She is a Tom Boy, He is a Sissy. Why is that ok?!

Sissy vs tom boy - why is it ok for a girl to like boy things, but not ok for a boy to like girl things

Boy Girl Twins via Deposit Photo

The Tom Boy

We have a little girl in our school that LOVES to climb trees, chase the boys and play pirates. Everyone says how fun she is, what a great little Tom Boy. They indulge in her love for Spiderman and her want of cars.

The Sissy

We also have a little boy at our school who LOVES to dress up as Elsa, adores his baby doll and loves playing with the girls. He doesn’t like fighting the boys much. The other boys call him a sissy. They tell him he can’t use the boys’ toilets as he is a GIRL.

I ask you, why is that social acceptable behavior? Why is it ok (if not grand) for a girl to act in (supposedly) boy ish ways – to love trucks, and mud and fights? To prefer pirates over princesses and mermaids? Why is it NOT ok for a boy, to act in a girl ish way?

Where did these 4yrs old boys get the notion that it is wrong for another 4yrs old boy to have other interests? How does a 4 year old boy even know that “other boys” don’t dress up or play with dolls or have tea parties? How does a 4 year old boy even notice this difference, and worse still act on it in a negative way?

It appears that we live in a society, though outwardly equal, in that it is ok for a GIRL TO ASPIRE TO BE A MAN, but it is NOT OK for a BOY TO ASPIRE TO BE A GIRL. Why is our society still implying that the male gender is something better? Why do boys have to stay boys? And why is a kind, caring and nurturing boy not something to aspire to?

Who says that “girl ish things” are for girls only? Don’t father’s change the baby’s nappies these days? Don’t fathers help their children get dressed? Don’t fathers also go and do the shopping and cook the family meals? In my house they do. And in many of my friends’ houses they do.

I am saddened and dismayed about this.. and it is something that I hope to teach my children differently. We can all do anything we want. We can all do supposedly boy ish things and we can all do supposedly girl ish things. There is no “one activity” for one gender and another for another. They both enjoy both equally.

Yes,  there is a gender division as a rule.. Boys GENERALLY prefer cars and girls GENERALLY prefer dolls. But the thing to remember, is that when on or the other wants to do something that is GENERALLY speaking different, we let them and support them and accept the fact that we are different.

We live in a modern, tolerant society. My children’s school is brilliant at supporting different cultures, skin tones and social backgrounds. They are great at teaching understanding of disabilities. I really hope that they are able to embrace this difference too.

This boy in our school –

He is a child.

A child who is kind.

A child who is curious.

A child that likes to play.

A child that likes to imagine.

A child that likes to have fun.

A child that likes to learn.

He is a well behaved child.

He is a gorgeous child.

A child that eats and sleeps like every other child.

He is a child growing up.

Don’t take his childhood away, by making him feel bad about being (just a little bit) different.

Different is good. Different should be supported. Different is what makes the world exciting, unique and a wonderful place.

How to Catch a Hamster

Have you got a Hamster? Does it like to play Houdini and regularly escape? When your Hamster escapes, do you turn the house upside down and STILL don’t find it? Well… we have a new Hamster.. and he LOVES TO ESCAPE. We try very hard to keep the cage as secure as possible, but hey.. the minute he sniffs and opportunity he is off and then we simply cannot find our hamster! As we have two cats in the house too, this poses rather a problem!

Luckily we keep our Hamster in the living room with the door shut tightly at night (well, we hope he can’t get out of the living room too). So hopefully that means our escaped hamster is nice and safe from the cats in there.

The kids set to work to build a HAMSTER TRAP. This is how to catch a Hamster when he has escaped!!

How to Catch a Hamster (it really works)

We filled a bucket with some of our hamster’s bedding. Added a bowl of his normal food and a small dish or treats (cheese, dog biscuit, an apple slice). We also added a TP Roll, so he could hide away should we finally catch him.

Then the kids set to work with their DUPLO LEGO… and converted a Duplo LEGO house that they had already made, into a staircase…

The idea being – the escaped hamster climbs the stairs, slides into the bucket to get the food and then can’t get out.

What happened next with our Hamster Trap

Our hamster trap was humoured by daddy, inspected by the neighbours and poo-pooed on social media.. “it well never work”. “you must start looking for him” “that’s the last you will have seen of him” “I warned you” and so on…. But I had faith.

