Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Entertaining a toddler for a week

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Lizzie at the Leeds City MuseumThis week, we have no childcare. Lizzie normally spends her weekdays with a childminder, to whom we pay quite a lot of money to every month. But, the childminder is on holiday this week, and so I’ve taken four days of annual leave to look after Lizzie.

I can’t remember if Christine and I discussed who would look after Lizzie this week, but we presumably agreed that I was more likely to get the time off. It wouldn’t be fair if Christine was always the one to look after her; traditional gender roles be damned.

Additionally, Christine is working on Friday as well, despite it being a bank holiday. So I have the whole week to entertain a toddler.

Having spent the weekend doing fun things, Monday was spent partly at the supermarket doing boring things – namely, the weekly food shop. But we also went for a bit of a walk, and I took Lizzie to one of the local parks for a play on the swings. This, of course, had nothing to do with it being a rare Pokémon nest in Pokémon Go, honest. We also dropped in to see my mother-in-law, who lives locally and whom we probably should see far more often than we actually do.

Yesterday, I arranged to meet a friend in Leeds for lunch, and afterwards we went to the Leeds City Museum. Christine and I had been before, which was probably a good thing; keeping my eye on Lizzie the whole time meant that I didn’t get much of a chance to see many of the exhibits. It’s actually quite a good museum for kids; the basement is full of stuffed animals, but displayed in a themed way with some activity areas for kids. And upstairs there’s a soft play area, along with a special exhibition which is usually accessible to most ages. And it’s free, and there’s free wifi. Next time we’re in Leeds, we may drop in just to use the play area to let Lizzie burn off some energy.

Today, I met up with another parent, and we took Lizzie to another soft play gym. This one was just for the under-5s, so there are no big kids to push the little ones around. And, meeting up with other parents shares the load a bit.

Tomorrow, we’re meeting friends for breakfast, and then I’m taking Lizzie to the newly-renamed National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. Afterwards, a quick drop into work to say hi, and then a meal out with colleagues.

As for Friday? Nothing major, other than packing to go to York for the Easter weekend.

Keeping a small person entertained is tiring. Not just for me, but for her – indeed, the reason why I have a few spare minutes to write this blog post is because she’s fast asleep. Soft play isn’t just fun for them – it also buys you time later on when they need a nap. Hashtag: parenting hacks.

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