Oxygen Freejumping – a MUST for kids (and parents!). Review and #giveaway.

Ah, the joys of Autumn. Crunching through the colourful autumn leaves with the little darlings, making collages and leaf pictures and enjoying the last of the outdoor days. Then the rain starts, the wind blows, it gets cold, and the snot starts flowing.

A quick google later and you find yourself sitting in a church hall with a gaggle of other mums, gulping down cold weak tea and shovelling in Jaffa Cakes while your little darlings fight with other little darlings over who had ownership of the chewed red car with only 3 wheels first. Mums and tots is great, don’t get me wrong. However, even the little darlings can get bored of being dragged to a different church hall every weekday morning just so that Mummy can shovel in the custard creams while relishing the fact she is speaking to other real live adults, even if the main topic of discussion is nappies, pooh and blistered nipples.

Recently, I was approached by Oxygen Freejumping who invited me to bring the twins along to a Little O’s trampolining session in Southampton. I hadn’t heard of this place before, but it seems to be relatively new. I have to say I was a bit dubious. I could imagine the twins, who have just turned 3, bouncing on a trampoline for a maximum of 5 minutes before getting bored and starting to bicker. Nonetheless, off we went to give it a try.

The industrial warehouse feel of the place is enhanced by a trail of coloured footprints leading upstairs to reception. We were each given a special little pair of socks to wear (plastic socks, according to the twins) and sat down with some other mums and kids ready for the safety briefing. After a brief video telling us the do’s and dont’s of trampolining, we were set loose. The place is huge, and the kids were allowed to free range around the different areas.

I had envisaged a sort of class, but it was quite the opposite. The kids were basically bouncing off the walls, floors, giant airbags, and launching themselves into huge foam pits. In one area, there were balloons and a coloured parachute, which was great for the littlest O’s. Now we get to the best bit. When they gave me my own pair of socks, I laughed inwardly to myself and thought about my lack of pelvic floor, and superfluous wobbly bits. No way would I be seen bouncing. However, the adults were all at it. Bouncing like kids around this amazing place. I spent at least 15 minutes on the professional stunt trampolines, which are extra bouncy, before getting up the nerve to do a seat drop (landing on your bum and bouncing back up). We played chasies  round the large area which is basically trampoline after trampoline, including bouncy walls, and the kids roared with excitement. There were no biscuits or value squash in sight, my Fitbit almost exploded with the energy I was burning, and I don’t think the twins and I have ever had so much fun together.


As they tired towards the end of our 1 hour session, they were delighted to meet Little O who came out (big person dressed in an O shaped costume) and cuddled them, and shook hands with them.

There was no crying from any child there, just laughing. There was no coloured plastic, no renditions of the wheels on the bus, an no bickering over who was driving the ride on tractor first. It really was a breath of fresh air. There were plenty of staff on hand. Some were doing stunts which had the children enthralled. Others built towers out of huge foam blocks with the twins, and I saw another chap playing rescue on the giant airbag which had the kids giggling.

There is a cafe there for non jumpers, or to go to afterwards, as your little O’s will be starving. I didn’t try it out, but it looked nice. There are nice clean toilet and changing facilities, and water fountains as well as free lockers to store your stuff while you bounce.

We will definitely be going back there. Don’t just take my word for it though! Oxygen Freejumping have kindly offered 1 lucky reader the chance of a free General entry pass for 4 people which can be used at any Oxgen Centre Nationwide. They have also kindly offered everyone who enters a 20% discount code. This will be emailed to all entrants when the competition closes.

To be in with a chance to win, please just click on the link below, and off you go!

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Boring legal blurb

By entering the competition you are consenting to me sharing your entry details with Oxygen Freejumping. Your details will not be shared with anyone else.

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Fuck it Tuesday (The half term equivalent of Fuck it Friday).

Half term. That glorious week where the schools and pre-schools release the little darlings to spend quality time with their parents. Mummy has actually been looking forward to half term. Despite having to take unpaid leave from work because otherwise we cannot cover all of the school holidays, Mummy still felt very upbeat. Daddy is working, but mummy planned lazy mornings, autumn leaf printing and dog walking at the local forest.

