Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
"When you go to work do you have to write about what you did on the weekend?"
Someone once told me that boys are physically exhausting and girls are emotionally exhausting. That's certainly true about the Girl who has, in the past, thrown a wobblers because;
Her horse didn't win the Grand National
The Cat ignored her
It was seven o'clock
The wind was blowing
And most recently because she couldn't find her favourite cuddly toy (called Mega) which was in her bloody hand. In addition to this the hypotheses she makes about the world are, put mildly, ludicrous.
"Snot is magic! When you wipe your nose on a towel it vanishes! "
"I assure you, it doesn't. Hang on, which towel did you use?"
"Your one. "
"Of course you did. Why did I ask?"
On the other hand, girls are more caring. Over the weekend I had a kick-a-bout in the back garden with my brother-in-law. Typically this involved me trying to show that I still had the silky skills of my youth. This was rather unwise because I'm forty one now, and therefore old enough to have forgotten that I never actually had any silky skills. And so, in a moment so beautifully maladroit it was almost graceful, I trod on the ball and attempted to lay down four feet off the ground.
After the laughter had stopped the assembled throng realised that I was - after a whole minute - still only halfway through saying the word "f*ck"
And my niece, bless her offered the following sympathy.
Which is both sweet and disturbing in equal measure.
The Girl's reaction a couple of days later when my foot went black and purple was slightly less compassionate;
"Zombie foot! Aieeee! "
So boys are less random.
"Have you ever gone to work dressed as Joe Calzagie? "
"Is it possible to flambé a platypus?"
And so emotionally stable they never ever burst into tears because an ant didn't want to be their friend.
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
"Dad, what's the Internet?"
"Well, it's a way for people to tell other people their opinion about things they don't know anything about. "
And so, this blog was born.
Regular readers may have noticed that, for a blog about parenting, there's not a lot of advice in here. At least I hope you have. I am not someone to seek advice from. I am someone on the verge of losing my parenting qualifications for gross incompetence. I was barely qualified as a person before I even had kids. I'm the only person I know who, whilst on a date, was asked;
"Can I ask you a personal question? "
"How long have you known you are gay?"
"Well... Wait, what? I'm not gay. "
"NO! Er, I mean no. "
"Wait a minute... If you thought I was gay, why did you agree to go on a date with me?"
"This is a date? "
On a holiday I managed (in the space of a weekend) to knock myself unconscious with;
A power shower
A six foot pink plastic phallus
I still can't tell the time on anything other than a digital clock (because digital watches ARE THE FUTURE).
Largely I write this to amuse myself (occasionally, I'm led to believe, other people are amused to. By my grammar). Any advice is accidental.
The reason for this is that parents just can't stop handing out advice at every juncture. It's bad enough in the real world where you can't say;
"My son's a bit poorly at the moment. "
Without some genius replying
"Have you given him calpol?"
No. I've given him methadone, you blithering imbecile.
However on Facebook, as with all things, the arsehollery is multiplied by a factor of the internet³. For instance, if you child has a fever;
"My health visitor said give the calpol when his temperature has come up. "
"Don't give calpol on a day with an 'n' in or SOMETHING AWFUL WILL HAPPEN."
"We distracted our daughter Hegemony by playing the harp and then soothed her pain with a patchouli poultice. "
"The doctor will say that you should give him calprofen. Ignore the doctor because despite their expert knowledge and experience they don't know as much as me because I have two year old and an opinion."
We're all guilty of this (I AM A MASSIVE HYPOCRITE). We justify it with the words "I'm just trying to help" when what we're actually saying is; "Please validate my existence with gratitude."
Why? Because you never hear your kids say;
"Thanks for cooking dinner, it must have taken ages! "
"I'm just going to tidy my room. "
"Would you like me to open a bottle of wine?"
"I've flushed the toilet. "
And if you do they're just covering for the fact that they've shat down the back of the sofa. Again.
So the next time you're gritting your teeth whilst someone vomits their unwanted parenting tips on you, just remember; they're living with slave driving, egocentric ingrates.
Then remember it was their choice, and tell them to piss off.
Friday, 21 March 2014
I won't lie, this post is going to alienate a few people. Bit of a dangerous move on my part because losing one reader pretty much halves my readership.
