Sunday, 30 September 2012


The morning after the night before and reality returns with a thud. With the wee man packed off with his Grandparents, The Chancellor and I embark in a night off in a lovely country hotel for a wedding. Depending what type of parent you are you will either miss your child so much it hurts or you will forget the whole sorry affair and return to the way you were before your life became...well different. Last night I was the latter and let me my hair down quite heartily. I only really break my one dance move when very sozzled and I think I was dancing for at least an hour probably longer so you can imagine how I feel today. The wee man annoyingly slept longer for his Grandparents than he does with us which means tonight when I'm so desperate to sleep he will be up through the night. It's just the way the world works.

It's a strange thing not to be continually worrying about a little creature, thinking about what you have to do next and what you have to do for the rest of the day. So it does take a little time to relax your shoulders but having three drinks on the go during the wedding meal speeds up the process. But before the sun light has gone we were back in our old ways being responsible for only ourselves and not having to worry about everything. This is healthy as you can't be with your child all the time and you need a break from the intensity of child care. So if you are reading this and you are a parent and you are thinking of going away for the night I fully endorse it and I say go at it full tilt.

However the morning light breaks and we return to the boy and he hasn't napped which means he is in wingey mood and The Chancellor and I have hangovers that could slay a couple of good sized boars. Today promises to be a long day...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Time Gentlemen Please

I feel bad this morning and this is even before I go to a wedding. It seems to be the way that whenever I go away even if it is just to my parents I seem to forget that alcohol gets you drunk and gives you a hangover. Last night with the wee man safely tucked up in bed snoring his head off we ate a leisurely evening meal with a couple bottles of wine. Most, I mean all, of the wine was drunk by me and my Father resulting in a late night and a very ill me this morning.

That bad feeling in my stomach quickly changes to guilt as I awake. 'He did really well last night didn't he?' I say to The Chancellor rolling over. 'Err no he was up four times crying and I had to see to him each time' She replies. 'Oh sorry love I didn't hear him'. Which is true. Plus It was probably wise that she settled our little treasure as I probably would have picked him up and tried to play with him at some dreadful hour of the night making it all much more worse. After this conversation in a moment I wish didn't happen I ask The Chancellor if she can change the wee man's nappy and see to him while I have a snooze and maybe sleep off the headache stage of the proceedings. The look says it all and I know my sleep in won't happen even if I do hide under the duvet pretending that no one saw me.

I try to shower which feels amazing as my skin sucks in any moisture it can but I am interrupted and forced to entertain the wee man as The Chancellor tries in vain to brush his teeth which is no easy task. 'Bugger off the pair of you' I say. With them gone I can finally just stand under the shower head feeling sorry for myself. I should give myself a big hug and say 'It's alright Jamie, I'll feel sorry for you, even if no one else does.' Well time to get in a suit and be forced to drink more free booze.


Friday, 28 September 2012

You Will Probably Find Me In a Bush...

The blog for the next four days has gone totally international and by that I mean 100 miles south to Leeds. Seeing as the dialects change and I'm never ever going on holiday again due to strict austerity measures I'm classing this as international, plus Yorkshire wants to be separate from the rest of England anyway. Think of it as like Catalunya but not as nice and there is no Lionel Messi.

We are away for a wedding and various other get togethers with friends and Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. Packing for this trip like many before us is a mammoth task and usually involves us packing an entire house and The Chancellor and I coming to blows. We (The Chancellor) always leaves the packing until the last minute and there is a lot of stress trying to find, then pack, then fit into the car all the things we need, as you can imagine. While there is madness and passive aggressive arguments between his parents going on around him the wee man is happily napping in his car seat waiting and expecting us to have everything sorted. He occasionally stirs, looks somewhat disinterested and falls back to sleep. Eventually the car is packed and has lowered on its suspension nearly all the way down to the tarmac. And off we go, all things said in argument forgiven, like all other families tottering off on a family road trip. When did I become so middle aged?

The last time the wee man was here, at my parent's house, he couldn't even crawl. Now he is man handling my Father's new precious blue ray player and gnawing and slavering all over the remote. Sorry Dad. This weekend he will join us at a wedding, then his grandparents will come and take him away and I can get stinking drunk, stay out for the night then wish the next day with a horrendous hangover that I hadn't because I have a small child. Yay to middle ageness and yay to Grandparents for letting me worry about someone else (me) falling over other than my son!  


