Come along for the ride!!

Friday, April 28, 2006


You want to know how to feel just about as close to your child as you can?
Well, alright, not closer than EVER, but close enough.


Yep, that's right, colouring.

I sat down with J yesterday evening at his little desk and chairs in his room, with a plate full of fruit and snacks, colouring pencils and sheets and we just .......... coloured in.

Me worrying about going over the lines, being all grown up about it (ie boring) and him colouring away without a care in the world. I saw him occasionally glance over to compare our techniques but he was more than happy with his achievements. We had a funny 5 minutes where I decided to sharpen all his pencils and one of them (which was broken right through inside) got sharpened right down to the end - literally, there was nothing left.

We continued colouring, speaking less and then .......... silence - neither of us said anything to each other. It probably only lasted 3 or 4 minutes before J, still engrossed in his artwork, started talking, constantly and on no particular subject. He was so focussed on the job in hand, he didn't notice that I had stopped colouring in order to sit and look at him (in awe) as he blethered on. One of his rants went something like this:

"When I was bigger, next week, me and Sam and Liam went on a rocket and then Mr Incredible went up in the air in the park 'cos there's the swings and on the slide is my favourite......"

All I offered was the occasional "really?" or "no way, Mr Incredible said THAT?" and that was it. J was just spouting whatever was coming to him and you know what?

It felt good. I refrained from giving him a hug for ages as I knew it would break his flow. Eventually however, I broke and grabbed him, laughing, roughing his hair and kissing the top of his head, reminding him that I love him tonnes.

Aahhhhhh, fatherhood.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I like to think that I'm a hands on Dad who does at least his fair share of everyday chores, especially where the children are concerned. Not this morning however, when I was more than happy to let M do it all - get them fed, get them dressed, get them to nursery, while I lay in bed.

Lazy swine I hear you cry!

Alas, it wasn't an enjoyable lie in as I was feeling particularly lousy. So lousy in fact, that I was throwing up from 7 through to 9 'o' clock when I fell back to sleep until 10.30.

Flu - a right nasty business.

My throat feels like it has crushed glass in it, every muscle in my body feels like it's had poison injected into them, my head is pounding ........ I just feel very, very rough. It started on Saturday morning at 3am but today was by far the worst - I haven't stayed off work for 2 days (so far) in a long time and tomorrow isn't looking too good.

Below is an illustration of how the flu virus replicates itself.

I hope that clears things up.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Well, for those of you who have read any of my recent posts, you will know that Joseph has been very upset when I've tried to leave his nursery in the morning. He has had a huge turnaround in the last week or so.

He still looks at me as I move away; still looks straight into my eyes and gives the faintest shake of his head as I take a sideways step towards the door. (This breaks my heart btw)

I have to (unfortunately) make out like I'm only stepping outside to talk to the manager and then slip quietly out, but that's a h-u-u-ge improvement on last week.

I wonder why though? I wonder what exactly happened for him to suddenly start wanting me to stay in the morning? Like I said before, it may have just been a stage he's going through, but that sounds too much like something the older generation might say!!! As a parent, you always think the worse. You can't really help it - your mind really does scamper off without you!
This is the case even if he's just playing in the garden - "oh my God, he's running on the nice safe grass, but he might fall into the roses 30 feet away and get scratched, which might get infected and then he might suffer from some crippling and debilitating disease in the future and then he might ......" and so on!

It's truly awful! You just worry!

Friday, April 21, 2006

True, true.

Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous.

It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Stone

Monday, April 17, 2006

Oh boy!

M is a dentist. Not a private, 'holidays in the Seychelles, second home in Antigua' type dentist but a dentist nevertheless. As such, she is extremely conscious of what our children eat - realistic but conscious.

My mother on the other hand, has an unbelievable sweet tooth. She's in her 60's, she's a grown up so she is entitled to eat what she likes. Having said that, she is also absolutely petrified of going to the dentist - I mean, terrified. A filling? Knocked out. Check up and clean? Knocked out.

She is s-c-a-r-e-d.

If my mum's scared of going to a place where things might hurt a bit, ok, I understand - I too was very scared (right up to the point where I met M - but that's another post for another time).

You could say that my mum is more aware than most of how, over time you can become absoutely terrified of something like a visit to the dentist.

What my mum perhaps doesn't understand is that we are trying to avoid Joseph and Annabel having to go through what M sees every day in her job. Children crying in pain due to a throbbing abscess, parents begging M to see their child as they've been crying for 3 days (parents who give their children coca-cola and buckets of sweets or parents who fail to accept that they are in any way to blame for their childs pain).

