Tag Archives: princesses

How to flirt like a 4-year-old

1 Oct

Tonight my 4-year-old gave me a master class in how to flirt. She was good. I’ve been married for 7 years and with my husband for 18 years in total so maybe I’m just out of practice but, boy, was she good. This evening we entertained a tall, dark and handsome plumber. And one of us was wearing a nightie (hell no, not the plumber!).

She was slick. She was girlie. She giggled QUITE A LOT. There was no self-consciousness, just utter self-confidence. He was on her territory. He was Playdoh in her hands.

How did she do it? Being cute and blonde isn’t enough. Looking like butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth helps but you’ve got to have tactics. Here’s how to reduce a grown man with tattoos to talking in a silly voice:

  1. Tell him your name (first name, middle names, surname). Tell him that you’ve been to ballet. Tell him that you have a brother (don’t mention that your brother is only 18-months-old).
  2. Show what excellent marriage material you are by offering to mop the floor for him. (And in doing so reinforce outdated gender stereotypes. Shame on you, daughter of mine.)
  3. Take him on a tour of the house under the pretence of looking at radiators. Giggle when he asks why your radiator isn’t pink. Show him your Playmobil.
  4. Whilst he has both hands busy with his phone, and with no observance of personal space, gently toy with the key fob attached to his belt (whilst your mother tries to bat you away from said keys without indulging in any toying herself).

They say that dogs and children and babe magnets. If I was single I’d be hitting the town with my daughter and letting her do all the hard work. She’s not learnt all this from me so I’m led to wonder where the nelly she has acquired the skills. Have I been whinging about the much flaunted feminine wiles of the Disney princesses for all this time when in fact they’re just demonstrating what comes naturally? I’d hate this to be true – especially when it doesn’t get you any money knocked off the bill.

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Wanted: new knickers

26 Nov

I received a tweet today from the lovely Mammasaurus asking where the nelly I’ve been and whether I’ve lost my ‘mojo’. I feel like my bra strap has been twanged. Rightly so – my blog has been sadly neglected for a couple of months. At the moment I don’t even feel entitled to call myself a ‘blogger’. I’m more like a ‘blogged’. As for my mojo, well I’ve had a peek and I think it’s still there (unfortunately only in the blogging sense). I’ve felt a couple of twinges anyhow.

Trouble is, I’m a lazy little blogger. I sit and wait for inspiration for strike. This approach is probably quite effective unless, like me, you’re so knackered that inspiration would have to knock several times with a sledgehammer before any brain cells flickered into life. Much of my inspiration comes from people I know or have met and, when I wasn’t on maternity leave, office life. The problem is, this has enormous potential to offend. There’s been many a time when I’ve been itching to put fingers to keyboard but concluded that the likelihood of offence far outweighed the amusement value. I live in a small city where seven degrees of separation is six degrees too many – I rarely speak without checking over my shoulder and certainly never venture an opinion on someone as more often than not it will turn out I’m talking to their closest friend.

Looking back at topics that have inspired me in the past, I could blame the below for my silence (although somewhere in there should be demanding children and Twitter addiction):

  • I’ve accepted that the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 is an insufferable mix of high and low brow, I can’t do anything about it and I’m tired of ranting about it (lest I should turn into the type of ranty person who calls into his show – god forbid).
  • I’ve accepted that keeping pink and princesses out of my 3-year-old’s life is a losing battle. Bring on the sparkles, I can handle it.
  • The weather’s turned cold and women have stopped getting their boobies out in the name of women’s rights. Shame.

Is my blogger’s block therefore because I’m too accepting? Perhaps I need to go back to what I do best – getting my knickers in a twist. And if I want to go from ‘blogged’ to ‘blogger’ then I’d better find a big pair.

You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, tra la la laa

25 Jun

It’s been some time since the last C&P post. I blame the dribbling, vomiting and farting baby #2 who arrived exactly three months ago. (He’s gorgeous by the way – the adjectives there were just for effect.) Postpartum hormones have left me liable to cry at most things from the cutesy to the darned right evil. Being responsible for little people has made me more sensitive to what can be a relentless and frightening world – something shared by parents the world over I’m sure. If I could buy rolls of cotton wool in toddler size then I’d be picking fluff off the playmat right now.

Last week there was one incident that made me more sad than anything else has recently. Here’s how the conversation with my two and a half year old went:

Her: Mummy, can I have some of your make-up on please?

Me: No.

Her: [through sobs] But I won’t be beautiful!

Me: Oh sweetheart, but you ARE beautiful.

Her: [still sobbing] I’m not beautiful. Without make-up other children will say I look like a boy.

After calming the sobs with cuddles and plenty of reassurance I was left wondering how on earth my little girl could have got this into her head and what kind of society do we live in that could have a girl thinking this from such an early age. I do recall on occasion telling her that I put on make-up to ‘make me look beautiful’ – an off the cuff remark but is this what has stuck in her head? (What I haven’t explained to her is that a 34-year-old who hasn’t taken care of herself and wasn’t blessed with natural beauty needs a little help whereas a two-year-old doesn’t.) She doesn’t watch any grown-up TV. We never have a copy of Glamour in the house. I can’t believe that exposure to a class of two-year-olds at nursery has put this in her head. Do they chat foundation and lipstick over the sand tray? Paint their nails when they should be painting something impressive for ma and pa’s fridge?

The sexualisation of children has been a hot topic recently what with a new crackdown on inappropriate marketing aimed at children and criticisms of a children’s beauty parlour opening in Brentwood, Essex. Even David Cameron has managed to speak a few words of sense about it. These (including David Cameron) are things I can help my daughter to avoid (and let’s not forget my son, the pressure on boys shouldn’t be underestimated). I can’t protect her from everything though and influences can come from seemingly innocuous places. Today we watched Disney’s Pocahontas – like most Disney heroines and princesses she has a tiny waist, an enviable bust and luscious hair. She’s beautiful, yes, but she ain’t a real woman (well, Pocahontas is but you get my drift). My girl would love to be a princess. How long before she starts to cut out the chocolate buttons to try to be one?

Two pieces of advice I got stood out. “Show her pictures of Pauline Prescott, Jodie Marsh etc – that should scare her off make-up” – my friend Jennifer is spot on, that would be enough to scare anyone. Another friend recommended dressing my daughter in pretty dresses to make her feel beautiful. This is less clear-cut. Wouldn’t that just be reinforcing the external messages? To be beautiful you must have a pretty dress, pretty make-up, pretty hair. I feel a vicious circle coming on …

To be honest, I can’t see my daughter ever wanting to burn a bra. Equally, I hope she never aspires to be Jordan. If she doesn’t feel ‘beautiful’ then I will do all I can to help her with that. But lightning strike me down if I ever start with her nails and hair rather than her self-esteem.

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