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 “Men Are From Mars”

Fitbit, focus groups and the best coffee this side of Mars,

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. The men had been meaning to move to Venus for ages but y’know what it’s like. They got friendly with a couple of Martians, the deli on the corner just knew how they liked the coffee and although the roof leaked, the plumbing was teenage in its temperamentally challenging behaviour, the car got robbed and the carpet was pre-war it was home and they quite liked the landlord. Why move when it could be worse.

It was only when the women told them about the new sports bars opening up across Venus and refused to even drive through Mars, let alone stay over that the men moved. (Excerpt from “Why most men don’t move, they can’t be bothered”). This is one more reason why I don’t like Focus Groups. You can’t get a decent coffee and bagel in Venus.

Henry Ford (car genius, moral leper) once said (approximately). “If I’d asked the public what they wanted they would have said “faster horses” when asked how he came up with that monstrous micro mess the Ford Ka. I was recently asked to be on a focus group for a new “family friendly” museum and gallery. Family friendly to most dads means no gift shop, free couches and nothing on sale in the cafe over £2.50. This session followed a night when, according to my Fitbit. I slept for 4 hours, 20 mins and was awake 7 times and restless many more between 11.06pm ( Peppa Pig’s Holiday App finally sees off Mighty Headed Boy) and 6.08pm (Sago Mini Pet Cafe buys me 17 minutes of zzzzzzz) when Princess Blondini jabs me in the eye shouting “wake up daddy, moon up.”.
We were asked to consider the facilities a 21st century museum should provide the modern family. My tips were:
1. A car park whose distance is far enough away to make the walk back for whatever vital toy that was left there long enough to speak to friends, check football scores and clear head.

2. No wifi. I love Didsbury Son and long to see the front of his face, not just the top of his hood.

3. A slouching post near the baby change table.

4. A prayer room. I make use of these wherever I can. They are the one place you can be sure no one will bother you.

5. Less interactivity. It sets the bar too high for your own domestic masterclass in multi-tasking ( playing with children whilst watching Sky Sports News).

If they take these ideas on board, don’t thank me – just take the kids out for a couple of hours one weekend morning.


Kofi Annan at The Cheese Hamlet

Men are from Mars, Women are from Didsbury and thankfully Didsbury Wife used the wisdom of The Clocktower ( the actual tower not the pub named after it) to restore equilibrium.

Like many men I am better in the middle of the night and the early morning than I am between 6.30 and bedtime. We are generally better reacting and being heroic occasionally rather than conscious consistent measured parenting.

By the time Iggle Piggle got back in his boat yesterday I had managed to contradict, confuse, combobulate and concheese off everyone to such an extent that even the cats hissed when I walked in. I had backed into a homework cul-de-sac on a high horse I could not ride and was in danger of creating an atmosphere more sour than cheap wine. Being eyeballed by thee disappointed children made Millwall away seem easy.

Didsbury Wife rescued me. Like a Blue Peter presenter with a pile of rubbish infront of her she created something good out of it and Didsbury Son was even able to patronise me before he scooted around to his friends to park himself on a different chair and watch a different screen.

I retreated to the boddlers where there is nothing that can’t be solved by popping your cheeks, tipping them upside down and singing In The Night Garden.

That was the weekend that was – a father’s story

I know all the cliches and their specific realities. Men are from Mars; Women aren’t. That’s the nub of it. The previous platitude of men love women, women love children and children love animals is also patently untrue. It ignores alternative and skates past football and the deep bond I had with a series of hamsters. This began with Thunderflash in the mid 80s who lived in my pocket and died after an incident with an alarm cable and ended in 2006 when a mini Didsbury Son thought Shrub needed an open door at night, in case he got claustrophobic. As anyone with children knows, all hamsters die of heart attacks from chewing too many peanuts. You cannot tell a five year old the lovely cat bit off Humphrey’s head because it was bored – the weeks of nightmares aren’t worth it.

The gender gap can make for fraught weekends, especially as we near the business end of the football season and the start of the working festival season.

Balancing Didsbury Son’s weekend sporting life with the feed, change, play continuum is hard enough. Throw in Mother’s Day, some work and a weekend with live football on television and something has to give. As all good Didsbury Dads know – what gives is you.

Middle Class guilt can be a wonderful thing. It can put that horse Lasagne back in the freezer, finish that homework/washing/bake sale etc. BUT it can also come between a Didsbury Dad and his right to loll aimlessly half-watching football* on TV whilst sending ironic tweets into the ether.

* If you are vegetarian or do not enjoy the pointless drone of live football on TV please insert Quorn into your Lasagne and CSI Miami instead of football.


Men – be like a tree (whatever that means)

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