Dad Groups.

I have previously managed to give a positive description of the playground groups of mums that I find at my kids school (Click here to read it) so to even out the playing field I’ve decided to do the same for the dad groups. Well I say groups but actually we don’t really tend to stand in more than a group of two and can be spotted scuffing our feet and looking everywhere to avoid eye contact. So lets drop group and go for categories instead.

1. The resident fuck knuckle

Every school has one as a pupil and invariably that pupil tends to turn into a life giver and become the a senior fuck knuckle. This person can be characterised by their cock of the walk strut around the playground and their “I eat bricks for breakfast” stare. Normally to be found with some form of ill conceived political belief dropping out of their mouth wearing white trainers, jeans and a donnay sweatshirt. They are pretty harmless and a quick chat will soon establish that they have the IQ of a tea spoon.

2. The resident divorcee

This guy is either the hero or the villain depending on who broke up with who and I’m pretty sure that you can find his former other half skulking around the playground with a pair of sharp scissors and a jar of his toe nail clippings. In my playground he is the hero…..amongst women. To us men, this chap is a full on snaky bastard who needs taking to one side for a good shoeing. Women think he is great though, he can charm the worms out the dog shit this one. Note that he never speaks to other blokes and always goes to group of women for a chat.

3. The cool one

He’s got long hair, he wears surfer shorts and flip flops even in the winter and he drives the fabled VW camper van. This man is the kid that never grew up but who did manage to breed in between surf board time and henna tattoos. Vocabulary is limited as is his range of conversation but my god he has a fantastic full head of hair. Part of me idolises him and part of me hates him and I can’t decide on who’s the winner.

4. The dreamer

This one has never fully settled on a career choice and how he earns his money is up for debate, but he always has an idea. He’s always got a “deal” on the go but normally the deal doesn’t involve his own money. One minute he’s buying a boat, the next minute an island and he was the one who missed out on investing in Apple as he thought they were a fruit supplier. Always happy to give his business opinion on everything as long as you look past the fact he has literally no demonstrable success.

5. The letch

Normally found hanging around any slutty or vulnerable women, the letch is a married man who is clearly very unhappy and only gets to put it in once every 3 months. The letch is identifiable from his dad dress sense and 90’s hairstyle and without his wife he operates like a dog with two dicks. However, when Mrs Letch is nearby Mr Letch simply hangs on her tail coats. I’m not saying he’s rapey but you wouldn’t leave him alone with your wife for too long.

As with all my writings there is always further to go and more categories to put in, but to be honest I am hoping for a book deal so don’t want to give all of my future works away. I probably won’t get one though as I lack the appealability that the mum blogger has. I lack the ability to take a post pregnancy picture of myself or the lack of shame to picture myself against a plain brick wall with some wanky half cocked smile. But if you are a publisher and want to give a fat bald man the chance to make a cock of himself, I’m listening….

The end.

Precious Commodities

Before you have kids you take certain things in your house for granted.  For example, you know that were you to feel a bit peckish one evening you will probably have a packet of crisps you could go an easily pull out of the cupboard.  You don’t think twice about it, you run out of them then you just buy some more when you go shopping.  It’s not just food you take for granted, you also happily enter your living room knowing where the TV remote is located or you come home from work knowing that your slippers are where you left them.

About 18 months after kids you realise that nothing in your house is sacred and all out warfare is now taking place between you, your kids and your other half with everyman for themselves fighting it out with normal household and personal items becoming as precious as gold. Being the responsible conscious blogger, I’ve compiled some handy examples below to give you a head start in this battle.

1. Toilet Roll

One of the most basic but valuable commodities in the house post kids.  I have lost count the number of times I’ve perched my peachy derriere on the throne and mid opening realised that the loo roll has about 2 turns worth of sheets left.  My house is noisy as you would expect with three kids so shouting downstairs is a battle in itself.  Sometimes I get heard, sometimes I have to crimp early and waddle out to the airing cupboard.  It’s not only this though, it’s the fact that we get through on average about 5 rolls a week sometimes a lot more.  I now buy my roll in bulk from amazon.  I’ve told my kids loads of times to not use loads but it literally falls on deaf ears but then what do I expect when their mum uses handfuls just to wipe her lady parts?

