum?) it’s months of preparation, months of self-doubt – “will he like that, is she still going to be into that band, will everyone be relaxed and happy enough, will the Christmas pudding that feeds six be enough for the one person who actually likes it?”. The demands are endless.  My stress levels start to rise around Halloween; it’s almost a symbolic start to a period of horror. Who eats what? Who sleeps where? Who do we need to visit? Where do you get teabags on Christmas morning because you’ve only been buying the luxury Christmas food for the last few weeks (this has happened to me)? Simple basics take a back seat for the Christmas period, but, we still need tea right?!

I have four children and two step children. My partner wants to spoil them all: “it’s just once a year”. I want to teach them how lucky they are and that they shouldn’t take what they have for granted! For the last 10 years I’ve decided that I want to take them to a soup kitchen to serve the homeless before they unwrap any of their over-the-top, unnecessary “it’s just once a year” crap. The said crap that I will find still in boxes in dusty corners of the house when I come to do the spring clean (usually not until summer, some years even autumn, some years not at all). I am still yet to take them to the soup kitchen, mainly because I’m hosting a party for minimum of 10, every flipping year!

The first couple of years it’s wooden train sets and Tweenie characters; we’re talking a £30 budget and a guaranteed smile on a small child’s face.   When they hit five/six it changes. There will be tears if you haven’t got them the action figure/Barbie doll that their friends have bragged about getting – and so peer pressure kicks in, not just amongst the children, but also the adults!

Some parents gage their success of parenting and their ability to provide by how much they spend on their little darlings. An Xbox here, a laptop there. I know this because I have indeed at one stage been sucked into this trap. I’ve spent the money; I’ve offered up the latest most sought after present on Christmas’ past. One year I even queued at Toys R Us at 7.30am, took my token allowing me to buy one doll and bought my son the Teletubby that I felt he HAD to have because everyone will have one. He played with it once!

What I learnt from that Christmas, and a few others that were epic displays of credit card grandeur, is that as tacky as it sounds, it’s not about the giving of presents. We give all year; we love, we feed, we teach and we nourish our children and if ever there was a perfect time of year to make an example of this, it’s Christmas.

I make sure my children appreciate every gift big or small. I spend time with them to make up for the time I’ve not been able to spend with them for the rest of the year as I’ve been too busy doing stuff for them. I make the day about family and gratitude.

Sure there’s still a constant flow of chocolate (and wine, you gotta do what you can to make it through, right?!), and they don’t go without as far as presents are concerned, but I also use the opportunity to educate them a little bit more about how lucky we are.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve bought the 1Direction tickets crossing my fingers and toes, hoping that come June next year she’ll still be in love with Harry. I’ve bought the laptop that comes under the guise of “it’ll help with his homework”. BUT presents do not drive our Christmas, it’s just a nice little addition to our day, and of course they all come from Santa anyway!!

Enjoy your Christmas!

Why wouldn’t you eat your placenta?

Last year whilst I was pregnant with my 4th baby I got sucked into one of those Channel 4 documentary’s, this particular one was called ‘How to be a good mother’.  And on this documentary the presenter met with a woman who had consumed her own placenta!!

My initially reaction as I spat my honey nut cornflakes across the room (my craving) was utter disgust, and I questioned “how could you?” I then started to ask “why would you?” I had previously booked a doula to support me through my pregnancy and birth (google doula, every labouring mother should have one) and had mentioned the programme to her, with a disgusted, confused look on my face, but as it turned out my Essex doula was also the only placenta specialist working within Essex.  We discussed the benefits of placenta consumption in length and I was  becoming more and more accepting of the idea, but still struggled with the image of frying it up with some fava beans and a nice Chianti and then came the clincher…….you can have your placenta encapsulated!!

