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 “Aptamil”

In The Night Garden v The Football Factory

Introducing children to culture early on in their development is important for them to attain the kind of middle-class snobbery that make X-Factor, Jeremy Kyle and popcorn such guilty pleasures. Didsbury Son was scared by a number of clowns and bored by theatre early on; the scars should open nicely later in life.

Thus today, the Mighty-Headed boy and The Pearly Princess made their theatrical debut; In The Night Garden Live at The Trafford Centre’s Showdome. It was a combination of Shakespeare, Siegfried and Roy and Cirque du Soleil and as we cheered, laughed and cried… Iggle Piggle found his blanket before the smell of filled nappy and Aptamil overwhelmed the space.

The lead-up had been tricky. I am a keen supporter of Arts and Culture (it’s paid the mortgage occasionally) and this week my diverse cultural tastes collided. The week had begun with the start of the football season. I engaged the frame of mind needed to cope with dodgy backstreets , testosterone rushes and the need to swear whilst singing in sync with the other 4000 former thirty-somethings pretending they hadn’t pleaded to get a pass-out.

This successful night out bled into plans for the big In The Night Garden day. I sat the twins down to remind them that even if the whole presenting team from Milkshake, riding Thomas the Tank Engine and led by Peppa Pig fronted us up – we never run (my knee is way past that), for today we are CBeebies.

When I received a text telling me I could meet Iggle Piggle and Macca Pacca afterwards I got all Danny Dyer and had halfway filled a sock with plastic building bricks when Didsbury Wife stopped me.

I came to my senses. The Tombliboos won 2-0 (although all that scratching noses and sitting on the floor saw them cautioned for time-wasting) and we got a police escort back to the car.

The play was brilliantly conceived. It was big and friendly and it’s audience was enchanted. This was a lovely escape back to gentleness for an hour. My pearly girl stared open-mouthed at the gigantic figures. She believed this world in a way that removed all adult cynicism and restored a little magic bubble to a week when the real world has sometimes seemed so harsh, the news so bleak – that even the 6am charge across the landing shouting “Daddy Mummy” seemed in danger.

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The urge to shout “Behind You” was overwhelming.

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Thankfully this was a fiercely partisan crowd, although several infants were ejected for starting anti-Balamory chants

Homer Simpson, Didier Drogba, The Archers and Me

This is a gruelling time of year. School age children are all out of attention span and too far into the year to really care. The clear Manchester air often leaves baby chests clogged and the 4am dawn is a siren call to the under 5s.

In addition there are now up to 6 hours of live international football on TV each day that can run between 5pm and 4am. Oh and there’s work and family life.

This can stretch the strategic skills and slothful indiscipline of the most indifferent dad, let alone someone like me. Someone who hears Ivory Coast v Japan and sees it as a cultural duty to stay up and honour the culinary heritage of these great nations, whilst falling asleep on the couch, head lolling in a tribute to Homer Simpson.

So praise your deity (fate and other non-deity touchstones are available ) for Fathers Day the morning after England’s 1am finish. Whether it’s a goldfish or offspring of Amish proportions, claim that right and milk it as though you were auditioning for parlour maid’s role in The Archers.

I have mixed feelings about Fathers Day. When Didsbury Son was little his excitement was infectious and made me feel unworthy for all my little less than perfect thoughts. Now, I count my blessings that I receive and am able to give Fathers Day cards. Coming late to the party keeps me aware that for many people this is a difficult day for a variety of reasons and you can’t always have a World Cup to distract you.
Some years this awfulness is compounded by Wimbledon being newsworthy and clogging up radio and TV in the two weeks it hogs the limelight. This year it’s all football and midnight toddler milk runs have the bonus of late night TV from South America.
I’m just perfecting my Capirahna and Aptamil.

My Father’s Day ticked so many boxes it qualified for Arts Council funding. I rolled over at 7am, 7am – that’s nearly lunchtime, to find an empty space where Didsbury Wife had gallantly taken the early shift as I luxuriated in more than four hours of continuos Zzzzzs.

After an aborted Metrolink journey ( I had forgotten they don’t work weekends), Didsbury Wife gave me one of the greatest gifts a man could receive – a family visit to The National Football Museum. I won’t describe the detail, save to say that The Mighty Headed Boy took on a whole group of Stoke fans and won and Didsbury Son is slowly embracing the beautiful game. Very slowly.
Now 2 parts rum, 1 part powdered milk and a squeeze of lime…

World Cup Tips

1. The pundits are terrible. Half time needs action – in 15 minutes you can do bottles, washing up, check homework and feed pets.
Read more…

Product Placement – My Slice of the corporate penny

I have noticed that there is a vogue amongst blogging parents to shoehorn in cheap adverts for tat from a perceived product testing moral high ground. These sometimes unwittingly entertaining blogs turn my Aptamil 3 Toddler Milk for Healthy Bones sour and flatten the flavour in my Hipp Organic exquisitely flavoured vegetable cannelloni that even at 17 months the boddlers still adore. Sometimes they are so see-through that they need a Huggies Sensitive Wipe to gently clear away the taste and and only a Gordon’s Gin with Fever Tree Tonic, Lime and Fresh Ice (available from Tesco) will do.