2. Slippers

I know these shouldn’t be a pawn in the battle of valuable items however in my house they are integral to stability and peace.  I love slippers, I’ve got a real comfy pair of lamb’s wool lined slip on style.  As soon as I’m in the door, my slipper dippers are on and I gracefully walk into the living room where my wearing of slippers promptly ends.  I sit down and there they are, not my slippers but my youngest and eldest child.  They eye me up waiting for me to raise my foot slightly in the air, as soon as I do their there like a tramp on chips.  My slippers are off my feet in a flash and on to their feet, not that they fit but they think it’s great to flop around in them.  Now this isn’t too much of an issue, oh no it’s the getting them back where war starts.  I liken it to sticking your hand into a cage full of jack Russell dogs and trying to steal their food.

3. Mayonnaise

We never had mayo as a kid as it was too European (true story!) but when it entered my life around 12 years old I never thought I would be crying on the kitchen floor when I went to the fridge and found we had ran out.  Fast forward 23 years and this is now the case thanks to my kid’s insane ability to get through a bottle a week.  It initially started off as a way of getting them to eat their food but has now developed into an obsession that’s got worse since the 2 eldest learned to squeeze it out themselves.  I’ve taken to keep a stash in the cupboard hidden behind the vegetables.  Cue a shitty mood from any child that realises we’ve ran out. He who holds the mayo holds the dinner time power and peace

4. Apples

This one is down to only one of my children commonly referred to by the family as “caveman”.  That’s right number 2, the 5-year-old who is as big as a 7 year old and as wide as one too who’s favourite thing in the world is an Apple.  Now I am not discouraging the eating of such a healthy snack but this lads eating of fruit is obscene.  He would happily sit in his pants all day eating fruit particularly apples which results in the mother of all battles when we run out.  I’ve even stopped myself from taking the last apple from the fear of him going batshit on me, I’m 30 years older than him!  His apple obsession is not a phase, it’s here to stay.  Not just any apples either, oh no he has a particular taste for a pink lady.  His apple obsession has also spread to one of our dogs who we call Bear (a regular feature on my Instagram page).  Bear sits everyday patiently waiting for the apple core to come his way and getting in a proper pissy if it doesn’t.  They say dogs have short memories but this scruff bag doesn’t when it comes to not getting an apple.  (before any of you animal lovers start on about how dangerous apples can be to dogs I’ve checked it with the vet who went on the basis of he’s been eating them nearly every day since being a puppy and hasn’t died yet so carry on!)

5. Drinks Bottles.

A simple vessel designed to deliver hydration in the form of water.  My boys have identical bottles but should one drink from the other, well let’s just say shit hits the fan.  I also have a water bottle as does my wife, they are non-fancy plastic bottles but as soon as my kids lay eyes on them they turn into the holy grail.  You may as well have trotted out a barrow full of gold bullion such is their desire to take a drink or even completely rob our bottles.  I have had tugs of war, pitched battles and even a nerf gun war over the right to drink from my own bloody bottle!  It’s a bottle, it’s the same water and in fact it’s even plainer than the one they have!  Logic goes out the window and an almost carnal desire for water comes out to play.   We also have a fancy water bottle that you put fruit in however we can only get it out when the kids aren’t about to avoid the confrontation which is pathetic as my wife and I have a combined age of 64.

6. Loose Change.

Don’t ever put loose change down in my house, ever.  You may as well throw your shrapnel into the sea as you will never see it again.  I know where it will be though, it will be located in a money box or the big glass money jar that’s located in my bedroom and used to wedge the door shut when my wife and I are at it.  I recently emptied my boy’s money boxes to see how many old pound coins they had, which turned out to be about £50 worth, most of which was robbed off my bedside table or kitchen worktop.  The obsession started out as me innocently encouraging them to save any money they were given, thinking I was being responsible and giving good advice, little did I know it would turn them into a bunch of Fagan style robbing little sods.

I never anticipated spending my life running a secret “moonshine” style operation for mayonnaise or apples but it seems to have gone that way!

The end

Trying for a baby

This blog has been inspired by the huge number of mummy blogs that focus on trying to conceive a child.  There are thousands that focus on everything from how you shouldn’t beat yourself up about how long it takes to fall pregnant to what position your legs should be in after being “filled up”, however nearly all of them fail to mention men and what it’s like for a bloke trying to successfully impregnate his other half.  So as a bloke who has experienced this situation, I’m going to tell you.

First of all, most men like sex and we are literally no happier then when we are balls deep, and this is the way it should be.  Sex between both parties should be fun, enjoyable and something to look forward to.  The moment you start scheduling in sex and turning it from an act of enjoyment to an act of work, is the moment you start to lose interest from your partner.  We know that to have a kid we need to leave it in at the crucial moment, however sometimes we also like to “take it out” at the crucial moment so just let us on occasion.