And we also had patience. Our hamster, like all hamsters, is most active at night time, so I didn’t expect anything to happen during the day. Or early evening… and then… at 2am…. Hubby heard something… went to check and THERE HE WAS! A bit distressed at being caught, but safe! Food in a muddle and upturned and scrabbling away, but well! He gently tipped the bucket to let him rush into his cage and the job was done.

Here the children, tell you about what happened and share their hamster trap – demo-ing the nightly wanderings with the help of our stuff toy Sniffles.

Good luck with your pet!! Let us know how you got on!!

50 things to do before you are 11 3/4

So… you may have seen some of our Nature Play ideas over at Red Ted Art.. I am a great fan of getting the family outdoors and experiencing childhood classic with them. To me “all those little” things, with a couple of big ones thrown in, are what make childhood special.. from playing poo sticks, to catching crabs, to watching butterflies grow, to cooking on a campfire (even if it is just toast or some choc button bananas), these are the things I want my children to EXPERIENCE as they grow up. These are the things I want them to have happy memories of and do time and time again as they grow up and when one day they too  have children.

50 things to do before you are 11 and three quarters

I am pleased to share this FANTASTIC list of childhood classics from the National Trust – 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 . LOVE IT.  I have it as a great list below (with some links to National Trust places), as well as a handy little download for you to download and print, keep and tick off…. go on. I challenge you, can you do ALL 50 before your child is 11 and 3/4?!

50 Things to do before you are 11 and three quarters!


  • 11.Go on a really long bike ride
  • 12.Make a trail with sticks
  • 13.Make a mud pie
  • 14.Dam a stream
  • 15.Play in the snow
  • 16.Make a daisy chain
  • 17.Set up a snail race
  • 18.Create some wild art
  • 19.Play pooh sticks
  • 20.Jump over waves
  • 21.Pick blackberries growing in the wild
  • 22.Explore inside a tree
  • 23.Visit a farm
  • 24.Go on a walk barefoot
  • 25.Make-a-grass-trumpet
  • 26.Hunt for fossils and bones
  • 27.Go star gazing
  • 28.Climb a huge hill
  • 29.Explore a cave
  • 30.Hold a scary beast
  • 31.Hunt-for-bugs
  • 32.Find some frogspawn
  • 33.Catch a falling leaf
  • 34.Track wild animals
  • 35.Discover what’s in a pond
  • 36.Make a home for a wild animal
  • 37.Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
  • 38.Bring up a butterfly
  • 39.Catch a crab
  • 40.Go on a nature walk at night
  • 41.Plant it, grow it, eat it
  • 42.Go swimming in the sea
  • 43.Build a raft
  • 44.Go bird watching
  • 45.Find your way with a map and compass
  • 46.Try rock climbing
  • 47.Cook on a campfire
  • 48.Learn to ride a horse
  • 49.Find a geocache
  • 50.Canoe down a river

Click here for more info!

Halloween Traditions

Halloween is has never really very big for “me”, as an Austrian in the UK it often passed us by. But as mentioned before, the best thing about being in a multi cultural home, is that we can pick and choose our traditions. Last year, The Boy’s friends asked to join them trick or treating. We did. And it was much nicer than I had expected, mainly due to a very “nice” road in our area that had a real Halloween Party atmosphere. After experiencing that I wanted to check out Halloween Traditions like dressing like a mascot or pumpkin carving, but not limit ourselves to that.

This year we embraced Halloween from the beginning and I decided to try and make it not just about sweets (and ahem begging). We made our own Halloween costumes and… we booked in a day with The Uncle!

And what a lovely day we had. I hoping that this day will form the focus of our Halloween for years to come – a day all about family, spending time together, being creative and eating some yummy Halloween food.

The idea of the day was simple:

1) Visit The Uncle (including Granny, Grandpa, The Auntie and a cousin)

2) Scoop our pumpkins (The Uncle had bought no less than 8 pumpkins, one big and 7 small ons!)

3) Daddy to cook with the pumpkins (using some of these pumpkin recipes) – he ended up making a delicious mild curry pumpkin soup and a pumpkin risotto. The Boy slurped two whole bowls full!

4) The kids to help design the pumpkins and for The Uncle to carve them

So we did.

We had the best Halloween day ever. Hooray for Halloween Traditions and I am looking forward to next year already! Thank Uncle for a fabulous day!

Babies Don’t Keep Poem.

This poem is simply perfect (and explains the state of my house!).

Babies Don’t Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.