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Summer holidays…with kids

Once upon a time, before I had kids, the summer holidays would mean lazy days on rest days, all day drinking sessions, and hedonistic holidays.

Now I have kids and summer holidays conjure up the following emotions; stress, anxiety, anger and frustration.

As a parent, you are expected to entertain your kids 24/7 and it’s bloody exhausting…and boring!

Let me just put it out there, I am not one of these parents who look forward to spending 8wks with my children. You will never see a Facebook post of me declaring I cannot wait for the summer holidays… and here’s why.

Typical activities to do with the kids during the holidays and how they actually pan out;

Cinema- Not only will you spend a shed load of money on popcorn, your child will demolish it before the film starts then will spend the rest of the time wanting the toilet. Also, there are a lots of kids all under one roof kicking your chair during the film.

Swimming – You will spend ages getting you and your child ready. They will get in the pool and moan it’s cold. They will moan the water is wet, that it’s blue, that the water is getting in their face. Five minutes later they will want out. If it’s my kid, they will also shit in the pool. Also, there are lots of other kids there under one roof

Park- No matter how you big this up, your child will moan they come here all the time. If there’s other parents there, you are forced to actually supervise your child on the slide instead of checking Facebook on the bench. Also, there are other kids, and lots of them, in one vicinity.

Pool in the garden- You spend forever blowing the pool up, taking out a mortgage to fill it up, and your daughter will complain there’s bits of grass in it. Your son will just shit in it. Speaking from experience. Plus point is there’s no other kids

Shopping- Your child will ask for all sorts of tat. Eventually you will give in. Your child will then want to go home regardless of you wanting to buy yourself something. They will make your life hell until you abort the shopping trip. Also, the shops are full of other whining children

Soft play – Hell no!

McDonald’s- it is full of kids. The end.

Holiday abroad- it is full of kids. Kids everywhere. No thanks

So basically, the summer holidays are not enjoyable. They fill me with dread. I am also broke for the whole 8wks because your child will want snacks and drinks every five minutes from the time they get up. How do they survive at school?!

Gimme Strength!

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Bake off!

So anyone that knows me, will know I’m not in the least bit competitive..mainly because I just can’t be arsed.

I’m also not creative. This together with the lack of competitiveness, presents a problem when it comes to making stuff with ( for) my daughters homework etc.

A perfect example of the above, is last years school Easter bonnet competition. I asked Poppy if she wanted to enter. She replied, “Have I got to make stuff?”

Yes I tell her.

“Then no”

Clearly she takes after me. However, the night before the competition she decided that since all her friends are making them, she should too…. ffs!

Now, I don’t happen to have any creative stuff hanging around the house. Not even card to fashion a hat.. so… I made a “hat” out of an Easter gift bag.

Yup. I made 2 holes in the bottom and shoved an hairband through it. Hey presto, Easter in a bag. It looked shit.

Fortunately my daughter was ill the following day so she didn’t have to wear the shit head attire, and be bullied for the rest of her life.

This year, I’m way ahead of the game. I have the bonnet stuff to go. I also decided to enter the cake competition.

I blame celebrity bake of… and Prosecco for this stupid idea.

I have never made a cake in my life. Or decorated one.

So I browse google for inspiration. I settle on a fondant iced bunny design, show the hubby who immediately bursts out laughing. ” Do you not think it’s a bit ambitious?!”

Mmm maybe but I’m going to give it a go…still a stupid idea.

So off to sainsburys I go and arm myself with a load of cake making stuff. I puzzle over why I can’t buy orange food colouring, before being reminded that I could mix red and yellow… doh!

So I set to work making the cake. It goes ok. Comes out the oven and it looks a little on the thin side. Hubby asks if I’m intending to cut it in half… clearly am, however I say ” No stupid, that’s one layer!”

Back to making another “layer” turns out ok. No soggy bottoms. Might be heavier than intended though…

So onto the icing. All I can say is, by the time I’d finished the kitchen looked like it had lost a fight with the food colouring. That stuff gets everywhere! My hands looked liked Shrek’s.

I make a rabbit. It resembled an evil extra from a Wallace and Gromit film. In the husbands words ” You know that’s for kids?”

I go rogue on the design and make some carrots to go on the top… which mainly covered the cracks… and also added a phallic element to the kids cake.

