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Friday, 3 December 2010

Mrs Blighty's Words of Wisdom

Dahlings, I felt I should share with you an essential truth I have garnered from my years of Motherhood (almost, er, 10 years, 10 long years, 10 long hard years, etc).

But be warned: if you were hoping for some perky parenting ideas - "How to carve a selection of vegetables into a replica of the Taj Mahal to encourage your little ones to get their 5 a day" (and then come over all King Herod and murderous when they shout yuck and throw it all on the floor, before having a large gin, obviously it's you having the gin not the kids...) you have come to the wrong place.

The most important piece of parenting advice, and in fact the only piece of parenting advice I feel qualified to impart, is as follows: ( You may wish to prepare yourselves mentally for this, it is really quite profound and actually quite moving, I am tearing up a little even as I type...)


Below, Boy 1's bedhead in the process of being de-stickered, broken fingernails de rigueur

But at least I learn from my parenting failures. Boy 2 has certainly not been allowed to run amok with the stickers:
Oh sh*t! When did that happen? And how come I didn't notice??

Now, dear readers, I know that you are all people of great wisdom and excellent experience in dealing with such diverse elements as chihuahuas, exotic birds (feathered or otherwise), snaks, cats, boats, cigar smoking barristers, high end luxury goods, and even that most scary manifestation of wildlife, small boys and girls. What advice can you give me?


  1. Blighty dahling, I cannot help you. My two children are in their twenties now and there are still stickers on the furniture in their old rooms.

  2. Dear Deb, you have confirmed my darkest fears - once you become a parent, one is changed forever, and so is the furniture.

  3. ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    don't bother. deb's right. my 25 yr old has stickers on his laptop.


  4. Blighty,

    Add your own stickers here...things like
    "Love your Mom".
    "Make your Bed"
    "Eat your Veg"
    "Do your Homework"
    ....and go crafty with decoupage...just a thought...

  5. Hostess, I like your thinking! What about " Grow up to be a merchant banker, make a ton of money and buy your Mum a Rolex"? is that shallow and materialistic? I do hope so.

  6. in the good old times, lets call it the 80s, we removed all the soccer-wm-stickers (which where meant to be sticked in the sticker-album, NOT the door!) with toluol. It worked like hell but was a hazard to your health which is the reason they took it off the market. So we ended up with clean doors and hopefully without cancer.
    Since then I could not find of anything as effective.

    but - what's wrong with the stickers on the bed? Are you planning on selling the beds (+kids?) on ebay?

  7. Actually now I think about it, I had a bright orange Snoopy sticker on my brown Addidas sports bag when I was 12/13; it was still on there 25 years later. They need to look into the industrial application of stickers - could hold down roofs, seal up ships, patch up aircraft carriers etc, almost nothing shifts them.

  8. Paula - Ebay have warned me never to list my kids again, they refuse to deal in livestock and their insurance does not cover volatile substances.

  9. The same thing I told my son when he was 5. "Never snip your lip with scissors." Of course, he'd already done it, "Just to see what happened."

  10. LPC - oh lordy! Forbidden fruit and all that!

  11. My three children are older than yours Blighty, so I feel fully qualified to let you in on the little secret about what happens next - the children grow out of the sticker stage and then cover their rooms with photos of themselves at places you didn't know they'd been, drinking drinks you didn't know they drank, with people you didn't know they knew. So, my advice is - enjoy the sticker stage while it lasts!

  12. Blighty,
    my 3 yr old at the time, was given a book of stickers to play with on the trip to the beach. By the time we got there, we couldn't see out of the back left window.... they were "saving Nemo stickers", and let's just say it didn't help the trade in value of the car when it came time to sell...
    my daughters bedhead looks rather similar to your picks above but with a bit more princessy/ pink theme...!

  13. Dear Kate, thank you for your kind advice, I have been warned!
    Margie SW - welcome, thank you for dropping by; we also had stickers plastered on the car windows back right and left about 4 year ago; I spent a merry time scrubbing those off too.

  14. I have to echo Kate's funny and wise comment, stickers are small fry in the scheme of things cause there will be more headaches to follow Blights.
    The only advise I can give is to grin and bear the stickers or toss the bedhead and purchase a new one.
    Good luck!!

