Didsburydad's Blog

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

Archive for the category “first steps”

Urban Legend, Political Campaigns and an Apology

Didsbury Son is on a scout camp in the middle of nowhere. There will be lots of gung-Ho camping, climbing and sharing small spaces with other people. Thank The Lord for CRB checks and the lovely Scout Leaders who pass them and give their free time to teach him skills for living and learning. The Remembrance Day parade is always moving and their scouting means I don’t have to expose myself to any camping experiences or weekend slumming it in the name of bonding. If I can wriggle out of going fishing, the summer is looking good.

Urban Legend 1: Didsbury is full of focaccia-eating, self-obsessed yummy mummies and daddies. That’s Alderley Edge, we’re only half full.

There are some serious issues that need addressing:
The Stokers Arms’ free lunch offer booked up before I could get my date confirmed. It’s gone from being O’Neills which you wouldn’t want to go near to The Stokers which you can’t get near.

Urban Legend 2: Gourmet Burger Kitchen once had a queue of almost 6 people that stretched to the door before the financial crash of 2008.

2. I owe a big apology to the owners of The MudFlap Cafe in the centre of Didsbury. Their quick Felicini’s demolition and ludicrous early publicity put me off. On the recommendation of several people we braved it… And were a bit bowled over. Didsbury Wife is a water sign, I am Vegan Intolerant and The Mighty Headed Boy gets upset by food beginning with W. No bother. The food was good, the coffee spot on the staff treated us with a welcome throughout that normally evaporates when the first missile leaves a high chair bound toddler or the fiifteenth chorus of Incy Wincy Spider shakes the window. Thank you, we are coming back.

Urban Legend 3: in 2008 a man looked the wrong way on Wilmslow Road and didn’t see a 42 bus for over 8 minutes.

Finally, before festival fever takes over ( It’s only 2 weeks to Didsbury Festival – I love Didsbury Festival, I’ve directed dozens of festivals in many different genres and cities but nothing beats Didsbury Festival on a warm day in June). I want to start a campaign for Pram Lanes in Didsbury. I walked to Withington today (always good to go to the edges of M20 to see what gives and hang out with my brothers from a different mother and school). On the way our double buggy met 3 other double buggies, 16 single buggies, two wheelchairs and a tourist from Chorlton. This entailed much wiggling and stopping to share the pavement whilst the cars hogged the road selfishly.
With prams being such an essential accessory it must make sense for the inside lane to be pram only between 8 and 6 on weekends. All right thinking people must join the fight. Let’s be honest, people were stupid enough to vote UKIP so this might have a chance.

This week we are listening to 6Music, watching Episodes and The Little Princess and getting excited about Wine & Wallop on Lapwing Lane.

Kofi Annan at The Cheese Hamlet

Men are from Mars, Women are from Didsbury and thankfully Didsbury Wife used the wisdom of The Clocktower ( the actual tower not the pub named after it) to restore equilibrium.

Like many men I am better in the middle of the night and the early morning than I am between 6.30 and bedtime. We are generally better reacting and being heroic occasionally rather than conscious consistent measured parenting.

By the time Iggle Piggle got back in his boat yesterday I had managed to contradict, confuse, combobulate and concheese off everyone to such an extent that even the cats hissed when I walked in. I had backed into a homework cul-de-sac on a high horse I could not ride and was in danger of creating an atmosphere more sour than cheap wine. Being eyeballed by thee disappointed children made Millwall away seem easy.

Didsbury Wife rescued me. Like a Blue Peter presenter with a pile of rubbish infront of her she created something good out of it and Didsbury Son was even able to patronise me before he scooted around to his friends to park himself on a different chair and watch a different screen.

I retreated to the boddlers where there is nothing that can’t be solved by popping your cheeks, tipping them upside down and singing In The Night Garden.

Boddlers – the hot new trend for 2014

2013, the magazines’ review of the year on Sunday was a depressing litany of global, regional and personal misery. Same pictures, different year. Not one mentioned the tragedy of Nido. In the few months it wheezed lifelessly in Didsbury Village, haemorrhaging cash at such a rate they may as well have offered free food and a Twenty to anyone who braved the restaurant formerly known as a successful kebab shop. Cameron – J’Accuse ( for no specific reason – just can’t trust someone who has no clear bone structure and admits to being a friend of George Osborne).

I have learned a lot this year. Mainly that you need your personal bubble away from the depressing interference of devices and reality. Mine is in Didsbury, surrounded by Didsbury Wife and my three wishes. Here is my précis.

1. Wording is vital with Didsbury Son. He is year 8, sliding inconsistently into teenage years and still as lovely as his 6 year old self ( most of the time). However, the combination of made up facts, half listened to and less than half understood rationale in most descriptions is almost worthy of its own exclamation mark *

* I have a personal mistrust of exclamation marks and find their use offensive.

2. I have become soppier than I ever imagined. I am now the softest touch ever for any story or charity. My donation to Middle-Class Children Without a PS4 was from the heart; I fill up every time Didsbury Wife dresses the twins in my club ‘s colours and I even noticed a tilty -headed smile at a newborn last week. It needs to be checked.

