The FM Club

This week I have been mocked and ruthlessly roasted by a bunch of cool, finger on the pulse of pop culture, all about the bants, Generation Z’ers. Just by the very fact that I am describing them as Generation Z’ers deserves a roasting I guess but I don’t understand why the unnecessary mockery, I’m a so called Millennial, I’m cool, I’m current, I’m what marketeers and employers are after…..right?

For those that don’t understand anything I have just said, Generation Z are the new, well, generation. If you are between 0 and roughly 23 then you can stake claim to this title. Nobody actually knows for sure who falls into what generations as there are so many theories and overlaps but Gen-Z are the new target market for advertisers; they are the new gauge of what’s current and the marker for future trends. In this respect, we Millennials are the has-beens because that was once our job!

I refuse to believe I am out of touch so imagine my horror as I was mercilessly laughed at when I came to work and asked my team if anyone watched Portrait Artist of the Year this week. I should have known better as 80% of the people I manage fall in the early 20s category but it was a very interesting show!

This was the moment when my ‘family man’ image was very clearly explained to me by the intern in such an eloquent, Gen-Z way: ‘ ugh you’re such a grandad, I bet you wear crocs and socks’. I know I am a family man but Ive never had anyone suggest that because of it, I’m not relevant.

My transition from cool millennial to cool ‘family man’ has been a clear and speedy journey and I’m not in any way ashamed of it.

Just before Jovan was born I needed to choose a new car, so of course you start to think about space, safety, practicality. Thats a given with all the excitement of the new role. So as we were having a baby, ONE baby, I absolutely ordered a huge 4×4 with 7 seats and all the gadgets and safety features you could possibly wish for. The most important job done. I didnt need it, I couldnt really afford it but I had to have it. Do you think that when it was time for mum and baby to come home from hospital that I was going to make the 3 minute drive around the corner with my precious, delicate, new born son in anything but this? It was an obvious and sensitively considered decision.

This was my first clear, but not necessarily conscious step in the ‘family man’ transition. Since then, like most good husbands and fathers, my little family take up about 90% of who I am (I reserve 10% for when i want to do something my wife will disapprove of like shark diving).

Family Man transition markers, like buying an unnecessary car, are now littered through my life. Like last week when I arrived at a meeting after dropping Jovan off at preschool and casually pulled a Minion on a motorbike out of my pocket at the same time as my phone. Which was actually surprisingly easy to explain.

I used to look forward to the summer because it meant freedom, long days and BBQ’s. Now I look forward to summer because we can save some money on heating, I can wake up early on a Saturday morning to cut the grass and it takes less time to get to work because the schools are out.

These days I self edit my response when someone asks “Any plans for the weekend?” so I don’t bore the boobies off the poor soul who dared to ask while I talk about kids parties, swimming lessons, messy play and outdoor activities. Similarly when they make the same mistake of asking “How was the weekend?” on a Monday morning.

I don’t know what I expect of my wife anymore when she wants to get hold of me during the day, because if I see my phone ringing I immediately panic and expect the worst and wait for the line ‘just calling to say hi’. The absolute audacity of the woman to call to see how I am without texting first to tell me she is going to call to see how I am. Who does that?

Anyone with small children will know 2 tiny humans come with a truck load of stuff, but one of the many secret perks of ‘family man’ is that I always have a genuine excuse for not being used as a taxi! I have a monster sized car seat and isofix base in the back. Sorry.

One of the setbacks is that I sacrifice storage on my phone to have 62.4 billion pics of my children doing everyday, mundane, human things. If anyone ever asks me if I have any pics of my kids, I’ll spend hours scrolling through while they watch over my shoulder, patiently waiting until I narrow it down to 12 or 13 of pretty much the exact same picture to show them.

Any Attenborough production is high up on my agenda these days and “have you moved my toolbox love?” slides off my tongue without a second thought. 2 very clear staples of the family man makeup.

Im not sure if anyone sets out with the goal of adopting a family man image but far from wearing crocs and socks, a style choice I choose not to adopt, I am all for this new me. Despite what my 20 something direct reports have to say, I am cool, I am relevant, I am what marketeers want and I do set trends just in a very Dad/Husband/family man kind of way. So what if I am not in the ‘Gen-Z’ crew, Portrait Artist of the Year is good programming!!

