Sunday, 8 September 2013

The End

Dear Arthur (wee man),

For the past year I have chronicled on a daily basis what you and I have done and what we have experienced together. Unfortunately, all things must come to and end, though of course this is not the end of us as a little tag team duo, it's just the end of another stage in life, there will be more to come from us.

Not many dads get to do what I've done and I know it is because of the past year that we now have such a great bond. I also realise that we haven't always been friends and your special kind of madness has on occasion driven me up the wall to the point where I want to sell you.

However I can't deny that watching you grow from a baby who couldn't crawl to a boy who can scale anything in front of him has been a pleasure and a joy and I would do it all again if I could. It has perhaps been the best year of my life and I now know that my greatest achievement in life is you and let's be honest, keeping you alive.

I can honestly say that I was scared of you for six months and if I hadn't have had this time with you I probably would still be terrified but we now know each other incredibly well and I'm very proud of the little boy you're growing into, even if you can be hard work sometimes.

You probably won't remember any of what we have done this year which is why I have written this blog and why it will always be available for you if you want a bit of a laugh or if you need some comfort in the future.

I hope later on in life you can look back through this blog with fondness and I hope I haven't messed you up too much.

Just remember:

In the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make.


Much Love,

Dad

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Penultimate Post

Well folks, we're nearly there. Tomorrow will see the end of One Man and a Wee Bairn after writing a post everyday for a year. And let me tell you it has been one hard commitment especially because with the wee man being so mental and also having the weekly commitment of writing for Baby Centre. On the one hand it will be sad to leave it behind but on the other it will be bliss not to have to come up with something to say everyday.

So how do you think I have commemorated such an important weekend? Well I've laid a floor. If you're a regular reader of the blog you will know I'm not massively DIY minded and people generally take the piss out of me for my attempts at things. However the floor is AMAZING and I have dispelled all my detractors with my diligence and dedication to the job.

There might have been a lot of swearing and throwing of things but after six hours of work I managed to finish it. Even The Chancellor was impressed by my endeavors and Funny Mummy has given me the great idea of starting a new blog called DIY Daddy. However there will be no more blogging for a while, maybe when the new baby is here but for now I have too many other things to do and sort.

Tomorrow there will be something a little different here so for now let me say a big thank you to all of you who have read One Man the past year. Your support is what has made me continue and if wasn't for your shares, likes, comments and votes during blogging competitions I wouldn't still be writing this and I wouldn't have made a name for myself in the blogging world.

On Abbey Road the final track is called The End and this post is the final one dedicated to you the readers. Though if you know the Beatles you know there is one little thing at the end of the record...

jpr

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Life Aquatic

It seems appropriate that one of the last posts on this blog is about the same thing the first one was on, swimming. http://onemanandaweebairn.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/my-son-will-win-gold-medal-swimming.html. It's been a year or so since we begun and huzzah the wee man hasn't sh*t in the pool once in that time! If I take one thing away from our time swimming it will be this and only this seeing as I've heard there is a considerable fine if the pool needs to be closed and cleaned.

Anyway the wee man has always enjoyed his aquatic time and now has now graduated along with Funny Mummy and Daddy's son to the amazing heights of armbands. "WOW!" I hear you say. Anyway this means that I don't have to put in as much effort in holding him up and can drift off and relax in a warm pool while the wee man only just keeps his head above water. Everyone's a winner.

One problem though with the wee man is that he spends most of his time trying to get out of the pool. This wasn't too good a couple of moths ago when he did get out at a community pool, run off and slip on the side giving himself a nose bleed. In the pool we go to on a Friday there is quite a drop off the side down to the floor so if he got out he would get more than just a nosebleed. No one's a winner.

It seems bizarre to think that first post I wrote on swimming was a year ago and with only two more posts to go until the end of One Man I'm starting to get a little sad about ending this here blog. Tomorrow will be the final 'proper' post and Sunday there will be something a little different. Until tomorrow...    

jpr



 

 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Face

So we had our 20 week scan today and yesterday I joked that babies generally looked pretty creepy at their scans. But I was eerily right as it looked from one angle for there to be some terrifying super villain hiding in The Chancellor's womb.

Seriously, just look at the picture. Can you not see the creepy eye and the weird pattern on the head. What have we created? It's going to be born, age really quickly and smother the world in evil killing everyone. And you know whose going to get the blame for this happening? Me.

People will say, "If only you hadn't had moaned so much and been so bloody miserable then your evil child wouldn't be wanting to kill us all and feast on our organs." I'm sorry in advanced for not being able to stop my second child but the chances are I will be dead along with the rest of you so there's not much I could have done.The more I look at this picture the more freaked out I get about what's growing.

Have you ever seen one of those films where the woman is carrying a devil child and you can see the claws from under the skin? THAT. You're probably thinking "what films has he been watching?" but they do exist and I'm sure having watched American Horror Story recently there is a similar thing in that too.

Anyway despite the weird face the 'baby' is doing OK and now it's just a matter of waiting until the day when all the madness starts again and the evil overlord arrives.

jpr

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

20 Weeks Gone

Five posts to go until the end of an era. However I don't really have time to ponder this too much as life happens to have a way of keeping us all very busy. Tomorrow we have our 20 week scan, which is insane as haven't we just found out we're pregnant? Anyway I guess time is relative. This is what happens when you already have a toddler to look after. 

With the wee man we looked almost everyday at websites like Baby Centre but this time we have done it maybe once or twice. We were also, for some bizarre reason, desperate for him to arrive but this time I want the child to stay in doors for as long as possible. I'm not sure i'm going to be getting my wish here.

The wee man's 20 week scan seems like only five minutes ago but in fact it was over two years ago. In true wee man spirit he needed cajoling for us to get a good shot of him. The Chancellor was required to do star jumps in the waiting room but still this wasn't enough for the wee man to turn around and get out of the corner he was hiding in. Tomorrow I hope for better from my second child and they will need to know that any nice thing they do for me will result in me liking them more. That is unless the wee man pulls something impressive out of the bag like talking in sentences.

The wee man also looked more like the alien for the film Alien in his 20 week scan, all I can remember is his spine and thinking 'wow that's creepy'. It's weird what your mind sees in things isn't it? We are still in two minds whether to find out the sex tomorrow of child number two. I would like to but The Chancellor wants to keep it a secret. I wonder who is going to win that argument...We didn't find out last time with the wee man and that's one reason why I would quite like to know tomorrow. Either way I might, if you're lucky, post a picture here tomorrow.

Wish us luck and I hope we're not having another alien child...

jpr



  

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Messy Liberation

Today we welcome back the very excellent Olivia Flint for the final ever guest blog on One Man and a Wee Bairn. Do you mind having a messy child?

As anyone who's spent any time with me will tell you, I find it hard to cope with mess. I like things to be clean and tidy. This applies to hanging out with children as well. I'll be constantly wiping hands and faces, continuously clearing up and keeping things as tidy as I can. I'm happy to get toys out and be messy, but I like ordered mess so I'll tend to encourage tidying up after each game before we get the next toys out; limited mess is better than uncontrolled mess.
I really appreciated my best friend (and sister-in-law) picking me up on this a couple of weeks ago. Her 3 year old son was eating a yoghurt and every time he put the spoon up to his mouth, a bit dripped onto his t-shirt. I've seen this happen with cereal and ice cream as well, and I mentioned that she might want to let him know that he was making a mess, or put a bib on him. Her response was very refreshing, "It's OK, it's got to go in the wash anyway, I want to encourage him to be a child."
Since then, I've noticed how messy children are and how they don't care. They just eat however they want to eat, they fall over, they jump in puddles, they get mucky and they drip raspberry juice, as in this picture:
Obviously, children aren't responsible for cleaning so they don't have a reason to mind, but even as someone who has to wash my clothes, I think I can learn a lot from them. I think it's liberating to sometimes eat a yoghurt without wiping the bottom of the spoon over the edge of the pot before putting it up to your mouth, or to go cycling in the pouring rain through puddles and mud and not worry about what's happening to your clothes.
You don't want to be the adult walking around with ice cream stains all over your t-shirt but I think cleaning a child's hand as soon as it gets dirty makes them more aware of it not being clean and then they want to be super clean all the time. I would imagine this leads to them being quite uptight as an adult and having a heightened awareness of not being clean. This in turn could cause things like not being able to shower when camping to become quite stressful.
I think it could help me have a more relaxed attitude to mess if I took a leaf out of a child's book and just let myself go when it comes to mess sometimes; not being tied to having to constantly clean and tidy up sounds quite liberating to me.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Farewell Baby Centre

First off today a farewell to Baby Centre. I've decided that there are too many things going on at the moment and I have no extra to write blog any blogs. See I can't even write a sentence properly. A new house, a new job and a new child makes life pretty hectic. With One Man finishing in a week it's going to be nice to have free space in my head.

