Parenthood for Dummies
Being a father is a wild ride. My name is Christopher & these are my observations, theories & comments on life as the dad of my two boys Ripley & Jayden. I write this to air my thoughts & update my friends & family with photos, videos and such like. For everyone else I offer hints and tips on parenting as I learn them. For legal reasons I make no direct reference to my employer or any of my colleagues.
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on with the show...
most recent posts appear first in the list, then proceeding back in time, check "archives" section on left-hand sidebar for earlier posts
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Diary_: Minimoto Death Trap
We were walking in town the other day when I saw a group of perhaps 12-13 year old boys with caps and tracksuits (chavs as we call them here). Nothing unusual there. But they were all stooped over pushing miniture motorcycles. It appears that this years credit card maxing must have toy were these miniture motorbikes. I am really shocked. I don't claim to be the best parent in the world but I know that I would NOT let my son have anything so outrageously dangerous. I am amazed that parents can be so utterly stupid as to give these motorbikes to CHILDREN!
For those who don't know, minimotos are perfect proportioned 2 stroke replicas of sports bikes (see pic opposite) which are capable of going 40MPH and over!!! They are illegal on public roads and should only be used on tarmac. Which makes you wonder where these boys were going with them?
My prediction for the new year is a grim one. Deaths will increase as a result of this stupid craze and stupider parents for giving in to it. I mean, seriously, if you wanted to give your children something illegal and deadly then why stop at a minimoto, why not a gun, anaconda snake, TNT, flick knife. STUPID!
Don't buy one, just watch this onboard video below, saves any nasty case of death.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Diary_: New Years Resolutions 2006
Here are the new years resolutions made by my family. I have entered them here so that we don't forget for next year. Plus they are funny.
Christopher's New Years Resolutions 2006
1) Move to bigger house
2) Feel happier about my (deleted for legal reasons, it is not to do with any part of my body - hahaha )
3) No more road rage
4) Sell Smart Car because I don't use it
5) Build workshop for Penny's cottage industry
6) Set a realistic saving budget after I move house
7) Save some money for something fun for ME - Arial Atom (it's a car), Motorbike.
8) Spend more time in the garden
9) Do more exercise (specifically swimming)
10) Try to stick to my resolutions unlike last year
Tristan's New Years Resolutions 2006
1) Fix the roof on house
2) Find a job
3) Make friends
4) Find a hobby
5) Stay away from Ex-girlfriend
6) Learn to drive
7) Don't lose temper
8) Try new things
Penny's New Years Resolutions 2006
1) Sell my designs on eBay and make money
2) Vacuum more
3) Stay in contact with Gary more
Dad's New Years Resolutions 2006
1) Try not to hate the world
2) Only hate certain people
3) Don't be proud
4) Accept money from your son when offered
5) In fact insist on the above preferably in the form of a percentage of his income for all the years of looking after him
6) Resist the urge to strangle Tristan
7) Try to care about how other people see me even though I don't care what people think
8) Don't keep denying Christopher is your son even though he lives in South East England
9) Try to find out who his father really is
10) Finish fixing things
11) Don't fight anybody at petrol stations
12) Don't underestimate other road users even though they are stupid
13) Try not to be prejudice against the Cornish as at least one of them is OK
Step Mum's New Years Resolutions 2006
1) Try to get to bed earlier
Friday, December 23, 2005
Photo_: Refection Shot of Penny & Ripley
Photo_: Catalogue Man & Baby (Winter Wear p453 :)
Photo_: Ripley & Penny December Beach Walk
This is a lovely shot of Penny chasing Ripley toward the sea. Taken on Pendower beach on a cool but bright December day.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Diary_: Lost Highway - David Lynch
Just watched Lost Highway by David Lynch. Anyone want to explain to me what the f$@k that was all about, I would be grateful. If Hell exists it is probably directed by David Lynch.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Progress Update_: HE IS SLEEPING!
Well, what more can I say, our tactic of letting him scream and little bit during the night and not relenting, i.e. picking him up and putting him straight into bed with us, has worked. For the past three or possibly four nights he has slept all the way through, this is brilliant, it is not just a fluke, he really is sleeping much better now. And so are we!!!! WooHoo.
Next move, get him into his own room, we might wait until we moved house before trying that one.
Christmas soon, I am really looking forward to it this year, Ripley really enjoyed opening his birthday presents, last year he was a little bit too young to understand what was going on. That reminds me, I really ought to buy him a Christmas present soon :)
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Diary_: Explosion at Bunsfield Oil Refinary Hemel Hempstead rocks South East of England
OK - it is 6:40am and it is Sunday - why am I blogging - because there is no other news on the internet about a massive explosion in the UK. This is a break from the norm, but worthy of an entry. Penny was woken this morning at 6am by a massive explosion which caused the house to shake. She lay there in the dark panicking. The explosion was of a magnitude she had never felt and she knew it had to be significant. She made no excuses for thinking that it could have been nuclear. As I slept she got up and wandered downstairs to try and get more info from the TV. Reports are now coming in to TV channels of a MASSIVE explosion in Hemel Hemstead - which is over 100 Miles away from where we live in Surrey!!! The reports are sketchy but it seems that an oil depot or refinary just exploded!
