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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Before You Park in the Parent & Child Space, Read This

Twice in my regular Sunday night blog I’ve written about parent and child spaces being used by people on their own. 

These are the comments I made:

1.People caught parking in the parent and child spaces without kids should be forced to do their weekly shop with teething triplets who haven’t napped.

2.When politely informing a motorist that the parent and child spaces are for parents with children, they often turn out to be a weapons-grade c**t.

Both have been met with support and criticism. Those with gripes can be separated into two camps:

A. People With No Kids

Fair enough. You don’t understand what an absolute pain in the shitpipe it is to try and get a pair of wriggling, screaming, unaccommodating toddlers out of a car into a space more narrow than a hamster’s skinny jeans. (N.B. It’s the extra space we crave, not the proximity to the shop.)

You also won’t understand how severe sleep deprivation renders previously simple decisions as confusing as Welsh hip-hop.

So I’ll look the other way. It’s not your fault. You merely don’t appreciate the sheer fucking hassle of it all.

That leads me the second group:

B. People Who Had Kids Years Ago and Therefore Feel Superior to all Parents of Today

This group really boils my piss.

We get it. Things were more difficult back then. (I can’t imagine being a parent pre-Google, let alone pre-1980. Just imagine trying to cope in an age when on-demand kids television wasn’t in your arsenal of coping tactics. Hell on earth.)

Times change. Technology and society moves on. Things will be easier again in the future. No doubt by 2032 you’ll be able to safely teleport your kid to a virtual Tellytubby-land for an afternoon while you neck half a tablet of space-gin and pass out on the sofa.

But just because things have got easier doesn’t mean you have to endlessly bleat on about it.

“WE never had parent and child spaces and WE survived.”

Please give me a moment so I can put my (cold) cup of tea down and give you a proper round of applause, you sanctimonious arse whiff.

Thank god I’ve never met a parent from the Jurrassic era. Can you imagine how self-righteous those fuckers would be?

“Parents nowadays want everything on a plate - my arm was bitten off by a sabre tooth tiger and half my family died of consumption but it didn’t stop me from breast feeding…” 

A quick Twitter poll showed an alarming support for direct action.
Anyway, back to the parent and child space debate.  I really like the idea that Gemma Brian suggested on my Facebook page:
“We should band together and create a giant 'I'm a tosser – I park in parent and child spaces when I do not have a child with me' sticker and place them lovingly on the front of their car.”
Although my favourite story came from another (wisely, anonymous) user on my page:
“Hot day, busy Sainsburys car park, just returning to the car with 2 smalls when a rather large, muscly bloke aged about 30 in a beautiful white, open top Merc pulled REALLY quickly into the P&C space next to me with no kids in the car. As he got out of the car, I looked up at him - mainly because of the speed that he'd just arrived, and he snarled "What the fu@k do you think you're looking at" so I said nothing and went back to strapping the 3yo into the car as bloke went into the shop. 
As I was strapping the 1yo in, he squeezed his face together and massively filled his nappy - proper poo-splosion. I realised that I couldn't leave him like that, so took him out and laid him down in the boot of the car for a change. Unfortunately, I had no nappy bags with me, so managed to barely tape it together using it's own tapes, but it was a close run thing, and weighed about 3lbs - God knows what he had been eating. 
After strapping him into his seat, I realised that I couldn't leave the nappy in my boot to roll around, so went in search of a bin. As I passed the open topped Merc, I just couldn't help myself and gently rolled the slightly oozing nappy into the driver's seat - which neatly unwrapped itself as it rolled downwards. I would have loved to wait around to see the reaction, but with kids around I didn't want to put them in any danger, so decided to leave before he got back.”
Total fucking poetry, don’t you think?

So listen up and listen good. If you continue to park in those spaces we will retaliate in our own special way. 

Plus we’ve only had two hours sleep so not only will we unleash hell but it will probably make absolutely zero sense.

Facebook: samaverycomedian
Twitter: samaverycomedy

Monday, 25 July 2016

10 Things I Learned As A Parent This Week (#43)

1.In The Night Garden is so fucked up it makes The Tellytubbies seem like a documentary.

2.When politely informing a motorist that the parent and child spaces are for parents with children, they often turn out to be a weapons-grade c**t.

3.If leaving the house goes from concept to reality in less than an hour then you’ve definitely forgotten something.

4.Nowadays me and the wife have to schedule sex in with at least five full working days notice and a complete veto allowed at any time from either party.

5.Last night's sleep was less satisfying than Ryvita.

6.Some days I feel more broken than a pack of biscuits that's been lashed down a flight of stairs.

7.This week, WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS, I'm gonna clean the inside of our bin.

8."We'd like you to stay forever,
Or longer if you can..."
The Furchesters may actually be serial killers.

9.It takes longer to get the toys out of the empty bath than to run it.

