I was on a very rare midweek night-out on Tuesday.
I am not the most frequent of social gallivanters in any case, but they are very scarce in the week, as it takes a lot for me to arrange elaborate baby sitting, and to not mess too much with the routine.
This week’s offer was of sufficient magnitude, and my baby sitting ducks lined up quite nicely, it was like logistical poetry.
Max was to be collected from nursery by a village chum, for tea and play, with their kids, and then I arranged for my folks to collect him from their place, and come back to mine and stay overnight.
They like doing that.
One of my friends can sometimes arrange corporate hospitality at football games, and this week was such a time.
Sadly it was also such a time that some numpty had chosen to spill LPG between junctions 15 and 16 of the M1 motorway.
What a very silly thing to do.
It meant our journey south came to an abrupt stop, at around 5.30 pm, no need to worry, the UK motorways are notorious for their stop-start nature, especially around rush-hour.
We had just passed a reduction in lane, and road works indicator, and naturally assumed the two things were linked.
Which, they were not.
The next three-and-a-half hours, yes that’s 210 minutes, were spent attempting to find out information, whilst also finding enough to keep us entertained.
I was pleased to have my new phone, and internet access, I twittered my misery, even getting to grips with twitpic, and got information back via that medium, and some from the Highways Agency site.
My chum also had some interesting stuff on his Ipod, including some old Mark and Lard clips, perfect for a boys’ night out.
We even took a walk down to see all the action, which was just a load of flashing lights and fireman.
More appropriate for a girls’ night out.
But it was on the walk back to my car, that I stopped to think what if I had got Max with me.
I do carry water, de-icer and anti-freeze in the car, but apart from what I grab on the way to our wagon, I do not have an emergency entertainment, or toddler survival kit.
The furthest I have gone is to have a reasonably sized receptacle, just in case my boy decides his bladder is too full to wait until our next planned stop.
We are a little better prepared for longer journeys, and for trips that I know will include a sleep, but we still use the motorway for short trips too.
So, what happens if we were stuck for that long, with nowhere to go to?
OK, he is not a baby, so can eat all sorts of things, things I could have probably scavenged from other drivers.
However it has still stuck in my mind a bit.
I do not think entertaining him would be too difficult, as there is always stuff in the car, or whatever bag I have with me.
We more often than not have a drink with us, and I am always hiding sugary things in my pockets, so I think we could survive.
This is the first time this sort of delay has ever happened to me, one there is no way out of, stuck.
Usually you can just turn around and give up, but this, was sadly, not an option.
I think I might just put back my picnic blanket in the car, I took it out at the end of the summer, initially to wash it, and create room for our wellies and the huge plastic carrier I keep them in.
But it could double up as a blanket for warmth and to preserve having to run the car just for heat.
The Highways Agency have their own ideas.
I am just glad I did not have my boy with me, and hope, just hope, that the law of averages means that it will not be happening again anytime soon.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
I was on a very rare midweek night-out on Tuesday.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
No, I am not Nick Berry, and that is not really a technically sound statement.
But, remember last week, when my little clever clogs was the real winner in our wrestling match?
He fancied a rematch.
Same terms, except this time the prize - of chocolate - didn't have to be on a biscuit.
And, as an aside, my ass has promised me a postcard from the holiday it is taking from my trousers.
And an apology for the roughness of the cut, but adding simple titles, made the actual video stutter on YouTube.
Thanks to VioletPosy for her efforts on trying to help me out via Twitter
Monday, 26 January 2009
All the funerals I have attended have always had a sombre tone, even the one I organised did.
There is not much way round the fact that someone just died, and we are gathered - here today - to recognise that fact.
And in many cases, burn the evidence.
But while solemn, I have not been to many that I would call, sad farewells.
Samantha’s was only the second I had cried at, the first being that for the very tragic death of a friend’s infant son.
It was my sworn intention to give my late wife a poignant send off.
I wanted to set a robust and resilient tone, stylish to the end, sad, but uplifting, and about the tomorrow, as much as today.
Not that I cared one jot how people perceived it, it was more about what I wanted, and what I thought she would have too.
