Need parenting advice that doesn’t read like you joined a new age cult? Ask Grainne for the unvarnished truth about modern Irish parenting.
The Easter Egg hunt proves that my kids can actually find things when they want to.
My twins frighten me. Their ability to lose anything put into their darling little hands is frankly alarming. Keys, wallets, birthday presents, permission slips, whole school bags. They seem to be able to mislay items even when trapped with me in a non-moving lift. Don’t get me started on missing footwear. Some might call it a fashion statement, I call it the only way we get out the door some morning is by wearing odd shoes. They cry each time I yell at them about where the forgotten items are is always the same: ‘I can’t find it, Mummy, I looked everywhere, promise.’ This is now the soundtrack to my current existence.
Grainne, both my husband and I developing a haunted expression as we try to constantly herd them and their belongings. My brain can’t take keeping track of all their stuff and my own any more. How can I fix this, do I use Easter eggs as a bribe or should I just coat their shoes in melted chocolate goo? I will try anything at this point.
Stressed mum of 6-year-old twins, Kildare.
Dear Stressed Mum of twins,
The annual gluttony competition is almost upon us, and, yes, yet again you will hide chocolate eggs. At least the ones you have not eaten in advance of the big occasion. Now finding a pair of socks, a school book or their toothbrushes may be beyond your little darlings but as you pointed out chocolate – never – they can sniff it out from a mile away. While this may be frustrating, and, you have thought about dipping items in chocolate to aid their location, don’t do it. I tried this as a tactic and it did not go well. Thank God Tusla didn’t exist in my day!
My tip is, do not hand your children anything of importance to ‘mind’, especially the keys to your car, unless you plan to use duct tape to keep it there.
Anyway, while we are on the subject of little darlings and Easter eggs. They do not need to consume their body weight in chocolate just because all the relatives can’t resist the ‘three for two’ offers in the local store. It is not good for them and more importantly, it is NOT GOOD FOR YOU! There is nothing quite as bad as cleaning up regurgitated chocolate the morning after consuming copious amounts of Merlot. Take my word for it. One egg per child should be the limit. Yes, you read that right. ONE is enough. Hide the rest, or even better throw them out. All plans you have of using them to make rice crispy buns or chocolate biscuit cake will not happen. Instead, you will consume them one night in a fit of premenstrual emotional turmoil and regret it instantly.
Eating out with Kids
My partner wants to do something nice for my upcoming birthday. Sadly, my hints to him about a night away (leaving the kids with his parents) have fallen on deaf ears. He has instead suggested we take the kids with us and go out ‘somewhere nice’ for dinner.
My question – is he mad? Doesn’t he know who his children are?
However, as it seems he can’t be moved on the subject, can I ask if you have any tips on how to survive?
Yours, incredulously mum of two from Dingle
Dear Dingle Mum
Why? Why would he even consider eating out with your children, unless it is the local fast food. As much as you think your children are cute, charming and appreciate the finer things in life, they aren’t, and, don’t.
Nobody wants to go out to a nice restaurant and sit at a table beside your kids. Those smiles and nods you get from strangers while dining are not genuine. They are polite indications of horror. The dread of having successfully left their own kids at home to enjoy an evening out, only to find themselves sitting beside your brats. Top chefs don’t appreciate being asked to cook chicken nuggets. Also, the waiter doesn’t think it’s cute when they run around under his legs as he serves a flambé.
My advice to you is to ignore your husband. Book the mini-break and leave him to do dinner with your kids ‘somewhere nice’ alone.
IF he survives the event, he will never be foolish enough to suggest similar again.
About Grainne: Proudly known as a bitch by her nearest and dearest. Surprisingly still married to the father of her three, only slightly dysfunctional children. Has opinions about everything.
*Disclaimer Grainne is not qualified in any way to answer your problems. She doesn’t do feedback but if you want you can leave a comment below or email her at [email protected] We can almost certainly guarantee you she will NOT get back to you, but, one of her cousins who helps her might. Alternatively, you can stalk them directly Twitter: @Triona_Campbell or @KearneyRoisin or both.