"No, Mrs Dentist, Tarquin never has sugar in anything. Only honey in his porridge or Sunny delight by the litre bottle".

Yes, quite.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Very, very tired.

Made the grave misjudgment in thinking that I would be able to post yesterday after friends had been for dinner. Seeing as said friends never left until 1am after a small bottle of Lebanese Arak (think potent Ouzo/Pernod/aniseed) and 3 bottles of vin rouge and you'll know why I never got round to writing anything!

Unfortunately, not getting to bed until 1.30 in the morning doesn't have any bearing on what time your children get up - if they're usually up at 6am, that's the time they'll get up even when you haven't had quite the quota of sleep you're body demands - that's a tip for all you parents-to-be by the way - if you have the chance for some sleep, don't balls it up by sitting up drinking - do not pass go, do not collect £200, go straight to bed, whatever you do!

Anyway, it's Easter Saturday and preparations for the big day tomorrow are done. Our contribution to the festivities amount to colouring and boiling up some eggs.

What do you think? Aren't they a fantastic colour?

If you want to know how to do this (no, not by painting them) then leave me a comment and I'll tell you (well I gotta know if anyone's reading this stuff!!!).

My wifes mother has been cooking all week for a full on, Lebanese easter lunch tomorrow and I couldn't be happier. Mjadara, Kibbeh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh salad, the list is endless. I won't be bothering to wear my belt tomorrow as it has no use when I'm stuffing my face to bursting point with Lebanese delicacies such as mentioned. Look up your nearest Middle Eastern restaurant and if you've never had it, try something new - you won't be disappointed, I promise.

If you're celebrating tomorrow, wherever you are, I hope you have a good day.

Happy Easter to you.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


A day off work! Is there anything sweeter? Well, yes, but for the purpose of this family friendly blog, no.

I'm not talking about a Bank Holiday or a Saturday or Sunday - I mean a full on, annual leave day off. I had boring stuff planned to do on said day off but it's been worth it. Today, I am pleased to say that I;

Finished the shower room, finished Josephs curtains, tidied up my "shed" (it's actually a tiny outhouse but it houses all my junk - I tidied it) and took pictures of most of the stuff I want to get rid of in the coming months. This last bit made the front room looks heaps better so I'm pleased.

All that, collect children from nursery, meet wife from work, home, large bowl of pasta and a large glass of red wine.

Like the title says, Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.......

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Joseph has been at the same nursery since M went back to work when he was 6 months old. He is now 3 and a half so you don't need me to tell you that he has been going for 3 years. In that time, he has enjoyed pretty much every minute. At the weekends he asks if today is "a nursery day" and looks a little disappointed when we tell him it isn't, that today is in fact an "all together day".

Anyways, last week we were coming into the nursery and we saw another little boy - younger than Joseph - sobbing in his Dads arms, refusing to go inside (apparently, he hadn't seen a black taxi on the way and wouldn't go until he'd seen one - Lord knows where they were going to find one on the nurserys street!!).

Joseph stood and watched him crying for a moment and then we went in - I didn't give it any more thought.

The next day?

Joseph doesn't want me to go! He won't let me leave his room, even though most of his usual friends were there, his cereal bowl was full of his favourite cereal and he had his beloved plate of fresh fruit by his side - nope, I couldn't go.

Luckily, the one missing friend turned up and then I was released from his hand clutching the cuff of my jacket. "Bye Joseph" I called from the doorway, but as far as he was concerned, I'd already gone, his attention back to the racing car his friend had brought in.

That's fine.

Then it was the weekend and we all forget about it as it was so out of character for him.

Monday morning - same thing only worse. Hysterics, "don't go Dad", holding onto my leg and crying. Sheesh... what to do?

Yesterday, more of the same, upset, won't let me go out of the room etc. What with this plus the miserable weather equals no post yesterday - I was glum - I'm sure it wouldn't have been pretty reading!

So last night we talk about it, try to find out what's going on and we kind of get to the bottom of it - he doesn't want to have a midday sleep anymore when the other children are playing. Ok.
So this morning we all carry on as if all is normal and we get to nursery and I talk to the Manager and it's all looking good and I leave and ........... I hear little footsteps coming up the corridor after me.