10.The world seems to have become a much scarier place since my kids were born. Does everyone feel that way?

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Thursday, 21 July 2016

First Night Away Without the Kids

We had our first night away without the kids last week. Hotel, dinner and a few drinks.

We’d also penciled in a bit of ‘mummy and daddy time’ if you catch my drift. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you must be getting less of it than me. Nowadays we have to schedule sex in with at least three full working days notice and a complete veto allowed at any time from either party.

We kissed the boys goodbye for the entire morning. I felt excited but sad, like when you find yourself in McDonalds for the second day on the trot.

I think they wanted to say, ‘You two go on and have fun. You deserve it after all you’ve done for us.’ But one blew a raspberry and the other chewed at the sock that was still on his foot. They clearly gave a grand total of zero shits about us leaving.

We made a list longer than the Yellow Pages for the grandparents – what to do, how and when to do it. How much to use, which way to wipe and where to put it afterwards.

We loaded up the car in five minutes. FIVE MINUTES! At this stage, if leaving the house goes from concept to reality in less than an hour then you’ve definitely forgotten something. Maybe one of the kids.

We waved to the boys and they ignored us. To be fair, one looked like he was trying to squeeze a poo out.

We drove off into the sunset but both felt weird. We glanced at each other with a nervous smile, like we were doing something wrong. Something illegal. We remarked how it felt like we’d DEFINITELY forgotten something but in truth we both felt empty. Looking in the rear view mirror and not seeing our two little boys was horrible.

But we knew they’d be okay. They were in safe hands.

Or were they? My parents brought me up well enough but that was years ago and the game has changed since then. Back in the 80’s you could just throw your kids a shard of glass and a coathanger to play with while you went down the mine for twelve hours. It was a simpler time to 2016 - my dad can’t work a mobile phone and my mum initially thought the iPad was a sanitary product.

I was nervous and could feel the sharp edge of panic starting to poke me. By the time we passed the next junction all my worries had been put through the ‘Worst Case Scenario’ filter in my mind and I was now imagining scenarios more ludicrous than Donald Trump’s inclusion on the cover of ‘Hairstyle Monthly’.

 “Hi, Dad. It’s me.”
“Oh hiya, son. What’s up?”
“Nothing really, just wanted to check everything was okay?”
“You’ve only been gone 2 minutes.”
“A lot can happen in 2 minutes, Dad.”
“Good point. You were conceived in less.”
“Oh Jesus, Dad. Do you really have to?”
“I did that night, son.”
“For god’s sake, Dad. The kids - is everything okay?”
“Yes. Of course it is.”

We checked into the hotel and went straight to the room. I made the mistake of testing the mattress. My wife tried to step in but her flailing arms couldn’t quite reach me.


It was too late. My back hit the top of the duvet and everything went into slow motion. My legs bounced down onto the bed runner and I sank like an iPod Nano into a bowl of soup.

I began what started out as a blink, but my eyes decided to clock-off and not open again, suddenly heavy and stubborn like an old garage door. My head span and the world shut down. Through the fog of sleep whirling around me I could just make out a distant noise.


The feeling was delicious.


I was jolted out of my slumber by my wife grabbing me round the shoulders and yelling in my face:

"Don’t you FUCKING DARE fall asleep!”

I felt like I’d been fished out of a coma via CPR. I needed a drink.

We headed down to the bar and ordered lunch and a pint of Guiness each. We weren’t planning to drink much but it was nice to have a pint during the day. We polished off our food and ordered another pint of the black stuff.

I was beginning to relax.

As we got ready for dinner it took me back to our old holidays before the kids came along. Of course, back then my pants used to fit. Even my undies felt tight and the buttons on my shirt were so taut I feared the waiter may lose an eye if I reached for my wallet.

I was careful not to sit on the bed this time. That beautiful bastard would sucker me in again, I knew it.

At dinner the wine and conversation was flowing as we covered the following topics:

1. The kids
2. How much we miss the kids
3. Trying to figure out what we talked about before the kids

Were they okay? We hadn’t had an update for a while. I tested my phone for signal, then texted myself to check I was still receiving. All fine but no update. I was more anxious than a besotted teenager waiting for a reply from their latest flame.

Another ten minutes went by as I glugged back my wine and stared at my phone. This wasn’t relaxing in the slightest. I figured by now they were probably embarking on a Skittles and Red Bull-fuelled rampage, swinging from the light fittings like Gremlins. I gave my mum a call.

No answer.

My old friend panic returned (he’d never really left if truth be told) so I rang the house phone. It got to the seventh ring and I was about to hang up when my mum answered.

“Mum! It’s me! Is everything okay? WHY CAN I HEAR CRYING IN THE BACKGROUND?”
“Because some tosser just phoned the house phone and woke everyone up, that’s why.”

