This year I decided to take Chloé to Alton Towers for her birthday. I have taken Ryan previously as he was tall enough to go on all of the rides. Sadly, for Chloé, she wasn’t tall enough for all of the adult rides. She was 6cm too short bless her, however we did spend the entire trip going on all of the other rides.
We had a two-day trip to Alton Towers as one is not enough to get fully around the park and on all of the rides. It is also worth considering if you’re going, to invest in the fast track. This is expensive; however, it does provide a much better experience. When I say expensive, I do mean expensive. I purchased the fast track for myself and Chloé and this cost me £200 for one day!
It’s now half term and the kids have some time off of school, so they were coming down to mine for just over a week, but first I thought it be good to take Ryan to Alton Towers for the weekend as now he is tall enough to go on all of the rides.
I finished work on the Friday at 6am and moseyed on home and slept until 4pm at which time I got up got showered and packed my things. It’s now 6pm and I’m driving to go and get the boy from his mums. I arrive just after 8pm and was greeted with massive hugs and kisses from both of the kids. I spend about 45 minutes there before heading up the A34 to our destination. 4 long hours later we arrive in Stoke at our hotel. Turned out to be the wrong hotel – I had put the post code for another hotel I was looking at in the Sat Nav. No big deal as the actual hotel was only 5 miles in the direction we just come from.
We arrived at the proper hotel just after midnight. Checked in and headed to our room. I go in and there are two single beds. I stand there scratching my head thinking “I’m pretty sure I booked a family room”. We went back down stairs to reception and they changed our room to a double as they didn’t have any more family rooms left. It means sharing the bed with Ryan, but that wasn’t a problem. He snores just as much as I do!
We were up at 7.30am the next morning and headed off to the nearest Premier Inn hotel as they do some cracking breakfasts. We filled up on grub and then headed off to Alton Towers arriving just after 10.30. We entered the park after the 15 minute walk from the car park and headed straight to our first ride.
A while ago my daughter came across a YouTube channel called Art For Kids Hub that essentially teaches kids how to draw, and it does this in a very positive, friendly and relatable way that anyone of any age is able to follow.
The show looks to be hosted by a professional artist with his children. He teaches them step by step how to draw characters such as Mario, or a Minion, or a dinosaur. He is very patient and promotes the fact that even if a drawing is not that great it’s ok because this is all about practicing, and becoming better.
This evening I wanted to spend time with my daughter and partake in a subject that she enjoys – drawing. What better way to do this than to sit on FaceTime, and both watch the same video together all the while following the instructions.
Admittedly I’m no good at drawing, but I am willing to give anything a go just to spend time with my children even if it is by using FaceTime.
I took several shots of our drawings (mine are the smaller inset photo as these are screenshots of FaceTime), and have posted them below along with a video from Art For Kids Hub.
Earlier in the year I had agreed with the kids mum that they could come to mine for Christmas this year. I picked them up on the 18th of December. They were due to go back home on the 30th.
Everyone wanted to go out for dinner on Christmas day, and I was going to stay at home with the kids as it would have been just me and them, and cook for us. I was really looking forward to this. Unsurprisingly they all changed their mind. I ended up cooking for 10 people, which wasn’t the greatest decision I had ever made.
I don’t know the exact amount of money I spent on the kids this year, but I am definitely sure they had more than enough. Having only spoke to them the other day, they still haven’t had been able to play with all of their toys properly yet!
I only just finished wrapping the presents an hour before I picked the kids up from their mums.
I didn’t have any Christmas stockings for them, so had to go and buy some. I checked several shops and only Morrisons had them! They feel well put together, and only cost me £3 each. That’s what I call a bargain!
It’s summer and its nice and hot. What is there better to do than to go to the beach? Thats exactly what we did. We packed our stuff and headed down to Camber Sands.
Unfortunately at the time of going to the beach Operation Stack was on which closed the majority of the M20 and caused chaos with the traffic in the local areas. We decided to go through Maidstone and down the A229 and then onto the A21 to Hastings heading to Camber from the West. It took a little longer to get there, but it was much more desirable taking that route than being stuck in hour upon hours of traffic!
We arrived just after 2pm at which time the parking becomes half price, so thats a bonus! We parked up and unpacked the car. I lathered up the kids with sunscreen and headed up the huge sand dunes over to the beach. We spent the next couple of hours playing about in the ocean.
Last year when I had the kids with me we visited the Eden Project in Cornwall. At the time I didn’t realise but I bought annual passes. I don’t think it cost that much more than a regular ticket to be perfectly honest, so thats why I probably didn’t notice.
Anyway, we decided to visit again this year. We had a good time down there and as hey had the dinosaur expedition on again, we definitely had to go and visit. Below are a few photos we took while there.
It’s that time of year again when I get to have a couple of weeks with the kids, and I intend to make the most of it. I have decided to buy them annual passes for merlin attractions which will get us into all the best theme parks around the UK.
We started our trip with Legoland, and we had the weather on our side which was a major bonus! As anyone with any form of sense should know if you visit a theme park then you better have the extra money to pay for fast track (in the case of Legoland its known as a Qbot).
I have included the videos and photos I took while we were there. Check them out below.
The kids have gone back home to their mother again now. I already miss having them here so much. We all had so much fun while they were down. I don’t think I will ever get used to being apart from them.
Have you noticed what the modern family is turning into these days? It seems most children are growing up in a broken home with either their mother or father living out of the family home and away from the children (I have no figures to prove this, but that’s what it seems like).
Obviously there are some situations when the parents can’t be together, but this shouldn’t affect the children in the family. Speaking from my personal experience I was almost forced out of the family home with nowhere to go except my parents. Unfortunately for my children that meant me moving over 100 miles away from them, and as I don’t have a regular income it means I am not able to constantly travel back and forth to see them. It’s heart breaking for me not being able to see them for such long periods of time, which means missing out on a lot of events and parts of their lives.
When I finally find a financially stable job I want to be able to get my own place much closer to the children. I want to be in a position where I can see them every day. I don’t want to miss anything. I want to be able to pick them up from school. I want to be able to take the afternoon off of work and go see their school play. I want to feed them their dinner. I want to be able to take them to the local park after school. I just want to be with them.
Despite seeming happy all the time I do put on a brave face around other people when the conversations steers towards their children or even my own children simply because I can’t do what they do. I can’t cook them dinner every day. I can’t tuck them up in bed. It makes me sad, so my way of coping with it is when I am with my children I try to make their time with me as enjoyable as possible. I neglect all other things and concentrate almost 100% on them.
It makes me sad when I’m talking to friends when they start moaning about doing stuff for their children. I would give up a hell of a lot just to have what they have.
If you’re in a similar situation with your children or know someone who is how do you / they deal with not being able to do a lot with their children? What are your / their coping mechanisms? What advice can you give others?