Dockyard Social

With Lockdown easing we have more opportunities to catch up with friends, get out and enjoy some good food.

The Dock Yard Social

But not everybody is confident about this.I have learnt talking to parents that they feel anxious .So this blog will be short to the point hopefully and talk about our visit to The Dockyard Social which will hopefully help other parents and anybody really just feel confident to get back to some normally.

I think it’s best to start at the beginning what is DockYard Social?

A converted warehouse based in Glasgow’s coolest area Finnieston .

Inside it you will find 10 street vendors (reduced vendors at the moment)that rotate every 2 weeks. The great thing is the street vendors are all different your taste buds really do get to travel around the world .

I had been several times before lockdown to events and drinks with friends and really enjoyed all my visits. This made me eager to see what changes would be in place

We checked on their web page and I was surprised we could book tickets for the Saturday for free!.

On arriving we noticed straight away more space the bus was gone I was delighted Thea was not ( Thea use to love running up and down the bus having a rammy ) but this frees up areas as does the fact there is less vendors less maybe but still plenty to keep two families going.

Also a very clear one way system to help you understand the layout.

There are signs for social distancing clearly set up around the venue. We were taken to our table which was a massive picnic bench. We had plenty of room away from all other visitors and somebody comes to take your drinks (in mask )order leaving us to settle the toddlers, baby and dog in.

That meant it was time for the daddies to go round the vendors and start ordering as always our eyes were bigger than our stomachs but you can’t blame us the smells of different flavours of cooking away beside you is immense.

Choices choices choices

I always find at Dockyard Social they have something for everyone all the times I have been there with family and friends no one goes away hungry.

Food glorious food

I have missed seeing my friends and having nice food it’s been a stressful few months so I was so grateful to have a stress free afternoon as a family with friends

So we stayed the an hour and a half we talked, we laughed, we ate it felt normal, it felt good and most importantly it felt safe.

A couple of points I want to highlight for you

Family friendly- Dockyard Social has a reputation for being family friendly and wow it still is we had 3 under 3 so you know they are there everyone was brilliant with them. I often get anxious but they were awesome at making us all feel welcome

Dog friendly,dogs are welcome which I love Thea loves dogs and they keep her entertained the more the better.

Atmosphere it was great no music no problem the venue is great when you walk through that door it’s like another world with all the vendors.The artwork is great and just adds to the chilled laid back atmosphere. Coming from someone who is generally very anxious that’s some achievement.

The food where to begin ,you have burgers, kebabs , curry’s , brownies, churros , sweet potato fries so good, name a few a brilliant mixture for all. Including fantastic vegan options those fries omg!!.

So overall if you want to try different foods and catch up with friends (as long as the FM says it’s okay) and feel safe Dockyard Social is the perfect choice for you.

Our visit was on a Saturday in August 2020

Open Friday/Saturday/Sunday

https://www.dockyardsocial.com

Family friendly perfect for a play date

Potty training during Lockdown

Let’s start with this “Oh yes a perfect time for potty training,is lockdown “ this was the response from most people when we talked about Thea beginning to use the toilet.

I’m going to save a fortune

My question to them is, how the bloody hell do you know, as far I’m aware this is the 1st lockdown and I’m sure if we had one before it wasn’t used for toilet/potty training but maybe I missed something.

Onto my second moan what the bloody hell do you call it, I got pulled up for calling it potty training but toilet training sounds not right either. I mean no offence but I am going to use the term potty training in this blog my anxiety levels are at full capacity after 3 -4 months of lockdown with a toddler.

So Tony get back on track, we decided to start Thea potty training when lockdown started aren’t we fun parents. It has been interesting to say the least we ran out of frozen pants use your imagination on that one.

But how did it go I’m going to bullet point some of our journey ( some people get to go on a journey around the world this journey was not like that).

1) Potty training is a journey some days are better than others. Thea was eager to learn but basically some days she just wanted to poo in her pants. The reasons I’m not happy, I’m tired and there is a monster in the potty.

2) We found having a routine helped potty beside the bed for morning and night,gently reminding her to go. This worked well but some days the potty would just get launched across the room.

3) Pees are way easier than poo’s well this is what Thea was like. Poo’s for along time were done in her pants in our closet in the dark.

