'Hilarious' DAILY MAIL 'Very entertaining' SUNDAY TIMES 'Amazing and brutally honest...brilliant' THE LAD BIBLE

'A gifted storyteller...absorbing and very funny' THE LIST 'Destined for bigger things' CHORTLE

Saturday, 28 May 2016

5 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#34)

1.Once you've got kids a 'lie in' till 7.20am will be talked about for weeks without any trace of irony.

2.Instead of spending money on expensive risk assessment procedures, companies should just put a crawling baby into the building as they would instantly find all the danger areas.

3.I'm no doctor but I'm convinced the human body requires more than 40 minutes sleep.

4.Failure to leave the house at least once a day will result in feeling as though your baby has taken you hostage.

5.Getting your baby to nap successfully sometimes makes you feel like a wizard.

You can download my new podcast '5 Things I Learned' for FREE on iTunes! Guest this week is comedian and actor, Steve Royle. Click here.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

5 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#33)

1.Paying £40 a day for nursery when your kid is too ill to go because of a bug they caught at nursery smarts like a kick in the knackers.

2.6 hours unbroken sleep feels like a gift from the gods.

3.At 4.35am Tellytubbies makes complete sense.

4.The closest thing to dirty talk when you've got kids is your wife suggesting you order a Domino's and eat it in bed.

5.One of the most magical sounds is hearing your partner and kids laughing their head off together in the next room.

Having Kids Is Easy...

Having kids is easy. 

All you have to do is feed them, change them, keep them safe, teach them right from wrong, educate them on manners, ensure they're polite, pay for everything, teach them how to talk, help them with homework, help them move out, cover their university fees, help them move back in, pay for their wedding, approve of their spouse and bite your lip when they make terrible life choices. And after all that, you'll probably have to look after THEIR kids a bit. 

Piece of piss..

I've started a parenting podcast called '5 Things I Learned' and you can get it on iTunes here...

5 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#32)

1.When you have kids you start to view sleep in the same way you used to view sex – often thinking about it, not getting enough and happy to do it on the bus.

2.If Eskimos have a thousand words for 'snow' then new parents should have at least a million words for 'tired'.

3.Being a parent is like being a Premier League manager. Full of stress, quick decisions & everyone thinks they could do a better job than you.

4.After a week of sleep more disrupted than a Virgin train service your energy levels will resemble those of a diabetic sloth that’s cutting out caffeine for Lent.

5.It's a REALLY stupid idea to complain to your wife about a sore neck (caused by too many pillows in the hotel) after she's spent the night from hell on her own with two poorly twins.

(Please vote for me in the MAD Blog Awards 2016...you can cast your vote in Best Baby Blog and Best New Blog by clicking here.)

Thursday, 19 May 2016

I'm launching my own podcast!

*EXCITING NEWS KLAXON!!!*

I'm launching my very own podcast!

'Sam Avery: 5 Things I Learned' will be a weekly show where I discuss the five things I've learned as a parent that week, plus interviews with special guest comedians, actors and musicians about their parenting experiences.

I've already got some great interviews recorded and some hugely exciting ones I'm in the process of tying down so watch this space :)

(This podcast will officially be an 'expert-free zone.' Those people have a place but it isn't here...)

I also want to hear from you lot - some of the funniest things I've read have come in the comments section beneath my posts! This podcast is where they'll get some much deserved air-time.

The podcast is now available via iTunes and Podbean. It will be available through Stitcher from next week too.

THE PILOT EPISODE IS AVAILABLE NOW! (Click here) And a new episode will land each week.

Click on the link to listen to the pilot episode and SUBSCRIBE so that you never miss a show!

If you've never downloaded / listened to a podcast before and aren't sure what to do, comment below and I'll talk you through it. It's dead easy. Likewise if you have any problems getting hold of it for whatever reason.

Thanks for reading, sharing and liking the blogs over the last year. I really appreciate it. They will continue as always and I hope you can join me in this exciting new adventure.

Sam x



Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Please Son, Don't Shit in the Pool...

Your first swimming trip is meant to be a landmark family day.

But not like this.

We arrived 40 minutes early because I was anxious about getting them changed. When it comes to getting them dressed I’m still slower than a sloth deciding what outfit to wear to the big sloth school reunion. We took a twin each and went our separate ways.

I was first in the changing room so grabbed the best spec and got to it. My twin for the day was in a jovial mood so we got changed pretty quickly as the other dads and babies started to arrive and pile in.

It was soon obvious that this was a very dad-heavy (and indeed, heavy-dad) activity, taking place at the weekend.