I turn and see him, running awkwardly, arms by his sides, biting his lower lip, not wanting to cry again but struggling (like me now). I crouch down and he runs full pelt into me, nearly knocking me over. He whispers, "don't go" and I pat him on the back, stand up and try to make the mood lighter. I ruffle his hair and say, "race you to your cornflakes". We go in. I leave. He follows. Then, another child (with some prompting from his mother), comes up the corridor and stretches out his hand to Joseph, silently. It is a lovely moment. Joseph takes the offered hand and together they walk back, innocently, as only children can be and take their respective seats at the breakfast table.

I think it's all over but we have one more episode before I am able to slip out unnoticed.
I get outside and take a deep breath. I feel I'm being sneaky, leaving him under false pretences and that when he notices I'm not there, when he turns to look at me for reassurance, he'll perhaps remember that I just left him.


I remember putting my Dad through similar when I was at primary school - I guess I was 7 or 8 years old - and although I clearly remember being upset at being left with a teacher I hated, I can't ever remember thinking "oh no, my Dad's leaving me here".

Hopefully Josephs experience will be the same. Or better of course.

I hope so. It's a rotten start to your day.

Let's see how tomorrow goes I guess.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Local elections

"Good evening, sorry to disturb you, can I ask, do you normally vote for the _____ Party Sir?"


"Well, it's just that our candidate lives local and it's much better to have a local man wouldn't you say? We were just canvassing at the other end of your street and we noticed some railings that haven't been fixed by the local council who, as you know, are the _____ Party, blah blah blah...".

Now, I was never interested in politics but as you get older, you realise that it plays a hugepart in just about every aspect of your lives. Do you know what pisses me off about politics however? It's the constant tit-for-tat bickering that all parties, in particular, the Tory and Labour parties, partake in.

"Oh, well, we've only had to spend £80 billion pounds on pavements because the last Tory government did this ....."


"Well if it wasn't for the Labour party meddling in such and such, we would have been able to ..."

.... and so on. It's tedious - you've only got to watch the news coverage of parliament to see them, all huddled together in their little cliques, sniggering and pointing at their opposite number in the seats across the chamber, cheering when someone puts in a low blow on someone from the Left - jeering when someone kicks out at the Right - these are GROWN men and women for crying out loud!!

I mean, have you watched Question Time? It's riveting stuff, watching this minister shaking his or her head at the thinly veiled accusations being fired at them from all sides, not to mention the audience baying for blood not 20 feet away from where they're sat.

Top notch viewing!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


In a world of fairly naff greeting and birthday cards, my wife always manages to find something a little out of the ordinary and my birthday card just recently had a quote on it by poet Robert Browning (born 1812). Although the whole poem goes on a bit, the front of my card read;

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to come

I think I'll leave it there for today - Sundays are fairly hectic in our house, especially in the evening.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Green isn't it?

Like us, you might not live particularly close to the County of Kent but there's lots going on within it and our day trips invariably involve at the very least, a brush with the Kent countryside, if not a full on drive through its very heart.

Today took us near to Paddock Wood where we visited Hop Farm; an enormous campus of 'farm type stuff' rather than a full on working farm.
It wasn't cheap - £25 for two adults and one child above the age of 3 (baby went free) - but I figured that once we were in, everything else would be gratis.

Not so!

First thing you see through the gate is a Thomas the Tank engine type ride; a pound a go. Next, make an Easter bonnet - a pound. Paint and bake a ceramic shape of your choice - a pound. Oh hang on, Punch and Judy, free. Swing park, free. Meet the shire horse, free.

Oh well, swings and roundabouts!

I'm not notoriously tight-fisted but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have to watch the pennies v-e-r-y carefully! I never said a word though, as I didn't want our companions for the day (Josephs Godfather, his wife and their children) thinking I AM tight-fisted. Thankfully, half an hour into our visit, he said to me, "you'd think after the bloody entrance fee, all this would be free!".

Phew, not just me then!

To be fair, we then proceeded to have a really fun day. It was made all the better by the mere fact that it was gloriously sunny day, if a bit cold (I HAD forgotten my coat - I can't blame anyone else for that I suppose) and the children all enjoyed themselves, not to mention the swing park was empty and I went down a (tiny) death-slide for the first time in years. Sandcastles, crazy mirrors, meet the animals (including a tiny mouse which did a microscopic poo on Josephs hand, much to his delight), a very un PC Mr Punch getting "told off" for hurling the baby down the stairs, a chase with a chicken and a surprisingly reasonable gift shop visit later and it was time for home.

An hours drive, in the front door, brush teeth, wash hands and face, hysteria through tiredness for nearly everyone, story and then bed, bringing an enjoyable trip to a close.