I achieved what I set out to.
I am reliably informed that Sam was dressed in the same outfit she wore for Max’s christening, and that the new Jimmy Choo shoes, she had bought not much previously for my sister’s impending wedding, adorned her beautiful feet.
After my wife was pronounced dead at the hospital, I spent sometime with her there, said my goodbyes, and decided I didn’t want to see her carcass again.
As to me, that is all it had become, however beautiful and splendent, it was just the vehicle that my lady had lived her life in.
And, boy, she had lived it.
I do remember the actually service, the cremation, the wake, the cars in-between, the ride home, the quiet, and the great comfort I got from my boy.
The worst part of it was the waiting, oh, and the second hymn.
Seriously love, The Old Rugged Cross may have worked for your granddad’s, but it made for pretty grim singing at yours.
My overriding feeling of the day was relief, elation that we were through it, and, as planned.
Since that day, I have attended a few funerals, generally for people whose time was due.
What I mean is, they were older, at an age that while still sad, mourners would say “Well at least they had a good innings.”
I don’t know about you, but I always consider a good innings to say ‘not out’ at the end.
If there has been a shim of trepidation on my side about attending such memorials, it has yet to grow to anything close to me even considering non-attendance.
I have even been back to the crematorium where Sammy’s was held, and got through it without much emotional concern.
However, last Friday I attended my late great aunt’s.
She was 91, and died an old maid.
That is not to say she had led an unhappy life, or led a miserable existence. She was a very active lady, whose circumstances, and family values, had often meant she chose to make sacrifices to aid the others around her.
Others now passed.
The last four, nearly, five years, had been a living hell for this woman.
Before then she was very active, independent, and even, still driving.
Sadly, she suffered a massive stroke that effectively turned her into an animated corpse.
Her passing was relief, hopefully to her, but definitely to the rest of us who cared about her.
Which, we all did, even though the closest living relatives remaining were her niece and nephew.
My mom and uncle.
The service was pleasant, bar the vicar saying that she enjoyed going to the tip, which really was not a big part of her life, more evidence that, even in her late eighties, she was very agile.
I actually found it quite difficult to get through, keeping my emotions in check.
Not that you should.
But I would have been weeping for the wrong reasons.
Thing is, when the vicar recites the names of the people related to the deceased and gets to Max, I feel like I am going to explode, and demonstrate irrevocably that the human body is in fact 60% water.
And it can not be because of the relationship lost between these two people, because there was not one to lose.
Samantha was pregnant with Max, when the stroke occurred, and I only took Max to see her when he was little, when there was still hope of an improvement.
There was to be no future.
Max’s great-great auntie was 91, and he only four.
I believe it is more because it serves as a reminder to the huge loss of his mother.
Not getting to know her himself, not having the inevitable tightness, not sharing their beautiful laughter, reining him, and us, in, when we go too far, so, so, many things.
But someone else’s funeral is not the right time to mourn such things.
Any mourning should be limited to the recently departed, surely?
My composure was maintained, although it did take moderate effort.
Which I am not a big fan of.
The service concluded, and my thoughts returned to the intended.
And flipped back, at the appropriate point, until next time.
Friday, 23 January 2009
That we are, that we are.
My boy’s words, echoed by my good self soon afterwards.
He does not like losing, I have yet to find a toddler that does, but I am trying to teach him to be gracious in defeat, yet, not fear it.
His development is coming on nicely.
And he is adapting his philosophy to suit himself, a very active mind, I think.
Tonight in the swimming baths we were playing Marvel Superheroes, Ben 10 and similar.
We had to choose characters from the good sides of these respective works of fiction, and then collaborate together to save the Universe, or more accurately, the swimming baths we were in.
There was to be no racing, because as my son so eloquently and accurately put it, we are both winners, and therefore contests of speed within water were completely unnecessary.
So we stuck to bomb disposal, ridding caves of monsters, and jumping in off the side – not quite sure how that was saving anyone though.
Then later on this evening, after a naughty chip shop tea, it was time for a bath.
I used one of my regular tactics, of losing a race up the stairs to get him to the top of them.
