I am Morgan, mum to Arlo (3), and partner of Ben. I am Norwich born and bred, and apart from a few years in London and Cambridge, have spent most of my years living around the Norfolk countryside and the Golden Triangle.
When I’m not child wrangling I help to run our pub The Plasterers Arms (which means doing the accounts, not schmoozing and boozing, alas). And when I’m not doing pub admin I am one of the organisers of Rattle Baby Disco – a daytime clubbing event for families in Norwich.
I am incredibly fortunate that my child isn’t a super-early riser. We’re all hopeless at getting up so weekday mornings are often a struggle. Our alarm goes off at 6.45, but it usually takes a good half an hour for anyone to get out of bed. At the weekends anything goes, but Sod’s Law, this is usually when Arlo wants to get up the earliest…
Arlo is at nursery for 1 full day and 3 mornings a week. In theory this is my work time, but often by the time I’ve got him there, convinced him to let go of my leg, tidied up porridge from the table/walls/floor, and managed to brush my hair, there is usually about an hour left for me to Get Shit Done before picking him up again. If I were an organised person I would have designated pub work days and Rattle work days, but I have an incredibly short attention span, so I’ll usually flit between the two. Pub admin can get pretty dull, so Rattle allows me to flex my creativity a little, whether it be researching toddler crafts, organising stall holders or sourcing lots of glowing/sparkly things – it makes a nice change from bank statements and invoices!
For lunch I will basically go anywhere that will tolerate a rambunctious and whingey toddler. We usually end up at The Georgian Townhouse, The Sanctuary or Cactus Cafe, purely because they have play areas, which occasionally means I can eat with both hands. We also love The Urban Jungle for a bit of an outing.
Sometimes Arlo has afternoons with one of his Grandparents, in which case it’s more of the same work/house admin that I do in the mornings, but Tuesday afternoons and Thursdays are always our time. Sometimes we sit on the sofa eating cheese and watching The Snowman (yes I know it’s summer, but can someone please tell my son that), but as much as possible we try and arrange to hang out with our pals. The other Rattle organisers and I try and catch-up as often as we can to discuss ideas and what we need to do for the next event. With 5 small children between us this usually requires a lot of biscuits, stickers and CBeebies, just to complete a simple conversation, but somehow we manage to pull it off. While the weather is warm our venue of choice tends to be the park, but often we’ll find ourselves yelling to one another from opposite sides of the field as one child wants to use a scooter, one wants to swing, and the other wants to pick daisies. All we really want is to sit down and drink something hot and caffeinated. Thank God for ice cream vans and the Eaton Park cafe.
I really enjoy cooking and try to do something from scratch most evenings. Arlo will often help (in the loosest sense of the word) and I find he’s slightly less fussy about food if he’s helped to make it. I don’t like making two separate meals every night, so I tend to cook what Ben and I want to eat, but make sure there is at least one element that I’m confident Arlo will try. If he refuses to eat anything then there’s always fruit and yoghurt on offer. That all sounds very idyllic doesn’t it? Rest assured we eat pasta at least twice a week, there are always emergency fish fingers in my freezer, and we frequently all end up crying about vegetables.
I always plan to get loads done in the evenings, or do something wholesome like read a book, but by the time I’ve done bedtime and all the boring household tasks I’m usually good for nothing more than a boxset or flicking through Instagram. Still, I always end up going to bed far too late, usually between 11-12, and hugely regret it the next day.
On the rare occasions I make it out in the evening, I usually go somewhere that involves food. Five years ago Norwich was a bit depressing on the culinary front, but recently a host of great new places have opened up. Some of my favourites are Woolf and Social, Jive Bar, B’Nou, Soyokaze, or for a big treat, Benedicts. Oh, and our pub of course, we serve yummy pizzas, and booze, lots of booze.
One of the reasons we created Rattle was to attempt to give parents a little bit of their lost night-lives back. It’s not quite an all-nighter at Fabric (it takes place at 2pm on a Sunday with lots of bright colours, glitter and your offspring at your side), but there’s a bar, a good playlist, stalls to browse, and plenty to keep your little darlings thoroughly entertained whilst you guzzle a glass of wine and a doughnut.
For more details, go to: www.rattlebabydisco.com
All photos by Lizzie Starling Photography.