Kid Con

Our latest episode of Parenting Pobal is live!

This week we ramble about our recent family day out at Dublin Comic Con.

Kid Con

If you enjoy listening to the podcast please give us a share with friends or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Derek and Karen.


There can only be one Highlander

The latest episode of Parenting Pobal is live. This week we are talking books books books and also a small segway into Highlander.

There can only be one Highlander

We chat about a lot of different books in the episode. Some are ten a penny and easy to come by, some are a little bit quirkier so we have listed them here. We find Skerries Bookshop amazing. Anything Paddy doesn’t have he’ll have for you quicker than Amazon.

The Princess in Black

Those of you who know Olivia or have been following us a while will know she is a huge fan of Superheroes and likes to get her Princess vibes on every now and again. These two worlds rarely collide in books or childrens games, that is until the Princess in Black.

Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Where’s my cow?

Not your average children’s animal book that’s for sure.

At six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, Sam Vimes must go home to read Where’s My Cow?, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do.It is the most loved and chewed book in the world.

But his father wonders why it is full of moo-cows and baa-lambs when Young Sam will only ever see them cooked on a plate. He can think of a more useful book for a boy who lives in a city.

So Sam Vimes starts adapting the story. A story with streets, not fields. A book with rogues and villains. A book about the place where he’ll grow up.

Why I love my Daddy

This was a Father’s Day present for Derek but it quickly became a book shelf staple. What I loved about it is the reasons are actual words from children so Olivia and Thomas really relate.

Everyone’s daddy is the best. And who better to tell the world than children themselves?

Goodnight stories for Rebel Girls

We are big believers in working to instill a belief in Olivia that she is equal and that she can be or do whatever she wants to when she grows up and that kindness to others is what is most important.

What if the princess didn’t marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing.

Other books we mention include Ten Little Superkids, The little boy / girl who lost her name, We’re going on a bear hunt, The day the crayons quit and the science for babies series, so far we’ve gone through Astrophysics for Babies, ABCs of Science and Rocket Science for Babies and all three are now very well worn books.

We also touch on books that are useful for help children transition into pre school and primary school as well as books that deal with big emotions. Triona from Mammy to Munchkins did a fantastic take over on Karen’s Instagram on this recently and for really good recommendations you should follow her, The Family Edits and My Higher Shelf.

Finally, one for the Mummys and Daddy’s, grab a comfy chair and a cuppa to sit and enjoy the velvety tones of Samuel L Jackson reading Go the fuck to sleep watch it now, thank us later 😆

No links in this post are affiliated.

If my child comes out to me then I have failed as a parent

“If in a few years my child comes home and tells me that they are gay I will 100% accept them”.

Said among a group of parents, with those listening, nodding along emphatically. Loving your child unconditionally is the heart of being a parent. So why did this statement raise my hackles? For good reason.

I often get irate when people say to Olivia that she will have a little boyfriend or that Thomas will have a little girlfriend. For me, it is, even at this tender age, telling them that relationships should come in one form.

Derek, takes a no-holds barred approach. He corrects anyone who implies just one gender. And when discussing with Olivia about her future he will say things such as ‘it is important to be kind to your boyfriend or girlfriend’. Simplistic perhaps, but we both strongly feel it is important that from the word go both our children are made aware that romantic relationships come in many forms.

We both have close friends who are in same sex relationships. We have both watched and endured seeing friends struggle with coming to terms with who they are. Then having to watch as they ‘come out’ to friends and family. In most cases before they even had a romantic relationship.

We have heard stories of how this news was received either as a shock or anticipated news. Stories of how the news is then communicated to the wider family circle. Until finally everyone knows. And after all this, often at a later stage in life, they can finally get on with approaching a romantic relationship, comfortable and ‘out’.