Forget hanging out at Soho Farmhouse or The Ned, If you cant take a bath without getting an action figure, lego or duck stuck up your arse then maybe you are a candidate for this far more exclusive, ultra trendy club too. The FM club. Thats the Family Man club if anyone is struggling with the acronym.

Love and Blessings

Robert

Inspired by Oprah

A few weeks have passed now since Oprah delivered her powerful speech at the Golden Globes.

A night that everyone thought was going to be dominated by the black dresscode but then our Oprah decided it was time for her to speak. Her impeccable tone, her unwavering passion and her on point turn of phrase inspired millions. Her ability to speak to the hearts of many while directly addressing you as an individual was on full display.

The focus of the speech was empowering women in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that has thankfully been exposed, but she spoke to so many more, about so much more. Like me.

I didn’t actually see the speech as it happened and it wasn’t until the next day when I was at work I heard the fuss about Oprah running for president (I don’t think that’s a good idea by the way!!) that I became intrigued.

I was trying to find a clip all day but never really found the right moment to watch it. I didn’t want to watch it in the open plan office through fear of becoming so empowered and passionate about my potential that I do something radical like stand up and quit my job there and then.  I wanted to spare myself the embarrassment.

I started writing this post the day after I saw the speech but for whatever reason (2 young boys most likely!) I haven’t had the chance to finish and post.

Last week our good friend Zen over at Dadultlife wrote a piece on how this impacted him and his vision for his daughter and as soon as I saw his post on Instagram I excitedly Whatsapp’d him as I was mid-way through formulating this post. Once I read his post I realised that our thoughts are pretty much exactly the same. Our main focus being, the future world our children will grow up in.

So that’s 2 British, mixed race, educated, frighteningly handsome young fathers inspired by the American Queen of chat shows. Its 2018 people, anything can happen.

When I got home the day after the now famous speech my wife and I found the clip on our TV and kind of sat down like it was a movie. I’m so glad I invested the 5 or so minutes into seeing/hearing this speech in 4k Ultra HD (yes I was excited because I’ve got a new TV).

The whole monologue was captivating but the point that really started to get me thinking and inspired me to write this post was when Oprah started to talk about when she was sitting in front of the TV as a little girl watching the Oscars as Sidney Poitier got up to collect his award for Best Actor, the first black actor to win an award of its kind. She realised then that she could be something. By her receiving the honour that she did a few weeks ago, she wanted to inspire another generation to rise up.

I started thinking about a pivotal moment that I have witnessed in my life, outside of my bubble, which has let me know I can achieve great things and where I have been moved by something that may seem in a different world.

My moment actually came on 20th January 2009 when I was 24, the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. I remember leaving work early to get home in time for the live coverage and feeling strangely emotional about the whole thing. The live coverage was on for hours before the main event and kept cycling over the same topics over and over again, interviewing guests until they started talking utter rubbish, but I was hooked.

When the main event came i watched in awe with a lump in my throat ready to burst into tears at any moment. There was this guy who had the same complexion as me, from a mixed heritage background officially becoming arguably the most powerful man in the world. He was not someone who had made it by default, used controversy or by a military coup. He was someone who was celebrated by millions of people. He was someone who had moved people and united a nation with his intellect, passion and compassion. Amazing.

I cannot vote in American politics, I do not live in America and I am not an American Citizen but none of that matters, because for me it represented an acceptance and a confirmation that, as much as there will be people who don’t trust me or believe in me because of my complexion, I cannot be held back unless I choose to.

9 years on I am operating at a higher level, I have achieved and I am confident to achieve more. No this isn’t solely down to Mr Obama and yes I have encountered subtle racism in my time. The times I have been introduced as the manager of the department and received that reaction (the one that people of colour will know only too well), or the times in meetings where it’s clearly been hard for some to acknowledge me. This stuff always pushes me to prove my worth and I aim to pass this ethos on to Jovan and Ranen.

