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…
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!
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!
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…
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.
OK, so we’d survived the night of all of us in one room. Just about.
And we’d had an incredible holiday in Austria (more in future posts).
But we really hit a low point with the security check on the way back. I mean, we’ve only been flying for twenty years…
Coming away on holiday is an absolute treat. Such a privilege to take a step out of daily life and travel away, in our case to visit our very generous relatives who live near Innsbruck, Austria.
The process of leaving home though can be a little bit arduous, a fact that was hammered home to us by our overnight stay at the Premier Inn, Gatwick where the four of us were crammed into a family room of four beds and a cot.
It did not go well.
First with Sophie and now with Harry I have signed myself up to the “dream feed” – a late evening bottle to give them a boost and stop them waking my wife up earlier than she needs on the night shift.
It’s always been a special time of bonding with the children, where I can do my bit to help out and look after them in a way they absolutely need.
Six months in though and the parameters have changed and my body is starting to feel the pace…
On this day ten years ago, I was feeling ill and rather sorry for myself when a young lady who I’d been on a couple of dates with rocked up at my house.
She had brought with her some feel-better goodies – chocolate, orange juice – and then took advantage of my sorry state to ask if I was ready to “make it official on Facebook.”
Our first ever photograph together
The rest, as they say, is history.
It’s been a really special Easter for Sophie this year.
We were determined to make Easter at the very least as memorable as Christmas for her and my wife put in some sterling work to make that happen.
Here’s how it turned out…