Nursery staff give working mother guilt trip. Perfect wines to accompany Christmas dinner. Five fab “can’t miss” festive activities. New owners for “Its a Kids Thing”

Dear NappyValleyNetter, 

Christmas card wars have broken out in NappyValleyNet Towers.

My wonderful husband (the one who once sent a fake card from a teacher calling my son “stinky”)  discovered a school photo, thrown away by my eldest, in the kitchen bin. It was a free sample of a recent rather formal school portrait which perhaps didn’t capture his best side.

As opposed to having a soothing word and telling him that the photo was a dodgy one-off, my foolish husband scanned it through an “App” called Touchnote and spam-posted Christmas cards to our entire family, my son included, with this photo on the front.

There was some holly and a little fake snow but to be honest that just made it worse.

The cards arrived last week and reactions have been mixed.

Some relatives are a little surprised at our choice of photo, some think I’m the world’s worst mother and others have been digging out unflattering photos of Mr NVN and I to send back in their own cards in a show of support of my son.

As a result every morning the postman brings an avalanche of mail with my family as the main focus but in poses straight out of “Awkward Family Photos”.

I would never have believed it possible that I could dread the arrival of the postman in the week before Christmas, but this really does appear to be an early Christmas gift from Mr NVN.


Just for Christmas week we’ve combined our regular “Monday Round-Up” and “Thursday Whats-On” emails into one festive offering…

Mum2monkey works for a City management consultancy. She wonders if the lack of women presenting at a recent works event is unconscious sexism or could it be more planned? (click here)

In the same subject, Sparklyk would love some employment advice, her boss has just made her redundant and she would love to know what are her rights? (click here)

Now this IS a Christmassy post, Editrix would love to know if Santa at Hobbledown is worth a visit? (click here). It’s the real Santa, of COURSE he’s worth a visit!!!

Still with Christmas, Petal wonders what she should cook for Christmas with so many relatives visiting? it’s not the big lunch she’s worried about, it’s all the other meals (click here).

Our friends at Bordeaux Undiscovered have been thinking along similar themes, in a recent article they suggested a ton of wines to go with various Christmas feasts (click here). They had me at wine!

This is not such a Christmassy post, did you know the creche at Balham leisure centre has permanently closed? (click here)

Superunknown is getting a guilt trip from the from a teacher at her little one’s pre-school. Can you suggest a more “working mum friendly” nursery? I’d discuss the issue with the teacher before swapping nurseries, sounds like she needs a little festive spirit! (click here)

Could a nursery already be full for the 2018 intake? SW11 can’t believe it but it really could be true! (click here).

Eddie Catz have acquired “It’s a Kids Thing” the popular Earlsfield softplay centre (click here). Congratulations all round!

You know the Dogfather? That wonderful local dog-walker and sitter? He has a couple of spaces left for canines this Christmas! Thanks for posting Mr DF! (click here).

Abbeville would love to form a Wandsworth Common mother’s meet-up group in the New Year – interested? (click here).

Sticking with Wandsworth Common, our lovely friends at the Skylark have posted details of their Christmas opening dates. We’ll see you there for a festive hot chocolate! (click here).

And in travel news, LFamily would love to take four year old skiing, can you suggest a destination for a three day trip? (click here).

Jemina is looking at the Floreat School for her little one – good idea? (click here)

And sticking with schools, MM wonders if the Good School’s Guide is worth the money? (click here).

Last week we hosted an aupair and nanny Christmas meet-up on Northcote Road. Thanks to Ayrton Bespoke we were able to offer our lovely carers free cocktails, thanks Ayrton! (click here)

Teddy’s Tune is new to Nappy Valley and sounds like fun. Theme specific music and singing classes operate out of Wandsworth Prep. and they’ve posted details of their 2016 classes. Welcome and good luck! (click here).

Did you know NappyValleyNet has a dedicated property section powered by Primelocation? We have every local house and flat for sale mapped out against school catchment areas. You can search by catchment area, by location and if you use one of our four local estate agency partners to sell your home you could see it in this email, take a look! (click here)


Check out these four homes from our Preferred Property Partners this week 

Nursery staff give working mother guilt trip Nursery staff give working mother guilt trip  

For sale with Hamptons International is a 4-bedroom detached Grade II listed Italian-style family home, blending Georgian features with contemporary style and with a walled garden, off-street parking and garaging. (click here for more details)

For sale with Douglas & Gordon is a 5-bedroom family house tucked away on one of the quietest streets in the Nightingale Triangle, detached and with a large garden, off-street parking and the potential to extend. (click here for more details)

For sale with Marsh & Parsons is a 5-bedroom Victorian house in the heart of the Telford Conservation Area of Streatham Hill, with a stunning 77ft garden and off-street parking for up to three cars. (click here for more details)

To rent with Rampton Baseley is a 4-bedroom Victorian family house set ‘Between the Commons’ and within easy reach of Northcote Road and Clapham Junction, in immaculate decorative order with an extended kitchen, a 34ft garden and a good cellar for storage. (click here for more details)


And now for a sackfull of festive fun activity ideas!

