I’ve noticed this..

This is an unexpected issue of being a single parent.

When you buy clothes for your cubs, they invariably end up at your ex’s house.

I’m guessing that this is more likely if the parental share is disproportionate.

If anyone has an idea how to rectify this, other than handing over naked cubs, I’m all ears.


Normal service

OK. I’ve calmed down. The last couple of posts were a mixture of anger and frustration, but I’m better than that.

In order to lighten the mood, I’ve amalgamated the 3 posts that have been sitting in draft.

Whole lotta 👅 going on
The usual Friday bedtime routine consists of me explaining to the cubs that they can’t sleep in my bed. Sometimes I mean it. This time I did.

They have a workaround. First thing on Saturday morning, they jump into bed with me and we have a cuddle and watch a movie. This time, I even let them consume a bag of popcorn in my bed.

Bad idea.

At a glance, I would say that their success rate for popcorn to mouth was roughly 50%. Give or take a 5% margin. Once the film finished I told them that I wanted all the uneaten bits cleaned up while I was in the shower.

Whilst brushing my teeth, I heard a commotion followed by silence. I resisted the urge to look.

When I did emerge, the bed was clean, the duvet turned down and they were nowhere to be seen. Nice work cubs.

That evening at bedtime, whilst reading Dig dig digging for the millionth time, I thanked them for tidying my bed.

“That’s ok dad; once we’d got the big bits we just licked the rest clean”

I sat silently, asking Jesus why he’d let something like that happen.

Getting my own back
Tonight’s routine was a little muted. They’re both under par so there was little resistance.

Tucking in the eldest, she remarked that she felt awful with the flu. Her temperature was elevated and she had a headache.

“Dad? How does flu spread?”

Well it’s a virus that is very clever once it gets in your system. It can hide, it can change, known as mutation and will act differently in different people.

“Yes but how does it get into your body?

This is where it gets really interesting; it’s so clever that it knows it prefers to be inside new people to survive so what it does is to make you cough and sneeze and it’s then carried in the thousands of water droplets that come out of us when we do. If you breathe those water droplets in the virus gets into you. It can also survive for 24 hours on hard surfaces like door handles. You’ll then come along and touch that door handle, then touch your face. The result is the same.

She silently takes it all in and begins to process it.

“So when we were in the car with you daddy, that’s when we got it?”

No. I kept licking your face while you slept.


Sprint finish
” Dad; I think you need a new workout. I’ve made one for you”

Ok sounds good. What’ve you got?

“Well you start of with 25 star jumps..”

Ok; then?

“Then you move onto 25 press ups..”

Sounds good. Anything else?

“You should touch your toes 3 times..”

Sounds like a spell now but go on..

“Then finish with a small run; say 13 miles”

I’ll pass.


Unexpected revelation

I still have flu. It really sucks. This isn’t a moan-fest. It might just be a tender look into myself.

I think the biggest reason being ill and subsequently off work sucks so much is because it’s highlighted the emptiness of my nest.

I have the cubs from tomorrow and all over the weekend and I can’t wait. At the same time, I’m also willing myself to be better so I can make a decent job of looking after them. I’m aware this is wishful thinking. I’ve already silenced the man-flu-ers with a 6 pound weight loss in the last week.

I’m rambling.

The last week has been a GroundHoggy existence of sleeping and falling asleep, punctuated by scant eating.

Unseen elements 

So this empty nest thing is the single parent conundrum. Do you get a place that is big enough for your family or something more compact and bijou?

I went for space. I have one of each and they’re getting to an age where they want their own space so it was a no brainer.

The flip side of having the bigger place is that as the non-main-caregiver (how 21st Century) is that for the majority of the time, you kick around it on your own.

I’ve noticed this more because I’m not at work.

The elephant

So the revelation is that the empty nest seems emptier

Hang on

I’ve literally just had a nap. I was rambling so I shut down for a bit. Hate this.

The elephant. cont.

Is that to be ill when one lives alone is, well, lonely.

I’ve spent a lot of time in bed lately just trying to shake things off and for the last week there’s been a pile of clean laundry on my bed.

It was folded and waiting for me to put it away but has since been fashioned into a pile, about the height of sleeping person to which I have been propping myself up of a nighttime.

I hadn’t thought much of it as I’d done it unconsciously over a few days. Plus, research says that sleeping with your head slightly elevated whilst suffering from flu is beneficial to breathing.

I think I miss the ‘Do you want anything?’ type questions and the fact that at some point, food would arrive.

I did a slow cooker thing that lasted 3 days but now I need to stand up and cook.

I’m not going to.

Let’s kill this

Well folks this is a ramble fest. Sorry.

The moral of the story is, being ill sucks when you’re single.

