Tag: Family (page 1 of 12)

‘An absolute whirlwind’ – Harry visits our friends

I sometimes imagine that having a very young toddler is a bit like trying to train an excitable puppy.
They are out of control, noisy and are hellbent on destruction.
They need to be contained in order not to wreak too much havoc and they have no safety filter so are just as likely to destroy themselves as the house.
But the key difference from a puppy is that a toddler has hands, can reach things and, frighteningly, is more than happy to pull things down.
We saw my wife’s Grandad and some great friends at the weekend. Crucially though, on location at their house.
It’s a good job they are understanding!

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How Sophie’s shepherd nativity debut unfolded

I’ve seen a lot of school nativities in my time.

Usually, there are a whole host bunch of ridiculously cute small children wearing tinsel, tea towels and terrified faces acting out a vague interpretation of the Christmas story to an excitable sea of uber proud parents, grandparents and other assorted adults.

It’s usually lovely.

But throwing Sophie into that mix was quite nerve wracking. Sure I was very excited about the show, but what if something went wrong…?

I was delighted to get the time off work to go. My manager actually anticipated it asking me if I had one to go to. So I rushed out of work and made the trek across town desperately hoping I wouldn’t be late.

Sophie had been singing the songs with gusto at home for a good five weeks.

Initially she told us she was an angel and we were imagining white dresses halos and a pretty glamourous look.

We got a bit suspicious though when her favourite songs were We must go to Bethlehem and Look, there’s an angel. Surely angels wouldn’t be quite so startled to see one of their own?

Turned out she was a shepherd.

So tea towels after all then.

We saw Sophie coming in with her class to sit down and as soon as she saw us she shrunk back into the teacher, a coy grin plastered all over her face. 

They’d done all the costuming. A deep blue cloak, manly headdress and a little sheep to clutch. We beamed with pride although there was that ridiculous feeling inside – what if she makes a mistake? Sure she wouldn’t.

Next to me her grandparents were so overwhelmingly excited. Pity we couldn’t really see her from our seats. Her lookalike best friend was wearing exactly the same costume and sitting next to her, constantly blocking our view. Occasionally she’d stand up for a quick second, shoot us a grin and an embarrassed wave and then bob down again.

Still we knew she’d be pumping out the showtunes, a veritable array of awesome children’s carols. Every now and then we’d catch a glimpse of her face and she was so happy.

Narrators bumbled on and off, powering out their words with great enthusiasm and a very cute lack of flow and rhythm. That’s Reception for you.

My favourite character was the donkey. A child in a onesie with a girl in a blue dress and a balloon tummy following him round the stage. Classic.

Finally, it was Sophie’s big moment. The shepherd dance.

She bounded on and jumped her little heart out to the sound of Jump jump jump there’s an angel. It was amazing.

She was probably only on stage for twenty seconds or so but the feeling of parental pride was immense. So lovely. And she smashed it as well.

Afterwards she allowed herself the honour of waving frantically at us, briefly, before disappearing off with her teacher to get changed and return to 2017. The consummate professional.

And so, as we gathered up the tissues which had collected our tears of pride, we thought that was pretty fun.

Same time next year?

Happy 1st birthday Harry

When Sophie turned one, I couldn’t quite believe how fast the time had gone.

That’s nothing compared to how quickly year one has been for Harry.

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On the other side of Parents Evening

So Sophie had her first school Parents Evening last week and I was fascinated to experience what it was like.

Gotta say…it was weird.

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The start of school

It’s a very strange irony but as I adjust – quite happily – to the lack of school in my daily life, Sophie is revelling in her first few days of pre-school.

For me, it’s been a real joy to take her along and  experience those new times with her. It’s something that would have been simply impossible had I stayed put.

For her, it’s been a wide-eyed adventure into the unknown and one that apparently she is absolutely loving.

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A day out at the beach

A couple of weeks ago, i decided that the best way for me to enjoy a Daddy day with Sophie and Harry would be to spend it on the beach.

Setting aside the fact the nearest beach was 60 miles away (ish), I packed lots of things, bundled the little ones into the car and headed off.

Looking out of the rain-spattered Windows as I joined the M56 out towards North Wales, I wondered if it was really such a good idea after all…

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Imaginary friends

I think most children go through it – that time where your best friend exists in your head but you’re pretty sure they’re actually real.

I remember having one who was not very good at stopping my shots when we played football together – surprisingly – but any other details have long since faded.

As parents it’s important to go along with the pretence, encouraging your child’s social development and including the imaginary friend in everyday life until they get bored with them.

Which may have to be soon for us as with Sophie’s army of pretend pals we’re going to need to do some dramatic upsizing!

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Bootcamp Babies – time off with Daddy is exhausting…!

So I’ve been a “retired” schoolteacher for almost two weeks now and the new lease of life is certainly taking its toll…on Sophie and Harry!

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Manchester: Five Years On

Five years ago, London 2012 exploded into our living rooms in a tidal wave of golden hysteria.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, Tom Daley and Laura Trott led the charge as Team GB’s remarkable exploits captured the nation.

As for us, we were sat watching from our new Chorlton living room having made the switch from Lincolnshire’s Grantham to the suburbs of England’s most ambitious city.

And we’ve never looked back since…

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Outnumbered

I’d done a weekend by myself before with the two children.

But this was different.

This was on location in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields and hills.

Oh and Harry really wasn’t feeling well.

This oughta be interesting.
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