Phallic elements are quite rife in kids cakes. My friends mum made her son a marvel cake. It had a giant fist on top. Except it looked like a giant willy. Oh how we laughed… and applauded that mum!

Anyway, I iced a few more bits onto the cake. Again, to cover the cracks and I was done. Never again.

The finished product was dire. The husband suggested I abandon the idea. He looks mortified when i tell him he had to take it into the school.

Monday arrives. Husband is ill and cannot take the cake in. Convenient.

I lug the cake into the school hall and try and hurry out. Before doing so, another mum sets her’s down beside mine. It is identical. Except her’s is smaller and neater. And her rabbit is cute and doesn’t look like it will kill a child with its stare.

I whisper “Oh we had the same idea then?”

She just looks at me in horror. She probably thinks I was drunk when I made it.

I don’t know if we won yet. However, I will not be submitting my bake off application just yet! Never again!!

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One of those days..

I’m currently off work with stress… I won’t go into that, but it stupidly happened a few days before half term.

Having congratulated myself that I didn’t kill both kids during that week of Hell, I thought I could use the rest of the time to recuperate. How. Wrong. I was.

Today went like this….

I awake, the hubby is working lates so I envisaged a lazy morning, catching up on much needed sleep, and maybe if I was lucky, I’d get coffee in bed.

Hubby tells me he is going into work early.

Fuck.

Child number 2 clambers into the bed stinking of poo and with clumps of god knows what in his hair.

I hesitantly sniff him… head, not bum. Realise he’s sporting half my Yankee candle on his head. Great.

I dump him in the bath with child number one. I go and sort some towels. I return to what I can only describe as a Tsunami in the bathroom.

Water everywhere…. and I mean everywhere. Poppy tells me she is being a mermaid. Child 2 now has half a bottle of original source on his head.

I lost my shit. I will not repeat what I said but it rhymed with duck.

I’m a bad mother I know. But it was 10am and I’d had enough.

I decide to pop to the shops. We go to my local Sainsbury’s.

Owing to the fact, they’d decided to leave both of their trolley’s outside in the rain, I was forced to take child 2 in unrestrained.

Big mistake.

He tears around the shop, knocking everything flying. I’m trying to do a supermarket sweep style shop whilst preventing him from trashing everything else.

I fail miserably.

He tears behind the till then lies on the floor screaming his head off, refusing to budge. The shop assistant takes one look and decides it’s safer to let me behind the counter than tackle ” Damian”

I drag him out whilst holding a basket and shopping bag. Child number 2 is oblivious and asking for Red Nose Day crap.

Child one has increased the volume of screaming. I grab a bottle of Prosecco. Almost involuntary, and wonder if it would be acceptable to neck it there and then.

I try and pay. Not easy when you’re clinging on to your nearly 2yr old.

Realising that he’s fully restrained, child 2 decides to chomp on the chewing gum at the till point. Prising the cherry Airwaves out of his mouth, I place it back on display, only to realise that he has now opened 4 Cadbury creme eggs in ninja time.

Why the f do shops do this?! Why leave these treats at child eye level?!

I am now throwing eggs back on display, mumbling that other people must have opened them to find the white egg…. I am being asked for my nectar card whilst trying to pack the shopping and cling onto the devil child. Child 2 is still asking for crap and there is a queue behind me.

I burst into tears. Ffs!!! The cashier looks at me sympathetically, but really she is wanting me to take the devil child and go!

I literally leg it out the store. I wonder if it’s too early to drink.

By the time I get home, child 2 is screaming the place down wanting lunch. I quickly make it and he repays me by launching it at me then crushing dairylea into the carpet.

I decide to put him down for a nap…I decide I deserve a glass of Prosecco.

The Prosecco cork is stuck. I cannot open it. It is mocking me!!!!

Child one now wants lunch and proceeds to drop crisps over the floor. Vacuum goes on for the third time that day. I decide to use it as a foot stool as I know it’ll be used again.

Child 2 awakens. I’m forced to watch teletubbies. I curse the Prosecco. Child 2 screams for dinner before dropping his juice all over me.

Child 2 launches his dinner all over the floor.

Child 1 is trashing the play room that I’d spent hours tidying

I am rocking in a corner.

Child 2 goes bed. Thank fuck.

Child 1 puts on mismatched pj’s which do nothing for my OCD.

Hubby asks if I want dinner bringing home. Think he saw the state of me via FaceTime when I looked like crap and could barely speak. He has taken pity on me clearly.