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Night Time Is Not The Right Time

Blogs have a lot to answer for and can put sizable strain on marriages. Especially when you force The Chancellor to help you for two hours in an attempt to put a bloody Facebook Like button on your page. In return I had to rub her feet as she, tutted, sighed and fiddled with weird computer code. There is always a catch. At one point we managed to put a button on the page but it told us that 1 million people liked my page. Now I have high hopes for this blog but I'm not sure I can get away with that. So until I get a computer tech to help me I will tell you I do have a Facebook page just search for One Man and a Wee Bairn. If you feel the need or just feel sorry for me please press like. Right with that bit of admin out of the way...

My Mum said to me a while ago that lack of sleep is worse after your baby has been sleeping through for a while and then starts to wake again. I of course didn't believe her. But sitting here with a giant pot of coffee, while the wee man eats his breakfast, I am exhausted and must admit she was right.

For a while now including last night my darling son has been getting up through the night again requiring me to go through and see to him as The Chancellor lies in bed pretending not to hear him. Oh to work full time and not have to get up through the night. I am usually greeted as I peer through the dark of his room by two little eyes and a smiling face. Last night I found him standing up in his cot, bouncing, grinning and having a good shout. 'Yes this is all very endearing but it's 4:30 in the morning.' After putting him back to bed I return to the amazing warmth and comfort of my bed but it's short lived as an hour later he is up again and this time he has managed to break free of his sleeping bag. This is actually pretty impressive and he looks very proud of himself. Again I put him down and get another hour of snoozing. But no. He is up and I give up on sleep somewhere before 7 o'clock hits.

We had the good life for a month or so. That amazing feeling of rested sleep that came after 8 months of not sleeping. For this month he slept through and got up at a decent hour. We became quite smug, the kind of smug I ranted about in an earlier blog. But everything is a phase and now I have to go and buy some Pro Plus.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk

Finally normality, or as far as normality in my life can go, has returned. After two days of rain, rain and more rain and looking at the same four walls, I finally saw the sun this morning and finally left the house with some purpose.

Oh the unbridled joy of being able to talk to someone or more like talk at them. Most women in the group had suffered the same problem as me and it was like a valve being opened as everyone greeted each other before the session. You could probably see the stream rising from each of us. I don't think I've spoken to as many women in one go before. 'blah blah blah blah blah, moan moan moan moan' I say making up for lost time reeling off a list of complaints or successes that I have encountered in last two days. I'm like a man possessed or reborn or just thankful. I never thought I could be this sociable. The wee man is excited too at a new range of toys and books. He must be, as he finally gets to see a different face to mine.

With the group finished, we move onto coffee and with a good caffeine kick inside I'm away again. 'blah blah blah blah, moan moan moan moan'. There's no stopping me, well until the coffee high ends and I slump back in my chair exhausted. But everyone is in the same boat. As the conversations continue you can see the shoulders drop and a look of relief come across the faces, including mine. We return home all talked out and happy ready for eggy bread. Thankfully we have things booked in for the rest of the week so you won't see me write 'All work and no play makes Jamie a dull boy...'

Winter, I think, is going to be a very long season.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I Got You Babe...

Is it Monday again? It really looks like it. I think Groundhog Day has begun. I half expected to hear the Sonny and Cher song on the radio this morning. The rain hasn't let up in 36 hours and there are no classes to drag myself out of the house for. I was only just saved by the wonders of Disney Pixar yesterday afternoon just to kill time before The Chancellor came home to rescue us. 

The wee man and I went in search of more animated fun this morning and were torn between a Waybuloo DVD or Kentucky Fried Zombies which sounds totally amazing and awful at the same time. I'm sure the wee man wouldn't really notice what was going on with all the blood and gore... However with the specter of The Chancellor looming above me I resisted  both but was much closer to buying the Star Wars duvet and pillow set. I was sure she would be really happy coming home to a bed full of Storm Troopers and Jedi. Though I feel I might have been sent back to shop for a refund tomorrow. I shouldn't be allowed to go shopping when I'm bored.

Coming back home via a couple of laps of the park I was stopped rather unexpectedly by a woman trying to sell me a gym membership. Remember it's still raining and half the city is probably flooded. 'Can I talk to you today about a gym membership?' She asks. 'Err...' I start, not wanting the state the obvious of the awful weather 'Sorry love I'm canny wet. I'm just on my way home.' I continue giving her a half smile walking off. She smiles in return and turns to wait for her next victim. If I really am in Groundhog Day I will ask her next time if she is oblivious to the horrendous conditions, mental or if her commission is just THAT good. Right, the wee man are off now to try and find Minnie Driver and escape that groundhog. Do you think she will be in Asda?


Monday, 24 September 2012

Riders on The Storm

'A storm warning is in force for parts of England today...with risks of floods in the North East'. Just what you want to hear on a Monday morning. 60mph winds possible and lots and lots and lots of rain. You know it will be a long day from the moment you hear this.

