The Eight Steps Of A Faultless Bedtime Routine

When I first became a mum I did what many a new mum does, I bought and devoured a whole heap of baby books looking for THE answers.

I didn’t want my kid up until midnight every night so nailing a bedtime routine was the priority. I was a massive subscriber to it, I purchased a multitude of ‘That’s not my avocado’ type books, handed over 30 quid for Ewan the sodding dream sheep with his lulling womb noises and spent years investing into the promise of Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath like a total numpty.


It’s three times the price of anything else because it’s ‘clinically proven’ to help babies sleep better! How do they know? Did they also test the babies with a cheap Aldi version and then interview them the next day?


Anyway I’m digressing. The point of this post was to share how I have perfected bedtime now I am an experienced *ahem* parent with over 5 years on the job. This is our foolproof routine: –

1, TV and milk – At about 6pm we begin winding down, the process starts with an argument over whether we should watch Power Rangers or Peppa Pig, follows with an argument that the milk should be milkshake and not just milk and ends in a WWF style wrestling match in which one child lies on the sofa while the other child jumps from the coffee table and lands on top of them. it’s approx a 50:50 laughter to tears ratio which sets things off beautifully.

2, A lovely bath next up we go though a two stage #FML objection to bath time.


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I Just Wanted To Say Thank You!

If you were to ask me why I started this blog my answer would be that it was just a snap decision; I was feeling a bit bored and frustrated at not being able to find a job flexible enough to fit around the kids, and considering I have always liked to write, it was something to occupy my mind.

I knew I wanted it to be honest, I read baby book after baby book in my early days of motherhood and I swear they were responsible for sending me to a pretty dark place. I didn’t plan for it to be funny and I certainly never expected so many people to read it and resonate with it.

It’s lovely, it really is. Yet  it’s also slightly nauseating if I think about it too much, because I am putting myself out there for complete strangers to review…


Annoying… yes. A bit of a dick… I can be. But the drawings are crap?!?!? WTF?! HOW VERY DARE YOU!!!

You see more the stats grow the less people seem to see that it’s just one person sitting here, X Factor on in the background, writing about her life, warts and all.

I don’t know what happens to people when they are sat safely behind computer screens, it seems to bring out the vilest of their sides. In real life if you disagree with someone or find them annoying, then for the most part smiling and politely nodding before making your excuses to leave, is enough.

On the internet however the reaction can commonly be…


And yes that was a real quote too. One of my particular favourites!

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The Potty Training Diaries

We’ve been talking about potty training our youngest for a while. He’s 2.5 and to all intents and purposes seems ready. The delay was partly down to the fact that we couldn’t be arsed, obviously there are advantages to ditching the nappies but there are also weeks of dragging around a potty and 5 pairs of trousers which make it slightly less appealing.

However the excuses were running thin on the ground and it was time to man up – we’d read Pirate Pete’s Potty a hundred times and I’d bought stashes of Minion pants (his favourite) from Primark. There was nothing left to do but get on with it…

Day 1.

After taking off his morning nappy I show him his very exciting new pants. However instead of making him happy they just make him VERY angry.minionHe right out refuses to put them on! I manage to negotiate with him and in the end he agrees to put on a pair of his brothers’s old pants with footballs on them. Kids are weird.

The morning goes well with no accidents, he wees on the potty once at home and comes back from a trip to the park, dry. I start feeling a bit smug.

My sister and her girlfriend come down to visit us in the afternoon and J makes a lovely lasagne for us all to enjoy.

And then the boy does a massive wee all over his chair and the floor.


‘Sorry about the wee I hope it doesn’t put you off your lunch!’

It all goes steadily downhill from there.

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Doing Time At Soft Play

monkeyIf you were to ask my opinions on soft play I’m not quite sure what they would be – I neither love it or completely hate it. Like most activities aimed at young kids it simply helps fill up the day until you get to gin time the bedtime hour.

We go to soft play for a number of reasons:-

1. It’s raining
2. They are destroying the house
3. I want a latte
4. They have chicken nuggets and I can’t be bothered to make dinner
5. I fancy a bit of adult conversation (even if it’s just saying thanks to the guy who puts the shoes in boxes)
6. The boys have got dirty stinking colds and it only seems fair to share their snot back into the germ pool that has cost us £400 in pointless nursery fees so far this year
7. It makes happy go on their faces
8. All of the above

We have a few soft play options near us, The nicer posher ones that cost about £50 to get in. And the one round the corner which is a bit old, a bit dirty and a bit violent. I usually go with the latter, cos that’s just how we roll.

