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 tag “Aga”

Love, Hate and The Festive Season

The Festive Season is nearly upon us. Nearly as in the nauseating adverts have been launched and there is a slight sense of panic surrounding everyone I know. I don’t even have to worry about accessorising my little black dress; but from the taint of the wrong toy to a misunderstanding about the origins, ethos and expectations it can be stressful. There are certain aspects of Daddom that make even the most benign aspects of the season something to dread.
Here are my top ten…

1. Jools Holland’s Hootenanny: In my murky media lifetime I spent many New Years’ Eves throwing the party. There are late September, early October teens and early twenty somethings whose existence is down to these parties. They leave a legacy of slightly crumpled thirty plus ten somethings. However eclectic and enthralling the musicians are – watching a bunch of Z listers pretend it’s New Years’ Eve just doesn’t cut it.

2. The 5am pain of Christmas Day: Didsbury Son was a beautiful bouncing Blondini bed banger at 5am on 25th December. Finally, the Christmas before the twins were born he ambled in at 8 ish and then made a cup of tea. We lolled and had the most laid back and groovy day. I now have another decade of door slamming and early early footsteps to manage. My head, back and knees have lodged a formal complaint.

3. Mince Pies: these sweet and juicy, sticky, crumbly heralds of baby Jesus and a Christmas Market. These hand-sized waist tormentors and palate coverers. I love you, but in the cause of waistline not wasteland I must ignore you and treat you like someone who not only thrived on Movember, but decided to keep it because it “suits me”.

4. False Bonhomie: Hey, how are you. We’ve had no contact but you’re Jewish, I’m an Atheist let’s have a Christmas drink? The human equivalent of a casual Facebook like.

5. The 7am Xmas Eve queue at Evans and Axons. It looks as though civil war has broken out, middle-aged, middle class men from across the southern suburbs have been forced to get from their beds to queue for supplies and hand over wads of cash for a Copper Bronze Turkey. It’s when men know their place and the taste can be worth it.

6. 28th December – knockdown.
You spend £15.99 on some plastic tat. You cut two fingers on the unwrapping, spend £8 for a battery that lasts 6 minutes at the only shop open Christmas Day afternoon and three days later – having stubbed your toe tripping over its unused, unloved cadaver on the stairs, it’s 2.99 in Tesco.
This venting is working, I already feel more festive.

7. The Queen’s Speech
I am sure she’s a lovely woman. Bringing up four kids in the spotlight must be difficult, although Victoria and David are doing okay so far. BUT. If I want to hear old people talk about their lives, whilst talking on behalf of the nation I can listen to a phone in on BBC Local Radio.

8. The Stove Room.
Lovely shop. Great to have it in West Didsbury. The cost of a bag of wood. It’s enough to make you go Aga.

9. Wine at £6.50 a glass
My time on the other side of the bar learning the rudiments of wet sales and profit margins on them has ruined me as a date. Didsbury Wife has to put up with a cost breakdown to ruin each round. Only out hated by paying for sparkling water. No need, no point.

10. Christmas Specials
I love watching TV. Couch slouching whilst watching aimlessly with Didsbury Son, hands on snacks is one of life’s pleasures. But (with the exception of Porridge, Dad’s Army and On The Buses) I am struggling to find a Christmas Special less sour than a lime. It’s the screen equivalent of bonhomie.

With that out of the way there is much to enjoy – The Snowman is slowly edging out Frozen, Atuls is always open and time off work means a quick stroll to Bisou Bisou and The AiryFairyCupCake Boutique. There’s the Xmas Light Switch on (and talk of it being plural this year), there are Blagg’s Christmas Trees and the chance of a day without email. Yet more, even more than this is wide berth people offer a family with more than one toddler. I’m looking forward to it already.

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The queues for Axons and Evans Warm up.

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The Mighty Headed Boy awaits a Mince Pie

Early. Daze

All life lives here. Modern parenting for twins 2012. Didsbury Son is on the school bus, unsure whether big brother beats sole trader and slightly disappointed that at 10 days old the twins won’t yet respond to tickles, raspberries and head shakes. He had expected them to come out playing and it’s probably my fault he was unprepared. Their lolling head, fill and empty, cry and sleep lifestyle is less engaging than Minecraft, Futurama… Even homework.

Didsbury Wife is grabbing a rare hour to herself which leaves me to modern man multi-task. Twin 1 is in my left arm. This micro Mao with an aversion to being horizontal is snuffling in his sleep whilst Twin 2, my gorgeous little alien feeder is Chicco Mio bouncy chair bound and I’m rocking her with the right foot whilst switching between Homeland on the iPad and making a quiche one handed. This morning I am an advert for Unicorn Grocery brought to life (Terry nappies, mother feeding,v Alpro warming in the centrally heated kitchen). Just need an Aga and a green jumper.

I am craving a bottle of cider (it’s the pregnancy sympathy thing, I have only ever used cider for cooking before), a McDonalds (other nutrient free, high salt takeaways are available) and my arm. The Benevolent Despotism of new babies is a wonder. You do what you are told and the rewards seem incongruous with expectations from a fortnight ago. Our Didsbury world has shrunk to the texture of a nappy, the quiet of a sleep and the faint smell of sweet milk permeating the house.

But these things I have already learned:
1. People will still ask if they are identical even after they have established that the colour scheme of the clothes matches the gender stereotype.

2. Caffe Nero is very pram friendly. C’mon Croatian Deli and Art of Tea sort it out.

3. Visitors seem to imagine that Didsbury Son and I want to interrupt Futurama to hear their labour /birth/ weaning stories. We don’t.

4. We are very proud of Didsbury Wife. Her yield would have David and Ruth Archer down The Bull to celebrate.

5. There has been a glut of twins in Didsbury this year. Linen and Giddy GoatToys must be getting ready to buy yachts and DidsburyPark is considering building a special lane for buggies and…

5. I had the most wonderful dream last night. Didsbury Son and I were sitting on an old couch In a cool shed. Football droned on in the background, a pot of coffee steamed next to a pastrami on rye and Didsbury Son was lost in world of Minecraft; neither of us said a word.

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