Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Time for a relaunch of CluedUpDads...

When I first began this blog I envisaged myself writing posts on a daily basis, sharing witty insights into every moment of my life as I journeyed through the adventures of fatherhood. It was a noble and exciting vision, but as the sparsity of posts over the past couple of years proves, reality got in the way. 

Finding the time to write while working long hours, commuting for tedious hours and wrestling with the children for fun/infuriating hours, became an impossible challenge and my blog updates were sacrificed for precious time with my wife, the occasional beer and half an hour of TV before bed.

Now, however, I find myself restructured out of my previous employment and in possession of an overwhelming and unexpected amount of time. No more 6.40am alarm clock, no more delayed trains, no more getting home 15 minutes before the children go to bed. I have time on my hands for the first time in years and, just as I plan to enjoy lunch with my children, pre-school pick-ups, afternoon walks, morning playgroups and all the other parental duties I've missed out on, I'm going to relaunch CluedUpDads.

I have no idea what the future will bring, but I'd like this blog to become more than a vehicle for my own ramblings. I'd like to call upon all you dads to share your thoughts, feelings and frustrations on fatherhood by letting me know what grinds your gears or gets you through the day. Comment on posts, make suggestions for future posts, share your own blogs...whatever you wish. I'm sure CluedUpDads will evolve over time, but let's just see where it goes from here.

As for me, it's half past two in the afternoon, what  better time of the working day for a lengthy bath?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Back in my day the only thing children could swipe was the half penny sweets from under the nose of the dirty-fingered newsagent. Today, however, children have become masters of swiping as they assume every brightly lit screen they come in to contact with is a touchscreen. 

 Take our house as an example, not too long ago my three-year-old managed to wipe my work ipad, restoring it to its default factory-fit settings and erasing all email, contacts and everything else I call upon daily. Our TV, meanwhile, now displays a permanently blurry picture along its bottom half as grubby two-year-old fingers attempt to swipe the screen to control the actions of Mr Tumble or to end any attempt by the adults in the room to watch anything of interest to them. 

 Touchscreen technology and the ability to swipe photos, pinch and zoom images, pause, stop and play videos is a part of every day life and I guarantee that 99% of today's children become adept at using and controlling this technology much, much quicker than they do at using a pencil and writing their name. Is there anything wrong with this? No. It's natural evolution and as they'll grow up to live in a world where the pen and the pencil are increasingly redundant, our ipad-destroying infants will go on to become the Bill Gates' of tomorrow, albeit Bill Gates with terrible handwriting.

 Does this mean we ditch writing lessons altogether? Don't be daft. It just means that handwriting will become less important as our children grow up. In my case, possessing handwriting that my secondary school English teacher once described as the worst she had ever seen, probably means that my children will be genetically predisposed to write with similar cack-handiness (or at least there's a 50/50 chance, their mother's handwriting may just spare them). 

So, personally, I'd have no issues with my offspring preferring the keyboard to the pen, just as long as they don't add LOL to the end of any sentences!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Happy holidays...

I've just returned to work after a week's holiday with the family; a week's holiday that was intended to be a break from work, an escape to the countryside, even a time to relax.

In reality, of course, it was none of those. It was a week at Center Parcs (an unashamedly middle class wooded Butlins for those who haven't been), a week where we rushed around after the children more than we do at home. A week after which I feel exhausted.

Don't get me wrong though, I love Center Parcs, with all its faux alpine cottages and road trains. It does feel like you're on another planet. Indeed, you'd almost expect to bump into an Ewok clan as you chase your offspring through the trees.

However, there's one element of Center Parcs life that all parents loathe, a daily ritual that sends blood pressure soaring; the pre and post swim multi-child cubicle change.

Like trying to nail jelly to the wall, drying and dressing an infant and a toddler, while yourself slowly catching pneumonia as you remain in wet trunks until the bitter end, is a seemingly impossible task.

And so it was last week, sometimes twice a day, that my wife and I squeezed into a tiny cubicle with children, bags, towels and locker coins (that instantly rolled under the door or down the drain), attempting to undress or dress two human jellies who, pre swim, were too excited to stay still and, post swim, too tired to stay still.

Believe you me, you have no idea how good a glass of wine in the evening tastes until you've done the Center Parcs pool!

Roll on next year.