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 “David Attenborough”

FUBAR the friendly lion and the Didsbury Duo

7.45pm. Friday Night. I am trapped. The Mighty-Headed Boy snores contentedly, draped across my stomach – his legs wrapped around my left arm like fleshy vines. The Pearly-topped princess has my right armed gripped so tightly as she nuzzles into a toddler-shaped curve I cannot move. My phone is open at Football Manager but my fingers cannot reach the screen. Didsbury Wife and son are out. It’s just me in a dark room, on a warm bed with two boddlers curved around me and no extra hand for internet access.

My mind drifted to those thoughts we all have, “What if In The Night Garden” was a documentary voiced by David Attenborough; if I was a teenager now would wi-fi mean I never had to leave my room and who votes for UKIP with a clear conscience?

I then thought how long-known acronyms, antonyms and phrases take on different meanings st different times of your life.

ATM. All trousers milk stained

BBC. Bathtime Bed. Chill

FUBAR – Found Upsy-Daisy But Aptamil Run out

SOS – Sudocrem or Suffer

TTFN – teenager talking flipping nonsense

HTML – Home Time. Milk Loaded

Wake Up And a Smell The Coffee – then make it after you’ve changed the nappies and done milk.

Life’s Too Short – so embrace being woken 3 times a night as you can enjoy more of it.

The Tail Wagging The Dog : Social experiment where parents make all decisions based on the rationale of teenage moods

Disney – Magical Kingdom of slightly worrying stereotypes that occupy small children in trance-like stupor for two hours per day.

Minecraft – Magical Kingdom of slightly worrying stereotypes that occupy new teenagers in trance- like stupor for three hours per day.

ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival in the old days, now a phrase dependent on the sleep wake nappy phenomenon. Now more likely to stand for Evening Tomorrow or After…

HRT. Hormonally Reactive Teenager

eBay – recycling for parents. Expect your rating to soar after the first visit to Jo Jo, ELC and Boots points out the real cost of plastic and sheepskin.

Psychological Warfare. Interrupting any song in Frozen for dressing, undressing, changing or Calpol.

1000 Yard Stare, a syndrome that occurs when on the way back from a midnight cot settle. Your nascent teenager, voice breaking mid-syllable informs you he’s hungry, can’t sleep and wants a chat. Fire up the toaster and make yourself comfy.


A television and a full moon. Both are excellent parenting tools

I sacrificed glamour like this for my children

David Attenborough, Bear Grylls, The Birdman of Alcatraz and Me

Holiday Excitement – Family Style. Holidays should be full of moments that will brighten up a winter traffic jam when the sun is up after the babies and complaining that it is too hot seems a cruel joke.

Way before I was a Didsbury Dad, in fact from my earliest memories I have intimate knowledge of holiday problems.
My earliest recollections are of sitting on the side of European motorways next to a steaming Vauxhall Firenza and an immobile caravan. Since then holiday issues have been spontaneous and varied.
A stunt car recreates my childhood

A stunt car recreates my childhood

aaI have been grounded by war, nearly missed my own barmitzvah due to a strike (I know, we have all been there) and as a teenager was unfairly, if repetitively, a visitor to police stations in a wide range of countries. It was not exactly Midnight Express, but a first “boys” holiday ended with an unforgettable combination of arrest and dysentery.
It has left me sanguine, primarily unflappable and hard to impress wit a little trouble abroad.
I’ve flown Ryan Air, negotiated single-track cliff roads and been liberally pick pocketed. Didsbury Wife once had a job that took her on global jaunts, so a family caravan holiday in that jungle that is Wales would seem an easy week. Until we met this…
spaarrow5 Sparrow Hawk ating
Many things have woken me suddenly over the years; teachers, colleagues, policemen, worry, but never a Sparrow Hawk.
The exclusive deal between Kestrels and Adidas has driven Sparrow Hawks to search out Nike

The exclusive deal between Kestrels and Adidas has driven Sparrow Hawks to search out Nike

We had driven through the night with a car full of blissfully sleeping children. Didsbury Wife had graciously allowed me to lie-in and was feeding and entertaining the whole troupe when I was woken with…”There’s something in the awning you should see”.
This could have been anything – spider, tramp, projection from any orifice of any child. It was a Sparrow Hawk sitting on my sports bag eating a starling North to South – it had got to the Midlands in thorough fashion.
I stormed out, with only the protection of rare birds and the safety of my children on my mind. I eyeballed the bird and we communicated. I told him I respected his hunting prowess, he told me he would not harm my family. I opened the awning shared Avian Human respect and he flew off with his prey. Ish.
After thinking this trumps a trip around the ruins of Criccieth Castle I did what any same man would do. I locked the door and called the site manager and asked him to to open the awning as I needed to go to the toilet.
Didsbury Son has a great story to tell at school and we have another tale to tell the twins about our Welsh Safari.  I learned one important lesson- Dettox gets rid of the blood from most items, eventually.

The Peterborough Effect

Didsbury Son and I are going to Peterborough, no football is involved. This is so far east of Cineworld and Virgin Active that even Rightmove does not consider it to be M20 with great access to the airport, MediaCityUK and the thriving metropolis. We have to be there very early so it’s a school time start that has Didsbury Son in two minds. When he asked me what Peterborough was like the only three things I could think of were flat, many roundabouts, second division (or whatever it’s called now it’s the 2nd tier of … Oh don’t get me started)

A foot ready to trek east

He weighed up the options carefully. On the one hand, three hour drive with the promise of high salt, low nutritional value food, uninterrupted iPod/3DS and the chance of an adventure. On the other hand a dawn start, a grumpy Didsbury Dad trying to locate glasses, keys and wallet whilst Didsbury Fat cat mewls for an early breakfast followed by the potential for 3 hours about big school, trying hard and generally doing what I say, not what I do, did or have ever done – all in an enclosed space.
I searched for bonding and entertaining things we could do whilst we were there. The nearest attractions I found were Holland.
So it is our boys’ day out. It may not be white water rafting or a Futuramathon but I have promised there will be no talk about babies, he can have at least one hand down his trousers whenever we are not eating (which to be honest does not leave that much time) and he can have Capital FM on. This swung the deal. He has not realised that the signal will go within half an hour and I can get back to phone-ins, endless Assange and being angry about The Archers becoming so dull even I am hoping for some Eastenders-esque carnage.
I am really looking forward to our day out. Not the pick-up, not the early start, but more the hours of endless mooching, small talk, shared gags and pointless conversations with neither structure nor end. Since the Metrolink took out our favourite route we have been a little stuck for the kind of aimless timewasting that can be as developmentally important as a David Attenborough and shouting at live sport on television.

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