run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Friday 28 October 2016

You know you have a toddler when...

My 'omg I have a toddler' moment wasn't when my 'hey, isn't he a baby?' started negotiating with me (over raisins, not world peace). 

It wasn't even when I turned around after boiling the kettle (three seconds) and discovered my kitchen looked like it had been burgled. 

It was when I realised my favourite car audio was no longer XFM, but the three chords of track four of 'Children's Favourite Car Music' (Nelly the Elephant: upbeat version) which mean I can drive without back-seat screaming.

So, I asked the mamas of Facebook and blog-world: what was the moment you knew you were the parent of a toddler? 

(You might want to do some pelvic floors before reading... Some of these are funnnnny.)

You know you have a toddler....

"When you don't look at the clock anymore because you know the time by what children's programne has started. Oh Playschool is on? It's half nine.... must get a move on..."

"When miscellaneous items can be found in random places, all over your house. 'Oh, there's the wooden spoon. In the toilet.'"

"When your hottest gossip is about what's happening at nursery - mainly who complained about who, how long the new manager will last, and which key worker's bloke left her..."

"When you no longer get excited about the clocks going back an hour."

"When you find yourself saying things to the toddler that you would have in the past only said to your drunk boyfriend / husband. Eg 'please stop trying to eat the stones'..."

"When your toddler grabs the breast of a visitor and shouts 'BOOBY' and you're so tired you can't even be bothered to apologise..."

"When you realise you're watching Paw Patrol, 30mins after the kids fell asleep..."

"When your car and carpet are full of sand..." (from Whinge Whinge Wine)

"When there are food smears on every wall in the house about 76cm high..."

"When you refer to yourself as mummy to an adult by mistake..."

"When you walk along the street with toddler in buggy singing 'Wheels on the bus/ Old MacDonald' at full volume with no embarrassment..."

"When you are so sleep deprived you try and unlock your front door with your car remote..."

"When you can't go to the toilet without an audience."

"When you haven't seen the bottom of the washing basket for over two years, despite putting on three loads a day..." 

"When you start saying sentences that you never thought would fall out of your mouth... such as "please don't hit your sister with the elephant."

"When you realise you know the entire script for every Peppa Pig episode, ever made...

"And your YouTube homepage is filled with videos of Chu Chu TV and 300 versions of 'Family Finger..

"And you have a favourite Paw Patrol character...

"And you automatically type in 614 on Sky TV every time you turn it on (damn you, CBeebies)," says Twinderelmo

"When you find yourself saying 'please don't put your potato in your eye' during dinner time."

"When your most commonly-used phrase is 'mind your head'."

"When you find yourself having a debate about why you (the mum) don't have a willy... in a public toilet, with your toddler son. Obviously he chooses to talk really loudly so everyone can hear."

"When you find yourself having to learn the names of every train that has ever existed because your toddler quizzes you about them all the time... from Suburban Mum

"When you get to work, open your bag to take out important work things and find 17 small cars, a pair of socks and a lump of playdough all placed there lovingly by your toddler ... but no important work things.." laughs Rock and Roll Pussy Cat. 

"When you find yourself singing along with the toys whilst out and about... "Circle triangle square, shapes are everywhere," sings Fab Fat Mama

"When a 30-min round walk takes two hours (because: leaves, twigs, dents on the ground, driveways, grass, flowers, man-hole covers, puddles...)" says Adventures of a Novice Mum 

"When 8am is considered a lie in..."

"When you're always covered in glitter and no longer bother explaining why."

"When you find being given a "bogey present" to take to work, on your way out of the door, endearing..."

"When you find yourself 'repairing' a banana."

"When you are so tired that you have to feel if your toothbrush is wet ... because you can't remember if you brushed them or not."

"When you eat in secret because you don't want them to want what you are eating. (It's chocolate.)"

"When you're just happy everyone survived the day."


Thursday 13 October 2016

Review: family-friendly afternoon tea at One Aldwych

If you want to splurge on afternoon tea in the Capital, and you want amazing food but also the London-wow factor, and you want the kids to have as good a time as the grown-ups, there's only one place to go: One Aldwych.
Here's why.

The hotel's afternoon tea is themed around Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and you know how the kids in the book find their eyes boggling at the innovations and flavours and smells and colours? That's what you get here - via the food.

You're sitting in a relaxed five-star hotel's restaurant around the corner from Covent Garden, but drinking a steaming yet cold (ah, dry ice) pomegranate mocktail.
The teapot was still steaming (and my niece only stopped staring to start Instagram boomerang-videoing to show friends) when a platter of egg, roast beef and smoked salmon sandwiches, plus tomato filo and stilton tarts, arrived. They're just about the only piece of traditional afternoon tea you should expect, but so good that we had to go for a second round (ushered over without extra charge) in part because tiny man ate so many.

Then the seriously-wow platter arrives. Tall pink candy floss lollypops, in a flavour that's at the tip of your tongue, only what is it? (The waiter gives you clues - Wonka style - until finally you realise. I'm not giving the secret away here!)

Tiny bottles of caramel chocolate milk, which we slurped down so fast replacements arrived and were guzzled down too. 

Dainty gold-dusted chocolate eggs, filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango 'yolk'. Lemon cake pops. Blueberry financiers. Crumbly scones with berry or apple compote. Little pots of Eton mess. Plus cream, of course - this is afternoon tea in London.
It's smart - everyone's dressed up - but not fusty. Tiny man had his high chair surroundings covered  in cake faster than the Great Glass Elevator could travel, but the waiters didn't mind, as they might in other top London hotels.

You can feel relaxed about taking the kids and certain they - and you - will enjoy it. We loved the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea. Just understand that you're going to feel like an Oompa Loompa afterwards.. there's a lot of delicious food.

* Run Out of Womb was a guest of One Aldwych for afternoon tea - but we're seriously gobby - especially about food - and only rave about what we really love. Tea costs £37.50 per person, £27.50 for kids.
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