4) Take a break if it gets intense, don’t stress and we don’t want our little ones getting upset. It will only take longer and you don’t want them being scared it will only make a bigger problem

5) Working with children I know that toilet training can be sped up with siblings and watching their peers in nursery. This were I think lockdown is not always the best time. Imagine all your life happy pooping in your nappy. Then your mummy or daddy says you don’t do that you do A,B,C your toddler if stubborn might tell you to do one as they don’t believe you.

Some days it’s not worth the battle

6) Reward chart again used in nursery or stickers we had stickers went down a storm. We spoke to Thea about potty training loads and loads. Thea loves stickers she wanted Peppa pig ones so pretty simple and we would hand them out at night and just encourage and praise her.

7)Nursery taught me this one children are all unique and different. Of course take advice but don’t get upset if it doesn’t work for you. Seeing headlines on social media saying my kid potty trained in a week is crazy good for them but in the majority it takes longer. I have potty trained someone in a nursery setting in a week but that’s totally different from the Lockdown situation. In my experience it takes as long as it takes you want them to be confident and independent not traumatised.

8) But really what do I know. I don’t even know if Thea fully trained. I mean the only toilet she has used is the one in the house. I have no idea in a social situation if she will ask her teacher or know to go only time will tell.

Stay calm even when others are having a melt

My SkinCare Routine with El Naturals

My skincare where to begin?. When I was in my teens I suffered with extreme acne so bad my doctor put me on medication for it. It calmed down but can flare up and I have scarring which my daughter loves to point out. For years I have hopped between brands trying to find a solution, spent a fortune and so much time hunting it out (why can you never find the products you want in shops).

El Naturals
https://www.elnaturals.uk/

So when El naturals gifted me their new Father’s Day range I was really excited. You see their skin care products are unisex and produced specifically so it can be used by all skin types and all family members.

After hearing about other parents having the same problems as myself I thought it would be useful to run through the products I’m using and my daily routine.

1)Q10 Cleanser

2)Black Clay Mask

3)Collagen Moisturiser

4)Marula Oil

My skin care bundle

Onto my routine above is the order I use the products but you may change the order we all have different skin it’s what suits you.I will now talk about the range and how they help my skin feel refreshed and rejuniveted.

1) Q10 cleanser – I start with this, I gently massage into my skin and use a clean damp face cloth to remove it. I use about a 1 pence piece of the cleanser. It’s great for cleaning my face and repairing my skin perfect 1st thing in the morning.The cleanser has avacado and apricot oils in it which help nourish the skin and here comes the science bit Co-Enzyme Q10 which repairs the skin cells by producing energy amazing.

Q10 Cleanser

2)Black Clay Mask. I use roughy the same amount as I do with the cleanser or more sometimes as I love the stuff. It’s brilliant for cleaning my skin getting the rid of the dirt on my face and opening my pores. I gently rub the clay mask all over my face as your doing this you can feel it going to work getting . I then splash my face I personally like to rub again and finally cleanse my face with cold water. How does it keep you looking young and fresh we have grape seed for better circulation and omega 6 to reduce your pores.

Black Clay Mask

3)Collagen moisturiser if only you could smell it wow!,it has a cherry extract in it. It’s a delight,it’s not an overpowering smell as all the skincare products are scented to be used by anybody. It’s like a fresh slightly summery smell. But apart from smelling great this helps us stay young it has key oils , essitntial extracts and marine collagen and Goto Kola!.

You would think moisturising is easy just grab loads and chuck it on… no I never use to do this !!. This is how I moisturise now I use no more than pea shape at a time , warm up it up my hands and gently massage circles around my cheeks the driest part of my face . Then I move onto rest of your face. This is how my routine works I take my time I enjoy it and use it as relaxation time as well.

4)Marula Oil Face Body Serum. I will be honest before using El Naturals I had never tried anything like this before. I will now be using it forever. I’m going to tell you it makes me feel or try too it lifts your glow and skin to the next level. It’s feel luxurious and you smell like you have been to an extravagant Spa on holiday but really your in your bathroom on a Monday morning.On top of that it works brilliantly at helping my scars heal and be less pronounced .

How does it do this, well you have Marula and Apricot oils to help your skin to look fresh and ready for the day. But how does it repair your skin?, it has essential primrose and prickly pear oils included in it.

