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 “Nike”

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.

And then there were 3, the twins cometh…

I have tried not to make Didsbury Dad a pregnancy blog. I am preparing to fail in my attempts at  not being a baby bore  BUT a delivery so chilled Occado could have made it, followed by 6 days on a ward with Wythenshawe’s wonderful staff and eclectic clientele has… whilst dealing with the roller coaster of Didsbury Son’s emotions and being one of the few post natal dads to have sailed past 21, let alone 30 40 something –  whilst losing touch with the real world for a week and fawning limply over my two little potato heads and re-marvelling at female fortitude, anatomy and tenacity and finding myself surrounded by baby experts at every turn and kissed just about everyone in M23 whether they liked it or not and let Didsbury Son sneak a 15 movie on the video in a giddy haze as I have lived on biscuits and crisps for a week (my greens have been Cheese and Onion); Whilst learning more about life, friends and social media and then kissing everyone in Didsbury Village and grinning like Didsbury Son with a praised piece of artwork .

And breathe.

A new baby, before it has been ironed resembles Yoda

Or an alien

All life goes through a Manchester maternity ward. Didsbury Wife has just spent several days sharing a space with a range of Mancunians that  sing the diversity of the city. I am sure they looked at our Hessian bag of Alpro snacks and muttered “Didsbury”; I have sat back with twin 1 or twin 2 and enjoyed the show.
I marveled at the new father next to me who would only come in if his girlfriend got the TV working. He lay on the bed, curtains drawn watching ITV to recreate home between fag breaks. Having listened through a curtain on Saturday I now know that X Factor would not work on radio.

The Polish woman opposite slept brilliantly, the only woman on the ward undisturbed by her baby’s cries as she snored consistently between (her own) feeds. Her unwavering face was kind but she bore the weary look of annual childbirth interrupting hard work. Her Slavic stoic stance contrasted with the shrill nasal drawl of visiting Mancs showering Adidas and Nike on new babies and their junior parents.  I have smiled knowingly with all the grandparents, knowing the majority were my contemporaries and would remember The International rather than The Warehouse Project or The Kardomah. Thus, we have spent the week hanging out with the people with whom Didsbury Wife, Didsbury Son and I will share all of our milestones over the next few decades.

The greatness of a maternity ward is that  everyone is equal and the potential clash of so many cultures dissolves in an oxytocin-driven, testosterone snipped haze of relief.

All babies are tagged at birth to avoid mix-ups. This is mini Didsbury Son 2 at 18 hours old

Everyone is hopeful – whether main ward, TCU or ICU. Everyone is friendly and supportive ; we are all either ecstatic or thinking there but for the grace of… and all Gods are Here. I munched my bagel with Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Atheists, our cultural non-competitiveness providing a blueprint. keep everyone sleep-deprived and besotted and there will be no trouble. Over mini teats and sterilising units I have eaten Polish, Japanese and Walkers with new brothers in cord-snipping and have cooed, consoled and cuddled babies with easy and difficult lives ahead of them once they leave the ante-womb of the postnatal ward.

My little wonders still feel as though they are mine on loan and I  squint at them for hours, inhaling their scents and wondering which one will like my pants on the head, finger-pulling best gags. I look forward to the chance for a Saturday morning mooch with Didsbury Son and me sharing the pram-pushing, shoulder riding and hand holding duties.

I feel a bit of a fraud. All the clichés at which I scoffed, all the sappy wet-eyed new dads I ignored and all the joy with a much smaller Didsbury Son that I had forgotten have re-enveloped me in a syrupy cocoon with the most wonderful aroma.

I can’t wait to re-read this with milk spattered clothes and sleepless, red-rimmed eyes around  Christmas, whilst Didsbury Son is trying to convince me everyone in year 7 is getting a tattoo and a Blackberry from “Santa”. It will remind how wonderful this tiny week 1 world is – when the colour of a nappy filler is a cause for celebration and each sneeze, hiccup, finger squeeze and eye open is a cause of genuine joy.

This joke gets stretched even further

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