More Words to Warm a Father’s Heart

It was Jake’s turn to say the magic words that can make this here Daddy very happy.

The Mummy had cooked dinner & I was in the kitchen clearing up, as is my wont.

She & Jake & Ellie were all in the lounge watching TV together.

Suddenly there was the sound of rapidly approaching quick little footsteps…

Then a little voice, shouting

Wait for it…

“DADDY, COME AND WATCH FOOTBALL WITH US!!”

Yes, they were all watching football. Without me.

And they wanted me to watch it with them!

I was sorely tempted, and as much as I would have loved to accept the gracious invitation as a dutiful Daddy I carried on clearing up after dinner.

I did though get in to the lounge as soon as I could!

To find that they were all now watching Sooty. Apparently the match was very dull.

And anyway my first (sporting) love has always been rugby: I hope to introduce Jake & Ellie to its joys as soon as I can!

So, “Izzy Wizzy let’s get busy!”

 

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Magic Moments

When they see me they are often madly excited. They run up to me shouting: “DADDY! DADDY! YOU’RE HERE!”.

It’s often difficult to park the car; I have to wait until I can herd them away. They want to touch my hand, greet me.

Jake especially is fond of telling me: “YOU’RE THE BEST DADDY IN THE WORLD!”

He’s quite fond of telling other people too!

More often than not they’ll insist on saying goodnight or goodbye with a big kiss & a big hug.

These indeed are the Magic Moments that make this parenthood thing worth it 🙂

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Graduation?

Well, we’ve had an active, busy time over the last week’s half-term break!

That’s partly why I’ve been inactive here & on twitter: busy or out & about during the day, tired by night! I’ve become very good at falling asleep on the sofa in front of TV.

We’ve been out to the country park, soft play, fun farm. playground, gym & swimming pool, as well their usual Saturday morning dance class and just mucking about at home.

Friday though was probably the highlight: a trip out to Folly Farm – an hour & half’s drive, but worth it! We tried to pick the driest & least cold day so they could enjoy some outdoor as well as indoor fun, but the weather again let us down.

Because of that we headed straight for the barn where, after milking the plastic cows, Ellie somewhat nervously said hello to the kids. Continue reading “Graduation?”

A Hairy Moment

We were buckling Jake & Ellie in their car-seats. It was wet & windy & I had my coat on with the hood over my head.

The hood doesn’t quite fit – a hasty purchase! – and the wind had blown it off.

“Daddy, your coat has given you Batman hair”, Jake informs me.

I have no idea where this comes from. It’s become 1 of those silly little sayings that families can have, & it means your hair is messy & sticking out at odd angles. As far as I know Batman seems to be quite nicely quaffed under his mask so it’s quite baffling!

“Actually Daddy”, he continues, “you always have Batman hair” (true enough) “but I love you anyway”.

Something of a back-handed compliment, but I’ll take it!

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Memories, Old & New

Blog posts can take many forms. There are quick ones, funny ones, photo posts, wordy posts, posts for others.

Then there are those posts where you write from the heart, when you feel moved enough that you have something you really want to say.”Blackberries” was one of those posts.

Those first 2 years in what I still think of as our home, when I was with Jake & Ellie nearly all the time, weren’t without their difficulties but hold so many precious memories. Like picking blackberries together.
Continue reading “Memories, Old & New”

Hook, Line and…

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There they are! Aren’t they lovely?  There are even more on the other side!

A marvellous feature of the new house is the plentiful & easily accessible coat hooks by the front door.

Jake & Ellie each have their own hook, & guard them with a territorial ferocity that would rival a wild animal.

When Jake comes in & takes off his coat he carefully hangs it on his hook before going inside. Takes after his Dad…

When Ellie comes in & takes off her coat she drops it any old how on the floor then runs off to play. Takes after her <CENSORED! Ed.>

I’ve been hanging my coat on a hook in the row above theirs; unknown to me however this has been causing ructions!

One evening I saw Jake walk up to the Mummy, then heard him say:

“Mummy, can you tell Daddy not to put his coat over my hook? I can’t hang my coat on it”, then he walked off.

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Everyone happy now?

So my smart little boy has deduced that if you want Daddy to do something then you get Mummy to tell him?

He seems to understand the dynamic here!

It probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done though when I said that to the Mummy…

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A Special Treat

1-1-DSCN0762Usually the Mummy takes Jake & Ellie into pre-school in the mornings on the way to her work, but last Thursday she had to leave early so I was on duty.

They were fine; it was fine.

Walking up the alley towards our side-gate, Ellie turned & said to me “This is a treat!”

“Me taking you into school?”

“Yeah!”

She knows how to make her Daddy happy…

In the evening Jake independently drew his first letter: a big ‘C’ on the chalkboard, inspired by Clever Cat from the Letterland programme at pre-school!

I like to think he had extra inspiration of course from the “treat” of having Daddy take him to school…

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Further evidence that my children are smarter than me

The 4 of us have been beset with niggling coughs & colds, on & off, for the last few weeks.

Last week on the way back from pre-school Jake was having a little coughing fit.

I tried to be nice.

