Life with bolters


I tried my best to be a chilled out mother, to be honest it’s still the perception I like to give off.

In a lot of respects I am, they can eat Maccie D’s and watch inappropriate stuff on the i-Pad. I am fairly confident i’m not a complete tw*t.

But there is one big obsticle in my way – I have spawned children that like to bolt. It was ok with one because I could run after him.  I could scoop him up laughing and then slag him off, all the while secretly loving his crazy little ways.

When I was pregnant with the second I never gave a toss about the gender, just that my belly contained one that was a bit more, um, static.

It didn’t. F*cksticks.

I feel a bit bad describing my second experience of being a mum as ground-hog day but it was, so…

Same thing again. Only now there were two and I was, and still remain, well and truly screwed. Let them loose and like repelling magnets off they go in opposite directions, completely trashing my chilled out mum rep.

At this point it’s necessary to weigh up which one to hunt down and pointlessly reprimand, the little one always wins due the the larger one having at least a small level of common sense. Once I’ve pinned him down I drag him about while he screams, shouting for the other one, who despite often being in earshot will completely ignore me. It’s hard to put down in words just HOW MUCH FUN this is.

Often the game ends when someone comes up and taps me on the shoulder…


I find the summer is the hardest because I have to watch picnics happening. Actual proof that other people do have children that sit. There they are in all their glory, rubbing their sitty children evidence in my face.


*Please note I don’t actually go around drinking gin in the daytime and shouting at random families, that bit is just a fantasy*

Of any issues or obstacles I have with motherhood this is without doubt the most difficult. I know that every child has their challenges and that wet lettuces can also be rather irritating. I do take some delight seeing parents trying to shake children off their legs because they won’t go down the slide on their own…

But at the end of the day you can ignore the whining of a clingy child, however you can’t ignore the probable death of a wayward one.

And you can’t really have a conversation… anything to eat… a normal heart rate… or just, sanity.


Still, there is always gin.

p.s I welcome stories from the parents of needy kids, they honestly do make me feel a bit better and I would very gladly be proven wrong :)



P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


40 thoughts on “Life with bolters

  1. Tales of a Twin Mum

    Haha I’ve missed reading your blog while we’ve been in moving hell. I’m afraid it’s a boy thing. Try again for a girl this time and you’ll see what I mean. Boys have no fear and it’s an unwritten law that they have to run off in opposite directions. When they get to 5 I’m told you can usually shout them back with the promise of chocolate. I’ll tell you next month if that works :-) In the meantime there’s gin. Cheers! X

    1. Katie Post author

      Cheers! So 5, i have another year and then hopefully all will be ok. Will hold you to that then ;) x

  2. Camel Lady

    I’m afraid it isn’t necessarily a gender thing. I have a girl child and both my children often bomb burst at the most inappropriate times, usually when I’m at my most tired and cannot muster the energy to cantor to their rescue. It’s like Sophie’s choice having the decide which child I rescue first. I normally go for the boy. Mainly because I have to rescue another person’s child from him whilst screeching “Just stay the fuck there” at the girl.

    1. Katie Post author

      Yep i know a couple of girls that are just as bad although most girls seem to be a bit happier sitting reading books and stuff, i want one of those ones ;)

  3. Life at the Little Wood

    Oh Katie I so relate to this! When I had three under five, parks were my actual nemesis. A place of utter torture. How the hell do you concentrate to push a baby on the swing without one of the others falling down a slide or attempting the monkey bars on the over 10s bit??! It’s like Challenge Anneka for mums. I lost a stone in weight purely racing about. Take heart though – they get bigger and marginally more sensible! Fab post, as always xxx

  4. Student OAP

    I have both sexes and my boy was less scarper-y than the girls so I think it’s just karma – I must have been Pol Pot in a former life.
    Mine do all the stuff you mention and take it further by pushing other (whingy clingy Mummy I changed my mind about the zip wire-type) kids out of the way to probable injury and the fury of other parents. My 2 year old girl wont hold my hand on stairs that she runs down at full speed and she obv pushes all careful kids out of the way while she flails…
    I could go on and on but she is biting the edges of a mirror as we speak so I should prob sort that out.
    I’ll just say that I suspect that ‘sitty’ or kids that stay by their serene(smug) parents are cyborgs and are only given to parents who just can’t cope (drink) like we do with bolters.Or perhaps they weren’t formerly Pol Pot.

