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 “The Simpsons”

That Was Valentine’s Day

Teenager, Toddlers – the scent of romance drifting somewhere between the intoxication of Lynx, the unmissable waft of teendom and several nappies. I don’t know whether to this heady brew, a night separated only by two little ones, a door and a hallway has worked its magic, but Didsbury Dad Mansions has been a cocktail of the many splendours of love this Valentine’s weekend.

Didsbury Son would obviously rather spend half-term cleaning shoes and brushing up on his German grammar than discussing his growingly exotic, mainly online new relationship. There was a tryst arranged and neither brought as many friends as usual as they awkwardly swapped cards and insecurities in public view, before heading back to the anonymous safety of social media.

We are not yet at the Valentine’s stage I used to love when a squeaky Blondini Didsbury Son would artlessly shape toast into hearts, sprinkle them around the kitchen and then be delightfully easy to distract for an hour with The Simpsons but…

There are scrawled reds on papers and lots of singing Happy Birthday as a card or two appears.

My life is currently made up of three films. Taxi Driver for Didsbury Son whose many pick ups and drop offs range between shy and hopeful perfectly coiffed, nice smelling girls and the silent teen-boy waft of those no longer capable of speech and addicted to the sound one finger screen tapping.
Entourage for The Mighty-Headed boy. The collection of toys (in sequence), blankets and tins that he requires for every room to room movement really needs an assistant. This morning I thought it would be nice to get him into bed for a cuddle. Once the cast of Frozen, John Lewis’ blanket department and various detritus had been transferred from cot to bed there was no room for either of us.
Frozen, still the soundtrack to our lives, the dress code for our children and the tunes that keep me awake at night.

My Valentine’s Day involved changing nappies, wiping noses, being told off by teenagers and having a candle-lit gourmet dinner with two other couples. High Court Judges pay a fortune for this kind of opportunity and we get it everyday in Didsbury.

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Dressed by Disney, driven by Anna and Elsa.

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What you look like to a teenager during any discussion.

IMG_3428 the opening scene from Entourage.

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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.

An essential guide for every new parent (ish)

I felt it was time I shared. Shared my vast experience of almost 15 days of twin fatherhood. Shared the minutiae of detail that can substitute Nightnurse when spoken out loud and shared my scientific analysis of how to be a new Didsbury Dad.

WWHD: my canyon-deep experience of bringing up Didsbury Son in the way of the slouch has given me a deep understanding of post school pre-bed television. You have to remember to keep those dark thoughts inside. Think don’t say or… What Would Homer Do?

Learn to use the kitchen: For most right-thinking dads washing up and a superficial tidy with radio droning in the background trumps any technical parenting hands down. Then glide up with wrinkled hands and up to date 5Live for a glory goodnight kiss and cuddle; magical and without pointless questioning about something unfatomable.

Pick your homework carefully, what you volunteer for at 5 years old may stick. Offer to help with all the non specific subjects that are not compulsory after year 8. It’s long term planning but it works.

With the preliminaries over I have decided to set up master classes for Didsbury Dads. There will be twin, sibling and male classes and each attendee will get a complimentary copy of my opus “Mooching aimlessly with Didsbury Son”.
Each class will be long enough to avoid a vital chore at home whilst not being so long that it upsets Didsbury Wife/Girlfriend/Partner. They will take place under the entrance porch of what was La Tasca.

1. 20 Credit module – knowing your place when out and about. In your head as you push your pram next to smiling wife, you are the proud father and doting guardian of a pair of reasons for every other pedestrian to poke their nose in and make a banal comment. To some other women you are now invisible. That unhelpful middle-of-the-night axe to grind. They will come and coo over Didsbury Wife and Didsbury Twins praising their own martyrdom. The level of conscious ignoring is quite a feat and can only be repeated by a Didsbury Son looking in his room for a protractor.

2. 20 credit module – understand the environment. The Internet is useful for many things beyond football and inappropriate searches. It is awash with support forums for women before, during and after pregnancy. This enveloping resource can be a tyrant, a comfort, a stick to beat you with and an early warning system. Take notice of the minutiae; take care of which way the wind blows and heed the clues. If you are told pointedly that some partners aren’t making meringues for their new babies and dusting properly get the oven on low, beat those egg whites and reach for the feathers -it’s cleaning time

3. Other Men: twins can be emotive. Years pre Didsbury Son and Didsbury wife without progeny to parade has taught me that my bundles of joy may be troublesome for someone somewhere. Be like the philosopher and take your happiness and your sadnesses with equal measure and enjoy them inwardly and indoors. You should also try not to to respond to comments from other men such as ” I didn’t know you had it in you”. It isn’t a compliment. It’s the equivalent of “Have you lost weight?” letting someone know you remembered them as fatter than they are.
This male minefield can be fun and can be a joy to share as well as giving you the chance to settle old scores.

Next week – back to being baffled by cupcakes, spoiled for a choice of barbers in the village and getting ready to mourn the demise of Linen on Albert Hill Street as it gets ready to shut its doors at the end of the month and fly like a pixie out of the village.

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