A Four Year Old Apology

Baby girl.

I find myself caught somewhere between the badlands of apology and the sunrise of recognition.

I am too quick to anger. Too swift to judge. Too ready to yell.

Since the moment you kicked and screamed your way into this world I have asked you to be quiet.

You have ignored me.

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Open Letter To A Mango

My little girl turns 3 on Saturday. I wrote this to her before she was born.


Dear Voldemort,

Let me introduce myself. My name is dad, and before we immediately get off on the wrong foot let me just state for the record that:-

  1. I am the boss
  2. Assuming mum isn’t around and,
  3. I have no intention of naming you Voldemort

I just used Voldemort as a placeholder because as yet I have no idea what you will be called. Voldemort is a character in a very popular book and (overlong) film series about a boy wizard called Harry Potter and no one likes to actually call him by his name settling instead for “he who cannot be named”. Which in my mind is close enough to “she who has yet to be named” but sounded a lot funnier before I wrote it down. Just go with it, this is how I am – you’ll get used to it.

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The Groundhog Misery Triad

“Have kids,” they said.

“It’ll change your life,” they said.

After another evening where my drought-stricken reserves of joy were sucked clean out of my dessicated marrow I can confirm they were right.

Yes, yes before you start piling in with wisdom I know there are elements of having children that are amazing and wonderful and rewarding. Like those days when you come from work and they’re not at home because your wife has taken them somewhere.

Don’t get me wrong – I do love the little shits otherwise not all of us would still be alive – but after approaching six years of what can best be described as the bath-supper-bed triad of misery I could do with some time off.

A decade or so should suffice.

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Taking Out The Trash

I sometimes lose track of the things I’ve written and, more importantly, the things I haven’t written. This is partly down to age and partly down to the fact that I’ve now written two hundred blog posts. I had no idea of the landmark – I went off to count the blog posts on the three blogs I’ve written and the stats told the story. The Afrowelshman weighs in with 155 posts, NikEveleigh.com adds another 21 and my new happy home on WordPress accounts for the other 24.

Ok so there’s been some overlap and a few reblogs of stories but who’s counting. Continue reading

Redressing The Balance

Given that I am prone to epic parental failure it is no surprise that I have been unduly harsh on my little girl recently. I’ve shouted at her, lost patience with her, smacked her on the bum (arrest me now) and even gone as far as calling her feral in my last blog.

Ok so she is impossible. And she likes to take her nappy off and poo on the floor during nap time. And she likes to scream. And she likes to hit me in the face. And kick me in the nuts when I’m changing her. And bite, pinch, scratch, slap, hit, kick and punch her brother at the drop of a hat (although he needs to grow a set and quickly to be frank).

Sure, she likes picking up our cats by the throat, thumping our dog and destroying toys. And she likes to pull things off the kitchen counter and cry and yell and stamp her feet and blow her nose without a tissue.

In short. She’s a terror.

A torment.

She is Chucky.

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I Don’t Want To Turn Into Nothing

As anyone who is a parent can attest to, there is rarely a dull moment when there are kids around. This past weekend alone was filled with moments of extraordinary contrast and wonder.

– The moment when Rhys told me I was the best daddy ever

– The moment when Arwen packed out laughing after learning to say winner winner, chicken dinner

– The moment when Rhys starting riding his bike without training wheels

– The moment when I walked into Arwen’s bedroom after her nap and watched a large lump of poo being quenelled by the movement of the door after she had once again decided to take her nappy off during nap time and had chosen to add some fresh bodily waste to an already beleaguered carpet.

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Holding The Baby

Five years ago, almost to the exact hour, I was left holding the baby.

This was not entirely unexpected given I had been an equal player in the initial act and, despite being relegated to a prominent supporting role during the seemingly endless (and drug free) final scene of actual labour, I was fairly certain I’d be giving the new bundle of joy a quick cuddle (after it had been suitably hosed down). I also assumed I’d shortly thereafter return said bundle to my wife before becoming an irrelevance in its life for at least six mum-filled months.

That’s not quite how things went down.

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Trial By Wife

I’m being tested by my wife.

I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong, but she’s definitely on to me for something.

It all started on Friday when she decided to go to a yoga class. The setup was perfect.

“Ok love I’m going now” (note: when you are reading this blog out loud do so in fairly hushed tones to be sure the kids don’t hear it.”

“Cool – enjoy it. Drive safe.”

“I will. I’ve left their dinner in the kitchen. See you later.” Continue reading

All aboard the change train

Over recent weeks I’ve had the inescapable feeling that I’m living my life along a set of rails. There are twists and turns, sure, but generally I feel like a passenger travelling along some pre-ordained, ramrod-straight journey through my own life.

Nothing wrong with that in principle but in my case the driver seems in one hell of a rush to get somewhere and I’m not sure I’m all that keen on the final destination.

So in an attempt to derail it while there’s still the odd bit of scenery around I’m trying new things and acting differently wherever possible.

Right now as these words are forming on the page I’m doing something utterly maverick. I’m listening to music. Continue reading

Ruining the kids

I’m ruining my children’s lives.

Oh, don’t be alarmed. I do this most days.

Yesterday for example I yelled at my son for putting his feet on the table for the fifth time during an epic hour long supper challenge. This evening it was my daughters turn when I chose not to pick her up for the tenth time and instead abandoned her in the living room while I went to change into a fresh t-shirt. The one soaked from bath time was making me a little shivery but it’s no excuse.

Basically I am a bad parent. Continue reading