The Hunger Games (for pre-schoolers)

Hunger games (for preschoolers)

As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day a tweet from a fellow blogger caught my eye (and threw it back). Bloody Bing right? Initially I thought that Dave off of The Dadventurer was talking about the search engine but actually he was, of course, referencing the Mark Rylance-endorsed Cbeebies classic all about Bing Bunny. This triggered off a few responses slating other characters we love to hate and I suddenly had this lightbulb moment: what if Bing Bunny was picked for The Hunger Games? He would, of course be up against the likes of Peppa, Topsy and Tim and the Tweenies.

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The Softplay Diaries: Lord of the Flies

Savage softplay

Every Friday afternoon since JJ was about 2 we have been meeting up with one or two of his (and my) NCT friends at one softplay or another. This initially seemed like a good idea the day we realised that we could no longer meet up round each others houses for tea and cake  for fear of having a mob of mental toddlers trashing everything that we held dear.

Over the years it has been a mixed bag. The more sensible amongst us dropped out of the equation the day big school kicked in for fear of ensuing tiredness later on – the kind that might lead to unhealthy amounts of gin being administered (to us, not them) – but the rest of us ploughed on, aware of the fact that this is the one guaranteed time in our weeks when we can connect, let off steam and get, well, tea and sympathy essentially, whilst keeping one eye on the giant, multi-coloured, insecure padded cell out of which a small child is occasionally ejected, sometimes attached to an enormous yellow triangle or launching random ball pit missiles at a younger sibling.

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It’s the fort that counts…

Unexpected FortsThe other day I was alerted to just how bad a mother I actually am. My six year old had decided to play an impromptu game of hide and seek (there’s nothing like a small boy flying out at you from a dark corner when you’re least expecting it) and found his way down the side of the sofa in our back room (which doubles as a general dumping ground – lets not even mention the urinal in the corner). It wasn’t long before he re-appeared excitedly wielding a shiny white box with brightly coloured pictures on the side. “Mummy, what’s this, can we open it?!” he gushed as his little brother got in on the act, squealing with delight at the suggestion of *new toys*. “Put that back now!” I snapped – it was essentially a baby toy for 18 months plus which I’d picked up in a sale a few weeks ago to save for a friend’s son at Christmas.

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The Mediocre Blog Awards

The MBAs

Firstly, let me just say, I don’t write an award-worthy blog, I know that and I’m under no illusions about it. But I do love my blog and I love blogging – over the past two years it’s become a huge part of who I am. So when the MAD (Mum and Dad) blog awards took place last week and my newsfeeds began filling up with pictures of some fabulous ‘compatriots’ (for want of a better word) being pampered, treated to a gourmet three course meal, and showered with praise and adulation for doing some of the kind of stuff I do (but better), I was thrilled for them – but – I was also deflated. I get the feeling that I may be the only person willing to say this publicly, because, let’s face it – there is a huge stigma attached to admitting that you feel disappointed in the face of other peoples’ success. A lot of people would rather resort to trying to tear others down – jealousy is the kryptonite that trolls harness to try to build themselves up whilst simultaneously knocking the work/thoughts/opinions of others.

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When leaving for work resembles Super Mario Bros…

Super_Mario_!OK, I’ll admit right now that I’ve never played a Super Mario Bros. game or even watched someone else play but I gather it is a game which involves completing levels by not dying or falling off something high up at any point. To be honest I’m really thinking about a game called ‘Manic Miner’ which was released in 1983 for the ZX Spectrum. My friend’s brother used to own a version and we wasted many an hour honing our skills farting about in an attempt to avoid the ‘poinsonous pansies’ and such like in order to escape the mines.

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Peanut, Boobies, Carrots

Meet Peanut Boobies CarrotsI get that all children go through this phase where toilet humour – the sudden ‘poo on your head’ comment bursts free from that locked cupboard marked ‘things which shall not be uttered in polite society’ – but just lately JJ seems to have been getting a bit creative and yesterday he informed me that I shall from now on be known as ‘Peanut, Boobies, Carrots’. I took some time to digest this unsettling new moniker before informing him that, in that case, from now on he shall be known as ‘Son of Peanut, Boobies, Carrots’. I’d like to say that this threw him and put him on the back foot, but unfortunately there is no ‘debating platform’ with a five year old, just a lot of ‘no, but, no, but, no, but’ which didn’t really extricate me from baptism by random insult (actually I’m not even sure if he meant it as an insult…).

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The Secret Tinkler

Secret tinkler

Yesterday was day number 8 in the further potty training adventures of EJ. Day 6 had left me traumatised after I happened to detect the familiar eau d’excrecment wafting in my general direction post –breakfast as several magnetic Chuggers and two engrossed children crossed my path. I had one of those anti-eureka moments when the rolodex of emotions in your brain suddenly clicks from ‘medium alert – nappy change gear up processing’ to ‘HIGH ALERT – Oh Sh*********t!!!!! Fire in the hole!’. Not only had he failed to recognise the signs or mention the nature of ongoing events in the pant-department but he had done so in *brand new* *pristine white* pants. FFS.

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Mind your own ‘business’

Potty lion in dino pants

It’s that time isn’t it? Your child is rapidly approaching the age of three. Pre-school looms on the horizon like the gallows but instead of nooses hanging down there are brightly coloured potties and pants with monster trucks and dinosaurs dangling tauntingly as the bells chime… Other children at toddler groups, younger than yours have suddenly got much smaller bums. Time is running out.

I may have been lulled into a false sense of security by my eldest picking up half decent toilet habits within a couple of weeks of turning three. I never had to deal with a ‘code brown’ on the sofa, or a slow painful transition into and then out of ‘pull ups’ (essentially the equivalent of taking a broken leg out of a stiff cast and winding it up in ten layers of bubble wrap – I’m an all or nothing kind of girl).

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No point crying over spilled Pantene…

Smashed screenDestruction: is it all boys? I’m lead to believe that it’s all boys, but I’m not 100% sure because, you know, some people with boys seem to manage to own things like glass terrariums without ever once considering the literally shattering outcome that might ensue at any given moment.

In the last week I’ve discovered my five year old’s Hudl face down next to the toilet like a particularly pissed up/hung over youth, smashed – literally smashed – across the screen. I have ‘scene of the crime’ bloodstains Ribena spatter across a once cream carpet. I have patted myself on the back for winning a particularly pleasant smelling bottle of bubble bath in a school raffle before realising that it was actually the entire contents of my (large) bottle of brand new Pantene conditioner floating in clumps across the surface of the bath like the last polar ice cap. (Thank F*&£ I gave up with salon touted brands years ago – three Smurfs floating on a Charles Worthington oil slick would have brought new meaning to the words ‘beyond pee’d off’).

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The Laughter Challenge


When I saw that the word ‘Laughter’ was this week’s ‘Prompt’ from Sara at Mum Turned Mom I knew that I wanted to join in, because, you know, its one of my favourite things.

I have just spent a significant chunk of the last weekend at Britmums Live and whilst I enjoyed it and had a good time on the whole, it wasn’t what I’d describe as a ‘joyous’ event in my life. I think meeting people in real life is more powerful as a way of feeling connected to others than all the faceless online stuff, but its hard to find easy laughter in a setting like that.

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