As I was new to this I got the experts to help how best to use the oil. Apply the Murula oil to your skin by using your finger again I like gentle circles I obviously lead a stressful life. One or two drops should be plenty.

Murula Oil Face & Body Serum

And that is my skincare routine with El Naturals. I hope you find it useful .

Before I finish I just a quick word from my wife Harriet- Hi I have suffered with severe excema and allergies all my life this is has made finding skincare products a real challenge. I often find products set my skin off which is difficult as the reaction will stay for hours or days. El naturals skincare range has been amazing for myself I can look after my skin every morning without worrying I will be in pain. Also I can pinch Tony’s too as it’s unisex.

Thanks Harriet and thank you El Naturals for some great products and getting my skincare routine sorted for me. I have put the website and Instagram page up so you can go and check them out and start your new skincare routine.

http://Instagram.com/elnaturals_uk

http://www.elnaturals.uk

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

So this years theme “Kindness” and let’s be honest with lockdown in almost its 10th week as I write this we could all do with some lovely kind words.

Kindness

We are going through the unknown we have never had something like this in my generation .

Which means we don’t really know how to react or think . We are told by social media and the news to stay positive but on the same sites told of doom and gloom or worse you witness hate as people argue their points not willing to be wrong or knowing the damage they cause to others .

My question is why not just be kind or as I tell the children pay a complement,make someone smile or if you are annoyed take a deep breath and talk about it. Surely you would prefer to brighten someone’s day rather than ruin it. Often by being kind you will get someone to open up you may even find out you have helped them what a great feeling.

A prime example of kindness is our Thursday night routine of banging our pots and decorating our windows in support for key workers some gestures that bring people together when in isolation. What I have noticed is the smiles it brings to peoples faces .

This leads me onto my thoughts of kindness why are we kind ?. For me when I link it to my mental health . I want to be kind to help people. You never know what someone is going through are they suffering. You can look amazing and be faking it to Oscar level but inside be crumbling and drowning.

I guess we have had all experienced kindness and unkindness. Think of how you felt when you received this kindness I’m sure it was 100 time’s better than the unkindness you received.

Think isn’t it so much nicer to be kind

Think you can make people feel that by supporting someone or just listening to what someone is going through . You may of been through something similar. So if you can choose to be kind.

I want to round this off with why mental health awareness week is so important to me. It gives us a chance to talk about mental health so hopefully we can end the stigma behind. Obviously this takes time but my big driving force is Thea and working with children I want them to feel safe and secure when talking about their feelings.

Lockdown this year is going to have a massive affect on them anything up to maybe 5/6 months of missing school,nursery, playgroups is a massive amount of time to miss out on.

Missing out on social interaction and new experiences

I know lots of my training in Early Years Education was on the importance of social interaction for 2-6 year olds especially and what can happen if they miss out on this .

They will need our kindness over the next few months even when lockdown is raised . Our kindness will keep their chins up and encourage them to be open about their feelings and help us understand them.

But why stop with children if we can be kind to children we can be kind to each other too. During the next few months lots of us may go through difficult time’s let’s build each other up by being kind instead of tearing each other down . I think you may find it beneficial to yourself and the people you are helping

Don’t be a dick be kind

Lockdown 2020 : I have 99 Problems but Bog Rolls are not one

Since the 23rd March we have been put into lockdown (some will argue we are not in lockdown but that’s not the point of this post)

Our lives changed over night , during the 21 days since we have witnessed some amazing sights and some not so amazing this post will talk about them.

1) Bog Roll . In Britain we know now the answer to the old question “if your stranded on a island what one item would you take” “Bog Roll and make it a 36 pack” . Crazy absolute mayhem in supermarkets. Will we ever know what those people were thinking buying a 100 bog rolls at a time .

2) Clap for our Carers every Thursday night 8pm we open our front doors , get the pots out and bang and cheer. To show our support to all the key workers keeping us safe during this time. I love this it’s really bringing the community spirit back. The 1st night I had a shiver up my spin hearing everyone cheer. I so nice to see people appreciate people.

