Tuck Shop Trauma…


“This recipe is Foolproof” it said. Well, in that case, just call me a fool.

I’m not a baker. I’m not a mixologist. I’m not a writer. I’m not a fountain of knowledge about alcohol…though I do like to drink it. I’m not any of those things.

I am just a Mum.

But, by being ‘just a mum’, I also have to be many different things, or at least attempt to be.

The kids want a cake, I’ll try and bake one.

The kids have had an arm mysteriously fall off one of their toys which they need to have sewn back on (sorry Rabbit!), I’ll try and stitch it.

If one of the kids falls and hurts themselves, I scream at Daddy to sort it.

(I’m utterly useless with my own kids in this situation. A pained look accompanied by screaming and them holding their arm after a fall, I instantly assume it’s broken).

Being ‘just a mum’ is actually pretty tough. We are required to wear many different hats, and even if we are not suited to some of those metaphorical hats, that doesn’t matter when you’re a mum. You often don’t have much of a choice but to roll said hat up your arm like Indiana Jones, tip it at a jaunty angle, pull your shoulders back and just get the chuff on with it.

Thinking about it, it’s bloody exhausting this parenting lark, and responsible for at least 80% of my gin consumption, but I know deep down we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today, amongst other things, along with my sweary hat and my ‘who the feck thought this was a good idea’ hat, I am wearing my bakers hat, probably along with half of my son’s school, for tomorrow is….


Ah, Tuck Shop.

It’s changed a bit since my day. In my day, we used to get to go and choose pick and mix sweets and put them in a paper bag in the school hall. We then got to choose if we wanted a Panda Pop or a Calypso. Both full of e-numbers and other goodies certain to make you leap off the walls at home for a good few hours, before crashing and burning into a jibbering wreck on the living room floor shortly before tea time. I’m sure my mum loved it…ah, fond memories.

Tuck Shop nowadays is a more upmarket affair, almost resemblant of a kids afternoon tea. The kids file into the room in an orderly fashion, armed with a named paper bag and 35p (don’t forget the 35p in the morning for each of them Gemma! Worst mum of the year Award awaits if you do that…).  They enter the room filled with parent volunteers, who are full of nervous energy as the impending frenzy of sugar hungry kids awaits the signal from their teacher to proceed. The sight that greets them is one of childhood bliss. Home baked and shop bought cakes and biscuits adorn the tables like jewels, twinkling in the luminous, strip light glow of the classroom. Their little eyes light up as they scour the tables, methodically assessing which offerings they are going to nab and scoff.

Once they have made the painstaking decision of which cakes to choose (they get to choose 3), they then pay their money and go on to collect a cup of juice or water, sadly not served in Bone China as school budgets aren’t brilliant these days…

They then get to sit down and discuss current affairs, have a poll on whether we should leave or remain in the EU and mull over their future prospects whilst chomping on one of their cakes.

The other two remaining cakes get taken back to their classroom with them where they then get stuffed into their classroom trays so that the beautiful chocolate cupcake a mum, who was wearing her bakers hat the day before, has lovingly made and iced, now resembles a cow pat. You then get presented with your cow pat cupcake at the end of the school day and your child waits eagerly to watch you munch it right there and then in front of all the other parents because ‘they saved it especially for you’. Ahhhhh, thanks honey, you shouldn’t have. No, really, you shouldn’t…  😉

I think Tuck Shop is great. The kids love it and it’s safe to say it’s one of the highlights which is most anticipated at the end of each half term.

So today, I had my bakers hat on and I saw some cookies decorated with galaxies on….on Pinterest. Yes, that bugger again. Have I not learnt my lesson yet?!

You can see what they should have looked like from the image above.

The cookies came out fine, the decorating…not so much. To the point I gave up on that idea entirely and this was all I could muster…


I might have sworn a bit and I might have eaten 2 of the cookies in anger. When I say ‘might’ I mean I definitely did and now I am utterly ashamed of myself.

But do you know what, even though my cookies don’t look like swirly galaxies of mystery, I am certain the kids will love them. To be honest, they would love a twix or a shop bought fairy cake with sprinkles on, as long as it’s sugar laden, they’re a winner.

