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      As appears fortnightly in VIP Magazine. A Trip to the Zoo

      I’ve been doing flashcards with James for a few months now. He started reacting to certain animals and I of course took this as a sure sign he was ready for The Zoo. I’d been waiting for this day since he was born to be honest. If the truth be told I’m a big kid at heart. It’s amazing to watch kids learn and grow. They look at the world with fresh eyes, mesmerised by everything that we take for granted.

      Nothing gives me greater joy than watching James recognise something, clapping his hands or indeed dancing at every given opportunity, even if it is just background music in a shop! He touches the monkey’s tail in the Usbourne book ‘That’s not my monkey’ and it’s confirmed; I was given a genius.

      We park at the Zoo. Rita, Annemarie and me giggled with excitement ready to watch the genius in action. As he passes through the zoo gates, I wait with bated breath to see what happens and then: well he did nothing really, no major signs of recognition and no screeches of excitement.This can’t be right I thought, so I put it down to shock. Yes my son had taken in so much information at home that he was simply overwhelmed.
      This got me thinking about the expectations we have of our kids. It might seem trivial but we need to have fun and enjoy the learning process. Kids all develop at different times. They will walk and talk at their own pace. Never underestimate playtime; it will naturally help your child develop touch, smell, sight, sound, coordination and much more. As a parent, please don’t compare your kids and be assured that all of us were given little geniuses and as the comedian Michael Mcintyre once said ‘have you ever seen a 10 year old crawling???’


      That’s not my monkey… A delightful series of board books aimed at very young children. They’re designed to develop sensory and language awareness. James loves the bright pictures and touching the feely patches and different textures. Reading from an early age is the greatest gift you can give your child.
      Usbourne books are available from all good bookstores €7.79

      I LOVE:

      This month i’m loving the book: ‘My First Year- your baby’s one-year record’. It’s hard to believe nearly a year has passed. Where does the time go? This book helps you keep track of all those precious memories right up until the big day. Time of birth, first words, first steps, photos and much more.
      Available in all good bookstores: €13.20 from Ebury publishing (vermillion)


      Hi Alison,
      There are so many products on the market. I had a section on my 1st pregnancy and was wondering if there was a product that was good for both scarring and stretch marks? Hannah, Galway.

      Hi Hannah,
      I used so many but Trilogy rosehip oil is by far the best. In clinical studies it has been proven to work on both scars (by 41%) and stretch marks (by 43%). At €19.95 it might seem pricey but I used to mix it with my regular Johnsons body moisturiser to make it last and it also sinks in quicker if you’re against the clock. You can also use a few drops on your face as during pregnancy your skin can become quite dehydrated. It improves moisture and also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s available in Arnotts and select pharmacies and health stores, visit


      This one’s for the Dads! There’s a great website for fathers-to-be run by Dean Beaumont, who’s a Dad of two and the only qualified male antenatal educator in the UK!! There’s an insightful blog plus all the answers to typical questions that Dads have about birth, breastfeeding and sex


      A day at the Kildare Village Outlet is great fun for all the family. Having a baby is an expensive business but Clarks will measure and fit your baby’s first shoes for a fraction of the price. There’s a great playground and even better food at Café Amelie which was very kid friendly. For more information log onto

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