I’ve observed over the years that there are two types of parents at soft play:-

Category 1, The parents of older kids who read Grazia, look at their phones, drink steaming hot coffee and deserve to die.



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Looooooong Car Journeys With Kids (or not).

Drive to the south of France they said, it will be fun they said, the kids will be fine watching their DVD players they said…

THEY be bloody idiots.

It’s one of those running jokes isn’t it… kids in cars constantly pestering their parents with a tirade of are we nearly there yets But you don’t quite realise how true it actually is until you have kids and you find yourself in that very situation.

And you reason… well of course they are going to ask, they get bored, their sense of time is all out of whack, 5 minutes is like 5 MILLION GAZILLION YEARS in kid world. But you don’t quite envisage them asking it 10 times whilst you are still loading up the bloody car…

nearlythereI don’t mean to be funny guys but…


But it’s going to be ok, because like I say, we have those DVD player headset things which are going to make everything fine. And no, before anyone asks if I’d rather engage with my children by playing games like eye spy, I would not. I don’t want to play eye spy because they can’t play it properly yet and I get pissed off spending 15 minutes trying to guess something beginning with ‘L’ which turns out to be ‘Mummy’s orange handbag’ that I haven’t even got with me. Gah.

(Although I must admit that the littlest saying ‘I spysy with my spiedsey eyseys’ does almost make it worth it.)

So anyway the DVD players were to provide the perfect solution, or at least they would have…


If they could just make their fricking minds up!

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I Have Boysy Boys – Should I Be Ashamed?

I have two boys and do you know what – they are ‘boysy’ boys. I’m not saying that because I think it’s right or cool. I’m saying that because it’s just the way it is.

They like climbing, smashing, grabbing, wrestling, jumping, shouting and consistently talking about poo, just like some girls and just like a lot of other boys. It’s not something I have encouraged, in fact I have always supplied them with a wide range of toys, but the dolls buggy we bought is used as a battering ram and if I were to ask them to make me some dinner at their toy kitchen I would most likely receive a wooden carrot in my eye socket. Ouch.

I remember vividly the day I took my eldest to a small zoo when he was 3 years old, as an animal lover I had hoped he would share in my passion but as we moved from enclosure to enclosure he was largely disinterested, until suddenly full of excitement I saw him run towards a fence and press his face up right against the bars. What incredible animal could have finally captured his attention I wondered?!digers

The mechanical, non alive ones, building a new enclosure for real animals that he would consider pointless… because they don’t have wheels. There is not much more that I can do now except hold my hands up and say…


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Today You Are Five!

Dearest boy, today you are half a decade old and it’s scaring me a bit. If I click my fingers will you turn 10? You see the older you get the more time seems to fly.

But as much as I sometimes wish that I could slow life down, everyday I enjoy getting to know you more and more. This year has been about big changes and big milestones, starting school, riding a bike, falling in love! You’ve done so well for one so small but there are elements of sadness about it too, suddenly everything you once loved being declared babyish. All around us are scattered and broken remnants or your past obsessions…

Age 1. Me
Age 2. Fireman Sam
Age 3. Postman pat
Age 4. Lightning McQueen
Age 5. Darth Vader

I’ve been ditched for the dark side already!

At five you like – Saying everything is ‘Epic’, talking in an American accent, making guns, swords and weapons out of anything vaguely stick shaped, climbing, jumping, shouting, performing your fighting moves to anyone who will agree to watch, space, castles, learning about your body, talking about poo, building crazy stuff out of lego, cheese sandwiches, your top bunk, hot chocolate with squirty cream, being chased, Power Rangers and chicken korma or ‘Mummy’s curry’ as you like to call it.

You really don’t like – having to go home from anywhere, getting dressed, learning phonics, rain, spiders, tidying up, sitting still, vegetables, going to bed, clothes shopping, anything being thrown away (even a broken toaster), the sea when it’s really rough, the dark, bad dreams and your brother smashing up your lego.

You are a rough and tumble boy, there is no denying it, but you have a very sensitive side too. When you go shopping with your daddy you love picking a bunch of flowers to give me when you come home (he is teaching you well). You tell me how lovely I look in a certain dress or how beautiful I am, and I feel it too because yours is one of the only opinions that matter now.

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How To *Lazily* Entertain Your Kids This Summer!

