How not to ‘Mum’. Volume 1.



When I started this blog I imagined it would be a collection of the disastrous things that happen to me in the line of duty.
However its harder than I thought to bring them to the front of my mind and accurately piece together what happened and when, and which bit belongs where. So often I’m at my wits end the disasters seem to role into one.
Where did that one end? How did that begin?

Today though for your reading pleasure I have a corker. I hope I do it justice. In this instance I experienced probably I’d say, ALL of the emotions. The lot. I still get chills when I recall the look on the Ocado delivery drivers face.

We’ll begin…

So it was a pretty average day, we visited my Mum, just a short walk away. As it neared lunchtime we set off for home as we had our online shop being delivered around noon.
If you have a large litter of children you may be familiar with the struggle, whereby one child will take off full pelt towards the destination and another will drag their feet. Stopping to look in drains and perusing issues such as ‘How big is a ladybirds poop?’.

My technique in dealing with this is a simple question, who needs me most? On this particular day Pepper was headed towards home, and beyond that is only fields. Lola however was lingering near the road, so I was duty bound to hang back with her.

On reaching the house Pepper was no where to be seen. I assumed she had gone in, where else would she be? Hmm, but no, a locked door. Aha that’s it, she let herself in and locked the door behind her. I remember at this stage they had just learnt to lock the front door and enjoyed it so it was feasible she had taken the opportunity to try her new skill out.

I went to get my key out of my pocket and realized I didn’t have it with me. I quickly popped round the back of the house to be met by another locked door. So I knocked, and knocked again. I got on my knees and peered through the letterbox, no sign of the child. I called, calmly at first and then more frantic.

I stood there with my two children in the porch and one in the house and knew, I’d have to break in to my own home. I returned to the back of the house and surveyed my options. Up the drainpipe and through the bedroom window? Couldn’t possibly, I forgot to mention I was pregnant with my son at this point. One thing for it, I prized open the ‘outhouse’ window I had left open a tiny crack to let the tumble dryer steam out and scrambled through.

Now I was locked in the house with one child while two remained outside.

I dashed through the house and unlocked the door where the girls where waiting patiently. We began our search for Pepper. She was honestly, no where to be seen. We looked everywhere, we called, I threatened.

Then a knock at the door. By this point I was sweating and shaking and getting a bit worried. I opened the door to the (typically, young and good looking) Ocado delivery driver and yelled in his face ‘I’VE LOST MY CHILD!’. Before turning around and resuming my search. As I looked through the coat rack and the poor drivers eyes darted around, wondering what the hell he should do probably, it hit me.


She had never come into the house, I only assumed she had. She must have carried on past and headed onto the fields. How long had we been here? 10 minutes? She could be anywhere by now!

Just as I scrambled for my phone ready to dial 999 and the driver was thinking about making a dash over the field himself Cherry called me, ‘Mummmmmyyy whats thiiiiis’. As if by magic, with the pull of a curtain, there she was.

‘Mummy, was that a good hiding place?’, she asked me. Pleased as punch.

I’m not sure what I did next. I think I told her how worried I’d been. I know I put the TV on and made them all sit down and then I shut the front room door save any more kids going missing.

At some point I went to the front door and accepted my shopping from the poor young and good looking guy who was wishing for his own death.

Two things happened after that day, from then on, we walk as a pack. It sometimes takes us half an hour to travel 20 steps but I’m having no dawdlers or sprinters on my watch. The other thing, I never ordered from Ocado again. As understanding as he was and patient too, I never want to lay eyes on the bloody delivery driver again!

Nat Halfpenny


  1. I think I was holding my breath reading this!? Thank goodness she was ok! You deserve a large glass of wine my friend. As possibly does the Ocado driver 😉

    It could have been worse though… He could have turned up as you were half way through the window. Very resourceful though! I’m impressed! X

  2. I know I’m reading this late but I had to comment because I have a similar story…. I was also pregnant with my youngest at the time and I was upstairs in my bedroom rocking my toddler to sleep for her nap (as you do). I’d had to shut the bedroom door because my 3 year old kept coming in and waking her up and I’d had about a-bloody-nuff of it. When she was asleep and safely transferred onto the bed I went downstairs to see my front door wide open and the 3 year old nowhere to be seen. In a blind panic I ran (well, waddled quickly) out of the door and down the road screaming her name frantically before realising that I had another child at home that I couldn’t really abandon so I turned around and ran back home thinking that I would have to ring someone for help. As I stormed back in still calling her name she appeared at the top of the stairs… she had been in her bedroom all along. All I managed to pant out was ‘…the door was open!’ to which she replied with a puzzled expression ‘oh, Milo (the cat) wanted to go out. I tried to shut it’ And that is the story of why I now lock my children inside the house…

    • Oh my gosh! I’m somewhat glad it isn’t just me though. It’s the worst feeling ever isn’t it. I’m glad both our tales have happy endings.

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