• The Toddler Whining Phase

    During my life I’ve googled some interesting things, some funny, and definitely some weird. But today I had to laugh as I googled “toddler whining stage”. Just in case any of the following sounds like I don’t, I feel like I should permanently state “I love my daughter, I do…” as a pre-cursor to anything that I say, because it’s 100% true. But – and there’s usually a but – at the moment, good lord is she whining. Having a baby means you absolutely come to expect at least some form of crying and wailing for the first 12 or so months, maybe even longer (everything’s a blur). But in…

  • The Art of Negotiation

    Negotiation with a childA discussion aimed at reaching an agreement which undoubtedly results in one member of the discussion crying until they get what they want. It’s a summer’s morning, we’ve been up since 6, all activities and toys in the four walls of our house have been exhausted, Ivy is growing irritable and the need for fresh air and open spaces has hit red alert status. So we hit the park, it’s just what we all needed, time away from Peppa, surrounded by screaming kids in the baking sun. There’s no way the location of the cafe/ice cream stand in the park isn’t planned, in fact I imagine the…

  • We’re On The Move

    We’re finally moving into our own house. A statement that over the last 2 years I felt like we would never say. I’m conscious that this might become a gigantic rant about the house-buying process and how much of a pain in the arse it is. But I’ll do my best to steer away from that. I’m 27, and living with my wife’s parents, a living situation that has been the same for over 2 years now. It’s rare I find people willing to put up with just me for that long, but throw in Meg and our daughter who is growing and becoming ever-more demanding by the day and…

  • Sleep, What’s That?

    Regardless of whether you’re a parent or not, throughout our adult life most of us think about sleep as much as possible. Getting that extra 5 minutes in bed in the morning can feel like the difference between actually making it through the day or falling asleep on the person next to you on the train. As parents-to-be, the people around you become experts in everything parenting, whether they’ve been through it or not. “You definitely don’t want to bottle feed”, “that’s really going to hurt”, but the absolute crowd favourite is “well, say goodbye to sleep”. The annoying thing about that last statement is the crowd are right. Your…

  • A Trip to West Midlands Safari Park

    I think it might be a sign of getting older, I’ve had too many heavy weekends, or I’m just becoming a boring bastard, but I now really look forward to weekends where we don’t have anything planned. The thing I forget is, long gone are the days where I can lie in until midday, have breakfast about 1 and play on my Xbox until the early evening without even an ounce of guilt entering my body. As parents we have to be on the ‘go’ 90% of the time and have a bit of a plan to do something. Meg’s a lot better at that than I am, so what…

  • Observations of a commuter

    Commuting seems to be a way of life now, for everyone. If, like me you don’t live in a city and the only local job prospects are a paper round or working at the local charity shop. Chances are you’ll be hitting the road early or catching a train. The town I’ve grown up in and now live in is probably most well known for its castle, but aside from that it’s a Scooby Doo background reel of Indian restaurants, opticians and pubs. Therefore my week days are spent packed in like sardines with the general public on the train hurtling towards civilisation. 2 years of using a train 5…

  • Spinning plates

    The A Word

    I’ve recently finished reading ‘Notes on a nervous planet’ by Matt Haig. A fantastic book about the modern world and how technology, social media and our ever busy environment is contributing to the increase in anxiety and stress in pretty much all of us. Whether it’s the fear of robots taking our jobs or the more simple reality of constantly being connected via social media, Matt talks about the need to switch off and advice on how to live a better life. I may have painted it out to sound like a self help book – to me it’s not. Instead it’s observations of the world from a man who…

  • BT Baby Monitor 6000 Review

    Big brother is watching you, or in this case, mum and dad from the comfort of their bed! Arguably one of the best gifts we were given when Ivy was born was her video baby monitor and ours recently packed in (RIP), putting us into a blackout for the first time in just under two years. To be fair, the old Vtech monitor we had was dropped, thrown and trodden on more times than I can remember, so it proved itself to be a solid product. You don’t ever get fully past the stage of wanting to check your little one is breathing every couple of seconds when they’re asleep,…

  • A weekend away in Edinburgh

    What if I said to you that you were getting on a flight, and for 48 hours your clothes would be free of weetabix, you wouldn’t have to lay a hand on a single nappy, and your ears would be free of the whimsical tunes of Moana and Frozen. It gets better, what if I told you a guaranteed lie in was on the horizon? Actual uninterrupted sleep and no thrown dummies for two. whole. nights. This is like parent dirty talk! Well I think I nailed it with the birthday present this year for Meg, because for her birthday weekend we left Ivy in the capable hands of my…

  • Will 3 become 4?

    Life as an adult is very much like being a permanent plate spinner. The metaphorical plates upon each stick can be anything from work commitments and deadlines, to home life, housework and doing your best to stay fit and active. If you pile parenthood into the mix, you can add plates of nappy changing, entertaining, food prepping, miniature clothes washing, crisis and tantrum averting, bathing, blah, blah, blah. It’s no wonder that at some stage a plate will fall and smash. At the moment plates are flying, work is busy, Ivy is growing and the prospects of looking for a family home are becoming very realistic, that in itself is more…