Rise of the One-Child Family

According to most places, we are not a family, as there are only 3 of us!  Even though recent research shows that nearly half of families are one-child affairs.

I always feel snubbed, I may be hypersensitive but get totally hacked off when I see ‘Group Save’ but must be for a party of 5 and families are always defined as four or more.    Grrr!  On occasion, I’ve borrowed mates kids!

I appreciate that this allows for larger families to visit such attractions but……

  • On the weekend we went to a local attraction, a family of 3 cost £20.50 when a family ticket for 4 is £22.50 – not much in it really.
  • London Zoo charges £63.00 for a family of 3 or a family of 4 for £66.70
  • The London Aquarium charges £56.40 for 3 people while a family of 4 is £64.26.
  • I applaud Legoland, as they do offer a price for a family of 3 but at £127.80, it’s still out of reach.

The bottom line is, that as a parent, I don’t normally want to go to these places in the first place, I’d rather chew my own arm off but I do it for my daughter.  I have been through things that are more painful than childbirth.  You’re getting 3 people through the door that you may not otherwise.

Come on, give us a break.  Just a couple of quid off and I’ll stop moaning!

I’d love to hear what single parents have to say about this!

Do you think this is fair?


What is Jambalaya?

This is my take on Jambalaya, a creole dish of rice, chicken, prawns and sausages with a few herbs and veg thrown in as well.  I really like this recipe as it only requires on pot, I use a dutch oven.   Another added bonus my 3 year old gobbles it up!

Serves 6


2 TBSP Vegetable Oil

2 onions, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 sticks of celery

1 tsp of lazy garlic

2 tsp paprika

300g of skinless boneless chicken but into bite-size pieces

100g of Kabanos sausages, chopped

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

450g of Basmati rice

1 litre of chicken stock

1 tsp of oregano

2 bay leaves

200g King Prawns

2 spring onions


Heat the oil in the Dutch oven then add the onions, green pepper, celery and garlic.  Sauté for about 10 minutes until soft.

Add the paprika and cook for a further minute.  Add the chicken and sausage and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Add the rice and stir well.  Throw in the tinned tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano and bay leaves.  Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.  You will need to stir it occasionally, don’t panic if it sticks to the bottom.  You may also find that you may need to add a bit more liquid.

Add the prawns and cook for approx 6-8 minutes.  The majority of the liquid should be absorbed.

Just before serving stir in the spring onions.

If you like this recipe you may want to check out more of my recipes here.


Toilet Training Take Two

As I have this week off I thought I’d have another go at potty training.  We tried a couple of months ago but didn’t have any luck.  I did loads of reading, completed online readiness tests and Madame showed most of the signs of being ready:

  • She’s 2 and a half
  • She can undress herself, which she has a habit of doing in public
  • She goes into the bathroom and closes the door or hides behind the curtains when she has a ‘poo’
  • She was familiar with the potty as we had it kicking around for awhile
  • She can go for a couple of hours with a dry nappy.

So, armed with loads of knickers, a mop and 1001 Spot Stain Remover we had a go.  My basic approach was to put her in knickers, wait for the first accident and go from there.  In hindsight that was a bit naïve.

Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate she could be a camel when it comes to peeing.  She went 5 days without peeing during the day.  I started to worry about urinary tract infections, etc so I resorted to using chocolate buttons.  It did seem to help a bit and we carried on for two weeks but when there was no visible sign of any improvement, it was sheer luck when she went on the potty, we gave up.

I’m not a fan of Gina Ford as I don’t believe babies/children are little machines but I’d heard good things about her book ‘Potty Training in One Week’ so I borrowed it from a friend (@annieqpr) and had a quick read last night. I was quite surprised that what she suggested was similar to what I had tried the first time.

On the first day, straight after breakfast, put them in Big Girl Knickers, and then encourage them to sit on the potty for 5-10 minutes every 15 minutes……

This was all very well, but what if they won’t sit on the potty?  Forcing her would only exacerbate the problem.  So, I quickly flipped to the Problem Solving Section for ‘The Stubborn Child’.  Surprisingly, Gina is all up for a bit of bribery.  So I’ve printed off a Dora Star Chart and loaded up on chocolate buttons.  I didn’t want to go down that road, but for an easy life I’ll try anything.  For every wee she does on the toilet she gets a star and a chocolate button.  Once she starts having success I’ll stretch out the amount of time between treats until there are no more treats left.

We’re still not having any luck.  She’ll sit on the potty, but come hell or high water she’s not going to wee on it.  I’ve tried everything from reading stories, TV, singing, rubbing her back, tickling her, pulling silly faces and giving her copious amounts of liquid in an effort to break the dam.

I know it’s only early days and I’m in it for the long haul but would be grateful for any advice.