“Oh, Jake: you’ve still got that nasty cough! Don’t worry, we’ll try to make you better.”

“But you can’t, can you?” was his immediate reply.

No hint of malice or bitterness, just a matter-of-fact observation.

He’d no doubt noticed that Mummy & Daddy had been coughing & sniffling as well, & that our best efforts at treatment hadn’t made our ailments go away, let alone his or Ellie’s.

I was stumped. What can you say to that?

Continue reading “Further evidence that my children are smarter than me”

An Evening at the Beach

Last Sunday morning we had a split: Jake wanted to go to soft-play, Ellie wanted to go to the beach.

It was meant to be a cloudy morning & a sunnier afternoon, & the Mummy was feeling a bit poorly, so we decided that I would take them to soft-play in the morning & that all 4 of us would go to the beach after lunch.

When we got to the soft-play place we were the only ones there. Soon though we were joined by an older – nearly 7-year-old – girl. She quickly made friends with Jake & Ellie & played beautifully with them. She was Mummy & Jake was Daddy & Ellie was Baby, sort of thing! They were so good together that I exchanged details with her parents with a view to maybe meeting up again.

I actually got to read 22 – yes 22! – pages of my book, beating the previous record by a factor of 11!

Around lunchtime we were joined by a big party group. One of the boys there attached himself to Jake, to the extent that he would rather have stayed & played with him than go into the party when it started! I was delighted as so often it’s Ellie who makes friends, often with a little group of girls, & Jake sometimes seems a bit left out.

They were enjoying themselves so much that we stayed much later than planned. By the time we got home we decided it was too late to go to the beach.

After dinner we did some really good play together, then Ellie suddenly seemed to remember that she wanted to go the beach!

We thought it was too late, & told her so. I was also quite tired.

“I WANT TO GO TO THE BEACH!” was all we got for some time, a real tantrum. I presume she felt misled.

I had tried to explain to her at the time that staying on at the soft-play meant not going to the beach: I assumed she understood, or that she’d forgotten or just changed her mind. As children do!

I’m afraid we gave in! We had been there after dinner before, and she seemed genuinely upset so I agreed to take them for a little while, wrapped up as the winds can get cold there.

When we got there I realised it was a brilliant thing to do, and that Ellie was right. I told her so: she seemed pleased…

It was a beautiful evening, warm & still, & loads of people where there having fun: playing in the sand & rock-pools, surfing, swimming.

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It really was beautiful: the big sun low in the sky, the vast expanse of sand leading out to the active surf; people of all ages, shapes & sizes at all points in between. I tried to call the Mummy so she could join us but sadly didn’t have network coverage.

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We built a castle!

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When it was time to go Ellie seemed to be so reluctant to leave that she walked backwards all the way up the causeway! Although actually I think she was worried that the rapidly encroaching tide would engulf their castle & that the naughty ‘monster / pirate / ghost / wizard / witch’ (I forget which) would get their buried treasure!

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And who could blame her if she didn’t want to go?

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So, Ellie: you were right, & for once I’m glad I gave in to your tantrum. Just don’t get used to it, OK?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Home Alone

It’s been a strange week.

Since Thursday last week the Mummy has been away with Jake & Ellie, first visiting her relatives in Eire & then her parents near London. She was working in north Wales after the trip to Eire, & has actually found that the best way of getting to & from there is by train from her parents’ house north of London, despite our living in south Wales! They’re due back this evening.

Jake & Ellie love their Nanny & Papa & love seeing them, & vice-versa: they always get spoilt with toys & attention.

I’m very mixed about this.

I don’t like being apart from them, especially for so long. I miss them; that goes without saying.

And yet this last week I’ve managed to get more done than any time in recent memory!

I’m completely up-to-date with all my emails. I’ve cleared piles of work that haven’t seen the light of day in literally – and I’m using the word in its correct sense here! – years.

I cleared my desk! I cleared that cupboard! I fixed things!

Looking back it’s staggering how much I’ve got done, especially given my usual track record.

Of not getting things done, that is.

And, if I’m honest, I’ve enjoyed the extra independence. A bit.

As a hands-on parent you’re ‘on call’ 24 hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.

I’ve had none of that. No-one needing me to do this, go there, get that. It’s been kinda nice.

I could almost get used it!

Almost.

“Almost”: because I don’t actually want to.

It’s been quiet.

Too quiet.

I miss the “I want an apple juice!”.

I miss the “Daddy, come play with me!”.

I miss the silly children’s TV programmes.

I miss my iPod being hi-jacked by ‘My Favourite Mini Disco Songs’. (‘I’m a Barbie Girl’ is Ellie’s favourite; ‘My Friend the Witch-Doctor’ is Jake’s – although I actually like that one. ‘Agadoo’ & ‘The Fast Food Song’? Not so much…)

I even the miss the squabbles & tantrums!

They should be back in an hour or so. then I’ll have the usual running around, the “How have I been here for an hour & not been able to sit down for more than a minute?!”.

The tripping over toys, the play-doh on my shoes, the stickers on my T-shirts, the silly TV, the silly music, the silly squabbles.

I can’t wait!