Boys, as with girls, are individuals, their personalities and interests vary from child to child based on character, along with socio-economic and cultural influences- yet both sexes are frustratingly so often confined and limited, made to conform to stereotypical gender-specific notions (many archaic and not relevant to today) with children being defined by their sex, homogenised by assumptions and labels.
So 'passportgate' was rather stressful but it sort of all ended up for the best with each of our sons getting undivided attention and time from my husband and I respectively.
I enjoyed Marbella with my toddler and folks and Oliver and Daddy had a truly wonderful week in the UK with sunny adventures in Yorkshire where we live, and mini breaks in Liverpool, Southport and Anglesey in Wales, fishing, catching crabs, playing in fields, visiting castles and having lots of father-son bonding time.
I hope I'm not alone in admitting I can't stop buying my kids toys. I've become THAT parent. Before kids, I was all for, 'don't spoil the children yet to be born' but well, life is hard and when supermarket shopping needs to be done or peace restored from bat s**** crazy shouty kids, sometimes toys and yes manipulation, is the only answer.
Last week saw 'part' of this family spend 7 days in Marbella, staying at the palatial Casa Haniel, a James Villa Holidays' villa in San Pedro, above, for a fabulous, relaxing, fun and invigorating week away.
Ok so we all know 'normal' doesn't really exist but surely everyone can relate to that very real pressure to fit in, you know, feeling like you're doing the right thing, ticking the boxes of thriving at life, parenting, your job....this oh so common weighing yourself up against the 'norms' and trying not to feel the odd one out...
I was recently invited to attend the Christmas in July exhibition where I would see all the latest products available for kids and adults out for Christmas, but with my childcare (the folks) on a three week vacation, I sadly couldn't make it. It did get me thinking about Christmas though and despite the summer heatwave, before you know it, it will be here, a mere five months away!