Blokes need to feel part of the experience of sex and trying for a baby, not like they are just there to provide a fill up & go service and I think a lot of women forget that.  When trying for a baby a lot of women forget that it is a partnership and become incredibly fixated on the end goal of having a child.  Listen, it’s great that so much focus is on the aim however you simply can’t treat an act of nature as you would a work project.

Stop banging on about it.  Yes we know you want a kid, yes we know all of your mates are falling pregnant and yes we know it will make our lives and relationship complete (and incredibly poorer financially).  Your life shouldn’t revolve around trying for a baby, your work shouldn’t be effected and your alone time shouldn’t be spent planning in sex around ovulation times.

You’ve probably spotted the common theme here and that is how you treat trying for a baby.  I’m no medical expert but I have a sneaky suspicion that when you start planning sex, altering diets and generally turning yourself into a baby maker, then the chances of successful insemination will be less because of the amount of stress you are under.  I’ve had this scenario and once we removed all the stress and pressure of having kids, our first child came along which could be a huge coincidence but as this is my blog I’m attributing it to being stress free.

All this being said I am acutely aware that there are couples who struggle to have children and some that unfortunately never will.  Taking 6 months to conceive isn’t a struggle, taking 12 months plus certainly is and for those people I remove my humorous sarcastic tone just for a minute. The strength and determination it takes to carry on in this situation is superhuman and you will always have my upmost respect for sticking with it.  If you are one of these people then you can completely ignore my comments, however if you’re 2 months into trying for a baby and are already acting like a prick then take note and let your fella chuck his muck in other places every now and again.

The end.

Bridezilla

Bridezilla – The term given to a woman who is getting married and becomes so obsessed with the wedding and their image to the outside world that they turn into a first class……..(wait for it)………. Thundercunt.

I am an expert on this subject having been married twice, once to bridezilla and the marriage to my current wife who wasn’t a bridezilla and was sound as a pound about getting married, in fact I think she saw the organisation of the wedding, buying the dress etc a bit of a pain in the arse.  So what makes a bridezilla?  I can sum it up in one word:

Pretenion

Bridezilla is a pretenious woman who is only interested in what other people think of her and that those thoughts are positive.  Bridezilla thinks she is the first person to get married ever.  Bridezilla thinks the whole world wants to see her special day (we don’t, we think you’re a knob) and bridezilla will do everything in her power to make her wedding stand out.  In my own unique style I am here to prove otherwise:

  1. The dress.

I get that every woman wants to look like a princess and nobody wants to look back through their wedding photos and see this bag of shit staring back at them however the lengths some women go to when looking for a dress is ridiculous.  “lets have a full week out dress shopping, not forgetting to throw in a pretentious dress buying lunch and then the celebration meal when I’ve found it” .  Oh just turn it in will you?! Go to several shops, try several dresses on, buy one. Simple!  You might be looking for that unique dress that you haven’t seen anywhere else but guess what, no dress is unique.  They are pretty much all produced in sufficient numbers meaning the wedding dress company/designer get to make some money, this means that whatever wedding dress you choose is probably also being worn by some fat munter called Gert from Mansfield.

2. I must lose weight for the big day.

Again I get that nobody wants Greenpeace turning up at their wedding looking for a stranded whale, however there really isn’t a need to go through a huge weight loss program.  Your partner is marrying you because he likes you (in most cases) and is happy with how you look.  He isn’t marrying you for your ability to starve yourself supermodel style, besides you will more than likely put all that weight back on once your “honeymoon period” is over.

3. Guests.

Bridezilla wants to invite everybody and by fuck if her old neighbour from 3 years ago who she only spoke to 3 times doesn’t turn up, then there will be hell to pay! Don’t forget that vicious old great auntie who stinks of piss, if she isn’t invited we will never hear the end of it!  ooh ooh and don’t forget that bloke who delivers the post everyday, he needs to know and attend the event of the year.  Here’s a new idea, why not just invite people you like?  At my second wedding I employed this idea (my wife approved) and with the exception of 2 people one of whom was a plus 1, there was not one person at the wedding who I didn’t know or like.  If you are bridezilla reading this then i’ll let you into this secret, most people you barely know and most women’s partners, really couldn’t give 2 shits about your wedding.  My wife gets wedding invites and my instance response is “no” followed by “is it a free bar”.  If I like you, i’ll come along.

4. Food.

Throw a buffet. Job done. Stop the 15 course menu with diver caught lobster tails from the north ridge plateau shelf off the cornish coast.  Give me a buffet, i’ll pick what I like and leave the rest.  You’ve employed a top chef to cook?  Well good for you but I bet you a weeks wages it will be cold.