Tomorrow is a new day….shit!

Gimme Strength!

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Santa visit

It’s that joyous time of year… the annual visit to The Big Man….

When you first have children, you cannot wait to take them to see Santa. You envisage them sitting on his knee, lovingly looking up at him, and capturing the magic with a photo you can show the grandparents.

The reality is very different.

My eldest was 13mths when we first took her. She screamed her head off. “Santa” was basically a teenager with a dodgy fake beard. He didn’t know what to do, other than to look frantically at an elf that was older than he was.

The result was a crap picture of me holding the legs of my child as she screamed hysterically.

The second year we took her was much the same. We queued for what seemed like hours, got to the door of the grotto, and my daughter ran straight through it and out of the exit screaming her head off.

We then got kicked out because she jabbed a reindeer in the eye. We didn’t realise the thing was real.

Last year we took her to a more intimate setting. This time she got so intimidated she refused to speak. I found myself telling Santa what I wanted. We then ended up with another shit picture of me grinning and my daughter staring at the floor.

So this year, we decided to splash out a bit and make a day of it. I have no idea why I thought this would be any better. I was clearly drunk when I booked it.

We drive an hour down the motorway to The farm.We are promised an Elf village, piglet racing, nativity play and Santa himself.

The reality was a little different. It was muddy. I do not like mud. I do not like muddy puddles. I was not dressed for mud. We had been previously and there was no mud….

Child number 2 was already whinging. We’d been there 5 minutes. We decide to have dinner straight away just to shut him up. This worked for about 15 minutes.

To the “Elf village” we go. This is basically a very narrow shed. Child 2 is scared of the fairy lights on the floor and refuses to budge. Great.

We’re encouraged to make some “reindeer food” this is basically some Tesco basics porridge oats which you put in a bag. Daughter asks where the glitter is..

I reply there’s none as it kills the birds. She points out it’s for reindeers not birds. Course it is.

We trundle through the shed, and arrive at the sheep pen. Child 2 is scared of the sheep and has to be carried kicking and screaming past it.

We go to feed the goats. Child 2 is scared of the goat and legs it. We let him. No one is going to be stupid enough to take him home.

The daughter feeds the goats. “Mum,is that goat supposed to eat the paper bag?”

“No”

“Oh”……..

Kids decide they’re bored of the animals. Into the play barn we go. This is chaos. It is basically full of a shit load of kids ” releasing energy”

The noise hits you as soon as you walk in. Both kids starburst into opposite directions.

Now this play barn isn’t full of feral children. It is full of middle class kids called Theodore and Delilah. They are dressed in last seasons Joules and Boden attire which are weirdly mismatched and too small. Seriously, what is it about posh families and the way they dress their kids?!

One boy/girl – I couldn’t tell which gender they were owing to the hideous bowl haircut, was dressed in old blue leggings, a red striped top of which the arms stopped 3 inches from the wrist, and a floral 3/4 length skirt over the top.

Anyway, we placed our designer kids wellies next to the fellow Hunters and Joules and in we went… no where to sit so you are forced to stand at the side of the play area and supervise your kid, or go into the huge tree house. Hubby asks me which one of us is going in. I give him a look. He dutifully takes his boots off and into the chaos he goes.

Within minutes we have lost one child and the other one ( guess which one) wants to come out because he doesn’t like the green floor or something.

Soon it’s time to go and see Santa. Child 2 is flagging. This should be fun.

Into another shed we go where the kids are encouraged to make a card for Santa. Child 2 is tired and decides to roll around on the glitter covered floor. Daughter makes 2 cards but refuses point blank to even write her name in.

We then enter into a festive room to see The big man himself.

There’s around 12 kids inside who are asked to sit nicely on the benches in front of him. The parents are requested to stand at the back of the room.

Daughter sits dutifully at the front. Child 2 does not. Instead, he decides he wants to practically sit on Santa himself. He wants some of the attention. So like a car reversing, he sticks his bum out and starts walking backwards, edging himself closer and closer.

Santa is addressing the rest of the kids. Child 2 is now leaning against Santa’s knees. The parents give a polite smile before realising that he’s not moving, therefore he’s not budging from any photo’s they want to take.

I move forward and grab my child putting him on a bench. I’m forced to bend down behind it trying to hold him in place. He refuses and throws himself forward. He escapes and resumes his position in front of Santa.

