Full of imagination, laughter and high spirits.
Which is why you have to be a magician to keep up with them!
There are a few tricks I keep up my sleeve in my parenting bag.
I have no idea how some of them work.
But that's real magic, isn't it?
1. The Magical Countdown
'Thomas, can you put your shoes on please?'
'Tom, please put your shoes on'
'Thomas. Come on, we have to go!. Now!'
'In a minute'
'I'm going, I'm going!'
'Okay, okay! Stop counting!'
'Done! Shoes are on!'
I can't explain that one. It even works with my youngest, who won't do anything when asked first time. But as soon as I start counting? Done before I hit 4.
People always ask me, what happens when you get to one?
I've never had to.
Ethan didn't start sleeping through the night until he was three years old. You can imagine the amount of tricks and stuff we tried to get some sleep. Three years is a LONG time! He suffered from the worst night terrors, and as a result it wasn't just sleeping through the night that was an issue - just going to bed was too.
We'd never had any problems with Thomas - he was such an easy sleeper. His bedtime routine was perfect - bath, books, bed.
Ethan went through phases where it took hours to get him to sleep. Then still get up in the middle of the night. It was soul-destroying!
Eventually, his night terrors stopped and we are now getting some good sleep - thankfully - but the fear of actually going to sleep accompanied by all the things he has to do to go to sleep have become habitual. Thus we have introduced a magic thing that stops the hours of storytelling, song singing, multiple cups of milk and endless shouting from us of 'go to sleep!'
Now the boys get to go through to their room and play for as long as they like. Sounds crazy, right? Surely they'll stay up all night and never go to bed?
But no - that's the magic part. Somehow they take themselves to bed. Sometimes earlier than planned. Without general faffery. Now that IS a true magic trick. There are rules - if they fight, shout, are noisy or come out of their room, it's bed time. And it works. It works beautifully!
I love stickers. Stickers have the power to convince children of anything.
They convince kids that they can use the toilet.
They keep them quiet on long plane/train journeys.
They Commend good behaviour and can convince a child to get into a buggy.
The inventor of stickers was a wizard.
4. Money Magic
I have to be pretty magic with my finances. Two boys are constantly hungry and eat me out of house and home. And don't get me started on the little bits and pieces that add up; school meals, school disco tickets, school trips, days out with family, trips to the shops. No doubt about it, kids are expensive.
That's when I need more than a bit of magic!
Online banking with NatWest helps me to keep my head above water.
And an extra magic trick they have added to their repertoire of banking tools is their Mobile App.
With the use of my smartphone I can instantly check my balance while out and about, helping me to keep on top of my daily spending, at the touch of a button. And, it sends me text alerts too!
The Near Me service is also great for finding a cash machine while we are out and about too - we use this a lot! In this digital age we never carry cash (well, not the way we used to), so finding a cash machine when we are heading out to a fayre or farmer's market is of ultimate importance!
Setting up the mobile app was quick and easy, and once I had, I was able to add accounts to it so that if I found myself out and about without cash, I could even pay my friends back for helping me out (which was handy when I was at a fete the other day with my buddy and she spotted me £10)
I also had the option of sending the money to her mobile number (if she was a Natwest customer too!)
The most amazing trick that this mobile app can do though is to get cash from a cash machine without having my card to hand! NatWest is an account I use for savings purposes, so I tend to tap into it when we are on a day out instead of hitting the main fund. The problem is - I'm not always organised enough to have my card with me.
Which was a problem - we were at the local Medieval Fair and the kids really wanted a go on the chair swings...
No problem at all!
I simply went into my mobile app, typed in the amount I would like to withdraw and was sent a code that was valid for 3 hours.
I could the use it at any RBS, NatWest or Tesco cash machine - which was perfect for our day out - right next to a Tesco store! (I suppose that's one of the plus points of a Tesco on every high street).
It really is the little magic things that make a big difference!
*Disclaimer: I was asked to review the NatWest Mobile Banking App in conjunction with Britmums and Natwest for their promotion #mumsmagictricks All opinions (and magic tricks) are my own and are used all the time in our house!