3) How important a walk and fresh air are . I don’t think I have ever appreciated a simple walk so much. It’s a tough one I found myself guilty for taking my daily exercise but this takes me into point 4

4) No matter what is going on in the world there are going to be twats that don’t listen . Yes you the bog roll warriors , the people having BBQ’s on beaches and having house parties.

5) Schools Out Yes every parents worst nightmare became reality. The schools closed and parents everywhere grabbed a large drink. While everyone without laughed. As a friend said to me “I am living the dream getting paid to play computer games” .

6) Boris got ill and our daily updates got less interesting . Our leader got the virus or did he?. Anyways he disappeared from our screens and I felt the replacements seemed sort of lost witch is saying something as Boris normally looks like a rabbit in the headlights

7) We will not run out of bog roll

8) Social Distancing became a thing told to avoid all contact with others unless essential being an anxious introvert I rejoiced until I found out my toddler was classed as essential . She has taking social distancing the opposite way and won’t leave our side constantly saying “Play with me “ . I look forward to the day I get to go to work and have a day off enough said on that .

9) Football Football Football. It stopped it’s still stopped. We miss it. But I do think what a shambles and a missed opportunity for clubs to work together with communities but there is still time for this to work.

10)Pubs and shops bordered up I woke up went for my early walk and thought I was in the walking dead. Proper doomsday stuff I don’t blame them I live in Glasgow if it’s not nailed down it will be gone.

So lockdown so far has been interesting and challenging for some more than others. We will all experience it differently this post is just my light hearted thoughts. I hope you can relate and it maybe raises a smile.

Picking the Right Nursery

I know it’s hard to believe but soon enough it will be summer and millions of little ones will be starting nursery for the 1st time or Preschool, or Kindergarten .

That means as parents you now have the tough job of picking one for them. Not quite as easy as you think. I mean do you no know what to look for?, what to ask? , understand the lingo ?. It’s not something many parents have an understanding off I mean why would you it could be 20-30 years since you were in one .

That is why I’m writing this blog to help you through this stressful experience which should be a special moment. But why me ?

I worked in nursery education for several years before becoming a chaperone for children on TV. I trained in early years education gaining my HNC and NC in this . So hopefully I can pass some of my experiences onto you to help you make a decision and of course I have just got Thea accepted into our 1st choice nursery.

Being Dyslexic I can ramble on and not always get to the point so for this blog I’m going for bullet points with a brief explanation if needed.

1) what do you want ?. Do you want want a term term nursery, do you want extended hrs, do you want a local nursery, or a nursery that teaches a specific type of learning. Whatever you want please let the nursery know l,ask them or be forward and tell them this about your and children needs.

2) Listen to advice from family and friends but please don’t take this as gospel as everybody has different needs. Don’t feel pressured into sending your child somewhere just because a friend or family member goes there.

3) Preparation people check reviews out of nurseries again you will some brill and some not so. Just keep an eye out for same positives or criticisms as if they are all saying same just like any reviews there maybe some truths in it.

4) Check the official reports on Ofstead and The Care Inspectorate to see your nurseries grades. Right I’m going to be honest here. I’m not 100% on these reports. Why ? For nurseries 3 years + it’s an inspection every 3 years and for under 3 it’s 2 years and there has been issues in the past that settings can get good scores but that may not be the case everyday in the setting.

5) Talk to your children find out their interests find out how the nursery can develop those interests. Every child is an individual as how they will cater for their individual needs.

6) A nursery tour you will everything good about the nursery it maybe the nursery is a business. Don’t ever be afraid to ask any questions you want to walk away with a clear mind.

7) This is one I picked up from fellow parents. Watch how the nursery workers interact with your child. Are they interacting or are they just selling the nursery to you. Which maybe great but you are not spending up 11hrs in the place

8) Extra curricular activities examples football, french, drama, art classes, music to name a few sound awesome and if free great. But if they cost this can cost a small fortune again just ask the price , we picked a nursery that doesn’t have extras like this.

9) Finally my best advice You will know when you know. I know how vague but after talking to parents about this, this is the feedback I got. If you have a bad feeling don’t just go it will be alright check more nurseries or go back and ask questions. At some point you will find a nursery and it will feel welcoming , warm ,fun and meet all your needs at this point you have found your nursery.

I hope this blog helps and if you any questions just ask !.