He wanders around for a bit. He heads towards a display of presents and starts dismantling them. I’m stuck behind the bench. I cannot reach him because it means walking in front of Santa who is still giving a speech.

Child 2 picks up a soft toy and sticks it up his top. An Elf tries to gently take it back, but the child lobs it on the floor and runs over it to stand in front of Santa again. This time, he notices Santa’s beard and decides to give it a little tug. Thankfully Santa foresees this and clings onto it.

We are now done with Santa and the kids go into the workshop to pick a gift. Daughter gleefully tells me that she’s traded her coin in for a slime making kit. She is gleeful because she knows I would never have allowed her to pick it had I had known it was there.

We head home soon afterwards. Child 2 is asleep by the time we get out the carpark. Daughter spends the hour journey telling us she can’t wait to make slime when she gets back. We tell her to wait until after tea and daddy will supervise.

We get home. By the time I take my coat off, daughter informs me that she’s made the slime….into the living room I go. There are hundreds of slime particles all over the floor, table and chairs. The slime she’s managed to make is a rigid mess in a cup. We are forced to hoover up and chuck the remaining mess. Daughter spends the entire evening crying.

A minute after hoovering, child 2 drops his crisps into the carpet and treads on them…

Gimme strength!

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Train gripes part 2

So, following on from yesterday. Things not to do on the train part 2….

Eating smelly food….

Now I don’t actually mind food on trains. I quite like to relax with a coffee and a muffin in the morning. However, some people take it to another level. Some people have a full on 3 course meal on the commute.

Then there are the ones that decide to eat horrendously stomach turning smelly food. The worst by far is fish.

I once sat next to a man that opened up a huge portion of sushi complete with wasabi sauce which he lovingly drizzled on top. The stench of raw salmon combined with the sweat of the train was awful.

However, there is a flip side to this. There are times when you’ve finished work and you’re starving. This is made worse by the fact someone is eating a huge McDonald’s in front of you.

I have literally sat drooling over someone else’s Big Mac. I have had so much food envy that I would have even eaten the usually discarded gherkins.

Sleeping….

Every train journey features a sleeper. Unfortunately they’re never silent.

Last week a young chap sat opposite me. Within seconds he was fast asleep. Head back, mouth wide open, and snoring loudly. In fact, he actually sounded like a hedge trimmer.

Not only does the noise make me want to punch him in the face, but I can’t stop looking at him.

Looking at a stranger whilst they’re snoring is dangerous. You know it’s not polite, and you know that you’ll look weird when they open their eyes to find you staring at them, but you can’t help it.

So I continue to stare at this chap. Mainly wondering how he hasn’t woken himself up from the noise. All the time, I’m quickly averting my eyes, playing “sleep chicken” trying to not let him catch me looking.

Mid glance, he slowly opens one eye. For Gods sake! There’s normally more notice than this! I look up, pretending that the train lights are exciting. However, I’m aware that this strangers eye is still on me.

I casually glance at him. I then realise that he is actually asleep with one eye closed and the other staring straight at me.

WHAT THE HELL???

How am I supposed to carry on this game?! It’s something else to look at, but it’s also pretty freaky and quite unnerving. How do I know he’s actually asleep and not just fucking with me?

5 minutes before we arrive at our stop. He does a splutter and wakes up. Owing to the noise he makes, he apologises.

I just stare at him. I’m dying to ask if he knows he sleeps with one eye open. Or that he sounds like a hedge trimmer. I don’t. I just make a mental note not to sit next to him again.

Talking loudly on the phone….

Why do people insist on talking so loudly on their phones whilst in a public place? Clearly these people think their lives are so exciting that they feel the need to share it with everyone else.

I have heard all sorts…from Shanice telling her “bestie” she’s on her way to visit her “bae” in prison….to Tony telling his mate he’s going to “bang the chip shop bird tonight”

I once listened to Mercedes having a two way conversation between her cheating boyfriend and his new missus Tracey via speakerphone.

It mainly consisted of ” Don’t lie yeah? I’m telling you yeah? You better not be lying yeah…”

I’m still not sure after an hour commute, Mercedes got to the bottom of whether her boyfriend was lying

* I like to adopt names for other commuters based on what they look like*

Taking children on a rush hour commute…

Ok I know children have to travel on trains. However, parents that decide the early morning or 5pm commute is a great time to go/ return back from an epic shopping trip are asking for trouble.