The holiday started with the dreadful day that shall henceforth be known as mousegate. Mummy’s eddorts to put right mousegate on day 1 of the holidays went badly wrong, ending in blood gate (posted only on Facebook due to hand injuries making typing difficult). 

Today, Mummy decided to tackle the things which she has put off for weeks. Lucy needed new casual shoes, Patch new tops, boys needed haircuts etc. In a previously unwitnessed fit of helpfulness, when Mummy started muttering about the state of the kitchen, Ems started tidying up the toys. Keen to encourage this rare form of helpfulness, Mummy said loudly “Oh Emily my darling, you will get a prize for being so good!” They all mucked in, demanding prizes. Mummy decided they could each pick one item each from the Pound shop in town for their prize. Obviously, the first stop was the Pound shop. Mummy took them up and down the toy/book craft aisles. Slowly the 5 minute prize choosing crept up to 10 minutes, then 15. Ems just chose a book and stuck with it. Patch, however could not decide between the axe and the sword. Whichever Mummy said was best, he chose the other, then put it back again crying about having to choose. Ben had no problem, choosing one of everything boyish in the toy aisle, then lobbing it on the floor as he saw the next toy. Lucy sat in the middle of the toy aisle floor and sobbed vocally as there was “too much to choose from”.  Mummy’s stress levels rose higher and higher. Mummy started to perspire. Mummy also started to realise what a twattingly stupid idea it had been to undertake this sort of prize with 4 kids aged between 3 and 6. Mummy should have just gone into the emergency cupboard and thrown a bag of haribo at each of them, and they never would have complained. 

Now committed, Mummy started to panic. Ben was throwing toys like confetti, Lucy was having a full blown meltdown in the middle of the aisle, Ems was reading the books she had chosen, and Patch was stamping his feet shouting “Fine, that’s fine, I just don’t want one anyway!”. The shop was busy and as if the pressure wasn’t bad enough, a lady stopped right next to Mummy and said “Ooh, your children are really very noisy!”. Mummy fished a pound coin out of her posset and suggested loudly to the lady that she might find the earplugs in the next aisle, and she should have a pair on ?Mummy. The lady scuttled away quietly. Having issued a 2 minute toy ultimatum, Mummy and 4 kids left the shop with 4 toys and a large bag of marshmallows. 
Making our way to the shoe shop, Mummy shovelled marshmallows into the little darlings. It did seem to be soothing the crying. At the shoe shop, Lucy’s feet were measured. She tried on 5 pairs of boots, but the only ones that would do were the knee high infant black patent “prostitute boots” that Mummy wouldn’t have bought in a million years even if they did fit correctly. They didn’t fit correctly. Mummy breathed a sigh of relief, and Lucy started wailing. And wailing. And wailing. As mummy tried to negotiate with Lucy over the nice brown leather autumnal boots, she realised everyone in the shop appeared to be watching something. Looking over, Mummy saw Patch and Ben wearing the giant croc which the shop uses for display purposes, as a costume. A child eating 4 legged green croc shaped costume. The other children, parents still clutching numbered tickets, started screaming and running. All hell broke loose. Mummy did actually think about crying at this point, but decided instead to label this “Fuck it all Tuesday” and basically take it as it comes. As Mummy clutched the smallest child and ushered the others downstairs, she gave a roar for good measure and got a bloody good scream in response. 

Giggling wildly, we ran across the road to Prezzo and had the joy of a table right next to the open kitchen.  Kids were fascinated, and all was good with the world because Mummy had wine! Lunch was frankly a breeze compared to the preceding morning. As the other kids sat nicely with well groomed make-up wearing mothers, Mummy went with the “Fuck it all Tuesday” mentality. Benjy wanted to eat his food under the table, so he did. In fact, on the second glass of wine, Mummy went as far as actually feeding him under the table. The staff at Zizzis were fab. I suspect the chefs sensed Mummy’s distress, so they amused the kids by tossing the pizza bases to and from each other. 

Our hairdresser Olga is one in a million. She has been cutting the kids hair since Patch was 6 months (just picture her cutting Barbie’s hair, cutting dogs hair, then cutting hair of child pinned to the floor). It really is the one public place Mummy always felt at home taking the kids. That was until today, when Mummy turned round to see that Ben had washed his own hair in the sink and was dripping his way around the salon. Cue home.

