Nappy Mishappy…

I’m going to write you a short little tale,

about a toddler who had a slight nappy fail.

I’m not making this up, it really did occur,

It’s a little effed up, I think you’ll concur…

One sunny morning, the toddler awoke,

he came waddling in like a big burly bloke.

His legs were all bowed, like he’d ridden a horse,

but he hadn’t for he’d only just woken, of course.

I looked at him baffled, he seemed very upset,

“What’s the matter my chap, is your nappy wet?”

“Poo poo!” he shouted whilst grabbing his bum,

Ah, the glamorous life of being a mum…

“It’s ok little man, mummy will help you,

don’t get upset about a little bit of poo”.

The toddler continued to grab at his nappy,

the poor little mite really wasn’t too happy…

I collected some wipes and sorted his clothes,

then steeled myself ready to cover my nose,

I undid the nappy, I was full of trepidation,

was I going to be greeted with another brown creation?

“Poo poo!” the toddler continued to shout,

“It’s ok little Ben, I’m sorting it out…”

As I open the nappy, to my complete surprise,

there isn’t a poo waiting before my eyes.

“What the fuck!” I exclaim, “what the hell is this?!”

“I was expecting a poo and a bit of piss!”

I’m not telling a lie, just picture the scene,

I’d only unearthed a sodding Lightening McQueen!

A Lightening McQueen was there in his nappy,

no wonder the poor little sod was unhappy!

A little piss sodden, but otherwise fine,

I used a few baby wipes to make it shine.

“How on earth did this get stuck in there my boy?

That’s not the best place to be hiding a toy!”

Ben cuddles his car and he smiles at me,

and there ends the tale of the nappy mishappy.

Truly folks.

Only in my world would one of my kids wake up at 6:15am and cry that they’ve done a poo, only for me to change them and find there is not in fact a shit in their nappy, but a toy car.

Thankfully, it would appear it was placed there by Ben as he was going to sleep and he had forgotten about it. Mr McQueen hadn’t passed through the littlest one’s digestive system – that would be some road trip, get writing that idea down post-haste Disney Pixar!

One to be saved for his 18th Birthday I think…




#dontbeadick – a toddlers guide…

Quite often, my youngest can be a bit of a (massive) dick.

There, I said it.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I love him to bits, and my entire family for that matter, and wouldn’t be without any of them, but just recently I have found myself mutedly mumbling the phrase, “don’t be a dick”, whilst feeling my heart sink multiple times in a day. It’s starting to feel a bit like Groundhog day…

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That’s right Phil, you smash the crap out of that alarm clock my friend.

Every morning I try to wake up with renewed vigour.

“Today will be a good day!”

“Today will be full of fun and giggles!”

“Today, I’m not going to shout and call the littlest one a knob-head under my breath”.

And then, normally within 30 minutes of waking up, the little one begins his reign of terror for the day and the first muttering of, “don’t be a dick”, spills from my mouth.

Seriously, Boss Baby has nothing on this kid.

I just can’t help it. I can see him about to be a pillock before it happens, but there truly is little to nothing that I can do about it.

Sure, there will be those out there who tell me I am a shit mum for even thinking my toddler is a bit of a tit, who will be opinionated and say I am not in tune with my child’s feelings and it’s my fault he is behaving this way, but I beg to differ.

I can, at times, have the negotiating and bargaining skills of the President of the UN and it still doesn’t make any sodding difference. If this kid has decided he is going to dick-ville, he’s packing his Trunki and zooming there regardless of what I offer him.  This kid doesn’t do mediation.

Here are just a few instances where those words are uttered by me, including some handy tips for toddlers on how not to be a dick.

The first argument we face is normally;

Breakfast.

  • Toddler tip: If you don’t like any of the twenty choices that mummy is offering you for breakfast, DON’T BE A DICK. Just say no thank you and go hungry until snack time, or at least have a silent protest. Don’t scream at me, roll about on the floor, blow raspberries in my face and throw all the cereal boxes out of the cupboard in a rage.

