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Play Date Hell or Play Date Bliss?

Can the play date from hell turn into a blissful one?

Our weekend was a roller coaster in more than one way. My friend Reneé and I had amazing plans, all of which got cancelled at the last minute. How do I sum up our weekend? Chickenpox, rain, sunshine, public transport madness, the best Chinese meal ever, projectile vomiting, poo explosions, food heaven, early-rising offspring, soiled clothes. It has been a hell of a weekend. Was it good? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes, yes, yes!

From Bad to Worse

On Saturday, Reneé and I were meant to have the best play date ever with our children: a fun party in a toy shop followed by a couple of hours of free childcare so we could be treated to a pampering session and a meal in a restaurant with no children around. Everything got cancelled. The lot!

From there, we decided not to be miffed and meet near King’s Cross station for some park fun and a play in the water fountains. It was supposed to be hot and sunny after all. What did we wake up to? A cold, rainy, windy day. Not looking good, huh?

A tad disappointed but still determined to meet up, we altered our plans and decided to meet at the RAF Museum and then treat ourselves to a meal in one of London’s best Chinese restaurants.

I had a nightmare of a morning with Wriggly getting covered in chickenpox spots, Beanie who was determined not to go to her new ballet class, kicking, screaming, even swearing at me.

That was followed on Reneé’s side by a few toilet accidents, cancelled trains, 2 buses, walking in the rain with 3 children and a lot of deep breaths. It could not exactly get worse, right?

Finally Together

At 2.30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, we finally got together and as if by magic, all stress evaporated, helped by a cup coffee, and we had a leisurely walk around the RAF museum.


It is such a large space the children were really happy to run around together and look at the planes. They laughed, they ran around, they played.


“It is the Best dim sum restaurant in England. Again: the best dim sun restaurant in England.” Giles Coren (The Times) about Jun Ming Xuan


Our dinner was a real treat. Hubby had booked us a table at Jun Ming Xuan, a Chinese restaurant in Colindale.The food was out of this world, fresh and cooked to perfection. We started with a couple of platters to share and some delicious dumplings, followed by crispy duck, noodles and sweet and sour chicken. Apparently, it was “the best dinner ever!” (Polly) The service was spot on, and although we had five noisy children who kept going to the toilet and shouting rather than speaking, we did not feel like our presence was a burden.


Vomfest, a Laugh and a Drink

At around 7 p.m., it was time to go home. A few minutes after we got in the car, Reneé’s little man was violently sick. Needless to say, we drove with the windows wide open!

Shower for the little man, children in bed and the adults could finally relax, have a good chat and a drink. Reneé is such a lightweight when it comes to bedtime: Crevette and Polly kids were up later than her! These two were quite simply prepared to spend the night listening to the radio whilst playing Uno (hardcore kids, huh?). Little Miss Chickenpox slept with Hubby and I. She was grumpy and scratchy, but she slept nonetheless.

Wake-up Call & Food Heaven

What is wrong with these children? 6.20 a.m. They woke me up (or at the very least tried to) at 6.20 in the morning! Barely dawn. The mischievous little creatures were requesting food, and would not budge from my side of the bed despite my telling them to go and play in their bedroom. Did I ever mention I am not a morning person? I caved in at 7.30, reluctantly. Ever seen a bear woken up during hibernation? That’s me in the morning.

Once caffeine had worked its magic, I found the energy to make crêpes for the children and they loved their breakfast, using fruit and Choc Shot chocolate sauce to turn their pancakes into monsters or happy faces.


The weather started warming up after 9 and we had a nice trip to the park despite a few arguments amongst the children. Oh, and the ‘disappearing nappy!’ As soon as we got to the park, Wriggly was determined to go on the zip wire (this toddler has no fear). She seemed even more tiny than she normally is… I found out why as soon as I felt her bottom. There was nothing under her dress! Where was that nappy?


She had great time, but her dress was on the short side and I was trying to conceal the fact she was wearing nothing underneath to the other park users. I found the heavy nappy right outside my neighbours’ house on the way back. Nice one!

More Food

As the children were playing and enjoying the last moments together, I made a fry up and we all ate quite a lot before it was time for Polly to go with her grandparents, and for Reneé and the little ones to be back to square one: another epic journey home on public transport.

So… was it play date hell or play date bliss? 