You would think though this kind of weather would perturb the stay at home parent but no. We are a strange bunch because there are two important things that need to happen in a day and both of them usually involve leaving the house. The first thing is napping. This HAS to happen or you will have a very cranky child who won't do anything you want it to. If your child is like the wee man and sees his cot as adventure time then you must pack them into the pushchair and head outside. This happened this morning, four or five times I tried in the cot before I just gave up and went for a walk in the 60mph winds and all that rain. I wasn't the only parent wrapped in their waterproofs walking around the local park in a small storm. With each parent passed there was a knowing looking given between us of 'Yep, it's wet, yep I'm miserable being wet but I HAVE to get out of the house no matter what'.

This brings us to the second point of cabin fever. Even if the wee man had napped at home I would still have gone out in the rain just for fresh air and a change from the same four walls. Cabin fever is awful and even if you haven't got a little child to take care of you know what it feels like to stuck inside all day. Now take that feeling and add a fussy child into the mix and you will understand why I have to get out.

I used to have a job where I was outside all year no matter the conditions and I thought finally I had escaped this when I took over from The Chancellor but no here I am again trudging around in the North East rain cold. Just a bit of sun this afternoon, please???      

Sunday, 23 September 2012

One Small Step For Baby Kind...

Two points of order this morning. First of all The Chancellor spent a good hour cutting off my golden locks last night and I now do not look like a woman. Instead I look like a twelve year old boy. The curse of having a young looking face but that's a different neurosis for a different day. So you can all breath a heavy sigh of relief that the confusion that embarrassed me on Friday will not happen again. Sorted. Hopefully.

Second of all and probably more important than my hair and my beauty regime is that the wee man walked with his walker for the first time yesterday. Having stood by himself the other day I thought that's all I would get for a while but with a jubilant and determined look on his face he charged off behind his walker all the way across the living room floor to his Mother. Well I never. That well and truly makes up for getting yourself stuck under the washing basket today doesn't it son?! The Chancellor is also pretty happy because he has saved a number of his firsts for when she is here. Does it say something that he wants to walk to her first? Maybe she waved some money at him. I would have crawled to her if she waved a tenner at me seeing as I have only pennies in my wallet.

So this morning as The Chancellor applied her mud mask in the bath the wee man and I did lap after lap of walking in the hallway. If the front door wasn't there I assume he would just keep going into the road. None of us want that though. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to make him the next Michael Phelps. Maybe it should be Usain Bolt, that would certainly mean more money for me. I can imagine him doing the 100 metres and getting bored halfway and walking off like today getting bored of his walker and crawling off to eat the bed frame. Concentration my lad is the key. Maybe I could be his Yoda.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Short Back and Sides Please

I do love a Saturday. This is because The Chancellor is here for two days but mainly because I get to sleep in. This morning I awoke to a happy looking and giggling baby poking and punching me in the face. He takes delight in finding my face under the duvet and clawing away at it. He's like some excitable puppy, after a long sleep, not knowing what to do with himself.

'Go and get breakfast items.' Orders The Chancellor from the doorway. 'Why me?' I ask protecting my face from the puppy. 'because it's the manly thing to do.' When did we start getting gender specific in this house?  I wouldn't have cared so much about this comment if I hadn't have been called a woman yesterday. The swimming lessons take place in a school after all the pupils go home. There is some cross over as the children are leaving and we as a group are arriving. One teacher yesterday asked a child to wait while I pushed the push chair through a door. 'Can you wait please for this lady to come through' she asks the pupil.
I go through the door and say 'I'm actually a man.'  She laughs uncomfortably and apologises and I can hear my friend behind laughing hysterically.

Now I know I have longish hair, model like cheek bones and don't have the required testosterone levels to be viewed as an alpha male (physically speaking) but surely I have enough masculine features to seen as a man? The teacher tries to back track 'I'm sorry I didn't look at your face I just assumed because of the pushchair'. I smile weakly and continue on my way.

I think the time has come for The Chancellor to cut my Samson-esque hair and I can start the two year odyssey that is growing a beard.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The 'Naked Student at 10:30 In The Morning' Story

There is a different pace to life for those who don't work. As the wee man and I wonder around the streets on our daily walks we see all sorts of different people. The desperate housewives trying to look cool in the place that's the place to be. Stay at home mums frantically trying to catch their children as they dart off into the shrubberies of the local park. And elderly people who mostly hold us up as they search for the money they defiantly think they have seen in their purses that morning. We also however get to see students.