Lesson for today?

When you think you've packed everything for your day out, check again. Being coat-less nearly spoiled my day. It was only the fact that I am not too proud to steal my wifes' coat that I struggled through.

I'm pooped so I'll leave you with a picture.

Friday, April 07, 2006


The title refers to me - I never learn do I?

To cut a long story short, the boiler guy said (on Wednesday) he'll be over on Friday evening at 7pm to fix it. "That's great", I think to myself, "a warm house again".

And so, when he hasn't arrived by 7.30pm tonight, I start pacing, looking at my watch, checking my mobile to see if I missed a call or something!

"It makes me so angry", I complain to my wife, "look at the time, what if he doesn't come, he's got 300 quid of ours!".

Then, as usual, my wife (an oasis of calm) says to me, "look, he works for British Gas, he's probably on a job or trying to get here through the traffic, sit down and relax".

What happens? Not 5 minutes pass when there's a knock at the door, in comes the boiler guy full of apologies saying how awful the traffic was through Chelsea and Fulham.

I swallow, shrug my shoulders and offer a pathetic "yeah, traffic, heh heh... what can you do?", all the while hoping that he can't read in my face the fact that I was just thinking how he might be off down the road with our cash!!

It's ridiculous!

The thing is, I'm a very trusting person, I genuinely ALWAYS give people the benefit of the doubt. It has only taken a couple of cowboy tradesmen however, to slowly dismantle that trust over a period of several years.

You see, the overriding issue with me is that I can't bear the thought that someone is taking me for a ride, be it financially, professionally, emotionally, anything. There's no need for it - I don't take the piss out of people. If I say I'll be here at such and such a time, I'll be there. If I absolutely can't get there on time, I'll call and explain that I'm running late, do you want to make other plans etc.

It bothers me that someone is saying one thing to me and sniggering to themselves, chuckling away going "what an idiot, another sucker".


So, because boiler guy was so polite, so apologetic, so appreciative of the cup of tea I made him, I then proceed to rubbish myself, ridiculing the very person that I am trying to protect from OTHERS ridiculing - ME!

But you know the worst thing? The worst thing about the situation this evening is that I haven't been able to just let it go. I've been thinking about what if? What IF our circuit board hadn't really blown? What IF a new one isn't £300, what if it's £100 and he's pocketed the extra cash? PLUS I gave him a score as an extra drink? What if he IS laughing while counting his cash, with my words about contacting him next year when the boiler needs another service, ringing in his ears?

But I know that this will fade, I know that in a couple of days I'll have forgotten this saga, our radiators radiating heat like a soothing tonic for my soul, whispering "forget it, it's not important, isn't it warm, isn't the sofa comfy, look, it's your favourite programme ....." and so on.

Yeah, I'm a buffoon alright.

The best thing about being me though? You want me to tell you what is the absolute best thing about being me? It's that although I constantly lose my way, although I am regularly distracted from my goals and forget my past achievements, my beautiful and wonderful wife gently reminds me of several things. They are;

1. That I am a smashing person.

2. That I am a super Dad, and

3. That she loves me

And THOSE things give unfailing perspective to a buffoon like me as and when I need it - which is often.

I wish that weren't the case, but unfortunately it is.

Thanks love

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Brass Monkeys

One hour! One lousy hour! That's by how much I need to leave work early to make a whole heap of difference to my day, my evening and my life. Why can't we all work 9 until 4? I was home at 4.30, at the nursery for 4.45, we were all home for 5 and having fun.

An hours EXTRA fun to be precise!

The children were happy (instead of their borderline hysteria due to tiredness), we were beaming 'cos we got to spend the extra time with them, we could get them ready for bed at a reasonable pace rather than a major rush and so on and so on.

So, employers everywhere - if you're listening - see the difference 1 hour a day makes? Staff morale will be up, productivity will be up and your workplace will be a transformed space, all because you let us leave an hour early each day. Trust me, it'll work.

Short post for me today - another cold night ahead until our boiler is fixed tomorrow, so I need to get fires going, extra blankets and jumpers and the like, not to mention the fact that I can hardly type properly with frozen fingers (what a trooper!!)

Don't forget to crank up your thermostats tonight whilst kipping in the bare minimum.


Nippy today but beautiful clear skies!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Evil eye? Or just too damn smug?

