Come along for the ride!!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Talking of doing things for the first time, have you flown a kite recently? It's cool! No, really, we all had great fun. And although it's not technically a first for me, today was the first time I'd ever flown a full-on stunt kite.

You know, being a parent is fantastic - you get to do loads of childish stuff that you might've missed out on in the past AND claim you're only doing it for the kids!!).

Today was a very windy day - although the weather guy on TV called it 'blustery' - either way, as far as I was concerned, it was kite flying weather - so the four of us (ma famille), headed for open space with our new stunt kite.

It was windy! Our kite flying time amounted to only 10 minutes but it was F-U-N! I learnt two valuable lessons too.

Lesson number 1. Kite flying should not be done alone.

As we made our way to a good launch site, we passed a lone woman trying to fly her own kite (it looked very similar to ours but a bit funkier and definitely more expensive) but without luck. During the period of our flying time, I glanced over to see how she was getting on but it appeared to be a catalogue of failures and I did notice her checking out our soaring piece of coloured cloth more than one occasion. Although I did feel a little sorry for her, my wife very accurately pointed out, "you'd have to nail your kite to the ground not to get it to fly on a day like today". She was right - the hapless kite flyer didn't need pity - she needed a helper to throw the kite into the air, just like I had.

Want to fly a kite? Take a friend!

Lesson number 2. If you're having fun, your children will have fun.

Laugh, run across a park or common with your arms stretched out like an aeroplane, squeal at the sight of your kite at the end of half a mile of string and your children will squeal with you, delighted that you too are enjoying what they are. Ok, ok, so my 10 month old daughter just looked out from below her woolly hat and above her woolly blanket with a cold red nose wondering when the hell we were going home for milk, but her big brother had a great 10 minutes. Well, he had a good 10 minutes actually - he wanted to go back to the car park so he could walk through the giant puddle in his new wellies.

OK - it would appear that I had a great time flying a kite.

What a selfish pig!

(I hope it's windy tomorrow too!)

heh heh heh.....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Question: when was the last time you did something for the very first time? No seriously, take a minute to think about it - when was it? I don't mean your first drink or the first time you got laid! I mean something that you set out to do, you managed to do it and felt...... euphoric, you felt tingly and elated!!

Well, last night my 3 (and a half) year old son was having a poo on the "big" toilet when he decided that he wanted to take his own shirt off - right there and then - a polo shirt with three buttons at the top. I moved in to help him but he brushed my hand away stating firmly, "I want to do it". Fine, I said - if you want me to help, I'm right here.

He tips his head forward and looks down his nose, his beautiful brown eyes (like his mothers) straining to look down far enough to actually see the buttons and his little hands start their difficult task. He has only one button to undo as the rest are undone already but I could see the enormity of the job in his face, his furrowed brow, the slight frown, his little fingers struggling to comprehend what his brain was telling them to do.

As a minute or so passed, I offered to help but again got the brush off. I watched the button and its corresponding slot, willing it to go through, not wanting it to get the better of him. I needn't have worried - slowly, ever so slowly, one edge of the button slipped through the slot - he saw this but stayed calm, continuing to apply pressure until, after maybe three long minutes, the whole button 'pinged' through.

With this, he looked up, straight at me, punched the air and yelled, "I did it Dad!". At this, my heart melted, as only your own children can make it melt, I jumped up off the side of the bath and hugged him - hard. I looked down at him and he looked up at me, beaming, SO pleased with himself and so proud at his accomplishments.

We shouted out this amazing news to his mother (who was down the corridor changing baby sisters nappy) and her response made him beam even more.

With this small but important milestone completed, our thoughts came back to the fact that he was having a poo and we realised that it was actually a very smelly poo. I commented on this and our focus drifted back to bath time.

The first of many mammoth achievements. Who knows what tomorrow holds!

Well done Joseph my beautiful son, very well done.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

ANOTHER blog? Oh lawdy, do we really NEED another blog? Well no, actually we don't NEED another one but I've been toying with the idea for a while and two things have happened recently that have prompted me to start one. They are;

Firstly, my impatient nature. Living and working in London, life is fairly frantic anyway and becoming a parent has added to that sense of "must get here, must drop off there" etc. This daily 'hecticness' has only helped chip away at my already limited ability to remain mild mannered/tempered in the face of the most minor of confrontations or difficult situations! I'm hoping that I will somehow be able to 'purge' myself of any negative thoughts, thus restoring my calm inner self!

Wow, how very 'Zen' of me!!! Let's hope it works!

Secondly, you would have to have been living in a box not to have seen/read the news coverage of Norman Kembers release from captivity in Iraq last week. I was reading an interview with him just yesterday and one piece in particular struck me.
He said;

"The experience of being confined is desperate. Not going outside for four months - it's having that time stolen. I want to remind your readers how precious life is, and how precious the sight of a green tree would be when you're deprived of it."

It made me think about how often I get bogged down in the minutiae of everyday life. The silly, unimportant things that seem to distract me from all that I have to feel good about in my life - which I'll go into later. This may be just another blog for you, but for me; well, it could be the start of something big, a new me perhaps? If you want to come along for the ride, I'd love for you to join me!

To quote cartoonist Bill Watterson, "It's a magical world out there..... let's go exploring".