  5. Samira

    Haha. I’m so glad I’m not the only one. My one year old boy NEVER stops moving. ALWAYS on the go getting up to something! We have to see it as a positive thing, because they’re challenging, adventurous little people ha :) xx

  6. Dean of Little Steps

    I can honestly relate and to think I only have one! Little T seems a little bit more “mature” now ever since she started big-school. Ha! I laugh at that word – mature, as if she’s ready to move out and conquer the world! Hahaha. Wouldn’t that be great though? ;) So yep, definitely not the only one. PS Love the new look of your blog. xx

    1. Katie Post author

      I seriously bow down to people who have three little ones – how do you do it when you only have two hands?!

  7. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    I can’t tell you how many times I yelled “Hey! Catch that kid!” or “Stop that kid!!” or the one time some guy I hadn’t seen in about 3 years “LEE! Catch that red shirt headed your way!”

    I thought, I’ll pick him up from daycare and we will hit the park first and let him work off some energy before we head home and I make supper. Which meant I was in a skirt, hose and heels. On a playground. With a mixture of rocks and dirt and grass.

    I ruined a good many pair of shoes running after mine!

  8. Notmyyearoff

    Oh GOSH Really???!! Z is a complete bolter – he never ever ever sits still. Always jumping off stuff or running at lightning speed or skidding across the floor or running into walls. My cousin has two boys that sit down ALL the time!!! I thought, statistically that if we ever have a second then we’re owed a much calmer sitter downer. You know, like the ones that sit and colour instead of running straight into someone’s crotch and the like.

  9. Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork

    This will make you feel better: I have a wet lettuce who is also a bolter. Seriously. He clings to my legs when he should be bolting to his heart’s content (i.e. on the playground), but suddenly turns all Mr Scarper when he should be sitting still (i.e. during anything that involves eating) or at least walking nicely beside me. I have NEVER understood how other parents with Smalls do picnics. I’ve given up.

  10. Mark

    I feel your pain. We’re having a lull in the bolting at the moment. Tis’ only a lull, I know them too well, false sense of security then I’ll be chasing them across postcode borders.

  11. Sophie

    You see my kids are a mixture of both! They’ll
    sit still while we enjoy a picnic in the park or
    a meal in the restaurant, but they also have lots
    of freedom when we go to the park or the woods
    where I just let them run wild so long as their actions aren’t directly adversely affecting other
    people’s kids! I feel I could without judgement
    on either occurrence as I’m not smug about the fact with have a “posh” sit down picnic or meal for an hour /my kids aren’t abnormal wet blankets for doing so and at the same time I could without other parents flapping because my 2.5 daughter and my 19 month old son are confident climbers! So they’re just a mix of adventure and confidence, some say as a result of my laid -back progressive parenting! I put it down to luck :)

  12. Carie

    I think this is why parks with little rails around them are my favourite things, they can only run so far!! And the sitting for picnics, that’s bribery and corruption with pork pie if it’s my eldest two!!

  13. Fiona

    Absolutely agree. I have two of the boy kind, five and two. Utter terrors, the pair of them. And then for some reason we decided that a mountain dog puppy was just the thing out family needed and now i have to leg it after him as well. I adore your blog, was thinking of starting one of my own, if only to rant and release steam and the screen, but it would never be a patch on yours. I am currently sinking a glass of wine (no gin in the house).


    My oldest was a bolter. One of my fondest (!) memories is of running – 7 months pregnant – down a busy, dangerous, central London street looking for him, after he’d run out of the midwife clinic and I’d somehow got stuck in the door with my buggy. I found him trying to board a bus, being shouted at by a drunk. The joys of parenthood….thank GOD my second’s not so bolty…I don’t know how you do it. Do you have to staple them to your sides before you leave the house?

  15. Katie @mummydaddyme

    Hahahaha loving the new header first of all. And this made me laugh as usual. Unfortunately I am ‘one of those’ mothers whose children don’t bolt. They always stay near me and I never have to worry about them pegging it off, although LL has potential to sway towards the dark side. I do have friends with bolters though- actual nightmare! x

  16. mummyofboygirltwins

    Yep! I have bolters. Twins that bolt!!!! Help me. They both run and fast and in different directions. This made me snort!!! Picnics?! Not for my family. Unless I want to sit there on my own while the twins run away and throw themselves into the nearest duck pond. Hilarious, as always. Jess x

  17. Suddenly Mummy

    At one point I was fostering 2yo boys 9 months apart in age. They were major bolters. I lost count of the number of times one of them was brought back by a tutting stranger. One even escaped from the house and ran up the street! Tried reins but they kept throttling themselves. In the end I just resorted to the double buggy a lot – all the time actually. Picnics, walks, shopping trips – all can be done while strapped in the buggy!