This weekend sees the return of them to our city and this morning the wee man and I saw a bit more of one student than we would want to have seen. Some of the places we need to be are in the major student area of the city. This morning we returned to the doctors to pick up the prescription that we excitedly put in earlier in the week. On our walk home we were greeted by one drunk male student hanging out a first floor window with his penis out shouting 'Don't pretend you're not impressed' at a group of student girls walking in front on us. None of us are impressed as the boy stands there laughing. The wee man being in the front facing position of the pushchair sees it all and I quickly try to lower the visor. I try to give the student my best 'It's 10:30 in the morning and you're drunk and naked and this is also a bit of a family area' scowl but he doesn't care. I almost feel sorry for him, if you're that drunk at 10:30 in the morning it's going to be a long day and it might well end up for you in hospital.

'That is not a civilized act' I tell the wee man as we walk on. 'Let's return to our nice quiet middle class family area son, where The Guardian is the only paper to sell out from the supermarket on a Saturday morning.' 'Babababa' He replies which must mean 'Well said Dad I quite agree'.

I hope beyond hope that the wee man doesn't lower himself to these things when he is a student and if he does I really really hope I and The Chancellor never find out. Anyway we must return in two weeks for a doctor's appointment which means we must play the gauntlet of student flats again and I have to practice my scowling.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Proud Dad Moment

After a couple of weeks of your baby doing nothing new and you feel your boredom levels rise, you begin to question what more I can possibly write in a daily blog and how much more I can take of this. Should I go out and cause trouble in a cafe somewhere just to have something to say?

But then your baby suddenly does something cool that lifts your head up from The Guardian daily crossword. That thing today was independent standing. As I write he is standing by himself gnawing on our digital camera looking pretty pleased with himself and so he should. It's an impressive thing to gain the strength, co-ordination and balance to get up up to standing. This may seem like I am gushing but sod it I've had nothing new to excite me for a while and so I'm running with this. I was beginning to get worried, when I found him this morning covered in paint after eating the bars in his cot, if he had moved from cute things in his mouth stage to full blown Pica. But that is now a distant memory as I have something new to show off. Son, you have peaked my interest once more and you are again worthy of my attention! God knows, as a proud Father, how I would react if he won the Nobel prize for Physics or Peace or even won the World Cup for England in the final minute against Germany.

However any new exciting thing is usually tempered this time by the discovery of him eating his own foot. 'You can't do that in public Son, people will think you're a crazy person.' There's the Pica again. The Chancellor will wonder what I'm teaching him.

Walking is next and that will probably be the end of me so for now I can be proud for an afternoon before returning to boredom until he invents a time machine.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Wee Man's First Love

Today is Wednesday. This is by far the wee man's favourite day of the week. This is because he gets to go to a baby sensory class, and he gets to see Lisa, the lady who runs it. I think it's fair to say he smiles more for Lisa than he does for me and seems to have more fun in that hour than the whole of the rest of the week for me. I have resigned myself to this fact. He KNOWS when we arrive at the venue what is coming in the next hour. 

However he is not the only baby whose eyes light up at the sight of Lisa. The other babies at points clamber over each other to get her attention. I imagine when all the parents turn their backs the babies are trying to out do each other with cartwheels, handstands, rectiles of Chopin sonatas and renditions of The Canterbury Tales in the middle English, all to impress her. When we, the parents, turn back they all return to their drooling and cranky ways.  I need to ask her how she does it. He has in fairness been going since he was a wee pip, The Chancellor took him before I took over so it has been in his life forever. But what happens the term stops? I'm not sure I can give him as much excitement as he gets there. He will look at me wearily and sigh. 'You're not Lisa'. He will say, 'So please don't even pretend.' A sorry state of affairs for me I think.

I have two weeks left and will have to find something to fill the void. There is a selfish reason for sadness too as the place where it is held has a pretty good cafe with an excellent choice of baked goods and if you get there early enough bacon sandwiches. The wee man sleeps after the session so I get a chance to eat in peace with some friends.

I can't bring myself to tell him it's coming to an end, he will probably collapse on a fainting couch dramatically and put the back of his hand to his forehead and cry 'Oh no Dad, oh no!'


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

'Where's My Cape Gone Love?'

Can you be a cynical bugger and raise a child? Or should I ask can you be a cynical bugger and not raise your child to think the same as you? The Chancellor often accuses me of moaning and complaining about everything. Now I would hope if you having been reading this blog that I have come across as nothing but energetic, cheery, full of the zest of life and not at all cynical. I only ever occasionally moan and complain.

