Review: Total Ninja (toddler session) 

I’ve noticed a few Groupon offers for a place called Total Ninja in Trafford Park. Given Boy1s obessesion with obstacle courses etc, I checked out the website. OMG a genuine Ninja Warrior style obstacle course. In Manchester (screams). 

Then through a random Facebook group I discovered they have launched weekday toddler sessions, so just had to check it out with Boy2. 

So yesterday we rocked up just before the start time of 11am and there was quite a queue, so much so that we didn’t get into the venue til 1115 – meaning I had to try and entertain an excited toddler for 15minutes – not easy. But the friendly manager did explain that on a first visit, customers need to register and they are hoping to have an online system up and running soon. So whilst it was frustrating, I let him off just for being informative and friendly. Customer service goes a long way in my book. 

Once we were registered and had our wristbands, we entered the Ninja Academy. 


Walk through and there’s a table for kids (or parents more likely) to rest their tired legs. There’s also a good number of lockers – the usual £1 style – to lock up your stuff so you don’t have to lug a massive change bag around. That’s also why I have very few pics. Sorry!! 

Dumped our stuff ready to get stuck in and OMG (yes, twice in one post) it was bloody brilliant! 

Climing walks, balance beams, rope swings, soft pits, all in miniature – perfect for kids. Boy 2 is VERY active so this was perfect for him. Being able to attempt to climb a sopping wall, without fear of breaking his neck if he fell, was just heaven for him! 


What’s great is that whilst this area is usually for over 5s the toddler sessions are strictly for under 5s, so there’s no fear of a hyperactive long limbed 8 year old bombing on to your toddler. 
They can run around freely, but you do need to walk around with them a) because the lighting is a little dark and the obstacles do block your line of sight and b) some of the pits under the obstacles are a little deep for a toddler to climb out of unaided. 

Due to the long wait times the friendly manager extended the session to 1215 so we got pretty much the full hour (again a massive tick in my book ✅). 

Once they were all ninjad out we headed upstairs to the cafe. Pleasant surprise not to see a load of deep fried beige stuff, but noodles, tempura and Asian inspired salads or soups, keeping with the Japanese theme. We went for the rice noodle chicken box £5.95.

A few snags here as they’d run out of teriyaki sauce and some of the veg, plus it was a looong wait, not great when trying to feed tired and hungry toddlers. But I’ll put this down to teething problems because when it finally arrived it was a good size portion, freshly cooked and tasted good. Like I said, a nice change from fish fingers and chips at soft play! Hopefully once they’ve got a good idea of customer numbers, they’ll have plenty of stock in and enough staff to cook it! 

There isn’t a separate children’s menu, which would have been nice, but the portion we had was fine for us to share. Not sure Boy1 or the hubster would have been happy to split though! 

All in all it was a great morning out. Definitely gets the thumbs up from me and Boy2. So much so I’ve already purchased a Groupon voucher to bring Boy1 and 3 friends at the end of the month for his birthday and the hubster is doing the adult course in a few weeks with some friends! 💪🏿 I’ll be sure to post my reviews – and some pics – then! 

For any active families in and around Manchester, I definitely see this becoming a regular haunt. 

Rating 4.5/5


We paid £2 for the toddler session at Total Ninja, currently running weekdays 11-12

To find out more visit http://www.totalninja.co.uk

Or for the latest offers check out Groupon (correct at time of publishing) 

”Twas the night before Christmas…

and all through the house, was an over excited toddler who didn’t really know what was going on, but given that he hadn’t slept all day, knew his only options were to give in to parents’ demands for bed time, or run/roll around the house screaming, singing laughing and crying (it is apparently possible to do all four at once). 

Yes people, this is my Christmas Eve. We had a lovely meal, thought Boy2 would fall asleep in the car. Got home and he was hyper!! 

But tomorrow is a new day. It’s Christmas Day. So even though we don’t get the lazy lie ins of yesterday, we are lucky to be woken by our two bundles of hyperactive love at silly o’clock.

However you are spending the ‘big day’, enjoy it. If you have little ones, take time out to just enjoy them. Because next year they’ll be that little bit older, ‘wiser’ and further away from being your babies. 

Merry Christmas everyone,

From Team Mumsomnia 

Lazy parenting 

Boy 2 has been offered a lovely hearty toddler friendly paella for lunch. He’s turned it down. He’s now decided he only wants my leftover popadoms, from lady night’s take away, and a few slices of pear. 

I really can’t be bothered to argue with him! Today just feels like one of those days when I can’t be doing with parenting!! 

I’ll say he’s experimenting with exotic foods 😁😁

Is it wrong to share this info in public?? Should I be keeping it to myself that I’ve given a toddler such a nutritionally unbalanced meal? 

I don’t know, but what i do know is I’ve been able to drink a cup of hot tea in peace. That will do for me! 

Not a baby anymore…

Boy 2 is nearly 15 months. His hair has grown over that time into a wispy Afro in need of some serious love. So today we decided to cut it. 

OMG. He looked so different! His face seemed so much more mature, so boyish. It’s strange how certain milestones hit you more than others, with so many different emotions. 

The first smiles and laughter melted my heart. Crawling and walking brought excitement. Hearing him attempt to sing ‘wind the bobbin up’ made me feel proud. But the haircut, chopping off a few centimetres of fluffy baby hair, made me feel sad. 

I realised I’m another step further away from babyhood. As much as I’m enjoying toddlerhood, I really do miss having a baby around, knowing we won’t ever experience that again….

