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Do you have long car journeys to make over the Christmas holidays? If so, make sure you read my top tips on coping in the car.

1: Only buy wellies. The cheaper and more hideous the better. It’s all kids ever want to wear anyway, and saves time, (and arguments) in the morning. 

2: “Smash” (instant mash potato) is cheaper and quicker than peeled, boiled, painstakingly mashed organic spuds, which your children will only refuse to eat it anyway.

3: Don’t bother with Pritt Stick glue. Just use the dried Weetabix from the highchairs. Works a treat. Can also be used to repair cracks in brick walls.

4: Pom bear crisps are always on offer at the supermarket. No, they are not organic, but they are cheap, and buy you ten minutes of peace and quiet (even longer if you sit on the packet first so they get all smashed up).

5: Use your children’s poorer drawings as wrapping paper. Grandparents love it and you don’t have to store them any longer. Win win.

6: Rather than booking costly swimming lessons, time your weekly visit to the pool with someone else’s lesson and (discreetly) copy what the teacher is doing with your own kids.

7: Wrap up toys they already own for Christmas. NB: This only really works for under-twos, where the real joy of a present lies in the wrapping paper.

8: Teach your children that if an ice cream van has its music on, it means all the ice creams are gone.

9: Of course Macdonald’s is a bad place to take children. There is no harm in taking the kids for a Mcplop in their loo however, and taking a (free) balloon with you on the way out.

10: Dress your children in too-big-clothes, thus making them look smaller. They get in all the 'Under threes free' places for much longer this way

So the Alan Titchmarsh show got in contact with me. They were doing a segment about baby weight in light of Kate Middleton stepping out looking rather light herself so soon after having baby George.

I thought, having read my blogs, that they wanted me to discuss how I felt about the pressure on mums to lose their baby weight and go back to looking 'perfect' as soon as possible. 

Poor Thing-one. She has just spent six weeks in the wilderness of no routine, uniform, bedtime or bother. And now she is back at school. And it's all changed.

This summer she made a fairy-land in the garden. She decorated our giant olive tree with shells, whispering her secrets into each one as she did so.

She filled her bug collector with woodlice and named them after her fingers and toes. 

She sat up at night drawing the pattern of the stars.

He is only fifteen months older than me. He had no time to be a baby before I came along, forcing him out of his cot and his buggy. Making him grow up too soon. Making him a middle child.

He's saved me so many times.  Once, when I was four and he was five, we went on holiday to Guernsey and I fell into a Jacuzzi.