It’s not Christmas without a panto, and we have the home of London pantomime right here in our midst at the New Wimbledon Theatre.  This year it’s Peter Pan, so let you and yours be whisked away to Neverland with a good dollop of fairy dust, Hollywood star Vernon Troyer (aka Mini Me from Austin Powers) and another star from a little closer to home, Marcus Brigstocke. Playing until 10th January and selling fast…(click here for more details)

Or if you’re after a bellyful of laughs but not a panto, then head to Peter Pan Goes Wrong on Shaftesbury Avenue.  Recommended for children aged 8 and up, the original cast of the West End’s hit comedy The Play That Goes Wrong returns in J M Barrie’s classic Peter Pan.  Brace yourself for technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes.  I’ve heard it’s sidesplittingly funny and the children will laugh as much as you, which is always fab! (click here for more details)

Back to Wimbledon and it’s Beauty and the Beast at the Polka Theatre.  Suitable for children aged from 6 to 12, it’s the magical tale of Belle’s brave adventure to the Beast’s mysterious castle, where they strike up a great friendship to the sounds of laughter and music.  A brilliant Christmas holiday treat. (click here for more details)

Who can resist the opening, “Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three…”?  That very brilliant Julia Donaldson story Stick Man is live on stage, perfect for toddlers aged 3 and up, although those aged 12 months and over are able to sit on laps for free!  Packed with puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves, it sounds like a lively and fun version of this lovely family tale. (click here for more details)

It’s always good to have a Scrooge somewhere in the Christmas celebrations, and surely there’s none better than Jim Broadbent in A Christmas Carol, recommended for those aged over 10 unless they’re brave and you’re happy.  This is Charles Dickens’ classic story of greed, grief, ghoulish ghosts and eleventh hour redemption, with characters like Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and Mr Fezziwig brought to life in an imaginative adaptation. (click here for more details)

You and yours might very well be feeling inspired by Tim Peake, so ride high on that rocket and head to the Science Museum for Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age.  It’s the most significant collection of Russian spacecraft and artefacts ever to be shown in the UK, including capsules and gadgets that cosmonauts – and pioneering space dogs – needed to live in space.  Fascinating stuff for little brains. (click here for more details)

The Natural History Museum is always brilliant for a school holiday visit, with galleries filled with fascinating facts and creatures that will have their eyes popping and plenty of family activities, not to mention ice skating until 3rd January!  From the awesome dinosaurs to the great blue whale, there’s so much to see for free, and don’t miss other exhibitions, including The Wildlife Photographer of the Year and a new 3D virtual reality Great Barrier Reef Dive, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, no less.  Inspiring. (click here for more details)

And just around the corner it’s the Victoria & Albert Museum which has a constant stream of family events from Hands-On Exhibits for the over 5s to Back Packs for up to 12s or an Agent Animal bag for the under 5s.  Choose from 9 different adventures – Curious Ceramics, An Adventure in China, Middle Eastern Marvels or Time Traveller. And from Monday 28th December for a week, you’ll find Family Art Fun inspired by a Victorian Christmas with a contemporary twist. Brilliant fun for inquisitive children! (click here for more details)

All aboard the London Transport Museum for all sorts of family fun this holidays. There are Storytime and Singalong sessions before and after Christmas, as well as Creative Workshops where they’ll make a magical snow globe.  For 0-7s there’s the fabulous All Aboard Playzone, where they’ll be able to sit in the driver’s seat of a real bus, make announcements, repair a mini Tube train or have a go at busking! (click here for more details)


Phew, that is quite a list and it’s almost everything I want to write.

But not quite.

Before I go I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas. NappyValleyNet is nothing without it’s users and I hope you all have a fantastic holiday. For a small minority of you, however, I know that the next few days may be extremely tough so if you’re struggling to cope please don’t forget that we’re here if you want to talk. Tell us what’s getting you down and there will be over sixty five thousand local parents willing to listen.




Annabel & the NappyValleyNet team xx

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