Why do we expect toddlers to deal with their emotions and challenges in the same way adults do? Is it fair to expect them to understand how they feel and concepts that even we as adults struggle with sometimes, like disappointment or anger? It’s easy to dismiss a “tantrum” or to get frustrated by your toddler throwing themselves on the floor because you’ve asked them to do something or you say no to them. I’ve had to go and have a few seconds in another room while I’ve calmed down on more than one occasion. I’ve likewise got annoyed with others who’ve given their unsolicited parenting advice or judgement about what I think is perfectly normal behaviour for a two year old. I’d like you to imagine a scenario. You’re happily sat reading a book that someone has given you. They’ve told you it’s a good book and that you’ll learn a lot from it. They’re right. You enjoy it. The words and pictures make you happy. You’re glad they gave you the book. Then something happens. The same person comes and takes the book from you, takes your hand and tells you it’s now time to go into another room and eat. You’re not hungry but they insist. Words don’t come although you’re certain you are making sounds. The bowl is full of the grainy, green gloop they sometimes make you eat. You never eat it but yet they keep giving it to you. They pick you up and… View Post

1.       You went from not having a first birthday party (“it’s not like he’ll remember it”) to organising something that would rival a Queen’s garden party. 2.       You had forgotten how fun doing the Okey-Cokey is but now you’re one of the first up at a kids’ party. 3.       You will instinctively know the hand movements to kids songs that you’ve never even heard before – and display them enthusiastically 4.       You will carry your small toddler for at least 50% of a party, even if it’s theirs. They will only want to participate until halfway through one of the final tunes. 5.       If games are involved, your child will not return or share the toys on at least one occasion. 6.       You will steal some of the sweeties or cake from the party bag 7.       Someone put a whistle in the party bag, right? Don’t judge, you’ll be on Amazon buying them like the rest of us soon enough 8.       Relatives will inevitably congregate near the food while the young’uns (ahem) and parents throw some shapes on the dancefloor – at 2 O’Clock in the afternoon 9.       These are highlights of your social calendar – the kids love them and you get to catch up with some pals 10.   You’ll say “next year, we won’t bother,”…. But you will   Or is it just me?   Adverts contain affiliate links.

My mummy friends and I used to meet in coffee shops when our babies were born. We would meet come rain or shine and huddle in corners catching up on our latest developments, sharing tips or war stories, keeping ourselves sane with humour and caffeine. In hindsight, the toughest thing about those meet ups was fitting in all the pushchairs. By the time babies were three months old we had our list of meet up venues refined. There were easily half a dozen venues around town where we could park, were quiet enough for the most easily distressed little ones, were breast feeding friendly, did good coffee, had decent baby changing facilities and a choice of cakes and snacks. All of these things were supremely important because as new mums we only left the house laden down with changing bags, nappies, extra wipes, and an unnecessary number of clothes changes. We hadn’t got to the stage of slipping in a nappy and a pack of wipes into our handbag and nipping out to Asda. These were our glory days in many ways because we actually got to talk. We had yet to officially stray into “play date” territory. Those meetings were all about us. Of course, once babies started to sit up and become more mobile we moved into soft play phase. There was one particularly venue that worked for us because it had a lot of parking and was based in a Tesco so you could pop and get a… View Post