Having Dyslexia and not knowing you have Dyslexia

At the age of 29 years old I did a check/ test with Dyslexia Scotland to see if I had dyslexia or in my words “I’m I just thick and lazy” like many of my teachers had implied.

After the test which involved puzzles , sequences and words . The report I got basically said moderate / to severe dyslexia and I also had a processing delay , I found it hard to understand instructions and problem solve. I had felt that for years I would be asked to do a task but it was like I was being spoke to in a foreign language . I never said anything and took the jokes or the annoyance of co-workers or managers.

Why did I do nothing?.

Imagine every school report and teacher say your lazy, doesn’t study , complete homework and isn’t teaching their potential. To say my confidence was shot is an understatement , I’m actually getting quite emotional writing about it. 13 years of education the best time of your life, I don’t think so I hated it and have an anger towards the education system how could they let this happen and then the teachers yes it was the 80’s and 90’s but the way the spoke to me and treated me was a disgrace and has definitely affected my mental health as a teenager and young adult . How can you put a child constantly down and not help them?.

Right enough of feeling sorry for myself and ranting.

How my dyslexia and processing delay affect me ?.

I’m going to start with how it affects my Instagram . When writing a post it can take several attempts . Why well I sometimes miss out words and even when reading it through I won’t know it’s missing. You see my reading is horrible if I’m reading a book I need total silence or I just don’t take it in. I often read the same line or page over and over again. So my posts can take an age to put together.

Onto spelling , I could say I can’t spell but that’s not totally right. I can but it’s like my brain muddles up the words and spits them out back to front and plays tricks on me. It looks right to me and I have the right letters but in the wrong places. It is incredibly frustrating as I often can’t use words I want to as I have no idea how to spell them or I’m scared I will be pulled up for my mistakes .

When I’m writing I struggle to make it all link together , I struggle with the grammar and punctuation I just sometimes miss it out.

I think this can be related to my audrity processing delay. I struggle with instructions verbally but also understanding skills like writing. I remember trying to learn about writing skills in school I had no idea what the teachers were asking of me so I had to self teach myself and come up with defence mechanisms to survive . God forbid the teacher asked me in class or read out my work talk about an anxiety bomb.

So how do I cope for college I had a scribe I would tell them what I was trying to say and they would put it in to proper English I also got funding for a proof reader which was fantastic. I unfortunately never got this help at university . I felt they wanted us to be robots “to pass this course you must write the way we want you to” this was never going to work my content and understanding was good but it didn’t read like university papers I soon dropped out.

Day to day I will ask family and friends to check my work but I can’t do this for every post it just wouldn’t work. Also when somebody checks your work they change it . It no longer sounds like me.

Honesty I am up front now on forms I put down I will need support or extra time and in work situations I will tell people. I may take a little longer to respond . I feel this helps me relax and what else can I do ?.

I love writing and posting it’s amazing for clearing my mind and moving on. It stops me from overthinking and keeping my anxiety in check . I also have journals with lists and thoughts but sorry they are just for me .

I hope this post helps you understand the difficulties I have when writing and maybe encourages some others with dyslexia to start writing or share their experiences.

Restaurant Review: The Hebridean

It was mid October and mid -week and the wife and myself had a rare night off from Thea. Off we set to Ashton Lane and off to the warmth of The Ubiquitous Chip . After a couple of pints of Furstenberg and standing beside the fire hunger kicked in …

I was pretty adamant that the only place I wanted to try was The Herbridean you see I have been to 111 by Nico and it was great. I had heard mixed reviews on line from The Herbridean and was determined to try it for myself.

Once arriving one can only describe the atmosphere as electric , you see it was MOD week (Scotland’s Premier Gaelic festival don’t you know ). This meant we had a delightful Gaelic Trad band keeping us entertained throughout .

So I’m going to break this review down let’s start with the food

Nibbles : Sourdough bread an goose fat butter and olives

The bread and butter was to die for and the Olives just salty enough for you to keep going back for more

Starters : Arbroath Smoky croquette and

Charlie Barley Black Pudding and Crispy pigs head terraine

I had the croquette fishy and smokey but not too much . The best part the crispy ness of the croquettes

The terraine well that packed a punch and it’s hearty . I honestly didn’t know what to expect

But it was lovely crispy but nice and soft with the black pudding.

