Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

The work/life/letting your mind wander balance


This week I attended a creative conference. There were some moments of real clarity and the catering was excellent. In my line of media non-specificiality and Didsbury Dadding its an occasional perk. The line-up was impressive and the first speaker’s love for himself was heart-warmingly peerless. I was suited, the room was just warm enough and with the sound of success beginning to be a wallpaper background to the day. The perfect environment to:

1. Write VERY important to do lists and pledge a work/life balance that removes fat, adds cash and recreates The Waltons in M20 by June.

2. It’s May, so this is the right time to take advantage of free wi-fi access to work out definitively who will win The Premier League, Champions League, Leveson Enquiry and the BAFTAS.

3. Stare at the speaker whose distance from me takes him slightly out of focus to see if I can define an aura – 16 minutes in I am unsure if it’s an aura and more worried about it being the start of cataracts (up to C in my Encyclopaedia Hypochondria for 40 somethings with an overractive imagination).

It is this pitiful attention span for technical detail that allows me to empathise so clearly with Didsbury Son. Whilst my desire for quiet mornings strolling around in a dressing gown living in my head takes me ever nearer being a version of my own Didsbury Dad, my need for shiny objects, a break in pattern and love of the absurd spans the generations.

If I had any idea how to read any kind of plan more technical than a Kinder Egg I could be happy for hours. If I didn’t get a sense of wonder and the occasional fit of giggles just stepping outside then I would think I was someone else and Didsbury Son would possibly forget that stupid can be okay.

At what age does walking around with pants on your head pretending to walk down cellar steps whilst gurning stop being a way to start the day successfully?

And…

I have to present to potentially bored list makers at times and am wary of the mesmerising qualities a dull and detailed PowerPoint can have. Just as any good teacher should do and any decent presenter should know – once there is a murmur and a shuffle from the crowd, up your game.

Despite this need for stimulus I still try to instil in Didsbury Son the need to pay attention to adults and be respectful. It was in the “How To” pack SureStart were trialling when I first got the Didsbury Dad job. I do this whilst secretly working on my parenting opus. There is a book in all of us and mine is about the joy of being present whilst being absent-minded and away with the fairies. This ultimate guide to successful parenting and fulfilling relationships with children from an occasionally masculine viewpoint has a variety of working titles:

1. Ask your mother, she’ll have thought it through. My response is a reaction.

2. You don’t need to say thank you to everyone who gives you a biscuit

3. Please close the door, I need one place I can sit without being disturbed.
Or my current favourite, a guide and a title that sums up the beauty, love and joy of daddom. A title to encapsulate those nights spent glueing, sewing, cooking, cleaning, worrying, caring…
” You can keep asking questions but to be honest I am making it up as I go along and will do just about anything to get you to sleep before the football starts.”

As a student I had to read a book called “2000 Accidents”; this described in 10 year-old describing a carto detail the ergonomic disasters that befell people in America in the 60s. I recommend the anxious or OCD avoid at all costs. Horrible Histories’ Stupid Deaths does it quicker, funnier and implants it in your memory with a great joy.

When the guy still speaking finally finished I thought about suggesting he watches Horrible Histories and sees the display in Evans’ window for ideas before dazzling him with my creative interpretation of his speech and my clarity about who will win The Premier League.

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