July 27, 2019

Lacerations, Shit Shirts And Parenting

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This weekend I have been parenting alone. Why, and what happened? I hear you ask.

The wife went away to London with her brother, sister and niece to see her nephew. This has left me in charge of the children I produced. As I work full time I don't often have the kids all to myself. With the wife away and the kids the way they are, it reminded me of this scene in Friends...

The first night.

I picked the kids up from Kerry's mum's house after I finished work and off we went home for tea. Tea was uneventful, thankfully. Then came bath time!

Whilst the kids were playing in the bath, I decided to get a shave. The kids then decided to start bickering with each other and in the ensuing disturbance I ended up cutting myself.

Once the laceration had been dealt with (thankfully I'm first aid trained) I started to wash the kids. I realised I forgot to get the towels out of the cupboard. Up I get and gingerly cross the landing to the airing cupboard. It was at this point that this happened...

I'm pretty pleased my 75-year-old neighbours have gone away! Once the bathtime shenanigans had finished, it was time for bed. Alice got a bit upset because she missed her mum but was ok after a few minutes. I read her a story and she fell asleep within ten minutes. Happy days. Joseph got into bed and watched TV for a bit, he is always good at bedtime so I had no worries there. 

The next morning.

I wake up at 7:40am to this...

Apparently, I'm not good enough. Children are fickle little gits.

Once we got downstairs, Alice professed that she required an orange for breakfast. Good girl...


We had woken up to it chucking it down. Id heard it raining throughout the night so this had scuppered any plans we might have had. We were going to my Grandma's in the afternoon so we decided to go into town in the morning, rain or not! I bribed told the kids to be good and I would buy them a DVD and a trip to Costa if they were good today.

Going into town on a Saturday is not the best move, but I needed to keep the kids entertained and my sanity intact.

In November we go to Florida for two weeks. When we go away I always like to get a Hawaiian shirt or some other "shite shirt". The Mrs hates the fact I do this, so, whilst she is away, I thought it would be the best time to buy one...

What do you think?

It's a bit tight across my back but being able to see Kerry's face when I go out in public with it on may very well be all the inspiration I need to lose a bit of weight.

As promised, I took the kids for a DVD each. Joseph decided on a WrestleMania DVD and Alice settled on a Pingu one (Uhhhh!).

On the way back to the car I gave the kids £1 each to give to a homeless guy that sits outside one of the 75 million costa shops we have. He couldn't believe we gave him £2 altogether, a small gesture like this had really made him smile! The kids liked handing him the money and Joseph said "did you see the smile on his face!". 

Off we went to their great Grandmas house. The kids were their usual selves. A bit of bickering but mostly well behaved and they made my Gran laugh on numerous occasions. She said the afternoon would have been really boring without us being there, so the visit was well worth it!

Just before bed, Kerry rang to speak to the kids. She also had a few words to say about my fantastic new shirt. I'll leave it up to you to decide what those words were! As expected, Alice ended up crying her eyes out because her mum wasn't at home. I told her she would be home tomorrow tea time and there isn't long to go, she soon calmed down. I think the shirt has special calming powers.

The last day.

The last day is better off not being talked about. The kids were, how shall I put it... 


Bickering with each other all day, answering me back and just a general attitude about everything. They were clearly missing their mum. 

Kerry arrived home at about 6:45pm and the kids were full of big smiles and cuddles for her. They each got a little present from mummies time in London. 

We got them in bed then ordered a Chinese, we were both starving! 

I couldn't wait to get in bed. 

What did you all get up to this past weekend? 

July 22, 2019

In The Night Garden Live Review

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This week I received some free tickets to go and see In The Night Garden Live at Hull New Theatre.

Why would you do that to yourself? I can hear you ask. The answer is simple. Alice loves In The Night Garden and when Joseph was younger he also loved it.

Being 7 years old, I wasn't sure if Joseph would want to go and see it, but he said would like to go.