The other week I went to see the Boy in a local production of a Russian folk tale. It was about the unilateral annexation of a state by a repressive regime. No wait. It was about an egg and a firebird. Or was that the news? It's so hard to keep up. Anyway, the Boy was proudly playing Chicken Number four. An important role, for the first forty five seconds of the play, leaving him plenty of time to stare vacantly into space and see how far his index finger would fit up his nose for another fifty nine minutes. Still, for the princely sum of five quid I got to sit on a school bench, work on my piles and crane round someone's head to catch a glimpse of the Boy. Who was fiddling with his bits at least all of the time.
This, however, was not the worst of the experience of the day though. Unfortunately, as often happens when I'm unaccompanied, I somehow attracted the attentions of a lunatic. Whilst in the queue I found myself chatting with the support of supermum you often find at these events. Some of you will know the type. Typically isolated by the other parents because they've all spoken to her once in the past, with the unmistakable air of someone who believes that they have been gifted a view of the world that is unshakeably RIGHT and must be shared with the world. Whether or not they want to listen.
Sadly, because I'm not terribly good at being overtly rude, these people are the flies around my dog shit. So this happened;
"Do what school does your Boy go to? "
I foolishly told her.
"Oh. That's a faith school, isn't it?"
"I couldn't send my child to a faith school. I'm an athiest."
"Fair enough. "
"I don't think my child needs people to tell them fairy tales about heaven so they feel better about dying."
"So your child doesn't believe in fairy tales? "
"So no Father Christmas? Your kid doesn't believe in Santa? "
"Oh, yes. Of course he does."
"So... What's the difference? "
"Well, I don't believe in heaven."
"Oh, right. I've got some bad news about Father Christmas for you. "
This went on. It struck me as odd, as I tweeted my irritation with her as she continued to talk, that people like her actually exist in the real world. Ordinarily you only encounter them in badly written books. Which may explain why she fits so well into this blog.
"Still, it's nice that dad's make the effort to get to these things. Although I always think, at the end of the day, it's mum that kids want to see. "
"Oh, you can just f**k off."
I replied, before I'd really thought it through, somewhat surprising myself.
You see, there's something about a self righteous atheist that brings out the worst in me. I have no problem with atheists, a person's view is their entitlement. It's not my view, but I understand and respect it. But the sort of bombastic hypocrite that decries the bigotry of religions by sweeping statements about religion being the cause of all the ills in the world really could do with talking less shit and getting enlightened. People cause the world's ills. Not abstract concepts.
My kids believe in heaven and that keeps them from worrying about their own mortality and that of those they love. It hasn't warped them, and they are happier for it.
Although the other day the Girl did tell me;
"I'm not going to die until I'm a hundred. When I'm crucified."
So it might be that I know nothing.
Monday, 10 March 2014
"You're fine. Just remember your ice skating lessons!"
"I only learnt how to fall over!"
- I didn't like it
- I fell over in such a manner that when I hit the ice my elbow drew a big question mark in blood on the ice
- I had to be rescued by a twelve year old boy
"Are you looking forward to this, kids?"
"Er, is that a yes?"
Secondly because they had to wear crash helmets that were adult sized. So the Boy looked like this;
|The Stig's bobble-headed cousin|
And finally because, from the moment they had their crash hats on the only thing they wanted to do was either punch each other in the face, or head butt each other. It was like a punch up at the National Association of Midget Bikers AGM. And when they eventually broke the fight up and got them on the quads - well. It turns out that when you put your average seven-year-old boy on a quad, they forget what a corner is. The whole time they were on the bikes they would ride in a straight line, stop when they got to a tyre wall and then look in bemusement over their shoulders at the two poor sods running the place. They would then get dug out of the tyre wall, let loose to ride in a straight line and repeat the whole process. I now know what the most soul destroying job in the world is. After five minutes of this I wanted to kill myself on their behalf.
Quasar was the biggest hit for the Boy it turns out - when I asked him what he enjoyed the most. Although when I asked why he replied;
"Because I shot Leon's dad in the nuts like, a hundred times!"
