The tea set from Jamm Toys arrives, appropriately, as I am teaching NG about etiquette. She has just picked her nose and wiped it on the edge of NC’s trousers and I have to do something quick before her brother becomes a Bogey Man.
I look her in the eye. “When I was small and naughty, my father would say, “what if royalty came to tea? What would they think?”
Rack off, 11-yr old me had thought (I was heavily into Neighbours at the time). The Queen would never come to our house for tea. We’ve got three cats; what would the Corgis do? So asking this of my 2yr old daughter seems a bit hypocritical and, to be fair, I am not sure NG knows what royalty is.
“What is royalty?” asks NG.
“People like Queens and Kings. They love having a proper cup of tea with a proper tea set. Like this one.”
She is intrigued when she sees the box. After we’ve ooh-ed and aah-ed about the fact that lids come off, etc. and she’s laid all the pieces out on her rug, she looks at me thoughtfully.
“Maybe,” I say. “Let’s see.”
We get NG’s stuffed rabbits out of her bed and plonk them in front of the tray. Their little noses
quiver in anticipation but they are remarkably restrained when they see the painted gaiety in front of them, so I don’t think we need worry about their table manners.
The set really is beautiful, with gorgeous wooden crockery, buns, a tray (that would be quite useful in my kitchen) and spoons with painted detail. Jamm Toys supplies quality wooden toys from the award winning UK toy designer, Indigo Jamm and the retro, sustainable quality of the flower tea set (a heart design is also available) is just as appealing to parents as toddlers. I can vaguely imagine Enid Blyton-era parents giving their children the same sort of tea set decades ago – a very good thing in my book.
NG encourages her rabbits to establish a hardcore tea addiction pretty quickly. Wooden cups, the milk jug and cupcakes accompany us to the swings, the bath and to feed the ducks. When we get in the car, Mummy rabbit brings the sugar bowl.
When I ask NG what her favourite part of the tea set is, she says the milk jug but I think it’s actually the cupcakes, as I catch her trying to eat one under her duvet before I switch the lights out.
“What would the Queen say if she saw you doing that?” I ask, mock-shocked.
“She’d be happy,” NG replies. “‘Cos I am sharing with Daddy rabbit. And ‘cos my tea set is so lovely.”
I think she might be right.
KEY TO CHARACTERS
Characters are abbreviated as follows:
NW – not William (husband and father)
NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and a half year old)
NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and four month old)
NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)