Social distancing, The naughty step – and a couple of life saver recipes!

Social distancing, The naughty step – and a couple of life saver recipes!

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 24, March, 2020

The Mummy Diaries

WHAT A WEEK. It has been a case of just taking it a day at a time and trying to stick to some kind of routine both for the kids and for myself. We tried to keep to the schedule that I posted for you guys in my blog last week. Did it work? Yes, some things worked, some things didn’t. Did the kids give me a hard time? Yes, sometimes. Was I ready to crack up? Absolutely! But in general, we did well and it was all trial and error. So much for social distancing, being bored and being stuck in the house doing nothing . I have never enjoyed wine o’clock on a Friday night as much – and I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy in my life! Ha!

So, what worked?

Well, pretty much everything. We covered most of the activities I listed. We actually ran out of time some days as there were certain things I had planned that Jamie and Lily loved and took longer than expected. The balloon party was a hit and the tent day was requested again a few times.

What didn’t work?

Jamie and Lily are too young to have a planned, scheduled-out day. Yes, they need a routine when it comes to meal times, naps and bedtime but trying to organise a daily timetable by the hour didn’t work on any day. I was too focused in trying to keep them so busy that they wouldn’t get bored, it actually made them grumpy and in fact had the exact reverse effect and totally stressed me out.

I also needed a guide on discipline. With Jamie in particular, when he gets bored and fed up, he usually resorts to being naughty in the attempt to get attention – even if it’s bad. My job was to work out when to step in. If I disciplined Jamie every time he was naughty, he would spend his entire life on the ‘naughty step’! So, I decided to not react to the little things. Things like nicking Lily’s last chocolate button (she’s more than capable of bollocking Jamie herself!) or quietly clicking on Baby Shark on YouTube when I’ve allowed him to watch the shapes or numbers train. I discovered pretty quickly that it’s all about balance, but the things that worked the best were the things I hadn’t planned.

Jamie and Lily absolutely love baking and cooking. Last week we attempted making scones and they had a ball. Well, up until it was time to put the scones into the oven and it was meltdown time. Jamie and Lily didn’t quite understand that we needed to bake the scones for a bit in the oven before we could eat them. After the initial screaming match, they both sat poised staring at the rising scones through the oven door. So, my plan was to tweak the cooking and find a recipe for a cake or desert that didn’t involve having to bake anything. Of course, I initially tried to find something healthy and nutritious but then that totally went out of the window after I came across this little beauty!


If your kids are like mine and love cooking and baking but can’t wait for the actual cooking or the baking – then this is the recipe for you and its seriously Y-U-M-M-Y!


275g butter

150ml golden syrup

225g dark chocolate (good quality, at least 60 per cent cocoa)

200g digestive biscuits, roughly crushed

200g rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed

50g Maltesers

For the glaze:

100g dark chocolate

30g butter

50g icing sugar, sifted

75ml double cream

Hundreds and thousands to decorate (optional)

You'll Need:

15cm/6″ round cake tin


Small Saucepan

Not only is this recipe super easy, but it tastes even better at around 8pm (after kids are sleeping) along with a nice glass of red. Just saying!

The next suggestion I was given was to look up this exercise guy on YouTube called Joe Wicks, The Body Coach. Starting on Monday 23rd March he is going to be hosting a free workout aimed at kids LIVE on his YouTube channel.

You don't need any equipment, just tune in to his YouTube channel at 9am each morning for a 30-minute, fun workout. And fun it is! Jamie and Lily love it and if you follow it properly, you might just work off those scones you had the day before!

The other idea that was given to me was to make my own Play Doh. This was a major hit in our house and yes, it’s a bit messy but no more so than making scones, and much less traumatic on the waist and hips! After a week or more of social distancing, I would much rather be cleaning the kitchen than listening to the whinging Dervishes.



8 Tbsp Plain Flour

2 Tbsp Table Salt

Food Colouring

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

60ml Warm Water

Super easy again, and my advice? Unless you’re cool with having red, blue and green food colouring sprayed up the walls, make the Play Doh yourself without any help from kiddos. My two spent an entire afternoon messing about with this, making pretend food and plating it all up. I even managed to sneak in a cup of tea for myself and drink it while it was hot. Imagine that!?

So guys, I hope these recipes will give you a couple more ideas on keeping the monsters occupied for a wee while. Please keep messaging me with ideas while we are all self-isolating and I’ll try and spread them around.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep calm – those Friday night wine o’clocks along with a large slice of chocolate biscuit cake will surely help!


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