Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother Aged 36.5

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother Aged 36.5

Article excerpt

We're all suffering from SAD this week - well, a variant of it anyway. Instead of Seasonal Affective Disorder we've got Seasonally Afflicted Disorder and it's bringing out the worst in us all.

I have tried explaining over and over again that there is no way Kieran will get everything on his list, or even a fraction of it. However the advertising frenzy on children's television is turning both him and Carys into avaricious monsters.

They are too young to see through the spin and so any bit of plastic tat can be turned into an object of desire.

"Oooh I want that," Carys breathes as yet another Barbie waltzes onto the screen in a cloud of special effects.

It doesn't matter that she has a boxful, just one more will make her life complete. I know from bitter experience with Kieran that the coolest boys' toy in the media campaign will be played with once and then consigned to the heap on top of his wardrobe. Still, it's either that or yet more games console games, which means he will spend even more time gazing at a small screen.

I'm so fed-up with it that if either of them were to ask for a pony I'd buy it and rejoice that at least it would get them away from the box.

Emma, meanwhile, is less avaricious, but infinitely more expensive. Her Christmas stocking can no longer be filled with cheap plastic tat because she has moved on to the pre-teen world, where she is interested in nothing that could be accused of being childish but she's not really into women's things either.

Her Christmas list is a curious mix of CDs by people I've never heard of and alarmingly unhelpful hints like "cool clothes". Now while I can just about predict what Emma will find cool, I'm certain that her grandparents can't, so I've had to give them all the easy, order-it-over-the-internet stuff, and it will be Fergus and me battling it round teenage clothes shops for the next five weeks. …

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