Being a parent is a different experience for all of us. However, if you’re a mum or dad living in Cardiff (or even a child minder or a grandparent who does a lot of child care) there are some things that unite us. I’ve based this list on my own experiences of being a mum of three children under six, as well as the experiences of my many parent friends too. I showed it to a friend earlier today and she shrieked at me, “This is my life! Exactly this! All of them!”
I’d love to know if you relate too. How many can you tick of the list? Any I should add?
1. You know the difference between MLU and CLU at UHW.
2. One of the first places you took your baby was for a walk around Roath Lake. And your buggy wheels probably got covered in duck poo, too.
3. You’ve sat in the cafe at Roath Lake stuffing your face with cake while guiltily watching the Buggyfit lot. Unless you are one of the Buggyfit lot, in which case… go you!
4. You’ve got stuck half way down ‘that slide’ because your child got to the top and was too scared to go down unless they were sat on your lap.
5. Jump isn’t just a physical action to you like it is to the rest of the world – it’s an indoor play centre you have a love-hate relationship with.
6. And Mambo is not a dance to you. It’s the cleanest soft play you know (although you avoid it like the plague on a rainy day in the school holidays!).
7. The 45 minutes free childcare, whoops, I mean softplay at IKEA in Cardiff Bay is the only chance you get to enjoy a hot drink in peace.
8. Your kids have scooted/skated/biked/buggied across the Cardiff Bay Barrage and got covered in sand in the playground.
9. You have a photo of your child/children climbing a tree at Bute Park.
10. You’re an expert in dinosaurs thanks to the National Museum being an excellent place for a free day out.
11. Your kids think driving through the Butetown Tunnels is the most exciting thing ever.
12. You feel like Tom Hanks in Big when you play on the giant keyboard in Techniquest.
13. You’re so grateful for the family loos in St David’s Shopping Centre… and your kids think two people weeing at the same time is brilliant fun.
14. You know the pain of trying to get through that little area of St David’s which includes The Disney Store, Hamleys and The Lego Shop without being persuaded inside “just to have a look” before being bombarded with requests of “I neeeeeed thiiissssss, pleeeasseeee, Mummy!”
15. Your kids have been to at least one birthday celebration where the entertainment came from Party Fizz Liz.
16. And at least one gymnastics party at CCYC or Somersaults.
17. Your children think the song Winter Wonderland is about the place which pops up in front of City Hall every Christmas.
18. You have no idea who thought the 2.5 hour daily nursery provision for children over three was a good idea. If you’re a working parent, you’ve had a right headache trying to organise childcare around it, and if you’re a non-working parent, it doesn’t give you long enough to do anything.
19. Your children’s first logo school jumper came from YC Sports on Crwys Road.
20. Even if you’ve never spoken a word of Welsh before, you know your numbers, colours and at least one song by the end of your child’s first term at school.
21. You are a whizz when it comes to local history thanks to all the free days out you’ve had at St Fagans National History Museum.
22. You have a key to Cardiff Castle and feel smug when you see tourists paying full whack to get in.
23. You know someone who got a parking ticket on that little dropped kerb outside Cafe Junior. Or maybe you are that person. The traffic wardens target that place because they know nobody realises you can’t park there.
24. You’ve arrived at Victoria Park splash park early to beat the rush, only to discover everyone else had the same idea and the place is so busy you’re too panicked to let go of your child in case you never see them again.
25. You’ve cursed your children for not being tall enough to go down the slides at Cardiff International Pool, because by proxy that means you can’t either.
26. You’ve been for a special occasion pub meal at Cedar Tree Farm, Pentre Gwilym, Heron Marsh or the Ty Nant not because of the food but because they have soft play or an outdoor play area.
27. If you live in north Cardiff, one of your favourite rainy day activities is a quick trip to Llanishen Starbucks, followed by seeing the animals in Pets At Home and then letting your kids push the mini-trolleys around Boots. You’re too scared to go into Laura Ashley any more though in case they break anything, so merely look longingly through the window.
28. As well as the places to visit mentioned above, you’ve been on day trips to at least one of the following (bonus point if you’ve done them all): Cefn Mably Farm Park, Mountain View Ranch, Castell Coch, Hendrewennol, The Cardiff Story, Heath Park Model Railway.
29. You live for the day you get the car shopping trolley at Tesco on Western Avenue…. and divert your trolley so your child doesn’t have a tantrum when they see some other kid ‘driving’ around the store.
30. You plan your school holiday days out with Cardiff Mummy Says’s events listings guides (come on, there had to be a little bit of cheeky self-promotion somewhere!).
See the Cardiff section of my blog for all my posts on family-friendly things to do in and around the city.
You might also like these articles: 30 signs you’re a child of the 2010s; 23 signs you’ve watched too much children’s television.