Mum’s Life: Cakes, fireworks and friendly monkeys

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WE weren’t sure what to do on New Year’s Eve this year.

When you have a toddler your options are quite limited, so after debating whether or not to go out for a meal we finally decided it would be more fun for Tate if we stayed at home.

In keeping with the party spirit we decided to buy some fireworks, put the champagne on ice and keep Tate entertained, so I donned my domestic goddess hat and baked cakes for him to decorate.

He loves anything arty – give him a pen and he’ll scribble for hours or some paint and he’ll create a splodgy masterpiece – so when he discovered decorative icing he was in his element!

My lovingly-baked cakes soon turned into colourfully-iced creations and even though I tried to encourage him to use sprinkles or chocolate buttons, he wasn’t interested – they just went straight in his mouth.

After our New Year’s Eve baking session we headed outside for his dad’s firework display. He’s a little gung-ho when it comes to anything explosive, so Tate and I stood safely behind a brick wall in case it all went horribly wrong.

Fortunately, it was a success. The wind did blow over a few, which meant his dad was hot-footing it across the garden in a panic, but it was amusing to watch.

Despite trying to keep Tate awake until midnight we finally admitted defeat at about half ten when he could barely keep his eyes open. He didn’t understand anyway – he just enjoyed the fact he was allowed to eat cakes and play outside way past his bedtime.

THIS week we took Tate on his first visit to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth. He loves all animals and fish so for him this was an exciting trip.

He loved pressing his face against the glass to try to get a better look at the creatures on the other side, and he couldn’t hide his excitement when he saw the monkey enclosure.

Tate is super-brave when he sees something new, but as soon as it moves or makes a noise he’s out of there faster than Speedy Gonzales.

So while the monkeys lazed around he couldn’t be happier, but when they came over to the glass to get a better look it was time to go.

While we were at the aquarium it was feeding time for the seals. Tate was fascinated by them as they swam past with their heads out of the water.

I think he thought they were dogs as he barked every time he saw one.

We thought it would be clever to stand at the front and watch the seals get their grub, but regretted this instantly when they started jumping through hoops – we got soaked. Tate did not take well to being covered in freezing cold water, and he screamed and cried until we stood further back.