Sunday, 6 September 2015

Sponsored Post: Parenting Wins with Laughing Cow Mini Cravings

Some parents of small children would have you believe that their lives are a perfect Nirvana, a land of milk and honey with darling well behaved children. Children, who never scream, have tantrums or make it their purpose in life to embarrass you in front of complete strangers, friends and family members. A gentle life of calm learning, growth and peace with their beloved offspring.  These people are either A) Liars or B) On Medication.
Other parents will be honest and tell you it’s a constant war of attrition in a never ending campaign to keep their brood from over running them. They’ll confirm that it’s the small victories that keep them going and make it all worthwhile when they occur.

Here’s a list of my own victories in this never ending battle:

·         The 5 minute uninterrupted toilet break

 Whether you actually need the loo or not, is not important. What is important is the chance to get away, compose yourself and catch your breath. Those 5 minutes of peace without shouts, screams or bangs on the bathroom door, without  images of Jack Nicholson in The Shining racing through your head,  no cries of ‘Let me in’, or ‘What are you doing Mummy?’ or the classic ‘Are you having a wee wee?’ shouted so loudly the neighbours hear. These simple 5 minutes can be Heavenly and a real soul restorer.

·         The Simultaneous Sleep. 

Some parents of children of different pre-school ages consider this to be the rarest event of all. Some say it only happens when the stars are in a certain alignment. All agree however that when it does happen bliss like calm descends and between soft baby sleep breathing noises you can hear a pin drop. I compare it to the eye of the storm.

When the children settle down and nap at the same time and you can switch off the endless tirade of Thomas stories and inane chatter of children’s TV presenters, sit down and actually finish in one sitting, a fresh warm drink. The possibilities suddenly seem endless but don’t get carried away.

You can however put grown up TV on or read without being interrupted. Nip online to actually do something other than look for children’s clothing, toys or ways to keep tots from sending you round the twist on long car journeys.  It’s like a Spa break in your living room. You know they won’t last long and they could end at any moment, but oh how you savour them!

·         The Sneaky Snack Break

When everything you eat is shared, brought into scrutiny, or taken from you only to be dashed upon the floor by a toddler, a crafty foraging trip to the fridge can seem like an impossible dream. Sometimes however the darling demon spawn get distracted. Perhaps it’s something on TV, a colouring book or a small animal to poke with sticks, whatever it is, it’s a welcome distraction and a chance to sneak to the fridge and enjoy something that a two year old hasn’t already tried to feed you. My own favourite form of snack fix right now is the Laughing Cow Mini Cravings.

These delightful cubes of moreish joy are the latest release from the Laughing Cow, and I make sure mine are being kept hidden as I really don’t want to share them!  My personal fave atm is the Three Cheese Garlic and Herb, closely followed by Classic Cheddar. Stashed away from the eagle eyes of my two year old I also have the Ham and Herb, Smoked Cheese and Blue Cheese varieties. Their Siren song calls me when I get the chance to make a break for it, and boy does that break taste good. Out of the 10 million Laughing Cow cheese portions savoured everyday around the world, I think mine taste the sweetest!

·         The Compliments of strangers

You know you really can’t gag your kids when you’re out with them, nor can you tie them down in the shopping trolley? It’s considered illegal, and it really makes you think the judicial system can be profoundly out of touch at times.

Ok so to be fair, the kids don’t always act like screaming banshees when at the shops, but when it does happen you want the Earth to open up and swallow you whole. You can feel judgemental eye’s and almost hear the tuts and muttered ‘My kids wouldn’t behave like that’, or ‘I blame the parents’ conversations as your face turns scarlet with embarrassment and your darling children seem on a mission to out tantrum one another.

Between screams, shelf grabs, threats and crying bouts, and unconvincing mutterings of ‘They’re just very tired/poorly/possessed’ you pathetically offer as excuses whilst never making eye contact (the floor is your new bestest friend) to other adults in your vicinity, you race to get the bare essentials and leave as rapidly as possible.

Sometimes however miracles do happen.

When a trip to the shops can be pleasant and the children like little angels. When they behave and ask nicely for things. Smile at the old ladies and say please and thank you to the checkout person, before uttering ‘Bye Bye’ and waving as you leave the store.  You can hear other adults compliment how lovely your gremlins are. How well behaved and polite, cute and just gorgeous all over . Its #smugface all the way as you push your trolley across the carpark with a newfound confidence, marvelling at how wonderful a parent you are, and you start to believe that, for the slimmest of moments all future trips could be like this. It’s delusional, but you have to dream don’t you?

So when you see a parent with their brood, with that haunted look of a veteran returning from the battlefield of soft play, try to offer them a smile or a knowing look. It may just remind them that when all feels lost, the thin slivers of victory and windows of peace can make it all worthwhile, and just that little bit easier to get through the day.

*This post was written in collaboration with Laughing Cow

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