5. Venue.

First time I got married the reception was in a huge marquee at a really nice gothic hotel with the food cooked by a former head chef of the Ivy restaurant in London, second time I had the reception at the local village hall with the food cooked by our local pub (a cracking italian style buffet with a full roast pig) The price difference in the two? About £28,000.  Which one do I think was better?  the second one.  You see you can have your wedding at the most expensive hotel in the world but truth is your guests never truly relax and enjoy the party.  When you have it in a small place surrounded by people you know and like then that’s when you have a truly brilliant party.

There are so many other things I can go on about including bridesmaids, wedding favours and the obligatory owl delivering the rings and I may just save that for part two.  In the meantime if you are a birdezilla (doubtful that you will see yourself as one due to being too self involved) then think about what you are doing and more importantly what matters more when you get married? E.g. What a load of people who barely know you think of you or what your closest family think about your behaviour?  More importantly remember this fact:

The memory of your wedding will fade in most peoples memories quicker than it takes my wife to orgasm when drunk. I’ve been to lots of the  things in my time and the only ones I remember are the ones where a bloody good party was had by all OR where the bride made a dick of herself. Make it the former, not the latter.

The end.

Oreo cookie cupcakes

 

These little beauties are super easy to make and taste amazing, admittedly they look a bit gash but hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? This recipe calls for a cheese cake style mixture so just keep that in mind when you’re cooking them.  A point to remember is don’t give these to your kids just before they are about to go to bed or church, they will undoubtedly make them whizz of their tits.

 

Makes: 12 big buggers

Takes: 20 mins prep and 30 mins cooking

Ingredients:

  • 18 Oreo Cookies or own brand equivalent.

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 400g of soft cheese (cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

  • Get 12 cupcake paper cases out and stick them in a muffin type baking tray.
  • Stick one Oreo in the bottom of each case.
  • Using your fat fingers break up the remaining Oreo’s into small pieces.
  • Lob everything else into a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  • Chuck the rest of the crushed up Oreo’s into the mixing bowl and stir in

  • Pour the mixture equally into each cupcake case

  • Stick in the oven at 180C for approx 30 mins.  Stick a knife in and if it goes out clean then their done.

 

And that is it.  My kids did this so you should be able to without any issues unless you are completely bloody stupid in which case you need to get yourself down to Toys R us and buy yourself some non toxic wax crayons rather than attempting to use heat to make a cake.

 

The End

 

It’s not easy being a bloke.

Never one to play it safe I’m going to pull the pin on this social hand grenade of a statement and throw it out into the big wide world:

“It’s not easy being a bloke”

I can already hear the ladies in the room shouting “try birthing a bowling ball out your ass” or ” had a period have you fella?”.  So lets put that to one side, as blokes we know we have that bit easy and we are eternally grateful for your birth carrying abilities and expanding vaginas.  I’m on about stuff that a lot of woman are completely unaware of but as blokes they affect us, so here is just a few of them in no particular order:

1. Balls

Yes, balls feel smooth to touch and they do get all tingly & nice BUT they are precious little buggers.  Sometimes they will just stick to the inside of your groin which causes real discomfort but also the embarrassment of having to try to readjust yourself without anyone seeing you or thinking that you’re having a tug.  Sometimes just moving funny can result in you accidentally twisting a nut and the immediate feeling of stomach ache, pain and nausea and that’s before you have to untwist it.  A tap to the balls will result in INSTANT pain that’s worse than a broken leg, trust me it is painful and for this reason “sack tapping” is banned in my house.

2. Getting an unexpected chubby on.

Most men have times when they get an unexpected enlarging of their appendage. A boner, A lob on, an unexpected item in the bagging area. Call it what you will we can’t always control what our old chap is doing down there and whether you’re at a shop, on the beach or at a funeral, the fear that your groin might start to noticeably bulge is real.  Ladies, go and ask your fella’s if this is true and if they tell you it’s not then their telling you a porkie pie. Ever seen a bloke uncomfortably moving his hips with his hands in his pockets? yeah, he’s got a chubby on.

3. Hair

Yes I am bald but I am not completely hairless!  Blokes have hair in the worse places possible.  Ears, nose (both inside and on top), toes etc etc the list just goes on.  Hairy arses in the summer are the worse, you’ve got to powder it and you sure as hell don’t want to get it sweaty! My eyebrow hair grows in metres some months but some men have it worse, they look like walking rugs and have to get their backs, shoulders and other bits regularly trimmed a bit like taking your dog to the groomers.  You ever ridden a bike in the summer with a hairy arse? Not great ladies, not great.

