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Talk Roundup
13 June 2008

Cottages 4 U

Cartwheels are banned at DD's school, despaired MaloryBoden this week, "has the world really gone utterly farkin mad?" "Cartwheels are terribly dangerous," warned NigellaTheUndomesticGoddess, "My second cousin's friend's brother had an eye taken out while doing a cartwheel when he was 6. At my DD's school they stand motionless and silent throughout breaktime while wearing legionnaire's type hats and factor 600 sunblock in the shade of a structurally sound tree, but not in any mud. Then they remove their outdoor shoes and change into indoor shoes while not pushing each other. My children are safe from any harm." Hullygully wondered whether the children might like to sit around and "crochet quietly," but Misdee dismissed the suggestion on the grounds that "crochet needles are deadly." "Reading a book sounds perfectly reasonable to me" proposed MingMingtheWonderPet, but Wonderstuff thought not, "You don't want them getting ideas." TheFallenMadonna recalled a terrifying school trip where a boy broke his foot stepping off a kerb, despite the fact that "Kerbs were not in the risk assessment" "Next thing they will be banning weapons!" shrieked Nemoandthefishes.

Elsewhere Mumsnetters set about compiling a handy guide on "How to spot a bunting cupcake-o-phile", chivvied along by MakemineaGandT; "When you go round for coffee, there are Cath Kidston mugs and a glass stand on which she piles the Waitrose homemade cupcakes. There are wellies by the back door, but hers are pink Hunter ones or perhaps floral." Iheartdusty noted a tendency to have "dried stuff hanging up (herbs, lavender, etc, rather than last week's washing)" and many agreed that twiggy hearts were a sure sign, although Brightongirldownunder deemed them "very Blair Witch." ComeOVeneer immediately recognised herself and confessed, "I decant my washing liquid too. Can't abide plastic bottles on the side." But SausagesAndMash could only aspire to such order, "A friend looked at me askance the other day when I gave her one of a random heap of silver spoons to stir her tea with. It had teeth marks in it, either chewed by a long dead ancestor when an infant or one of the family's gun dogs worried it circa 1795."

Does anyone else sometimes find Mumsnet terrifying? asked a shaken EBenes this week, after searching the archives to find out how 'normal' her DD was; "I have come away white with fear. There are people agreeing that their children talked in TWELVE word sentences at 18 months. TWELVE! I've counted on my fingers, that's like, 'Mummy, I went to the park today and picked some white daisies.'" "Ah, The Mumsnet Factor," nodded SmugColditz sagely, "Group together a large number of competitive overachievers, give them a means of communication (the internet) and something they care deeply about (their children). Stand back and watch the brags fly." "You know the rough rule of thumb - has anyone mentioned it yet?" reassured Kewcumber, "one word at one; two words at two; three words at three; 18 words at Mumsnet." And Wulfricsmummy agreed, "You'll also find that the UCAS form doesn't have a space for prodigious toddler achievements, even ones like knowing colours at 15 months."

And finally, Cantseesowhat was getting personal this week and wanted to know whether many Mumsnet ladies participated in one-in-a-bed sex, "Are you embarrassed to say that you do?" "You know, I wonder about a lot of things," admitted Daftpunk, "but Mumsnetters having one off the wrist isn't one of them." Lovecat recalled the time her mother declared "No-one we know does anything like that!" "I think it's fairly safe to say regards me as some sort of turbo-slut." "Why not buy a rabbit?" pondered Zippitippitoes, but Slingsby fretted, "Who looks after it when you go on holiday?" and Twinkie1 admitted that she is highly allergic to latex, "I don't want to be the first person in the News of the World to go down as being killed by her vibrating bunny." Cupcakes are altogether safer territory.

MORNINGPAPER XXX

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