The changing room was tiny and I saw someone I knew so we exchanged pleasantries as we removed our clothes in front of each other, ensuring our naked bodies didn’t accidentally touch. It was just as awkward as it sounds.

If felt good to walk to the pool carrying my son. I’m a good old fashioned dad, I thought to myself. Ready to teach, nurture and be the manly role-model that my boys need.

I dipped my foot into the water and made a noise so high pitched only dogs could hear. Fuck me, it was cold. I was expecting it to be like a warm bath but it was icy, like the stare of a rush hour commuter when you’ve nabbed the last train seat. I wasn’t sure this was good and proper but all the other parents and kids were already in there so I continued to submerge myself in the water.

Slowly, like a Bond girl in reverse but bald and with man-tits.

We all walked round in a circle holding our babies while the instructor told us what to do. The whole scene felt vaguely cult-ish but we soon got into our stride.

The first big test came when we were told to ‘dunk’ our baby completely under the water. I wasn’t sure I liked the use of the word ‘dunk’ - this woman seemed to be treating our offspring like biscuits. Other than the obvious similarities (if you have one you’ll want more & six is just stupid) I couldn’t quite make sense of it.

She also made it very clear that if your baby was hot off the press (or ‘newborn’ as the experts say) then you really shouldn’t be dunking at this stage. This simple instruction was too much for one hapless dad to compute and he instantly waterboarded his little bundle of joy deep down into the water, much to the abject horror of his wife at poolside. The baby was fine but I bet their drive home wasn’t - her reaction was frostier than the water.

Me and a few of the other dads exchanged smug glances with a subtext of, Look at that guy, we’re not like him. We’re in control. We’re great.

Maybe it was this smugness that caused fate to turn around, lace up her steel-capped boots and kick me square in the bollocks. Either way, in the next twenty seconds I learned an important life lesson:

When taking twins swimming you must ALWAYS select the one that’s already had a massive dump.

What happened next has changed me considerably. As a dad and as a man.

It happened so suddenly. We were having a lovely time.  I saw a few bubbles but there were bubbles everywhere. There’s always bubbles in water, right?

Then I saw a small piece of it. Then another. They were the exact size and shape as a Wispa Duo.

My brain told me to quickly grab and hide them somewhere. My hand told my brain to fuck off – where the hell could I hide a pair of floating turds? If anyone had spotted me ramming a piece of poo into my trunks they’d have quite rightly considered me an international-level lunatic.

For about five seconds we just carried on moving round the pool as if nothing had happened. Then a load more came out. It looked like a squid had released its ink.

The mum behind me very kindly just said ‘ooh’ and tried to step out of the way, which is impossible in water. The dirty floaters moved inexorably towards her, as if in slow motion. Her baby reached out to grab one which was the point I leapt into action, handing my twin to my wife and striding over to the poo-zone as quick as I could.

“Sorry, everyone” I shouted, quickly realizing this sounded like a confession. It also drew everyone’s attention to the foul scene that was unfolding in the pool beside them.

I reached the anal flotilla and tried to form a safe area around it with my arms.

Turning back to face the circle I discovered they weren’t a circle anymore, just a disparate group of disgusted people gathered at the farthest corner of the pool, holding their babies with such fear you’d think I was about to throw a plugged-in toaster into the water.

“He normally shits first thing in the morning!” I continued, not grasping the fact that I was now polluting their children’s ears as well as the pool with this crowbarred blame-shift onto my son.

I glanced at my son. This made the crowd of traumatized bathers also look over in unison, looking like they were in the side seats at Wimbledon. My wife was holding my son at a safe distance with his back to the crowd. As they looked over he slowly turned his head around like an incontinent horror villain.

And he laughed in their faces.

They were utterly appalled and please forgive my lack of imagination at this juncture but there is simply no analogy in the English language that will do this justice - they literally looked like someone had shat in the pool and was laughing at them.

All four of us got out, dejected and feeling like we’d been sent to the sin-bin. The clean-up operation wasn’t pretty but we all got dressed and met up back in the car.

Not a word was uttered.

I put the keys in the ignition and looked at my wife. We stared for a moment.

And then we laughed.

And we continued to laugh until it hurt.

Then we decided we would never go back there again.

(Please vote for me in the MAD Blog Awards 2016 - I'm shortlisted for Best New Blog & Best Baby Blog, it will take you 30 seconds and I'll really appreciate it! Click here

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Date Night & The Effect of Parenthood

Young kids make you feel like you’re under house arrest. But instead of armed guards or electronic tags to keep you in place, you’ve got a feeding regime stricter than the Khmer Rouge and the energy levels of a diabetic sloth that’s cutting out caffeine for Lent.