Getting dressed.

  • Toddler tip: If you don’t like the thought of being clothed for the day so we can leave the house without the potential of mummy being arrested for child neglect because it’s a mere two degrees outside, DON’T BE A DICK. Just put the goddamn clothes on already! I’ve spent a small fortune on clothes with your favourite characters on so that you’d be more inclined to put them on and has it made a difference at 8am in the morning when I need to get you and your brothers out the door for school?! Does it bollocks. Just say, “Yes Mummy! I would love to wear my Lightening McQueen t-shirt today! Why thank you!”, and put it on. Don’t leg it and hide under the table so I have to drag you out kicking and screaming by your ankles so I can wrestle you out of your birthday suit.

Walking to school.

  • Toddler tip: If you don’t want to go in the pushchair, I very am happy for you to walk as long as you hold my hand. Please DON’T BE A DICK and let go of my hand and do a runner towards a busy road. Lots of people frown upon the use of baby reigns (I’ve seen the Judgey-McJudge-face’s commenting on the interweb – they seem to think they’re for animals, not children, but I would hazard a guess they haven’t been in possession of a child who could keep up with Usain Bolt). If you continue to let go of my hand and accelerate away from me quicker than I can eat a Creme egg on the sly, I will put the animal-esque walking reins on you without a second thought.

Leaving pre-school.

  • Toddler tip: I know you’ve had a lovely morning playing with your chums, but when it’s time to leave pre-school and get in the car to go home for lunch, DON’T BE A DICK. Sadly we can’t stay at school all day nor go to your friends house for lunch every day. I know you love them, but the answer is no. Please don’t run off in the car park, or sit in a puddle, or go as rigid as a plank so I can’t get you in your car seat.

Lunchtime.

  • Toddler tip: When mummy asks you if you want a Ham sandwich for lunch and you reply with, “yes please!” and help mummy make it full of excitement whilst shouting, “Yummy!”, I don’t find it very funny when you then sit there and say, “Yuck!”, at it like I have presented you with a turd on a plate. I understand it’s everyone’s prerogative to change their minds, god knows I do it all the time myself (hmmm, Gin or Rum? Gin or Rum?) but to change ones mind within the space of 15 seconds, when one is the person who made the request of a ham sarnie, that’s just madness. Stop being a miniature penis and eat it nicely, there’s a good chap. Oh, and if you’re thinking about putting stickers from your Peppa Pig magazine in your sandwich, please don’t.

Around the home.

  • Toddler tip: If mummy gives you a snack, like a yummy-scrummy biscuit or yoghurt, DON’T BE A DICK. Please don’t put it on the TV cabinet, find a toy car and then smash it to smithereens or smear it everywhere because you didn’t want to eat it after all. Number one, you’ve now made a huge mess and pissed mummy right off because she now has more cleaning to do and number two, it’s a waste of good food and I’d have quite happily scoffed that snack had you offered it my way or left it lying on the floor (yes, I have no shame and would not bat an eyelid at the thought of eating a biscuit my toddler has left on the floor rather than bin it). Also, colouring yourself in with a felt tip pen might seem fun at the time, but getting it off? Not so much. Mummy will have to put you in the bath even if you don’t want to go in there and she will have to scrub you profusely until you no longer look like you have a tropical disease. You have been warned youngling.

toddler covered in felt tip pen

At the shops.

  • Toddler tip: Look kiddo, mummy hates shopping with you as much as you do most of the time, but the fact of the matter is, sometimes shit just needs to get done and until you start school properly, you might have to come along for the ride too, alright? If mummy needs to pop into M&S to get herself some new socks and pants because hers have more holes in than a slice of swiss cheese, DON’T BE A DICK. Please don’t go into jelly mode and lay in a heap at the threshold to the shop entrance because you know it’s a boring shop with no prospect of playing with toys. If you behave, I could be in and out in 5 minutes flat but if you continue to be a toss-turnip and bellow at me in the middle of the shopping centre, it’ll end up escalating to the point that I go all cry baby on your ass and then retreat home with no new socks and pants meaning I’m going to be a tad peeved at you and not let you watch the kids opening Kinder Eggs on YouTube. Capisce?