And tonight I tried a new tactic for getting him into the tub.
We have been wrestling a bit, while the taps run, passing the time, and attempting to use up whatever energy the little one has left.
Mind, even the Duracell Bunny has nothing on most four-year-olds.
But seeing as I have a three foot advantage, and a *cough* 13 stone *cough* weight differential, I have been rather on top in the grappling stakes.
I suggested whoever won our next bout, got to put the other, head first, into the bath.
My giggling little treasure agreed, and duly lost, after a valiant effort I must type.
However, before I got to dangle him into our, or his, bath, he talked me into one final battle.
Yet this time, he was setting the prize.
As I am currently undefeated in about 50 rounds, the odds were stacked a bit in my favour.
I thought this was brave, but also a bit dim, but then I had not given him enough credit.
“Daddy, this time, whoever loses gets a chocolate biscuit when we go downstairs.”
Well played son, well played.
Shame we did not have any chocolate biscuits.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
I have always enjoyed having reasonable manners, I quite like being respectful and polite.
Even if it does cost a few extra seconds and calories.
Courtesy can make the most difficult of subjects that bit easier, and, I find, people tend to say you handled that well, and remember your respect rather than your message.
Like, I really appreciate what you have done for me, yet, reluctantly, I am going to have to let you go.
It is a trait, like most parents, that I am attempting to instil in my young Padawan.
Getting his pleases and thank yous in the correct places is important to me, and therefore to him, to get right.
I am not sure he understands completely, like, at times, he will just go through his full repertoire of polite terms, if I remind him that one is missing.
Please, thank you, I love you.
One of them usually flies.
Generally he remembers, and comes across as genuine.
I so love the feeling of hearing an unprovoked courtesy. Fills me right to the top with the good stuff.
It is nice to see it in my son’s peers too.
At his party, I had some very nice moments with some of our visitors, one of them insisted on giving me a hug to thank us, and it took all of my energy to not instantly burst into tears.
I know, I am on the ‘edge’ at such events, the highs can be so difficult, but it was real lovely moment.
And I hope my boy shares many a moment, like this, with others.
The signs are encouraging.
I had further affirmation tonight that my own brand of etiquette training is working, just fine.
Bath time was fun tonight, no doubt because we have my parents here for a few days, more players in the various games and role plays we get up to.
After evading my clutches with the help of his accomplices, I eventually had a friendly wrestle with my son on the landing, as his warm bath awaited.
I then asked my newly naked boy to come and get in the tub.
“Only if you say please Dad.”
Too right son, too right.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
On a return stroll from dropping our children at nursery, I was involved in the usual chit-chat with a couple of moms that walk my way.
To clarify, they do not walk like men; more so, share a similar route home to myself.
The conversation often hinges around play-dates with our respective kids, both appraisal of past experiences, and planning of the new.
This particular three-way was no different, or at least, it started in the same manner.
One of the ladies was the mother of the boy we took impromptu care of on Max’s first day back at nursery in 2009.
They have been passing colds through their four person household, for the last couple of months.
The parents passing ailments onto their offspring, and them returning the favour.
A quite disgusting, but sadly, sometimes, inevitable cycle.
Because of this, I think, she was feeling a little low, and vulnerable, but still, what she shared with us was very interesting.
Before becoming a mother, this lady was a full-time teacher, and a proud one, as far as I can tell.
A teacher that actually gives a monkies about what she does, like all the good ones.
After the respective maternity leaves of both her children, she has returned to the same profession, and school, but in a part-time capacity, to map better with their adjusted family life.
This would seem an ideal balance to me, not being all consumed by her children, but still being available to them for a good amount of time.
Balance is the word most relevant to her opinion of the situation.
In summary, she said, while she appreciate she was a part-time everything, mother, wife, worker and self, it was in a negative way.
Not giving enough time to all those different facets of her life.
Part-timer used as a derogatory term.
There is a lot of reading here, that may help her.
A lot of what she spouting, was unsupported nonsense, and simply not true. But the general theme of her angst resonated with me.
And I have yet to balance-the-books, so to type.