We hadn’t been out together for AGES - the last time we did a proper date night Leicester City were shit and Rolf Harris was a national treasure. It had been a while.

So we get dressed up in the only stain-free clothes we have. The excitement in the taxi is unbearable. I feel like I'm on the way to a mad night out in my early twenties. Anything could happen tonight.

Absolutely anything.

As long as we're home for 10.30pm, don’t get too drunk, and the boys settle okay for grandma, absolutely anything could happen.

We book a restaurant – the place we went on our first date all those years ago. Back then we gazed into each other’s eyes and talked about our plans for the future. This time we complain that the wine is making us tired and I pick a speck of shit out of my fingernails with a cocktail stick.

We polish off the booze in record time, more through hysteria than any actual enjoyment. (I drank more when I was fifteen than I have since the boys were born so my alcohol tolerance has dropped lower than a skateboarder’s jeans.) I begin slurring my words and feel unjustly proud of hiding this by choosing syllables that require less effort.

As we pay the bill and trudge across to the theatre I secretly wish we could just fuck off home to bed. 

Not for anything dirty, mind. Just a lovely sleep. (Although as a new parent, I view sleep in the same way that I used to view sex – I’m often thinking about it, I don’t get as much as I’d like and I’d happily do it on a bus.)

We head straight to the theatre bar before the show, neck another glass of wine and rather optimistically order more for the interval.

We take our seats. The show starts. My wife’s head is on my shoulder. That’s nice, I think. Quality time, together. Ten minutes later she hasn’t moved and is now starting to slump.
She’s only bloody fallen asleep I think incredulously, as I rest the side of my head on the top of hers.

Next thing I know, the house lights are on and everyone around us has either gone or is getting up. Instinctively I start applauding, quickly realizing that I’m at least a minute late to show any appreciation for the performance I just snored through. My misplaced clap-solo wakes my wife up suddenly and she looks confused and slightly panicked, like someone who’s just sent a text to the wrong person.

We get to our feet at the second attempt and make our way towards the exit. We’re not sure if the show has finished or it’s just the interval. I mutter something about not understanding the plot but say it far too loud and become aware that people are now staring at me. Somehow there’s a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

We deduce that it must be the interval as people are going back to the bar. We have a decision to make.

When we were a new couple we went to Stratford upon Avon to go and see King Lear at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Without wishing to come across as a philistine, it was the biggest pile of shite I have ever seen. The interval came after an epic one hour and forty five minutes on that occasion – the halfway point of the play.

Afterwards we both admitted we had wanted to leave during the interval but didn’t want to appear uncouth in front of our brand new flame.  There is no such ceremony here, just a bullet quick,

‘Let’s get off?’

‘Defo.’

We have another little snooze in the back of the taxi and arrive home feeling refreshed and invigorated by our mad night out.

It is 9.35pm.

This week's '5 Things I Learned' Podcast features my chat with Scottish Comedy Award Winner (and dad of 2) Mark Nelson. Get it on iTunesStitcher or Podbean.

Monday, 2 May 2016

10 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#31)

1.A fussy baby will scowl at their food like a Princess who's just been handed a sausage roll.

2.Getting that baby to eat said food requires tactics more complex than those needed to win the World Chess Championships.

3.Toys that make noise and don't have an 'off' button can get to fuck. (The people who designed them that way should have to explain themselves.)

4.It will be a momentous day when my boys realise you don't HAVE to throw everything you don't currently want or need on the floor.

5.If you sing 'Wheels on the Bus' to distract your baby every time you wipe their face, they'll ultimately associate that song with discomfort and scream louder than Axl Rose caught in his flies every time you launch into a rendition.

6.It's no wonder babies freak out at bedtime - as well as crying they can often hear their own sobs coming back at them via a small speaker system in the next room.

7.Getting both twins dressed on your own after a bath is like a WWE Royal Rumble.

8.When your outside bin is full before collection date, it changes you as a person. This week I rolled around our street in the dark, sneaking shite into neighbours bins like a homeless ninja.

9.If my thought process pre-kids was fibre-optic broadband, nowadays it's more like 1998 dial-up.

10.Despite all the above, I wouldn't change a single thing.

(Please vote for me in the 'Best New Blog' and 'Best Baby Blog' categories in the MAD Blog Awards 2016 - I've made the final shortlist and need your votes! Click here. )