For the past 11 months I've written a post every week for Baby Centre and for the most part I've enjoyed the experience. I have though noticed a drop in standards of my own blogs recently and I feel that I really need a break from all this blogging lark. So thank you to my editors and fellow bloggers I will continue to read your posts and comment if I feel the need to rant. Also thank you for taking the time to read and comment and for voting for me during the initial competition. If you want to read any of the posts I've written just go here http://www.baby.co.uk/author/jrobinson/.

In other news the wee man's first night in his new bed was a success. He woke up once at half eleven and I went in to find him half asleep on his knees on the floor. How he had made it into that position is a little confusing but he went back down without any bother and slept until eight this morning. One night though doesn't make a lifetime and I will worry every night until he's at least 18. He does seem to enjoy his bed and spent a good while today just sitting reading his Thomas books with his back up against the headboard. Can I say it's going well?

So this time next week you might be reading the final post here at One Man. It's feels a little sad to imagine an end but to an end this blog must come, until the next one that it...

jpr
 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Oh No

Something happened this afternoon that has caused us all sorts of stress. The wee man finally turfed himself out of his cot which had been on its lowest setting. He hadn't really tried this in the past but it didn't take him long to realise how to flip himself out. Now he has a proper cot bed and we're dreading tonight and subsequent nights. I thought we had more time...

He is very good at going to bed normally but now there is the added distraction of all the toys in his room which are easily accessible. I can imagine him putting him to bed and suddenly he's playing with his truck or even appearing at the living room door. Did you watch that show Bedtime Live? Well I bet we'll be on that the next series, oh God what are we going to do? Not only are we having another child, we're moving house and we now have a toddler boy in his own bed who isn't going to sleep! I'm running away, that's it, nothing else for it.

We've just introduced the wee man to his new bed and he spent ten minutes jumping up and down and then he got down very quickly and ran off. This is what tonight will be and tomorrow night and the next and the next and the next and the next....

How we have reached this stage is beyond me and he is now one of two of his friends to be in a bed so it's new ground for everyone. Will we make it through the night?

jpr  

Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Golden Days Revisited

This weekend has been much like last weekend and for that matter all the weekends I can remember. I've painted, I tried to get some time to myself which has invariably become family time and I've sat late in the afternoon wondering where the time has gone. But this is life, no?

I used to look like this (insert arrow pointing left here). I found this picture today while taking down some shelves so I could paint. It's been a long time since I've seen this. I don't know why it's important but it made me think back to a decade or so ago when life was full of promise and I had great hair. Don't I look youthful and full of life? Pretty, non?

This picture was taken during the 'hippy years' but I can't remember too much of that time, obviously because they were the 'hippy years' (you see what I mean). It's incredible though that one moment you've got long hair and you're listening to psychedelic jazz and the next you're picking up pasta off the floor while your son thinks it's fun to clamber onto your back and stick his thumbs in your ears. This is what he likes to do now as well as poking stuff in his eyes. It happens often when he's on my shoulders and I suddenly feel his thumbs slowly making their way into my ears. Tell that fresh faced lad up there this would be happening and he would probably run off to Japan (like I planned) and never come back. What happened?

I dare say the wee man will turn into this liberal hippy douche bag, I freely admit I was a bit douchey at the time but I go back to the point that I had great hair and a brilliant array of music t-shirts. One day, and I won't even notice how much time has flown, he will come in looking like this and I'll probably laugh, that it until I see this picture again...

jpr

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Chancellor, The Invalid

Today I have an immobile Chancellor with me along with a boy whose new favourite thing to do is poke his own eyes and giggle. The Chancellor pulled a muscle in her back and it's so bad she couldn't eat her breakfast this morning and therefore couldn't go to work so I've been taking care of her. As she's pregnant she can't take any drugs so she just whinges at me...all the time. Also she doesn't often take the day off through illness as she's a slave to a spotless record so her back must bad. As for the wee man and his ocular past times, don't ask, he's just weird.

I did feel sorry for him this morning, as at our Friday playgroup he got so excited by the bouncy castle that he launched himself off landing on his neck pretty hard then not long after he slipped on the floor while running and smacked his head hard on the ground. All this in the first five minutes so he wasn't interested in having fun after all this, to be fair I wouldn't be.

We didn't stay long but also I had to get back to make sure The Chancellor hadn't fallen over and run aground on the floor. Let's just say she's finding it hard to get off her back at the moment and yes there is an element of comedy about her struggling like a turtle upside down on the floor...even if she doesn't see the comedy herself...That's me dead tonight. Anyway hopefully the heat pads I bought her will keep the chatter down tonight.

Getting the wee man to stop poking his eyes might be a much harder task, as he seems to really enjoy doing it.Why? Who knows as he is totally mental. Though he has done weirder things but I won't tell you what they are as they're gross...

jpr
 


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Is The Wee Man A Miniature Version Of Me?

I have just been passed a rudimentary doodle from The Chancellor claiming that the wee man and I are 'both exactly the same' (apologies for the fact that the picture is on its side). This is not true in the slightest bit true and here are a list of reasons why.


  1. He's mental, I am not.
  2. He likes to leap off footstools, I do not.
  3. He eats woodlice, I do not.
  4. He likes to throw rocks into drains and into overflow piping, I do not.
  5. He tantrums A LOT, I only tantrum every now and again
  6. He sleeps with a rabbit, I suck my thumb (but don't tell anyone).
  7. He likes throwing things, I don't like picking them up.
  8. I like a quiet life, he does not.
  9. I like day dreaming, he stays awake now during the day.
  10. I like sitting quietly in a coffee shop, he like sitting throwing things in a coffee shop.
  11. I like a good walk, he would prefer to be carried on my shoulders leading to a small if slightly significant recurring pain in my neck.
  12. I like sleep, it took him over a year to get him over onto my team.
There you go, what more proof do you want?

jpr



Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Wee Man, The Baker

Wednesday wouldn't be Wednesday without a Baby Centre blog. This week the topic is discipline. Have you ever used a naughty step or a naughty corner or have you used smacking as a means of telling your child they did something wrong? http://www.baby.co.uk/mum_stories/is-smacking-a-good-way-to-discipline-a-toddler/ is where it's at this week so why not pop over there and have a look.

As for today you'll be pleased to know that my man flu has gone from critical to stable but I tell you it was touch and go for a while there. Luckily the past four days the wee man has been sleeping from 6:30pm to 9am which means I can have a little snooze and wake up naturally. Bliss. Sorry to those of you whose children are up considerably earlier but seeing as in less than five months I won't be sleeping at all I'm entitled to be smug about his sleeping habits at the moment. I need to get as much sleep as possible at the moment. Why the wee man has been sleeping longer is anyone's guess and how long it will last is another million dollar question but I intend to enjoy it while it lasts. I bet now I've told you this tonight he will be up and then again at some dreadful early hour tomorrow morning.

The downside to him getting up so late is that he's stopped napping and that precious two hour window of peace I used to get is now gone, I now have more time to fill with him. 'So why not do some baking?' I thought to myself foolishly and we set about making some biscuits and shortbread, alas I overcooked the latter because the book I was using was written in the days before fan ovens existed so I was left with a burnt mess. The biscuits were a winner especially for the wee man as the contained chocolate chips. It was all going well until the wee man decided to tip half a bag of flour all over himself. It might be some time before we try that one again.

jpr

 


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Man Flu Part 2

I've been crippled today with man flu. Though the lack of sympathy is startling, Funny Mummy calling me a 'Big girl' this morning because of my no show at our regular Baltic playgroup. The Chancellor on the other hand has been much nicer, finishing work early and bringing me mint tea. Oh she's a keeper is The Chancellor. The wee man doesn't really care I'm greatly impaired as he just continues to ride his firetruck over my head repeatedly, what a loving son.

