Monday, 30 January 2017

The Bedtime Tag

I was nominated by One Hull of a Dad to complete this bedtime tag. The idea of this post is to answer some questions based on your bedtime routine. It may be the best or worst thing you read today, but thanks for looking in anyway!

Clearly, you're all so voyeuristic you'd like to know how I sleep, so without further hesitation...

1. Describe your usual bedtime routine.

Caroline and I usually try to have Mara asleep by 8.30pm, although she has been known to still be crawling rings around us at 10.30pm.
We'll then aim to settle down with a cup of tea and a biscuit (or several I my case, this DadBod wont sustain itself!) and  catch up on some TV before trying to move Mara into her cot without waking her. Stealth Mode Activated! We're generally in bed for the back of 11.
2. What are your favourite pyjamas?
I've got a cracking pair of Minion lounge pants, and some Ed Hardy joggers I usually wear around the house before bed or when I get up in the morning. Normally though, I just sleep in my boxers. Anything else makes me overheat and become a sweaty mess!
3. What is your current bedtime reading?
Not reading anything at the minute, not really had a chance since Mara was born. My Kindle has probably died a slow, boring death waiting for me to use it again...
4. What would I find on your bedside table?
Multiple watches, gum, drill bits and screws for work, bottled water and dust.
5. What scent makes you sleepy?
A bit of lavender doesn't go amiss. Also quite fond of the Calpol lavender & camomile diffuser for when Mara has the cold. Caroline's perfume - Angel by Thierry Mugler - is usually wafting about, and on the occasions where she's used fake tan, the smell of dusty biscuits (how I think it smells) is awesome!
6. What is your usual bedtime and wake-up time?
Anywhere from 11pm to midnight and usually up around 7.30am with Tiny Toes, even on weekends!
7. What are your top three bedtime products?
Clean boxers, clean teeth and a cuddle from my Mrs.
8. What is your most common sleeping position?
On my side giving myself a dead arm, feet hanging out the side of the bed.
9. Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
My lovely wife!
10. What is your worst bedtime habit?
Spending half an hour playing games on the iPad in the dark to try and make myself doze off. Bad, I know. Oh, and "apparently" I snore, but its not something I'm currently aware of!!!
It seems appropriate to tag more people to complete this bedtime tag so, I nominate
Huxley - @Hux_Life
Inappropriate Parent - @yoinappropriate
Thanks again Rich!

One And Done?

Why is there such pressure from our peers to have more than one child? What's wrong with being part of the "One & Done" club?

I remember the time we spent in SCBU at the start of last year, while Mara was in her incubator we were there almost 24/7, and during that time in between visits from family and friends, doctors and nurses, I vividly remember being asked on more than one occasion when we were planning on having our next child. I remember thinking "Can you not see what we're dealing with here? Is that an appropriate question to even be asking us right now?"
Even now, I get really irked when people give it the old "tick-tock, get a move on, you're not getting any younger. Mara would love a wee brother or sister..."
It's like we're suddenly part of the Bridget Jones brigade.

For all the women who have gone through child-birth, some like ours who have had a pretty traumatic birth, it must make them so annoyed. As a dad to our amazing little girl, it's starting to verge on rudeness. It's like we're being asked if Mara isn't enough for us.
As much as I love Mara, should we be fortunate enough to have another baby then great. If not, then it doesn't matter. Siblings ain't all they're cracked up to be anyway, and Mara is more than enough for me. I'm not going to put any pressure on Caroline to have another kid. IF it happens, then it happens. The questions are thrown at you disguised as harmless banter, but are fuelled with culpability and feelings of inadequacy.

Please don't think of this as a rant, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with only having one child. Or six. Or choosing to have none for that matter. Every single one of us has our own path to follow littered with choices, work, commitments, personal life, social life... Nobody should have to follow the same trail as everyone else. To quote Cat Stevens, not everyone has to "Find a girl, settle down, if you want you can marry."

Nowadays, it seems more socially acceptable to have no children at all, rather than 'only' one.
You can 'only' have one glass of wine if you want to and no one will judge you - my friends might, but that's because they all like a drink! They're more likely to 'only' have one bottle!

But can you really 'only' have one? In short, yes.
There is something remarkably special about only having one kid. It means that you can give them your full attention and not have to share it amongst others. It means your life, your career, hell, even your relationship with your partner is not put on ice for any longer than is necessary. You are everything to that child and everything he or she wants you to be. Their mummy, daddy, buddy, playmate... the list goes on, and that unique connection is something you can really only have with 'only' one.

To anyone we know who have no children, one child or more, those choices are yours and yours alone, and as it stands right now we are more than happy with having 'only' one.
After all, our 'only' is our everything.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Maras Diary - 10 Months And Counting (Part 6)


I've got teeth! At last! Thank God the pain is over and I can get on with my life and general baby stuff! Celebrated a bit by putting things in my mouth all day.


Today I met another baby. Now, normally I'm not fussed but I quite liked this one. It made me feel a bit strange, like when I've had a some milk and not been burped.


I'm a genius! I had this idea for a great new game today called 'Throw All The Things On The Floor Over And Over Again For Ages'. (Admittedly it needs a snappier name but you get the idea.) The grown ups get to play too. They keep picking everything up so I can keep the game going!


I was having an amazing nap on the sofa, all snuggled up in my blankie, when the big people tried to move me upstairs to my cot. So I screamed the house down. Who takes an afternoon nap in their cot? Even though I was rudely awakened and I was still sleepy, I refused to go back to sleep out of principle. I'm not normally one to rebel, but I have to make my feelings very clear on this!

(Note from Dad - We won this battle, despite her "fighting talk!")


I'm pretty certain somebody has been reading my diary and telling everyone about it. I have my suspicions that it's that fuzzy clown desperate for a laugh at my expense. Well know this, in return for your theft I've just thrown up a little somewhere in the living room. Good luck finding it, because I'm not telling you where.


What is wrong with the big people?! I feel like no one understands me sometimes. We will play 'Throw All The Things On The Floor Over And Over Again For Ages' when I want to. Just because I throw something from my high chair onto the floor doesn't mean that I actually want it back! I'm showing my creative side! However, those frittata/muffin things you made for me and Joshua, dad? They were gross, that's why they went on the floor. Even Elvis didn't want them and he'll eat anything!


I had the worst dream ever last night, I dreamt that I was one of the big people. It was awful. There were so many things to do, no time to do them, and something about 'responsibilities'. And to top it all off, I looked terrible. I'm quite happy being little thanks!

PS - Mummy's blaming Elvis for chewing through the phone line at Christmas... It was really me, but don't tell her, my teeth were sore. And anyway, he's got previous!