4. Competitiveness

Most of us are competitive, in fact sometimes we are stupidly competitive to the point where all rational thought takes over:  “Think you’re getting your old wrinkly hands on that last bag of pasta of the shelf are you Brenda? Think again, I’ll smash your old bones to dust if you do” . We aren’t always proud of it and a lot of times we fight the urge for it but there are times we can’t help it. You stick me next to old Dorothy at the traffic lights in her automatic Micra and all of a sudden in my eyes she’s an F1 champion in waiting, I’ll show the old cow as I put all 170 horses to work to showcase my driving skills. Completely pointless, very embarrassing and a showcase of how stupid being competitive can be,

5. Dates

As soon as a number is shown in a date format that I need to remember, my brain goes to shit. It takes the information in to the point of “vague importance” and then goes “yeah couldn’t be arsed remembering why it was important so I just gave up”. This is why we rely on others to tell us of important birthdays and anniversaries. Pre-wife I forgot everyones, post wife I always seem to remember, mainly down to the fact she puts the cards down in front of me and won’t leave till i’ve signed them.

6. Putting up with drunk women

Women are hideous drunks and a bloody nightmare to deal with.  Every emotion under the sun is shown.  Some like to have a fight, some like to cry, some like to make a tramp a new best friend, some like to get their growler out and some like to do all of the above at once.  When they get home some like to get a bit frisky whilst smelling of donner meat and booze, some vomit everywhere, some curl up and disappear into a deep sleep and some get randy as hell, oh and then there is my wife who likes to get brewers droop.

Now this list isn’t exhaustive but as you can see life isn’t always easy being a bloke, sure we can piss standing up and we get to shit twice a day instead of twice a week like some ladies, but let me tell you when it’s a hot sunny day and you’re riding a bike with your balls sitting uncomfortably on the seat and your gooch & arse rubbing & producing a small river of sweat that could sustain it’s own eco system, you’d give anything to have a vagina at that time.

The end.

There is more to life than work.

Financially I have to work, I would love to scoop the lottery and sit on my arse writing blogs all day but life isn’t a fairy tale and work needs to be done.  I think I split the room with my family, friends and work colleagues when it comes to how they view my work ethic and drive.  Some naturally say that I am a lazy bastard, others say I work really hard and want a career.  So, in view of this and knowing that some of the group above regularly read my blogs, I thought I would set the record straight as to which camp I fall into and give you, the big scary unknown world a bit of a glimpse into my head.

Right, what gets me out of my big comfy bed in the morning then?  Well normally it’s the over whelming urge for a poo but after that it’s work. I am not a jump out of bed lets get cracking with work kind of bloke, if I could earn the money I do without getting up early then I would.  I am not a get in the office before everyone else kind of person and will only be there before everyone else if my boss asks me to be (or if it is getting near pay rise time!).  However I do respect the principals of work and the working hours in a day.

The above doesn’t mean I am a lazy sod.  I have a work ethic and I will bust a nut if it means I can make some money.  I recognise that I need to work hard to make money and the harder I work, the more money I will hopefully make.  I work to give my kids the financial support that I never had as a kid.  I work so that they can go to rugby classes, gymnastics & swimming.  I work so they can have clothes that fit them and trainers which don’t deform their feet in later life.  I work to give them everything I never had as a kid.

I don’t work for my own self esteem or desire to win.  I enjoy my job and the company I work for are young and growing, if I was offered a directorship tomorrow I would obviously take it but crucially I would take it for the money and not the social standing. Job titles really don’t mean a lot to me although I do like having the respect that my current title offers and I am not one for swinging my balls around to show everyone how great I am despite what my boss thinks.  That being said if I need to get them out and showcase my abilities than I will, metaphorically speaking of course.

Whilst I am driven by money and the desire to provide for my kids, there is also another part of me that comes into play and prevents me from being a workaholic, money driven ass.  This part is my obsession to not commit the same mistakes that my dad did.  As a kid my dad worked away a lot and because of this he missed nearly all of my school things such as plays, parents evening, choir etc.  I remember crying for what seemed like hours when I used to run in the bedroom to find him gone in the morning, he could have said goodbye a thousand times and I would still miss him as much.  This was in the days before mobile phones & answerphones so he had to call from payphones and if we missed the call, that was it for another few days.  I had no brothers and being the youngest sibling, all of my sisters were either leaving school or pretty close to it at this stage of my life. I remember being lonely, angry and envious that other kids dads got to pick them up or drop them off at school.