Signs you have a toddler in your house 

  1. You find random household items dotted around the place. Boy2 has developed a particular penchant for Tupperware. So pretty much every day I’ll find at least one rogue tub or lid in a non-Tupperware belonging room
  2. You automatically check what’s on Cebeebies/Disney Junior/BabyTV when you turn on the TV. What’s more worrying is you do it when your child isn’t even there!
  3. You find yourself regularly trapping your fingers in drawers or cupboards because you forgot about the bloody safety locks!
  4. The bottom of your handbag is now home to half eaten packs of raisins, confiscated toys, socks etc etc, meaning no matter how much you want to tip it upside down when you can’t find your keys, the potential horror on people’s faces is enough to stop you
  5. Your nursery rhyme game is strong (whoop whoop!!). The first few months were a bit shaky, you’d forgotten the tune or lyrics to a few classics. But now you’re on top form and can relive Rhyme Time’s greatest hits faster that you can say Humpty Dumpty. In fact it’s so strong, you can even interpret your toddler’s mumbling rendition
  6. You’ve learned the art of translating cries. So much so, your guests give you a worrying look as you ignore your child’s squeals. You know they are just moaning because you wouldn’t let them keep a fork in their bed, but your guests are wondering whether you’ve given up on parenting altogether.
  7. You constantly debate with yourself whether you should introduce a naughty step. Would a small being really understand it, or just think its a new game?
  8. Your once lovely House Beautiful-ready living room is now a multi-coloured, plastic ridden dumping ground, complete with toys that make random noises ten minutes after you think you’ve turned them off (clearly designed by childless people)!
  9. The piles of washing are no longer full of hideous green poop, but now stained with mud, paint, bolognese and whatever else the nursery/childminder have decided to ‘learn’ about today
  10. You are more confident than you were with a newborn and loving every minute of seeing your little one’s personality grow, along with enjoying the cuddles whilst you can still get them…

xx

#NoFilter yeah right!

This is my 14month old son quietly feeding himself an organic fruit yogurt. No mess, just wholesome yogurty goodness.

Lies!!

1. It was a Petit Filous creeping scarily close to the used by date. 2. I have no desire to let him feed himself on a Sunday evening. I had to feed him. He hated me for it but I had to. Once it was finished, he wanted more then had a massive tantrum. My response, give him the spoon and the pot to realise for himself.

And there we have it. He happily ‘ate’ from the pot for a good 15min whilst I tidied up.

I didn’t need to tell you this. I could have left this photo with the original description, nobody would know. This is very common in the social media world. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. People like you and me, posting perfectly positioned images, using the right lighting, all to give off this idea of a naturally perfect life. Don’t be fooled, the photo you see is probably the 8th take!

Be warned people. #NoFilter isn’t always completely true.

Top tips for train journeys with a toddler

So yesterday Boy2 and I ventured into London for the day. I’d arranged to meet my old uni pals so thought it would be nice for him to see them again and a great opportunity for Boy1 to have a day with daddy (one on one time is so important when you have children).

So off we went on the 0936 from Manchester. It’s been a few years since I ventured on a train with a toddler but I managed to remember a few important things….

  1. Advance Planning – book your train ticket in advance. Not only does it save save £££, but it increases your chances of being able to reserve a decent seat. Extra tip – if you select a seat with a table and near a toilet, you are more likely to get one close to the disabled area (coach C is a good bet) then you are likely to have space to park a buggy. 
  2. Timing – think about the time of your train. Avoid really busy times and work around meal/nap times. Do you really want to be stuck on a rammed train with a screaming, hungry toddler? I split his breakfast into two parts. Porridge before we left home then some toast on the train (which also kept him occupied) 
  3. Snacks – very very important for distracting little ones. Whilst 2 hours doesn’t seem too long, it can feel like an eternity with a bored little one. So plenty of rice cakes, fruit slices, raisins etc but I’d avoid spillable things like yogurt. 
  4. Entertainment – again, more distractions. Depending on the age of your little one, an iPad and headphones might do the trick (remember to download in advance!) in fact Virgin trains have just launched its Beam app which is great for accessing kids shows like Peppa Pig. But you’ll need to download the app before your train leaves. Books to read (thin ones) and colouring books are also a good idea. 
  5. Pack light – yes, with all the food and entertainment. It’s more about packing smart. Can you pack everything into one bag, or try to squeeze a bag into the buggy basket. Basically, you don’t want a massive bag hanging off your shoulders or handle bars. Rucksacks are quite a good idea to be honest
  6. Energy management – so you’ve arrived at your destination, but your child has been strapped in a buggy or pinned down to his seat for the past three hours. Try to find some time and space to let them stretch their legs and burn some energy. Make sure they also do this towards the end of your day. This is particularly important for your journey home. In an ideal world they’ll sleep on the train. 
  7. Meals – yep, talking about food again. But search for child-friendly places to eat in advance so you don’t have to pack to many meals, you aren’t wandering the streets at the last minute with a starving child and, most importantly, you know they’ll eat. 
  8. Sleep – try to aim for a return journey where little one will be ready to sleep, or at least winding down. We opted for the 64o. Once we were on the train, it was time for dinner (Ella’s kitchen obvs) a few books and a nappy change them he was clearly tired. I think the tiredness was down to letting him run riot in M&S for half an hour before a half hour walk to Euston a la point 6. So once he was in the buggy, he spent about 15 minutes mesmerised by passing trees, then fell asleep. 

Travelling alone with a little one can be daunting but also lots of fun. If you haven’t dared do it yet, I’d encourage you to give it a go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! 

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