3. There is a sound worse than than the “pop’ of a dummy falling out of mouth into the dark. It is the sound of the Pearl-Headed girl when at 5am and she has woken. In stultified moves you have cooed, hummed and rocked. You hear breathing slow and feel moving still and then… Just as you relax into a dreamless, but essential hour’s sleep you hear “Hiya”. It snakes out of the darkness, heralding a further bout of hand-holding, soother moving, humming and rocking more draining than a Big Bang Theoryathon

3. Two charging boddlers** means Cafe Rouge is once again the retreat of choice as Cafe Nero’s spacious baby change, free babychinos and lovely staff are superseded by Rouge’s boddler friendly roominess and toy stash; although the bebechino is 50p

** the crossover between baby and toddler

4. There is nothing like a dame.

5. Didsbury Son’s knowledge of how to work anything with a screen now outstrips mine to such an extent I keep wanting to show him how a video recorder works.

6, Hipp Organics Vegetable Lasagne and Ravioli are perfect hangover cures or a watching the match snack.

7. The best way to alleviate the crushing tiredness is to have one baby on each knee and play ” this little piggy”. It’s cheaper than Red Bull and doesn’t have the aftertaste.

8. If you have shares in Boots you owe me a thank you at the very least. If you have shares in Co-Op you’ve been had.

9. I have lost the TV. It moves seamlessly from CBeebies to Star Wars / E4 American Sitcom. I know my place.

10. I am very lucky to be a Didsbury Dad.

Happy New to you all and may 2014 bring you health, happiness and if you desire it, wealth

Iggle Piggle v Homeland and Utopia

This much I know. In The Night Garden is possibly the finest television I have seen this year; edging out Homeland’s multi-story pile up and the beautiful crafting and colouring of Utopia by a short Nonk.
Derek Jacobi’s VoiceOver is worthy of forgiveness for that thing he shares with Gandalf on ITV, where Frances de la Tour plays a female, middle-class Keith Lemon.
ITNG, a flagship show on the mighty CBeebies could go prime time. If the unfathomable Deal or No Deal ( the whole open a box is Key Stage 1 motor control) is an 8pm show then why not “At Home with the Pontypines”. 8 kids, living next door to their twins who also have 8 kids – more enticing than Celebrity Big Brother and genuinely mind-bending.
How about a Top Gear Special on Ninky Nonk v Pinky Ponk? We are a Ninky family but there is something about the Pinky Ponk’s wheezing beauty that draws you in. I was granted access to the cast to find out their take on being part of this QI for the pre-lingual.

Part. 1:
Iggle Piggle in his own words. Iggle rarely gives interviews and is known offscreen for his thoughtful poetry and landscape watercolours.

“Once the blankey comes down, the light goes on and the music starts you have a lot of time on your own to think. It’s just you and a rolling sea. There’s no one running circles around my palms and until I get through the hedge it’s a lonely journey. The guys are great and I think I could sail there in my sleep, but… Sometimes not even a smile and a kiss from Upsy Daisy can make up for that commute. Me? I know one day it will end. Only Postman Pat and Bob the Builder seem to go on forever and they have a trade. Glee are interested in a spin-off of the Blankey dance but they think Sky Blue’s a weak colour so we are in discussion. I’m not bleaching for anyone.

The best thing? Good question. I don’t think you ever get over being a role model for the Holophrastic Babblers. It’s a gift.

Don’t Quote Me – But this is wonderful

Sleep, the final frontier. That undiscovered country from whose Bourne no traveller has returned that makes us rather seek out new planets, soft you now. Hold on. I’m getting Shatner and Shakespeare mixed up again. It’s sleep depravation.
The constant whine of the parent. Hello, I ‘m Didsbury Dad and I was face down in the focaccia after a night with so much bed-hopping it was like Freshers Week at the Borgias. Even the cats moved from one side of the couch to the other chasing the final hurrah of the summer sun before they hibernate and get jabbed by the babies.
The twins are 1 this week. They stumble around the house with robotic lurches and fear-free charges. The cats’ bowl, flap and tails are magnets and watching the two nappy-wrapped bottoms take the stairs like a climbing wall is one of life’s indulgent little pleasures. Didsbury Son and I commentate as they wriggle past the “Welcome Home” banner that is now a permanent artwork and family heirloom. Even my own Didsbury Dad won the bet on a visit as Pearl-Haired girl nimbly left my little tank trailing in her wake. Their delight when they reach the top – with no plan as to what they do next is a fabulous antidote to the time-coded minutiae of everyday life.
Each movement is now accompanied by a babbling soundtrack of ascending intensity. My little blondini girl sways and dances to everything from the dishwasher to the 30th daily rendition of. “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. My tank boy sat transfixed through a whole Champions League match, knowing in 10 years we will be in the same position, doing the same thing, with our hands on the same packet of snacks.
Aah – Had we but world and time, a small step for a grown up – a giant leap for a baby. If only Everyday was like Sunday; we could mooch all day.

(Play Morrissey – Everyday is Like Sunday here and hum gracefully)

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