In the post this week we received a pack which contained two souvenir activity brochures, two hand puppets (one Iggle Piggle and one Upsy Daisy) and two light-up swirly things, they probably have a more scientific name, but I have no idea what it is.

We decided to go for the Sunday 10am showing as I thought it would be slightly less busy than the 1pm showing. Last year we went to see Bing Live! and we chose the afternoon slot and it was very busy.

Once we arrived we made our way to our seats. We were seated in row K, which was in the middle. Not too close to the front and stuck right at the back. The seats at the theatre are probably the most uncomfortable seats you could ever wish to sit on, but I powered through like the champion I am!

When it first started a few real-life people came on to the stage and I wondered if it would be the same as Bing Live, where it wasn't people in full costumes, it was people operating puppets. This isn't my idea of theatre really. Then they did come out with a small Iggle Piggle puppet. I had my reservations at this point but they were soon put to bed when a full-sized human dressed up in an Iggle Piggle costume came out.


Alice kept asking me when Oopsy Daisy was coming on. I didn't know. I could feel the wrath of Alice building. Thankfully she came out after about 15 minutes.

Crisis averted.

The whole story of this performance centred around a funny noise. Iggle Piggle and his friends were trying to find out where it was coming from. All the classics made an appearance, including Makka Pakka and his indiscriminate face washing of people against their will. Thankfully this time, he only did it once, and he asked permission.

The only characters that didn't come out in full costumes where the Ponty Pines and the Tomliboos (or the Tombaloos, as Alice calls them).

I was disappointed not to see a full-sized Ninky Ponk.

Pinky Nonk?

Ninky Nonk, that's it! How could I forget?

In their defence, there's no way a full-sized one could fit in the theatre. There was also the worlds first flying Pinky Ponk! This was pretty impressive (You can check out my Instagram to see a photo of this).

The show lasted just under an hour. Which was probably about right, some children, after around 40 minutes, were starting to get a bit restless. As much as younger kids love this show, I would maybe think twice if you have a child under the age of two.

As much as In The Night Garden probably does most parents heads in, it's great to see the children's faces as the characters come out. The smile on Alice's face made it all worthwhile. If you've never been to a kids show at a theatre before, it's not the same as going to one for adults. There's a ton of noise. Some kids will be crying, some will be shouting with happiness.

It isn't like when you go to the pictures and you're ready to call the cinema police after 6 minutes, because somebody behind you is making more noise opening their packet of fruit pastilles than Glastonbury makes in five days. You'll even see kids dancing in the aisles.

It's great to see that shows like these can bring that kind of happiness to kids in less than an hour.

As I mentioned, Alice really enjoyed it. The smile on her face, seeing her frantically waving at every character, and getting offended when they didn't personally back to her was all worth it. Joseph said he enjoyed it and after all, he is still a kid and we hardly ever go to the theatre so this was something different for him. There's a show on in October called Billionaire Boy by David Walliams and Joseph really enjoys his books, so I think I may have to take him to see that. It would be nice for us two to just go.

There are lots of showing all across the country, running right up to the end of October, so if your child loves In The Night Garden, then it is definitely worth going to see! You can book tickets on their website here.

I was sent free tickets for the purpose of writing this review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review and all thoughts are my own.

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July 12, 2019

Breaking Dad

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On a muggy Friday afternoon after the school run, one man (me) starts to discuss the merits (with himself) of a meth business. The drugs would certainly help get through listening to Alice tell me 756,450 things in 8.2 seconds. Also, the extra few millions of pounds wouldn't go amiss. If Walter White can do it, so can I. The fact I know jack shit about chemistry and drug dealing is only a small obstacle in my brilliant master plan.

The reason I'm thinking about this is because being a dad (or just a parent in general) is hard. Sometimes it feels like the kids are sent to break us. Many things in life just seem to happen to test our patience and even though it may not seem it in my household, since becoming a dad, I've got a lot more patience for things.

I'm soon brought back into the real world when I hear the familiar sound of

"Daaaad!! I've had a huge dump, me wipe my own bum!"


You won't break me poo monster, I'm a dad.