Today was the first of our weekly sing along groups. And before even midday I'm fed up with nursery rhymes and smiling. How many times can one man hear 'Wind the Bobbin Up' or 'Grand Old Duke of York' before screaming with madness and running for the nearest cliff. I wake up mornings singing these songs. No joke. I'm in the toilet I'm singing. I'm in the supermarket I'm singing. I'm in the pub I'm singing.  There must be some mind control element to these things. It's like we are in some happy and deranged version of Brave New World or 1984. From a young age these songs have infiltrated the wee man's subconscious and he is really happy when the group leaders sing these songs, which means I HAVE to sing these things to him at home. Over and over and over and over...I'm in some terrible infinite musical cycle. Round and around and around...I'm heading for that cliff again.

There is one group we go to which I actually like going to and so does the wee man. The two leaders play their own instruments and write their own material which is really good, both the standard of playing and their songs. It is called Piccolo. But they have one song in particular about shaking maracas higher and lower which I will never forget even when I'm a demented old man. Having said that it will be this song that makes me demented. And most of the lovely ladies I hang out with all feel the same about this song. They sing it everywhere and it has become implanted in their head and is now an extension of their own mind and personality. Help is needed to for us to deal with these infectious songs! Maybe I could become a super hero for demented mothers or fathers. SUPER CYNICAL MAN to the rescue. Sorry son you're stuck with me now.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Monday, Monday

'Monday, Monday ba da ba da da da'  So the week starts again and the long journey to Friday begins with a bit of The Mammas and The Pappas. After crying into my pillow with the previous blog post, apologies, I have manned up and along with the wee man, who has returned to his usual self, have been hitting the streets hard in a vain attempt to find something to do. So far I have managed; going to the doctors to hand in a prescription and going to the bank to find out I had even less money than I thought. I didn't even think this was possible. So I am now waiting for a phone call from The Chancellor who will probably ask 'What have you been buying?' I have of course hidden or burnt any offending receipts that would get me into trouble. Deny everything!

Mondays are generally slow days. I used to go to a group but there were some mean women there who would make little comments about me not doing things right, so I thought sod you lot I'm not coming back. The wee man didn't get much from it either and I'm not paying good money on being patronised or embarrassed. So now I have a hole in my Mondays. What to do? What to do? 'Every other day, every other day, every other day of the week is fine, fine yeah' It's true every other day is full of things to do. What to do?

The sun is out (kind of) so I suppose I should get some vitamin D into the wee man. He seems pretty wired after a substantial and stress free lunch so an outdoor activity may be the winner or I can take him to a soft play and let him bomb around until he passes out which would give me some time to sit and just stare at a wall. But the dreaded call just came in and I must return to the bank to move some money around. So I now must teach my son how to rob Peter to pay Paul and scrape through another month. I hope he is taking in all these valuable life lessons. There are plenty more to come in his life from me...


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Have I Lost My Masculinity Somewhere?

I got to speak to men today. This may sound very strange but my weeks as you can imagine are spent mostly in the company of women. This isn't all bad as the women I know and hang out with are all very nice and embrace me warmly. But every now and again I feel the need to speak to fellow men. Occasionally a Dad will turn up to the baby groups I go to and I see that look of terror in his eyes as he enters the room and it takes me back to those first baby groups I attended by myself. I feel I may be a dash over enthusiastic with the Dads who come to these groups and in my mind I am an over excitable dog shouting 'YOU'RE A MAN! I'M A MAN TOO! WE CAN TALK ABOUT MAN THINGS. DO YOU WANT TO PLAY CATCH?' I need to reign myself I think.

But in truth there is a loneliness in being a stay at home Dad, with there being only a small proportion in UK and an even smaller proportion in the North East who actually do the job. You don't get a chance to talk to a fellow Dad about the pressures and responsibilities of keeping a little thing alive day in day out. I know that Mothers do exactly the same job but they seem to have loads of other Mothers around them feeling the same way and doing the same thing.

So The Chancellor and I took the wee man out to meet his little friends today. The level of cake making was exceptional and I even got to bring home a bag of cakes. Ace. Anyway I got a chance to have some male interaction especially after the week we have had with the little man. Some of our friends have had similar illness problems and they feel as tired as we do. It reels you back in knowing there are other people who are experiencing the same thing, especially other Dads even if they aren't doing it full time. I can hear the violin playing in the background right now.

Ok I've got to stop. Sorry for that little bit of self pity, I'm going to watch some football while eating a steak and looking at hot women on my phone. Time to man up!


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Smug Comes Before a Fall

At some point in your life you will have met and spoken to a really really smug person. You can't miss them. They talk at you, usually with their eyes closed, in a very condescending tone. They exist in an air of their own self satisfaction. I've met a few really smug people in my life and always wondered how I managed to get into conversation with them and spent that time thinking of how to get out of the conversation. I have an elderly neighbour like this and he is hard work.