This year, or more specifically the end of it, is my target time for having a different balance to our life.
Max will start full-time school, which will mean I will physically be required for less man hours, and will need to find pursuits that occupy both my time and my mind.
Yet, I am mindful that will not be easy.
We are not alone, I know, the wonderful Ms Single Mama, felt the same recently.
I am unconvinced whether being single makes it more difficult or easier.
I appreciate that as a one adult household, there is actually more work for one person to do, but I also acknowledge that one person has the controls, and there is only that single person to organise, and set-up in an appropriate routine.
Finding something that you enjoy, that pays enough, that you can give enough time and attention to, that you believe it deserves, is a very difficult task, regardless of number.
Teaching is something people have always suggested to me. Term time employment, and all that.
I am not really interested, as I know it would not suit me personally, and like my village friend, would not feel committed enough to the cause.
This is why I believe thinking of a change of job maybe the longer-term answer for her.
For me I have not reached a panicked state yet, I rarely do, but I am starting to feel a little more pressured, by myself, to sort things out, or get nearer to it, a rolling start, rather than working from a standing one, later this year.
Part-time juggler perhaps?
Is that a job?
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
My Parma Violet eating little monkey, got his taste buds well and truly tested last week.
It was my little pay back for him finding my sweet stash, with the help of one of his visiting chums.
I had a cracking selection of sweets amongst my many Christmas gifts, all retro stuff.
Cool sweets from yester-year that various on-line firms now charge a premium for, but luckily not to me, as these were a gift.
That reminds me, I need to look to order some replenishment stock for my gumball machine.
Withing my little candy treasure chest were a couple of packets of Fizz Wizz - popping candy.
I thought it would be funny to subject my child to them, a sneaky lesson, hopefully learning it does not always pay to stick your nose into my stuff.
Not sure it had the desired effect, but it made me giggle like a girl.
And with the hopeful arrival of a new phone this week, these little videos - should they continue - will be of a much higher quality, in picture and sound, if not in content!
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
My sensitivity to gross bodily functions has virtually disappeared.
I remember being told that would be the case, a by-product of parenting, supposedly.
Meconium is an instant, and quite dramatic, introduction to this.
Black tar coming out your first born’s anus, is not pretty, not that anything ever coming out of their back-end is, but this stuff is particularly awful.
Does not smell as bad as it should, but the very sight of it is enough to tickle at many a gag-reflex.
It does not get much better, and the colour and consistency of stuff coming out of either end of your child, varies terribly.
I remember getting texted pictures of my son’s produce, immediately gagging and hoping that it meant he was empty for my impending shift at the wheel.
Then there is sick. Vomit. Throw up.
Whatever you want to call it, it won’t make it attractive.
The smell of it is absolutely horrible, and it stings your eyes, both figuratively and actually.
I know because, when I stupidly played throw-your-kid-about, just-after-feeding-them – which is not a brilliant pursuit – the inevitable happened.
And instead of rushing to my aid, my darling wife, rushed for her camera phone.
As my child has grown, the vulgar-ness of his undesired output has increased.
Not deliberately I add, but because his diet changes and gets more elaborate as time goes on.
They also need more comforting when they are being ill. Or I choose to give him more comfort.
Like if he is being sick, while I will try and get him to project his projectiling toward an appropriate receptacle, sometimes I have to take a hit for the team.
But I barely notice.
It just is not important anymore.
The whole getting them to crap and urinate in something other than their pants, is a completely different level.
We are through that, but not without the odd error of judgement.
And today, when scrubbing cack from little-accident-laden-undergarments in our downstairs toilet, before I put them into the wash, I had to have a little chuckle at my life, and how I have changed.
I am a laugher not a cryer.
Monday, 12 January 2009
No, I am not a short-arsed scientologist make-up wearer.
Instead, being pretty much the polar opposite.
I am not even referring to someone of the fairer sex, doing their bit to make us a perfect stereotype.
I refer to my boy, the mini-colossus, the joy that is living, the fruit of a wonderful past and the owner of the smile that keeps my world revolving.
