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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

10 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#46)

1.Arriving somewhere EARLY with the kids will freak you out. (I expected the universe to implode.)

2.If you're on your third cup of coffee and fourth slice of pizza by 9.30am it's gonna be a long day.

3.Those happy toddlers enjoying ALL their food in the recipe books are CGI, right?

4.When my wife dresses the kids she picks the nicest outfit. When I dress them I pick whatever goes on easiest.

5.It's entirely possible to be so exhausted that you drop a biscuit and call it a c**t.

6.I feel sorry for the snail in our outside bin. Trapped in a pit full of rancid nappies and broken dreams.

7.They should change the name of Teddy Bears Picnic to 'Let's Wreck Daddy's Trousers'

8.Minging food on a floor is more appetising to a toddler than haute cuisine on a plate.

9.I'm pleased my kids are showing an interest in books, if only they wanted to read more than the same two ALL THE TIME.

10.As a parent I've actually listened to the training schedule that Olympians keep and thought, 'IS THAT ALL?'

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

My Toddler Won't Eat and It's Stressing Me Out


*I finish making lunch*

Okay, food is ready. God, that took me ages. Is it even worth it? I suppose we’ll find out.

He NEEDs to eat this meal. How can anyone survive on toast? Toast and biscuits. He’s like a bloody student already.

Wish he’d stop screaming. Although he’s probably hungry, hasn’t eaten properly in a week.

I’m not gonna give him a drink yet, sometimes that puts him off. I think it does anyway. Maybe it just puts me off? What if he’s thirsty though? I know, I’ll make the drink but hide it on the other side of the oven. Perfect.

Now, shall I have the food ready for him on the table when I put him in his seat? Or should I bring it over when he’s sat down, like a dishevvelled waiter?

Too many choices. Feel like I’m cracking a puzzle.

*puts son in highchair*

He’s crying already, haven’t even showed him the food yet. Must be because he’s hungry, right?

I’m nervous. This is more stressful than a credit check.

Here we go - smiley face, happy singing and now for the big reveal…TUNA LASAGNA!!!

*boy screams even harder*

Oh, fuck. That’s a bad start. He does like this stuff though, maybe he’s forgotten. Let’s get a little spoonful first shall we? Here we go and…

*son turns his head away from the spoon*

Oh fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Not again. Stay calm, he’ll sense it. Show him the bowl.

*son glares at food*

Christ, he looked at that food like it owed him money. Not a great sign. Might as well try the aeroplane spoon trick.

*Does aeroplane spoon trick*

Nope. Never works. Don’t even know why I still try it. Even when I was a baby I remember thinking that was shit.

If I can just get him to taste it, he’ll remember he likes it.

Fair play to him, he’s a stubborn little sod. That’ll help him go far in life. I think. Will it? Or is it the worst quality you can have?  Either way, he’ll need to eat the odd meal whatever he does.

THAT DOESN’T MATTER RIGHT NOW! Let’s just get him to eat this small and lovingly prepared portion of fucking lasagna.

Is it too hot? Too cold? Too just-the-right-temperature? I didn’t realise Goldilocks was based on true events.

Let’s try the dummy move. I’ll hold the dummy out, he’ll open his mouth and then BOOM - I’ll switch the dummy for a spoon of tasty, nutritious food. Never fails.

Here goes.

*tries dummy trick*

Well that was a fucking disaster. I’m wearing more food than he’s eaten in the last two days.

Need to calm him down.

It’s okay little man! Don’t worry, daddy’s just getting a bit worried about you. Would you like some food?

*son screams until he starts coughing*

I think that’s a no.

He’s not accepting a small spoonful, might as well go for a massive one.

*heaps spoon up*

What a surprise, that didn’t work either.

I just need to get some food into his mouth. He’ll taste it and everything will be fine.

*moves spoon towards sons mouth, son bobs and weaves like a prize fighter avoiding a jab*

This isn’t what I expected. All those books I read, where was the chapter entitled ‘Force Feeding Your Screaming Child While You Hold Back Your Own Tears’?

Sometimes I think it’d be easier to plug him back into his mum for a few days.

Let’s have another go. My god, this is impossible, should be a parlour game.

“Hey guys! Who fancies a quick round of ‘Feed The Uncooperative Baby’ with me?”

It’d make a great iPhone app.

What if I hold the spoon still, will he accidentally move his mouth into it?

*son screams blue murder until a small particle of lasagna touches his lip and then he stops, considers the situation momentarily and then opens his mouth*

YES! We’re in. Come on! Feel like I’ve cracked a safe.

*loads big spoonfuls in as quickly as possible, making up for lost time*

Must maintain eye contact. Don’t change sitting position. Keep everything EXACTLY as it is till he’s finished. Any change in circumstance could ruin everything.

My god, this feels so good. Every mouthful he has I can feel stress leaving my shoulders.

See! You love this stuff little man! Nom, nom, nom!

*slight cry from son*

Oh shit, sorry. Stay focused.

He’s probably ready for that drink now.

*grabs his drink from other side of oven*

Here we go mate. Wow, he was thirsty.

Okay, next spoonful.

*son refuses food and starts screaming again*

Oh no. I’ve fucked it. It’s snakes and ladders, one false move and you’re back to the start.