When it comes to children these people get even more annoying. They always want to tell you how much better their child is than yours. Their child can do no wrong. They have slept through since day one, fed perfectly and they've never had a bad poo. The only thing they are missing is a halo. Tedious, tedious, tedious. So it came as a bit of a shock to me when I caught  myself doing that exact thing, telling people in a condescending manner that 'My child doesn't really cry anymore, and grown out of all those baby things.' I was basically saying my child was smarter and more advanced than every other baby. What a dick I must have looked like. Really, I cringe at myself thinking about it. If I had been listening to me I would have swung a right fist at myself just to shut me up. Dreadful. So I vowed from then on that I would never say things like that again.

And so, as life has a habit of doing, this comment came back to bite me in the arse. For the last week the wee man has done nothing but cry. 'Yes he has really outgrown that crying hasn't he!?' I think to myself as I suffer one of many meltdowns I am to have that week. Everything seems to converged at the same time, illness, teething and tantrums. The Chancellor even had to take a day off work just to help and save me from a nervous breakdown. If this continues for another day then I'm running off to Mexico. I'm not sure why Mexico it just seems to be where people go to run away.

Improvement in the wee man has been slow and arduous and I hope by the time The Chancellor goes back to work he will be better and he can actually smile again. As I write this the crying begins again which probably means it's my turn to take over.

I promise in life I will never be smug again and make such stupid comments as 'My child doesn't really cry anymore'. Jamie you are quite clearly a moron.


Friday, 14 September 2012

The First Step Into The Unknown

First off my coffee and cake meeting was a success. My home remains intact and so does my sanity, just. Anyway while on the phone last night a friend of ours said I should blog more stories of where I have triumphed in the face of adversity. Where I have battled against social stigmas and where I have overcome blah blah blah blah. So i remembered a story of one of my first days with the little man. The Chancellor had returned to work and we went for a day out with a former work colleague and her fiance. We travelled 15 miles or so west to small and very quaint English village where everything is vastly overpriced, full of country folk and you get a house the size of a blade of grass for a quater of a million pounds.

There is in this village a lovely pub which is family friendly. So we decided to go into this for lunch. All was going well until the wee man decided to fill his nappy. Not to bother I thought. This being one of my first times out and about I bounded along with youthful vigour and hope and I asked the female manager if they had baby changing facilities. 'Yes' she replied 'But it's in the ladies toilet. But you can use it.' 'Err I 'm not sure about that' I replied looking for a quiet corner of the room to change him. However she was insistent and so I was bundled into the ladies toilet being told there was no one in there.

Now one thing to note the wee man HATES those pull down plastic change tables, so he straight away began to fuss which would build to full blown crying. Having been told there was no in the toilet one of the cubicle doors then opened and out came a rather surprised looking elderly woman. Trying to be quick and not look her in the eye I buried my head into what I was doing. The wee man was getting louder and I started to get quite flustered. Then through the door entered a couple of women. One of whom was very snooty and waited just behind me until I was finished before she did her thing. I heard a number of sighs and tuts. The queue began to grow and the wee man had descended into full blown wailing. My initial vigour and hope had vanished leaving only sweating and fluster. I only half finished dressing the little man and apologised to the ladies in the queue, the woman at the first still tutting. Arsehole, I thought as I passed by her. Its not like I want to hear you peeing is it?! I returned to the table pretending all went well but vowing in my head to never to the pub without The Chancellor because a). she can pay and b). she can change the little man.

The moral of the story is never leave the city because the country is twenty years out of date and it smells of horse shit.      

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Coffee and Carnage

Today the wee man and I are throwing our first ever inaugural coffee and cake meeting. Seven very nice ladies will descend upon our home with their children, most of whom can move pretty fast. Our house is far from baby proofed and by 'far from' I mean there is none at all. The wee man has come to realise this after picking up a number of bumps and bruises climbing where he shouldn't have been climbing. Including crawling into an open draw and falling on our vacuum cleaner. Silly baby.

So wearing my little pinny the house has been prepped, the floors hoovered, the bathroom cleaned, the many piles of mess hidden away into wardrobes and cupboards. Everything smells of roses and lavender and I skip happily through the rooms...Well maybe not it just smells of Fabrize and I do NOT wear a pinny. Not to worry I don't think any of them will mind and even if they do mind the mess there are all far too polite to say anything.

