It’s not just me, right?


There are some things you never, EVER say as a parent. "What do you want for dinner?" (you almost certainly won't have it in) "I just need to make a phone call" (are you MAD? That's the signal for kids everywhere to need to speak to you immediately) "Why do you need a new skin in Minecraft?" (Please. They just do. Hand over your credit card and accept your fate) But above all of this, friends, is the thing you never say. Never.   All I wanted was a nice photo to … [Read more...]

Little Lego Makers

lego house

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our frustration when we went out to buy some LEGO and couldn't find a single box of LEGO that wasn't themed. It's not that we don't love the licensed sets of LEGO - sometimes we do - but, inspired by the LEGO movie, Flea wanted to build her own LEGO creation, to not just follow instructions, but to use her imagination to create something amazing. Thankfully, the rather brilliant people at LEGO saw my post and sent Flea a huge box of LEGO bricks. She was a bit … [Read more...]

Little Moments: 2013

flea christmas

The passing of another year always makes us reflect, I think. It's natural to think about where we've been this year, what we've achieved, and where we want to go next. For me, it's great because reflecting reminds me that, while bits of 2013 involved a lot of hard work and late nights, and the odd frustration, the important stuff - well, that's all here. We're all happy, healthy and financially stable. Flea is bursting at the seams with happy, and growing up into a person I'm proud to … [Read more...]

Board Games for Kids at Christmas

Name 5

Earlier this month we were sent some board games by the people at Brainbox. Now, I have to say that Flea loves board games. One of the side-effects of keeping her screen free until she was five is that she developed a passion for board games, and I think it's a really nice, low-key way to spend time together in the evenings. Among the bundle we were sent was a game I haven't seen before, called "Name 5". It's a ridiculously simple game in some respects - players take turn moving a … [Read more...]

Five Great Beach Games for Winter

winter beach games

Regular readers of our blogs will know that Flea and I love the beach. Living in a Victorian town house has many charms - chronic damp, wonky walls and rotting floorboards for starters - but a large garden is most definitely not one of them. Perhaps that's why the beach is our year-round playground. We visit the beach near to us in all weathers, and we can happily entertain ourselves on a beach all day long. We often take down a flask of hot chocolate and our portable barbecue and have … [Read more...]

You Raise Me Up…


Thing about having kids is, there's always someone around who's totally got your back. It's all about having someone who loves you, no matter what, and thinks you're brilliant - even when you're not. Take this conversation, between me and Flea, last night on the way home from school. Flea: Mummy, can I ask a difficult question?  Me: Sure, go on.  Flea: Well, I was wondering, if you wanted to get another baby because I'd really like a brother or sister.  Now, a baby isn't on my … [Read more...]

The One Where Flea was Neglected.


It's been a fab weekend. My first real weekend off in a month, what with the demands of organising the MAD Blog Awards and BlogSummit Manchester during September. Flea and I took off to the beach on Saturday morning, then there was time for a quick trip to the park before heading off to Manchester to see Wicked live on stage - which was *amazing*. Then on Sunday it was off to see the family for Sunday dinner, then home in time for a massive Playmobil session on the lounge floor - Flea's … [Read more...]

Is Tracy Beaker more dangerous than demons and swords?

mortal instruments

I've mentioned it before on my blog, but Flea is a keen reader. She's the child of two writers, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. And I'm thrilled - I love reading, and it's good to know Flea has a hobby that can entertain her pretty much anywhere, for next to no money. If you read, you're almost never going to be bored. But when your child is a REALLY keen reader, it can be hard to keep up. At two, Flea had memorised her bedtime stories and would read them to her teddies at night, … [Read more...]

And Now We Are Seven


Flea is seven. But only for another day or two. It's true. My girl is turning eight. EIGHT. How the jimminy did that happen?  It barely seems five minutes ago I woke up from the anaesthetic and asked my husband why he was holding that baby. Seven has been a great year. Seven is the year Flea decided she wanted to walk into school on her own, and ride her bike round the block without any help from me, thanks very much. Seven is the year she discovered fantasy books, and started … [Read more...]

You Know You’re Old When…

Legoland Florida

Your child hears the YMCA skit in the new Despicable Me movie and shouts out "Mummy! It's" because she has NO IDEA it's actually a song. You watch your child stare at a can of Coke with a removable ring-pull for several minutes before giving up and handing it to you, saying, "I don't know how to do these old-fashioned ones."  You wish they'd stop inventing new phones long enough for you to learn to actually use the one you already own. You explain to your child that Roald Dahl … [Read more...]