A few years ago just after my eldest had been born, I sat down in the pub with my dad and over a few beers asked him about that time of working away and how he felt about it.  My dad isn’t a wise man and rarely does he come out with words of advice that don’t involve physically harming the person you have an issue with, however something he said that night stuck with me and changed my outlook on work forever:

“It might have meant we had a few extra quid in our pocket but it never actually got me anywhere. If I had my time again I would trade in promotions and the extra money for time with you kids, I missed a lot that I will never get back and I regret that”

In conclusion if it comes across that I am a lazy bastard because I opt to take my kids to school every now and again or because I haven’t answered the phone after 6pm because that’s “cuddle time” then so be it, I’m a lazy bastard. I think that I have got my work ethic and drive absolutely spot on.  Yes I do work away sometimes and yes I do sometimes have to miss the odd assembly and if this means that I don’t ever reach the heady heights of director in my current company or that I never make a million pounds then so be it.  When I am old and smelling of piss & peppermints I want to be able to sit with my kids and for them to say:

“Yes Dad you worked hard and sometimes that meant being away for a bit, but we always remember you being part of our everyday lives and being there for not just the important events but the minor events too”

If I can achieve that, then you can wheel me off to the big man downstairs with a smile on my face!

The end.

Being A Gobshite

Some people will tell you that they call a spade a spade but actually they don’t and instead like to think they do, in fact when it comes to confronting a problem they are normally found stood behind someone else being meek and mild.  I however do call a spade a spade, in fact I go further than that and tell you the make, dimensions and thickness of the metal used, you want forthright then you’ve found it.

If you are being or have been a twat then I will not only tell you that you have been, I’ll probably draw you a picture of the exact moment in time you committed the twat act.  Crucially though I am only opinionated on subjects I know about and I always steer clear of religion & politics as both of these are emotive subjects that are personal and just because I believe something, doesn’t mean that others have to believe the same.

However, I have a problem and that problem takes the form of my 6 year old son.  I am always careful what I say in front of my kids however inevitably as they get older they start to pick up on what I am like and in the case of my 6 year old, copy my bluntness. I have covered off previously how confident my eldest boy is but just recently both my wife and I have noticed that he has teamed this confidence with bluntness.

It started off with warning my sister in law and her kid to go careful on our sofa otherwise “my dad won’t be happy with you” and whilst I like the fact he is enforcing the house rules on my behalf when I am not there, the fact remains he isn’t me.  He has also started correcting peoples grammar and questioning their actions, even with his grandparents and again whilst he is correct with some of the things he says, it’s still not right.

So I have a dilemma now which could fundamentally change me as a person and the dilemma is:

a. Teach him the error of his ways and explain that timing is everything when calling someone out for being a bellend?

b. The truth is important until it upsets someone so best just keep quiet and let the person make their mistakes?

or

c. Change how blunt I am?

And there you have it, another dilemma in the world of parenting.  Not only does being a parent have an effect on your bank balance, it has an affect on your personality as well!  So which option would you take?

I reckon A is a winner.

The end.

Parenting Snobs

We’ve all seen them, we all know them and other than those who are like them, we all think they are a bunch of knobs.  That’s right, I’m talking about those snobby parents, the ones who portray the idyllic family life with the 2 big cars, a huge house, regular holidays abroad and an instagram page that makes their life look like its fallen out of a cross between a next catalogue, vogue & parenting weekly….guess what, the majority are fake.

Yes, that’s right it’s fake, it’s just a myth and thing of visual imagination and sooner or later it all comes crashing down.  As sure as night follows day that little bubble will pop, it might be 2 weeks from now or it might be 40 years, before you know it hubby as been found balls deep in his sister in law or the taxman has come and spoiled the party by wanting all that money that’s been owed to him for the past 15 years.

Lets get one thing straight, I have no issue with someone having the perfect life in fact I take my hat off to them.  What I do have an issue with is people creating the persona of having the perfect life when in fact behind the scenes there is no food in the fridge and they haven’t bumped dirty bits for a year. The creation of this persona is purely vanity and potentially a way of masking reality from their friends.  My problem is that some people who are easily influenced believe this is real life, they believe that the perfect life is achievable and that money is everything but actually it’s the opposite.

Lets start by debunking some of the common themes that run through these perfect personas, feel free to add more that I may have missed!

1. The car.

I know people that drive some really swanky cars and always seem to be getting a new one, I’m talking about BMW, Audi, Mercedes & Range Rover not the old Ford Focus or Vauxhall Corsa.  A lot of these cars are brand new or 1-2 years old, these cars cost £30K upwards new and similar used. Normally 1 of the perfect family parents doesn’t work as they are stay at home or if they do, they don’t work full time.  So how do they afford these vehicles? I mean my wife and I have just bought a 5 year old Ford Galaxy that cost £12K and that was a push.   The answer is finance, these vehicles aren’t owned they are on a 2 year lease and belong to the finance company and guess what  they ain’t cheap. Financially they are easier to obtain than if you got a loan from the bank, this is because the debt is secured against the vehicle meaning the finance company are coming for it if you don’t pay.  People with poor credit ratings get accepted for this finance, less so for a bank loan with a lower APR and easier repayments.

