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 “B&Q”

View from the Car Park

I am sitting in a rapidly cooling car, backed by a couple of rapidly snoring toddlers. I am watching a sun so weak the Spartans would have given it a comfy bed dissolve into its December malaise. I am staring at B&Q in Stanley Green and Costa is too far away to leave the twins and snaffle a Gluten-free Mince Pie. I spend a sizeable number of weekends here. 

The combination of TK Maxx and Next virtually within sight of John Lewis is a siren call to South Manchester and North Cheshire. The car park houses a considerable number of men trying not to wake sleeping babies, boddlers and toddlers whilst cranking up BBC 5Live just loud enough to hear the minutiae of what is happening at Orient and St. Johnstone. 

 1970s Mobile DAB Unit 

There is a strange synergy for me. I have always loved radio and the Saturday afternoon football commentary dirge. From being small, in pre instant media, pre digital, pre Channel 4 and Orangina in the shops days I would spend Saturday afternoons away from the other Didsbury grandchildren. The melee of Saturday afternoon visiting and free sweets dismissed to clamber into our tank. I listened to the football, writing every score as it came in from place names that to 70s me seemed the epitome of exotic; aah Hull you romantic fool – beckon me with constant dampness and average football. I would hang on the florid descriptions of Peter Jones, Larry Canning and the now disgraced, then disgraceful Stuart Hall.  

 Peter Jones. A genius. 

As an early adopter of OCD fan support, sitting in cars and learning how to wait patiently, these 70s Saturdays parked outside my Grandparents were a great training for fatherhood.

The lack of stranger danger and freedom to spend 3 hours in a car on my own aged 6 seem as alien now as my bonfire night memory of entertaining uncle using a lit cigarette to light the fireworks.  

 We are inside waiting for TK Maxx to open 

But I do have good handwriting and can spell Molyneux. 

Coming Up: From Sew-In to Body Bar, From Gold Beach Holidays to closed and is there a non purple Estate Agent? It’s December in Didsbury

A sound to make a parent quiver.

We have walked up the Acropolis at midday. We have driven France end to end in one go and I have braved the “wrong end” at a Local Derby. This week we have taken the spirit of adventure and the power of Northern stubbornness and pushed that envelope one letterbox farther than even we thought possible.

This week we have had all 5 of the Didsbury Family sharing a tin can in Wales. What better way to relax away the stress of life than the bright sunshine and occasional above freezing temperatures that Wales offers at this time of year?

For me there is little to beat the glamour of needing your glasses on as you tramp across gravel in your pyjamas to use a Siberian toilet, to ensure you fill your kettle from the tap marked “drinking water”, not “grey waste”. What is grey waste? I thought he was one of Ben 10’s incarnation or a euphemism for getting a job at B&Q.

Anyway, as Didsbury Wife and I lay shivering with the blistering light and insipid heat of a Halogen heater casting a neon shadow across our van we counted our blessings.

Didsbury Son lay cocooned on what had been the master bed – warm and with room to move. The Mighty-Headed boy and the pearl-delicate girl lay between Didsbury Wife and I whilst we perched on the edge of the Transformer Sofa. He was calm having been fed and top-to-toe changed at 3am and she snuffled, too small for the cold that had wrapped itself up in her. We counted blessings for a bit then got bored and thought it would be much more fun to share a sneaky 4am snipe about the non-advertised, worst bits of babies per se and twins particularly.

After sharing the joint pain of permanent lift/shift/soothe/rock x 2, the unfeasible level of Boots points accrued in 6 months, the lack of clothes without milky sick patterns, the inability to hold a coherent conversation or stay awake without the prompt of screwming after 9pm we hit upon it. The worst sound in the world. A small, almost innocuous sound that strikes fear into parents and can lead a grown man to tears in the middle of the night. It is not a sound that emanates from any part of a baby. It is not White Noise, high frequency or loud. It can best be described as a “put”. A quiet “put” which tells you that the soother (dummy – Didsbury Son thought dummies were Chavvi so we don’t have them – we have “soothers” that are dummy shaped) has hit the sheet.
This little noise means your baby (ies) is/are about to wake up and you are not going back to sleep.

That little pop from beautiful mouth to sheet means you are about to contort your wrists to arthritis trying to find the soft wet bit of your baby’s face to put it back in and somehow keep it there. It can “put” dozens of times before one of you gives in. It is the tiny sound to stop you in your tracks as you try and quietly sneak out of a nursery. That 3 inches drop strikes terror into me that a nappy explosion encompassing full body changing gets nowhere near. It is the sound of your night disappearing, your tea going cold or your beer going flat. It is the sound of your partner being asleep before you get to bed. It is the sound of your next day at work going awry.
Oh how we laughed as we “putted”. Sadly, we laughed too loud and woke up the twins.


Minecraft. More interesting than Ben 10.

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