This is my story as I stumble my way through family life

With one toddler and another new arrival on the way, this blog shares with you some of the things I see and think and also hopefully gives newer dads and dads to be some ideas based on what I did (or often, did not...) learn

Thursday, 18 August 2011



Potty training with Ol is going really well on the whole. Number ones are nailed and we just don't get accidents during the day. He even gets up at night to go on the potty despite still having a night time nappy.
There are still a few boundary issues to be sorted as he is a little too keen to show this new skill off and will drop his pants wherever he happens to be standing if you are not extremely vigilant. Stage fright is certainly not an issue with my eldest!

Number two's are a bit more hit and miss: we have had some success but this is far from a slam dunk. Ol seems to have no early warning system when one is coming and you basically get a five second window to get him on the potty or you are scraping it out of his pants (and that is not nice). At the weekend he even ended up crouching and going like the dog on our back lawn. This probably wasn't the nicest sight for the neighbours but needs must and all that!

The worst experience was this week though when the urge took Ol whilst in the bath with Josh and the inevitable happened. The world stopped as I had a no win decision to make.... Which one of the boys do I save from the floaters!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Potty training- the sequel of success

After my aborted (disastrous) attempts at potty training at Easter whilst Ol had chicken pox (probably not my best ever idea), we have had another go at getting him dry whilst it is the holidays.

Victoria has once again used the reward chart to huge success and I would like to say I have played a vital part in this process but in reality.....well, I have not.

The first two days were, as I gather,  ones which called for resilience and patience. the first of which I can do, the second of which I have none!

Today was a big marker on the road to success though; the same pants all the way through with no accidents and he even put himself on the potty twice unprompted.

I'm a very proud Daddy today!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

State school 'education' in Bournemouth

So Ollie has just turned three and all of a sudden we are in panic mode over schools.

We were planning to send him to the school attached to the church we have been going to for the last two years but it turns out there is some register you have to sign which we never knew about; to get the letter of recommendation from the vicar we will need to attaned more church services than there are weeks in the next six months......
The vicar will only use how many times you have signed this book despite their rules being that parents need to be active members of the church; two active do you want mr vicar?

So we have had a look at what other schools we could apply for. None better than satisfactory at best accoring to Ofsted and mentions of social problems etc scare the life out of me- why would we want out little one to be exposed to that? We live in Bournemouth not Beirut so what is going on?

I cannot understand why we must pay our taxes yet schools are allowed to get away with providing what appears to be sub standard education (or at least failing to create conditions for learning).

Looking at our local secondary school it seems to get even worse; judging by the kids walking to school, the uniform is trainers, hoody and a fag. Where are the standards and discipline?

Someone please tell me why I continue to pay taxes when I know that I am going to have to look at independant, private education. I am sure all those people living off my taxes and dragging down the standards of those around them will continue to enjoy this while we cut our standard of living even more in order to fund my child's education which I thought was what my taxes were for in the first place.. Grrrr

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The guilt trip

Ollie has a new weapon is his armoury designed to manipulate adults and get his own way. It is called The Guilt Trip.

As his vocabulary gets ever wider and, crucially, as he gets to understand the meanings of what he says, Ollie is coming to realise how he can deliver those words with maximum chance of evoking a reaction.

His current favourite is dropping a very poignant "I love you Daddy" halfway through a conversation. It just makes me melt an inevitably softens me up for any later times when he wants his own way with something (which often follows just after).

The other one which grips me is delivered if I haven't seen him for a couple of days when I am out early and home late and that is "I miss you Daddy". There is nothing you can say or do apart from give him a cuddle!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Chicken pox-help from the carpet cleaner.....

So the stay-cation didn't quite turn out as hoped for the day after our Paultons Park outing, Ol came down with chicken pox and the next day, guess what? Yep, Josh brokeout in the rash.

Not exactly the holiday I was hoping for, a toddler and a baby covered in spots and house bound for at least a week!

Luckily it wasn't quite as bad as it could have been and that may have been down to the alternative theories as espoused by our carpet cleaner: baths with camomile and lavender in and a daily rub down with sesame oil meant neither of the boys scratched or itches despite being covered. We didn't even have to open the calamine lotion!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Paultons Park (& Peppa Pig World)- some tips!

Our Easter break this year is a bit of a stay-cation and for one of our day out we promised Ollie a trip to the new Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park near Southampton and not too far at all from us.
Against my better judgement, we decided today was the day to visit, or rather Ol did (I thought next week might be calmer as a lot of the schools would be back but how do you tell a two year old?).

Unsurprisingly the combination of school holidays and fabulous weather meant it was seriously busy so here are a couple of quick tips for anyone thinking of visiting:

1. If you are coming from the west then leave the M27 at junction one and follow the road parallel to the motorway. Doing so will bring you to Paultons nearly as soon as leaving at J2 but crucially, you are avoiding the rest of the world who use J2 and then queue before having to turn across traffic to access the park. You howeve will avoid these and also jus turn left straight into the park (it might even be worth doing this and doubling back if coming from the east)

2. Buy your tickets on line beforehand (you can do so even on the day you want to visit). Not only do you save a couple of quid each but you ge to jump some serious queues as you have to buy a ticket before going to the gate: we wandered past the hordes of impatient kids and harrassed parents (not the way you want to start the day) and sauntered in having paid less than they were about to!

3. Do not make Peppa Pig world your first port of call. As it is new everyone does that and as a result it is rammed in the morning- go in the afternoon and it is much calmer and far more fun. There are loads of other things to keep the kids occupied in the morning in the rest of the park.

It was a good day out all said. Ollie loved it and Joh hardly slept as he had loads to see. The down side is that they don't accept Tesco Clubcard vouchers and apparently never do offers. Considering the times we live in this is a shame: Ol got in free today as he is under one metre tall but it won be long before he is not and two parents and two kids are looking at £80 before you even start on food and visits to shops etc. Whether this reticence to discount is because they don't need to with the new attraction will remain to be seen but a bit of help to parents wouldn't go amiss.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Our carpet cleaner is an alternative therapist

So, recently V has got Josh wearing beads around his neck to ward off teething pains.

I got home yesterday to find her ordering something colloidal silver which apparently is the antidote to all things.

This highly secret special formula (have you ever heard of it?) is souch a closely guarded secret that apparently it can only be dispensed by the most highly qualified medical practitioners or, in our case, the bloke who came around to fix our carpet after Ol burned a hole in it with a hair dryer!