Juliette Bains: New respect for online baby bores after taste of park life

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Little Timmy used the potty for the first time today. I’ve not met Timmy before.

And despite his impressive potty training talents, I have no desire to meet him.

It’s strange that I know so much about him – from seeing photos of his first steps to a detailed description of what he managed to throw up before bedtime.

In fact, I’ve come to know Timmy better than I know myself.

And it’s all because his parents document every waking moment of his mundane life on their Facebook feed.

According to new research, two-thirds of British parents admit using Facebook solely to post updates about their children.

Parenting problems have been clogging up my newsfeed more and more in the past couple of years.

Many of my friends are having kids but it’s something I find difficult to relate to, as a 20-something who can barely look after herself, let alone another human being.

Don’t get me wrong, I can chuckle at a cute photo of a chubby baby, and ‘like’ an amusing parent-related status.

But when it comes to toddler tantrums and teething problems, I switch off and feel myself reaching for the ‘unfriend’ button.

Interestingly, the poll by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk showed that despite many confessing to incessantly posting statuses about their children, 59 per cent of parents said they’ve hidden or deleted a Facebook friend who has done the same.

As someone on the receiving end of these posts, I find it quite dull.

But last weekend I had a glimpse into the other side of things.

A little hungover and worse for wear, I was invited for a stroll at Roundhay Park with a friend and her two incredibly adorable children.

I was a bit wary, as Roundhay Park wasn’t much of a success the last time I visited with little ones in tow.

A while back, I bumped into the boyfriend’s nephews there. It was the first time I’d met them, and within five minutes I’d managed to kick the five-year-old in the face with a football at point-blank range.

So on this occasion I was determined to make it a more successful trip.

After exhausting ourselves on the swings, scoffing sausage rolls at the cafe, whizzing round on a scooter and feeding the ducks, I was full of the joys of spring.

It certainly beat the normal weekend wake-ups – rolling out of bed at midday and dwelling on the amount of alcohol consumed the night before.

This was a glimpse into family life with little ones around, and they were adorable.

Pulling some funny faces with the kids and posing for some selfies, I had to fight the urge to post the pics on Facebook in fear of being a huge hypocrite.

The fun-filled day came to an end and we skipped back to the car, where we were about to say our goodbyes when all hell broke loose.

A temper tantrum got the best of the three-year-old, who was exhausted and didn’t want to go home.

With a baby in her arms and trying to squish the pram into the boot of the car, my mate earned a huge amount of respect from me as she dealt perfectly with the task at hand whilst I stood there feeling utterly useless.

The situation was sorted in seconds and apologies dished out from all parties involved.

I genuinely don’t know how parents have the patience and energy to cope in those circumstances.

It all proved too much for me and after waving them off from the car park, I went home for a two-hour nap.

Having a tiny taste of what it’s like to be a parent, I’ve come to the conclusion that they can whinge/whine/do/say whatever they want on Facebook, because they blimmin’ deserve it.

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Skating on really thin ice as cool attraction returns

MILLENNIUM SQUARE is in the process of having another annual makeover.

The German Market and its not-so-German delicacies have packed up and left, and the festive fun is but a distant memory now that January has rolled around.

Now it’s time for the ice rink to take centre stage.

Ice skating conjures up romantic images of partners holding hands and gazing into each others eyes as they slide gracefully across the ice.

The reality is quite different.

Chapped lips, embarrassing falls and bruises from falling over in public is much more realistic.

And there’s always one show-off who zips round the rink thinking they’re Torvill or Dean.

It’s a constant battle not to skate into someone and make sure people don’t skate into you, and the fear of losing a finger when you slip on the ice is more than I can bear.

It’s a recipe for disaster - but that’s part of the thrill.

I’ve been every year and can confidently say I’m not getting any better but I fully intend to test out my skills on the ice again this year.

Faced with an embarrassing truth after ID disaster

SO MANY people strive to look youthful these days.

There are countless creams, lotions and potions aimed at keeping both men and women looking young.

But there’s nothing that helps people look a little bit older. I’m not talking Queen Elizabeth II old, I just mean a couple of crow’s feet older.

Owing largely to having a slightly chubby face and being a bit short, almost every time I trundle out to a bar, I’m asked for ID. My mates laugh it off and tell me ‘it’s a compliment’ but it’s annoying and soon gets, well, old.

This week my patience was pushed to the limit.

Suffering from a headache and dashing to the supermarket, I grabbed some medication and queued at the till.

The shop assistant looked me up and down before asking how old I was.

“Errrrr....26,” I said.

There was a short, sharp burst of laughter from the lady behind the till.

“I’m laughing because we’re not meant to sell medicines to people under 12,” she informed me.”

Oh, it’s hilarious, isn’t it! A 26-year-old looking 12!

Great. That’s great. So I’ve gone from looking a questionable 18 to barely looking 12 in a matter of days.

I know they’re just doing their job but that takes the biscuit.

I refuse to cover my face in slap and get dressed up in a bid to look older when I go to the shops so I’ve decided to act my estimated age and have come up with the equally mature option of not shopping there again.

Well, they started it.

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