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 “Peppa Pig”

Don’t believe the myths about two year olds.

 

 A two-year old considers their next kick-off

 I like to think I can be as slovenly and lazy as the next man. One doesn’t always need a tissue for a nose blow and if there’s an easy fob off for the children I say, “Spare the iPad spoil the lie-in.”

Childminders are vital to your toddlers development and I heartily recommend Dora, Peppa and Shaun 0’Sheep who bring so much for a small outlay.
However, there is a response more predictable, lazy and pointless than the people who stared at the twins in their pram as babies and droned “double trouble…” This is “The terrible twos”.
In this house alone we also have the awkward early teens, the slightly stiff and not as flexible 39 XXLs and two cats that don’t like each other.
The twos are not terrible. They are challenging as is each stage. The boddlers can talk (a lot), plead, laugh (a lot), cry (a lot) and it’s all at an utterly instinctive level. Their complete lack of notions such as danger and volume control make negotiating a thought provoking issue. The Mighty-Headed Boy is becoming wonderfully eccentric – a biscuit refusal sees the bottom lip come out like a wobbling drip tray. However, he also has a sense of humour and a mimicked lip out usually brings laughter as the biscuit outrage is forgotten. 
The “terrible” twos are peppered with moments when my Pearly Girl grips me and says “Love You Daddy”, this is the winning the league good on a daily basis and all I have to do is keep the bananas peeled and the Amazon Prime subscription. 
So. There are only 52 weeks of them being 2 years old. We are nearly halfway through. They have already moved out of high chairs and into conversations, out of mush and into shared dinners. 
The therapeutic threes lie around the bend and potty training looms. I’m off to my virtual shed. 
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Inman’s, The Doomesday Book and Regeneration

According to The Times, Didsbury is in Britain’s Top 25 suburbs. We are apparently more “real”, “less expensive” than the twin delights of Hale and Bowden (Red House Farm and the M56). They may have the footballers, but we have the real wives of Didsbury; they go to the match. 

When City first won the Premier League the street party featured reds, blues, inbetweeners and those that don’t care. Likewise, when the other teams from the region do well we are occasionally roused.

Didsbury regenerates. Cibo and Nido are now just fading memories, like a bad date where you came out of the toilet unzipped with tissue paper on your shoe. But other places leave a mark. 
It is lovely to see Broadbents taking on the mantle, but Wilkinsons will not be forgotten and now, the sad but inevitable news that Inmans on Lapwing Lane is going to close.
Josie, straight here from La Coruna, has welcomed four generations of families. My Didsbury Grandpa took me for Shoot comic when I was a toddler (the sweet shop, selling halfpenny chews is now Didsbury Noodle) and The Mighty Headed Boy/Princess Pearly Alliance have had their first Peppa Pig comics brought there. It is a rite of passage for Didsbury children.
Josie is now a grandmother and still the welcoming face of Inmans and after over 900 years in the same location it closes in April. Rumour has it that Bonnie Prince Charlie and his men, escaping back to Scotland, sneaked past Prince Rupert’s troops camped by the library and brought Werthers, a funny Birthday Card and something to read for the journey north at “Inemannes, a most favourable, but pricey stop”.
Rumours are rife of it becoming a Costa but the Whitbreadification of Lapwing Lane is unlikely.
The three inside tips bidding I have heard of are… A Cage Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts Centre, a Waitrose (pretty please) or a Petting Zoo. However this is Didsbury and my money is on a hairdresser or an Estate Agent. 
So my Didsbury Children will not be able to harangue me for novelty pens and expensive stationary here. Pete at Fusion will need a new paper supplier and I will have to find another trigger to remind when I need to buy cards for Jewish Festivals. Worst of all, I can’t swap baby pictures with Josie on the way to work.
I’ve only just got over Woolworths.  

 

inman’s first book display

   

 Pictures of the first uniforms worn by Inman’s staff are rare – but in this an early manageress celebrates the signing of the Magna Carta (copies were available at 1 groat).

First Love, Real Housewives and Chips

It’s over – Didsbury Son’s first “romance” has gone the way of Taylor & Burton, Price & Andre and Ampika ‘s marriage on social experiment Real Housewives of Cheshire. It wasn’t so much written in the stars as typed on tablet and smartphone. This was a very much 21st Century affair. There was no disco, no notes, few phone calls and less meetings. This Year 9 month was less Romeo & Juliet and more pen pals on an exchange visit. They did meet up a few times, mainly with friends whose slightly jealous advice seems profound as a new teen, predictable as a 39+++. Fittingly, the farewell Didsbury Son had hoped she would make before him came by Facebook Messenger, the immortal “Let’s just be friends” tapped in an almost grammatically correct flourish of platitudes and pointlessness. Didsbury Son, shrugged, attempted a brief stint of victimness before admitting relief and munching his sausage and chips, whilst watching Maleficient with the air of a man who has heard all charges have been dropped. 

