No parent wants to put on their ‘grumpy parent hat’ when they are out in public. We all wish that our children were angels and that there would be no need to have to discipline their behaviour. Thankfully sometimes a silent glare is worth a thousand words.

There is the quizzical raised eyebrow ‘what do you think you are doing?’ look, the open eye ‘watch out buddy I’m watching you’ look and the heavy frown ‘stop misbehaving’ look. Such subtle looks are often a sufficient form of communication for your children to notice that you are not happy with their behaviour and rectify their actions without you having to verbally discipline them.


It got me to thinking that with the rise of the use of botox there must be a host of parents out there who can’t rely on this form of silent discipline as their kids wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an ‘I’m in trouble’ glare to a bored glazed over stare. Maybe we are going to have a generation of parents who will need to start using a form of hand gestures like the “Meet the Fokers” ‘I’m watching you’, the shrug of the shoulders for ‘what are you doing?’ and maybe a good old fashioned wag of the finger for ‘stop it now or else!’ Of course, the other alternative is for these parents to nag and chastise their kids, which would ruin the carefully created image of these parents being young and carefree!

Is it worth having a wrinkle free forehead if you have to sound like a grumpy mum? For the moment at least I will continue to endure having wrinkles so that I can have my arsenal of silent discipline stares!

Picture courtesy of David Castillo Dominici,



It is this time every year, that I truly display what an inadequate mother I am. The kids have just started the school year and the teachers do something that makes me quake in my boots – they send home books to be covered in clear contact.

I am the world’s worst contacter! How a roll of clear shiny vinyl can cause such misery and frustration is beyond me! Over the years, I have taken advice from far more accomplished contacters than I (those perfect mothers who churn out covered books like they are professionals), but alas I still haven’t mastered the skill of creating a covered book that doesn’t have air bubbles and wrinkles in it. On a positive note, it does provide my kids with entertainment in the classroom when they push the trapped air bubbles around in the contact!

A few years ago I found the best thing since sliced bread (actually since I’m gluten free, I’m willing to deem it an even better invention than sliced bread!) –clear book sleeves! These are made to have an exercise book slip easily into the pre-made cover. They are simple to use, look great and if your kids look after them, can even be re-used. I use these as much as possible, however, the only shortcoming with them is that they only come in standard exercise book sizes. Whilst most of the books coming home are A4, there are still a few that are odd sizes and still require manual covering.

These books are normally covered in a precious piece of my child’s artwork, so I only get one shot at covering it. There is no peeling the contact off and trying again. I like to think my kid’s artwork takes on a three dimensional feel after I’ve finished with it! 

I’m not really the sort of person who likes to be incompetent at anything, but in this department I am willing to admit defeat and declare that when it comes to covering books, I will always be an inadequate mother!




Are you incompetent at covering books or are you a book covering pro? Leave a comment with any advice and tips you have!



(Photo courtesy of Africa,