But it doesn't matter how ill you are there is still a boy to look after and walk twice a day. So I sucked in my belly, wrapped myself up in my winter woollies (despite it being 20 odd degrees) and took him off to run along a beach for half an hour. In the end it was all too much for my weary muscles to take and back home we came. Luckily for everyone concerned The Chancellor was not far behind me. She then had to put with me moaning for a long while about how rubbish I feel. But don't worry fair readers I will be back to my best hopefully tomorrow after a rest and some Night Nurse, which by the way is the most amazing stuff in the world.

So it's chicken noodle soup and dried toast for me tonight followed by an early night to shiver under the duvet. I am of course not the kind of chap who over exaggerates things at all and pain in genuine. There must be a study conducted to find out why man flu is much worse than all other strains of flu. It's crippling.

I can barely stay sitting up and need to go and get under my lovely pink rug. I'll see you tomorrow, that's if I make it through the night...

jpr  

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Wee Man, The Roman

With the sun having returned to our lives again and it being bank holiday Monday The Chancellor decided that we should go out and have some super duper family fun time. So instead of going to the beach as we normally do we went inland along Hadrian's Wall to a place called Chesters. If you don't know the north of England so well, it's the ruins of a Roman fort. What remains is sort of a stone adventure playground set in an idyllic location.

Apart from possibly smashing his head off a large slab of stone and bleeding to death in the middle of nowhere it's a fairly safe place for him and once you get that fear out of your head it's pretty good fun. He did more running around and climbing in the hour and bit we were there than he has done all weekend. I too under the warm sun haven't done so much exercise in a while and the sweat pouring down my face was testament to that. Next time we do anything along the lines of super duper family fun it's going to be less strenuous.

In other news today The Chancellor has written an A4 sized timetable of things we need to do before we try and sell our flat next month. In brackets after every job is one of our names and 90% of the jobs have my name after it, I think I got the short end of the stick there. My weekends have been organised for me and there is nothing on list that is fun. Good times.

jpr









Sunday, 25 August 2013

Thomas

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, with fifteen blogs to go until the possible/probable end of the line for One Man, life doesn't get more weird than the wee man kicking over a pantyliner display in a supermarket. Why? Who knows but it's safe to say he didn't do it because he was so excited by the super absorption power of the pads. After yesterday's barbecue debacle we were looking for a better day and guess what we didn't get it. I won't bore you with the details as I've told you enough times this past year of the troubles he gets into.

Instead of the negatives there are some fun thing about being a parent. I'm a sucker for buying him things. My local shop often has an excellent range of children's magazines and they are lovely and brightly coloured and affixed with ace toys and right next to the checkouts. I'm sold.

I was close to buying the Octonauts magazine today as it came with an amazing Octonaut's belt for me but I chose the sensible option instead. The winner was the Thomas The Tank Engine magazine but this isn't a bad thing as it did come with with a couple of trains which I've been playing with now for most of the evening. Ace.

His little face lights up when I come home with one of these magazines and seeing as it takes me about a week to read a Saturday newspaper why not just fill my reading time with a Thomas magazine. He probably recognises Thomas more than me now as the only thing he wants to watch and read about is Thomas. He's not the only one I know, a couple of his friends have caught the Thomas bug too and I can see why. I do like a good train too!

jpr

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Wee Man, The Tasmanian Devil

After painting for nearly six hours I’m not sure how sane I’m going to be. But it does mean another room is sorted before we put the flat on the market. The Chancellor has been taking care of the wee man as I painted but she hasn’t had the best of days with him.

She took him to a barbecue at a friend’s place but because he hadn’t napped he went a bit mad and ultimately had a bit of a meltdown. She fell into the dangerous trap, on her return home, of thinking that the wee man was the only rubbish child there and she was the worst parent in the world, as all the other children were behaving. I told her that I’m sure all the other children will have had their moments and no child is perfect. And anyone who says their child is perfect isn’t worth the time of day and should be punched in the nose. If she's a rubbish parent then God knows what I am because surely I'm responsible for most of what he does.

But it’s an awful thing if your child is the only one who’s causing bother and I know more than most the feeling when everyone is trying to pretend they can’t hear anything when the wee man is having a meltdown. I’ve also been in the situation where the wee man has been amazing and it’s another child who’s being difficult and I’m always thankful that the children are sharing the tantrums. It gets a bit tedious when it’s always the wee man.

All you want to, at these social functions, is to relax and enjoy it but I can't remember the last time either of us were relaxed at one of these things. Because of the child he is we're always on the look out to see what he's up to and we can never trust him in a room by himself. Maybe when he's twenty or something he might have calmed down but we've got a long way to go until that.


Anyway The Chancellor going out tonight so she can just forget about it all but unfortunately she can’t drink away her sorrows. Shame. 

jpr


Friday, 23 August 2013

Hack, Hack,Hack

Hack, hack, hack. Hack, hack, hack. Hack, hack, hack. The wee man's been on the Marlboro reds again and from personal experience I know they can make you sound rough. Not as rough though as some Cuban filterless cigarettes that I once smoked, they were something else and aged me about twenty years.

Anyway, he has developed one of those coughs that makes you want to reach down is throat and pull out all the mucus sitting on his lungs just so he stops making the horrible noise. I tried four times to nap him today and each time he slept for five minuted before hacking and hacking and waking himself up and then shouting at me that he was awake. Poor lad.

I even kept him away from his playgroup this morning as the parents would throttle me if their little ones got the wee man has, I wouldn't be welcome ever again. So we've been making our own entertainment today and luckily with The Chancellor taking a half day I haven't had to suffer too long with him. We did go to a chain of hardware stores where we spent a lot of money on paint and vinyl tiles for the bathroom floor. And because The Chancellor has the tenuous excuse of being pregnant I have to paint two large rooms and floor a bathroom over the bank holiday weekend.

The wee man didn't take too kindly to being ill and made to trawl around while we argued over the colour of our new bathroom tiles. Either he was really pissed off with life or he had seen something that was over priced and wanted to tell us because he a small meltdown near the lighting section. The joys of parenting.

Once we were home he had another meltdown because I wouldn't let him play with the tiles and the Stanley knife. Trying to teach a toddler the concept of danger is never going to work, he would though probably cut tiles better than me anyway and even if he did muck up The Chancellor would never shout at him whereas she would hit me with a mallet. The joys of marriage.


jpr


Thursday, 22 August 2013

A Fuss Over Nothing?

A week or so ago I wrote a blog about the gender segregation of toys. This blog it turned out got some people talking. Today's blog here on One Man is a guest blog from one of my readers Caroline Flint who has written an excellent rebuttal of my views. Please read it as it's very well written and very interesting. Over to you Caroline...

I have been thinking a lot recently about the issue of toy segregation by gender. It is becoming increasingly blatant as you walk into shops that there is a major divide and the only thing missing is a big pink arrow pointing to one side of the shop, and a blue one to the other. The toy manufacturing powers-that-be have decided in their wisdom what our children should be playing with and have colour-coded the packaging accordingly. That’s why I was particularly interested to see one of my favourite bloggers tackling the same issue. He said in his blog that the best way to take a stand against the sexist marketing of toys is to rise above it. To, as parents, just choose whatever toys we feel our children would enjoy regardless of the section of the shop they are to be found in. I whole heartedly agree with this second point. We should choose what we feel is right for our kids but I completely disagree that this debate is a fuss over nothing and we should do nothing more but rise above it all. I think now more than ever we owe it to our children to do the exact opposite. To tackle this issue head on and stand up to be counted.
           
