The Rainbow Factory, Leeds Review

Let me tell you a bit about me. I’m a few months away from turning three and I’m a rebel. I don’t like to follow the crowd. You can’t call me a sheep! I’m more like the wolf. I have a short attention span. I was also a latecomer to the English language.

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The Rainbow Factory, leeds review

Last week my mum took me out, and not to a soft play or to bound about the park like a labrador. She seemed a little anxious, I don’t know why she always looks so stressed on our outings. We took my little baby brother too.

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
The rainbow Factory, leeds

The place was unlike anywhere I’ve been before. It was called ‘The Rainbow Factory’. I like rainbows. A kind woman read a story about Christmas – something I don’t understand yet but I liked watching the other children describe ‘Reindeers’ – one has a red nose apparently. I also sat on the floor listening very well for five minutes. My mum said this is a personal best.

We walked around this magical place with dragons and wizards and trolls. I don’t know what these are yet but I loved looking at them – they felt like magic. We got to collect these special jewels and things in a special cone. I presume these were for protection from the dragon.

Mummy's Writing Darling, Leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds, Review

Afterwards we sat down at a table and got to use our special jewels and string to make our very own christmas tree. It was fun and colourful.

But all of that was nothing compared to what I found next. I found the best things in the world. Mummy said they were called “bean bags”. I ran around and jumped up and down on every bean bag until I could barely breathe. I made friends who joined me … I’m so influential – because I’m so cool. Mummy looked stressed again and went off for a coffee. Really don’t know what she worries about.

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

I ran around and around and found a huge dressing up box. I dressed up like my favourite character in my favourite book – The Tiger who came to tea.

The rainbow factory, leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

I found a load of books and had a good flick through them and ran around in a large room no one else had even bothered to go in!

I started to feel quite wet. I had some apple juice and a bit of cake to replenish my energy reserves.

Mummy seemed to relax and even dressed up too!

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds, Review
Mummy’s Writing, Darling

We stayed for ages and I didn’t want to leave. I slept all the way home in the car. I dreamt of the dragons and wizards and trolls… I’d like to know more about them.

Mummy’s side of the story

The Rainbow Factory was a nostalgic walk down traditional story-time memory lane.

The feel of the exhibition had all the magic of The Brother’s Grimm and John Hurts’ Storyteller. Though the characters and themes were new to my son – this didn’t negatively affect his experience. His attention was retained throughout.

But the best thing for a stressed out mum of a toddler rebel was that he was able to express himself in his own unique way – and we weren’t made to feel out of place or like we were the outsiders (which can sometimes happen).

I could see other children on our tour, who are not like mine, who have better language, or who are older, who connected with the place in a different way. But my son was able to be physical and explore and be himself with no judgement.

I think, in that way – any child can take something from The Rainbow Factory. Mine took a taste of magic, an interest in dragons and a top up to his self esteem.

I also got to have a lovely cup of coffee and a bit of time to myself (and baby [toddler rebel two in the making])

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
Mummy’s Writing Darling

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Foolproof ways to cope with your fussy eater child

mummy's writing darling

I have based my findings on years of research with my own fussy eater toddler child. Do not attempt these tactics with other people’s fussy eater children or with fussy eater adults due to ethical reasons.

Also you can just tell the fussy eater adult to sod off and never come for tea again.

Firstly : Lower your expectations. Starting each day assuming your fussy eater child will not eat anything they are given means you will be pleasantly surprised when they eat a spoonful of chocolate cake last thing before bedtime. 

Don’t put a lot of effort into making anything you would be upset to see thrown against a wall or tipped down a toilet. 

Don’t try and work out the formula of what will make a fussy eater eat a certain food. There is no formula. It is a complete random set of serendipitous sporadic stimuli that will work one moment of one day – usually never to be repeated.

Don’t attempt a restrictive diet yourself during this time. A woman can’t be expected to abstain from carbs when she’s forced to sit in front of hot buttered toast for an hour.

Watching your child ignore it and refuse to eat it will make you want to scream “You don’t know you’re born!” before rubbing the toast over your face and toasting the rest of the loaf for yourself using your hands to eat Lurpack while you’re waiting.

Compromise. Let them have it the way they want it. It may make you gag to eat stone cold baked beans, but they like it that way so just go with it.

Lie. I’m sure there are lots of ethical reasons why you shouldn’t lie about what you are feeding a person. But they’re your kids. They’re your fussy eater. So lie.

“Yes darling, this is Peppa pig yogurt (semolina) and this is Peppa pig yogurt (sweet potato mash) oh, and look at this amazing Peppa pig yogurt (humous).”

Any new food is a victory, even if technically it’s a Ritz cracker. It’s a new food group! “There you go, dip it in your Peppa pig yogurt son!”

Always remain poised for spontaneous regurgitation.

Especially if you’ve tried to conceal a healthy foodstuff under the usual crap. You play with fire – you’re going to get spewed on.

Try to find the positive in anything they will eat. “He ate lemon cake, so that’s one of his five a day.” “He ate the breadcrumbs on a fish finger – so thats Omega something isn’t it?” “He ate baked beans so he must be over his, ‘I only eat beige things’ phase!”

Tell yourself every day that this is just a phase and they won’t grow up to be one of those “freaky eaters” who will only eat ready salted crisps and diet lemonade.

It’s not like it’s hereditary … I have no problem eating anything. Except Oysters, ooh… wonder if he’ll give an oyster a go? Maybe if I hide it in a Peppa pig yogurt.

Block out all memories of how you used to imagine pre kids that your children would eat what they were given. Especially fruit and veg! You weren’t to know you were being a tit.