  18. Tammy D

    Amen to this! I spent last Sunday with an angry knot in my stomach mostly hating the people who didn’t properly warn me off having children in the first place!! Never again am I going to be able to sit in a pub garden for a scrummy lunch and cold glass of vino (certainly feels like that anyway) my youngest (girl) WILL NEVER stay still, runs to everywhere she shouldn’t be then kicks and screams when we try to bring her back to safety (the table harbouring the vino!) This did not go down well with all the local country folk trying to enjoy a quiet drink and my stretched, keep falling down boob tube (from wrestling with her)only further added to my stress. Needless to say we left, leaving behind a trail of screams, a flash of boobs and 2 UNFINISHED drinks……….

  19. brummymummyof2

    I am lucky bab I don’t have bolters. But you know what I have??? Followers. So if you have a bolter and I have a follower? We would be screwed on a day out. Mine see one run and it is like a full on chain reaction. It is an utter nightmare!!! And the leash I brought for my boy. Does not work in the case of the rabid following. Sigh. Kids be cray xxx

  20. Steph @ Sisterhood (and all that)

    Oh the person in the park saying ‘is that your child wielding a large stick/teetering at the top of something high/making a break for it and encouraging all the other kids to follow?’. YES, YES IT IS. And they know it is. I’m usually up to my elbows in the younger ones crappy nappy on a park bench at that point. Fab post, and good luck, it has to get easier soon…doesn’t it?! X

  21. Suzanne

    Loved reading this. I have 2 little monkey’s (2 and 3 1/2) who MUST go in opposite directions as soon as we leave the house. If they happen to stay together I will then need to referee what ever scuffle they get into with each other. totally relate to the chasing after the littlest whilst screaming for the other…mine are a boy and girl but the little girl has NO fear! I cannot turn my back for a second. Love your posts x

  22. Jude

    Ha! This is great! I too have bolters. Two of the buggers. I was lulled into a false sense of security when I found out the second was a girl but actually she’s even worse than my my son. Her special skill is bolting upwards. Onto table tops, kitchen units, too-high climbing frames, even random builders ladders given the chance. Great to hear I’m not the only one who hasn’t sat down for 4 years. xxx

  23. older mum in a muddle

    I’ve been quite lucky as Little A doesn’t tend to bolt: she’s always been quite cautious. Tricky though having two that run in the opposite directions! Love your new look by the way and your illustrations! X

  24. Kerrie McGiveron

    Aaah. This is all pretty new to me – ours don’t bolt. Rosie is a bit of a runner, but then she is only 18 months, so she has no sense of danger but Alice is very sensible and ‘proper’ – she asks to hold our hand (not clingy – just ‘proper’) – and Rosie is showing the same inclination really. Don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect specimens of child ha ha – they have their own issues of course.
    Bolters. Bloody hell. I bet that’s a nightmare, Gin. I actually hope that you do go up to picnic-go-ers with a bottle of Gin in your hand. If you did it to me I would say “giz a bit.” :) x

  25. Mummy to boyz

    Why do they always go in opposite directions? O always bolts towards another family and attaches himself to them! Having two kids has definitely made me drink more ha ha xx

  26. Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely

    Can we stop describing them as bolters and opt for ‘brave and adventurous’ instead? My two run and very fast considering they have little legs. And yes, in opposite directions too. Both of them refused to go in a pram from 18 months old so I’ve had years to contend with this now. Picnics taken in our garden seem to be the best option. Other than that, we go to the zoo and eat while we walk around. Tis this only way!

  27. Eeh Bah Mum

    Wanted to save this one up til I had proper time to read it. Mine are exactly the same. Have been since the womb – they climb, they jump, they run away. In the café the other day my daughter completely disappeared. I was out in the street panicking – she had taken herself to the toilet. As you do when you are 4. A friend of mine actually said – I hope my baby isn’t like yours. Thing is our children are funny, independent and a little bit reckless and honestly Katie I have no idea where on earth they get that from. Must be their Dads. kx

  28. Not A Frumpy Mum

    And this is why parks scare the Bejesus out of me and I only have one! O is generally a bit of a wimp, unless it comes to slides and then he’ll throw himself down anything, regardless of size, with no regard for safety.
    Love the new header Katie xxx

  29. Jess Paterson

    Mine are just the same, and now I have three, it’s triple the fun! Those damn picnics! My NCT group are all, let’s go to a really massive public space and have a picnic, and I am forced to invite them all to my house where I know i can impose total lockdown. Great post Katie! xx

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