In his blog, my blogger friend suggests that “If you want your daughter to grow up thinking there’s more to life than combing her hair with a sparkling hairbrush for the benefit of Prince Charming, then you’ll need to buy more imaginative toys.” I totally agree and will, without a doubt, be teaching my daughter that there are plenty of other toys for her to play with other than ‘My first make-up bag’. She is only 6 months but already she is getting involved and interested in a wide range of toys. My older son also has a huge variety in his toy box including musical instruments, trucks, dinosaurs and his fair share of dolls and prams. But this is only the very first step. I believe myself to be a conscientious parent who is aware of these issues and keen to make sure both my children play with whatever they like. But having made sure the toys within my home are unisex I can’t help thinking that the danger of toy segregation is not really about whether parents are brave enough to let their boys play with dolls or their girls play with trucks. The danger is that children who ‘cross the divide’ may be made to feel uneasy or unhappy for not fitting into the ridiculous stereotypes laid down by toy manufacturers. Will my daughter be made to feel like she’s not a ‘true girl’ if she opts for normal lego and not that hideous pink stuff that has just been brought out? Or if she prefers fire engines to tea sets? Will my boy be teased because he enjoys looking after a baby doll (like Mummy looking after his baby sister) because he has chosen to play that today instead of with a truck? And where does that lead next? Will my little girl start to believe that she has to aspire to be a pretty princess when she’s older instead of a doctor because the doctor’s coats are in the boy’s section in the dressing up aisle (as is the case in a major supermarket). I can rise above what the toy manufacturers are telling me, but the suggestion so far is that our society as a whole cannot. Children are still being put into these ‘pink and blue’ boxes and it can be hugely damaging for them. I certainly have many friends who, as children, felt outcast simply because they did not want to play with the toys that had been assigned to their gender. That’s a lot for a child to deal with!

And let’s just dip for a moment into the issue of sexism and the way women are viewed in the world. Women are still being objectified and mistreated the world over. The battle for gender equality is an incredibly urgent and vital one and we all know there is a long way to go until men and women are truly equal.  So how on earth can I, as a Mum, sit back and accept toys that make girls believe that their main aim in life is to look pretty above anything else? As a little girl this might just be a sparkly hairbrush and a plastic lipstick but where does that lead as she gets older? What do these damaging toys teach her about her self-worth, appearance and aspirations?  Will these toys help our girls to grow up to be the strong, individual, intelligent, brave women we need them to be? And will they help our boys to view them in that way? Or will the boys go into adulthood believing that the adventures and professional careers are reserved only for them, whilst the girls are off doing their make-up somewhere?

My best friend recently saw two lunchboxes for sale in a supermarket. The one marketed at the boys was all about adventures and heroes and saving the world. The girls’ one simply said “Do I look pretty?” Of course I won’t be buying that for my daughter. That’s my prerogative as her Mum. But actually, I don’t even want that on the shop shelves. I don’t want her to see that and think that saving the world is a job for her brother while she stares at herself in the mirror. And that’s my prerogative as a woman.


So there you have it. I will continue to do what I can to make sure that I watch my children carefully and allow them to play with things that interest them and spark their imagination, creativity, skills and talents. Whatever they enjoy will be welcome. But my argument is that I believe the issue goes beyond our front doors. It is our duty to try and turn around the potentially negative messages that toy segregation might give them - that they are somehow inadequate if they don’t conform or that they are accepting some potentially dangerously stereotypes if they do. I don’t want that kind of thing hanging over their childhood. Our shops need to help parents reinforce that they can be whoever they want to be and play with whatever they want to play with. That their childhood is free and open to them and can then lead into happy, healthy, fulfilled adult lives where all are equal.  It’s about time we stopped accepting this and started to make a fuss.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

If You Go Down To The Woods Today...

Top of the day to you all. As it's Wednesday there's a Baby Centre blog for you. http://www.baby.co.uk/mum_stories/the-frustrations-of-toddler-talking/. This one isn't quite as contentious as last week's but still an interesting topic none-the-less. Read it or else...

So on to day today and if you go down to the woods today you're going to be pretty shocked by how many people are there. Today I went, with Funny Mummy and Funny Daddy, to a teddy bear's picnic in a woodland park down the road and by Jove it was busy. And to quote Funny Daddy who was quoting Sartre "Hell is other people". Indeed this is somewhat true especially in such a confined area and in school holidays.

But there was enough to do so that you didn't feel too hemmed in. The wee man and his little friend got to ride a merry-go-round but alas because the man in charge of the cup ride was such a meanie we weren't allowed on the cup ride. Well the wee man was allowed by himself but more than likely he would be the child who would stand up and try to jump out while the ride was in motion. And that wouldn't be a conversation I would want to have with The Chancellor.

The thing though that really stood out today was the amount of toddlers, of both sexes, who had pierced ears. Did I miss a toddler fad? Am I a bad parent for not keeping up with junior trends? I'm not sure but to honest the last thing I'm going to do is take the wee man off and have a bit of metal fired into his ear. I wouldn't want to be around when The Chancellor got home to find that this had happened. Anyway the whole thing's a bit daft really and the kids looks pretty ridiculous especially the very small boys. Poor mites. I would had a word but the mums were all pretty scary and I wouldn't have come out alive.

At the end of the day the wee man had so much fun it took him ten seconds before he was asleep in the car and I could eat the rest of his lunch and drink his drink from his sippy cup in an ASDA car park. Living the dream.

jpr







Tuesday, 20 August 2013

EMERGENCY! EVACUATE!!!!!

You know it's been a slow day when the most exciting thing in your day is being evacuated from a contemporary art gallery with a voice shouting "THERE'S AN EMERGENCY! GET OUT NOW OR YOU'LL DIE IN A FIERY FURNACE OF DOOM AND CONTEMPORARY ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

OK I'm paraphrasing a little but it went something like that. At our regular Tuesday group at The Baltic the siren went off and a voice not quite as threatening as the one above told us to leave. I'm guessing someone left the toast unattended. It's quite something trying to get a room full of parents and toddlers to leave without being able to use pushchairs or panic. I felt very sorry for the mum of two who was told she wasn't allowed to use the lift and therefore not be able use her pushchair. She had to battle her way down a few flights of stairs with her two kids one of whom was very young indeed.

Once outside it was even harder to entertain these children on the side of the road. There were quite a few tears as we stood at the back of the place. The wee man himself just seemed quite happy to sit on my shoulders and shout at cars and buses as they went past.

Luckily for all we were allowed back in before they stopped serving their full English breakfasts. A strongly worded note would have been written it this hadn't had happened I tell you. Despite being close to missing out of good food it was all quite exciting but that probably says more about me and my life right now. Mundane I guess for everyone else...

jpr

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Wee Man, The Model

The wee man and I are famous. You might be saying "But Jamie aren't you already world famous?", well yes I am but now we're really really super duper famous.

We now appear on a giant poster outside where we go for our regular Monday group with my very good friend Sensory Mummy. To be honest I hadn't really listened to what the lady had said to me at the time of the picture taking and I didn't realise we would be plastered on a couple of billboards. The lesson here is to actually listen to people when they talk to you. Oh well.

The wee man, naturally, takes centre stage in the middle picture as I look distinctly bored in the bottom picture. I don't think I was bored at the time of the picture being taken, I guess it was probably more of an uncomfortable feeling. Either way I look slightly weird but have no fear people of the world I am indeed 100% trust worthy around children.

Anyway it must be a real coup for them to have a celebrity to endorse the playgroup. We're now holding our breath for the massive influx of people to come and join us. What's that? No one knows who I am? I'm only a celebrity in my own mind? I'm an over blown gas bag? I guess you're right.


jpr  

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Dads' Club

Sunday morning at my local park is a bit of a treat. Even at nine in the morning the place is really busy but only with dads and their children. I dare say these dads have been told to take their kids out to give their wives a bit of a rest. The dads don't talk to each other though, they're all there in the play area with their heads down, most of the time looking at their phones in one hand as they push their child in the swing with the other. Dads' club.

I'm sure, before you say, that the dads all want to be there but for some reason they all go on mass on a Sunday morning and don't talk to each other.

I was down at dads club this morning as The Chancellor was still away in Leeds. If anyone looked in from the outside I was just like the other dads there on dads duty with their children, and yes I was on my phone.

I've also found out that there is another club, on a Saturday in the local church hall, for dads who work all week and they serve coffee and bacon sandwiches. How I haven't been to this is beyond me, but would I even be welcome at this club? Should The Chancellor be going for a cheeky processed meat sandwich?

As much as I like to think the number of stay at home dads is increasing, it's (sadly) not normal to see so many dads in the park at one time. The wee man and I spend half our time there during the week and we know the regulars pretty well and I have to say most of them are women. This isn't at all a bad thing but I can count on one hand the amount of other dads I know who do childcare of some form, full time and part time. I'm sure there are more out there in my area but I wish they would come to park during the week and maybe we could put our phones down and talk for a bit.

