What was becoming a father like for you? Harder than you imagined? You’re not alone, fatherhood was the most difficult thing for me to adapt to.
To all those people criticising Prince William, I say fuck you.
I used to look at my past and shudder. I did some terrible things that only youth would let you get away with. I deliberately avoid people and places that link me to the past because I’m ashamed to introduce my present to it, but recently I’ve been looking at it with exceptionally rose tinted glasses. Every now and again I look back and rather than recoil with disgust I actually miss it. I miss the fun and reckless abandonment. I miss the spontaneity and care free attitude towards life.
My kids get bored very easily but they react to the boredom very differently. Olivia will tend to just sit in silence, or cuddle up to me and let the time drift away. George becomes agitated, energetic, hyperactive, craves attention, demands inspiration and becomes all consuming. There are a few things that seem to appease my kids when boredom begins to set in, these are their top 5.
I very much used to be of the opinion that ‘my house, my rules’ was sacrosanct. I didn’t care what you let your child do in your house, when they were in mine they followed my rules. You may have let your child draw all over your walls, good for you. Not in my house. You may have let your child jump all over your furniture, kudos. Not in my house. You may have liked to feed your children Easter Eggs for dinner, I bet they loved you. Not in my house. But now, I’m starting to disagree with myself. I’ve started adding caveats, and now it’s more like: ‘My house, my rules, unless…’ ‘Your house, your rules, except when…’
It’s been no secret that it’s taken longer for me to bond with him than it did my daughter, at one point I even regretted ever conceiving him! It wasn’t until I realised that I was merely reflecting my own issues onto him and using him as an excuse for my feelings that I learned how to love him. So for his fourth birthday, here are four things I’ve realised I had to change about myself.
When did manners disappear from our culture? Something quite small has been bothering me for a little while, but for me it’s actually quite significant. I’ve already talked about my time running up the Gherkin as part of my Gherkin Challenge, but I didn’t mention that when I was there something took me by surprise that bothered me more than it should have. Are manners important to you? It appears that please and thank you are disappearing from our children’s vocabulary, and it appears their parents are no different.
I met my wife on 1 Oct 2005. Since then, she hasn’t taken a single holiday. That’s right, almost 10 years without a holiday. Imagine how that must feel? I kind of know, because I haven’t taken one in the same amount of time, unless you’re willing to count the year I lived in Spain working, or the 14 months I’ve spent in Afghanistan, or the seemingly endless number of weeks I’ve taken away from my kids; my wife calls them all holidays, even if I don’t. Add to that, my daughter was born almost 7 years ago and in that time my wife has spent a total of 4 nights away from her. That’s it, 4 nights. Needless to say, this week that she is spending in Turkey with her bingo buddies, is thoroughly deserved. As a result I, for the first time in almost 7 years, find myself parenting solo. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far.
For the sake of my children I wish I could relax more. I don’t mean that I need a rest, or a holiday, or even a good night’s sleep. What I mean is, I wish that I could stop being so uptight and let my children enjoy their childhood more. I think my children are happy, but I genuinely believe they could be happier.
My two year old son gave us a bit of a fright today by deciding to hurtle himself down the full flight of stairs backwards before bouncing off the hall wall at the bottom. The interesting thing for me was the different reactions to the incident by the four members of this household.