The friends who have had to go through this are now helping us set an example of Olivia and Thomas about relationships – and all the forms it comes in. Olivia has never once asked us why two men or two women are together. She gets the basics. They love each other. Two mummys and two daddys have children when they love each other. That is all the information she wants or needs. Any over-explanation implies there is something different about a family set up.

And so yes, if my child comes out to me then I personally have failed in being the type of parent I want to be. Simply because I never want them to ‘come out’. I hope they will be comfortable and secure in who they are, their understanding of loving relationships and of our love for them, that one day they will each come home and just introduce us to their girlfriend or boyfriend. Just that. This is who I love. No trepidation, no big announcement, no fear. Just love.


Aoifes journey

This week on Parenting Pobal, I was privileged to be joined by my friend Aoife. We have known each other going on five years and met through the village I often talk about here, my Rollercoaster Group I joined while expecting Olivia. My Queens.

As such we have experienced a lot of highs and lows together – the highs of Aoifes pregnancy after Cadhla, the lows when that pregnancy resulted in the birth of her son Oisin, sleeping, the bittersweet high of her pregnancy with Senan and her pregnancy with bubs now due in a few months.

I can do no justice to describing her story so I hope you listen in.

If you have been affected by any issues in this episode, below are links to organisations who can help.

Listen to the episode here: Aoifes story


A secret language for three

Last week, Olivia and I were playing a particular favourite game of hers, where I have to be Olivia and she gets to be me, Mummy. She likes to roll this one out at bedtime to delay the whole going to sleep lark as she gets to put me/Olivia to bed and then she/Mummy reads a bedtime story and carries out the whole bedtime routine.

So there I am lying in her tiny bed, blankie in my hand, foot slightly cramped, being tucked in by her as she huffs and puffs pulling her duvet around me to make sure I am ‘nice and cosy’. Then she tucks her IronMan teddy in beside me, leans in, gives me a kiss and says in her best Mummy voice ‘night, night I love you very much’. And my heart broke.

You see it marked a moment in time when a part of her was gone forever. She was no longer the little toddler who cute as you like told you ‘I lobe you berry much’. She was a little girl who confidently said ‘love’ and ‘very’ and they rolled off her tongue so simply, as if she had always been able to say them. I must have missed it. Somewhere in these last mad few weeks she suddenly started pronouncing her V’s.

Later that evening I pulled out their baby books. A delivery of free prints (free prints my ass, how can they expect me to stay within the free 45 photo limit) had arrived a few days before and I had specifically ordered certain milestone photos to add into each of their books.

Once I had dutifully snipped, glued and placed the photos onto each page, I leafed through Olivias book, stopping at the last page. There were no milestones to be carefully noted down, it was simply a blank page. But I had been jotting words and phrases down on it as she grew. Those words she said in her own way, phrases that were almost a language for just her, her dad and me. Phrases such as ‘hard work is lillia’ and words such as ‘pushion’ and ‘lego’ (not to be confused with actual lego). Phrases few outside us three would understand. Naturally they wouldn’t, no one would come to the conclusion that ‘I too heaby’ with outstretched arms means ‘will you lift me’.

It started with Derek jokingly telling her she was too heavy but he lifted her anyway. In her little mind she came to the conclusion that Olivia is too heavy means Olivia gets carried. And so with her V’s still very much B’s the phrase ‘I too heaby’ was coined.

I recorded the memory by writing it in her book, even though at the time she was still saying it every day and every bedtime as she stood at the bottom of the stairs with those chubby little arms reaching out to one of us. But I was worried in years to come, despite the frequency we heard it, we might forget it. I hope we don’t. But as the day, weeks and months passed, it was said less and less, until it stopped. I can’t tell you the last time she said it. That phrase, once a big part of our conversations, had disappeared.

I am, of course, delighted her speech is coming on in leaps and bounds and I know that toddler talk and misused words shouldn’t last forever. But I still record them, as phonetically as I can so that no matter how many years pass, we can still pick up that book and read aloud the language which belonged to just three people for a little moment in time.