I understand that our branding profile is brilliant. All new, newish, slightly paranoid parents are gullible punters for anything to ease the day, appease the night and instil greater learning, throwing and communicative skills in our offspring but… I still feel the slight pang of guilt, mixed with pride, when my Mighty-Headed little fella wears his club colours complete with Korean Multinational adorning his chest.

This is not to say Didsbury Dad is advert free. I have a longstanding deal with Fusion Deli on Lapwing Lane to only pay for the things I buy. My car is sponsored by “You Wouldn’t be seen dead in this if you didn’t have children.com” and Didsbury Wife brings me a cup of tea in the evening – but I try to blend this seamlessly between reminding you to click on The Mum and Dad Bloggers Award badge on the right hand-side of the page and vote for me.

There, I feel better now.

Didsbury Dad is GM Free, Caffeine dependent and willing to dance for money.

Parenthood – Six New Medical Conditions

Being a Didsbury Dad is a wonderful life. Not even the demise of La Tasca, the pavement parking that makes pram pushing painful or the scary designs masquerading as art in the “new” diminished Withington Hospital can dull the glow.

As Didsbury Son edges inconsistently towards teenagedom, his qualities only occasionally dulled by extreme vagueness and the odd sulk, I look at my two new Didsbury Babes with joy, apprehension and a slightly locked shoulder.

It’s not the thought of teething, chicken pox or stranger danger that keeps me awake at night. What allows me to talk to the moon at 4am is the fear that I am going to have to sit through Junior School concerts again. At one of Didsbury Son’s schools it was so bad I booed a Year 3 “Grensleeves”. All dads know that there is only so much feigning you can do when a potential free evening is savaged by a recorder played ingloriously by unknowing fingers and partially cleaned milk teeth.

I digress – this is my 100th Blog so I am having a celebration ramble.

It’s not even the awful school concerts. It’s the low-level parental pain that is more daunting than the realisation I had at a baby clinic recently. In the years when I was larging Madchester and feeling invincible, my twins contemporaries’ dads were in nappies themselves. I talk about Wagon Wheels and Choppers, they get teary eyed over a Game Boy.

In addition, there is the realisation that every hair that grows on these tiny Churchillian bonces takes them a little further away from new babydom.

One sad day all this will be covered in hair

One sad day all this will be covered in hair

So 6 things of which to be wary;
1. The Domino Effect – Baby Boy is a whopper. A milk guzzling, eyelash fluttering, full-face smiling whopper. Leaning over to pick him up without bending properly and then lifting back up nearly 20 pounds of milk and muscle does things to a spine that’s crawled past 39 … Bad things. That pop at night is the morning’s Sciatica, the afternoon’s tingling and the following night’s Ibuprofen.

2. (SOS) Shiny Object Syndrome: I promised never to moan about sleep deprivation. Even when it’s counted in minutes; sleep interrupted by a smiley/crying/wet/hungry baby always has a redeeming feature. It’s downside is that my attention span is down to Didsbury Son’s level. Anything longer then eight minutes is a genuine struggle that needs something bright or noisy shaking to keep my eyes open.
Didsbury Wife pointed out to me that it takes about eight minutes for light to get to us from The Sun. I pointed out it takes approximately eight minutes to walk the pram once around Didsbury Park and then I nodded off.

3. Designer Milk- I never realised that babies projected milk with no warning and can reach a shoulder from 10 feet. Every single piece of clothing that I have has been tie-dyed with Aptamil.

The doctor seemed un-moved when I explained my predicament

The doctor seemed un-moved when I explained my predicament

4. Milk Neck- bibs are fine but there is always a missed trickle that comes to give you a sticky kiss when you pick up a baby to burp them.

5. Golfer’s Elbow – honestly, I have golfer’s elbow and a cortisone injection habit.  Apparently it is widespread. When I sheepishly admitted that it was painful, I was deluged by empathetic nods from fellow sufferers and  it opened a secret world to parental pain that again, no one tells you about when you’re expecting.

6. BootPov – I had wondered why Boots the Chemist had so many branches. Now I know. Every over parent of children under the age of… 30 knows that on birth you give Boots your blood group, PIN number and roughly 90% of your earnings and 50% of your overdraft. I now have enough Advantage points to buy almost a day’s worth of nappies.

These are only exacerbated by Pramrage, CHOCS (central heating overload causing sinusitis) and Shrunken World – even I realise that my daily happiness and schedule tightened by feeds and changes makes my conversation as dull as the lighting in the nursery at 3am and as shallow as the milk my baby boy leaves in a bottle after a feed.

Twins do not always grow at the same rate

Twins do not always grow at the same rate

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