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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...
Where we're overcome with excitement at the prospect of working together for the greater MN good.
First, we bring you nice little coalition of As to your Qs: from author Lionel 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' Shriver and from Dr Andrew Clark, consultant in paediatric allergy and leader of the world's largest peanut-allergy study.
Then, on an altogether more keeping-it-together-for-ever note, on Tuesday (18 May, 1-2pm), we've a webchat with Guardian columnist Lucy Mangan, author of The Reluctant Bride: One Woman's Journey (Kicking and Screaming) Down the Aisle. Hang on to that Bridezilla banter: thread opening soon.
Now for this week's parenting news...
Heads boycott tests: Thousands of primary-school pupils missed their national tests in maths and English this week as many headteachers boycotted SATs, treating pupils to days out and lessons in creative writing instead. In some schools, headteachers asked pupils to sit out-of-date exam papers to appease parents who complained that their children had worked hard for tests, and deserved to know how well they would have done. Heads' objections to the tests centre on the fact that pupils' scores are "misused" to compile league tables, which they say humiliate and demean children and schools. (Guardian 09.05.10 and 10.05.10)
Sugar sweetens babies' pain: Babies should be given something sugary before a jab to reduce pain, say Canadian researchers. In their study, they found newborns were 20 per cent less likely to cry if they had had a few drops of a sugar solution before immunisation. "Healthcare professionals should consider using sucrose or glucose before and during immunisation," the researchers said. "Anything we can do to minimise the discomfort of immunisation for children is to be welcomed," commented Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, "and I would like to see more research in this area." (BBC News 12.05.10)
WIN A SUMMER FAMILY HOLIDAY FOR FOUR and enjoy a breath of fresh alpine air! An Inghams Family Holiday is all about spending quality time together, learning new experiences in exciting new surroundings and having fun. For a chance to win, sign up to the Inghams newsletter
Other stories in brief
Quote of the week: TheCrackFox looks back in (surprisingly grateful) hindsight on her pre-parenthood working life: "I had an extremely stressful, demoralizing, badly paid job but it was great training for becoming a SAHM."
This month's prizes are:
SUPPORT THE PENS FOR AFRICA CAMPAIGN. Last year, UK children recycled an astonishing amount of stationery for pupils in some of the poorest regions in the world. Support Pens For Africa, launched by Staples and charity READ International, again this year by taking old pens, pencil cases and good-quality stationery into your local Staples store.
Looking for a day out with the kids? Mumsnetters recommend:
Aitch's TV round-up: Anyone Worried About the Boy, BBC2, Sun 16 May, 9pm
The BBC's 80s season kicks off with the story of Boy George. It doesn't look like they're concentrating on his later life, the cowards: this is strictly Blitz Club, Top of the Pops, Smash Hits and the New Romantics and, to be fair, it does look like it could be an absolute scream, my darlings. A rather too-handsome-for-the-part Douglas Booth plays George, Marc Warren is Steve Strange, Mark Gatiss is the late McLaren and Mathew Horne is Jon Moss. I think these bios work best when we don't know a great deal about the performer, so it may be that decades of tabloid coverage has scuppered any hopes of artistic merit but, for those of us who grew up thinking that George O'Dowd "would rather have a cup of tea" and that Jon Moss had a girlfriend, this should prove an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes. Altogether now: "Karmakarmakarmakarmachameleeeeeeon"...
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.
Recipe of the week: LowLevelWhingeing's steamed white fish with ginger and spring onion sauce
Light and virtuous but far too tasty to be dull. Good with any white fish but extra-lovely with a chunk of seasonal sea bass. Serve with rice, noodles and a nice wodge of pak choi.
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?
That's all. We're off to coalesce over a nice cuppa...
WIN TICKETS FOR THE BABY SHOW – and a copy of Baby Secrets by Jo Tantum. We have four tickets to The Baby Show at the NEC Birmingham (21-23 May) and four copies of Baby Secrets to give away. If you'd like your name to go into the hat, please mail us, by Monday 17 May, with your MN name and whether you'd like a ticket or the book – or both!
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