Penny never felt anything like it. We are still a little worried about it and so got up to make sure it is nothing more sinister. Pennys gut instinct was to drive us all to Cornwall if we were at risk from any chemical fallout from this thing. It is only 40 minutes after the explosion was heard, but there is no suggestion that anyone is in danger. Lots of people in Hemel lots windows and had the slates blown off their roofs, but other than that no deaths have been reported. Give it time. Someone must have been hurt by the blast wave alone.
If it was a fuel depot I am guessing the South East can expect a fuel crisis. Good job I work from home. Sorry - selfish - but there you go, blogs are new from the average Joes like me.
Nobody can accuse this blog of just being another baby blog - this is more info than anywhere else on the internet so far.
Fantastic photo from near me here - http://photo.kitt.net/2005/12/massive-explosions-hit-fuel-depot-in.html
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
High Point_: There's a voice that keeps on calling me
Well, in literally the space of only a few days, we decided we needed a change. We put the house on the market, started looking at other houses, found one we liked, made an offer & got it accepted! Even though we haven't sold our house yet, the owners of our prospective new house liked us and aren't in any real rush, that said, I am still a bit nervous that we won't be able to sell our house and they might get itchy feet. Anyway, must remain optimistic. Our new house (touch wood) has a big kitchen, four bedrooms, a garage, a massive lounge and dining room, and perhaps the best thing - a massive garden which we worked out is 7.5 times bigger than our current garden. As soon as I saw the garden I could imagine Ripley playing in it, as Penny said it is plenty big enough to fit in a big trampoline, I know she really wants one of those and it will be the first thing we buy. It is such a great house and I am so excited, I also know that life has a way of kicking you in the nuts, so I am trying to maintain a bit of emotional control. Like our Alsatian friend here, we have a habit of not settling down anywhere for very long, but we both agree that this house has real potential, it has everything we need for at least the next 20 years, and if we really need a bigger house we can always eat into the garden a little bit with an extension. I am really really really excited, calm down calm down, maintain control.
Although it has been quite difficult, we have decided to get tough with Ripley, last night we didn't pick him up when he cried at 3am asking to come into our bed, I looked at him and told him to lie down and go to sleep, amazingly (after about a quarter of an hour of screaming) he did. Is this the beginning of a more relaxing parenthood? Somehow I doubt it.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Low Point_: Crying in the night
I have to say that the biggest test of any parent is having to put up with your child screaming between midnight and three o'clock in the morning when all you want to do is sleep and you have done everything you can to calm him down.
Sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason to the tears. Last night was exactly that. He was in his cot in our room as usual and at around midnight he woke up - as usual - and had a little bit of a whinge. We attempted to make him fall asleep in his cot but because we are tired (& weak) we picked him up and brought him into bed with us.
Usually this has the desired effect, he is straight off to sleep, but last night he just kept wiggling around, he kept waking up and having a bit of a scream, he was scratching, grabbing, even biting at one point. I just got sick of it, I picked him up and put him back in his cot, I turned to Penny and said that is it, it was time to try some controlled crying.
Controlled crying for those who don't know is simply this: letting your kid to cry until he basically gets bored of the idea. The assumption is that your baby isn't really upset, but is just using crying and screams as a method of communication in lieu of any vocabulary. There are two problems with that, firstly when your baby cries it is pain, the world is falling down, it is your primary concern that matter how much you try and block it out. Secondly, who is to say what it is "communication" and what is genuine upset and distress, I tell you, Ripley must be the best actor in the world.
It started to look as if it would work, for the first 15 minutes he was crying, and I have to admit it was totally heartbreaking. But then all of a sudden he stopped, he looked at something on the ground and pointed at it, he was staring at it for about five minutes, he then started laughing and making little grabbing motions toward it, he was looking at me then looking at the object then looking back at me, although at this point I was extremely tired I had to check what he was looking at. I swung myself out of bed and looked down at the area between the carpet on the wall. Nothing, there was nothing there. I looked at him and he laughed at me. I had to wonder if he did this on purpose, paranoia brought on by fatigue, you may well think so in the cold light of day but I am not so sure. I said to him in a slightly sterner voice "Ripley, lie down and go to sleep please", he looked at me and frowned, then shook his head with eyes locked on mine. I repeated the request, he shook his head, I said it again, he shook his head violently and made a disgruntled screech. I decided to ignore him and trying to go back to sleep, he spent the rest of the time screeming, crying, pausing, laughing, everything a baby can do but sleep.
Penny, aware of the fact that I had to get up to work in the morning, got up and gave him a cuddle. In the end she had to give up and took him into bed with us once more. He fell straight to sleep.
It is very very very hard to know what to do the best, if you read the books and if you talk to the midwives they will always tell you the same things, try controlled crying, let them scream for a bit. I remember thinking to myself before I had the baby (the naive years) that I wasn't going to take any crap. But we take crap for this little guy all the time. It is just part of being a parent I guess.
As you can probably tell from the fragmented train of thought you are reading, this post was again a product of voice recognition. I guess you get an impression of how I really speak. So it is quite good for that reason. Hopefully it wasn't too rambling.
This morning Ripley was the same happy little boy that he was yesterday, evidently any malice he held toward us for the ordeal he was put through was forgiven and forgotten. I guess he couldn't have been that upset. The question is - do we try and make him sleep in his cot again tonight. My mind says yes but my heart will always say no. I guess I really am weak.