So, to all you mums with their bakers hats on, who are winging it like me, I say well done.

You’re having a go, wearing one of your many hats, high five to you. Having a go – that is the most important thing. Isn’t that what we tell our kids?

If it doesn’t turn out like Pinterest, who cares. Your kids will love the fact you’ve had a go, just for them and their school.

Now, I had better go and tidy up the shitstorm that is my kitchen…the cookies might not look like a galaxy of colour and mystery but my kitchen certainly does.

Where’s the cleaning fairy when you sodding well need her?!

Peace out Knutters.


Life with Baby Kicks



  1. May 26, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    They look awesome! I hate having to bake for school….I cheat and buy cakes or cookies. lol You have done way better than I ever could x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…The Mummy Tag…My Profile

  2. May 26, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    You sound like you are a fabulous Mummy, Mrs Knutts, I bet your kids have such fun. And I love your galaxy biscuits! I’m currently drinking ouzo in the Marina bar, it’s tough but someone’s got to do it. But I’d love to be watching EastEnders and eating pick’n’mix…..
    GeorgieMoon recently posted…GREECE IS THE WORD….My Profile

  3. admin
    May 26, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    Ah, Kim, you’re very kind….they look like they’ll send them into a frenzy I think. Lord help the teachers tomorrow!
    No shame in buying them – the kids couldn’t care less as long as they get a sugar rush could they!
    Thanks for reading!xx

  4. admin
    May 26, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Hope it’s all going well! The ouzo and the view you probably have I’m very jealous of – and eastenders has been quite gripping of late hasn’t it?!
    Thanks Georgie – had a bad day with much shouting at the toddler for behind like a wild animal and being naughty on purpose (hitting, biting, burying my candles in the garden, the usual…) so I don’t feel much like a fab mum today but I’m going to make a cocktail in a mo. Then I’ll feel a bit better

  5. May 26, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    OMG! I thought the first image was yours and was SO impressed! haha The kids don’t want that fancy-schmansy stuff – they want colourful ones like you’ve made! They are perfect! And you are right, tuck shop days sure have come a long way since black jacks and penny chews!

  6. May 27, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    Your cookies look great – I especially love the one on the end! The tuck shop sounds fab. Marianna’s future primary only has a fruit tuck shop so luckily I won’t be expected to make anything. Not until the summer fete at least… 🙂
    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…Friday Frivolity: Favourite QuotesMy Profile

  7. May 27, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    Although those galaxy cookies look awesome, I’d be too in awe to eat them – yours look tasty though!

  8. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 5:13 pm

    Crikey! A fruit tuck shop. How healthy is that?! Saves on the baking though, you’re right. As long as folks don’t expect you to have grown your own fruit at home to take in you’ll be fine

  9. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    They’re amazing aren’t they?! My icing was the wrong consistency, too thick, and the toddler didn’t make for the most peaceful baking experience – I’ve sacked him as my sous chef
    Thanks Keely, you’re very kind!x

  10. May 27, 2016 / 6:48 pm

    You’re an amazing mum and your cookies looks fucking amazing! I know you’re too young.. but can you be my mum and make me cookies like that please? Ill bring 35p!! x
    Ashliegh recently posted…Friday’s Art Day On Monday- Nature PaintingMy Profile

  11. May 27, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    First of all, the cookies look amazing, I couldn’t even make a cookie, let alone decorate one, and second of all, tuck shop day?? Is this what I have to look forward to in September when my daughter starts school? When I was at school you took 10p for a packet of salt and vinegar “Puffs”, this all sounds very different!! I’m going to be spending a fortune at our local bakery to palm off their cakes as my own if this is the case!!
    laura dove recently posted…For Harry, on your second birthdayMy Profile

  12. May 27, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    They look absolutely amazing and I love the idea of Tuck Shop. I used to run my school tuck shop when I was in high school x

  13. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    Haha! Oh bless you. Thanks ever so much.x

  14. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    Ah, you’re very kind. I’m very embarrassed with my effort but keeping it real for all the mums out there! x