Sometime ago, I blogged about my child being my best mate, and that prompted some talk about the positives and the negatives.
It is important to keep the balance for me, and for others, I am sure.
Then there is a school of thought that does not like this practice at all.
A parent is a parent, first, foremost, and last, apparently.
I did not enrol into it.
Instead I try to balance being a mate, with being the authoritative-responsible-parenting type.
It is not that difficult to switch between, for me anyway.
But like any friendship, we do not always gel, and get our own way all of the time.
Sharing sweets is not one of my strong points.
My sister actually said in her speech at my wedding, that the best piece of advice I had ever given her was to always keep your sweets in your pocket.
My little treasure discovered this early on.
And his nack of mirroring the sweet things I like, has got on my nerves, at times.
But then this weekend, a moment, I will treasure, for a long time.
A discovery greater than any of Columbus’s
Max likes Parma Violets.
The one sugary treat, that litters the many wonderful variety bags that the geniuses at Swizzels Matlow give to our, but particularly, my, world.
We are as one.
One that should never waste a single sweetie again.
Friday, 9 January 2009
The lovely Christine Coppa, who looks after Glamour’s Storked blog, amongst getting books published and the like, has a reader after some advice.
She has found love, with a fellow widower, and is worried about how she will cope with the whole; being in someone else’s shoes, dead-wife-on-a-pedestal thing.
What do you think?
The comments on that blog post are very interesting, and wilfully, very helpful to Ms (not so) Single Erin.
I agree with the general theme, that while these issues are genuine, and understandable, any sound relationship will weather them with aplomb.
Much like Kerrie’s at Number 14 does.
In the months after Samantha’s death, nothing like this ever worried me, as I was nowhere near a place to even think about a future new relationship.
Then, when my ability to sit still for 30 minutes returned, I watched the first series of Extras, which was being screened for the second time.
Ricky Gervais is one of my favourite comedians, I love The Office, and his stand up stuff, I was not as enamoured with his last ‘lecture’, Fame, but the other two were hilarious.
The plot in the Ben Stiller episode of Extras series one, revolved around them making a documentary about an Eastern European widower’s harrowing ordeal.
His wife and son had been murdered in the Balkans War.
Probably not ideal comedy to be breaking myself back in to, but, in for a penny, and I so like pounds.
Gervais advises the hapless Maggie, not to get involved with this widower, as his wife would always be idolised and she could not hope to compare.
“First rule.” He says.
I can still see the comedy in it.
But it was also the first time it prompted me to think about it from a suitor’s perspective, and ponder if that is what everyone may think.
Not that I cared particularly.
Or even now.
One person’s thinking will not be the same as the next’s, so I do not like dealing in generalisations, or the saying ‘everyone does’.
That said, or typed, it was nice to read of another positive story, and reading so many commentors were not from that particular school of thought.
If it is meant to be, it will be.
Every relationship, every single one, is different.
And thank goodness for that.
The world would be a very dull place.
P.S. I MUST thank Ms Coppa enormously for linking to me, and not just for all of the extra traffic, but because my late wife would be buzzing with pride, Glamour was her, very, very, favourite publication. 'You can fit it right in your handbag'. And if you have found your way here from her wonderful blog, you may want to start with my about me posts.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
It is of immense importance to me to gain the approval of my parenting peers.
The moms and dads of the playgroups we attend.
You wonderful folk of the web.
And probably, most importantly, the parents of the other children at Max’s nursery and probable school.
Most of whom live in the same quaint hamlet as us.
Their acceptance and trust is most appreciated.
Not because it makes me feel better about myself, or reassures me that the job I am doing is good enough to be respected. Which incidentally are both quite beautiful by-products.
But, because, it means my wonderful little boy gets to live the same life as those around him.
Seeing him have the same opportunities, and get on the same guest lists as those he calls friends is a beautiful thing.
Because of our circumstances I always fear he will be labelled as that-kid-without-a-mom, or the smaller one from the village Laurel and Hardy combo.
And he probably still will be by some folks, unless our circumstances change of course.
Yet, the people really worth knowing, the ones that can open their minds, and mouths to us.
