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 “wife”

Playing Blog Catch-Up

This blogging keeps you current. Happy New Year everyone. 2011 already. I have a sneaky feeling that News International will be exposed and The News of the World is going to close, but it’s just a hunch.

Pets or soup? Didsbury Dad and son disagree

So it was Christmas 2010 and it didn’t go to plan, I blame the coalition. There was a discrepancy between depth perception and a television. Consequently Didsbury Family spent Boxing Day morning in a slightly sweaty shopping centre, suffering a combination of embarrassment, claustrophobia, snobbery and mortification as we searched for a just discontinued line.

That and a Christmas holiday spent trying to please other people and satisfying no one led to me some less than groundbreaking conclusions.

1. Trying to kill several birds with one stone ends with broken items and can lead to the light shakes at Meadowhall surrounded by chirpy and determined South Yorkshireans.

2. When you are entertaining your 9 year old by simply speaking and swaying, it is time for bed.

3. The Cheese Hamlet is probably more economically viable that the USA

4. Other people’s problems, whilst excruciating, can make you feel better about your own social inadequacies.

5. Hindsight is the best predictor.

That’s the end of the philosophy, on to 2011.

2011. It’s been quick, sometimes brutal, never dull and occasionally life enhancing in shouting from the sidelines dad kind of way. Highlights so far include Didsbury Wife’s birthday party at a Tapas Bar in Boho West Didsbury in February. You know it’s going well when mid conversation with the barman about the joys of Morcilla over Bury Black Pudding you decide he is the best friend you never had and want to kiss everyone.

a stunning lack of imagination went into buying this football cake

Didsbury Wife is precise. Things are either right or wrong and getting it right can be grueling so happiness, mixed with Rioja and relief are powerful stimulants and we celebrated true Didsbury style. Families, fancy food, Philosophy and gatecrashers we had never met who went home friends.

AN AUTUMN GONE TOO QUICKLY AND ALREADY NEW YEAR

When I started this blog in September I made the resolution that it would be weekly, possibly fortnightly and at most monthly. I would share the joy of being Didsbury dad, a man able to differentiate a real bagel from those cinnamon doughnut type things you buy in supermarkets, whilst being politically sound, ethically aware, a good father and watching more football.
So three months on from summer musings and some of things I have learned are…
1. Do not make resolutions about the autumn whilst the tan of the Mediterranean is still colouring your thoughts as well as your outward appearance.

2. The period between September 1st and half-term primarily consists of letters home about bugs “going around the school” which only I have caught. (I became class rep for Didsbury son after some romantic notions about being proactive about education on a weekend without the hassle of being a governor).

3. The step up in any school year induces the kind of lame platitudes you hated hearing a child and you now pass on.
Me: (pants on head, trousers half down, gooning around the kitchen saying “It’s a great day for a spelling test”.
Didsbury Son booking counselling session for 21st Birthday, “It’s my dad – he thought he was the warm-up act for breakfast. At age 5 it was funny, by Year 5 it made me nervous.”

4. One of the benefits of being a year 5 parent is watching the other parents who have constantly told you that private education is apartheid and generally a bad bad thing now surreptitiously stalking potential tutors, past papers and tips about “The High School” and “the Grammar School” from a never before so popular Didsbury Wife who teaches.

5. From Half-term onwards it is a question of minor fleecings building to a crescendo in a Christmas so wrought with guilt and expectation I’m only glad my non-Christian upbringing made me a late developer.

At Harvest Festival my son’s book bag bulged with feed the poor letters nestling next to exorbitant charges for out of frame school pictures and a school trip that could pay for a sedan chair for each child. The removing of the disposable income built carefully through Halloween (costume and sweets), Bonfire Night (when did a small box go up to £25), Eid, Chanucah, Book Week (trying to sell him illustrated books at £11.99 each), Solstice, Panto Trips etc. Ad nauseum. Didsbury wife and I glare covetously at each other’s wallets with a “your turn” unspoken across the Special K.

6. I really dislike Halloween. Firstly, it is American and not ours. I fear being dragged kicking into Thanksgiving that would mean 2 months of enormous turkeys beckoning me night after night. I have invented a meal between breakfast and elevenses – turkey treats for me and the cats. Secondly, it’s crap.
British trick or treating consists of two possibilities round our way – either little Freyas or Archies in Tesco costumes with doting parents standing behind them taking pictures mercilessly as you strain knee and attention span to feign interest and give those M&S sweets with fair-trade sugar. This is like some bizarre “mini-pops” with paparazzi as small children slightly scared of their own costumes are cheered on to talk to strangers by sugar-coated parents. The flip side is surly teenagers who realise it’s a middle-class area and look slightly threatening as they scoop the remnants to scoff noisily or give out as Christmas presents.
The main reason I hate Halloween is that it is killing Bonfire Night. Not dissimilar to the way the Premier League is killing the FA Cup. November 5th and the 1st Saturday of the year are sacrosanct. One is toffee, Heinz Tomato Soup, scared pets and fireworks. The other is the best Match of the Day of the year, features a postman and a student playing an international and has the chance of embarrassment. Both are fantastic. Halloween comes over here giving chewing gum, tights and chocolates to the kids and lures them away with flashy costumes and the ability to jitterbug.
Like aluminium, ass, jello and a bag of chips when they mean crisps it is great for America but does not suit the British. If you love ghost and goblins go to Alderley Edge, on bonfire night.

PART 2 – HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR HOLIDAY IS WORKING?

YOU KNOW THE HOLIDAY IS WORKING WHEN…

Children , especially your own don’t grate and fanta, chocolate and DS for breakfast seem reasonable.

Those machines outside shops with plastic balls in are enticing.

Ice cream tastes fantastic.

That vertical line between your eyes that gets deeper daily at home seems to shrink

You don’t get acid reflux or sciatica

An exercise class in 30 degree heat being embarrassed in a foreign language is fun.

You laugh whilst washing up

You can read the Daily Mail without feeling uneasy

You agree to social functions willingly; by the time it’s October  and you are squeezed into something uncomfy with someone dull – the tan, the intention and the bonhomie will have gone.

You realise that you do care about the things you worried that you had stopped caring about.

The sunrise is the most beautiful time of day, every day
You realise that you genuinely love your car and then go back to sleep.
Didsbury wife suggests a 500 mile drive to Paris to show Didsbury son the Eiffel Tower and you agree immediately.

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