  15. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 11:34 pm

    Hahaha!!! Someone who commented earlier said their child’s school has tuck shop but with fruit…
    I’d have gone on fecking hunger strike in protest had that been my end of term treat!! Fruit tuck shop?! Tucked up more like!
    Laura, you’re very sweet, thanks so much. My cookies tasted nice but they aren’t the out of this world delights I was aiming for…
    You’ll be fine, and I bet you can bake!! Xx

  16. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    bless you Ash. Sure, I’ll be your mum…just don’t ask me to wipe your butt
    Thanks for being so kind about my disaster bake!!!x

  17. admin
    May 27, 2016 / 11:39 pm

    Too right Helen!!! I LOVE that ethos. You can come again
    Thanks for reading!xx

  18. May 28, 2016 / 1:18 am

    Your cookies look tasty. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog.

  19. May 28, 2016 / 3:31 am

    I think your biscuits look delicious! Decorating is my huge downfall, I’m dreading my kids getting to school age and wanting things of beauty for being and buy sales! I’ve not heard of a tuck shop day in school around here but I can imagine it being the best school day ever for kids!xx

  20. May 28, 2016 / 8:55 am

    I have to admit I would be happy with what you made I think they look fabulous. You know what my baking usually turns out like, that would certainly NOT be OK to sell at the school ha ha 🙂 xxx
    Yvonne recently posted…HELLP – what is wrong with me?My Profile

  21. May 28, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    That is such a good idea – we have a cake sale but its not so organised, will suggest it to the school – the cakes look fab!

  22. admin
    May 29, 2016 / 7:52 am

    They’re pretty good at ‘organised’ at our school. Prevents tears and chaos more often than not, from kids and parents x

  23. admin
    May 29, 2016 / 7:52 am

    Fibber, I’m sure your baking is brill.

  24. admin
    May 29, 2016 / 7:54 am

    You’re very kind Hannah. As long as they’re colourful the kids don’t seem to mind too much thankfully! In all seriousness, we do love tuck shop day…though we did get the obligatory squashed chocolate iced cupcake at the end of the day! x

  25. admin
    May 29, 2016 / 7:55 am

    No worries Joy! Same to you – thanks for the kind words.x

  26. May 29, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Such a great idea, I love your cookies. I could just eat one yummy!! My daughter has Pizza muffin day, 35p for half a slice of muffin with cheese on! She loves it!

  27. May 29, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    Your cakes look pretty dame cool to me. If I had to bake it would go Pear shaped, I am rubbish at measuring or getting flavour right. I would.pass the job on to hubby as he is good at that. I can so relate with the many different rent hats you intetchange throughout the day, I am more then then just a mum that people just see! X #effitfriday
    Mummy here and there recently posted…My Sunday Photo 29/05/2016My Profile

  28. May 30, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    I’ve never heard of tuck shop day! Not sure they do it in my neck of the woods, it sounds like the sort of unhealthy thing now banned!! #effitfriday

  29. admin
    May 31, 2016 / 8:04 am

    It is really, but I love that my boys school still lets them have have a day like this. Everything in moderation.xx

  30. May 31, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I would scream for Daddy too, I hate it when my kids hurt themselves. I really don’t cope very well. I also love your biscuits, I wouldn’t have done nearly half as well

  31. admin
    May 31, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    What are we like Zena?! Other people’s kids I’m ok. Mine, nope. I’m off quicker than a wax strip on a bikini line… X

  32. June 2, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Gemma they look freaking awesome – better than the pinterest ones! I think you have your own pinterest ttorial right there. Oh my god I can’t get over how much I want to eat a cookie now.

    That said – the pressure on parents to be “perfect” really gets my back up. There is no need, at the end of the day you cannot buy a childs love, and your children will love you no matter what!
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks recently posted…Life Changing Moments but it’s all so SurrealMy Profile

  33. admin
    June 3, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Damn right. Couldn’t have said that better myself.
    Ah, bless you Laura!!! They weren’t a complete failure but totally not what Pinterest expected of me!
    Thanks for reading!x

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