Just an innocent looking capsule fully loaded with everything your body needs for recovery after your birth.  Why else do you think every other mammal on the planet eats theirs, gets up and walks back out into the wild ready to take on the world?  Unfortunately for us educated mammals that are surrounded by science and medicine manufacturers who push all their remedies grown within laboratories using synthetic ingredients, we have become accustomed to the pharmacy being the first port of call.  We have lost site of the fact that our bodies are made to birth and offer us the essentials for recovery after the birth.  We have just evolved too much to deem is acceptable.

“Recent scientific research has shown that placenta is a rich healing agent for the body and contains potent amounts, over 128, rich growth factors. Also found in potent supply in the placenta are stem cells, the medical miracle of the 20th century. This combination provides the most unique form of cellular healing and repair. Placenta growth factors have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, improve regulation of the autonomous system, improvement of blood circulation, wound tissue healing, inhibition of protease, enhancement of nerve generation, balancing multiple hormone levels, immune boosting, analgesic effect and improvement of intestinal environment” -(MFIII Human Placenta Injection,2009)

How offensive could a capsule be? It was a complete no brainer and from that point in I was a convert.  Less than 24 hours after my birth I was chugging down what was to become my happy pills and never looked back.

My blood loss only lasted a few days rather than weeks, my milk production was in overdrive, my hormones were so stable that there were no baby blues, day 3 came and went without me even noticing it, my energy levels never seemed to waiver and the most impressive thing was the dream like state I was in for the whole time that I was taking them.

I was so impressed by the smoothness and speed of my recovery that I made the decision to train to become a placenta specialist myself so that I could spread the word and help other mothers understand that it’s not just for hippy types or cannibals, it’s not some weird cult or only for extremists. I am a normal everyday modern mum who just wanted a bit of extra support in my recovery, I don’t live in a commune and I wash my hair every other day, I have a Bugaboo and I use Amber teething bracelets on my baby, I am new age meets high-street.

My training is now all completed (with IPEN independent placenta encapsulation network) and I have, alongside my colleague (and fellow doula) set up Essex Placenta, we offer encapsulation alongside tinctures, balms, creams, essences and homeopathic remedies to help aid mothers with their natural recoveries.

www.essexplacenta.co.uk

Doulas misbehaving

I read a fab blog today about doulas overstepping their roles when supporting birth clients – http://www.blogher.com/doulas-behaving-badly

It saddens me to even consider that any doula may take their ego to a birth, so I’m really hoping that that’s not the driving force for doulas taking charge of a medical procedure when at a birth.  Whilst I fully appreciate that doulas gather heaps of medical experience throughout their doula journeys and that some doulas are in fact ex midwives, surely we can’t be arrogant enough to think that under any circumstances it’s a good idea to cross the imaginary medical boundaries when supporting a doula client?!

Our role is not to challenge the health care professionals, our role is not to make the HCP feel inferior in our presence, our role is not to wage a war on midwives, our role is not to hold aloft the baby once it’s born and claim that the birth only happened the way it did because we were there to step in, this is not our birth.

A bad atmosphere at a birth can not only interfere with flow of the birth it can also leave the parents with sad and frustrating memories after their birth and perhaps for their lifetime.  The last thing any new parent wants to remember about their birth was a bad atmosphere in the room created by a doula and midwife sparing.

I have met some amazingly welcoming midwives who have asked for my help (getting the gloves on at a speedy birth, passing things, pressing buttons) and I have met some pretty spiteful midwives who clearly resent you being there at ‘their’ birth, but, as a doula I must remember that a very important part of my job is to befriend the midwife and create a peaceful calm controlled atmosphere for the birthing mother.

After the birth, when I get home, have a shower, eat some food, get some rest then sure I may mutter a little “crikey that midwife was a ………” But at the birth, I’ll make her feel like she’s my best friend. It’s all part of the service!

We are there to support our clients in challenging the HCP (should they feel they need to) And yes we spend a lot of time before the birth doing this.  But, when our clients are faced with a situation during labour we may need to give them a little refresher and we can do this by offering up previously discussed information and options so that they are in a place whereby they are able to make informed conscious decisions. We do not push our clients aside in some heroic act and take full charge of the situation assuming that we know best.