Mains : Venison Wellington from the specials menu no picture of this it didn’t last long . So much can go wrong with this dish soggy over done to name a couple . But not this one pastry flaky and venison cooked to perfection and lovely and tender.

Haggis Nepps and tatties

Perfect after a heavy starter according to Harriet it is soft , creamy , peppery and just perfect with The Molinillo Malbec we decided to shsre

Service

We arrived about 8.30pm it was busy and noisy but not that you would notice that by the service. I was really impressed and I can be picky after working in the hospitality industry . I can’t fault it attentive but not over bearing , no rush , and generally very nice which can be rare now adays . One little thing we had a small table by the wall and myself being 6ft 1 I was slightly closer to the gentleman behind me than I would like but as I said very small issue and we hadn’t booked a table .

Value

We had 2 coffees and a bottle of wine on top of the food. I read a newspaper review which said about the price we paid just shy of £100 including tip £50 each but I wasn’t watching the pennies I could of ate and drank cheaper from the menu . I was stuffed at the end so in my eyes worth while . I feel as if you pay for an experience not just the food it’s the location , vibes, atmosphere and service your paying for now. No doubt I will be back soon when I can get a baby sitter

Featured

Returning to Work after having a Child

When Thea was 1 years old I have to admit , I was in not a great place. Due to a hell a lot of things but I have to say my work life was hell.

I had fallen out of love of the education system and needed out. Harriet had just started to work for herself so we decided for myself to take a time out and stay at home with Thea . I mean I was trained in early years so why not . I stayed at home for almost a year and loved it. I built an amazing bond with Thea and it let Harriet’s business grow and flourish .

While at home I did some chaperoning which is looking after children on set I really enjoyed it and when in June I got the opportunity to work on a new BBC kids drama (The Demon Headmaster check it out on CBBC on Monday’s at 5pm )full time it was to good to turn down. I thought going back  to work would change our home life  but it really changed and I guess that’s the same for all parents returning to work .

There is good points and bad points to this so here’s what have found out since returning to work .
Let’s start with the positives :

Money Money Money – Having another income is great we can save ,book a holiday and have treats with Thea at the weekend.

Adult interaction – It’s great to spend time with other adults saying that we behave like children most of the time .

Self worth – working for me builds my self esteem bringing a wage into the family home . Also the self satisfaction of working on a project from start to finish feels great .

Reflection- working long hrs makes you realise what is important in life. It also focuses myself .

Mental Health- I feel mentally much stronger . My confidence is growing meaning my self worth has gone up. On top of that putting myself into new and stressful situations has helped control my anxiety .

Right next up the negatives :

Being away from Thea at 1st it wasn’t bad, but now she knows. When I’m getting ready to leave I get “No No” and sometimes a slap and that’s if she is awake . Sometimes I only see her in the middle of the night to change her nappy that’s hard .

Physically knackered : Being out the house for 14-15 hrs a day brutal . It takes a while for your body and mind to get use to that. Walking 20,000-25,000 steps a day your diet has to change 

Quality time : I say I don’t see Thea it’s the same with Harriet . I’m knackered when I’m back home at the moment so it can be quiet in the house. Meals out and days out haven’t been happening as much. I need to change that and get in a better routine. 

Guilt- what do feel guilty about literally everything at first, but I feel this passes and once you talk about it that helps .

Stress/mental health I’m putting this in as I know in the past my work I hated and it brought on this. Thankfully on returning to work I haven’t suffered this. Why most likely it’s down to being  in a better place. I mean that’s why I went back to work . I’m also on medication so I’m guessing that should get some credit too. If your mental health is taking a battering at work please talk about it to someone straight away don’t let it affect your home life .

Right so overall :

I can sit on the fence and say just do what you feel is right , but deciding to be a stay at home parent or a parent returning to work has a major impact on not just you but your partner and your children .

A prime example is this I had a dad in the an old nursery doing a visit his child was going to start nursery full time at one years old. He couldn’t answer any of the questions I had but told me they had another on the way and the child had to go to nursery .

I’m not saying don’t work , don’t send your child to nursery , but you need a balance and you need to think what you really want. We all have different goals and priorities it’s your choice but remember they are not kids forever .