As a father I look at my sons daily and wonder what will be their moment? Or have we moved on enough that they won’t need a ‘moment’? Let’s take a look at some key figures and hopefully reasons why my sons can prosper:

Soon we will have a person of dual heritage in the British monarchy (Go on sis!). Lets face it, we always knew Harry would be the one to do it. Meghan Markle has raised eyebrows among the elite, she’s American, a divorcee and…wait for it…in their eyes, she’s black!

Despite displaying only poise and grace in a pretty crazy situation, the talk has been dominated by the above aspects.

Her work as ambassador for World Vision, her campaigning for gender equality and modern day slavery have both been replaced by her fashion sense.

Her intelligence, strength and independence have been replaced by the ‘rift’ with her sister that has been sensationalised.

Clearly there’s still a lot of work to do here, however, a world where a Meghan Mountbatten Windsor/’Duchess of’ is even possible is a world that I want my boys to be.

The mayor of my home city of Bristol, Marvin Rees, is making waves. An educated, accomplished father who through his work as mayor has pledged to tackle inequality and create a fairer city. He is of course, of BEM background. What’s really great about this is that it’s his credibility, not his colour that is at the forefront.

The fashion industry has taken a leap with its first Black editor in chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, bringing a black face to the very heart of the industry. The controversy of ‘Black models don’t sell fashion’ that Vivienne Westwood previously addressed should be helped with this high profile appointment.

Then there’s the rise of black CEO’s in huge firms like Karen Blackett of Mediacom and Sharon White of Ofcom who are blazing the trail for not only people from BEM community but for women also.

We’ve got a long way to go and for my sons I scream ‘MORE PLEASE!’. I want to see more leading and successful figures that look like the people I mention above, so they can grow up unlike my generation and the generations before me with sense of belonging. A sense of whatever you want to do and wherever you want to go is fine! Just have the skills and ability to do it. I want them to be a natural choice for a job, not a forced choice to fulfull a quota.

We still live in troubled times where outlets like the Daily Mail post headlines such as ‘Black Children as young as FIVE can be seen as ‘dangerous and violent’ because of racial stereotypes’.

I didn’t want to click on the link but I did attempt to read, I got so annoyed by it that I stopped a few sentences in.

By producing stories with headlines like this only further promote the problem and do not give enough time to promoting positive images of black children, particularly boys. Jovan and Ranen will undoubtedly be up against this kind of stereotype

As parents I think we all want the same for our kids regardless of race, although depending on your cultural experience your vision and expectation will differ. I want the boys to understand and appreciate the sacrifice, the suffering, the pioneering and the incredible achievements that have gone before in order for them to feel comfortable with success.

So thank you Oprah for the inspiration. For many, you were their ‘moment’.

And thank you to the people I mentioned in the post who are providing, knowingly or unknowingly, ‘moments’ for many more young people. Continue to be great.

Love and Blessing, Robert.

I’d love if you’d hop over to Instagram and follow me for more ramblings @this_father_life

Tale of an Overconfident Dad

When I first thought about having kids I was really over confident about it. I thought about lazy Saturdays, sleeping baby in my arms on the sofa and watching movies for hours. I thought about leisurely walks with the stroller and feeding the ducks before returning home for dinner while the baby played on the floor. Bliss. What could be so hard? I didn’t know what all the fuss was about. My plan was to be there to support my wife through pregnancy, be a #dadboss during the labour and then the hard bit was over. The little human would just grow itself and all I had to do was be a role model and guide them into being awesome. My plan was to show the baby some letters and sounds everyday so he/she would be reading and/or writing by age 2, then by 2 ½ they would be saying the 6 times table because of course I would have been repeating that every bedtime from 3 months old. By the time 3 hit, I planned to have the baby enrolled in piano and violin lessons so they could become a child prodigy and perform at the Albert Hall. Not to mention acting and singing lessons after pre-school then basketball training on a Saturday morning. I had it all nailed.

My wife would try and inject me with a dose of reality and talk to me about changing nappies, terrible twos and sleepless nights – blah blah blah, but I was so confident in my unproven abilities to be a fantastic dad that all of that was secondary. I was yet to fully realise that those scenes I described were the scenes that people spend hours setting up for the perfect Instagram picture and very rarely were they reality. I wasn’t completely naive, I knew the realities, I just didn’t want to hear or overthink them.