2.  The house.

It’s a huge house! Look at the new kitchen, look at the bedrooms  & how many toilets does a house need?!  Yep, this is mortgaged right up to the chimney stack and probably 200ft of the air above it too. The furnishings? Club books or the Next “never never” finance deal.  Basically it’s furnished through any company who will give finance on furniture.  The new kitchen is financed and even the carpets are on buy now pay in 5 years time.  Yes they might have the best bathroom in the world but it still stinks every time someones taken a shit.

3. The clothes

“OMG look at that coat, it’s amazing! Yes I know I got it from John Lewis it’s the latest barbour!” is a snap shot of a conversation I overheard at my kids school the other day.  It was had by someone who I had previously followed into the petrol station a few weeks earlier, the same person who put £5.05 into the fuel tank of their Audi Q4 (car changed for school playground security purposes) because they couldn’t afford anymore! £200 coat, no money for fuel in your obscenely large car.  Credit cards & in store finance are the reality here.

4. The Saturday morning breakfast location.

I love a breakfast as my waistline will tell you.  I love sitting around the table with my kids and socialising and I go everywhere from the local farm shop to the greasy spoon.  Some people take it to a different level though, they will only go to the local cool “hipster” cafe where they can get a fairtrade mocha alongside their free range ostrich egg and wallaby bollock breakfast or whatever off beat and cool food is currently in trend.  I went to John Lewis for breakfast once, never again. I don’t want to hear about Tarquin & his struggles with his skiing lessons as I watch my daughter lob her food at the windows.

5. We are so in love.

Now I am in love but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I just want to build a new patio with my wife as the footings, likewise I know I piss her off too.  If I were to believe what I saw and read on social media then there would be a divorce rate of zero in this country.  I know of couples who both dick around with others but according to facebook they are up for couple of the year and would throw themselves under trains for each other, apart from when they are nobbing others.

I could go on and on here but you can see the theme, that theme is money or more specifically, being materialistic.  Everything is done for materialistic reasons and lets be frank, or Dave, yes lets be Dave as the only Frank I know is a proper dick. Money doesn’t buy you happiness although it does smooth the road to it a bit.  Happiness is bought through honesty and acceptance.  Honesty that the life you live isn’t perfect and acceptance that you might never have the smart cars and the nights out at the golf club every weekend, but you will still have your self respect and the respect of others for being you, so in summary……

Don’t be a self obsessed materialistic fucktard, just be yourself and do what makes you happy, not others.

The end.

Alzheimers – What a bastard

There are lots of terrible illnesses, diseases and medical problems that can rob  you of a loved one.  Some happen really quickly and can strike without warning whilst others can slowly rob you of a loved one over a long period of time, but mostly whilst this is going on, the person who is affected will be aware of what is happening and able to communicate with those around them.  And then there this bastard of an illness called Alzheimers.  I am unfortunate enough to currently be experiencing the affect of this illness on a well loved person, my mum, and this is my story about how it has affected us both in different ways and how it has changed my relationship with her.

Lets start off by giving you a background of my mum. Born in 1952 to a family of 7 sisters, she spent some of her time on the mean streets of Hull docks.  Her family lead a kind of nomadic existence because of my grandads job in the Merchant Navy and him working the rest of his life as a farm hand.  Farm to farm, town to town, county to county.  My dad met my mum when she was 16 & him 18 in the seaside town of Mablethorpe where she was living at that time in the former station masters house.  The two fell in love and my mum & dad wanted to marry, my grandad wasn’t too keen on my old man as he was a bit of thug in his youth so he said no and this was still in the days when the brides father legally had to give permission. With that my mum & dad tried and successfully completed the conception of my oldest sister, my old grandad had no choice but to allow the marriage.  My mum went onto train as a nurse and ended her career through ill health in the late 90’s looking after disabled adults, a job that she loved.  She had 4 kids, 10 grandchildren & 1 great grandchild with myself being the youngest of 4 and the only boy.

