Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: parenting (page 2 of 2)

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be

I don’t want to be angry.

I don’t want to resent spending time with you, I shouldn’t feel like playing with you is wasted time, that there is something better to do.

But it’s hard, full days at work then often meetings in the evening. Trying to provide for my family so they don’t have to worry about food on the table. Making sure I ‘grow’ and ‘work on my development areas’ so that at the next appraisal I get a pay rise, any pay rise.

Fitting in the ‘me time’ when only the birds are awake, dragging myself out of bed to get my much needed fix of running. But even this time isn’t sacred, a downward spiral of who can get up the earliest where soon I might as well not go to bed.

I shouldn’t get annoyed at you for this but I do just like when you grab my leg and start whining to be picked up when I’m trying to write a blog. I shouldn’t, but I do and I hate myself for it.

One cheeky smile or seeing you ride around the house on your trucker and the guilt hits me. This shouldn’t be about me.

But sometimes it feels like it needs to be.

I don’t want to be angry.

10 things parenting books don’t tell you about toddlers

Matilda is now the grand old age of 21 months and I have to say I think the age she is right now is the most fun of the whole time. She’s this little walking, talking, laughing, crazy little girl who quite honestly cracks me up. But I have noticed one or two things that those so called parenting books don’t tell you about.

So in time honoured fashion here’s my top 10 things parenting books don’t tell you about toddlers:

  1. Any time you get undressed in front of them they will stop whatever it is that they’re doing and point at you shouting WILLY. Precisely why I have yet to take her swimming.
  2. They will learn to say the name of your dog perfectly long before they will ever say mummy or daddy.
  3. Somehow they develop pickpocket skills to rival the artful dodger and before you know it your phone has disappeared and sticky fingers are trying to unlock it.
  4. Running away when naked is hilarious, the only thing funnier is doing a wee while you run.
  5. Cheese is a suitable addition to any meal no matter the time of day.
  6. You may well put them in their cot fully clothed in a zipped up Grobag, but they can take off all their clothes and throw them on the floor without seemingly unzipping the Grobag (or at least doing it back up again).
  7. Farts are the 2nd funniest thing ever to a toddler (see point 4), although daddy may have had a hand in this one
  8. They have more and cooler clothes than you, your only hope of being fashionable is to wear something long enough that it comes back in fashion. They on the other hand are always wearing the latest seasons styles. One look at Matilda’s selection of knitwear will tell you that.
  9. If you think you’ve put something high enough that they can’t reach it then put it another metre higher. Those little hands get everywhere.
  10. To finish potentially the most important of them all, despite what you think a toddler is very much in control. You may have grand plans and parenting ideas but you will end up doing what they want. Mind games to defeat even Derren Brown.

But despite this they are rather cute aren’t they?

My daughter works for Mi6

Quite honestly it is the only explanation, she’s been trying to conceal it but now that she’s become a double ‘0’ and can crawl it’s pretty obvious.

Put her in any room and she will find the weak spot, the one thing you don’t want her to go near and head straight for it. There is even a look of glee in her eye and a sly check over her shoulder to make sure she isn’t being watched. Once there destruction takes mere seconds as objects tip over or are quickly thrown across the room.

Matilda crawlingIf you do manage to thwart her destruction then she unleashes her main weapon; her voice. One screech from her will render any opponent helpless and begging for quiet. It can shatter glass, burst ear drums and once it even set car alarms off outside.

Her secret agent training doesn’t stop there, within 10 seconds of holding any electronic device she has worked out how it works and more importantly which button to press to most annoy mummy and daddy. Give her a TV remote and one button push later the TV source has been changed at it’ll take you 5 minutes to get the rugby back on again. It’s no accident either, she sits with the remote, pushing buttons and watching the TV change.

Oh she’s a clever one this one. Top of her class at secret agent school probably.

Of course the most important skill for any secret agent is being resourceful, using what you have to hand or keeping things about your person for later. It doesn’t matter how long after a meal it is she can magically produce a baked bean or piece of bread from

Anyone know what is taught next at secret agent school? Espionage? Foreign languages (dog maybe)? Concealment? Whatever it is I know one thing, we’re in big trouble.somewhere on her body to give her a much needed energy boost at a critical time in her mission.

What are your highs and lows from 2011?

Keith of Reluctant house dad fame has tagged me in this meme to share some highlights and lowlights from 2011.  The year was a pretty bloody good one all in all and I have to say with very few lows. So here’s my review per the required structure.

What was your happiest event?

As 2011 was the year I became a dad nothing really comes close for happiest event. That moment in the delivery suite when we discovered we had a daughter was magical, the days and months since have been tough but oh so rewarding. The first time she smiled, the first time she clapped, the way she bangs her feet on her chair when she’s enjoying what she eats. These are the moments you remember and the ones that can erase all those sleepless nights and crying.