I don’t want to hear little Felix being encouraged to practice his spellings or songs from school at 6pm on a crowded train after work. I have enough of that shit at home when I have to feign interest.

I also don’t want to listen to an hysterical Tabitha who’s been dragged around John Lewis all day, crying for the duration of the commute because her mother decided to catch the later train so she could have a cheeky prosecco at Grand Central station.

I also do not want to listen to the theme tune of Teletubbies on repeat that is keeping little Jonny entertained. Especially since his twat of his mother clearly doesn’t realise there’s a volume button on the side.

And finally, I do not want to see little Billy having his bum changed on the train table. Because that has happened… and is apparently quite normal.

Gimme Strength

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Train gripes part one….

So as many of you know, I catch the train a lot. I therefore feel “qualified” to talk about the do’s and don’t’s of train travel.

In order for me to do so, I’ll give you a few pointers of what really annoys me…

1. People

Now I realise this is quite a broad subject. However, I would be quite happy to travel in an empty carriage every day. Other people are annoying full stop. They do however provide entertainment. Over the years they have provided me with some great writing material. Below are things I have actually seen, and as such, form some of the things not to do on the train…

Propose….

Yep. I have witnessed a chav style marriage proposal. It is still ingrained on my memory from around 8yrs ago.

A strong bow swilling chav chose that romantic moment to pop the question on the Leicester to Birmingham midland mainline train at rush hour.

He flipped his cap to the back, adjusted his fake Burberry scarf, stumbled onto one knee and with Sovereign in hand ( I kid you not) uttered the immortal words ” Hey bab, you fancy getting married to us or what?”

The equally pissed recipient had the sense to tell him to “F off” to which he shrugged his shoulders and fell back into his seat.

Treat the train like a bus…

I once witnessed a man stick his arm out to a train approaching the platform as if it was a bus. Please don’t do this. You look a knob and people will laugh at you.

Have a phone that has a keyboard tone…

Usually applies to the older generation. Not only do they have an annoying “tap tap” noise on the keys, but they also tend to type very slowly… it is like Chinese water torture. It also makes me want to slam the phone onto the floor and stamp on it.

Noisy eaters….

Now I cannot stand any type of food related noise. Just ask my husband. I therefore do not want to see the contents of a sandwich swishing around in some strangers mouth.

Last week I witnessed a spectacle involving a man eating a packet of crisps.

Now I probably shouldn’t say this, but he had the stereotypical “look” of a sex offender. He was hugely overweight, greasy hair, glasses and wearing a filthy t shirt which sat above his overspilling belly.

I have NEVER seen anyone devour a bag of Roysters steak crisps in the way he did. He opened the pack, stuck his pudgy hand in, and in one fell swoop, he had the entire contents in his hand. He then shovelled the lot into his mouth, ramming any stray crisps in. The crunching was unbearable, but nothing compared to what he did next.

He then licked his fat fingers and one by one shoved them into the empty packet, licking off the tiniest of crumbs that he’d managed to capture on his spit. Not content with this, he ripped over the packet and wiped the crumbs DOWN HIS ARM and licked his arm furiously.

He was totally oblivious to the fact I was sat opposite him with my mouth wide open in shock/ disgust/ ready to vom.

Use the train carriage as a bathroom…

I have lost count of the times I have seen people clip their nails on the train. I’m pretty sure no one wants to sit on a seat covered in nail clippings. It is wrong on so many levels. I have also seen people shave their legs on the train, apply face masks,pop spots and floss their teeth.

Play crap music…

This has to be my biggest bugbear. At 6.30am I do not want to be sat next to anyone listening to a tinny mix of techno garage. I also do not appreciate anyone that decides the whole of the carriage needs to listen to their shit by placing their phone on the table and blaring it out on some Argos blue tooth speakers.

It is rude. It also makes me want to inflict violence.

Spatial awareness

Why is it so hard for people to remain in their own personal space?

Just today, I was subject to an impromptu lap dance from an elderly Irish lady. I was sat squished up to the window because she decided to lift up the armrest to “spread out”

she then tried to get her ticket out of her skirt pocket.

This act involved leaning onto one bum cheek and parking the other on my lap. In a desperate attempt to retrieve it from god knows where, she basically proceeded to hump my leg.

She was totally oblivious.

