I have just had the pleasure of watching ‘What’s a Girl?’, a 30-minute film originally shown on CBBC as part of their My Life series, and available on iPlayer here (5 days left to watch!). In the film, 15-year-old Shelby sets out on a mission to find out just what is a girl? Shelby is a teenager who doesn’t like wearing skirts, reading Mizz or trying on make-up, but prefers wearing comfy jeans and a hoodie, playing football and wearing smart loafers. However, she doesn’t see herself as a ‘tomboy’ rather as ‘just a girl’. In the film, she meets different kinds of girls – some like sport, some like glitter, some like dresses and some like jeans. She challenges gender stereotypes and concludes that a girl is someone who has the courage to be herself: ‘I like being who I am.’
I loved this film and thought Shelby was inspirational. She is brave enough to swap outfits with another girl who dresses very differently to her, although she is clearly as uncomfortable wearing a dress as the other girl is wearing jeans, trainers and a hoodie. She talks to pre-schoolers about the differences between boys and girls – depressingly/predictably the girls say that ‘girls have long hair and play with princesses’ and the boys say ‘boys have short hair and play with dinosaurs’ – but Shelby at least, with her cropped hair, gets them all thinking… Her ultimate message is that it’s fine to be different, and you can be a girl and still do cool things. As the mother of a daughter I found her film uplifting and important for teenagers – and mums – to watch. There is no such thing as ‘a girl’ – you can be the girl you want to be. Thank you, Shelby, for reminding us all.
Shelby’s film got me thinking about what’s a mum? And again, I think the answer has to be someone who has the courage to be herself and not worry about what everyone else is up to. So let’s not judge other mums for their choices – whether it be to work or to not work, to make a homemade meal from scratch or to reach for a frozen pizza or get fish & chips once in a while, to drink coffee when pregnant or to not drink coffee when pregnant, to breastfeed or to bottle feed, to wean at 4 months, 5 months or 6 months, to use a dummy or to not use a dummy, to give their child organic crisps or chocolate buttons as a treat, to leave their children with the babysitter for a wild night out or to choose to want to stay at home. As Shelby says, ‘If you stick to being yourself, you’ll be alright.’ Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Be yourself. Be your own person. Trust yourself, try to banish any guilt you may be carrying around with you for whatever reason, and just focus on being the best mum you can be. After all, that’s the best kind of mum.
More recipes and gadgets soon, promise.
Ah, pudding. Who doesn’t love pudding? Especially when it’s fruit. And especially when it’s fruit in the shape of a loveable animal! My children love mango hedgehogs. And while I am not really one for making such things as miniature edible sailboats with cheese sails, or fruit faces with blueberries for eyes and grapes for the nose (you get the picture), these are so easy to do, and bring such joy I cannot resist sharing with you here, lovely blog readers.
Admittedly, mango hedgehogs most definitely cannot be created one-handed, however they are quick to do and will keep your child quiet and happy for between 5 and 15 minutes. For younger babies (9m+) remove the cubes of mango, and serve in a little plastic bowl, or – even easier – straight onto the tray of the high chair.
You will need
A very sharp knife. I have this Global knife (it was a gift, I had no idea it was this expensive) which is just wonderful because it has a sharp point so you can score into the mango flesh to make your lines.
A cutting board
What to do
Take your mango and, using your sharp knife, slice off one side. Turn it flesh side up, and using your sharp-pointed knife, score 5 or 6 lines in one direction (from top to bottom), and then the equivalent number from side to side, creating a criss-cross pattern in the flesh. Now press your thumbs into the skin side and push out the little ‘cubes’ created by your artful cutting. Add two raisins for eyes, and voila, a mango hedgehog.
Here is my daughter devouring her mango hedgehog. (She ate three that day.)
In other news, I have been nominated in the Mad Blog Awards Best Food Blog category for 2013, which I am completely thrilled about. I feel very honoured to have been put forward by some of you lovely people. I started this blog in October 2012, and it is an incredible feeling to have been recognized by my peers, some of whom are writing such incredible blogs, they put me to shame (I still don’t know what a linky is, and I am not on Facebook). But I am on Twitter! It’s a start.