Of the many childhood “milestones”, my daughter’s first haircut is one that I have been dreading the most.

This is not because of any sentimental reasons about chopping off my cherub’s angelic locks, but because I knew it would be incredibly traumatic for everyone involved.

I have managed to get her to her second birthday before we had to embark on this venture together, but as she was beginning to resemble cousin It from the Adams family, I knew that I couldn’t put it off any longer.

Regular readers of this column will know that I have referred to her before as “wilful” “spirited” and a whole host of other desperately flamboyant terms to try and explain her personality. The truth is, she is a loud and opinionated toddler who screams at the top of her little lungs if I so much as look in her general direction whilst holding a hairbrush.

I had actually been lying in bed at night imagining different scenarios in a packed hairdressing salon as she thrashed about refusing to let the scissors come anywhere near her.

I had warned the hairdresser in advance that she may be a bit of a tricky customer and they assured me that they had seen it all before.

Trying to stack the odds in my favour I booked an early morning appointment (she would be well rested and well fed) before leaving the house I ensured that my bag was jammed full with an arsenal of supplies and bribes to help smooth out the ride.

Any preconceptions about good parenting skills were put aside as I loaded up packets of crisps, sweeties and a good half-hours worth of Peppa Pig on the i-pad.

To my relief, we were the only ones in the salon when we arrived and my eldest daughter was a pro. She happily went first to show her little sister how it was done, with only the promise of a well-done lollypop from the hairdresser to get her through.

I allowed myself to relax a little as my toddler took to the chair. She seemed vaguely amused at being pumped up to waist height in the swivel chair. Just as I was starting to breath she had a minor melt-down when Katie the hairdresser suggested that she might like to wear a gown.

All of a sudden, when she realised that she was about to be shorn the mood changed. She looked to me with wild eyes so I quickly suggested that she sat on my knee and we jettisoned the offending gown.

Not giving her the chance to react, I whipped out the emergency crisps and set up the i-pad directly in front of her. My plan worked; she was transfixed.

With the speed of a ninja, Katie had whipped round her little head before my daughter had realised she had even begun. My relief was palpable as we dismounted the chair, my daughter had a quizzical look on her face as if she wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

I grabbed a lock of hair off the floor for the baby book as we made our retreat, pausing only for a moment to thank God for the invention of Peppa Pig the I-pad!


Saturday, June 8

10.30am-5.30pm Tastes of Yorkshire Family Food and Drink Festival at Ripon Racecourse, Yorkshire.

10am-4.30pm Knaresborough Bed Race. This year’s theme is Myths & Legends.

Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9

10am-4pm Tractor Fest at Newby Hall and Gardens and Ripon Market Square on evening of Saturday, June 8. This is a two day fun event of tractor and traction engine related fun for all the family. The Newby Hall Tractor Fest 2013 will feature some iconic tractors and machinery.There will be a celebration of 100 Years of Tractors, a return of the ever-popular Dancing Does tractor troupe, and a selection of crawlers, big and small. Other attractions aimed at getting families involved include working machinery, tractor rides, cars and trucks, interactive exhibits, food stalls and trade stands. New for 2013 is The March of the Tractors on Saturday, June 8 from 5.30pm vintage engines will make their way from Newby Hall to Ripon market square. The tractors will be sent on their way back to Newby Hall by the mayor of Ripon and the Ripon Hornblower at 9pm. Prices: adults, £9.50; concession, £8.50; children, £7.50. Visit www.newbyhallandgardens.com and www.thevya.com for more information.

Monday, June 10

10.3am-12.30pm Stay & play outdoors at Harrogate College, Hornbeam Park. The ever popular outdoor play sessions run by Harrogate and Knaresborough Toy Library. This year there will be more opportunities to get muddy and wet. More water activities and mud kitchens will be among the activities available.