Bonding Among The Ballcocks

Last weekend we visited my parents. While wifey and mum went shopping with baby I decided to spend some man time with dad. I asked him what he wanted to do? Go fishing? Go down the pub? Watch some football? Anything you want dad, my treat. But I knew what his answer would be – “Visit Wickes.”  Wickes, the DIY superstore.

I hate DIY.  When I was 10, dad said to me that he didn’t want me to grow up like him and have a manual job (he used to be a welder, he is retired now).  He urged me to read and educate myself and take my studies seriously. He wanted me to be white collar not blue collar.I took this to heart and decided not to get involved in metalwork and woodwork at school. Consequently I have no interest in DIY. I’d rather be at home lying on a sofa watching TV, like the documentary series One Strange Rock. Or reading about strange but true stories on The Freaky.

But to Dad, Wickes is his Wembley, his Gucci, his perfect day out. Amongst the ball cocks and plasterboard he is at home. If they allowed him to, he’d stay in one of their sheds.

As we wander the aisles, him in nirvana fondling sandpaper and lovingly caressing screwdrivers, I try to feign interest whilst stifling my yawns.

Now that he is retired and bored I ask him why he doesn’t get a job working at Wickes.
“I’d hate dealing with the public asking stupid questions about grouting and plumbing,” he says.
“Like me?” I’m always phoning him up to ask the best way to fix a shelf that is wobbly or what do when a fuse blows.
“Your my son, thats different.” He says.
It’s a tender moment. He is not a man to express emotion but that’s as close to a “I love you” as I am likely to get.

With that in mind I have decided that I am going to get involved in DIY. Now that I am a father I have decided to put my hatred of DIY aside and learn how to use a power tool and grout and all that manly stuff.  So I have invited dad to help me do up our bathroom. When I asked him, I could swear he had tears in his eyes.

Oh Sleep How I Miss You

Baby is sick and I am not getting any sleep.

Sleep. What a beautiful word.
The soothing s leading on to those two e’s that snuggle so nicely next to each other, all cosy, and warm nestling between the headboard of the l and the p.
Oh how I wish I was one of those e’s .  
And is it just me or doesn’t the p, look like the head of a man emerging from a duvet?
Oh sleep how I miss you.

Dispatches From The Fatherhood Frontline Week 11

‘Things I have learnt:

Nappies leak.
Eco nappies leak even more.
They may be good for the environment and reduce landfill but the non oil based elastic replacement (no doubt made from organic tofu by South American natives) is not very elastic.

The smell of a baby is the best smell in the world.
The smell of a baby’s poo is not so good.
The smile your daughter gives you when she wakes up and sees you can make your heart burst with joy.
Looking at the world through a baby’s eyes is like taking LSD
The other day the two of us spent 10 minutes just staring at a leaf.

Baby screams and hangovers don’t mix.
Baby’s have a novel way of trying to go to sleep.

As adults we have learnt that the best way is to lie still shut your eyes and be silent.Baby’s prefer to lie on their backs with their eyes wide open, roll around madly shaking all their limbs and scream in baby talk the equivalent of “I CAN’T GO TO F-KING SLEEP” over and over for approximately ten minutes. Absolutely exhausted they then fall asleep.

Eating – A Baby’s POV

I am hungry I want some food. I AM HUNGRY I WANT SOME FOOD. Are you not listening to me? I WANT SOME FOOD. Oh nice. Food. Porridge. Yumm. Yummy. Oh that toy on my mat looks fun. I like its yellow colour. I AM HUNGRY. Food. FOOD. Good. I have to open my mouth? Of course. MMMM yumm. Oh what’s that shiny thing on my play mat? Oh wait a minute that plastic phone looks fun. What’s daddy trying to do? Why’s he waving that spoon in my face? OH yes. Food. Mmm I like food. Open my mouth. Yes. Have some more. Lovely. My legs are interesting aren’t they? I like my PJs. What’s daddy saying? Oh yes. Must open mouth. Swallow. I wonder what’s outside? Why is daddy raising his voice? Woops. Meant to be eating. Silly me. I like food. Let me touch it. Why can\’t I put my hand in the porridge? Why not? I like it. LET ME. LET ME. pause. ITS NOT FAIR !!! OH what\’s that outside? Mmm, my pJs are nice to stroke. Whats that spoon? Oh right, Yes open mouth. Ok. Eat. Suck. Blowing porridge bubbles now that’s fun. Oh look its on my hands. Go away daddy. I don’t want to open my mouth. I AM HUNGRY. Oh right yes, got to open mouth. Woops. Forgot, silly me. Yummy. I like food. Oh that toy on my mat looks nice.And repeat for ten minutes.