Almost 5 years ago when I found out we were expecting our first child my mind immediately diverted to practical concerns, the type of concerns that many families go through, like how will we pay the mortgage on one salary? Will we have space for everything? Do we live near good schools? And what do we pack in the hospital bag? Quite legitimate thoughts for first time parents. This is when I started to get on edge working out how everything would fall into place. However, I was still confident in my undiscovered dad skills.

All the way through the short but crazy labour I was fine, still unfazed by the whole thing. I cut the cord, had cuddles, dressed his tiny body and attempted skin-to-skin. I was bossing it just as I thought! Then reality hit and I wasn’t expecting it… the first nappy change! I was cowering just outside the room peering around the corner like there was some kind of tragic scene unfolding and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. My wife and mother-in-law were in hysterics at the fact there seemed to be some kind of invisible force field stopping me entering until the clean nappy was on and the area was secured. It was then I started to realise I was moving into a very different world and I had to find my own groove.

My wife on the other hand, from the moment he was born she was on autopilot. She knew exactly what to do and when to do it. I would go into panic mode if he started crying or if he STOPPED crying. ‘Whats wrong with him, is he ok?’ was pretty much my go to sentence for at least the first year. My wife was like Superwoman – feed, bath, sleep, change, repeat. She would go nights with no sleep and act like it was normal while I walked around like a zombie. It’s like she had been reading some kind of secret mum manual for 20 years or plugged into a human app store and downloaded the mums Instinct app. I am honestly in awe of what she did. She definitely takes the lead when it comes to parenting, I’m not ashamed to admit I follow her lead 70% of the time. Not because I am not able but it’s just because she gets it so right. It’s safe to say most mums get it right, because they pave their own way; I see it on Instagram, conventional mums and unconventional mums alike are displaying their skills and inspiring others.

What I ask myself is ‘where on earth does a role of a dad come from?’ There’s no strong universal blueprint for the role of a dad, we are not guided by anything in particular like being pregnant, breastfeeding, pelvic floor exercises(!), maternity leave, Mary Poppins or good old maternal instinct. I can’t really name a famous dad character from my childhood unless they are little bit hapless like Cliff Huxtable from the Cosby Show or Ben Harper from My Family. I mean there was Mufasa from the Lion King but he was a cartoon (plus didn’t last beyond 30 mins of the film), or Uncle Phil in Fresh Prince but he was, well an Uncle! What I suppose I’m trying to say is that there’s often not even a generic basis for a father-like role on which to build, so we’re forced to make our own based on our experience, good and bad, and also based on mothers.

So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, I’ve made mistakes over the past 4 years but I’ve managed not to seriously injure or psychologically damage anyone in the process – yet. I’ve tackled nappies, sick, poo, wee, snot, messy play, nursery runs, tantrums in public and all the other things parents have to face, so I often get ahead of myself and feel on top of the parenting world! So with the birth of our second son, my feet have become really comfortable under this dad table and I’ve started to overstep the boundaries or explore the boundaries as I like to say. The over confident me has come back and I’ve started to make some really annoying statements that take my wife by surprise and earn me a ‘know your place’ look. Phrases that only sound right in our household when they come from her or phrases that I should never say… ever. So I thought I’d compile my 10 #OverConfidentDad phrases. Here goes:

  1. Giving some advice after the birth of baby no.2 – ‘Make sure you support his head babe’
  2. While I’m at work – ‘When he gets home from pre-school can you just make sure he isbathed and ready for bed please?’
  3. Also while I’m at work – ‘When you’re out, we need some nappies, thanks’
  4. When she is breastfeeding – ‘I’m shattered babe, you kept me up all night’
  5. Also when she is breastfeeding – ‘He’s got quite a good suck there, well done’
  6. During active labour – ‘Just doing an Instagram live’
  7. Make sure you’re not overfeeding him’
  8. The first time you put him to sleep – ‘shhh the baby’s sleeping, can you try and keep your voice down’
  9. Before passing the baby to her – ‘Did you put hand gel on?’
  10. I’m going out on Saturday, could you look after the kids for me until I get back?’

These top phrases are guaranteed to get me ignored but I love it.

Dads, head over to my Instagram @this_father_life if you are now comfortable in your role, let me know what overconfident phrases you come out with or some of the over confident things you do now your a ‘veteran’ dad by using the hasthtag #OverConfidentDad in the comments.