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I know kids are only small for a short amount of time, and I wouldn’t wish the time away but my gawd, some days they push every single button you have don’t they?! It’s natural to feel like you want to book yourself a one way ticket to a Caribbean Island with only a suitcase full of Gin (and maybe those new M&S socks and pants you finally managed to buy) on occasion and that’s ok. It’s ok to find some days a struggle, and don’t think for one minute all those posts you see on social media of happy smiley families every day are the norm, because for most people, it isn’t. We all have wonderful days, glimpses of what we perceive to be perfection, but we can also all have truly shit-tastic ones, and I can assure you that you’re not alone.

So toddler of mine, and most other toddlers out there, remember;

Don’t be a dick.

Ultimately though folks, said toddler will end up being a bit of a dick at some point every day. They’re still little, they’re learning, they’re testing boundaries and pushing our buttons quicker than a teenager playing a video game. But it’s ok to feel a bit pissed off about it, mutter profanities under your breath and moan, lord knows I do.

It’s ok to say in your head, “I love you kiddo, but I don’t always like you”.

And when all else fails, remember cake and cocktails are your friends people.

Cake and Cocktails.




Extraordinary Moments (With Cow and Gate)

*This is an advertorial post in collaboration with Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk.*

Imaginary play. A fundamental part of toddlerhood.

Imagination can help them learn about the world around them, it’s how they learn to communicate with others and it allows them to express themselves without restraint.

I’ll be honest with you all, I do sometimes struggle to find the enthusiasm to play trains or bus drivers with my toddler. It’s not because I’m lazy or uninterested, but life is so hectic and there is always that ‘wait a minute, I just need to do something’ moment isn’t there?

“Wait a minute, I need to put the washing on!” or, “Wait a minute, I just need to send this email”.

Before you know it, all those ‘wait a minutes’ have accumulated into a whole day passing you by and then, as bedtime arrives, the guilt sets in.

“Why didn’t I sit and play with him a bit more today?”

You look at your little one in their bed, all snuggled up and peaceful, dreaming about their day and you vow to create something fun for them to do tomorrow.

toddler ready for bed

I always ensure I spend time at the end of the day reading a bedtime story to my kids. Sometimes my eldest will read to everyone, other times I will do it, but it’s nice to have that little bit of time to ‘just be’ together and enjoy a moment.

Once that is over, I often sit with our toddler until he is asleep. I use this time to tell our littlest one about our day and he will often nod in agreement at what I’m saying until he is fast asleep.

Precious, calm moments that are one of the highlights of the day.

Day’s with a toddler, when they aren’t at preschool, can often be quite long, especially if they’re having a ‘bad day’. My toddler has lots of those, thanks terrible two’s!

I have begun making more of an effort to do crafts and activities at home but I can often get a bit stuck in a rut.  Drawing, sticker books, painting, going to the park, going for a walk, making a train track, the usual.

But what if you think outside the box?

What if these ordinary moments could become extraordinary?

A walk down a path to the park could actually be a walk on the moon!

Or a box that a parcel comes in could actually be a castle!

Or that a toy guitar actually works and you’re a rock star on the big stage!

The possibilities are endless!

This is where the new Cow and Gate Growing Up Milk, Extraordinary moments campaign comes in.

You’re able to take an ‘ordinary moment’ captured during your day and make it ‘extraordinary’ using their simple storybook maker.

Just select which story you’d like, upload a landscape photo, add in your child’s name and your own, give them your email address and they do the rest.

They also suggest super simple, but fun, activity ideas to do with your toddler  based around the story you choose.

The technical whizzes then turn your photo into an online storybook with a difference to inspire your child to look back on their day at bedtime through different eyes. That wasn’t just a stick they found, it was a magic wand, perhaps?