Tomorrow is Monday and the wee man and I will go back to our regular routine but maybe if I want to talk to men I should set up a club of my own. I'm sure if I served loads of booze dads would probably cry off work and come in the middle of the day. Would we still just sit on our phones with a beer replacing the child? Probably.

jpr

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Think Thin

Boys weekend this weekend with The Chancellor away for a couple of days. To fill our time even a soft play has been visited but to honest, apart from a few moments of claustrophobia deep in the soft play maze and the realisation that I’m still very unfit, the trip was a success. 

The wee man has no fear climbing, tunnelling and sliding down slides often leaving me far behind as he adventures off by himself. I’m somewhere behind huffing and panting and sweating like some giant beast in the desert. And you know it’s a sad day when you get stuck half way down a slide while your son whizzes down past you on the adjoining slide. Think thin was the motto of the day.

His desire to do it all by himself is something quite impressive and he doesn’t quite know what the word ‘clingy’ means. This though isn’t all good as he tends to run off and investigate places he shouldn’t, women’s hand bags for instance or staff only areas. Vigilance is key with him.

Once when he was out with The Chancellor and some our friends, she asked them to watch the wee man for a moment as she popped back to the car. In an instance as their backs were turned he had made it all the way to the other side of the park and was about to be taken out by a girl on a swing.


His speed is something else as is his strength which was notable today with him able to climb over a foam wall that was bigger than him. He tried and tried until finally he managed to flip himself over and off he ran with me struggling to get over this wall in the background. And I tell you it wasn't a pretty sight to watch my arse disappear over a foam wall, sorry to those who had to watch my best impression of a beached whale.

Never mind it's all good for the old fitness but maybe not so much for the pride. Next time I promise I'll be more prepared and I may have to stretch off a bit too...


jpr 

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Wee Man The Wailer

G'day. Unsurprisingly I heard nothing back from the Octonauts yesterday despite having a CV good enough to be an underwater adventurer. It looks like I'm going to have to look closer to home for some type of employment, drat.

And onto today. A close family member of mine came up today, with her partner, from their new home on the south coast. I decided with The Chancellor having the afternoon off work to drive us all out to the beach, I thought it would be a good chance for them to see the wee man in his element. To some extent they did but they also the dark side of the wee man. On the drive down he was somewhat shocked to see two people he didn't really remember sitting next to him and cried the entire journey to the beach. I haven't seen him cry this much for...well it's been a hell of a long time.

Once he was able to run around and approach his new friends on his terms he calmed down and eventually quite enjoyed having new people to play with. He was much more subdued on the drive home mainly because I put Mr Tumble on for him. He has though got priors with acting like this but not with so many tears, it often takes him a long time to warm up to people, even with my sister and The Chancellor's brothers. He needs to do things on his own terms or he goes a bit crazy. I suppose we're all a bit like this, even as adults.

In other random news the final chicken pox scab the wee man had fell off today, nearly three weeks after he got his first spots. The last one that finally dropped is one we think will scar. He back and legs still tell the tale of the pox and those scars make take a long time to fade. He finally looks, on his face at least, normal, so no more silent judging.

We're on our own this weekend as The Chancellor is away sorting through her mum's house so it's going to be a long couple of days but it's always fun to have a boy's weekend in. Pizza and beer it is then.

jpr

  

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A Life At Sea...

When people ask me what I intend to do once I finish full time childcare I never quite know what to say. I know I won't be going back to my old job so I'll need to find a new career. Now though I've decided, I want to be an Octonaut. Why would want to do anything else? I could live under the sea protecting fish and that, while living in the Octopod and riding around in the Gups.

If you haven't watched Octonauts let me fill you in. Captain Barnacles (he's a polar bear) leads to crew with his first mate Kwazii (he's a pirate cat), Peso (he's a penguin medic) and various other creatures including an octopus whose a professor. Their mission is to rescue and protect all the underwater creatures in the sea. Oh a life at sea is indeed a life for me.

The one thing I would be a little worried about, apart from sharks, would be job security. I have often wondered who funds the Octonauts? Their array of ships must be expensive as must be the running of the Octopod (a giant underwater home in the shape of an octopus). They don't seem to get holidays either and it looks like they're all on zero hour contracts, apart from Captain Barnacles of course. Do they get a pension? Plus their life insurance premiums must be sky high taking into account they mostly live underwater and spend their time around dangerous animals.

Despite these apparent failures in ethical work practices they all seem pretty happy with life. I'm not sure what I could bring to the team and my fear of genetically modified sharks will no doubt hamper me but I'm ready and willing to leave it all behind and be one of the Octonauts.

jpr

Picture: Jeremytarling/Flickr 


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Final Countdown?

It's Wednesday so that means Baby Centre time. This week's blog was inspired by a family member sharing another blog about the dangers of segregating toys into sex. http://www.baby.co.uk/mum_stories/blue-for-boys-and-pink-for-girls-why-the-fuss/ is my opinion on it so I can imagine you'll all be clambering over each other just to read it, whatever you do make sure you don't crash the server in your haste, I wouldn't want you all to go and have a look at the same time. Ration yourself please.

I must inform you that One Man and a Wee Bairn has thirty days to run before the landmark of writing a post everyday for a year. Whether it will continue is still to be decided as I had said originally I would do a year of writing then call it a day. Obviously now with child #2 on the way the blog may well continue but in what form I'm not sure yet. 'One Man, a Wee Bairn and and even Weer Bairn' is one idea as is 'The Tales of an Unhappy Man, Two Children and a Sleep Deprived Wife' is another. I dare say the latter will probably more appropriate, until that is child #3 is announced and if and when that happens I'm just going to give up.

We have here at One Man HQ always held true to the motto of 'Vade Rabie' which loosely translates as 'Go With The Madness' or 'Go Frenzy'. I think in the past year I have adequately gotten over to you the madness of being a stay at home parent. I have enjoyed telling you about the wee man and I's time together and to some extent if the blog does finish it will be a sad day and I'm sure I'll miss it.

Time will also play a big part in my decision making as I already struggle to fit in half of what I want to do in my day and I generally want an extra couple of hours that the day doesn't provide to complete all my tasks. When I have two children time will go completely and I'll barely have time to go to the toilet or eat or relax or sleep or stay alive.

I will make my decision in due course maybe after I've cleared away all the wee man's trucks and the other mess he has made and made tea and washed up...

jpr





Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Food Glorious Food

The wee man eats everything, even things that aren't technically food, like woodlice and bits of stuff off the floor. As I left to go out swimming tonight he was sitting on The Chancellor's knee devouring her Bombay mix, this is pretty impressive as I don't even like Bombay mix. The other day I was eating a pot of olive and mushroom anti pasti, the wee man promptly walked over and helped himself to both the olives and mushrooms (as you can see from the picture). He didn't bat an eyelid at the strong olive taste and there was a point in time where I thought he didn't have taste buds that functioned properly.

His need to eat everything you're eating makes life quite tricky as your food doesn't tend to get to go in your mouth and there are things we as adults eat that aren't really suitable for him.The wee man doesn't really care though and I've become pretty relaxed even giving the odd paprika max crisp for example. I don't blame him for his love of these are they are by far the best crisp on the planet, even if my local shop charges 85p a packet.

Apart from his love of bad stuff he eats very well, with plenty of fish, veg and fruit in his diet. Today at the our regular Tuesday club at the Baltic he ate as much of my cooked breakfast as I did, including black pudding. I still think he can't taste things. It has made life quite easy for us as we haven't had to battle with him and I always say it's the only real success we've had with him, apart from keeping him alive. Whether or not he'll still be like this later on is anyone's guess probably not but for the time being it's anything goes.

jpr  
 

Monday, 12 August 2013

Me Vs. Birds (Of All Types)

When the most eventful thing in your day is being pooed on by a bird then you know your day has been quiet. This happened as I waited, under a tree, for my friend Sensory Mummy so we could to go to our regular Monday playgroup. Now a world famous blogger such as myself can't be seen to have excrement in my hair so I frantically cleaned out the poo with Costa napkins and baby wipes while using the flip function on my camera phone. And I tell you something this was a large poo.