The best time to have this little discussion with the clients is when the said HCP is clearly out of earshot, preferably out of the room.  So that when our clients are faced with a medical intervention that they may not be happy with ‘they’ are empowered enough to challenge the HCP whilst we, peace loving doulas sit innocently smiling in the corner reading Ina May Gaskins – Spiritual Midwifery.

Relationships after birth!

So, you’ve had the birth, you’ve got your gorgeous new bundle of fun who is saturating your every waking thought.  A little bundle who needs you, wants you makes demands of you day through to night.  Of course you don’t mind, you’re madly in love and the poor defenseless little being couldn’t survive without you.  And then you have your partner!

Maybe I’m selfish, maybe I give to much of myself to my children but, I just feel that my fully grown partner who is more than capable of looking after himself just has to take a back seat when you have children.  I’m like a lioness, my cubs come first above everything and everyone, including my partner and fortunately I don’t have a very needy partner so thankfully it works for us. This isn’t to say that I don’t suffer the failing wife guilt along with every other mother, and at times I have tried to do it all, clean house, make up on, hair done, dinner cooked, kids in their Sunday best.   But, I found when I was being all these things I wasn’t be ‘me’ so, the kids weren’t getting ‘me’, my fella wasn’t getting ‘me’ and equally as important I wasn’t getting ‘me’.

Something has to give, we’re all only human and if you have more than one child you’re dividing all your energy, emotion and love multiple times over…..it’s essential to always hold some of the good stuff back for yourself. You are not a passenger in your childrens or your partners life, this is YOUR LIFE too and although all of your little charges haven’t figured out quite yet that you are of no relation to wonder woman, your grown up loving partner has, so it makes sense that if something’s going to give then it has to be him?!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking never even setting aside an evening to have an adult meal together or a life of celibacy (think that may be asking too much?) but, come 9 o’clock at night when I’ve been on the go since 6.30 and have only literally sat down for a quick bite to eat at whatever time suited my baby, and I’m covered in mashed up food, too tired to even talk – I just want to be left alone, to think of nothing……….and after all I’ve done for everyone else in a day, would that be too much to ask that my long suffering partner allows me this?

A couple of months back I was having a conversation with a girlfriend, I was explaining how even the thought of my partner hugging me (my baby was about 10 months at the time) exhausted me, it was another demand on me, another thing on my ever increasing list of what I had to do to ensure everyone was happy and emotionally fed.  She told me about being ‘touched out’! http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/touched-out/

I had never heard of this as an actual founded feeling but I could so relate it to how I was feeling.  I sat with my partner and my constant companion ‘Google’ and together we went through websites which explained how I was feeling better than I could of, it also gave some weight to how I was feeling rather than just my partner harping back to the trusty “probably hormones”

Of course having a bonafide title for something doesn’t make it go away but it does make you feel like you’re going a little less insane and brings it to the fore front as an actual problem you can resolve together.

And that’s what happens in relationships when you’ve had children, it evolves, it becomes a whole different relationship, it’s no longer about nights out and weekends away, it’s not about laying around on a Sunday morning reading the papers and idly making pot after pot of tea…….it’s about understanding that  you both have different roles to fulfill and that at times you both may have to take a back seat, whether it be for me to support him when he goes through tough times at work to him supporting me when I’m covered in baby poo and feeling so unsexy the very thought of any nookie sends me chills and to bed early clad in head to toe winceyette.

So, although we no longer have spontaneous afternoon sex, or lay on a beech drinking cocktails watching the sun go down in silence. What we do have is so much more, we have strength together watching our amazing little people become amazing big people who are happy and contented, knowing that because we worked together and we sacrificed parts of our relationship we achieved what we set out to do all those many years ago when we first became ‘mum & dad’.

D is for Discipline, D is also for Distraction and P is for Patience.

There comes a point where your gorgeous little bundle of joy is evolving into a toddler and along with that comes a certain amount of trouble, tantrums and tears from both your darling child and yourself!