An inspiring way, to end your day.

Myself and Ben made a storybook which turned him into a rock star! (His Daddy is a bit of a wannabe rock god and this seems to be rubbing off on Ben already. He loves to rock out!)

We went on the Extraordinary Moments webpage and selected some of the activities and crafts to do together during the day and then I made sure I took some photos of him.

We used a dandelion clock as a microphone, we made a drum/shaker from an old tin, a balloon, some rice and an elastic band and he used a toy guitar to ‘rock out’ to some of his favourite songs. We had a lot of fun doing it too.

balloon instrument craft

Once our photo was uploaded, we submitted it and waited for our story to be emailed. This takes no more than 24 hours.

Here is how Ben’s rock star story panned out…

Cute eh?!


What Extraordinary Moments will you have together? Why not have a go yourself? 

Click here to make your own Extraordinary Moments with Cow and Gate!




Advent with a toddler…

It has, after 3 children, only just dawned on me that toddlers do not understand advent calendars.

At all.

I would have had more luck teaching a log to speak.

This is what greeted me last night…

#passthegin




A Knutters Day Out: Wookey Hole (with #MamiaDaysOut)

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
―Roald Dahl

Dark Caves at Wookey Hole, Somerset

The end of Septmeber sees the culmination of a busy time for my family.

My brother, Mum, Dad and middle lad all have their birthdays within 3 weeks of each other and it’s often a bit of a crazy time of year! Fun, happy, memorable (the bank balance has taken a hit the size of Australia) and bonkers…

My Dad and my middle one have birthdays one day after the other so we used this as an opportunity to have a family day out at Wookey Hole, Somerset. We live in Surrey, so this was a bit of a drive for us, but we had planned it in advance (by that I mean I had looked on Google Maps at just how far it was, questioned my sanity, and then told everyone my grand plan whilst keeping my fingers crossed they wouldn’t think I had completely lost the plot…) Luckily, they all seemed up for it, none of us had been before, so we stocked the cars up with sweets, water, a picnic (including some ‘on the go’ snacks from Aldi’s Mamia Range for the toddler), clothes for all weathers, iPads and other brain-numbing electrical devices and set off in search of the Wookey’s hole…sorry, Wookey Hole. We weren’t looking for Chewbacca’s butt hole…


The drive down there really wasn’t too bad. It took just over 2 hours and the kids were amazingly well behaved in the car (thank you god of Apple!). They spent their time looking at interesting things during the journey which helped – Stonehenge, playing I-Spy, Pokémon Go and studying a squashed fly on the windscreen.

We had pre-booked our tickets online because you can save about £3/person by doing it this way. This might not sound like much but, when there is a large group of you, the savings made are enough to buy some Ice Creams at the end of the day…or Wine!

You can book tickets by visiting the Wookey Hole Website, here.

We arrived at about 10am, this is when it opens, and parked in the main car park which was easy to find and right near the ticket entrance. There are clean toilets and baby changing facilities in the car park which is fab when you’ve had a long journey and are all needing a Jimmy Riddle (cockney rhyming slang for piddle…you can thank my Nan for that one). The toilets are signed ‘Witches’ for the ladies and ‘Wizards’ for the Gents. The kids thought this was hilarious, as did I – Wizards, wands, boys, wands out…you get the gist 😉

We showed our online booking email to the ticket desk and they gave us our tickets. It was then a short, 5 minute stroll, from the ticket office to the cave entrance where you wait and queue for your tour.

The walk up to the caves is really pretty and gives you a glorious view of the gorge in which the caves are set.


In brief, Wookey Hole Caves are a series of limestone caverns and caves in the village of Wookey Hole on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills  near Wells in Somerset, UK. The River Axe flows through the caves and you get to see it at various points on your tour. Wookey Hole is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for both biological and geological reasons. The temperature in the caves is a constant 13’c all year round so it feels cool in there in the summer and warmer in there in the cold of winter. Regardless of when you visit, it is advisable to take a jacket with you.