What was the saddest thing to happen?

At the beginning of the year we found out that the lady of the manors mum had ovarian cancer, which was a pretty tough time. She began treatment just before Matilda was born so we were worried she wouldn’t be able to come near Matilda due to the chemotherapy drugs. But it worked out ok in the end and following a successful treatment is fingers crossed now in the clear

What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

Hmmm maybe the lady of the manor getting pregnant again? If you’d told me at the start of the year that we’d have another baby on the way I would have laughed in your face.

Who let you down?

There can be only one candidate for this and that’s the England rugby team, I traveled to the other side of the world to watch that joke of a rugby team embarrass the nation. Professional players that didn’t have the balls to stand up and take ownership of their performance. No matter what the failings of the coaches they should have at least had some pride like the French did.

Who supported you?

Family, every single one of them. From gifts and ‘permanent loan’ of nursery furniture to emotional support and baby sitting. They may be 60 miles away but both sets of parents have been more than willing to drive down and help us out. What I value the most though is the non-judgmental support, they may have raised their own children (5 in my mums case) but they didn’t tell us what to do or say we were wrong. They gave advice and support which is exactly what we needed.

Tell us something you learned

You may think a new born baby has finished poo’ing, but it will always save up a little exra for that brief moment when it has no nappy on and then KAPOW, poo is on the carpet, your jeans/hands/jumper/hair and if you’re really lucky the wall behind you.

Tell us something that made you laugh

I was at a dinner party the other night and there was a 7ft penguin walking around, I thought to myself, that’ll break the ice.

Tell us one thing that made you cry

I don’t care what the question says I’m giving you 2 things; firstly watching Marley and Me, no dog owner can watch that and not cry. Secondly when I had a massive back spasm in my lower back in June. Within 10 minutes I couldn’t walk and spent the next 2 days lying on the lounge floor, the only time I moved was to crawl on all fours to the toilet. I have never known pain like it; in fact I think it was probably worse than giving birth. Certainly there wasn’t any gas and air.

Tell us 3 things your child did to make you proud

Firstly she is unequivocally my daughter, blonde hair, blue eyes and tall.

Secondly that she is the smiliest baby you will ever meet, she will flash anyone a smile who talks to her. I love that she seems to be an optimist and positive person like me

Thirdly that she is the noisiest baby in our NCT gang, put them all together and she’s the one chatting away, ‘talking’ to the other babies like she’s directing them. I hope she continues being so forthright and strong as she grows up.

Tell us one thing that made you proud of yourself

That we didn’t let having a baby stop us getting out, we didn’t put our life on hold, we got out and had a bloody amazing adventure in New Zealand. An adventure that wouldn’t have been the same without Matilda.

Tell us one challenge you overcame

Trying to not wake up first at night so I don’t have get up to Matilda. It was tough but I beat it, I may even have a little talent in this area I reckon.

Is there anything you would like to change about your life in 2012?

I’ve written a couple of posts on resolutions/plans for the year, the biggest thing we are going to change is having debt. It shall be all gone by the end of the year so we can live comfortably once the sprout arrives and maybe just maybe the lady of the manor can become a stay at home mum.

I also want to try and eat more seasonally, rather than buying the same food all year round simply because the supermarket is able to stock it.

So there you have it and I’d like to tag the following lovely people if they haven’t been already;

It’s a dads life

The Kitchen Mechanic

Cheetahs in my shoes

Rolling, Rolling, Rollling

The lady of the manor and I spent the weekend at her parents house, which while it’s nice having babysitters on call (we took advantage and went to see Harry Potter – AWESOME) it did mean being in a 2 bedroom house with 4 adults, a baby and a dog. Plus this also meant having Matilda sleep in our bedroom, something we don’t do at home and now I remember why. She is so NOISY, she wakes up in the night, has a little moan, does a couple of farts and then chews her fist until she falls asleep. Her waking up is ok when one of us gets some sleep and so has patience and energy the next day, but when both of us are tired it’s a nightmare.

So there we were on Sunday morning, Matilda wakes up at 5am, not for a feed like a normal baby would want, no siree, she wants out of that cot and she wants it NOW! As soon as she is out and lying on her back on our bed she is cooing and screeching and blowing raspberry’s as happy as larry. The lady of the manor then decides to give her a bit of tummy time while we sit with a cup of tea and a slightly glazed look in our eyes from the lack of sleep.

Then she does it…

Ever so slowly…

And with great straining…

She rolls over for the first time ever!

You have never seen two prouder or happier parents, we may have even let out a bit of a squeal.

And with that all the tiredness and grumpiness was gone


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