Now this is exactly the sort of thing which has allowed my defeatist attitude to manifest itself over the years. Not one day has elapsed since my "life is good"" comment, ending yesterdays post and what happens? The boiler packs up on the same evening the country slides back into the wintry abyss we thought we had ice-picked our way out of!

We are most definitely not amused!!

Cue the frantic 'phone calls to various plumbers and heating engineers you have been in touch with over the years, apologise for not having gotten the boiler serviced as often as you know you should have, blah blah blah, but could you find it in your heart to pop over for a nice hot cuppa and biscuit and, ooh, before I forget, the boilers doesn't work - you couldn't have a look could you?

"Sorry, I won't be able to see you until Friday I'm afraid. I'm just snowed under with work. Oh, hang on, I might be able to come over this afternoon?"

Or, charge you a small fortune for "dropping everything" for a "mate".


Having a Lebanese wife, the topic of the "evil eye" comes up from time to time and basically, it is supposed to stop you from being too smug about things. Like, for example, me spouting yesterday that life is good.

Well life IS good!

It could be better of course - my job could be enthralling, the pay could be supersonic, I would have more hair and a nose like Rob Lowe!

These wishes aside, if I take into consideration the fact that I have a lovely family, a nice home etc, then my life is good - why can't I announce that to the world?

Evil eye, that why!

But I wasn't showing off. I wasn't implying that my life is better than the next persons! I'm just trying to realise, through sharing my thoughts and writings here, that my life is indeed very rich even though I am in fact financially, I'm broker than I've ever been!

But, following our current boiler situation, I recant my "life is good" comment and will end today with......

"Life is ....... quite good. Occasionally."

Evening update: Circuit board that controls the boiler is "gone" and can't be replaced until Friday - that's 48 stone cold hours away. AND it's £300 for a new one.

A boiler service? £40.

The lesson for today? Call a heating engineer tomorrow and book in a service - trust me, it'll hurt way less!

And when you're snuggled up tonight, having kicked the quilt off 'cos you're lovely and warm ...... oh, never mind!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Beautiful day!

You know, one of the (best) things I have noticed since starting my blog, is that some of the things that I have usually taken for granted, now stand out. As an example, a couple of lunchtimes per week I will take a walk around near where I work and get little things out of the way, such as going to the Post Office or paying in a cheque etc. When these 'chores' are done, I will have a stroll in no particular direction.

Today took me along Drury Lane (from the Aldwych end) and as I approached Long acre at the top, I passed Drury Lane Gardens. This turned out to be a tiny oasis of calm amidst the chaos of central London. Although I didn't stop for long, I did step inside the boundary of the gardens and took a minute to look around. The trees were in full bloom with masses of cherry blossom hanging from every branch, couples were sat sharing their lunch and a laugh, and all this was being played out to a soundtrack of twittering sparrows and starlings, chasing each other from tree to bush and back again, fighting over scraps of discarded sandwiches. The gardens aren't very big at all, more like a large patio in fact, but the whole place seemed alive with colour, vibrancy and noise - as if it had booked the first appearance for Spring solely for the occupants today!

It really was a beautiful day.

But bloody cold! Where the hell did that come from all of a sudden? Last week, we're gloomily accepting that April showers look here to stay for, well, all of April and BANG, down drop the thermometers again to 4 degrees, get your coat back on and pull the collar up, what a colossal bore!

Now I very cleverly did NOT have my camera with me to capture and share the moment with you, so I'm going to cheat. I took this shot in the second week of January this year (warmer than today), as we were leaving the grounds of Hornimans Museum in South East London. It's a smashing museum and seems to have had a lot of money spent on it in recent years. Set in beautiful grounds with lots to look at and interact with in the museum, you should definitely pencil a visit in this summer.

If you enjoy it, let me know. If you hate it, don't go again!!

Ooh, before I go, a quick update on Josephs button achievement. Tonight, as before whilst doing a number 2, without a word he just starts undoing his shirt button and casually smiles when he undoes it first time.

"Now", I say, "here's how to do it up - and THEN undo them".

He looks down, deep breath and undoes one button and does it back up again. It's all too easy today and doesn't warrant the same response as the first time (see previous post) but we both think the same thing;

Me: My son is clever and cool!

Joseph: I am clever and cool!

Aahhhhh, life is good.

Monday, April 03, 2006

So, an expedition has discovered the "true" source of the River Nile eh? This makes the Nile 107 km longer than its official length, starting not in Lake Victoria as originally thought but in the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda.

That's cleared that up then!