Friday, 7 March 2014
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Friday, 22 November 2013
Well, that was weird. Twice in the past two weeks the Boy and Girl have managed to verbally back me into a corner. Then tonight... Well, we'll come to that in a moment.
First of all was the Boy, who came out with this nugget about Armistice Day;
"So you're saying that a lot of soldiers died so that we're free to say whatever we want, and to remember them we're not allowed to speak for two minutes? Well that makes sense."
Then, in an effort to get the Girl to call me Fiona again, I asked her in front of some friends;
"Girl, if you were a dog, and I was the person that owned you, what would you call me?"
*As if to an imbecile* "Woof."
Well, that told me.
So just as I'm starting to think the Kids are becoming rational little people, we come to that point on a Friday when they're both tired and emotional. As they were getting changed into their pyjamas the Girl - up until this point quite cheery - suddenly burst into tears.
"What's the matter Girl?"
"I'm going to miss you when you're dead!"
"Whu-? You what?"
"Your going to die in a hundred years and I'm going to miss you! "
"I'm not going to love for another hundred years, Girl..."
"Well, that was the wrong thing to say, eh, Boy? WHY ARE YOU CRYING? "
"Because you're going to die soon!"
I mean honestly, what the hell?
Friday, 8 November 2013
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Sunday, 13 October 2013
"Parenting," you often hear parents say, "is a thankless task." Parents often say stupid things, such as;
"How many times have I told you not to do that?"
"What's that sock doing on the floor? "
And my personal favourite;
"Do you want to tidy your room?"
Of course parenting is thankless. You're looking after psychotic egomaniacs. And now, in the spirit of gleeful hypocrisy, here's what drives me batshit nutty bonkers.
No one in the history of humankind has ever reached the end of their life and said;
"I may not have lead an interesting life. I may not have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but I'm glad I did all that ironing. "
And when it comes to kid's clothes you can bet your arse you've entered a world of futility. The scientific definition of a femtosecond is the time between a six year old putting on a perfectly ironed school shirt and it looking like it's been fed to a giraffe.
"The" Instead of "Fuh"
Childhood speech impediments can be very sweet. For instance the Boy said "Ephalent" instead of Elephant for years and I never got bored of it. I still occasionally say "Par cark" instead car park, and chicks really dig that.
However, the Girl is made of nails and pig iron, and as such her speech impediment is more... robust. She has proved completely impervious to any attempt to convince her to say "the" instead of "fuh". Mostly this gives her a bit of a Basildon twang, the sort you hear from seventeen year old women pushing their six children in a single pram whilst they take their pit bull for a walk to the tattoo parlour.
However, on occasion it causes fairly dramatic misunderstandings. Such as when she was regaling my mum with the story of when she saw a man dressed as Scooby Doo queueing to board an EasyJet flight.
"I saw Scooby Doo! "
"Really? Where? "
Washing hair is a bit of a chore. At one point the Girl had hair about the length you normally see on a concert cellist. It was so long you had to erect scaffolding before you could start to wash it. So it took about forty five minutes to wash, condition, comb and dry. And since I'm a man, whenever I try to plait her hair she ends up looking like a scarecrow. As for the Boy, regardless of how we cut his hair I'm unable to dry it without making him look like Hitler. Bath night in our house generally resembles a rather dark version of the Wizard of Oz.
Everything these days takes batteries. The Boy got a wooden train set for Christmas one year and even that took batteries. And they never take standard size batteries, they all take tiny ones with serial numbers for names that you can only buy from specialist retailers and which cost the soul of your first born child.
We invested in rechargeable batteries, which saves a fair amount of money but comes with the disadvantage of having to hold a "battery amnesty" every two weeks to charge the bloody things up. This involves opening every single toy, normally with a screwdriver. Because if you don't, creepy shit happens. We were bought a musical table (yes, you read that right) that, when the batteries were low, would suddenly switch itself on and play music eerily out of key. Usually at three in the morning. Which meant I'd wake up thinking Freddy Kruger was coming for me.
I'm not a fan of board games, but Monopoly holds a special place on my mantelpiece of hate. Aside from the fact that you win the game by aggressive land purchases and uncompromising rental contracts (and if that doesn't scream fun for all the family I don't know what does) there's the fact that the result is normally a forgone conclusion within twenty minutes but you're forced to grind on with the game for another four hours. Even the "quick" version takes at least two hours. That's not a game, that's a job.
