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Going the extra mile for your kids

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:47 12 September 2018

Harper's doting mum and dad David and Victoria Beckham arrive at the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2014. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Harper's doting mum and dad David and Victoria Beckham arrive at the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2014. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Archant

Should we disapprove when we read that celebrity mum Victoria Beckham got help from a top milliner when creating an Easter bonnet for her daughter? Lynne Mortimer says no, but yes... but no

Dorothy (Charlotte Sheenan),  Scarecrow (Sam Brown) in The Wizard of Oz by Ipswich Operatic Society... costume notes for World Book Day? Picture: Gavin King PhotographyDorothy (Charlotte Sheenan), Scarecrow (Sam Brown) in The Wizard of Oz by Ipswich Operatic Society... costume notes for World Book Day? Picture: Gavin King Photography

An interview with the Beckhams in this month’s Vogue Magazine reveals that former Spice Girl, Victoria, brought in a top milliner to help with an Easter bonnet for seven-year-old, Harper.

Even when money is no object and one’s contacts book is bulging with famous names this might be regarded as extreme parenting.

Meanwhile Harper’s dad, David, accompanied her on a school trip to Tesco.

The magazine says the Beckhams have “given fans a thrilling insight into life inside one of the world’s most famous families.”

Maths legend Johnny Ball could be just the help parents need. Picture: BILL SMITHMaths legend Johnny Ball could be just the help parents need. Picture: BILL SMITH

We all do what we can for our kids and, I suppose, this is just what Victoria Beckham has done even though it errs on the side of excessive when it comes to giving ones offspring the advantage. Harper, at seven, might have been just as happy with a headband from Claire’s Accessories, adorned with silk roses made from off-cuts at the local haberdashery. To be fair, it looks as if young Harper might have had the controlling share in the creation of her bonnet.

Victoria’s friend, milliner-to-royals Stephen Jones send over the base for them to work on. What did it look like? It was made from yellow card, sprinkled with glitter and stuck with flowers, sequins and Easter Chicks.

It was entirely suitable for a little girl at primary school. We all draw on the talents of family and friends - my mum’s lemon drizzle cake was much in demand during my children’s school years.

We all do our best for our children, even when it involves using skills we do not have. How many of us have:

A bonnet at the Easton Primary School Easter service. Picture: Simon Talbot-Hurn.A bonnet at the Easton Primary School Easter service. Picture: Simon Talbot-Hurn.

• Contributed to the school fund-raising cake stall by making butterfly buns... for the first time. You go to the supermarket armed with Delia’s recipe on your mobile and collect the ingredients - flour, soft margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence, bun cases and icing sugar. Despite Delia’s foolproof instructions your cakes don’t rise. Maybe it should have been self-raising flour with a tsp of baking powder, not the wholemeal plain flour you thought would be healthier. This is serious, now what are you to do? You go back to the shop and buy a tray of ready-made cup cakes which to which you add rainbow spinkles before arranging in a cake tin. No one will notice...

• Taken the parents’ race on school sports day rather too seriously. There’s always one and if it’s not you, then it will be one of the other mums or days. They turn up in a track suit and designer trainers and begin with some warm-up stretches on the outer boundary of the school field. Then they run a circuit of the field before divesting themselves of their tracksuit to reveal designer Lycra and a toned body profile. Meanwhile the rest of the parents are either in plimsolls or kick off their shoes and run in stockinged feet. One mum runs while breastfeeding her baby. No one is surprised, therefore, when super-parent Lycra Lady/Lady wins... though it would have been nice if they’d tripped over their laces.

• Overdone in on World Book Day. The children are asked to come to school as their favourite character in children’s literature. There will be a batch of Harry Potters; a beautiful butterfly (formerly The Very Hungry Caterpillar); a Mad Hatter; a few Disney Cinderellas and various other icons of kids’ fiction. Your child has never read the Wizard of Oz but you decide to send him/her as the Scarecrow, anyway - after all, they’ve seen the film. You grab handfuls of the pet rabbit’s straw to tuck into your child’s costume. “It’s scratchy.” “Never mind,” you’ll get used to it.”

• Gone native on the school trip, which you are accompanying. As well as binoculars, bird book, first aid kit etc this will require a packed lunch and you don’t want to look like a negligent parent by filling their lunchbox with things they like (chocolate, crisps). No, you are going to set an example and everything will taste like cardboard - even your home-made, low-sugar flapjacks which have the texture of tyre rubber... and smell similar too. You tuck a sick-bag in your pocket, just in case. Then you find out it’s a trip to Tesco, a mile up the road.

Books to help with KS2 Sats. Picture: Archant LibraryBooks to help with KS2 Sats. Picture: Archant Library

• Tried to appear intelligent at the parents’ evening. You have a time slot for each subject teacher and, wishing to show a sincere interest in your child’s education, you come prepared with a list of questions. When you get back home you Google “tutors”. You’re never going to get up to speed with primary maths unless you get help. You also go online to order Carol Vorderman’s book Help Your Kids with SATs, key stage 2.

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