Demon Toddler

This isn’t my child she refuses to have her photo taken. This is a dramatic reconstruction.

The good times I have come to pass. For in the last week the devil has entered baby’s body and she has become a toddler with tantrums.

Her favourite word is no longer a delightfully slightly sureal ‘duck’ it is now “No”
Do you want to eat your breakfast.
Do you want to have a bath?
Come and give daddy a kiss
Can you go and get your coat please
Lets puts on some clothes its cold.

Kicking and screaming she is lying on the floor. Rebellious and defiant.My little girl has turned into a monster.

I was expecting that to happen when she turned into a teen. Not when she is 18 months.

6 month Baby’s POV

This week i am handing over writing the blog to my 6 month old baby girl.

26th Dec Spent the morning sitting in the corner of the sofa playing with my toys and chatting to myself. Sometimes its nice to have me time. Papa took me swimming in the paddling pool. I liked it when we were playing but didn’t when he tried to get me to do my swimming exercises. I cried and he stopped. He can be a real pushover.

27th Dec I love looking at the baby girl in the big mirror on the wall. Its amazing as I move my hand she moves her hand too. When I blow bubbles she does too.

28th Dec At lunch I had sweet potato. It was nice.I am learning how to eat it a bit better now, Although I still like to dribble it out.\r\n\r\nAfter lunch papa took me swimming. I liked playing but didn’t like learning to swim. Papa and mummy had an argument over it. They put me in a blow up ring but I was too small. They then balanced me on top which would have been fun but I fell off into the water and my face went under and I don’t like that. So I cried. Quite a lot. Papa took me to look at some flowers and leaves and that made me calm. Wrapped in a towel I fell asleep on papa’s chest as he lay on the sun lounger reading. It was very nice. Later mummy admitted to papa that she got a bit jealous of how I like to hang out with papa. That’s silly. I love them both very much.

29th Dec I tried to stand up against the sofa today but got a bit cocky and fell over and hit my head. I cried a lot and now have a big red mark on my forehead.\r\n\r\nLater we all lay on the sofa and watched a movie. I liked playing with mummy’s hair. Yesterday I was daddy’s girl. Today I’m mummy s girl. You have to spread your love around.

31st Dec I just love sticking my tongue out I do almost all the time at the moment.We went to a restaurant and mummy and papa made me wear a silly hat. I cried. Then a waitress called me a boy.

1st Jan There were some strange noises coming from mama and papas bedroom last night.Did a poo today and a little bit of it was solid. Papa seemed very happy about it.

2nd Jan I love my food although sometimes I find sucking my bib is more fun. I have worked out that if I fall backwards on the sofa and then thrash around like a dying beetle someone comes and gives me attention.

3rd Jan I had baby rice today. I like eating although I’m not sure I am doing it right. When papa eats (and he seems to eat all the time) he doesn’t seem to make as much mess as me.\r\n\r\nI am still finding learning to crawl hard. I like my tummy time for a while until I become frustrated I cant do it. Today I managed to go round in a circle and go backwards, the trouble was I was really trying to crawl forwards. Its really hard. I am worried I might have inherited papa’s physical awkwardness.I am not so interested in playing with the girl in the mirror. I suspect she might be me.’

I’m Free

Wifey has jetted off with baby to see her family. I will join her in a couple of weeks but for now I am free!  Woo hoo!

I fancy going clubbing, but its been so long I’m not sure I know the names of the drugs anymore.

Baby Injections Fiasco

Baby’s 3 month injections.

I was worried she may have inherited my needle phobia. But she was brilliant. So was the nurse. She had a great bedside manner, and really looked after me when I feinted.

Baby found it very funny especially when the nurse brought me round by shaking the multicoloured baby rattle in my face.  The nurse says its her secret weapon with crying babies. I can see why, I was mesmerised by it.