I apologise; I'm being facetious. It is actually a huge discovery - I guess I'm just a tad jealous that someone has gotten a team together and headed off, Indiana Jones stylee, to deepest Africa in the hope of finding something amazing - and they did!

Now geography was never my strong point at school. My teacher could have been a whole lot nicer (Mr Hardy, you know who you are), but regardless of school results, I must admit to being fascinated with the layout of our planet as a whole. In particular, the geography and sheer size of Africa - it is enormous!

With this in mind, I thought I would find out just how big, pass this information on to you so you can wow your friends with your infinite knowledge of other continents.


I'm going to write it out in full as I think it looks more impressive. It covers 11 million, two hundred and five thousand, one hundred and forty six square miles and you can fit China, the United States, India, Europe Argentina and New Zealand inside it, still leaving just over 137,000 square miles spare.

See? I told you it was big!

Africa often comes up in our household, particularly at meal times. We have explained to Joseph (our 3 year old), that there are people in the world that do not have any food to eat. This he comprehends although he struggles to understand how there are people who do not have any fresh water to drink, especially when he watches me get it from any tap in the house. Although he eats ALL foods (except pizza cheese - see yesterdays post), he does occasionally leave some on his lunch plate. After a short pause, he asks "do the children in Africa have food?" to which we inevitably reply no, they don't. He usually then finishes everything, bless him.

Annabel has a way to go before understanding any of this of course, and is happy just to extend an arm out over the side of her highchair and watch our blank expressions as she lets whatever it is that she happens to be eating at that moment drop to the floor with a thud or a splat. She particularly enjoys yelling until we pick it up for her so she can drop it all over again, chuckling to herself.

Oh Missy, just you wait until you're old enough to learn about Africa!

I do find it very sad though, that over 20 years after me watching the video footage to the Band Aid single, my children are now, in 2006, watching carbon copy scenes coming out of the television screen.

Watching these scenes now as a parent, it is almost unbearable to watch.

Keep going Bono - you are THE man!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Oh man, I can't believe I've just started my very own blog and MISSED the opportunity to post an entry on April Fools Day! The fun I could've had!!!

I do have a valid excuse however - I'm a parent, and parents can NEVER be sure they're going to be able to do ANYTHING they want, when they want!

As it happens, a work colleague left on Friday, and he and his girlfriend (I hate the politically correct "partner" nonsense) are off to sunnier climes so they organised a 'Leaving London' drink on Saturday night. I haven't been out to a pub for, well...... bloody ages and I have to say it was great fun. I didn't overdo it in any way, shape or form (you wouldn't exactly call 'me' the life and soul of a party I admit) but this stood me in good stead for waking up early on Sunday morning.

(Parents have to do this whether they like it or not you see - if they have any sense at least!!!)

Anyway, to the important stuff, and our very relaxed Sunday included a trip to the supermarket (rivetting stuff I know but bear with me) and we asked our son if he would like to eat in front of the TV?

This suggestion went down very well and so we had a TV dinner consisting of pizza (rare for us), followed by waffles and ice cream (even rarer) whilst watching Disneys Hunchback of Notre Dame (a totally new experience for us all).

The point of all this rambling, is that Joseph announced that he "didn't like the cheese on the pizza". This is a boy who loves ALL cheeses - loves ALL food in fact. So, I removed the toppings piece by piece (including tiny bits of mushroom), scraped the cheese off and then replaced the toppings bit by bit (including the mushrooms). "Mmmmm, that's better" was the response.

Quite worth it believe it or not!

I felt a bit sorry for our mutilated pizzas - what had they ever done to us? They were created purely for our enjoyment but somehow that didn't give me the right to strip them of their cheese topping!!

Similarly, he didn't want to eat his waffles and ice cream - just the ice cream. Which again, seemed to twist the knife in as far as the waffles went! It's not THEIR fault they were a bit rubbery!

On top of all this, our wonderful (although ever-so-occasionally-deafeningly-loud daughter) was desperately trying to get her hands on some of her brothers food and was "voicing her annoyance" at being refused. Sharing food with her brother is a no-no however, because unfortunately she is (until further testing), dairy allergic and has a fairly restricted diet as far as "nice" things go!

Is there a lesson to be learnt here?


Having said that, I guess what I want to get out of my postings here is that (in the hope that anybody reads any of it), I want the difficulties, the triumphs, the upsets and the ups and downs of parenthood to be crystal clear, to parents, parents-to-be and wanna be parents.

Trust me on one thing though - through all the tears, exhaustion, scraped pizza cheese and runny poo - parenting rocks!