Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Getting It Right, Getting It Wrong

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Getting It Right, Getting It Wrong

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Hall

Paralympic athlete and gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson, 33, from Redcar, is the mother of 15-month-old Carys. She is married to Dr Ian Thompson, a research chemist.

"I feel a bit schizophrenic about being a parent. Before Carys was born, Ian and myself sat down and talked about the toys we would let Carys have and what we would do to try and give her the best start in life.

"Sometimes you think you're doing really well as a parent and sometimes you think `Sod it, I'll let her have some chocolate because she enjoys it'. At one time Carys was only going to eat organic vegetables that I had cooked and mashed up myself - but that only lasts for so long.

"We had read up on all this stuff about age-appropriate toys, like flashcards. As soon as Carys could sit up we introduced her to them, but all she does is frisbee them across the floor! I have tried really hard not to give her `girlie' toys, but she got a doll for Christmas and she cuddles it all the time.

"It really fascinates me, how you start off having all these good intentions and how, at the end of the day, Nature seems to shunt them all out of the window. Carys doesn't really like me cuddling her, so why does she love cuddling her doll?

"I don't think Ian and myself are pushy parents, but I suppose the fact we have used flashcards from the time she could sit up, you are thinking `Hang on a minute.'

"Some friends of ours are always there for their three girls and are always answering their questions and you think `Bloody hell, how can we do this? I don't know if I'm going to be able to'.

"But Carys is a happy and confident little girl who takes a great interest in everything. She goes to nursery one day a week, which I think is good for her, as she gets to mix with other children, and we have friends who look after her as well.

"Ian works nine-to-five and I train every day. I need my own space, otherwise I would go mad. I'm very good at not feeling guilty about doing things for myself. …

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