This has been as trying time for all of us. I too ate his chips (not mine, no calories) feeling a burden had been lifted; like Peppa Pig finding out humans are herbivores.

there are plenty Moor Hens in the field. An under-used cliche.



2015, More of the Same from Didsbury Dad

Apologies for being blogless. It’s a terrible thing when work and life get in the way of you writing reams of blah from the single in the nursery that the Mighty Headed Boy now calls “Our Bed” after a Christmas holiday spent edging me out of it.

Normal service will return in about a week but in the week when the retirement sale sign at Wilkinsons brought a lump to the throat. In the week when Emmanuel’s prayer group requested a Waitrose where Cafe Rouge once was. In a week when Gentry Grooming’s management buyout brought independence in the village whilst one of West Didsbury’s last remaining non-bohemian stores, Loft announced it was closing…

Five things I learned:
1. Watching toddler twins in the morning is akin to refereeing a corner in the Premier League. Finding out who began the pulling, dummy stealing and Peppa Pig invocation is impossible.

2. At 39 and 12 months + a few more 12s you can party or parent. Both leaves you looking like Stig (of the dump not Top Gear).

3. You can learn the words to every Frozen song through Osmosis.

4. Life is good. When the news on TV becomes almost too difficult to watch, having someone next to you whose world is complete with a soft toy and a cuddle is a real gift.

5. Four is enough for now.

Happy New Year

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Wilkinsons – who will fix our objects now?

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Peppa Pig glasses: I am praying they have better vision than me

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If you don’t know who this is, I salute you

It’s A Wonderful Life

Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, like a huge, gigantic Turkey serving yet another meal. Like the waft that hangs around you after a McDonalds meal, like the things that you will find in the windmills of your mind (with thanks to Noel Harrison). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEhS9Y9HYjU

There is an episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets hallucinatory food poisoning from the world record beating hoagie he has brought home from the company picnic. As he lies in bed in agony he holds the mouldy and festering sandwich close to his face and whispers lovingly, ” but how can I be angry with you?” I feel the same about our new pet this year. It gave us so much joy on Christmas Day and now, on the third day of Christmas its asymmetrical remnants taunt me to crank up the Delia one more time for a fricassee, omelette or some other spurious Turkey-based fiasco. How can I refuse? Jerk Turkey or bust.

This year’s Christmas Day was an unqualified success. Most of the visits had been done and our only visitors were welcome and unphased by the sheer exuberance and detritus that twin boddlers, a teenager and a bottle of Lanson can leave. This is the last year we can get away with doing what we want until the twins are into double figures. The family side is easy. My lot are Jewish, popped in to try the turkey and sloped off quickly back to the warmth of not being bothered. Most other relatives, already child-rich and time-poor got it out of the way early and Didsbury Son, flicking an imaginary Perry as though he is Phil Oakey 1983 is happy to feign disinterest and lie-in.

There had been a little negotiation. The Mighty-Headed boy is nothing if not cautious. His sister embraced the season and expected FC to bring her a reindeer. For the slightly worried 2 year old, the idea of a stranger coming down the chimney is scary, verging on the too scary. Luckily Didsbury Wife knows Father Christmas and he agreed to drop the presents a few doors down so we could pick them up from there. With the deal struck we moved on.

I must admit to being a bit wary at Christmas. I never understood all the stress and expectation – especially from the faithless. My lot seemed easy. No personal relationship with anyone to be Jewish. Just be part of the tribe and remember the tenets of all our festivals lie in… They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

I like the idea of goodwill to all regardless of who they support. The celebration of birth, re-birth, the seasons, the sun – all good. There is something for everyone. I’m not sure Turkey still qualifies as a low-fat super food once it’s had a pound of butter and a pound of streaky slathered over it, but I like Christmas Day. This year I loved it.

Thanks to Peppa, Frozen and the inventor of jigsaws there were only winners. The sheer joy and unrestrained whooping that was the soundtrack to our morning rubbed off on Didsbury Son. He emerged from his hood and joined the party.

We played games, ate and drank, went to the park and counted our blessings at the jackpots we had won to be this lucky. The miracle of Christmas, not one crossed word, not one inappropriate present – It may never happen again. When it does it is wonderful in the fullest sense.

The Twelve Days of Didsbury Dad Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 hours sleep,
11. Peppa Pig toys
10. Zantac calming
9. Mince Pies mincing
8. Pets a puking
7. Sky Sports Channels
6. Hours driving in a car with screaming toddlers and bored teen
5 nappies honking
4. French patisseries
3. Minutes’ peace and quiet
2. Twins a bouncing
And a life based in Didsbury…..

Your Didsbury Top 12 (almost) free to do tips:
1. Walk along the side of the metro line boring your children senseless with “all this used to be fields.” Chat.

2. Bring a picnic and take the Metro tour of Manchester to Bury Market where you remember you’ve left your wallet at home and have to come back.

3. Talk about the true meaning of Christmas/Chanucah/Solstice/(insert own) and take them to one of our great churches, synagogues, mosques, cult bases. There is usually singing, getting up and down and catering afterwards.