The caves have been used by humans for around 45,000 years, which is demonstrated by the discovery of tools from the Palaeolithic period, along with fossilised animal remains. A corn-grinding mill operated on the waters of the River Axe as early as the Domesday survey of 1086. The waters of the river are used in a handmade paper mill, which now houses the main part of the alternative attractions there such as a soft play, an exhibition on the history of Wookey Hole caves, a circus and a Victorian Penny Arcade. The paper mill is the oldest in existence in Britain and it began operations circa 1610. You can still see how the paper was made after the cave tour by going into the old Paper Mill itself which is included in your ticket price, and you can also buy some handmade Wookey Hole paper in the gift shop at the end.

The low, constant temperature of the caves means that they can be used for maturing Cheddar Cheese, the famous Wookey Hole Cheddar…oh, and wine! Basically, I would be quite happy living in these caves. A good temperature all year round, fresh water, peace and quiet, glorious cheese and wine. When do I move in?

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The caves are also the site of where the first cave dives in Britain happened. Since the 1930s, divers have explored the extensive network of chambers developing breathing apparatus and novel techniques in the process. The full extent of the cave system is still unknown with approximately 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), including 25 chambers, having been explored. Part of the cave system opened as a show cave in 1927 following exploratory work by Herbert Balch. As a tourist attraction it has been owned by Madame Tussauds and, most recently, the circus owner Gerry Cottle. The cave is shrouded in legend due to the Witch of Wookey Hole – a roughly human shaped stalagmite which you see in the first cave (along with another that looks like her pet dog near it) – legend says a witch was turned to stone by a monk from Glastonbury and she remains trapped in the caves until this day. Who can blame her? She knows where the good cheese and wine are at… 😉


The tours run every half an hour, so 10am, 10:30am, 11am etc. I am unsure of when the last tour is but details can be found on their website.

We arrived about 10 minutes before the second tour was due to start so waited for that one. It really wasn’t very busy and there were lots of little ones there whose parents were also braving the caves with a toddler. We were all in it together at least!

A young lady came along selling glow sticks for the kids to use in the caves so we bought them one each in the vain hope that if they found the caves too dark and scary, their little glowing stick might cheer them up…clutching at straws maybe but I thought it was £2 (each) well spent to be honest.

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The friendly tour guide arrived promptly and led us into the caves after a small health and safety talk. It’s best not to think about caves and tunnels collapsing too much as you enter the caves, you’d probably turn around and run the other way if you imagined how many tonnes of rock were above your head.

A model witch greets you as you enter the caves and then it’s down some steps into the dark of the caves.

The caves are not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, those who aren’t sure footed (no gin before you go in) and a backpack baby carrier is also pretty useless because you have to crouch under some very low overhangs at points. Ben, our toddler, is 2.5 and he managed fine holding our hands.

Also, wear good shoes because it does get VERY slippery in there. No stilettos or flip flops…


 The caves are beautiful. They’re other worldly, mysterious and awe inspiring.

Yes, they’re lit up with coloured lights which some people don’t like because they think it’s tacky, but because the caves are used for events and weddings, they need these lights to create an ambiance. I quite liked it if truth be told and the kids thought the coloured lights were, quote, “epic”.

The tour lasts roughly 40 minutes and takes you in about 5 caves. There is so much information to take in and interesting things to that you could easily stay in there longer. Truth be told, the tour did feel a little rushed and we could have done with a little longer to linger and look in each cave before moving on, but with lots of people waiting for the next tour, it’s understandable as to why you can’t stay in there too long. see and it’s truly amazing to think Stone age man lived in these very caves you’re walking in, you’re literally following in their footsteps. It really captivated the adults and the kids and my eldest declared Wookey Hole better than Legoland. High praise indeed!

