This morning..

Having sat up way too late last night to do her hair I elected to take things a bit easier this morning.  

Working on the ‘a little of what you like’ principle they both get a bowl of frosted corn flakes for breakfast rather than the usual porridge. I’ve decided to begin intermittent fasting again.

They’re with their mum tonight and indeed for the rest of the week as I’m working so I want to make the most of them. I’ve packed their bags with everything they’ll need until they’re back under my roof again.

This is going to take some getting used to…

My time-keeping  anxieties came back with a vengeance and I was quickly aware of the language I was using around the kids. ‘Hurry up!’ ‘Stop dawdling’ ‘Speed up!’ ‘Tell me in the car!’

One thing I do quite well is listen to myself, and this time I didn’t like what I was hearing. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I opened them, I smiled. I was suddenly aware of the message that I needed to give my children right now.

 

I sat on the closed toilet, and hugged my daughter tightly.

 

My son, hating to miss out on intimacy comes barreling in. On noticing the comb in my other hand he swiftly 180s and sprints away into the bedroom.

The second error of the day hits me when I take a friends advice and ditch the motorway for the more rural route. I become traffic for quite a while.

Monday afternoon

It’s amazing how quickly the time goes before it’s pick up time again.

I’ve calculated that dropping and collecting both puts 2 hours (each way) on my day. That’s a lot and I’m tired already. Work are being good and I put in the hours in the evening or when they’re with their mum, but something has to give.


The big man is first and I find him stripped to his vest, the day starting cold but turning hot sees me taking John McClane to get his things. He’s cold to me at first, probably remembering me leaving him but then all is forgiven with a cuddle. We don’t talk much on the way to the second pick up but he seems preoccupied trying to keep the sun out of his eyes.

She’s extremely tired and slightly teary, so I don’t push her too much. I do get the full run-down on her day and bring her up to speed on mine.

Things to note today:

Always keep baby wipes in the car.

I touched the whiskey, but just a small glass.

IMG_0195

BSD

Monday morning

The biggest thing about relocating for me is timings.

I know what time I need to be where but I’m still not sure of how long it will take to get there.
You see time is very important to me. I don’t like to ‘waste’ it, and I don’t like wasting other people’s. I’m not anal or anything, but i’m.. no, ok, I am. I try to work backwards from my time due at a place to calculate when I’ll need to leave. Allow for traffic and some other stuff and voila. It works most of the time.

We’re late(ish). I try not to get stressy. It’s not the kids’ fault, but this is the thing with relocation. I’ve moved too far from where I need to be.

The kids are on form for the drive in. Angry Birds denied her fallback today is I-Spy. This can be challenging; past games have seen me exhausting ‘Ns’, for the reveal to be ‘Squirrel’…..

Dont make me explain it.

For some reason I can never guess ‘teeth’, even with her great clues. My suggestions are a little more pedestrian. I’ll have to remember that one for tomorrow.

Daughter dropped off it’s a slow toddle with the boy to the school office to pay for an upcoming trip. 25p over, I suggest the secretary place it in the offshore account for a rainy day.

I decide to promote the big man to the front seat for the onward journey to nursery. It’s a 3 point rather than a 5 point (preferred), but even at 2, he has the size and stature to fit safely.  Interesting mistake..

IMG_0389

Despite me pre-empting and moving the seat back, he can reach everything. He keys my radio, turns on the heated seat and puts the car in second gear. His comprehension is good, so I explain to him that what he is doing isn’t good. He stops.

The passenger window opens. And shuts. He turns and looks at me with the biggest smile in recorded history. And opens it. And shuts it.  At this point if he was in the back I would have isolated the windows.

And open..

He then slides the center console open. Just a few centimetres, but enough for OCD daddy. I close it. He looks at me, smiles, and opens it, almost to exactly the same distance. I close it again. He gives a smile and opens it again – I can’t help but admire his curiosity; he knows his time in the front seat is limited.

The toddle into nursery is uneventful, and he joyfully hangs his bag and gillet on his hook. Entry into the playroom is more fraught. He doesn’t want me to leave and I don’t want to leave him. The staff are lovely, and he always settles eventually but not without tears. His strength matches his size and it’s a physical wrench as well as emotional.

There’s something so perverse about having kids then going to work in order to pay for someone else to look after them.

Top 10 tips…

To get you out of to the door in the morning!