Depending on how you deal with these often distressing situations will set a precedent for the rest of yours and your child’s relationship and indeed your child’s relationship with the world he/she lives in.

So, just yesterday I had a battle of the wills going on with my 1 year old, he was trying to empty a cupboard in the kitchen full of glass jugs and Pyrex bowls (we ran out of cupboard locks on the last cupboard – as is sods law) I was saying “no” and moving him away, this went on over and over and over until I moved the kitchen table in front of said cupboard. As I was getting angrier and angrier with my defiant little person and kicking myself for handing down my single minded, independent stubborn streak, I found myself raising my voice and fighting the urge to give him a ‘harmless’ smack.  And then I wondered how I would feel if my husband gave me a harmless smack when I’m behaving in the same stubborn way.  Of course the thought of a man smacking a woman sends shivers down all of our spines and wouldn’t be accepted under any circumstances……….so is smacking a small child different??

I feel very uncomfortable at the thought of a grown adult smacking a child, there are so many other ways to handle heated situations, and nothing can be bad enough that only physical punishment will resolve it?  If you find yourself at the point of no return, make sure the child is safe and then leave the room to calm down. Even if you leave the child crying, it’s the worse of the evils if you find yourself about to strike.

The form of discipline I swear by is ‘distraction’ a child is easily distracted when the distraction is sold in the right way. Your child will always follow your lead, if you’re having more fun with the train than the Pyrex dish then it won’t take long for you little one to be sat chuff chuffing alongside you.

Of course the downside of distraction is that it’s exhausting.  When it starts at 6am and finishes at 7pm it can become a little wearing.   This is where ‘patience’ makes an appearance; you need to keep in the fore front of your mind that effort now will pay dividends in the future.  It’s too easy to sit back and let your kids get away with all manner of behaviours and go around trashing the place but you have to consider what kind of adult that will make.  Do you want a teenager who thinks it’s ok to go around aimlessly smashing up Pyrex, to not have any manners or to have no respect for authority and worst of all, to smack others?

We all have good days and bad days but we need to remember we are ‘Mum’ every day and our job is to make our offspring viable for adult life and all the troubles that can bring.  Our children need to have a sense of right from wrong, they need to be able to read a social situation, they need to be strong enough of character to get where they want to be and for you to be able to maintain any kind of healthy relationship with them, they need to respect you.  This will all come from discipline in the early years.  Alongside all the benefits a bit of discipline brings it also allows us to set boundaries.  Boundaries are essential when raising children, it offers the security that allows the child to grow confidence in a safe environment and as they get older you can explain that discipline is in place because you love them and you want them to be the best them they can be and that you’ve set the boundaries to let them know that you’ve got their backs.

I am fairly strict on my children, manners are non-negotiable and respect for others is expected.  But, my children know they’re loved and are growing into amazing people……..I look at my teenage children and there’s a pride that swells within me, they are loving, caring, confident, polite, happy well balanced individuals who have goals and dreams.  And I know that all my hard work is paying off, I can set them free into adulthood knowing that they’re ready.

Now, I’ve just gotta remember that when my little fella is testing me to the limits.  Discipline is a rite of passage when raising children…….it’s how you deal with it that’ll make the difference.

You can view my lovely colleagues different thoughts on ‘discipline’ at http://www.lotusdoula.co.uk/category/blog/

Right Royal Baby……

So, the day is imminent…..we will soon have our little bundle of joy, what will life have in store for this innocent little being? The possibilities are endless, they can grow up to be whoever they want to be just as long as they’re happy! Well, that’s what a regular mum may be feeling.  But, a royal mum?!

All that I’ve read about the impending event is about how it’s going to change history ……Will Kate HypnoBirth? Will she have a doula? Where will she birth? Where will she be staying after the birth? What will he/she be called? Will it be a King or Queen??