The Fly

Why is it that flies enjoy tormenting us. The window in my kitchen was open a few minutes the other day and a fly got in. It then proceeded to buzz around my general location, no matter where that was in the house,  whether I was eating my tea, watching Love Island Die Hard and even when taking a tom tit. I felt like I was in the episode from Breaking Bad, where the fly is tormenting Walt and Jessie.

I'm sure I heard it buzzing in morse code "I'm coming for you!" as I was sat on the throne. You won't break me fly, I'm a dad.


Dad bods are all the rage at the minute and being the fashionista that I am, I like to keep up with the trends. So, to get myself in dad bod shape quicker, I do enjoy a takeaway. We usually order from Just Eat as its easier, mainly because I don't have to drive to a takeaway. Why would I want to burn calories when I need to power up the dad bod.

When you order through Just Eat, the order goes straight to the particular takeaway and then they prepare and deliver your order. Why is it that they can't get the order correct? Far too many times, we have had an order that has been wrong. I mean, it's right there in front of you on a screen for crying out loud! Do they do it on purpose?

You won't break me dad bod creators, I'm a dad!


"Dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad"


"Errr, I forgot"

Goddammit. Thankfully I don't hear the word "Dad" as much as the wife hears the word "Mum"

Anyone else's child ask the same question 32 times after its already been answered? 

How about needing a drink, to go to the toilet, informing us they feel sick, saying their pyjama top is too pink, just as they're getting in bed?

You won't break us kids, I'm a dad.

Dads, you are awesome. I'm always thinking whether I'm doing a good enough as a dad. My kids are fed, healthy, they have a loving home and I love them with all my heart.

Even when Alice does a chocolate snake the size of an actual snake. 

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July 07, 2019

Shindokai Karate Championships in Barnsley

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Last Sunday was a great day for Joseph. He was competing at a karate competition in Barnsley. This is his second competition in four weeks. In his last competition, he won a silver and a bronze medal!

This competition was going to be Joseph's most demanding yet as he was competing in more categories than ever before.

He usually competes in individual kata and individual fighting. He has also sometimes competed in team fighting. This Sunday he was competing in all of the above, AND team kata and pairs kata.
It was definitely going to be a tiring day for him.

A kata is a detailed choreographed pattern of movements. When competing in pairs Kata, both the participants need to complete the moves at the same time.

Joseph had been practising for his pairs kata with his partner Mylo for a few weeks, they would even practice during the week at Mylo's House. After watching them for the first time together at their karate class to how they performed in the competition, I could see a massive improvement. So much so that they came home with the silver medal in the pairs kata section!

In the individual fighting section in Joseph's age category, there were 22 fighters. Joseph wasn't lucky enough to get a bye in any of his rounds so he had hard to work really hard to get onto the medal table. Which he did, he came away with a bronze medal. His fighting has improved massively over the last few months and this can only help his confidence.

Joseph also won another bronze medal on Sunday, this was for team fighting. Team fighting consists of three team members, who fight individually against their opponents. The more wins from their team, the more chance of going through to the next round. For Joseph's fight, he came up against the boy who won a gold medal in the individual fighting category. This boy had also beaten him at another competition a few months ago. 

Needless to say, he was a little apprehensive about facing him (this young boy is very good). Joseph scored the first and then with around 10 seconds left of the fight, he was losing 3-2. Joseph went for it and managed to score a point making the fight finish 3-3. The rules state that in the event of a draw the person to score first wins the fight. Joseph won! 

He couldn't wait to phone me up on the way home and tell me that he beat him. He was so proud of himself and I was too. His Confidence is growing!

All in all, Joseph came away with 3 medals. One silver and two bronze. As you can see from the photo below he was super happy with this.

I love this photo, the sheer delight I can see on his face makes me so happy. I could not be prouder of him and how much he has improved.

We have Sensei Wayne Clark 3rd dan and Sensei Morgan Clarke 2nd dan from the Hull and East Riding karate academy to thank for Joseph's continued improvement!

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