The toddler was amazingly fine in the caves. He stayed with his best buddy, Grandad, for most of it and loved putting on a hard hat like Bob the Builder so we could go in the newest cave to open. It’s only been open for a year (at the time of writing – September 2016) and so you have to wear a hard hat at the moment in case any rock falls happen (keep calm Gemma, keep calm. It’s only a few hundred thousand tonnes of limestone above you, no need to panic…)

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After the main feature of the caves is finished, you exit out into the bottom of the gorge and can walk around the beautiful grounds. The river flows with crystal clear waters, there is a Yew Tree which is thought to be over 1000 years old and there are some enormous dinosaur models to discover…oh, and a giant King Kong. Obviously. The toddler thought it was great and was shouting ‘Dinosaur!’ as much as George Pig would be on a day out at the Natural History Museum.

There is a 4D cinema there, which you have to be aged 3 and over to go in. It’s dark and loud and the seats move/shoot air out so if you have kids that are of a nervous disposition, I’d give it a miss but we went in with our 8 and 7 year olds (Nanny and Grandad hunted for more Dino’s with the toddler whilst we were in there) and they loved it. There was a bit of an odd moment where something poked you from under your chair which caused me and my husband to burst out laughing like naughty children. My son said there might be a ‘Slow Poke’ from Pokemon Go under our seats…which didn’t do anything to stop our hysteria! Pahahahaha!!!!


We then headed into the old Paper Mill for a look about.

There is an exhibit on how paper was made, another on the diving equipment over the years which has been used to explore the caves (one of the old divers loved his bottle of Aldi Mamia Apple and Blackcurrant Juice incidentally) a soft play, a mirror maze, a circus, a Victorian Penny arcade and a shop. There is certainly plenty to do in there!

We didn’t watch a circus show but we spent an hour in the old Victorian Penny Arcade and the kids were totally amazed by using the old coins and machines.

Our favourite parts of the arcade were Victorian Table football, a psychic future reader (think the movie Big…), a sweetie grab machine and a puppet that looked possessed who tells you something interesting about what might happen to you called Charles…


 After buying some Wookey Hole cheddar, a couple of souvenir cups and a wind up torch for the toddler (yep, that’s what he chose out of the whole shop!) in the gift shop, we made our way out of Wookey Hole and went back to the car park to get our picnic.

There is a Mini Pirate Golf course there but this costs extra and we didn’t play because our tummies were rumbling too much!

We sat on some picnic tables near the Wookey Hole hotel which is there (we didn’t go in but it does look like a lovely place to stay for a night or two if you were driving a long way to visit. They also have some wooden lodges you can rent which looked fab) and tucked into our picnic. The kids had decorated Grandad a birthday cake which I took with us and we all sang happy birthday and stuffed our faces with it. Ben tucked into some of his Aldi Mamia snacks (he especially enjoyed the Rice cakes and fruit pouches) and then we went and hunted for conkers to burn off some of that cake. During our conker hunt, we found an ENORMOUS one, bigger than any I have ever seen before, and it filled my eldest son’s hand. Inside were 2 very big conkers which have now been added to our collection of 200 or so which are currently sat in our fruit bowl because apparently the smell of a conker scares spiders away and my eldest HATES spiders…life with kids eh?!


I think it’s safe to say my dad and Zak had a lovely day – I hope it’s one they treasure forever. I certainly will.

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Thank you to Aldi (and Britmums) for the items from  Aldi’s Mamia Range which we used for our day out. Our toddler scoffed the lot so it’s a thumbs up from him and, because it’s all organic and really reasonably priced, it’s a thumbs up from Mummy too!

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We would thoroughly recommend Wookey Hole as a day out for families, you really could spend the whole day, and maybe even a weekend, here. Educational and a traditional (slightly eccentric) British day out. Perfect.

We drove home via Cheddar Gorge just to have a look but we didn’t stop because we needed to get home. This is somewhere I would certainly like to go back to because from what we saw of it, it was STUNNING. Our little island we call home really is quite a special place you know…


 Disclosure: This post is an enrty for #BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia. I was sent a hamper of Aldi Mamia products in return for this review.