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 “Little House on the Prairie”

Magic Moments, Communal Living and Football

No Privacy but a little bit of Shmaltz

A few years ago I was cash rich and progeny poor. A close friend with three children confided in me.
“There is no hiding place. Once you get home personal space is a Defunct concept.” I nodded with feigned understanding, thinking of the morning I had planned doing… Nothing. They carried on “This morning I had to shut the bathroom door and shout – going to the toilet is not a spectator sport, please leave me alone” for some reason this story stayed in my head. As my Didsbury garden grew with Didsbury Son and then sprouted spectacularly with Mighty-Headed Boy and Pearl-Topped girl it moves from story to prophesy.

In the morning, the crawling-cruising-walking the landing leads to two tottering babies trying to gatecrash the shower and Didsbury Son’s reluctant school preparation. This Dystopian future is my present. The only practical lock here is on a stair gate.

It is a 24 hour cycle of pre-teen identity, post-feed teething trauma and trying to separate Science homework from primary coloured puzzles. There is no let-up. We play tag when work or European football calls but International games, nothing. There are plenty of laughs, but it is constant in a way that even my male-tuned football obsession finds hard to comprehend._

Within this 24-Hour cycle that breeds grey hairs and furrowed foreheads faster than a filled nappy, there are Little House on the Prairie moments. Snatches of soppy, eye-wetting pureness that are more soothing than the Pethidine strength drugs I will need to correct the damage lively twins can do to a spine looking backwards to. 39.

In my life I can think of 3 such moments of pure bliss. The first happened in a previous century when after many many years I witnessed a first and long-awaited Wembley victory. Groping teary-eyed through my Malibu-drenched psyche I sidestepped the pre-Didsbury Wife attachment to sloppily hug my equally clueless friend as we mumbled ecstasies. As we snuggled our then partners prepared their exit strategies.

The second seems a finger click away to me but was with a little Didsbury Son. I awoke one Saturday morning to find my little blondini inches away from my face, waiting patiently for my eyes to twitch open. It was simple and the most beautiful site. The look of delight on his face was far more than I deserved and altered my perception of reality far more than a lost weekend at a festival in 1987.

The third was last night. A combination of teething and tiredness had taken my little pearl-topped girl beyond soothing. She howled from the utterly safe arms of Didsbury Wife and, grasping for sleep she caught my eye. I looked at her wide-open and wide-eyed and realised how lucky I am.


Boldly Going Where Most People have Been Before

I am man hear me Roar.

Stop the Clocks, then ring the bells for daddom and call me Emperor. This week I have been in sole charge of the Earl of Round Heads and Queen Smiley of Didsbury. No disasters, no trips to casualty, I even remembered which one wears pink and wasn’t abusive to any of the pinheads in the park who mistake a walk with a double buggy for an invitation to invade my personal space and wrongly guess the sex of my children.

Striding forward for mankind

Striding forward for mankind

Following a guide more powerful than Gina Ford (i.e. a  list with times on it from Didsbury Wife), I completed my first serious stint as a Stay at Home Dad (well actually a sit in Café Nero as long as possible dad) I am now an expert and ready to host patronising Q&As with other nervous fathers. My tip is get a big sheet of paper. Now write four things in bold letters – FEED CHANGE PLAY SLEEP. Whatever the issue, the answer is usually one of these things.

Then set your alarm for planned feed and change times and bingo. It is like falling off a horse – painful, leaving you with sore limbs, dirty and smelling. The twins were filled, emptied, cooed to and got to sleep on time and it was only this morning I realised that I had not shaved, had only glanced at basic hygiene and my T-shirt looked like an advert for Persil (before).

After Day 1 I was knackered. After Day 2 I felt a rush of appreciation for anyone who spends all day with children (except PE teachers – they have their own ring in hell). On Day 3 it suddenly clicked (cue Little House on the Prairie theme tune).


I planned the day as though it was a show, working backwards from getting them down at night (curfew) to morning feed and change (load-in). Once I had this worked out it was easy and I even gave The Might Headed boy low-slung jeans so he looked like a roadie. With the mechanics sorted there came the revelation. I enjoy this. They are good company and Didsbury Wife has them so happy it isn’t that hard. I was transported back to a little Didsbury Son. The babies laughed as I gooned about and gave me the kind of instant approval as I entered their eyeline you can usually only get from an X Factor audience if you’re Olly Murs (insert this year’s Olly Murs).

Olly DD

Doppelganger for Didsbury Dad

In a few hours my plan changed from world domination at whatever it is I now do to being a combination of Anthea Turner, Nigel Slater, David Beckham and Timmy the Lamb. Obviously, all this is until the football season starts; then they need their mother.

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