4. Fletcher Moss – brilliant. (Especially with an Alpine Cafe stop)

5. The little park next to Fletcher Moss, great for the under 5’s and handy for The Didsbury, Ye Olde Cocke and Dimitri’s.

6. Play hide and seek on the old Manchester Poly site – hours of endless fun.

7. Take the Saturday morning samples trail from The Cheese Hamlet down to West Didsbury and back up to Parrs Wood.

8. Didsbury Library has a fantastic children’s section, a toilet AND you aren’t meant to eat in there; genius.

9. Gym offers. Lavid Ddoyd are currently offering 12 days for 12 pounds so long as you understand it’s also £12 for a coffee and £12 for a kid’s snack as well.

10. Visit friends and relatives. It is important to rotate.

11. Didsbury, Cavendish, Fog Lane – play, remember which one has swings, which one has a BMX track and ducks and which one has a bespoke Chocolatier next door.

12. Play the old Didsbury Gsme. “Uh Oh, Where’s Nido? What was Cibo?”

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The Snowman, slowly replacing Frozen as the thrice a day treat.

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Mighty head, busy hands

In The Night Garden v The Football Factory

Introducing children to culture early on in their development is important for them to attain the kind of middle-class snobbery that make X-Factor, Jeremy Kyle and popcorn such guilty pleasures. Didsbury Son was scared by a number of clowns and bored by theatre early on; the scars should open nicely later in life.

Thus today, the Mighty-Headed boy and The Pearly Princess made their theatrical debut; In The Night Garden Live at The Trafford Centre’s Showdome. It was a combination of Shakespeare, Siegfried and Roy and Cirque du Soleil and as we cheered, laughed and cried… Iggle Piggle found his blanket before the smell of filled nappy and Aptamil overwhelmed the space.

The lead-up had been tricky. I am a keen supporter of Arts and Culture (it’s paid the mortgage occasionally) and this week my diverse cultural tastes collided. The week had begun with the start of the football season. I engaged the frame of mind needed to cope with dodgy backstreets , testosterone rushes and the need to swear whilst singing in sync with the other 4000 former thirty-somethings pretending they hadn’t pleaded to get a pass-out.

This successful night out bled into plans for the big In The Night Garden day. I sat the twins down to remind them that even if the whole presenting team from Milkshake, riding Thomas the Tank Engine and led by Peppa Pig fronted us up – we never run (my knee is way past that), for today we are CBeebies.

When I received a text telling me I could meet Iggle Piggle and Macca Pacca afterwards I got all Danny Dyer and had halfway filled a sock with plastic building bricks when Didsbury Wife stopped me.

I came to my senses. The Tombliboos won 2-0 (although all that scratching noses and sitting on the floor saw them cautioned for time-wasting) and we got a police escort back to the car.

The play was brilliantly conceived. It was big and friendly and it’s audience was enchanted. This was a lovely escape back to gentleness for an hour. My pearly girl stared open-mouthed at the gigantic figures. She believed this world in a way that removed all adult cynicism and restored a little magic bubble to a week when the real world has sometimes seemed so harsh, the news so bleak – that even the 6am charge across the landing shouting “Daddy Mummy” seemed in danger.

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The urge to shout “Behind You” was overwhelming.

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Thankfully this was a fiercely partisan crowd, although several infants were ejected for starting anti-Balamory chants

Bedknobs, Broomsticks, Wayne Rooney and stretched concentration

Hell is the consolation for those who turn their backs on forgiveness. Hell and a three-hour training session delivered via PowerPoint by someone who thinks adding an exclamation mark to a sentence is comedy and showing a years old badly-taken pet picture is a way of being endearing.

They aren’t. The exclamation marks merely emphasise the inability to write a funny sentence, the dog is now a four-foot, eight stone, child menace and I am so bored I am re-running this morning’s episodes of Peppa Pig and wondering if Daddy Pig is a loveable, laid-back boar or an idiot.

As we moved on to numbers of emails etc. I imagined the cartoon animals from Bedknobs and Broomsticks beating England 2-1 in the World Cup, whilst the TV Pundits described the Hippo as “too much of a handful for Wayne Rooney and Leighton Baines”.

This is sadly the root of all daddom “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Didsbury Son’s last parents’ evening was a joy. Searching to be critical, the only notes that came back were that he sometimes drifted and was distracted. I zoned out of the rest as there was a great picture behind her but lalala – pay more attention.

I realised that this is not a character flaw, this is in our DNA; like Male patterned Baldness, the magnetic attraction of hand to trousers whilst watching TV and a mistrust of weekends with more than one immovable event.

As I look around the room at my fellow trainees, the male contingent are all doodling, gaming, reading twitter feeds or are asleep.
This debunks the lack of Multi-tasking within men. Each person here can give you a breakdown of the event despite 3 hours spent catching up on emails. It’s the ancient skill, akin to sleeping with one eye open.
At 5.30am, singing “Twinkle Twinkle” for the 5th time, it is the only way to survive.

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Shiny object / calm place / shiny object / calm place

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