Whilst bringing up children can be the most rewarding and wonderful job in the world, sometimes you can be left feeling like you want to tear your hair out!

This week I had arranged an afterschool play date with my four year olds best friend. They don’t get to see each other all that often anymore as whilst my own daughter doesn’t start school until this September, her friend started last year.

They used to spend lots of time together during the week; days out, playgroups and so on. These days it is much rarer so I thought it would be a lovely treat for them to have a nice play and tea at our house.

My daughter was really excited and had spent much of the day planning on what they were going to do; a bit of craft (in true girlie style she was anticipating much glitter and stickering fun) then they would do some dressing up and enjoy a lovely pasta tea together. I was happy to oblige.

Unfortunately the evening turned into one of those times when by bedtime I could have just a) burst into tears of frustration or b) hit the gin. I’ll leave you guessing which one it was (hic!)

It all started off ok; the chosen craft was egg decorating as pre-school the following day was planning a decorated egg competition. The best friend arrived with her little sister as planned and out came the glitter and paints.

Unfortunately my youngest daughter was determined to get involved (my ploy of side-tracking her with Peppa Pig failed instantly upon sight of the PVA glue.)

Whilst the older girls were reasonably competent at the craft, my almost two year old proceeded to cover herself, and my kitchen, in glitter. She managed to grab hold of a bottle of red paint and dump it all over the table and around 5 minutes after starting, decided she had had enough.

I tried my best to clean her up whilst chasing her around the room but unfortunately she was by now in a foul mood. She resolutely refused to be put down so I had to do my best to tidy up the kitchen and start cooking dinner one-handed as I had a whining screechy toddler attached to my hip.

Each time I tried to put her down she concluded that the best way to get my attention again was to physically attack one of our guests. Fortunately she is only small so no actual harm was done, but the odd push and nip from her meant that she spent most of the following hour alternating between the naughty step or attached to me.

Next my elder daughter managed to spill an entire cup of water on the floor. No issue there, accidents happen, however the fact that she didn’t tell me and simply abandoned the mess ensured she also was in bother.

Dinner somehow got prepared and was put down on the table and for five blissful minutes there was calm and quiet while they all ate. After dinner the chaos resumed and by the time bedtime finally came round I was ready to hide in a dark wardrobe rocking slowly from side to side!


Thursday, April 4

From 10am Butterfingers Circus Café on Chatsworth Road (behind the fire station) are running a jam packed programme of school holiday activities. Activities include be a clown all ages (free) mixed circus skills (£6) ages five plus. Have a look at their website for full details www.butterfingersharrogate.co.uk.

Monday, April 8 (running until Friday April 12)

Harrogate School of Swimming are running a week of Easter intensive swimming lessons. The sessions run daily for half an hour between 9-11am at Ashville pool. Booking essential, call Louise on 07973182224 or email louise@harrogateschoolofswimming.co.uk

Tuesday, April 9

1-4pm, Medieval Pendant making at Knaresborough Castle. Make your own medieval jewellery worn by kings and queens. Meet us in the castle grounds or the activities room of the museum if the weather is bad. £2 per pendant. Just drop in!

Wednesday , April 10

8-10pm NCT Save a babys life course run by The Royal Life Saving Society UK at Ashville College Pre-prep school, Yew Tree Lane, Harrogate. HG2 9JP. Price £15 per person. Contact Margaret Clough on 014230562769 or margaret.clough@ntlworld.com. Booking essential.

Thursday, April 11

Portmanteau (April 11 2pm and April 12 2pm) at Harrogate Studio Theatre
Tickets £8.50 Adult, £7.50 child ages five-12 years.You are invited to a special private showing of a spectacular new film…unless the projector breaks down. Be amazed by our usher’s imagination, gasp as our hero disappears into the screen, and laugh as moustaches, hats and disguises fly everywhere to tell a story of heros, heroines and baddies. All told entirely through Compagnie Animotion’s innovative mix of mime, movement and sign language, making it accessible for everyone. Running every day until Sunday, April 14.

Half-term family fun, Rainbow Magic for Easter at Harlow Carr. From rainbow egg activity trails to meeting the Easter bunny, creative craft and impelling art displays, we have everything needed for a truly colourful Easter! We’ll also be playing host to the Harrogate International Youth Festival, so get down on selected dates to enjoy live performances for free.