100% more optimism will be available in my next post.


First day of the school term

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead

“It’s only school dad; and that sounds like a bad thing to do”

Some children have no sense of occasion.


Not quite there yet.

Has everyone had a nice Christmas?

I have, and so have the cubs. It was so far removed from what I endured last Year that it’s incomparable.

In those 365 days I’ve learnt so much about myself and the people that come into my life and more importantly, those who remain.

The cubs have had a brilliant time and have been showered with love (and presents). So much so in fact that I have decided to donate some to a local children’s hospice. I want to give back and the only reason I’ve written about it here is to maybe trigger thoughts in others as to how we can give back or help those less fortunate.

This isn’t my review of 2017, in fact I’m not going to do one; I’m not that interesting.

I will be doing one more post and that will be regarding the second part of the race to zero.


To read more of your blogs. I love doing so as it gives me inspiration, advice and makes me chuckle.

They also serve to remind me that I’m not the only one pushing forwards and trying to make sense of this all.

Keep on keeping on folks xx


Like a glutton for punishment I had both of them in my bed last night as they’ll now be with Mum for a week or so.

Both of them expanded like magic bath toys, moaned every hour on the hour, leaked a nappy onto me and said bed and I’m so sleep deprived I feel I may expire but, I couldn’t be happier.


Learning the language; a Saturday short..

We’re all in the kitchen; its breakfast and I’m making the porridge. 

She’s knuckles deep in the mixed nuts, separating the almonds and he’s milling about, generally under my feet. 

I don’t usually like them being in the kitchen when I’m cooking but they’ve gravitated back; I haven’t seen them for a while so I allow it. 

He is learning to read and is able recognise certain letters, especially those in his name.  His current phase is to mistake any word that begins with the first letter of his name for his name. It’s an interesting premise. 

He points to the washing machine:

“That’s my name!”

No darling; it’s not. 

“Yes it is!”

Well no, it’s not, because…..

“IT IS!” 

He’s becoming upset. 

Darling; you’re name isn’t Mixed Load. 

“That’s not my name!?”

He sounded quite indignant. 



Moreover, perpetually smelling it. 

As any parent of young cubs will know, poo plays quite a prominent role in your day. 

Nappy changes, potty training and generally forgetting that toilets need flushing are all part of the jolly tapestry of the reward that is parenting. 

Understand this; I’m a clean freak. My home is tidy for the majority of the time and I’m no fan of this ‘lived in’ philosophy. I prefer the showhome standpoint. My two beg to differ and occasionally, I’m happy to compromise. 

The Saturday routine I had as a kid was that we would all chip in and help clean the house; this has extended into my adulthood. 

Today was no different and the cubs are doing their rooms. Well my son isn’t but he’s only 3. 

They were upstairs as I cleaned the kitchen. Occasionally I’d pop up, if only to restore some civil order where my son had wondered in to my daughter’s room and refused to leave. 

As I neared, I was met by a poo haze, and my youngest in his favoured ‘mid poo’ squat. 

Come on big man; time for a bum change. 

‘Not finished yet!’ Was his customary reply and this time was no different. I waited. 

His sister’s room was full of the most interesting funk so I opened the windows. 

Eventually, he followed me. Before we went through the process I opened the windows. I do like open windows and whatever the weather, this is my first job on waking. A home benefits from a good blow through. 

‘It’s a sloppy one daddy!’

I appreciated the warning, and the fact that his vocabulary is coming along so well. 

Change done. No drama. He ran back to his sister’s room. 

 It smelt of poo, despite the windows being open. Hmmm. 

I went downstairs with the offending package bagged up. 

Downstairs smelt of poo. 

I couldn’t understand it. Windows were open but it lingered. 

I put the bag in the outside bin;

Outside smelt of poo. 

By the time I came back in, both cubs were downstairs and hunting for snacks. My daughter looked at me, and screamed. 

Well actually, it was more of a scream/laugh thing, accompanied by her pointing. 


That explained it. 


Not quite ready…

For that conversation.

‘Daddy look at this!’

What is it darling?

‘These two pigeons on next door’s roof are fighting; they’re having an argument’

How so?

‘Yep they’re definitely arguing. One has climbed on top of the other one!’

I don’t think they’re arguing sweetie but it will probably end up that way. 

I’m a romantic at heart. 


Short one; buttons pushed. 

It’s half term; the cubs are with me.

“Daddy; your room is bigger than mine”

Well I’m here all the time; you two are only here sometimes.

“Your bed is quite big though, but I think mummy gets annoyed with you when you snore in her face”

Yes well luckily mummy doesn’t have to put up with that anymore.

Not sure why that annoyed me so much….