How not to have a picnic.


And the living is …twice as bloody hard as the rest of the year actually Mr Gershwin,

Oh, Daddy ain’t rich and Mamma is not lookin’ very good at all,

So hush little baby,

Don’t you cry. Please stop whinging for one minute. No you’re not having another ice cream. Put that down!


Picnics used to be easy.

Sandwich, banana, park, done.

But type the word picnic into Pinterest and you will be assaulted by picture perfect picnics complete with drinks served in jam jars, wicker baskets and sandwiches wrapped in string.

Who is creating this shit?

I fed my children Weetabix with a fork last week because I had no clean spoons.

If there is string in one of my sandwiches it is because it is a string sandwich.

Here is my guide to the perfect summer holiday picnic.


1. Announce your plans to children. Spend the next 30 minutes repeatedly answering the following questions ‘Are we going on a picnic now?’ ‘How about now?’ Now are we going on a picnic?’

2. Open fridge. Ignore smell. Remove contents and place into a cool bag along with not enough spoons and one knife for the baby to play with later whilst you have a snooze.

3. Remove picnic blanket from washing basket. Stuff under pram on top of the baby wipes you definitely put in there.

4. In a carrier bag place one change of clothing for each child, one towel, sun hats (for exercise: bend down, pick up, repeat) and sun cream. Decide not to apply sun cream until you are in park and feel guilty when you see other parents putting it on.

5. Tell children it is picnic time. Spend the next 30 minutes dealing with crying children who refuse to leave the house. ‘I don’t want to go on a picnic.’ ‘Why can’t we just stay here?’ ‘ I hate picnics.’

6. Leave house exhausted. Travel to picnic destination in silent anger. You can do this whilst driving or walking.

7. Arrive at park. Shake out picnic blanket. Decide on inspection grass is probably cleaner. Stuff blanket back under pram, realise there are no baby wipes, discover baby has dirty nappy, change baby on grass using 2 tiny coffee shop napkins.

8. Unpack delicious picnic – 1 jar pickled onions for the baby, last night’s left over pasta for the toddler, a bottle of ketchup and a whole camembert for mummy – all served on purple rice cakes.

9. Lie back, relax and remember: At least you have cleaned out the fridge today.


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It won’t make the summer holidays any more bearable but at least you’ll know you’re not alone.



13 thoughts on “How not to have a picnic.

  1. Oh you always make me feel SO MUCH BETTER about my life! That is EXACTLY how my picnics go. Especially the “are we going now?” and then later “I don’t want to go!” Also, I caught my toddler about to saw open the baby’s head with a sharp knife that I had left within reach the other day. AND I always forget the wipes. AND my fridge smells and I don’t really want to know why, I just keep piling more stuff in to hide the Rotten Thing, in the hope that the organisms that are growing in whatever it is will in time just consume it and leave the tupperware clean once more.

  2. Pingback: The no-stress guide to family picnics - Eeh Bah Mum

  3. Number 5. OMG Number 5. Why won’t they leave the house?

    Every day here on holiday. “I hate the beach! Why do we have to go to the beach? We want to stay at home. (Child 2) wants to stay at home too. Her knickers are dirty anyway. I want to play with my Minions.”

    • We are just back from a trip to Brighton – the beach has it’s own special problems on top of the picnic. Will have to write about that when I have recovered. Why are holidays so exhausting?

  4. Genius post. One thing though, you forgot the bit where you fill a small water bottle with neat vodka, and enjoy at your leisure, It doesn’t make anything better, but at least you couldn’t give a shit anymore,

    You have also reminded me that my picnic blanket smells of wet dog, and I really should do something about it.



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