The main thing I’m wondering is, how does a new mum feel about the baby that she has grown, nurtured and had all to herself for the last 9 (or so) months becoming public property?  From the very first breathe her precious, innocent, new-born baby has it’s whole life mapped out and will have a responsibility that I defo wouldn’t for my children.  Yes, the child will never have know another way of life and so will never even consider how things may have been if he/she had been born to Mr & Mrs Smith, but a mother who has had another way of life to have to watch the restraints put on her child must be pretty hard going?!

I can’t begin to imagine how a woman who is a ‘commoner’  like you or I (sure I didn’t go to uni with Wills but, this is who has been portrayed to us real commoners) will cope with the fact that their baby will never have the freedom to just be whatever they wanted to be, they can never aspire to anything other than Royalty.

I know we all look at the royals and think “not a bad life if you can get it” and yes defiantly the younger royals are having a right royal (pardon the pun) time of it!  Harry’s having a wild time with blondes in Vegas, Zara married a rugby player with a broken nose and had her tongue pierced, Beatrice and Eugene have hours of fun playing in the dressing up box! These are the children born into this royal life and they are loving it and all the perks it brings.  I’m not looking at it from the child’s point of view, I’m sure that Kate & William will raise this baby in the most conventional way that they can, as Diana did before them.  I’m sure that we’ll see pictures of them all on log flumes and having fun at Disney and I’m sure this child will be loved and cherished by it’s parents as much as every other child.

But, I do feel for Kate she is merely a vessel to our country’s future heir and for a mother to have to sit back and watch her child be set onto a path that will determine their whole life regardless whether the child wants what’s being offered or not, Kate’s hands are tied.  And I think that’s kinda sad!

Lets not forget that Kate will be a new mum with all the emotional (probably fair to say not the practical) issues that every new mum has, whilst also knowing the fact that she has to share her baby with the whole world.  She will be under restraints as to when they will announce the birth, how they will announce the birth, who will announce the birth etc etc….It really can’t be easy being a common mum to an heir?!

I wish her all the luck and I hope she gets to enjoys ‘her’ journey with ‘her’ baby!

It’s All in The Name….

I watched this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edZjdgU0asM  from the TV programme This Morning.  They were debating about how a child could be stereotyped because of his/her name?

Katie Hopkin even went as far as saying that she wouldn’t allow her children to mix with children called Tyler, Chardonnay, Sharmain or Kylie………and she also believes names which translate to mean ’beautiful’ are often given to “terribly ugly kids”  She hates kids with Celebrity names (North West & Apple Martin/Paltrow anyone??) seasonal names, footballers name or geographical names i.e Brooklyn, London, Amalfi Coast (?), although as it transpires Katie has indeed called her daughter India? Although she justifies this by saying “it’s a beautiful name for a beautiful child”? Oh that’s ok then Katie, maybe fashion a sign your daughter can wear so that people don’t judge her purely on her ‘geographical’ name!

It is interesting though to think that what we name our baby will impact on how others treat them and therefore have a overall impact on their personalities……….Oh the responsibility!

I must admit, growing up with the name Lauren has meant that at times it was assumed that I must be an uneducated air head with a penchant for the catchphrase “am I bovvvvered”? and wear large, hooped ear rings?! Of course I can play the uneducated air head when necessary and on occasion I have confirmed that I indeed ”aint bovvvvered” but large hoop earrings? Really? Just not my bag!

My brother has the best name ever…..Jared Narvoo Derrett – ha what would Katie make of that I wonder? I’m guessing her assumption would be that we must be deeply religious (we’re not).

So, I have Stanley George, Jess (boy) Tavis, Darcy Minnie Mary and my piece de resistance Ace Cemal Lara Derrett! Put that in your pipe Katie.

Go forth and name your children as you see fit, maybe the name Bill does draw a picture of a builder, then you consider Bill Gates, Bill Clinton? Maybe Kylie could be a whiny little girl with a constant stream of snot or it could be a gorgeous little pixie who is world famous for simply doing the locomotion? My own personal favourite is “fancy a pint Steve”? or Steve Jobs CEO of Apple? *left wondering if Steve Jobs did indeed on occasion ‘fancy a pint’*