But mostly I don't like it because I've never won, regardless of how hard I try. In the past week I've played the Boy twice. He beat me both times. I cheated the second time and kept stealing money from the bank when he wasn't looking (I'm not proud). He still beat me. When we finished he slapped his forehead and said;
"Oh, man. I was trying to let you win. "
So I got the Girl to tell him where she saw Scooby Doo.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
Friday, 30 August 2013
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Boy "Wee. Me. Three."
Girl "Bibble? Is it bibble?"
Girl "Ooh! Ooh! Is it whore?"
|Bowel movements! Yay!|
About two hundred kilometres from Calais the Car started making a WOM WOM WOM that had the word "terminal" written through it like a stick of rock. For nearly two hours we dealt with this by turning the radio up and singing loudly. At one point we were singing Simon and Garfunkel, it was that bad. Somehow we limped onto the ferry and an hour later breathed a sigh relief as the ferry doors opened onto the white cliffs of Dover. The relief was palpable right up until we drove off the ferry into the worst rain storm I have ever seen. It was like someone has turned the sea sideways. On seeing this the Boy collapsed into hysterical laughter and told us it was the funniest rain he had ever seen.
Long story short, we made it back. Two weeks of relaxation totally erased by the journey back. When my Mum asked the Kids what they liked best about their holiday the Boy said;
"Teaching my dog to roll over in Nintendogs."
Whereas the Girl insisted she didn't like France based on the fact that;
"They have pips in their grapes. "
Money well spent, I'm sure you'll agree.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
So I've been out running a lot recently. Those of you that know me will realise that in previous years I would have been more likely to say "So I've been taking the rough edge of a pineapple to myself" but hey, times change and life insurance doesn't get cheaper.
What makes the pain and effort worth it is that I get to come home to the bosom of my family where my aching bones will be met by the Wife's loving and sympathetic;
"Aw... Have you got a hurty knee? MAN UP, PRINCESS! "
The other night I returned from a run to find the rest of the family sitting outside waiting to see if they could see any bats.
"Is that a bat?"
The Girl asked, pointing at a pigeon.
"No. It's a pigeon. "
"What's it doing?"
"I'm scared of flaps."
And since the Wife and I have got the same level of maturity as a 13 year old school boy we both collapsed into laughter until the Girl kicked me in the shin.
Similarly today I cycled home from work - and allow to digress a moment - during which I had the most civil disagreement of my entire life. I was cycling on, and I can't emphasise this enough, A CYCLE PATH where a delightful elderly couple were walking their dog in such a way they took up the whole path. I gave a gentle ding on my bell twice to no avail and only when my brakes started squealing as I stopped did they turn around. I gave them a cheery smile, and the lovely elderly lady said, with a voice like Hyacinth Bucket;
"You could ring your bell, you know. "
I smiled again.
I said, politely,
"I'm afraid it's not very loud. "
"Well maybe you should get a louder one, "
she suggested, not unkindly. I stopped and turned around.
"Could I ask a question? "
"Would you walk along a busy road and expect cars to toot at you so you could get out of the way? "
Clearly seeing where I was going with this, she bristled and testily said;
"Well, then it's a pleasant surprise for you that you haven't been weeded out of the gene pool by natural selection. The unfortunate consequence for society is that there's just that little bit more stupid in the world. "
And then I finished with - and I'm not kidding -
"I bid you good day, madam."
Which I've never said before in my life.
That was when she called me a prick.
Anyway, when I returned home it was the Boy who supplied the entertainment. A friend dropped by to drop off some shorts for the Wife. We're off on our holibobs tomorrow, you see. Whilst chatting to our friend I mentioned that it took going on a two week holiday for me to realise I only have seven pairs of underwear. And no, they don't have the days of the week on them. My socks do though. My friend replied jokingly;
"You could borrow my other half's pants. He's still got some in the plastic. "
"My pants were in plastic until this morning. Look, "
the Boy said, strolling over and pulling his strides down.
"Boy! Not cool! "
Deftly ignoring me he continued;
"I like these one's because they've got a pee hole. Look."