  1. Be prepared! Uniform, lunches, bags, PE kit can all be prepared the day before;
  2. This means you too; get your things sorted in the evening. Place anything you need by the door if you’re forgetful;
  3. Be alarmed; set one; early enough to squeeze in a workout before the kids tangle you up;
  4. Get washed while they’re asleep! or #you might open your eyes and find someone, standing there…
  5. Wake your offspring! my cubs always get a rendition of ‘Good morning; good morning! you’ve slept the whole night through…’
  6. Open their bedroom curtains and elicit nature’s help (summer only);
  7. Remove covers and administer kisses;
  8. If you have more than one; divide and conquer. Take the more awake one for a wash. Their first and your second;
  9. Get ’em dressed! I find a black belt in any Martial Art will help here;
  10. Feed them. Take solace in the fact that whatever you put in front of them will be wrong.

Tomorrow; I will teach you how to get them out of the front door. And get yourself dressed.

BSD

 

 

 

Opportunity for learning knocks

Post separation I moved further away from everything that I really needed to be near.

It seemed like a great idea at the time but a year later, the novelty has not only worn off but I also fear that the punchline isn’t coming.

However it does afford the cubs and I some time together whilst travelling. Sometimes that space gets filled by ‘Angry Birds’ on my phone for the eldest, or more cognitive games such as I-Spy, What Colour Is? and Spell This. The youngest busies himself by dipping in to the games as he wishes, if he’s not too busy fighting a losing battle with the Sun in his eyes or the wind in his face.

I find that these games are great opportunities for learning and I tend to push her spelling more and more.

I can’t believe that people struggle to spell school!

She calls out as we drive back from a shopping trip (where I’ve just remembered that I’ve forgotten to get loo roll).

Ok brainy; spell ‘Hospital’

“H-o-s-p-i-t-i-l”

Close; one wrong letter; try again. Say it slowly out loud, but this time feel the letters in your mouth before you say them.

I’ve figured out that her dominant learning style is kinesthetic, so the more tactile her learning can be, the more effective it is.

The youngest, now minus a shoe, chips in ‘a’ before going back to removing his sock from the shoeless foot.

Nice one lad. I’m sure it was a coincidence but it was impressive nonetheless.

We now finish the last mile of the journey home singing ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ at the tops of our voices (window’s open) to the tune of nothing in particular.

Make it fun; they will learn, especially if they don’t realise they’re learning.

I knew that teaching qualification and 4 years as a training instructor would pay dividends one day.

BSD

Yeah! kids!

The biggest change for me was not having my children around me 24/7.

Ok, that’s not quite accurate because I work and they go to school and nursery. But, when I came home, they were there. That was our time. Any stresses and strains from the day would instantly wash away on the breathless recount of their day, usually delivered as if words were about to become outlawed.

A blank colouring pad and a few crayons and we were set. Bad day? what bad day? I’ve just assisted in the decorating of a T-Rex in the most lurid of colours. We justify its existence be reassuring ourselves that no-one really knew what they looked like.

Result.

Anyway, this is our weekend and I can’t wait. Exploring plus new camera = lots of new photos!

7 followers!

But I think one might be me..

Nonetheless, I’m extremely happy; thank you.

I’m pretty new to all this so the site will morph as I learn exactly what the heck it is I think I am doing.

It’s worth noting that i’ll also probably follow you back; especially if it looks like you know what the heck it is you’re doing.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and not at all theft.

For my beautiful children.

It’s not often I happen on a great idea but I know that this is one of them. Life has changed recently and I have gone from one important quarter of a family to a single dad.
It was my own choice and I have to clarify that this isn’t going to be a misogynist diatribe. Instead, it’s just my thoughts, as I struggle to adjust. And some recipies..


Sunday


It’s been a month now, and for a while, my daughter has been asking me to bake with her. This isn’t an insurmountable task as I have lived alone before; but that was awhile ago…
Dinners are fine. I did some cooking when in the family home but never sweets. Never giving up is the key here, so I am on it.
Gingerbread men! Help me out here Google. Ok; a quick scan of the slowly filling cupboards reveals 95% of the ingredients – that’s close enough. Kindle open and we are on it. My son is asleep so we have about 1 hour to present him with the finished article. Ground Ginger. Similar to fresh surely? She can grate, being as it’s about inclusion. The base ingredients are in the bowl waiting.




Ok, so 6 year olds and graters don’t mix; despite numerous dad type warnings. Cue cuddles, kisses and 1 waterproof plaster. Cries for mummy are expected and irk me less 1 month in. Interest level is now at 0%, and her bedroom has all the attraction of a 5 star hotel suite. I’ll finish alone.