Accepting that a family can come in all sorts of forms.
These are the people I want to be sharing mutual appreciation with.
Their number is growing.
I think Max’s first proper birthday party actually helped.
More people got to see us in our own environment, a place we are immensely proud of.
Those that were still a bit hesitant, and a tad uncomfortable, were tipped, well and truly, over the edge, in the positive.
This week saw the return of nursery to the regular schedule. And I planned to have a settled week of eating well - and at the table - regular bath times, early bed times and back into the morning routine, excluding nothing, and still being out the door at 8.40 am.
Then on the morning of my child’s first day back, I got a call, at about 8.00 am, from one of his friends’ mothers.
She sounded dreadful and immediately apologetic, and with the big chill and snowfall, I was expecting to be informed that the nursery was closed.
Not the best of starts to my plans.
But unusually I was
wrong incorrect with my assumption.
The sounding awful was due to a horrible cold, and she was hoping we could take her boy to nursery with us.
Really not a problem, actually a bit of a bonus, it was enough to get my reluctant heir excited about a walk in the cold to continue his learning anyway.
After I convinced this lad’s mother of that, we were on our way to collect him.
It is only about 20 metres out of our way.
And without being rude, when we got there, this lady did not look at her best, while still putting a brave face on it.
So, being as I am such a nice bloke, and ulterior motives are always in my big picture thinking, I offered to pick her lad up too, give him his tea, thus giving her a full day to recover, and Max someone to play with.
Fires, birds, stones and all-that.
After the mandatory are-you-sure/if-it-is-no-trouble protocol had concluded, it was agreed that was probably the best option.
I sorted it out with the nursery staff and duly collected the boys at the end of their session.
The walk home basically included a recollection of what each of us had got from Santa, much as out chit-chat was like during the journey in the morning.
Max actually got to demonstrate some of his at home.
They even nicked possession of my chair, to watch one of his DVDs.
Luckily that only lasted for about five minutes.
We all ate tea together, which was yet another wonderful opportunity to compare respective Christmas present inventories.
They were still unimpressed with mine, apart from the sweets I got of course, the mini scamps.
After tea, and sharing the aforementioned sugary things, our impromptu guest was collected by his father, and we were again thanked for our perceived kindness.
No problem at all.
And in fact.
We should be thanking you.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
It is my great honour to be accepted amongst the British mommy blogging community, and even greater honour to be trusted with hosting the recent best of some of that community’s top talent.
So without much further ado, well there will be a bit, get stuck into what has been written in the last two weeks by these marvellous folk.
And please leave comment celebrating your favourite. A ‘winner’ will be announced at the end of the week.
1. A Modern Mother asks her household Who Wants To Go For A Walk on Boxing Day.
2. Dulwich Divorcee writes about who and where presents come from when there are two households in He Who Stuffs The Stocking
3. Expat Mum becomes A Wee Bit Stressful getting back home to The Windy City.
4. Potty Mummy gives us an insight and some tips in getting your kids to share a bedroom in Take Two Small Boys
5. Violet Posy talks about a novel way of keeping your dog from ruining your self sustaining projects Vegetable Gardening the Easy Way
6. Bush Mummy shares a rather beautiful and telling image in Waiting for Father Christmas
7. Little Mummy goes all Pareto’s Theory on us in Blogging 80/20
8. Jo Beaufoix scribes about the bizarre, and the bizarre way that kids see things in My Kid Focuses On The Important Stuff
9. Multitude breaks down Christmas 2008 in Post Christmas Analysis
10. That Girl talks about the great sorrow of getting rid of make up (I think) in Farewell Kitten
12. Home Office Mom takes us through her moods and foods over Christmas in Fridge Traffic
13. Single Parent Dad that would be me then, and I’ll share with you, again, how the death of a fish can be a wonderful opportunity, in Sensitive Sole
Look out for the next Carnival which will be held on the 20 January and will be hosted at Alpha Mummy.
Please email entries to alphamummy (at) timesonline (dot) co (dot) uk. Mark them with "carnival" in the subject line.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
Now, if I drop my child because he makes me laugh so very hard, is it technically his fault?