You know what? Despite all the things that went wrong, I would not have had it any other way. If you think about what might go wrong every time you step out of your house, you would stay stuck indoors crying yourself to sleep. Life is all about living, having fun, seeing friends and laughing about the disasters, the code browns, the vomit, the lost nappies… We had such a great weekend! Thanks Reneé for going on a hell of a trek for our sleepover.


  1. 13/09/2016 / 6:34 am

    It was a brilliant weekend my darling friend, thanks for your gorgeous hospitality. Hellish journeys getting to and from you, but definitely blissful otherwise. I’m looking forward to our adult only playmdate this weekend at the MADs xxx

    • Mel
      13/09/2016 / 7:48 am

      So am I. Bring on Friday!

  2. 13/09/2016 / 9:44 am

    Still laughing at the nappy story 🙂

    Sounds like you had a great time. I realised over the summer that we have the most fun when I don’t try and plan and structure things but just go with the flow. As soon as I realised that we had such a great summer with picnics at the park, playing in the sand on the beach and lots of running around.

    I hope wriggly is feeling better soon and not suffering too much with the scratching. I’m so glad my two have got their chicken pox done and out of the way.

    See you Friday xx

    • Mel
      21/09/2016 / 11:45 am

      I’m not sure chickenpox is over and done with to be honest. Wriggly had so few spots I suspect she’ll get it again. No sign of the pox on Jumpy yet. Oh well…

  3. 13/09/2016 / 10:05 am

    Very funny post Mel!! Love how you always make lemonade when life give you lemons!!!?

    • Mel
      13/09/2016 / 12:46 pm

      Lemonade is so much nicer than lemons!!

  4. Rebecca | AAUBlog
    13/09/2016 / 10:17 am

    Totally agree with you – you need to just live life instead of worrying about what might go wrong. I have struggled to be spontaneous since having kids but am getting much better at it now

    • Mel
      13/09/2016 / 12:48 pm

      I think the more ‘experienced’ we are with the kids, the more we realise things can go wrong no matter how prepared we are, so spontaneity is definitely the way forward for us!

  5. EllamentalMama
    13/09/2016 / 10:33 am

    Oh dear sounds stressful, but well done for managing to still enjoy it amongst all that stress!

    • Mel
      13/09/2016 / 12:47 pm

      There were quite a few mishaps, but we didn’t get stressed about them. That’s the beauty of going with the flow and letting it all wash over us 🙂

  6. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)
    13/09/2016 / 11:39 am

    It sounds like a great weekend – even with all the little mishaps! I try and look at it like all those are sent just so the good moments seems even more wonderful in comparison. 😉 #truthabout

    • Mel
      13/09/2016 / 12:49 pm

      My thoughts exactly! There’s no point dwelling on the negative. The laughter that came out of all that was well worth it!

  7. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    13/09/2016 / 1:05 pm

    Sounds lovely and like a lot of fun even with the challenges! Playdates can sometimes feel like a chore beforehand but as always feel so much better after one with good friends ! Xx

  8. 13/09/2016 / 9:56 pm

    Lol, sounds like it was a very memorable weekend but a very enjoyable one too – those are the moments that you look back on and laugh. Wriggly leaving her nappy outside your neighbour’s house made me chuckle – I’ve had one of those moments too! 🙂 #thetruthabout

  9. thenthefunbegan
    13/09/2016 / 10:01 pm

    I think sometimes it’s a bit like a problem shared is a problem halved isn’t it? With another adult around who’s having just as many mishaps it’s a lot easier to have a laugh about it and commiserate with one another! I am all for weekend playdates. Thanks for linking up Mel Xx #thetruthabout

  10. Louise Fairweather
    14/09/2016 / 6:34 pm

    Things never go to plan when kids are involved! Glad you had a great weekend #thetruthabout

  11. dadbloguk
    16/09/2016 / 10:31 am

    My word, that was certainly one hardcore play date. Here’s hoping you can organsie something less stressful next time!

  12. Hannah (@Whathannahdidnx)
    19/09/2016 / 9:48 am

    What an eventful day! Sometimes you just have to roll with it don’t you! The chinese meal looked soon nice too 🙂 x

    • Mel
      21/09/2016 / 11:44 am

      It was scrumptious!

  13. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files
    21/09/2016 / 5:45 am

    Flexibility is key. And since you have a blog, disasters are never so disastrous that you can’t write about them. In fact, the more disastrous, the better!

    • Mel
      21/09/2016 / 11:43 am

      It is. 100%. It’s often the most disastrous-looking days that turn out to be the best in the end. We had so much fun with our friends!

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