Dear Jess,I’ll admit, I was a little concerned when I first got wind of you. I wasn’t sure you were good for my daughter you see. No offense, but I wasn’t convinced I wanted her hanging around with you. After all, you only eat chips and cake, you stay out all night and you throw so many wild parties. You’re certainly not an average cat.I was worried that by investing so much time in you, she wasn’t going to immerse herself in the real world, that she would play only with you instead of making real friends. I was wrong, Jess, and I want to say, "Thank you," for everything you’ve done.Thank you for giving her something to focus on when she is feeling anxious. Whenever she is in a situation she’s unsure of, you’re always there. If she’s with people that make her feel nervous, you always do something crazy to make her laugh and lighten the mood. You’ve met so many people and been with us to so many places. It’s good to know she never needs to be alone. Thank you for throwing so many parties. I think it’s your birthday every other day. You are one lucky cat. These have provided hours of entertainment: preparing the plastic food, making the long, onerous journey over mountains and rivers, creating the perfect guest list and making birthday cards. I really hope you have as much fun at these parties as my daughter does and enjoy all the gifts. I’ve pinched a few of your cards for my keepsake box, I hope you don’t mind. Thank you for coming with us on long car journeys. Having family so far away isn’t easy and what kid wants to be cooped up in the car for hours when we visit them? Thanks to you, car journeys don’t seem to be the boring, tiresome experience they could be. I hear you chatting together, waving to your friends in other cars and singing the songs from "Frozen". As long as we have plenty of snacks, you’re both happy for hours.Thank you for being there on her first day of pre-school. She is such a nervous little thing. It took a while to settle her, she just didn’t want me to leave. It broke my heart, walking away, as those big scared eyes locked onto mine from the window. It was such a relief when I picked her up and she told me you had been there with her, that she hadn’t spent her first day playing alone or crying for me. Since that first day, she’s made some other friends and you’ve taken a step back. I really appreciate that Jess.Thank you for introducing her to Valerie the monster and Alfie Cat. There’s quite a little gang of you. Valerie is definitely the naughty one, I’m not sure about her, but it sounds like you keep her in line. Thanks for meeting her real friends too. I’m pretty sure some of them can see you as well. They are certainly happy to let you join in sometimes. I thought having you would prevent her from making human friends but she is a happy, social little thing despite you, or maybe even in spite of you.Most of all Jess, thank you for fuelling her amazing imagination. You get up to so many exciting adventures. I’ve been on many of those with you, but I also love to let you go alone and see what fun you can make. I trust you to take care of her. After all, I know you pretty well now. You’ve been on holidays with us, met her friends, you’ve selflessly taken the blame on numerous occasions. You’re one of the family Jess and I hope you know you’re always welcome. Love Nikki
While traveling long distances is not a part of every family's summer plans, for some families who live far away from grandparents and extended family, this is peak travel season. A useful, thrifty guide to activities and apps that help keep young kids entertained on long trips.
Holiday break is a great time for both you and the kids to get some much needed R&R, but without schools open, life can quickly become boring without its usual stimulation. That’s where the joy of STEAM comes in - with plenty of creative (and often inexpensive!) ways to stay entertained and active at home. Encourage everyone in the family to partake in a “STEAM Staycation” with some of our favorite engaging activities.
People with winter birthdays report being the most dissatisfied with their birth dates. The reasons are many. If a child has to have their big day smashed in between all the other big days, there are ways to make it work.