For those of you who follow me on facebook you might have seen a post I shared with a top parenting tip form Candice Pearce.


The reaction was immense and as such I decided to ask you all to comment with suggestions of how to cheaply and lazily entertain your kids this summer; because while day trips are all well and good, sometimes you just want to knock about at home wearing yesterday’s bean juice encrusted pyjama bottoms, saving your hard earned pennies on something (gin) someone (you) will actually appreciate.

DRUM-ROLL here we go with some of the top suggestions…

Painting with water

Kirstie Baxter’s was one of the very first comments, she could hardly wait to share her tip – ‘Bucket of water and a paint brush! My son painted all of the garden fence for us the other day!’ Minimal effort and no mess, it ticks all the boxes for me! Sarah Evans agreed adding ‘You must occasionally tell them how fabulous it looks (whilst sat in a chair with something chilled).’ Quite right Sarah!

Still not convinced? Check out Sian Leanne Smith’s little girl contentedly ‘painting’ her car whilst mummy snoozes behind her shades. ‘If only I had someone to bring me wine and food…’ she says. All in good time Sian! Maybe when she’s 5.


Fruitless tasks

It seems we are all a fan of painstakingly pointless and time consuming activities for kids! Amanda Frankin’s idea is Getting the little man to fill up the padding pool using his toy watering can… hours of fun!’ This is especially good if like Rachel Jane Wood you ‘cut a small hole in the paddling pool so it never fills.’ Sabotage. I like it!

There’s more! Sian Drinkwater suggests Collecting gravel stones in 3 buckets – sorted by size and colour. Mummy then dumps them back in the same place after bedtime.’ and Amy McGann chimes in with Trimming the grass with child proof scissors.’ 

Utter genius Lorna Beth Jarvis admits she Sent the kids out to our unkempt garden to search for 4 leaf clovers… told them I was so certain they wouldn’t find one that I would buy the first to find one a DS! They searched for an hour! Ha!’

Evil parenting at it’s best!

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Kids On A Plane – A Survivors Account

It’s been nearly a month since we took our first ever plane trip with 2 children and I think I feel ready to share it with you now.

OK here goes…

We arrived at the airport a good 2 hours before our flight leaving plenty of time to leisurely make our way though security and have breakfast before boarding. However I hadn’t considered that 2 hours only feels leisurely if you are travelling alone, with kids it’s a totally different ball game.

Factoring in the bag drop, car seat drop, monumental tantrums, toilet trips and lost comforters we were seriously running low on time. I stressfully grabbed coffees at Starbucks in an attempt to keep our ‘we only had 3 hours sleep and want to die!’ thoughts at bay but with minutes to get to our gate, way too many bags/children to carry and only two hands I had to very reluctantly chuck them straight in the bin.


Luckily we made it to the plane on time and flipped a coin for who got to sit next to who. Winner got the four year old, loser got the two year old. Turns out four year old’s are pretty awesome to sit next to on planes, seeing their excitement and wonder at the world has got to be one of the best bits of parenting. Even if they do end up making you feel pretty stupid…

how fly

Sitting next to a two year old on a plane is errr… interesting?! Actually sorry, it just sucks.

no seatbelt

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School – One Year Down.

I’m in a little bit of shock right now because I’m sure it was only yesterday when my biggest boy started school and then all of a sudden it’s the last day of term before duh duh duh SUMMER!

Like most parents of school starters around the country I took a picture of F on his first day looking proud and pristine in his new school uniform. A lot has changed since then, he’s in trainers because he’s ruined two pairs of shoes, the t-shirts are all greying and covered in strange orange stains and yeh, I don’t really do any ironing except a half arsed go over with my straighteners if it’s all looking particularly crumpled. 

He looks scruffy, but who can’t pull off scruffy with a cheeky grin? The cheeky grin reveals he’s happy and melts away all the worries I had about him starting school at just turned 4.

If you were to ask me how he was getting on it would be a tricky one to answer for I have, for the most part, absolutely no idea what goes on between the hours of 9am – 3.15pm; apart from Power Ranger/Ninja Turtle battles which i’m assuming (hoping) happen during break time. One of the longest conversations I’ve ever had with him about an event that happened at school was this:

Me: So did anything exciting happen at school today?
Him: Yes.
Me: (EXCITEDLY) Ooh what?
Him: There was a poo in the playground!
Me: Oh right… like a bird poo or something?!
Him: No like a boy poo. A boy did a poo in the playground!
Me: Lovely.

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