By the time my friend arrived my cool and suave exterior had returned apart from smelling oddly of poo and fragrances wipes and if you've never smelt it it's an odd combination. Luckily no one at the group smelt my hair so I was saved from ridicule. Not that people smelling my hair is a regular thing.

You'll be pleased to know though that I have washed since returning home and I now smell lovely again, so if you want to smell me then please do so, I have nothing to hide.

Apart from this incident, today has been devoted mainly to Thomas the Tank Engine. The new animated series has a theme tune I just can't get out of my head no matter how hard I try. The major problem I have is that now when I sing the song to myself the wee man hears and races off to find his Thomas DVD and gets really excited that we're going to watch it. He bounces up and down pointing at the TV holding the box.

When I then say 'sorry no TV just yet' he gets a little upset, which is totally my fault for teasing him with the song. Once he calms down I find myself, by accident and unconsciously, singing the theme again and we are suck in a vicious cycle. I succumed eventually today as I quite enjoy watching Thomas anyway and I can a bit of a sit down while the wee man goes wild at seeing Thomas. Everyone's a winner.

So the moral of the story today is don't stand under trees and carry lots and lots of napkins in your back pocket and of course invest in a flip function camera phone.

jpr











Sunday, 11 August 2013

What I Love About Sunday

This morning went like this-


  • Wee man wakes me at 06:00
  • Wee man run through and wakes The Chancellor up at 07:30
  • I go back to bed until 09:30
  • Wee man has a nap at 09:50
  • Everybody goes back to bed for two hours.

There is something quite satisfying about still being in your pyjamas at around mid day and eating a full English breakfast. Who needs to go and chase the day when the day is Sunday. It's the most I've felt like a student since having the wee man but every now and again there's nothing wrong with this. We have though against all odds managed to achieve some things during the rest of the day, much to our surprise. The Chancellor has been out with her friend and the wee man and I've managed to paint the kitchen. Efficient.

The day at one point was looking bleak for me when we headed to meet The Chancellor's friend at the agreed location of a soft play. Oh no. Luckily the play area shut within the hour so the two of them with the children headed off to the park instead and I managed to run off home. Ace. Only though to be faced with a kitchen so in need of painting that previous paint was now peeling away from the walls. I'm not one for maintenance. Though if you're in need of a painter decorator then look no further, I'm grrrrreat.

I feel now that I've earned the chocolate flapjack I bought yesterday at the family fun day after all my hard work. Sundays need not be depressing when there's DIY to do.

jpr
 



 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Family Fun Day

Good tidings to you blog readers, I hope your Saturday afternoon is bringing you as much fun as it is for me. Wow I sound enthusiastic don't I? Well there's a first time for everything.

On to today and this morning, with The Chancellor having to work, I took the wee man with some of my friends to a family fun day. Yes that's right a family fun day. Most of this family day was very nice and it was very nice seeing my friends and there was also a cracking little cake stall. However there was one awful part of it all which, depending on how you looked at it, almost ruined it for everyone or allowed us all to have a good laugh.

As we sat nicely having a picnic on a grassy area in front of a bandstand, a bunch of young musicians were sound checking. One would imagine that at a family fun day the band would play some fairly non offensive stuff, maybe Dire Straits or some such. People could have a sing to this and maybe even dance. I of course wouldn't be dancing but those inclined to do so could have a nice jig about.

Instead this band, fronted by an AWFUL lead singer, preceded to play some of their own songs all of which were completely inappropriate for an audience of elderly people and families. It didn't help that the lyrics were shit (sorry to swear). At points the lead singer lost himself over the band's rock music screeching 'YEAHHHHHH' and 'OOOOOHHHH' at the end of ever line.

It didn't help that the poor lad was so out of tune and his voice was breaking every few words. We, as a group, lasted about three songs before having to get the hell out of there. You could see a lot of other people looking at each other and thinking 'bloody hell, who chose this lot to play? Let's get out of here'. Who ever had organised the music side of the event is going to be in a wee bit of trouble tomorrow.

The wee man though and some of his friends loved this band and spent the three songs dancing about. This was sad for me as I always hoped my son might have a good taste in music. Now tough I'm not so sure. I think I need to break out my Fairport Convention and Miles Davis records.

jpr

Friday, 9 August 2013

Life In A Multi-Storey Car Park

First off today a big One Man shout out for the very excellent Carroty Custards which is a new playgroup the wee man and some of my friends attended today. For a pretty nominal fee there is plenty to do for the wee man and his little friends and for even less of a nominal fee we get coffee and croiasants. You can't go wrong with that. Happy children and parents all around.

Apart from buying the wee man a multi storey car park today I have also booked myself in at my very first blogging convention. Not only will it be fun (maybe) and I get to go with my fellow Baby Centre blogger Ericka Waller but my kind editors at Baby Centre are paying for my ticket and some travel costs (Plus spending money?). Win/win situation I think.

But what happens at a blogging convention? And how do bloggers let their hair down in London over a weekend? These are just two questions that I'm going to be thinking about until November. Are they all going to be massive ravers? Or will we all just be sitting there on our laptops and tablets blogging about how we're at a blogging convention? Or some of us could blog about how lame it is to blog at a blogging convention. I'm over thinking this I think.

I must say though we're a pretty lively bunch us bloggers or we used to be before we had children so giving us the chance to get away to the big smoke without our family could be dangerous. Very dangerous. LONDON WE'RE COMING AT'CHA! And then after an hour or so we'll fall asleep with a good book and a cup of tea.

jpr


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Cbeebies For Ever And Ever And Ever...

A while ago the wee man was playing with the TV remote and inadvertently added Cbeebies to the favourite list. This was the only channel put on the list and it took me a while to work out how to remove it from said list. I wasn't bothered that he'd decided to show his devotion to the channel, the problem we had was that because of what he had done every channel became Cbeebies. I put it onto BBC 1 we got Cbeebies, I put it on E4 we got Cbeebies, adult channel- Cbeebies etc. etc.

We were stuck in some crazy infinite loop of children's TV and lunatic programmes like Justin's House, which by the way is far too loud and off the wall for normal human being to cope with. Anyway, eventually, after having to read the instructions for the TV I worked out how to get it off the favourite function but it was not easy. I was able to return to my own favourite shows.

I don't know what the point of this story is as I've lost the will to live today and I've just come back in from a swim. Maybe it tells me he's smarter than me, maybe it says he watches far too much TV, maybe it's tells me that children have become so intuitive these days that they have no fear of technology. Maybe I'm talking out my arse. Who knows.

One thing the story tell you is how absurd parenting is sometimes, to enhance this view the wee man is currently trying, with all his might, to climb up the freezer. Why is he doing this? Who the hell knows, why do I tell you pointless stories?

jpr

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

We Need To Get Into The Map...


It's Wednesday! Why excited? Well because it's Baby Centre day! Yay! OK it's not too exciting really but at least it's something new to write about. http://www.baby.co.uk/mum_stories/you-love-your-child-but-do-you-like-them/. This week I ask, do you really 'like' your children? It's not as daft as it sounds and I'm not saying you don't love your child but I wonder how many people will be honest about their children and how they feel about them. Will it be you???

Anyway onto everyday life. Having been doing this stay at home lark for over a year now finding new things to do and places to go has become difficult. I have visited most of the parks, the beaches and attractions in one form or another. So today I unfurled a large map of Newcastle and the surrounding areas hoping for inspiration. The wee man had other ideas though and promptly decided to 'get into the map' and kick around. This was a game in itself and ate up a good half an hour. Who needs toys and books when you have a large map of Tyneside.

I was not at all inspired by my map and we ended up just bimbling about at places we normally spend our time. There are some days when you do this and you are so devoid of ideas you can barely make anything more interesting than a cheese sandwich. My mind feels like a piece of flat bread. Not to worry a bottle of wine and some crap food will no doubt spark my mind into action or turn the flat bread into crumbs. Probably the latter. Whose for the casino with the toddlers tomorrow?

jpr  

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Freedom

We are back in business. Finally a week and a bit after the first spots appeared I have had some adult conversation today. We are socially acceptable again and no one is running away from us and diving for cover. The good times are back as we've now been liberated from our spotty prison. The air is sweeter, the bird's song is louder and even coffee tastes blah blah blah.