What did that article say? Stay calm? How the fuck are you supposed to stay calm when the person you love most in the world hasn’t eaten properly for five days?

PLEASE eat some more, son. For daddy? In fact, for yourself. You NEED food to survive, mate. Please?

*tries to jam spoon in son’s mouth again*

How can you go off food in the middle of a meal? He loved this fifteen seconds ago and now it’s offensive to his tastebuds. He’s fussier than that Princess with the pea.

And now he’s eating the table cloth. Great. The food I spent half an hour making for him is foul but the £3 tablecloth from Wilkos is strangely delicious.

I wish I was this honest in restaurants. Next time food comes over I don’t fancy, instead of being terribly British and suffering quietly I’m gonna lash my drink at the wall, throw my body backwards and scream like someone’s hacking my arm off.

Ah, fuck it. Might as well eat this myself. No wonder I’m getting fat.

*tucks into food while sobbing*

I'm a stand up comic and dad to twin boys. Follow my blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or check out my parents podcast.

Monday, 15 August 2016

New podcast episode with Shaun Keaveny

My guest this week is the BBC 6 Music Breakfast Show host and dad of two, Shaun Keaveny. Plus we launch a search to find the most annoying toy on the planet and hear some incredible responses to Facebook Question of the Week.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

10 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#45)

1.The moment your toddler learns how to remove their nappy is scarier than Skynet becoming self-aware.

2.Nap time is the absolute tits.

3.I'm pretty sure there's only three different episodes of In The Night Garden. It's the Status Quo of kids TV.

4.And if you *slightly* mispronounce a character name from that show there's a good chance you'll unwittingly use a racial slur.

5."Who’s your favourite twin?"
"The one that isn’t crying."

6.Never mind forgetting what you've come into a room for, some days I forget which room I'm going to on the way there.

7.Wine is the answer. (I just don't know what the question is.)

8.My son can fire nuggets from his arse further than I can throw a frisbee.

9.I still haven't cleaned the inside of the bin. To be honest, I'm so used to the smell now I think I'd miss it.

10.If you criticise when older parents say 'we never had parent and child spaces and we were okay' loads of older parents will reply with 'we never had parent and child spaces and we were okay'. Ha!

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Friday, 5 August 2016

Why The Final of 'Child Genius' Made Me Feel Uncomfortable

I want my twin boys to be clever and smart. But I hope neither turns out to be a child genius.

This morning one of them shat himself awake while the other spent an hour licking the sofa. It seems unlikely that MENSA will be in touch anytime soon. And I’m fine with that.

Not that I don’t want my kids to flourish or be successful, you understand. I hope they show drive, ambition and a willful enthusiasm to accomplish beautiful, remarkable things that I could only dream of.

But I hope they enjoy their childhood first. And I’m not sure they would if they were certifiable Einsteins by the age of 3.

Imagine wiping the arse of someone significantly smarter than you.

“Father, without wishing to appear rude, uncouth or in any way ungrateful I would strongly suggest that you stick to a clockwise motion to minimize the increased statistical inevitability of your index finger slipping through this competitively priced but ultimately inadequate latrine paper and becoming reacquainted with my faeces.” 

Jesus.

We all moan about kids TV but I’d rather sit through eight episodes of Tellytubbies than have to watch a marathon of classic French cinema with my boys.

Imagine taking your kid to a soft-play area when all they wanted to do was read Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde.

Fuck. That.

If you were unfortunate enough to catch the end of Channel 4’s Child Genius Grand Final earlier this week, you may still be vomiting bits of your soul into the nearest bin.

For those unaccustomed with the format, these super-brains line up against each other to answer some improbably difficult questions and a winner is declared. The whole thing made me feel very uncomfortable and not just because I didn’t know any of the answers. (Or understand the questions.)

One girl’s specialized subject was ‘Margaret Thatcher’s Monetery Policy and Tax Reform, 1979-1990.’

She was 9 years old.

NINE.

At that age my specialized subject would’ve been ‘All The Places I’ve Wiped Bogeys, 1985-88.’
She then spelled words correctly such as 'Thelytokous' and 'Eleemosynary' which look more like your Scrabble pieces when you can’t go than actual words.

The parents came under fire for being too pushy but I wondered, if my kids were in this competition would I be just like them? Nobody wants their offspring to fail.

I’m happy in the knowledge that’s an unlikely scenario for most of us. Then again, I’m someone who considers making a room full of drunk people laugh more important than nuclear fusion. I’m clearly not a role model.

The kids were lazily mocked too but it’s hardly their fault they were born with exceptional IQ’s. They wanted to learn and show off their knowledge, albeit perhaps with slightly over-zealous parents encouraging them to get in front of the camera.

The whole thing just made me feel like I did sat on my aunties wooden floor watching a pirate copy of E.T. aged 6 - sad and uncomfortable.

I want my kids to follow their dreams and be successful. I want them to cure AIDS and play for Everton and invent cheese and end global poverty and write novels and own a pub and become Prime Minister. Will I push them to do these things? I hope not but only time will tell.

First, I want them to have a childhood. And I won’t let anything get in the way of that. 

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