Read all about it – what this blogger did next

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that it’s been a while since this blog was updated; partly because our baby really is no longer a baby and I therefore lack the real-time tools to advise anyone how to cope with early parenthood; partly because it regenerated into a dance-theatre performance (touring in 2019! Come and see us!); and partly because that pesky work stuff took over from my full-time parenting for good sometime back near the end of 2017.

If you are still looking for my drops of wisdom, however – fear not! Because I’ve managed to persuade some good folk with publishing platforms to pay me for my knowledge bombs – here are a few that might interest regular readers, especially the baby-owning among you. (NB not all bylines point to me but I can assure you these wise words are mine, mine, mine.)

Best cots

Best cot mattresses

Best parenting books

Best nappies

Best high chairs

Best baby bottles

Best breast pumps

Best prams and buggies

Best baby thermometers

Best TENS machines

Best books for babies and toddlers

How to travel with a baby

And if a hard year’s parenting has left you in need of some R’n’R, you might also enjoy:

Best luxury bubble baths

Best tonic waters

Best whiskys

If you liked my piece on the Quantified Baby, this review of the Moodnotes mood-journalling app might also entice you.

Happy reading and if there’s anything you’d like me to tackle on your behalf (best stain-remover? Best noise-cancelling earplugs? Best beds that fit three people and a cat?), let us know on the back of a used blogging platform. Peace out.

Better When I’m Dancin’: How we made this blog into a dance performance

So just over a week ago, I took my dancer Jodie, a USB flash drive and a five-page lighting document to The Place Theatre in London’s beautiful Bloomsbury, and we presented an all-dancing slightly-singing version of the very blog you’re reading now. I have had some actual FAQs about how (and why) we did it, so here are some frequent answers and my one-of-a-kind guide to making your parenting blog into a dance theatre performance:

1. No, I didn’t perform in the piece. I like performing in other people’s pieces, but I like being able to watch and direct my own from the outside (most of the performance work I create is made on other people).  It was a pleasure to direct Jodie, who did an absolutely bang-up job of embodying all my maternal pains and pleasures. Plus I am quite old and tired these days and Jodie frankly gave a superior performance to anything I can currently muster.

2. No, Scarlett wasn’t in the piece (at least, not live on stage). She’s at an awkward developmental stage between “static enough to remain in one place for twenty minutes” and “can be directed at least enough not to run into the sidelight booms” so it wasn’t really a safe idea to let her be on stage, although I honestly considered it. She’s present in other ways, though.

3. No, Darien wasn’t in it either; his presence was mostly soundtrack-related.

4. Yes, #damnthatPeppaPig is a real hashtag. A very real hashtag.

5. All of the sections of dance were taken from existing blog posts, most of them made during the first year. The posts I used were: this one; this one; this one; this one; this one and, by overwhelmingly popular request, this one.

6. We also had some little choreographic nods to these three playlists.

7. Feedback we had from parents was that a lot of the scenes were very familiar. Feedback from non-parents was that a lot of the scenes were still very familiar; I guess these things are both recognisable and somewhat universal.

8. Yes, that’s me singing on I’m So Tired. D’ylikeit?

9. No, that’s not me on Single Babies, that’s my friend and fellow mummy Gemma. She’s amazing. She sang that vocal while eight months pregnant, and while actually balancing a toddler on her hip. (I did some backing yelps).

10. No, that’s not a real choir on Bathtime for Scarlett. That’s Darien and his audio magic. Good though, innit?

11. Yes, we hope to go out on the road again and I’m in the process of sorting that out. Watch this space!

Video below! Let us know if you have any more questions on the back of a used theatre ticket, or in the comments. Mwah, mwah!

 

It’s Oh So Quiet

Things have been a bit quiet on this blog recently – hopefully you’ll be pleased to know it’s because we’re creating an AWESOME NEW DANCE SHOW based on some of these very posts! If you’re in London or fancy a trip to the big smoke, come and see us:

Thursday 18 January 2018
The Place Theatre, Duke’s Road WC1H 9PY

www.theplace.org.uk

 

Photos of 8-month old Scarlett Graham-Smith with mother Lise Smith and father Darien Graham-Smith taken at Green Lens Studio in London. © Chantal Guevara