I never considered myself an uptight kind of person but this was a brand new situation for me. I apologized, she assured me they were okay and we went for a celebratory cocktail.

We capped the night off with a whiskey at the bar that I didn’t want or enjoy. Make no mistake, we were now shitfaced. Not party drunk either; we were put-me-in-a-taxi-and-don't-worry-I'll-find-my-other-shoe-tomorrow pissed and ready for bed. One by-product of parenthood that nobody tells you about is that your alcohol tolerance level sinks lower than a skater boy’s trousers.

On the way back to the room we half-heartedly talked about the previously scheduled sex with all the enthusiasm of a pair of football fans trudging through the snow just because they had season tickets.

In the end I went for a ‘quick poo’ that took longer than anticipated and when I emerged from the bathroom she’d fallen asleep. I lay on that beautiful mattress and passed out, dreaming about my glorious lie-in.

At 6.20am I jumped up like a soldier who’s been conditioned for battle. Realising where we were I went back to sleep until 7am when the relaxing breakfast in bed arrived an hour early and woke us up by knocking on the door like a fucking bailiff.

We packed our stuff as our heads banged. I felt like shit.

I considered ringing to see if the boys were okay but decided they’d probably be fine. Much more pressing was how I was going to get through the day with a hangover the size of Cornwall.

In fact, all I could think about on the way home was how we needed to do this again, soon. And next time be sure not to drink like a single man in his 20’s when you’re an exhausted dad of twins in his late-30’s...

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

10 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#42)

1.I'd rather wipe my arse with a broken bottle than take a double buggy to Primark on a Saturday.

2.Nothing encourages you to quicken the pace like a baby wet-farting while you change them.

3.My toddler is obsessed with climbing to the highest point in the room. I'm convinced he's part mountain goat.

4.If I shit myself after just getting out the bath I'm furious whereas my son just takes it in his stride.

5.Hey Duggie is the most consistent TV show since The Sopranos.

6.You know you're a knackered parent when you have to go for an X-Ray at the hospital but quite enjoy the sit down and hot cuppa while you wait.

7.Even if I only ate the food my kids refused to try I'd still be a fat bastard.

8.And scoffing all my kid's leftovers means my brand new clothes are so snug they're only fit for bed. I'm currently the best dressed sleeping man in town.

9.Dirty nappies come in all shapes and sizes. I changed one that looked like the Shroud of Turin.

10.Whoever invents the first 'Silent Flush' toilet is getting my vote.

(Episode 8 of the podcast is out now! My guest this week is comedian and dad of two, Brendan Riley. We had a great chat about child communication, how he deals with toddler tantrums and some pet theories about human behaviour. Download and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher or Podbean)

Friday, 15 July 2016

Podcast Episode 8 - Brendan Riley

Episode 8 of the podcast is out now! My guest this week is comedian and dad of two, Brendan Riley.

We had a great chat about child communication, how he deals with toddler tantrums and some pet theories about human behaviour.

Download and subscribe on iTunes  , Stitcher Podbean

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

10 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#41)

1.The first time you discover your toddler can climb the stairs is TERRIFYING.

2.I've set my alarm tone for 'Celebrate' by Kool and the Gang because if I EVER hear it again it will be cause for a fucking party.

3.Changing sheets the same day that your child pissed on them is nothing to be proud of. (But sadly, I am.)

4.Baby gates are great and all but they can be right pricks sometimes.

5.I'm now scared to flush the toilet after 7pm.

6.Few things in life are as funny as a baby noisily filling their nappy, staring you in the eye and laughing.

7.I've yet to see a bad episode of Hey Duggie.

8.Turns out it wasn't worth spending 20 minutes changing the batteries of that toy the kids are now fucking petrified of.

9.Babies don't realise the louder they protest the more it convinces us they DEFINITELY need a nap.

10.I saw a dummy on the street on Tuesday and went to pick the frigging thing up out of habit. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

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Monday, 4 July 2016

5 Things I Learned as a Parent This Week (#40)

1.Some nappy changes are like Brexit - tonnes of build up, nobody really knows what's going on and there's a horrible mess to clean up afterwards.

2.I love the twins in their Toy Story pj's but I'm not keen on my wife constantly shouting "Awww, look at my little Woody..."

3.Guests who complain at the Furchester Hotel have obviously never stayed at Milton Keynes Travelodge.

4.The quickest way to go from 0 to panic is for a 14 month old to snatch the glasses from your face.

5.The only silver lining to your toddler being under the weather is that at least they want a proper cuddle for a change. 😩

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Friday, 1 July 2016

New Podcast! Episode 6: Iain Christie

Latest episode of my '5 Things I Learned' podcast is available now.

My guest this week is the co-host of Radio City Talk's 'Dad's Hour' (and father of two) Iain Christie.

Download and subscribe on iTunes  , Stitcher Podbean

Sam x