Taking on the Barney brigade is no small feat and requires careful planning.

The nappy bag; my heavy, leather handbag; the stroller; and my kid on my hip because he doesn't want to sit in the stroller all in hand while I march among the many other prams and pregnant bellies through the busy parking lot, across the road, and into the even busier exhibition centre!

Going to see Barney is part and parcel of the parenting experience and if you don't do it there is considerably FOMO. If you do, it is parenting credentials via a baptism of fire.

You have to arrive early.

You have to queue. With your stuff.

You have to finally get to your good seat to have a little "wiggly worm" want to sit on your lap because: "I can't see." or "I'm scared."
In fact, my oldest really wanted to go see Barney until he did and then when it was all too real, overstimulating and scary, it brought him to tears.


In the end, he had a good time. 

I, on the other hand, vowed I would return the following year alone, walk-in - bargain hunt (No one turns their nose up at cheap nappies) - and walk out a satisfied customer. 

Since then, numerous other shows have helped me up my game.

You see Barney is often the first live kiddies show any parent takes their first child to and so it's easy to make all the mistakes in one go.

Here are my tips for first-timers:

If your child loves Barney on the television you should definitely take him or her to see the show.

If your child hasn't seen enough of Barney on the screen, ensure you expose him or her to enough, to make a decision. Moderate interest isn't terrible as live shows, even Barney, inculcate a love for theatre early on and it's a gift you wouldn't want to deprive your child off.

If you are certain you are attending the show, best to buy the merchandise in advance. It may or may not be on sale at the show and you don't want to fork out for an over-priced item based on a tantrum.

Ditch your designer handbag and put everything you need into one bag. There will be plenty of walking, so travel light.

Wet wipes, water, and snacks are imperative. When your husband says you'll get something to eat there, smile and pack your meals anyway. A hungry, over-stimulated child is not what you want on your outing, so pre-empt and eliminate any foreseeable drama.

If you really want to have a good time, give-in learn the songs and start singing them together in advance.

Remember, every opportunity is a learning opportunity, some just feel more eventful than others.