When we got home, Lucy announced that we had forgotten to take “adventure bear” the class bear, out with us AGAIN! When Mummy got everyone into bed, adventure bear asked for a glass of wine, and Mummy obliged! Fuck it all Tuesday everyone! 

When Mummy actually thought today could get no worse, the fucking mouse died.

Undoubtedly one of the shittiest parts of parenting is illness. It’s debatable whether parenting the ill kids while being well, or parenting the well kids when ill is worse. Neither are pretty, and both are exhausting. 

By 1.30 am this morning,  Mummy was at that stage where she was just praying it would be morning soon. The writhing fever ridden little body next to her sharing the calpol soaked pillow was intent on pressing herself against Mummy while coughing so deeply it sounded more like a seal singing opera, badly. 

Daddy moved out into Lucy’s bed at about 2 am. Mummy made it until 6am with no sleep when she had to sneak out to try and persuade the twins downstairs quietly. Daddy slipped back into Mummy’s spot where he passed a further two hours sleeping while Mummy tried to manage the tribe downstairs. 

It was one of those days where nothing was ever going to be right. Mummy couldn’t find the dinosaur dressing gown and there was no way in hell a twatting Thomas dressing gown would ever substitute. Apparently Co-Co pops and Chocolate Pillows are entirely different and one cannot be substituted for the other despite the fact that they are both fucking rice puff chocolate flavoured highly sugary cereals which turn the milk chocolatey. In the toddler world, hunger strike is the answer to such an absurd abuse of spending power by a Mummy. Meanwhile, in the melted cheese camp, the cheese was too melty, the toast too toasty, and the milk was not cold enough. When Mummy could take it no longer, she ordered Daddy out of bed to PC world. Mummy’s plan was to buy each of the little darlings a kindle with earphones so that Mummy no longer had to mediate the war between Blaze and Strawberry Shortcake.

Having been virtually escorted to the til, then to the car with our purchases, we strapped in the screaming bundles, dosed them with calpol and drove to Pizza Hut so they could stuff themselves with an instant buffet. Pizza Hut don’t do weekend buffets. Cue more screaming. Having ordered our non buffet pizza, the fighting commenced. 1 tub of crayons and 4 kids NEVER fucking works. When Mummy asks for more crayon tubs, the servers look at Mummy in a condescending manner which pretty much says “I see you haven’t taught your children to share yet.” Mummy whispers obscenities quietly under her breath, and demands further crayons. And wine. More wine. 

We make it through the salad course fairly unscathed. Even the pizza doesn’t go too badly considering. It’s the ice-cream station that really messed it all up. Of course, each child must do their own. Only there is a delay between letting go of the ice-cream pump and the actual ice-cream stopping coming out. The less said about the sauce the better. When they applied the sprinkles, however, the lid fell clean off. Ben ‘s bowl filled up with mini smarties before several thousand of the little sweets skittered across the entire restaurant floor. Mummy mumbled something about never knowing we had been there. The staff didn’t laugh, and got the brooms out. We left quickly.

We shall skim over the rest of the afternoon. All we will say is it involved a great deal of crying, calpol, futile efforts to programme kindle fires, and several toddler toileting accidents. Just when Mummy was ordering the twins to get their PJ’s on an hour early as she could actually take no more, she realised she hadn’t seen mouse today. Patch also realised. 

Mouse was dead. Of all the fucking days to cark it, mouse chose the day Patch had a high temperature, and Mummy was at breaking point. Mummy is now drinking wine while soothing Patch and watching the Chronicles of Narnia (again). To be fair, we are missing at least 50% by way of vocal mourning for Jerry, God rest his mousely soul. Daddy says he will bury mouse when Patch is in bed. Mummy reckons Daddy is just going to bin him, which is probably wise as if he did get buried, dog would probably dig him up again and bring him back. 

Mummy doesn’t reckon on getting much sleep again tonight. Mummy is fed up to the gills of answering theological questions about how, when and why God selects souls for transport to heaven. Mummy just wants to be alone with her wine. Do cats in heaven eat hamsters in heaven? If not, why not? If they are in separate places who feeds them? Why can’t he just be here with us…..The thing is Mummy had a bit of a soft spot for the little mouse as well. Depending on how long the grieving process lasts, we may be getting a new mouse tomorrow.  😭😭🙏🍷