I like being self employed it’s flexible , I’m my own boss and it works for me and Thea . Could I earn more money yeah but the more you earn the more you spend in my experience . But I do think Day release sorry work is good for the soul and mind which will is good for you and also your family

How to Survive a Wedding with a Toddler

Life with a toddler in our experience can be hectic . The transition of Baby to toddler is shall we say emotional. Taking a baby out you can keep them entertained and happy with a pram and bottle when out socialising. A toddler goes somewhere new and becomes an emotional wrecking ball. A pram will not contain them and will not silence them .

Life does not stop though so when we knew our friends Kirsty and Emmett were getting married we thought we better get organised. Thea would be 20 months by the wedding and in full toddler mood.

So for a smooth weekend this is what we planned.

:Keep it simple stay in the hotel of the wedding The Piersland Hotel.

:We didn’t want to rush so we booked the night before and after. This meant Thea could get use to place and not be like a Taz Manian Devil when seeing a wedding for the 1st in a new place.

: We all deserve a break and weddings are always a fantastic occasion . With this in mind we got our friend Nikki to come down to babysit. We had booked a cottage so plenty of room and Thea loved Nikki.

:Do a food shop the day before, pick picnic foods and your child’s favourites it’s a break for them too. You never know how they will react to sleeping in a new bed. That can be bad enough you don’t want them hungry too.

At this point I have to say I was feeling quite chuffed with myself. We were going to smash this wedding .

The day before the wedding I left Harriet and Thea at home and thought I would get a gym workout,sauna and shave . As I was in the changing room about to go to the gym my phone rang … I very nearly didn’t pick it up I saw it was Harriet and thought it would be reminding as always pick up milk for Thea .

Thank God I did answer it was Harriet hyperventilating while trying to shout the wedding is today. It was now about 11.30 the wedding was 14.00 the next day . I don’t know why but I chuckled down the phone. You can guess how that went down, so off up the road I went knowing I was in for a world of pain.

When entering the flat I can only describe it as a chaotic war zone and I had walked straight into the middle of it with a big silly smile. Harriet was in full panic mode, red face,eyes filling,banging everything down and speaking very high pitched.

I think because I knew Harriet was panicked it relaxed me about it. When it’s your wedding your so caught up in the moment you didn’t even really know who is there,but I was quietly confident we would make it. Harriet packed and kept Thea happy and then packed the car and to cut along story short we made it to the hotel with 15minutes to spare but our story does not end here.

Thea had missed her nap. Never ever a good thing to miss for anyone. I don’t remember a parent ever saying I’m so glad our child missed their daily nap right before their 1st wedding.

The hotel is stunning and old with lots of rooms and stairs which would be fine if we arrived 24hrs earlier and Thea had explored them all. So getting to the bar was a battle as she fought to explore the men’s toilet .

But there should of been a babysitter and we should of been at the bar having drinks.

Thea was now at her 1st wedding. Inthe bar she ran about like a headless chicken but was not causing to much fuss. The ceremony though was a different ball game. How the hell do you get a toddler to sit still on a chair in a room with about 60 people let alone stop them shouting Daddy and Duck.

I took one for the team and escorted Thea out the room like a teen getting escorted by the police for drinking several bottles of Mad Dog 20/20. I didn’t want a scene the teen wanted everyone to know I was ruining there fun an they did not deserve this treatment. I left to the slap of my nose and raspberry.

So I missed the ceremony but caught glimpses as Thea heckled through an open window at the back. But it was worth it Kirsty was one of Harriet’s bridesmaids and loved watching her get married myself and Thea so her crying cue Thea banging the window.

Afterwards there was photos,drinks and then dinner.

This time was spent necking beer as fast as possible and running after a toddler trying to escape us . It was knackering work but Thea was in her element playing outside,talking to lots of new people eating sugar what else does a toddler want a dog… oh yeah Bruce Kirsty’s and Emmett’s dog made a guest appearance Thea loved that.

But she was getting tired and cranky about 8pm so we took her back to the room. Harriet was putting her down and I was in the other room making coffee. After a while of silence I went through and both were fast asleep it was 8.30pm and it was the end of the night for all of us. What a day.

So to survive a wedding with a toddler 1st things 1st make sure you have the right date in your diary.