And mums, also hit me up on Instagram and let me know what over confident dad things really wind you up by using the same hashtag.

I want to hear it all and maybe even try some out myself, the only rule is, don’t get overly deep about it… It’s lighthearted.

@this_father_life

Peace x

Instadad With a Black Filter

Ok, this is a serious post. It’s not that deep, but I have been moved to write and post it. I’ll resume jokes and banter very shortly.

A few people have asked me why I am a so called ‘InstaDad’. There’s some that of course who love it and some have their criticisms; ‘Why do you post pictures of your children on the internet?’ And that’s the question that is interesting. Why do I risk all the so called dangers of posting pictures of children online? Well there’s a good reason. It’s not the only reason I do it, but a good one. Let me explain…

I grew up in Bristol, the product of a white mother and a black Jamaican father. Back then I was labelled ‘half cast’, a term that makes me cringe to this day. After my brother and I were born our parents moved to a fairly nice street in a decent sized house with all white neighbours. My Dad was ‘bringing the houses prices down’ apparently – nice! But such was the day and age where that kind of comment was a serious concern for the so called locals. My Dad was the first ‘coloured’ guy to moved to the street and we were certainly the first little brown children running around, so it must have been a shock to them!

As a kid I was blessed enough to go on many holidays, day trips, family meals, parties and other gatherings. On Saturdays my Dad would take us to the park to play football. That little kick about turned into my Dad developing a full youth and adult football club over 13 years. Saturday and Sunday evenings were about chilling on the sofa with Mum and Dad before bed. If we misbehaved my Dad would somehow be involved in the discipline, mainly because my brother and I couldn’t help laughing half the time if Mum told us off, because she was so nice! Birthdays, Christmases, school plays, talent shows, parents evening – Mum and Dad would attend. Childhood was great, and fairly normal, or so I thought.

I grew up in a mainly white area, with mainly white friends and went to a majority white school. Apart from a few friends with divorced parents, everyone lived with their mum and dad. It was just a part of life. “My Dad’s bigger than your Dad” was a common phrase thrown around the playground without a second thought.

As I grew up I started to meet people outside of my small world and notice other family set ups. Friends who lived with people other than their parents, friends who moved around a lot, friends who lived with mum and visited dad some weekends (the worst weekend ever for me because they weren’t allowed out to roam the streets!) and some friends who didn’t have great relationships with their dads. These family set-ups spanned all races, I had white friends, black friends, mixed friends, Asian friends etc.

I remember talking to a friend at college about my Dad, I think we’d fallen out over some trivial matter and I was complaining about how unreasonable he was (usual state of play), and the friend said to me, ‘I don’t even know my Dad’ – wait, WHAT?! Rewind. Come again. Did he just say that? It took me some time to understand what that actually meant. I questioned him on what he’d said, and quite clearly he meant he didn’t know his dad, like at all. He knew his name, had some vague memories of him coming to the house when he was little, but he didn’t know him. That hit me hard and took me a while to get my head around. I’d grown up with my Dad being there every single day, sharing countless memories, good and bad but this guy, he had zero memories. Zero input from his dad. Zero contact. Zilch.

As I got older and met more people, this type of story became a common theme and didn’t shock me in the slightest but what still remained a mystery to me was what brings a dad to not want to be in their child’s life? However, the one thing that stood out was that the majority of these stories came from friends, including my wife, with black fathers.

It’s not a new conversation that there is a higher level of fatherlessness among the black community than other races. In the UK, studies have found that if you are an African-Caribbean child, you’re twice as likely as your white British counterpart to be raised in a single parent household. Based on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in 2011 65% of black children were raised by one parent – almost exclusively the mother. That figure speaks volumes and we need to go way further to understand its origins and the true meaning, something that I’m not even touching the surface of in this post. What the publicised figure also does though, is mask the number of black/mixed race fathers who are as engaged as their white counterparts.

While I’m not saying that this is a problem exclusively attributed to the black community, because of the above there is a severe lack of positive stories and positive images from fathers in the black community. Put simply, they are less visible.