Now that people are willing to spend time with us, today the wee man also finally got to play with one of his little friends. Not that he was in the least bit bothered by this, he just carried on as he has been doing. He was though firmly pushed out of the way, by his friend, when he tried to get into his friend's pushchair. You can't steal another bloke's ride now matter how nice it is and I've got no sympathy for the wee man.

Life is good again and we can now do all those things we've been desperate to do all week like afternoon drinking and extreme BMXing and causing social ills. The wee man's choice of activity is always a little bit more advanced than other toddlers. I indulge him too much I think.Tomorrow we're going bungee jumping to a museum, just because we now can. I'm really pushing the boat out aren't I?!

Luckily you can only get the pox once as I never want to go through that again, oh wait no I'm wrong, I'm having another child which means we have to go through everything again. Bad times.

jpr




Monday, 5 August 2013

Dad's Pants

After a spectacular heat wave (which I hated) we now have torrents of rain. With the wee man now nearly spot free I decided to take him pant shopping with me. To cut a long story short I had bought, some time ago, some cheap pants from a store beginning with p and ending in k. I never usually shop here for a variety of reasons but now I have another reason why not, they were dreadful. Anyway I've decided to go all upmarket with my new pants shopping at my favourite middle age store M&S. These aren't just any pants they're M&S pants and by gum do they feel good.
  
Anyway while standing in the queue to pay I heard some tedious woman ask her daughter, who must have been about my age, if she thought the wee man had chickenpox. Hearing this I didn't respond as I couldn't be bothered. She asked her daughter again and then called from down the line to me 'does he have chickenpox?'
I responded by saying 'He's at the end of it so you won't get infected'. She then preceded to tell me that she couldn't get in contact with chickenpox or shingles or she would have to go hospital and most likely die. She then moved about ten feet further away from me and moaned about having to cover her mouth.

I have been more than happy to keep the wee man from society while he has been dangerous. However he's no longer infectious as his remaining couple of spots have crusted over and even if he was infectious I would have to rub him over her or make him cough over her to infect her. She's more likely to catch it before the spots appear as that's when children are most infectious so maybe she should avoid all children just in case. Anyway I wasn't going to leave my place in the line as I had to buy my superior pants. So I left her standing muttering to herself some twenty feet away.

Just so you know the pants and my new pajamas are great and it didn't take long for me to return before I was happily wearing them in the middle of the afternoon. Rainy days can be fun!

jpr





 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Do We Have Any More Pudding Left?

Julian Barnes is by far my favourite novelist. In one of his novels he describes marriage as like 'A long drawn out meal with the pudding at the start'. Having been married for four and half years I can truly say this is only totally partially correct. However every time we go to weddings now I can't help but tell the newlyweds this statement and they're generally not sure what to make of it. This is probably quite mean of me on the happiest day of their life. In a few years though I'm sure they'll tell newlyweds the same thing.

Anyway last night The Chancellor and I had fun at the latest wedding and even though I have a pregnant wife who can't drink I still drove home. I think I can now count with two fingers the amounts of time I haven't got stinking drunk at a wedding. Hoorah and by George do I feel great today while everyone else skips another Sunday.

The wee man had fun too with his grandparents and decided to save all his crying until we got home, which was very kind of him. Even though his spots are decreasing he still finds it uncomfortable when he gets hot at night and wants to itch the crap out of his face. But he does look much better today.

Our rehabilitation starts tomorrow and we are going to a populated area where there might be other children. We will attempt to go to our usual Monday playgroup and hope that the parents there don't make their children or the wee man wear a face mask.

I think we're past the infectious stage but to be honest I'm done with staying away from people, I never thought I would ever say this but it's true. So I shout out to my friends, "Do you want to come an play next week?"- please respond to the usual places. If you don't respond I will take it that a). you haven't read the blog or b). you don't trust me when I say we're past the infectious stage. Would I trust me? Ummmm...


jpr

Saturday, 3 August 2013

You Can be My Wing Man Anytime

I had it all planned. A day and night away by myself but...The Chancellor and the wee man have now decided to join me on my trip away. This of course is sad lovely but it puts a dampener on my plans to sit in peace and watch the cricket and maybe have a snooze in a fully reclining chair as I do so. This was going to be delightful as there would be no child climbing over me or wife telling me it was time to take the bins out.

I had it all planned but alas this will not be happening. Sad times. Instead I now have to listen to the wee man throwing his toys around and getting up to mischief. Already in the space of an hour he has managed to soak himself by pouring a full watering can over himself. And The Chancellor has juts walked past me trying to hide some garden scissors that I guess the wee man has been playing with. I had it all planned...

But what I do have now is a wing man for the wedding I'm attending tonight. Going to such events by yourself can sometimes be hard, especially when you can't drink. Having a wing man makes life a bit easier and there now is the possibility that I can drink, though I need to alert The Chancellor to the fact that she may have to will have to drive tonight. Always the way.

My parents have the delight of looking after the chickenpox boy tonight though his spots are going down which is a relief for all of us. Some are still very sore but he looks less like some social outcast now. He also seems much happier generally as he charges around his grand parent's house without any trouble. Up and down the stairs he goes without any cause for concern. All back to normal? We can only hope.

Whether he is good for his grand parents or not tonight is anyone's guess but we'll be an hour away so I'm not really going to be thinking about it. Plus once you arrive at a wedding you can't just leave straight away so even if a phone call did come through that he was being troublesome we would have to take our time coming home. Who put my phone on silent?

jpr



 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Have You Seen The Gruffalo In North Shields?

You'll be pleased to know that today the wee man has mainly been morphing steadily from one giant spot to one giant scab. This is good news for us as we may, come next week, be slowly allowed to reintroduce ourselves into society. Does anybody want to play with us? Please?????? I'll pay you...

I mentioned yesterday that the last sanctuary for us would be a deep dark wood. So with this in mind, where do you think we went today? Well it wasn't just one but two fairly dark woods. Alas as we took a stroll through the deep dark wood we did not see The Gruffalo. Though I'm not sure what my reaction would be if such a beast came at me from behind a tree. Surprise for one I would imagine but seeing as one of the place we went today was near North Shields anything is possible I suppose.

I may have been a bit sluggish with a Gruffalo as last night I came home early from my pub quiz on the request of The Chancellor as the wee man had gone to sleep and woken and cried for a couple of hours while rubbing all his spots. After a few pints of strong lager this was fun to come home to but luckily the smell of my breath quietened him down but it took him a while to finally get to sleep.

Hopefully by the time I come home on Sunday we should be fully on the way to recovery and I hope some of the spots will have finally dropped off. Luckily we won't have to go through this again with him but the whole thing has made me a dash philosophical. As the wee man stands next to me naked, covered in so much anti itch cream that he looks like an albino man, I have come to the conclusion that children exist solely to give you a sense of perspective in life.

I mean if you are a parent you will know that life with a child can be utterly absurd. Does anything else really matter when your son is standing there dancing to In the Night Garden while covered head to toe in a brighter than white calamine cream? Probably not. Recession? Nope. My fantasy football team? Nope. Our new home? Nope. The only thing that matters is getting your child well again.

jpr





Thursday, 1 August 2013

Calling Dr Ranj?

Happy Yorkshire Day everyone! The greatest county in the country celebrates its very own day today and rightly so. I might have been born in Edinburgh but I did spend a good chunk of my childhood in Leeds so I feel that I'm at least part Yorkshire man as well as part Geordie and part Scot. So drink a good Yorkshire ale tonight in celebration and thank that deity you worship for the county that once almost (not really) got independence.

Anyway the days here at HQ are getting quite repetitive as are I would imagine your views of this blog. Chicken Pox again? Well yes Chicken Pox again as it doesn't appear to going away. We have been to the beach three days in a row now and as much as I love the beach having no one to talk to is getting a little annoying. The wee man's face is now covered in spots and it's pretty obvious what he has so I'm doing my best to keep his away from people. The next location we'll visit will be the deep dark wood and then the underneath of a bridge.