About 10 years ago all of the family started noticing a difference in mum, I had moved about 350 miles away so was the last to notice but it was evident to see when I did go home that something wasn’t quite right.  It was the little things for example she used to forget my name or would ask 3-4 times if I wanted a drink.  She could still cook and function “normally” but began to forget things were cooking or would peel enough spuds for an army because she had forgotten she had already peeled some.  Now some of you are thinking “why didn’t you ship her off to the doctors asap” which is a valid question to ask.  My mum was very stubborn and whilst I suspect that she always knew that something was wrong, she never confronted it and my dad respected her wishes not to investigate it further.  It became the elephant in the room and as the years ticked by it became progressively worse.  Numerous arguments were had over it and me and my dad very nearly come to blows over my persistence to get her to the doctors.

Sometimes when I saw my mum she would just sit there and stare into space, she started to lose concept of time and also began to get more clumsy.  About 3-4 years ago my mum was on holiday with friends and my dad when she fell and broke her arm.  From this point on my mums condition seemed to deteriorate  quicker and my dad who was nearing retirement convinced her to go to the doctors.  Tests and scans followed and early one evening I received a call from my dad.  I tried to hold it together but when he told me that it was definitely the big A I broke down. It wasn’t so much the confirmation that my mum was effectively disappearing in front of me but more that I could sense the upset in my dad’s voice and that he was trying his hardest to keep a brave face on it, my mum in the background was saying “whats up with you, why are you upset. Whats happened?” my mum was unaware as to the situation facing her.

Over the course of the 6 months following diagnosis I struggled to come to terms with what was happening.  I went and spent some time with my parents without my wife & kids being there.  It was during this time that I began to realise that I couldn’t remember an awful lot of how my mum was before she started to become ill. I remember her face, I remember her smell but I struggle to remember her personality.  There is a sizeable age gap between my siblings and I which means that I didn’t get to spend as much time with my mum as them and as such don’t remember as much as they do. I left home at 18 and moved to Wales with my then girlfriend.  I stayed there for 7 years and only managed to make it home a handful of times, my relationship at the time wasn’t happy or healthy and I found myself distanced from my family and from time with my mum. Looking back at this I realise that this was prime time that I should have been spending with my mum, time I could remember but I didn’t.  I rarely regret anything but this is one element of my life that I do sorely regret and one that will stay with me forever.

About 18 months ago I realised that I had been grieving for the loss of my mum, not in a physical sense as she was and still is very much alive and kicking, I was grieving the loss of the person. I was upset that my children who were still really little would never know what my mum was really like.  I was upset that my wife had never seen the real mum or that I could share the happy family that I was creating with her. I still love her like a son but I can clearly see that bit by bit she is being taken away.  There are parts of the old mum that shine through the moments of confusion and upset but they only last a few minutes and they are gone.

I also feel guilty that I cannot be closer to my parents to support them in what they are going through.  I talk to my dad a few times a week but it’s not like I can go nip round and have a brew with him.  I try to visit as regularly as I can but on average its about 5 times a year.  This part of the illness keeps me awake at night.  No matter what I do I cannot shift the guilt of not being there to support them and I feel that I am missing out on the little time that my mums personality has left.

So what about my mum then? I’ve talked about how this has affected me but what about her?  Well, she is pretty much blissfully unaware as to what has/is happening to her although she does very occasionally have moments of clarity where she refers to her illness in her brain.  My mum has reverted back to approximately 1968 – 1972ish and has developed a really wicked sense of humour with my dad being the butt of most of her comic out bursts, only last month she shouted out in a crowded shop “where is that fat git?” followed by “you’re a prick you are!”, truly hilarious. My mum has lost the ability to write and has the reading age of a 4 year old, she has developed a dress sense of the 1960’s and we have had to stop her buying mini skirts and boob tubes as she isn’t as slim as she used to be.  Mum looks in the mirror and doesn’t see the woman staring back as her true reflection, instead she see’s a very younger version of herself.

The TV is a thing of mystery to mum as she believes that what she is seeing is real, at Christmas we had to explain about 20 times that the bailiffs weren’t coming round for her stuff as she had been watching a program on them.  My mum still recognises most of her kids but does get confused between myself and my dads brother, despite me looking nothing like him (I’m the spitting image of my dad) and about 1.5 feet taller.  My 2nd eldest sister gets forgotten sometimes with her daughter being seen as my sister.  All said and done though she lives a peaceful life happy in her own world.

Being unaware is the only saving grace of this shitty illness, the actual patient knows nothing about whats happening.  It’s the family that support and surround them that it affects most and that in turn leads to the stress of having to put on a brave face whilst you watch one of your loved ones slip away.  Nobody knows what the future holds for my mum all I hope is that she continues to relive her youth and the happiness that she so clearly finds in doing so.

The end