Cough cough splutter splutter

Small children wake in the night for any number of reasons, some of which are utterly infuriating.

Unquestionably legitimate

Needing the toilet / nappy change
Needing milk (very small children only; does not include hollow-legs 7yos)


“There was a noise”
“I think there’s a monster”
“My pyjamas are funny”
“I really love you”

At the risk of invoking Samuel L Jackson, it’s hard to accept Infuriating Wakes when they are remotely avoidable.

“A bit of a cough” is to be expected when a small child has a cold. Something about lying down and the drainage something something gross this is why I am not a doctor.

Smearing a bit of Vicks or similar on to the SOLES OF THE FEET somehow magically relieves the cough a bit. I am a bit of a cynic about “woo” remedies but reflexology occasionally annoyingly does something and this is one of those things.

Note: it even worked on the totally cynical “I will do this to prove you wrong” husband who had been miserable with a cold-cough and within ten minutes of Vicks-ing had fallen into a coughless sleep. HA. VINDICATION.

For the sake of the sheets, put socks on over the Vicks.


My teeny hand is frozen

This post has been part-written for a while. The weather took me – and a lot of other people – by surprise. So although this might seem unseasonable, trust me that it will be useful when it’s really chilly again. So, May, probably.

There are some babies who will not wear gloves. I have had three. The eldest refused gloves until that -17 degree winter we had, when he was old enough to reason with. Yeah, ok, old enough to bribe.

What did we do in the meantime?

Sock gloves.

The child’s own socks, or a size up, all the way up on top of the jumper sleeves but underneath the coat. The elastic creates friction between the fabric layers something something science something physics something and they can’t pull them off.

For extra credit, apply multiple layers, eg long-sleeved vest or t-shirt, sock one, jumper, sock two, coat, actual glove (for appearances’ sake).

Here the youngest at the zoo modelling his sock gloves. The sulky expression is because of hating to have his hands covered. Unlucky.Featured imageFeatured image

We’re all winging it, aren’t we?

Anty is always telling me I should write a book with all my parenting hints, tips and hacks. I’m never quite sure if she’s joking. In any case, a sporadic blog has got to be less painful than a manuscript and inevitable rejection!

Parenting is hard: harder than I thought possible. I mean, you can provide food and clothing and housing and stuff, but psychologically … it’s like an assignment you can never pass.

But here’s the secret: everyone is just winging it. We’re all doing the best we can with the resources we have. And any information sharing we can possibly achieve that gets us one step closer to feeling like we’re getting it right has got to be worth it.

So my intention is to populate this blog with the hints, tips, hacks and secrets that drag my life over from “WHO ARE ALL THESE SMALL PEOPLE AND WHY DO THEY KEEP ASKING ME FOR THINGS?” to “Hey boys, your tea’s ready”.

In the meantime, if you don’t already know how to make handles from a drinks carton, learn now. It will save a lot of spills.

(image from