Bye bye naps, scary movies and say ‘Cheese!’

Bye bye naps, scary movies and say ‘Cheese!’

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 7, April, 2020

The Mummy Diaries

WEEK THREE in the big brother house, err I mean self-isolation. Our new routines are starting to become the new normality and although it’s tough not being able to spend time with family and friends, it’s actually quite nice to slow down and appreciate what luxuries we actually had before. We took so much for granted. Maybe this is a learning curve for us all? Well, it definitely is for me. And the first thing I took for granted was the toddler day time naps.

Ah yes, that magic hour or two (if your very lucky!), you have when the kids are down for their naps. An hour spent getting jobs done in the house, or catching up with some work, or lying along the sofa with your feet up watching total crap on daytime tv, just because you can. Bliss!

Well, not anymore!

Lily will still have her mid-morning morning nap but the afternoon nap sessions are now a thing of the past. I was hoping this was another passing phase and she was just out of sorts for a couple of days, but nope! That’s it. My mummy free time in the afternoons are over and I’m going to have to up my game and think of things to keep the pair of them amused ALL day.

Fox ache.  Frankly, I think the play school are taking this ‘self-isolation’ thing way too seriously and they are being totally selfish making me keep my own kids at home all day. A-hem.

So, after a couple of days of trying to keep the kids so busy and playing outside that they would be so exhausted by the afternoon, they would be begging for a nap.  The only one that was begging for a nap was me. I admitted defeat. I had a look online and on social media for some tips and suggestions that other people were trying.

Here’s what I found, 10 new ideas to keep your toddlers entertained during lock down:

1.     The shaving foam tray – fill a tray with some shaving foam outside and let them draw shapes and pictures in it. (A little messy, but it’s outside and my two loved it.)

2.     Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga – fun and entertaining and chills them out. Didn’t expect Jamie and Lily to participate for more than 10 minutes, but they did the yoga to the end. Available in 10, 15 and 20 minute sessions.

3.     Alexa and Amazon Music – Get the kids to choose a song and we all have to dance to it. Kids loved it.

4.     Treasure hunt in the house/garden – make a list of things for them to find in the house or garden (depending on the weather) and a treat for the winner. Or in our case they both get a treat!

5.     Spider’s Web – Get some wool and tape and turn the hall into a spider’s web. Try and climb through without touching it!

6.     Homemade puppets – A sock and some sticky eyes! Jamie and Lily got a kick out of making their own wee toys and played for ages afterwards.

7.     Make dinners – Let’s face it, if you’re anything like me and making dinner feels like a total chore, the kids can defo help make it more interesting. Have a think of dinners that the kids can help make. Jamie and Lily loved making their own pizzas and choosing what toppings they wanted. Fajitas and wraps is another one they enjoyed putting together.

8.     Egg decorating – Get the craft box and pens out and let them work away.

9.     Pasta shapes – Get them to put all the different shapes into bowls. Fill a plastic cup with some pasta and make music shakers. Make pasta necklaces.

10.  Laundry – this might sound silly but Lily and Jamie spent ages playing with the basket of clothes. They separated them and dressed up. I even managed to make a cup of tea!

Of course, not every idea goes to plan. I was reading an article on Facebook and another mum had the idea of giving their toddler a camera and let them enjoy taking photos. We didn’t have any old cameras lying about but I did have an old mobile phone that was lying in the drawer that was so useless other than able to take photos. Great idea! I showed Jamie how it works and he loved it. He spent ages taking snaps of Lily, out in the garden. He even managed to work out how to do photo bursts. (I’ve only JUST learned how to do this!) So, with Jamie entertained in his new photography venture and Lily happy doing her dance and yoga to Cosmic Kids, I thought it was an opportune time to nip to the bathroom while I had peace. So there’s me sitting on the toilet contemplating what to make for the dinner…

“Say cheese Mummy!” and Jamie starts taking photo bursts of me sitting on the toilet.


I managed to wrestle the phone off Jamie just before he uploaded the said pics on to my Facebook page!

Fox ache. Okay, well that wasn’t such a good idea. Lesson learned. In that moment, I stuck the telly on to try and distract Jamie from getting upset that I had taken the phone off him and Sky News told us…

BREAKING NEWS: The Covid-19 honeymooners stranded in The Maldives. The last remaining guests on the luxury island.

Uuuugh, what a frigging nightmare! There’s always someone worse off than you, I thought.

So Friday night arrived and I was glad to see it after another hectic week trying to keep the kids occupied and worrying that they were okay and getting enough exercise and fresh air and all the stuff that we worry about! So what better to do on a Friday evening but download a film and pour a glass of wine. It was my choice this week and even though it terrifies me to my core, I hadn’t seen IT Chapter 2 yet. I love scary movies but IT is beyond scary. It’s the stuff of nightmares. After traumatising myself when I was 12-years-old watching the original, I felt I had to watch the new version. James reluctantly agreed after expressing his lovingly concern as he didn’t want me upset. Actually, I think his exact words were,

“Oh we’re not watching that shite, you’ll be up half the night with the lights on!”

Love is. It was my choice, so we settled in to watch IT.

Film over and nearly three traumatic hours later and I was dying for the bathroom but was too scared to go. I pretended that I was reading my book in bed so James would fall asleep and I could keep the light on! I thought I had actually handled watching the film pretty well. That was until 4am in the morning…

I rolled over in bed and opened my eyes to Jamie staring at me at the side of the bed.

“Hi Mummy” Jamie said quietly.

“Jeeeeezus!” I roared while nearly jumping out of my skin. James threw himself out of bed, while Jamie ran out of the room crying after I squealed.

“God sake Emma” (or words to that effect), “you scared the heart out of Jamie.” James said while darting through to try settle him.

Scary films need to come with a warning. I know there are ratings of PG, 12, 15 and 18. There needs to be a rating of ‘Over 35 with toddler standing next to the bed in the middle of the night’, if you ask me!

#mummydiaries #staysafe

Photo of clown from IT Chapter 2 and my two clowns playing with home-made playdoh 

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