I bet if I went to see Dr. Ranj (Get Well Soon fame) he would get rid of this straight away with a cheery song and some under the counter drugs. Is he a real doctor anyway? Who knows, I'm not going to waste my time finding out. Anyway all his patients despite being puppets seem to get cured right away with no questions asked. How does he do it apart from being horrendously smiley and having a lovely singing voice? I wish I could style my hair like his.

Anyway I promise from tomorrow to talk about something other than spots and I actually get a break from the pox this weekend as I alone sans family am going to a wedding somewhere in Lancashire (boooooo. The county not the wedding). It will be nice to get away from creams and spots for a while. The Chancellor can handle calamine duties for a while as I rest my weary head. It's a hard life.


jpr




Wednesday, 31 July 2013

We Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

Evening all, Wednesday wouldn't be Wednesday with a Baby Centre blog for you. http://www.baby.co.uk/mum_stories/anyone-for-a-chickenpox-party/. It's basically about everything I've been moaning about and everything I probably will be moaning about for the foreseeable future.

I wandered lonely as a cloud or perhaps that should be 'we wandered'. The quarantine continues and the wee man looks even worse than he did yesterday. The spots have now progressed to the face and in particular to his eye and let me tell you they look sore. I've been banned from putting pictures of it in this blog as it's actually quite mean and I don't want to embarrass him forever. I really feel for him and life must be pretty sore right now.

More than anything else at the moment we are bored. Some of our friends are meeting tomorrow and this weekend and we can't go. *Sad face*. There are lots of things I want to do, swimming for instance but any parents at the first sight of the wee man will go scurrying for protection covering their eyes. This however may be useful for swimming as it could clear the pool for me. I want to take him to a playground but we will be kicked out by overly concerned parents.

I now am looking for any strip of open land which has no children, is in the middle of nowhere and there's something to do on it. I think this is mission impossible and we're destined to wander the streets alone like the social outcasts we are.

We were told by the doctor that the spots will continue for a wee while before scabbing over and eventually falling off. Then once this happens we can see our friends again tough I imagine they will want to stay a good distance away from us for a while. Poor wee man.


jpr   

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Play-Doh

With the wee man get spottier by the day The Chancellor and I have been finding new ways of entertaining him without interacting with any other children. Our newest idea is Play-Doh.

The Chancellor went a bit mad this morning and got not just Play-Doh but the kitchen set that goes with it. I must say that's all very exciting and I've already mad multiple ice cream cones and other weird shaped things.

However the thing I'd forgotten was just how strangely the stuff smelt. It has a wonderful chemical smell about it which makes you wonder just what's in it and how it's made. I seem to remember as a child eating the stuff and thinking it was incredibly salty, again I wonder what's in it and hope it's not human. Already I think the wee man has sampled its delights, the telling green speckles on his lips gave him away. Also the fact that he's just thrown up dinner is another clue.

I'll let him off though because he's having a pretty rough time of it. Every five minutes we find more spots and now he looks like...well I'm not sure what but it isn't nice. Poor little man. A week of this doesn't sound good and with The Chancellor going back to work tomorrow it's going to be a long week. Some of his spots have popped and actually look quite sore so we'll have a child covered in cream by the end of the night. Not even a Play-Doh kitchen is worth this...

jpr    

 

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Pox Attacks

The pox has hit our household, the chicken variety. As we want to keep our friends we have to now avoid them for a while or at least until the wee man becomes one giant scab. So picking places to go where the wee man won't spread his diseases is quite tough. Naturally soft plays and the like are out of the question as are most other things in the world seeing as it's the school holidays. My mental list of things to do has become very very short, so we decided today to go somewhere new. Today for the very first time I visited a retail outlet centre and let me tell you it really was a different world.

Now I'm not really one for retail worlds or retail estates as generally they're very busy and very loud but my snobbery lessened ever so slightly today.

The wee man did need new shoes after all and my friend Funny Mummy has been going on about the cheap prices of the shoes there for a while. And in truth she was right as we got some shoes for a fraction of the price as they are in the city! Wow, who would have thought that a). I would have visited such a place today and b). I get ace shoes for such a cheap price! Mind blowing.

Anyway enough from me about shoes, I have to remember that there are more important things like the wee man being his very own biological weapon. I know know why he was being such a mardy bum the last few days. Really should have given him some sympathy, The Chancellor certainly is giving him some now. Bad daddy.

jpr






   

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Second Child Syndrome

It's good to know, for various reasons, that we're not the only people we know who are having a second child. In fact there's a small group of us who have decided that we're not that tired or financially ruined and that the best thing for all of us to do is have another child. We are the mad sensible ones.

Though for some strange reason we and about four other couples are going to be having our second child roughly at the same time of year as our first was born. Is there any science that says this generally happens or does it just look like we have sex once a year and more often than not it results in a child?

The really funny thing is that most of couples we know who have decided to take the plunge, including us, all roll our eyes and say it's going to be hell for a few years. So why do it and why hasn't common sense stopped us?

Well for one, I'm still fairly young so my logic is we can get all the tedious sleep deprivation out of the way early and by the time the children are at an age where they can make their own breakfasts, I will still be able to appreciate a lie in as a relatively young person. This may not make any sense to you but makes perfect sense to me. And why not get it out of the way early in life as when they go to university I can go travelling and I won't need a walking stick to get around.

Some people have called us mad and crazy for going back to the start especially with a toddler as mental as the wee man but chosen the path we have. There's no getting out of it now...


jpr

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Part Child, Part Goat, Part Nokia Phone

Crash, bang, wallap. The wee man is not one for risk assessment. I don't know any other child who is as haphazard with their safety as he is. If it didn't look so ridiculous I would probably have him running around dressed in bubble wrap. Because he is so unfazed by life he doesn't stop, literally, at the water's edge. This kamikaze lifestyle has The Chancellor and I on tenterhooks constantly. There seems to be nowhere where we can relax with him.

Today he had an almighty crash in the park where his head met concrete at a pretty alarming velocity. You know with him when something really hurts because he scrunches his eyes up, holds his breath, opens his mouth for five seconds then lets out a ungodly cry. The breath holding bit is quite useful as it gives you time to cover your ears in preparation. In truth we were expecting blood today as we picked him up off the floor. Luckily for all concerned he was fine after a few minutes of crying.

But it makes you think, how the hell don't these children hurt themselves more? I know the bone structure of toddlers is slightly different to that of an adult and the bones bend more than ours do but still. They're almost indestructible like those old Nokia phones that no mater how or where you dropped them they would still be fine. Though I'm not going to be going around dropping him here, there and all about to test this theory, Social Services would have something to say about that.

When the wee man is scaling something that is far too high for him, I often think of those mountain goats that stand, for some bizarre reason, on the edges of cliffs. Why on earth they do that is anyone's guess. The wee man is the same, he just climbs to the point where he can't climb anymore and sod getting down. It's nice to know though that he's more goat than child.

jpr

      

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Wee Man The Mardy Bum

We've had nothing but trouble from the wee man today. Since we've returned home all he's done is winge. And I mean really winge. There is a certain noise he makes that is just awful and really really annoying. All day all we've heard is this noise followed by crying followed by the noise followed by crying...It really makes mine and The Chancellor's blood pressure rise to dangerous levels. Everything has become hard work but the thing that has pissed us off the most is when he gets frustrated he gets naughty. He's been deliberately doing things that he knows are wrong after he's been told off. It's all a vicious cycle and we're about ready to sell him to any bidder not even the highest.

I think we've had a culmination of maybe the last tooth coming through, a developmental change and the back end of a really unsettled stage. I hope after a night's sleep he will return to his old ways, if not we're taking him with a megaphone to the local car boot tomorrow. The Chancellor joked today that someone would take him but come back half an hour later after having second thoughts. I've had second thoughts one or twice but unfortunately I'm biologically tied to him so I can't go anywhere.

It's been a while since we've had such a rubbish day and even at half past four in the afternoon I'm looking at the clock to see if it's bath time yet. Next week The Chancellor goes back to work and the wee man and I go back to spending our days together, if he's still in this mood then it's going to be awful. Let's hope the amalgamation of things has stopped by then or else...

If you're wondering by the way the word mardy is a yorkshireism which means grumpy or surly and it pretty much sums up the wee man today. Even after dinner which is usually his best time of the day he is crying because I'm not letting him do something or other. I'm such an awful dad, apparently.

I need to have a lie down...


jpr