Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Attack of the spambots...

Turn your back on your blog for a few months and the world's spambots go comment crazy. Many thanks to you all for wasting the past half hour of my life as I deleted all the faux congratulations and appreciations, together with the assorted advice on everything from earthworm anatomy to Malaysian hotels.

Toothpaste boy strikes again...

Whenever my phone rings as I'm walking to work, with 'HOME' flashing up as the caller ID, my heart inevitably skips a beat.

What on earth has happened? My mind spins at a thousand miles an hour as I imagine a whole host of accident and incident scenarios playing out at home; child(ren) trapped in tumble drier, roof collapsing, electrics blowing, burglar at the front door...it's got to be bad!

Anxiously, I pick up the call.

"He's done it again," proclaims my exasperated wife. "I turn my back for two seconds and he's got a mouth full of toothpaste."

I breath a sigh of relief. But, wait a minute, this is bad news after all. Our son clearly has an addiction to flouride. Indeed, this is the fourth time this week that he has grabbed a window of opportunity to squeeze as much Colgate into his mouth as possible.

"He's complaining that his tongue hurts," continues my wife. "But he's smirking at the same time."

What is this? A terrible twos game of 'let's see how far I can push Mummy and Daddy before they break' or has our little lad got a genuine taste for toothpaste?

And what tactic do we take from here? Experience has shown me that dealing with a two year old requires intensive levels of diplomacy, and that different scenarios can require radically different approaches. Do you, for instance:

1. Take the calm approach: Sit him down and explain to him why ingesting toothpaste in large quantities is not a good idea
2. Take the naughty step approach: Raise your voice, go a bit bananas and leave him in no doubt that his actions have resulted in banishment to said step of naughtiness or...
3. Ignore him completely: Pretend that you haven't noticed, that you're not bothered by the toothpaste eating at all and that it's completely normal behaviour, in the hope that the lack of any kind of reaction means that he drops it altogether (hopefully not to be replaced with shampoo drinking)

"I've had it," says the wife, "all toothpaste is now kept on top of the medicine cabinet."

Fair enough, I just hope this isn't setting a precedent for the future; one in which all our bathroom products are stored out of sight and above adult head height.

As for the boy, he certainly smells minty fresh at the moment, so no complaints there!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A lot can happen in a year...

When I began this blog I envisaged myself casually writing a post a day, with ample time to reflect on life's intricacies, tweeting and retweeting to the lovely people who follow me on Twitter and generally finding enough time in the day to live a fulfilled digital life.

Well, I think I may have been a tad optimistic. A year after my last post - and half an hour after my five failed login attempts - I have just about found the time to pen these words.

Oh how life has changed.

I'm no longer a first time dad for starters. Number two was born last July and the six months since have proved to be the toughest of my life.

 "It'll be easier with the second," I remember some smug, but deluded, people telling me back in June. Indeed, double the offspring has actually quadrupled the amount of stress, tiredness, emotional exhaustion, household mess and general child-induced madness under our roof.

 So, as I return to irregular blogging, again, I hereby want to set the record straight. Two children, 18 months apart, is BLOODY HARD WORK!!!! 

Let me, for instance, talk you through a standard breakfast routine:

Mummy, shattered from feeding throughout the night is asleep, No.2 is awake and crying, No.1 hears No.2 and wakes up, shouting; "Dadddddddddddyyyyyyyyy" at top voice.

Carrying No.1 (with nappy at saturation point)I pick No.2 up with the other arm and proceed precariously down the stairs, looking like an Olympic weightlifter in a dressing gown.

Still with No.1 in arms I set No.2 down and, with one hand, attempt to make tea for myself while also peeling a banana for No.1 (who is now attempting to turn on the TV and demanding immediate 'Bob Builder' entertainment).

Preparing a one-handed breakfast for myself and No.1 I carry a tray into the dining room, spilling tea on to the increasingly stained carpet in the process, and ignoring it.

Change No.2. Strap No.1 into his seat. Help No.1 with his breakfast. Soothe the now crying No.2 who refuses to be left lying in the middle of the floor. Finally have my tepid cup of tea.

It's 7.30am, bedtime is a lifetime away.