Instagram and blogging is an amazing way to demonstrate creativity, show talents, promote a cause or just simply show off, so what better place to start to break the cycle hey? During my short time on Instagram I’ve taken notice of some awesome Dads, there are too many great ones to name but look at the highly successful @father_of_daughters, @daddownload and @london_dad, to the famous dads like @tomfletcher, to the group of Dads I’m currently having Whatsapp banter with; @dadvgirls @dadultlife and @dadofmadlads, all projecting positive images of present and engaged fathers.

So back to the question, why do I post pictures of my children on Instagram? Apart from the fact that they are stunning and I want the world to know, the dad community are coming out in force and InstaDads are a growing influence, so if I can have fun, meet fellow dads, be inspired and increase my reach to project a positive image of fatherhood (black or otherwise) one square tile at a time, then I’m all in!

Time for banter and jokes to resume!

Love and blessings.

Follow me @thisfatherlife

Dad Skin

I need to confess, my skin has never been the best. I mean, far from the best but also far from the worst. Its no new thing, All my life my skin has been abit…. rough, at the first thought of secondary school spots started breakdancing all across my face like one big Diversity routine and continued spreading at a rapid rate until my early 20s and I’ve never really managed to shake it. I used watch these adverts trying to sell some kind of face wash concoction to a bunch of spotty teens and believe they worked miracles, the kid always had some huge red sports and with one wipe of the face their skin was clear. WOW, what could be better, it solves all my acne problems…..yea right. That being said, I was never really down about it or ultra sensitive to it, I just got on with it.

Although my skin doesn’t quite look like bubble wrap any more its still an uncontrolled problem and I suppose as you get older you start to become more aware of it.

I have what they call ‘sensitive skin’ whatever that means, all i know is it reacts badly to everything and anything and its unpredictable. Its like they sit there and plan when to strike. Got a big meeting? lets have a huge red spot in the middle of your nose. Going to a wedding? lets spread aload of blackheads across your face. Going for a romantic meal? Lets suck all the moisture away and make your skin flake.

Im not alone in this and millions of people have the same issue but men (Grrr give me a beer) are still not that great at talking about it and dealing with it.  Skincare is no longer a ‘metrosexual’ ‘modern man’ thing to think about, its important and its big business. As a Dad our skin gets the same kind of bashing about and contamination as a mums skin does – Crayon across your cheek, tuna pasta rubbed into your chin, mud on your forehead and toddler weewee hands smeared everywhere – so we need to be just as mindful.

Now I’m not one for manicures, guyliner and eyebrow shaping and this is an extremely first world problem but I’m on a journey to healthier Dad skin.

Im going to start simple. My first stage is a focussed period of using my LAB series multi action facewash twice daily and LAB series all-in-one face treatment. This, coupled with drinking lots of water will be my strategy.

Dads, Mums and countrymen – Join me and let me hear your recommendations, hints and tips and I’ll give it a go…. or just let me know you don’t care 🙂

R

Supermarket moments

Taking a 3 year old to a supermarket is like running a gauntlet of tantrums for toys, embarrassing moments, bowel movements and destruction of shelves. At least one of these things ALWAYS happens when I take Jovan out. As soon as we enter a supermarket he scopes out the toy aisle and his grip gets tighter around my hand as we come close to it, He starts to lean towards it like a magnet. God forbid we walk straight past.

Another common issue: We take him to the toilet as we come out of the house, get to the supermarket, take him out of the car…..’Daddy I need the toilet’….aaaggghhh. Do I a) drive all the way back home and risk wee in the car b) ask him how long he can hold it c) take him to the public toilet but play crystal maze trying to avoid touching anything and finding creative ways to construct contraptions to touch the essentials. I think i almost redecorated a Starbucks thrown with toilet paper once.