Not that I like playing the blame game.
Bathing your kid gets progressively easier, well it has for me.
I can remember way back when we were at parenting class, and I was asking
daft perfectly reasonable questions.
The last lesson, lecture, advice or whatever they were calling them, was actually held on the maternity ward, and was to demonstrate how to bathe your newborn.
I was particularly interested in this, as knowing that it was likely that Samantha would find it a physically impossibility early-doors, it would be my job by default.
Yet, after watching an experienced woman wash a slippery one-footer, admittedly without accident, but with more warnings than you get on a packet of cigarettes, it prompted great fear, and one of my little enquiries, that the rest of the class – bar my wife – seemed to enjoy.
‘Why can’t we just put them in the shower?’
Seemed totally reasonable to me, and still does, if you can regulate the temperature of course.
As time has gone on, bath time has got easier, and more enjoyable.
Our set-up now, is perfect for Junior. 1850 bath tub, centre taps with shower attachment. 2 bar constant pressure on the hot water. Perfect.
We play various different roles, and have different entertainment regimes that we go through.
I have to transformer into various folk, especially when lifting, or saving, my boy from the water.
Last night, and as I am still in laid-back mode, we were a little later in the bath than usual.
Which, in turn, meant that we did not come back downstairs, for a warm in front of our wood burner.
Instead it was straight to my son’s room, which was by no means cold, but certainly a lot colder than his usually post bathtub surroundings.
“I’m cold Daddy.” Max exclaimed.
Then a firm yes from me, to the question “Are you warm Daddy?”
“Can I have some of your skin then?”
It is the closest I have come to dropping him for sometime.
Friday, 2 January 2009
After last year’s experience, and because we are in a new place, both figuratively and physically, our holiday period has included as much calmness as possible.
I have not ignored excitement, or tried to quell it at every opportunity, but I have attempted to incorporate as much of ‘nothing’ between the madness as I could.
With a birthday only three days before the annual over-excitement, present-giving and turkey-scoffing, the end to the calendar year can be a little much.
It can be a lot for anyone.
Last time around, when the boy turned trois, I was cramming as much in as possible.
He had an action packed birthday, and we kept up the pace, immediately after.
There was a lot of visiting over this period, and as a by-product it meant Max was opening presents every single day, rather than just on his birthday and Christ’s.
He properly burnt out with over-excitement.
So much so, that upon Christmas Day afternoon, when I finally had taken a breath and had time to enjoy his company, he was ill and spent it asleep, recovering.
When he was insistent on a party to celebrate his birth’s fourth anniversary, I feared much of the same.
But although there was inevitable exuberance at his ‘do’, it was channelled into this one momentous event.
And bar three presents, unwrapping was limited to the 22nd and the 25th.
During the non-event days, I have kept it down to exactly that.
Max has had so many new presents to play with, he is more than happy to have just explored with each one.
We have taken in a cousin’s birthday, and Max has been out with both sets of grandparents, for a walk in the woods and a visit to Warwick Castle.
There was also New Year’s Eve to encompass.
Which I spent with some of my closest friends, and their children, at mine. We also had some other visitors from the village, but their stays were brief, as was the chaos.
But I think I have got a little too settled into a casually planned state, and, as a result, forgot to put sleep pants onto my little treasure’s derrière on the last night of 2008
No big deal, I have been thinking of getting him through the night again, when the sheets needed changing I thought would be a good next time to try.
Anyway, very early in 2009, about one hour in, I heard my little boy making for my bedroom.
He had been woken up as he thought his personal toilet was in situ, which of course, it was not.
It actually worked out quite well, as it meant he got in with me, and I could close the door to the noise of my friends waking quite early, as one of them had to get off to work.
So we both had a little more sleep, that if he had been in his own bed.
By his actions, and his argument, Max convinced me that he is fully capable of going through the night, and even getting up to go, yet is lazy enough to not bother if an absorbent material is strapped to his nether regions.
He proved it for real last night, and I hope he continues to do so.
And should save us from spending anymore pennies than necessary.