So this is a perfect chance for the wee man to show what he can do now he is on home turf. He has the crowd behind him and he has a lot to prove. The last meeting we had in another house the other babies were all happily playing with their toys in a group and the wee man was off rummaging through a bin. Then he crawled off and started poking a dog very nice dog in the face. Can you not just sit happily in a group and let me sit and have cup of coffee? Must I run after you all the time keeping you away from things that aren't intended for babies?

Am I going to regret today? Will I have all the babies punching my speaker cones like my son does? or will they be chewing on my CDs like my son does? or will they try and eat the laptop my son does. If you have one baby you can catch it in time but if you have eight all moving in different directions what should I save first, my speakers, my CDs, my DVDs, my sanity??!! Maybe I can get a giant cage...


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Once More Unto The Breach Dear Friends...

So this is it. The battlefield has been drawn. The trenches have been dug. The artillery is laid out in front of us. Both sets of eyes close to a mere slit, staring each other out. The wee man gives his best battle cry, a 'nanananannan'. I recite what I can remember of The St. Crispin Day speech from Henry V mixing it with other Shakespearian speeches because I can't remember any one in totality. Not to worry he'll never know, I still sound ace. So we are ready. I send in a volley of rice cakes but his defences are tight. One of the rice cakes comes straight back at me taking me unaware. I try to outflank him but the wee man is a smart bugger and turns his head quickly to the other side. I try the usual defence breaker of toast but I am rebuffed! I try to be sneaky and get him to eat it himself but no he picks it up and throws it to the floor gleefully. The carpet begins to fill with fallen troops. He is very stubborn. I wonder where he gets that from. So we have a stalemate. And this stalemate lasts all afternoon and then into the evening. Until this morning when I brought the big guns in and he ate his porridge and toast. Just. Victory this morning is mine, victory is mine!

Children are pretty smart and they know it. Working not on logic just on self preservation. However this can also be their downfall. If he would just open his mouth and eat, it would all be over much quicker and we would all be happy and there would be no tears and we can all go and play with our mega blocks. My tactics have had to change as independence in the little man has developed. He used to be great with food, eating everything that came across his mouth and The Chancellor had done a brilliant job weaning him before her return to work.

I wonder if it's what I'm giving him. He sometimes has a look on his face that says, 'Really this again?' I feel only slightly bad as I sit with bacon sandwich and then a cookie. 'Sorry son you are too wee for this.' He probably isn't it's just it's mine and I don't want to share. On to the next battle.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Some days you shouldn't bother getting out of bed. Those are the days when the planets converge on you and you have a really crap day. You leave the house in the morning with the best of intentions and ends with you telling The Chancellor you've had enough and want to find a new job. Though once the morning has come around again I am refreshed (generally) and ready for another onslaught. And so it will all happen again and the vicious cycle continues.

99% of nappy changes are fairly routine and mundane. The only problem with this 99% is, as the little man has grown he now gets bored of my conversation on his change mat and decides to crawl away. This would be ok if he wasn't covered in poo and leaving a streak as he charges across the room with that devilish look in his eyes, like he knows exactly what he's doing. There are time he actually looks back at me and grins. Cheeky bugger. At least, however, this kind of thing is fairly easy to deal with, happening behind closed doors where I have wipes etc. Even if by the end of the ordeal you are leafing through the job section of the local paper.

However there is that 1%. That dreaded 1%. Yesterday was the third time it has happened to me and in the most of public places, the local supermarket. Having an ill child is really crap, for you and for them. You can tell when the wee man is ill, he refuses food and whinges ALL the time with this noise that just reverberates around your skull. A bit like global warming, once the noise is in it has nowhere to go and just bounces around and heats you up. You can tell something bad is happening when you can smell him from 30 paces. So as I go up and down the aisles humming to him I start to smell something a  bit off. Hoping it is just one of the many elderly people I have passed I hurry to the checkout. As I begin to load the shopping into the bottom of the pushchair the smell increases and I realise we have had a breach and not just any breach but a very runny and very smelly breach. All over the pushchair... The little man seems quite happy, not surprised if that has been inside him for that long.

Sometimes you just have to sigh. Getting stressed doesn't really help. So I pay up and trudge home covering the offending mess with a cloth and trying to keep his hands away. Easier said than done. The mess on the pushchair is nothing compared to what is in his trousers. It takes me half an hour to clean, change and dress the little man and then a further fifteen minutes to clean the pushchair. Is this what I signed up for?

I slump to the floor covered in poo surrounded by dirty cloths and dirty clothes. From between the bars of his cot he smiles at me and says 'Agoo'.

'You owe me kid, you owe me BIG time!'


Monday, 10 September 2012

Money IS Too Tight To Mention

So folks the double dip recession finally hits, GDP has dropped as we have gone down to one income and The Chancellor has implemented a series of stringent austerity measures all of which are rubbish.