I have previously had testicles in my face. A man standing over you whilst you’re sat minding your own business, is not something I wish to have in the morning. Particularly when he is also “flying low”. Yep, this has happened…..

I also do not want to have someone’s garlic breath on my neck or armpits wet with BO, held aloft over my head holding onto a pole.

Now the only time I have breached this rule myself is when I accidentally spilt coffee over a man I was sat next to.

The coffee hit his trousers. Without thinking, I have grabbed a napkin and began patting him down, trying to soak up the coffee.

In hindsight, this was probably not wise. It may have been open to all sorts of interpretations which only became apparent when he hissed ” Will you keep your hands to yourself?!”

I withdrew my services quickly and spent the 2 hr journey cringing and not daring to glance at him. Not my finest hour that’s for sure….

Gimme Strength!

Part two tomorrow

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Poppy’s birthday

My daughter turned 7 yesterday. Our house is trashed.

There are balloons all over the floor, the furniture has been re arranged after a party yesterday, and there are toys and cards piled up under the tv.

In a few years time, the house will be much the same, except they’ll probably be random strangers lying under the tv, and other forms of latex all over the floor. It’s a scary thought.

Poppy received lots of lovely presents. Now when opening them, she goes one of two ways…. she either becomes very excited over something very unexpected, like yesterday when I picked up a sticker book from sainsburys and didn’t even bother to wrap it….well it was the best thing ever apparently…. or she makes zero emotion. This is usually reserved for when she opens a present in front of the person who brought it, it is beyond embarrassing.

My daughter is far from shy, but when she opens a present in front of someone, she puts her head down, opens it, barely looks at it and drops it to one side. Meanwhile, I’m trying to over compensate by doing the oohing and aahing, whilst also praying she doesn’t say something embarrassing like the time she opened a card and said ” I’m opening this card first in case there’s money in it”, or “I’ve already got this” or ” This is horrible. What is it?”

After the person has gone, she’ll rave about the gift, saying it’s the best thing ever. Ffs why couldn’t you have done that when you bloody opened it?

As I have previously mentioned, Poppy is into LOL dolls. They have to be the biggest rip off ever.

We brought her a huge plastic LOL bowl with a large bath bomb in and about 6 tiny pieces of plastic. 2 were dolls of which ones head fell off in the bath. I picked a tiny piece off the floor and went to chuck it in the bin. I honestly thought it was a chipped piece of plastic off something. It was smaller than an ant. Apparently it was a doll “pacifier”……£25 for a combined plastic size of a fingernail.

So Poppy had 2 parties this year. One was a tea party after school, and another was a bowling party today.

The good thing about having a party at home, is that you can drink alcohol and it looks semi acceptable. Like you can especially buy a case of prosecco but make it look like you just happen to have a few bottles in the fridge.

” Oh bugger, I’ve only got enough cordial for the kids, and I appear to have run out of tea and coffee. Prosecco anyone? Or gin…. or a Peroni?…..”

The mess then becomes bearable. Like when someone treads a cheesy wotsit into the carpet, or your One year old decides to make a strawberry smoothie on the wall. Or when you trough a load of sausage rolls into your mouth and the pastry is all down your top giving you away.

The other good thing about having a party at home is that you get to live on buffet food for about a week. It’s like Christmas. I basically do one batch of cooking then live on quiche and Dorito’s for 5 days.

I couldn’t do a tea party at home if it involved inviting a load of kids around. Mainly because the mess would make me anxious but also because I would probably get through the case of prosecco and it probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

Instead, I did a bowling party. Last year, I took 7 kids to “Build a bear” followed by McDonald’s. I stupidly told the parents to relax at home as I was convinced it would be easy to supervise them. How stupid was I? Never again! How I didn’t lose one I don’t know.

This year, the kids had a game of bowling followed by food. The lovely “Carol” ( I don’t actually know her name but she looked like a carol) supervised the kids and arranged everything.

The kids had fun.. although the game seemed to drag on forever and there’s only so much coffee you can drink watching them.

Kids liked the food. Although the random piece of red pepper next to the hot dog was a bit weird. Almost like Hollywood Bowl decided they’d better shove a bit of veg on the plate so hacked up a random pepper.

Poppy rounded off the party by nearly setting another child on fire. She didn’t quite get the concept of a sparkler candle and therefore decided to blow it… thus sending sparks in the direction of another child’s face. But hey ho, we all survived.

Now where’s that prosecco….