Anyway, the hardest situation to deal with is bumping into pre-school friends! I took Jovan to the supermarket and as I was casually browsing for some cured meats he tugs at my arm and says ‘Daddy, she’s from pre-school’, ‘Who, Joey?’ I say ‘That girl there’ he says pointing to a little girl sitting in a trolley smiling while her mother and grandmother look at the shelf next to me. So I told Jovan to be polite and say hello but I look down and he is pointing at her saying: ‘I am not saying hello to you, you bash me don’t you, tell my Daddy, you bash me all the time so I will not be saying hello, ok’. Instead of being concerned for my son being ‘bashed’ at pre-school by this girl, I was more concerned that her mother and grandmother would hear and I would have to engage in some awkward conversation about it. Luckily, they didn’t hear so I thought I was free…nope…as we walk around the trolley, Jovan is staring this girl out and shouts…wait for it…’you have horrid hair anyway, your hair is HORRIIIIIIIID’  . So I take the tactic that alot of parents take and try to talk over him so they don’t understand what he is saying, but as I talk, he gets louder and louder. It quickly escalated from an innocent meeting of pre-school peers into a potential abuse case. Thankfully I saw someone I knew and was able to distract him. Exit secured!

Lets hope we bump into more pre-school bullies because Jovan is ready to expose them!

R

 

 

 

 

This Father Life – The Sequel

Its happening eeeek. This Father Life will soon feature double trouble, the Avengers will soon be  assembled and the Paw Patrol will be reporting for duty Ryder sir!

Thats right, Jovan is excited to announce………

MUMMYS GOT A BABY IN HER TUMMY!!!

Its all starting again, my annoying ‘husband of a pregnant woman’ routine but this time I have a sidekick.  From this point onwards Sherrianne will not be allowed to do anything that I consider ‘risky’ like walking up the stairs or driving a car, stepping in and out of the bath, making sudden movements, laughing too vigorously, lifting a bag or just generally moving around. I’ll be there to wake her up in the middle of the night when she is in a deep sleep to ask her if she is ok and to remember not to roll over on her tummy. I have to be on hand to remind her she is pregnant every time she even thinks of acting even remotely normally. Every time the phone rings over the next 6 months I’ll answer with ‘Whats wrong babe?’  and sigh heavily because she should know not to call me at work without calling me first to tell me she is going to call at an odd time! Theres no more ‘calling to say hi’, its very inconsiderate. I need to start reminding her of how to put one foot in front of the other because she is bound to forget how to do that.

I will also be a living Siri, every stage of the way I will quote statistics, common symptoms, recommendations from internet healthcare professionals or spout relatable stories from netmums just to give her reassurance. Im doing all of this to help, because she needs me.

With my sidekick recruited, we have every base covered.

Now I need to take my embarrassing dad skills to the next level. Let the planning commence.

How to tie a tie?

I don’t know where this kid gets it from. He looks forward to Sunday school every single week and this week he decided to hold his own solo Sunday School at the back of the Church, Very studious and should be commended…apparently this is the way you wear a tie. Excelling in some areas but I clearly have a lot more to teach him. Let man school commence!

 

Robert

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On the trail

 

This weather is absolutely perfect for….going to the woods. hmmmm. I promised Jovan that we would go out and do something exciting and made the error of telling him we can go to the woods, and kids don’t forget. Even though it decided to rain all day it was too late to back out so we wrapped up warm, put our wellies/walking boots on (I had to go and buy some because I’m not prepared for this kind of outing) and headed out to the woods. All Jovan wanted to do was reenact a Peppa Pig episode and jump in muddy puddles. Any parent of pre-school age kids will have probably watched or heard that episode over and over again.

Daddy wanted to be ‘cultural’ and structured by going on the Gruffalo trail but little man wasn’t having any of it. He was scared the Gruffalos were going to eat him, I thought I was on to a good thing when I explained that its ‘just a giant toy’ but still no engagement. So more jumping in muddle puddles and playing in leaves. Lovely.

Robert

NO

Jovan is now really discovering the art of saying No.

I say art because there is a certain randomness to it that often only the artist understands. Abit like Tracey Emins ‘My bed’ or the great works of Van Gough, the boy is making some masterpieces.

“Pick up that toy please Jovan” = “No”

“Put your shoes on Jovan” = “No”

“Its bedtime Jovan” = “No its not”

“Your fantastic Jovan = “No I’m not”

“Mummys on her way home” = “No she’s not”

“What did you do at Pre-School?” = “Nothing”

“Who did you play with at Pre-School?” = “No one”

“The sky is blue Jovan” = “No its not”

Im sure you get it. Ive taken to just agreeing so we can move on in the conversation…something that I often have to do with adults actually.

Robert