'Only one bottle of wine a week?' I ask the little man as he shovels a large quantity of toast into his mouth for his breakfast. His face is still covered with the industrial adhesive that is dried porridge. He responds with a nanananana wahmama which I think translates to 'That's nothing Dad wait until you have to pay £9000 a year for my University fees and I'm calling you every weekend for money to get drunk.'
'I see your point Son' I reply. 'Go speak to your mother.'

Oh to the life to which I am accustomed. I suggested to The Chancellor that I become a male escort. I told her not to worry that all I would do is wine and dine ladies. For a hefty fee of course. I'm sure I could pull in enough money to take us on a great holiday or pay down some debt. She did not seem too enamoured with this idea as you would expect. It would also be hard to tell my son later in life that I was an escort. However on the other hand could he find it cool and think of me as a God? No, probably not. I must get away from this idea, it's no good!

So we'll go for our morning walk and sit for free in the local park and talk like men do of the global economic crises and try to explain to him how Greece is a hell of a lot worse off than then we are, so not to worry. He will just look at me and blow a raspberry which I think translates to 'What is Greece and I've just filled my nappy.' The question is easy to answer the statement is always a lot more complicated especially now he can crawl away.


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Ragey Isn't a Word, It's a Person...

'Ragey' where I live is a funny word. It can mean a number of things and it can mean nothing at all. In an existential sense it just 'is'. 'He's a ragey, she's a ragey' etc etc. It has taken me nearly 8 years to decipher what the hell is being said up here. When the little man was born the nurse who was in the room at the time turned to us and said 'Ooh you have a ragey one there'. Having been up for 25 hours and just watched my son being born I was not in the best mental or physical state to challenge her. So it became a bit of a running joke with me and The Chancellor especially in the early stages of his life when he was a little bugger and cried ALL the time.

However with all stages and phases the crying stopped and we eventually had a nice child, until he becomes a teenager that is. ANYWAY, to bring me to the point of this post. Sundays are now pretty sacred for me as I used to work on this day(which I hated) and it is the second weekend day of The Chancellor, so I get a rest. So this morning as I snooze snuggly a noise enters my head which is impossible to remove. WAAAAAAAAAH, WAAAAAAAH, WAAAAAAAH. I roll over to try hide under the duvet and pretend I haven't heard it. WAAAAAAH, WAAAAAH, WAAAAAAH. This is perhaps the worst noise in the history of everything, except for perhaps Coldplay. So it continues and I am forced to push back duvet and swing my legs out and confront a VERY ragey baby and an already pissed off Chancellor. Neither of these things are good for me. Then comes the game of trying to find out what is pissing him off. Is it wind? Is it an internal anger at one's own psychological problems? Or is it teeth? Probably teeth.

The Chancellor speaking to to the little man- 'It's meant to be a relaxing family Sunday morning, but you get me up at 06:30 cry for 3 hours and then cover me in bogies!'

This does not bode well for me...


Friday, 7 September 2012

My Son WILL Win a Gold Medal Swimming

I took the little man swimming today for the first time. Trepidation as with most things I take him to set in early in the morning. Can I find a new place, will he crap in the pool which hits me with a giant fine and looks of derision from the women in the group and could I change in front women with my 34As and the start of a tradesman belly due to over drinking of my favourite wines?

So I sucked in my belly which I gleefully released on entry to the pool and set about teaching the wee man the ways of the water. I think of myself as a strong swimmer so this is quite an important thing for him to do. The pride was immense as he not only kept his bowels in check but seeing his little legs motor away and a look of glee come across his face was great. You want the best for your children and now I want to live vicariously through him and win that Olympic gold. I know I (I mean he) will have to work hard but I'm sure I can win.

So an hour later fear was gone and a new sense of determination to fill his life with back breaking work, early mornings and a prison like regiment has come to me. Second place is not good enough. Maybe not... In reality just getting him to experience new things is great and as long as he can swim away from Jaws I'm happy.

Anyway I said good night to the new Michael Phelps, shame I can't name any good British male swimmers, and sat back to bask in dreams of Olympic glory. Top man.




My name is Jamie and a month ago I started looking after my 9 month old son full time. It has been at points boring, tedious, annoying, shit covered, wonderful, scary, endearing, profound, sick covered and most of all tiring. However at the moment I wouldn't change it for the world (ask me in a years time and I probably won't have the same answer).

I aim with this this blog to

1). Curb boredom. 

2).Give an honest account of what it's like as a man to look after a child full time.

3).Offset the onset of insanity.