First today, this transport of delight: the Lascal Maxi buggy board, which is now Charlie's preferred mode of transport when we're out with Eloise.
MacLaren sent us the wonderful Techno XLR to try for Eloise and as I've said before, we're more than happy.
Officially, MacLaren don't recommend using buggy boards with their strollers. But if they did, the Lascal Maxi would surely be the one. I sometimes have a thing about following instructions (i.e. I don't read them) and often for good reason. They either over complicate a simple operation or they're impossible to follow. So having a set of instructions that did neither, but actually told you - simply and clearly - what to do was the first plus for the Lascal. Second, of course, was the fact that it was fitted - safely, securely, comfortably - in a matter of minutes. As I might have already hinted, this doesn't always happen. But it did! We were up and running within - literally - ten minutes of opening the box, which is pretty amazing. Almost as amazing as the ride...
...which, as you can see, makes Charlie happy. The large wheels and above-ground clearance also makes mummy happy as it means you don't catch your feet on the board as you walk along. With Eloise horizontal in the pushchair, the buggy board actually sticks out further than it might, so this little feature is an ankle-saver...
So simple, practical and effective. Now as I've said, fitting it was simple and quick and the instructions clear and helpful. But our board was supplied by Cheeky Rascals, and they promise if you do have any difficulties, they'll talk you through it on the 'phone. They'll also be at the Baby Show at London's ExCel later this month, which reminds me - you've got just two more days to enter the giveaway for free tickets to day one. Hurry hurry hurry!
I suppose strolling around town is also the subject of the next item, but it couldn't really be more radically different: a personal alarm, functional but with all the looks of a fashion accessory. I don't know about you, but I worry about giving my children the independence they need. Sally's thirteen; I'm no longer wanted on the school-run, and she happily takes herself to town to meet her friends at every opportunity. So far, so good; I did the same thing when I was her age. But am I wrong in thinking it's more of a worry for girls? Ironically, when a report into children and mobile 'phone use was published earlier this week, the local BBC radio station wanted to know what I thought. And as I told them, it's a balance of risks and benefits, the latter being peace of mind. And I suppose that's what these little gadgets bring - a little peace of mind, combined with extra confidence - to say nothing of 130 decibels of alarm. Here's what Nicky, one of my sixth-form psychology students has to say about it:
Overall it is a very good alarm, makes me feel more confident walking home at night from the train station etc. It is easy to use and accessible when attached to handbag etc. The pin is easy enough to remove to activate the alarm. However, if the speaker was covered or muffled somehow the volume is reduced considerably but this isn't how the alarm is meant to be carried, so I would recommend it to anyone having to walk home alone.
The alarms - designed exclusively for women - are available in a range of colours at Marks and Spencer.
In other news, Boden have recently launched their brand new Maternity range as well as the children's Spring range and to celebrate, they're offering one lucky reader of this blog the chance to win a £60 voucher. All you have to do is leave a comment, and the winner will be chosen this coming Thursday.
Finally today, another in the occasional series of blogger exposes, or 'why did they choose that pseudonym'? You might be forgiven for thinking that Posh Totty of Posh Tottys Palace is fairly self-explanatory, but listen to the story...
The name behind my blog came from friends that I met through a support network (Heartline) for parents of children with heart defects. As part of the on-going support, it was often necessary to make phone calls to other parents that you had not yet met in person. A few of the other parents that I'd spoken to over the phone soon became good friends of mine and they would to make fun of me because I apparently sounded very posh over the phone and over the years more and more people began to refer to me as the Posh One or Posh Totty and poking fun at my posh lifestyle became a regular occurrence. When I decided to start blogging I knew that I would need to remain anonymous to the majority of people so that I could have total freedom of speech and before I knew it I took on the roll of Posh Totty and the Posh Totty Blog was born.
So now you know!