Thursday, 23 November 2017

Dance the Night Away

You may know that my musical and performative abilities have been rudely critiqued on this blog in the past.  If not then please cast a glance over this post and have a quick chuckle at my expense. 

That was my eldest daughter’s opinion, however, it turns out she is not the only critic in my family.  L, who was 2 in August, is following in her older sister’s footsteps.  This evening I happened to be dancing in the kitchen while I was getting the children’s bedtime drinks ready.  This caused much hilarity amongst the children, who seemed to think I was trying to be funny.  That was enough to be a little hurtful, I will admit, but nothing compared to what came next.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

What to do if your giraffe breaks its leg

I’m not sure how it happened really.  I’m pretty sure I was only tangentially involved, if at all, but it seems like all of my children are growing up.  One day you are standing there with one newborn baby in your arms, thinking that surely things can’t be any better.  Then the next you look around to find that there are 3 of them, and the grown-ups are outnumbered.  The biggest change though, and the one that I thought about when we were having dinner earlier is that suddenly, almost out of the blue, there are three extra people in the house.

Monday, 30 October 2017

A Momentous Proclamation

Sometimes a pronouncement is made that is so dramatic you never forget where you are when you heard it.  It is an utterance of such earth-shattering import that the only option available to you when you hear it is to feel your knees buckle in slow motion as you sink to the floor.  At such times people tend to adopt a certain tone of voice.  A hushed whisper full of feeling and pathos, quivering with intent.  You know the sort of voice, the one that says David Dimbleby is about to say something to which you are going to want to listen.  Let me tell you something though, it is not the sort of voice that you want to be faced with when you get home one day.  Things said in this voice are rarely nice, life-affirming things are they?

So there I was, walking in after another successful day as the greatest wildlife photographer ever, (well, I can dream can’t I?) when I was accosted by N, who, in her best David Dimbleby voice, told me,

“I didn’t have any flapjack because I had a breakdown.”

It wasn’t so much the words which shook me, although they were perhaps not the best chosen words she could have used, it was the tone they were said in.  A 6 year old girl should not have had the life experiences necessary to be able to sound quite so dramatic.  Like the whole world was imploding and she was then only one who could see it.  Either she is a superb actor, able to imbue her whole being with the character of a person who has lost everything, or she just really really likes flapjack.  Honestly I’m hoping it's the second option.  I can barely keep up as it is, I don’t need her being the next Robert de Niro as well, I won’t know if I’m coming or going.

We finally got the whole flapjack thing sorted out, and I am yet to be met by the voice of doom since, but I know it's there, just waiting to come out, perhaps next time it will come out at a more appropriate moment, like if she could only have two scoops on her ice-cream or if she had been given her spoon the wrong way round.  Just hope I’m not here to hear it when it does.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

My Son's Very Bad, Quite Painful, Unsleepy Night

I was home late from work today.  This really doesn’t have anything to do with the story that I am going to tell but it’s always nice to have all the facts isn’t it?  Anyway, I was late home from work today, which meant that B got two of the children ready for bed by herself.  Which, actually, is probably only the 18th most amazing thing that she has done today.  But before this turns into a paean to my incredible wife (can you tell she reads all these before I publish them?) let me get back to the story. 

Monday, 31 October 2016

A Drive to be Forgotten

That’s it, just come a little closer, I’m going to tell you something tonight, a chilling tale of a man’s complete inadequacy.  It will be a story to curdle your blood and have you sitting up at night wondering about how such a man has managed to survive for thirty something years.  

I need you to imagine yourself in a hospital labour ward.  Your wife has just suffered through a very painful, though quite speedy labour, and you have a newborn daughter in your arms.  You got it together enough to tell the midwife the name that you and your wife had literally just decided upon.  I mean it.  We had a number of names that we were pondering, I had vetoed some of my wife’s more outrageous suggestions (I don’t care how much you like 70’s soul and funk, we were never going to call our baby Earth, Wind & Fire, no matter how well it describes it’s early days, just imagine how terribly it would go with the registrar) but we had not managed to agree on a name until she popped out.  

Monday, 24 October 2016

Speedy Arrival

I understand that labour is painful.  I’ve never actually been through it myself, so I cannot corroborate it from personal experience, but I am an observant fellow and I have experienced it through B on three occasions so I am fairly confident when I say that it didn’t seem like she was enjoying it.  Which is what makes what I am about to tell you quite so impressive, from my point of view at least.

Firstly though a bit of background.  After all, you know me, I’m not happy until I’ve written 1000 inconsequential words before finally getting to the punchline.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

An Ode to Many Arms

I once wrote, “ For one thing, once you have three children you've run out of arms, unless you're an octopus of course.  Not being an octopus, and only having the normal number of arms, I am concerned about what is going to happen once we have our third and I am left an arm short.”   Yes, that Wildeian wit really was me. Honestly.  Look, just go here if you don’t believe me.

That was about 4 months before the birth of our 3rd child, and one of the very last things that I managed to write on the blog.  It turns out I had seriously underestimated the number of arms that I would need.  Also the amount of time I would need to do everything.  Not to mention the total chaos that an extra child would bring into my life.