Tag Archives: BritMums

LolliBop LOL

6 Aug

It’s not often that I win anything so I was cockahoop when I found out I’d won VIP tickets to this weekend’s LolliBop festival courtesy of BritMums and Britvic Fruit Shoot. (Part of the surprise came from the fact I couldn’t remember having entered the competition – poor sleep deprived brain o’mine.) What had promised to be an ordinary Saturday was transformed into a magical day in Regent’s Park along with hundreds of screaming, tantruming parents and their children.

I made the mistake of telling my soon-to-be-three-year-old about the trip a couple of days in advance. The lead up was thus peppered with “Is it the weekend now?” and the subsequent footstamping when she was told that Rastamouse was still two days away, then one day away, then one car journey away. Note that Rastamouse gets an early mention. Well that grooving, lilting bundle of felt was the absolute highlight of my day. The excitement in the crowd crackled like a huge Camberwell Carrot (yes, we all know the interpretation of ‘cheese’ us adults have foisted on poor Rastamouse and his Easy Crew) whilst we waited for them to appear on the main stage. For twenty minutes I forgot I was watching a jobbing actor dressed as a huge Rastafarian mouse – it was like a real gig! Proper crucial, as Rastamouse would say. Despite bursting into tears and claiming it was “too noisy” my toddler was also captivated. I think both of us were less impressed with the Zingzillas who preceded Rastamouse in the line-up. Personally, I find them mighty creepy and they just don’t have Rastamouse’s ‘riddim’.

So, Rastamouse was my high point of the day. What was my low point? The army of tremendously yummy mummies who had clearly made a lot of effort to stand in a field for a day. Call it my own insecurities and/or low self-esteem but I felt distinctively frumpy. Determined to compete with the best of them, I kept my bug-eye Gucci sunglasses on despite the cloud and rain not just because it seemed the done thing but also because I hoped it would draw attention away from my tatty jeans and post-pregnancy muffin-top. There was a little too much ‘checking each other out’ for my liking. The tension was particularly felt around the sandpit as mamas and papas hovered at the edge checking that Tarquin wasn’t going to get whacked over the head by Jonny and his bucket, or have sand emptied into their Boden hoodies (not that my daughter would do that to another child … ahem). Any conflict amongst the tiddlers was just waiting to be taken to another level by the adults – Phil & Teds at dawn.

LolliBop (“The Big Bash for Little People”) is a great concept but it was let down by the vast queues that accompanied most of the activities on offer. This isn’t surprising given that once in most of the activities were free (I’ve never seen such a queue for facepainting and wondered whether some subliminal message in the Zingzillas set had turned ordinary families into facepainting junkies). Despite the queues and general tension from being crammed in a field wheel to wheel with a zillion other buggies (the concentration required to avoid toes and children was quite headache inducing), we had a super day at Lollibop. In a week where we’ve seen a furore about ‘shocking’ images of a 10-year-old modelling in Vogue, it was great to see kids just having fun doing kids’ stuff.

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