It has been forever and a day (well over a month) since FDMTG has been updated. But don't imagine that this means we haven't been busy. Although to be honest anyone who thinks a mum of four is ever not busy is clearly certifiable.
Not only is it birthday season, with four out of the six members of the FDMTG household celebrating birthdays in September and October, which means we have been up to our eyes in cake, candles and helium balloons, but I have also been representing the brand at various events.
So prepare for the plugging. Firstly I was asked (OK paid) to be a judge on the panel selecting the children to feature in the new Calpol ad. It was a surreal day a few months back when I was locked in an overheated room in a London ad agency watching children jump through hoops for the crazed casting director. Some sensibly refused to play ball, instead burying their heads in their mum's bosom or crying noisy tears of indignation while their hapless parent declared: "He's never normally shy like this", while others were surprisingly cute in the face of such adversity.
Having helped to whittle down the finalist from 24 to six, now the ad has been made with two sweet girls (one of whom was a particular favourite, but I shall keep her identity a secret to save her blushes). So well done to the winners, though as I said to the makers of Calpol on the day, surely there is no need to advertise the pink elixir? No right minded parent should need much persuasion as to its magical qualities. It is one of the few failsafe methods I have found to turn a screaming, crying, snot-coated child into a sleepy little angel I could once again contemplate loving. It's hard to imagine an easier sell.
My second outing was a little less successful, probably because it involved the children. Today I braved the tube with my two-year-old twins without the safety net of a buggy. It's not that I wanted to walk with them, but the alternative of lugging a huge double pushchair up and down stairs whilst also trying to wrangle the twins is nothing short of madness.
Surprisingly the tube journey was relatively pain free despite one change and lots of hard stares from joyless commuters who objected to the twins' breaking into the misery of their journey with their shrieks of glee on entering a tunnel or stopping at a station. But I think all the excitement of the underground wore them out, as by the time they reached our destination - the launch of a new range of In the Night Garden toys at The Rainforest Cafe, they'd had enough.
Not even the charms of Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy was enough to stem their tears when the animatronic rainforest animals kicked off an electronic cacophony of cries. All thoughts of Makka Pakka were banished by their abject terror at the 'scary monkey'. In the end their screams of 'I want to go home' became so ear shattering that I decided to cut my losses and head back to the tube.
Thankfully the boys' joy at seeing the train pull up made me realise that despite the event not living up to its promise, the day out had not been a total failure, not least because they slept for a good three hours one we finally made it back to the safety of our monkey-free house.
They did enjoy the goody bag too. No surprise there though as all my boys are chips off the old block. Just recently as I was discussing possible new careers that might actually earn me some money, as opposed to being a freelance journalist which frankly fails abysmally on that front, my eldest wailed: "You can't stop being a journalist mum, I like going to launches and getting free stuff". He's got my job sussed then.