  15. First, I confess...I am one of Deb's daughters, former sticker sticker.
    My husband is still using his childhood dresser and there are several Superman stickers baring witness to the evil tenacity of sticker glue.
    I've made peace with it, but if I did have the will to de-sticker:

    My advice would be "Goo-Gone". it's a de-gunking oil that comes a jug or spray and can be found in hardware stores. If you can't find such a thing any oil will do. Also, heat guns, or your hair dryer will help.
    I used to have the oh-so-lovely task of peeling stickers off movie cases when I worked at a video store. Heat it, peel it, and goo gone away the sticky residue. I've also heard that mixing some fabric softener with water works to remove wallpaper, when you spray the mixture on and let it soak before scraping. Maybe this works for stickers also?
    You could get an electric sander and watch Mr. B go to town on those stickers! sand it down to bare wood and restain/paint.
    Best of luck

  16. Maybe there is an opportunity for a market in stickers with the glue strength of a post it note. Either that, or go back to the old days when they made envelope glue taste like overboiled brussel sprouts. It cured me of sending Christmas cards.

  17. I have given in and bought some trendy vinyl removable stickers for The Farmchildren. Ridiculously expensive but so much nicer to deal with.

    I found the car window stickers were the worst cos they kind of got baked on by the sun.

  18. I agree. ENJOY the sticker stage while it lasts ! There are then permanant stickers to contend with (the horror of the threat of tattos etc.)- pitfalls at all ages Blighty!x

  19. Dear Mrs Blighty, Never was a truer word spoken (or actually a truer sentence)! I have had a Zero Tolerance to the attachment of stickers to anything but paper (and this does not include books which are sacrosanct). I find that the credible threat of a Terrible but Unspecified Punishment has kept this particular demon at bay. Clearly, one has to have a glass of Mother's Ruin at hand when actioning these disagreeable tasks.

  20. deer misus Blitey, wee dont put stikers on stuff. hour mum sed u can swop us for 2 stikey boys.
    she can bring us to lundon in januery and do the trade.
    we r lerning puntuaycion so mista blitey will luv us.
    we do full stops but hav not lerned capitel letters yet.

    arnie and siggi boyle - aka the dodgy brothers

  21. Dear L - Goo Gone sounds like my kinda product!will it get my cooking off the ceiling?
    Legend - yum, overcooked sprouts!
    Farmer's Wife - sun plus stickers -aaaaagggggh!
    Semi Expat - tattoos, eeeeek!
    Linda in Chile - hi Linda, i love your comments, one of the highlights of this blogging malarkey! (am v jealous that FF is getting to meet you soon in Real Life). i need to work on the "credible threat of a Terrible but Unspecified Punishment" - my biggest problem is the "credible" part. Love your Zero Tolerance policy, very sound.
    Dear Arnie and Siggi - well done on the full stops, most impressive and much better than Boys 1 and 2, who also see capital letters as optional unless writing ransom notes. Getting v excited about meeting your mum in London but worried I will end up buying a boat..

  22. Tee Hee. No, I'll just get the Boss to buy two. On the boat front - he is actually leaning towards the Catamaran because (SERIOUSLY, I am NOT lying) it would suit the Dodgies better. They can't climb up and down gangways and ladders in monohulls - legs too short.

    I'm going all out for the Willotus necklace by entering as many comments as I can before FF puts a ban on publishing anything from me

  23. Dear Blighty
    A few years ago
    my son and his friends apparently thought it would be a cool idea to "graffiti" his leather headboard.
    A professional belt maker couldn't have tooled more deeply.

  24. Louise like the sound of the Catamaran, sounds v serious! I feel I am ineligible for the FF giveaway as I have been lucky to meet her in Real Life and I was spoilt with luffly gifts; should I do giveaway on my blog and if so, which Boy?
    Dear Slim - yikes! Bless their little cotton socks etc.

  25. Sell the beds, it's just not worth the nail trauma.

  26. My advice - also based on 10 years at the coal-face of parenting (with no sign of a Chilean type rescue at any time in the near future) is.... nothing until your youngest reaches 16, then, one day when they are out, move house. They've NEVER FIND YOU.

    I'm pinning all my hopes on that one.


  27. Oh. I've got another one. Never let them do craft at home. That's what day care, prep, kinder, school is for


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