3 Photos That Show A Child Has Taken Over Your Home

Everything changes when you have a child, including every room in your home. You’ll even find a sign of their presence in the rooms they never go in (at least that’s what they want you to think). You’ll find a random object that’s on the other side of the house from where it’s supposed to be. While the back of the sofa is apparently a good place to store your toys.  This is their home now, you’re just a guest who happens to feed them and change their dirty nappies.

Here are three photos that show a child has well and truly taken over your home. 

I see those Paw Patrol dogs whenever I close my eyes.

The bath is no longer a place to relax after a long day at work. It’s now a place where you have to peel off various bath toys that are stuck to the surface of the bath, or completely give up and kiss your relaxing soak goodbye. That’s if you even get the chance to have a bath, because you’ll inevitably hear your child screaming about something downstairs while they’re with the other parent. Bath bombs and candles cease to mean anything.  

They say that this is the War and Peace of toddler literature.

As I said yesterday, we fill our home with books so that we can encourage Noah to be a big reader as he grows up. My child must be super advanced for his age, because he’s suddenly giving me book recommendations by deciding to carry one of his books from his bedroom and popping it on top of the stack of books that lies next to my side of the bed. Either that or he thinks I’m socially inept and I struggle to say hello to people. 

I truly hope that my sons future child isn’t left face down in the middle of the floor.

Finally, your living room will go from looking neat and tidy to a complete bomb site within the space of 5 seconds. Because your child also has an attention span of about 5 seconds for each and every toy that they own. Once everything is out on the floor, they’ll inevitably get bored and wander off to try and play with something that they shouldn’t be touching, leaving you to accidentally step on one of their toy bricks for the 50th time.  

Oh, and that carpet you spent a small fortune on? Milk stains, milk stains everywhere. Admittedly, giving him a bottle of milk to run around with isn’t the best idea we’ve ever had. We should now be fully aware that a toddler will simply throw their bottle once they’ve had a swig from it.

My wife also wrote about the final point and used the same photo. While it looks chaotic, it’s actually been worse, and that photo only shows a small slice of the living room. He also appears to be watching TV in that photograph, completely ignoring the chaos he’s caused around him.  

If you’re about to become a parent, just be prepared to deal with every object in your home being suddenly sticky and you have no idea why. There’s little point in trying to keep the perfect home, especially when it will be all torn apart as soon as they wake up or walk through the front door. Just deal with the fact that this is your life until they’re old enough to fully comprehend what tidying up means. Of course, by then they’ll probably be refusing to do chores, but that’s something we can look forward to having to deal with in the future. 

I Have The Most Northern Child

Boy called Noah watching TV on the settee
Noah watching TV on the settee.

If there was ever any doubt that my child is growing up in Lancashire, you only have to listen to him. He’s still a month shy of turning two, but his words are now coming thick and fast. It feels like every day he comes out with a new word.  

We use a series of flash cards with pictures on to help him learn new words, and I feel proud to say that I taught him the word ‘apple’ by doing this (he delights in repeating it over and over again whenever he sees an apple or a picture of one). He’s getting so good that he can say what each picture is for about 80% of them now. It’s fascinating to see a little human learn before your eyes. 

With these words comes a maturing accent. Most of the words come out as little squeaks, but there is one thing he loves to say that sounds like a heavy Lancastrian accent. The Burnley form of it, of course. 

Whenever we go to the childminders, we have to drive down a narrow country lane that’s riddled with potholes, which have only grown larger and deeper due to the couple of months of freezing days and snow we had. The car jumps up and down as we drive over these, and it’s in this moment he’s learned to say ‘alright’. He’s probably heard us say it to each other, but for some reason he always chooses this particular moment to say it. 

But it doesn’t just come out as ‘alright’, it comes out as ‘ALRRRRRRIGGGGGGHT!’ in a heavy North West England accent. 

It’s hilarious. I’ve started thinking about getting him a flat cap.

When he says it, he looks at us with a questioning look on his face, so it feels like he’s genuinely asking us if we are alright because the car is bumping up and down. We always answer that we are alright, and then repeat the word back at him, which he copies again. He knows we find it funny too, as he grins when he says it back again. 

It’s these little moments that I’ll always remember. I’m endlessly fascinated by all the new things he learns, like it’s the most surprising thing in the world for a growing child to be developing and growing his own personality. Most people won’t care, as it’s the way humans should be developing. But for a parent these moments are pure magic, and it always makes me look forward to what’s to come. 

As Noah would say:


Marching On Through March

I’m not one for saying ‘new year, new me’ as I might be prone to slightly throw up in my mouth if I ever said that. But even if I did say it, I’d be a bit late to the party now that it’s March. Yet, I’m going to buck the trend and take this new month as a fresh start. I’ll just try not to use the words ‘new me’.

I’ve used the pandemic lockdown as an excuse for too long and I need to get off my arse. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with using it as an excuse, because there’s not a lot of mental headspace left for becoming an Adonis or learning a new hobby like learning to juggle the cans of Spam that, let’s face it, seemed like a good idea to buy at the time but you’re never going to use. The past year has been tough for a huge amount of people, so who could blame us if we decided to just lounge on the sofa and watch Netflix? It’s part of the reason why Tiger King became so popular.

Watching TV and eating junk food is great, but it’s also a quick way to feel lethargic, put on weight and possibly even end up in an early grave. I don’t want to be one of those dads who can’t play with his kids because I’m out of breath after 5 minutes of running around the garden. Although I am getting older, so maybe that can be a little excuse (Alex says I’m already a grandad, but she’s also just turned 30 so I am feeling delighted that I can now call her grandma)!

So our plan is to hit at least 10,000 steps a day through March. Alex is also being sponsored to do it for Cancer Research UK. You can donate to her here.

I’m pleased to say the month has started well for me and Alex. We’ve been on three walks today, totalling 16,861 steps as I write this. The great thing is that we’ve managed to fit this around working too. We went out in the morning before work after Noah had been picked up by his grandma. We went out on our lunch break then ate lunch while we continued working. Finally, we walked up to Alex’s parents’ house to pick up Noah with an empty pram. After picking him up, we walked the long way home.  

It’s not something that would have been possible if we’d not been working from home, so I know it’s not always going to be the case that we can do this. But I’m going to take advantage of this while I still can. Besides, getting out of the house and the small room I’m stuck in all day is both fantastic for my body and my mental health. It also helps that the weather is pretty great at the moment, if a little chilly.  

After all this I know I earned the homemade crispy chilli beef we had tonight (it was delicious! You can try it for yourself by following the recipe Alex used from here). I’ll go to bed exhausted too, but it’s the kind of exhausted that’s been good for you.  

It really is simple. Eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water and ensure you get enough sleep. It’s the motivation part that’s hard, but hopefully that will stick around as long as we get into the habit of doing this. We’ve done it before and can do it again.  

Also, it means I won’t feel too bad when I do have the odd takeaway. Although I’d say that the crispy chili beef that Alex made tonight was way better than any crispy chili beef I’ve ever had from a Chinese takeaway. 

Side note: I think this is the first time I’ve managed to post two days in a row on my website. I’m going to try and post more this month as I’m getting the writing bug back and it’s helping me take my mind off things.

UPDATE: Read how I’m getting on in my mid-month check-up here.

Our Road to a New Family Member

The last couple of months of 2017 were a pretty rubbish time for us. As I’ve blogged about before, we lost our first baby not long before Christmas, which would be a shitty end to anyone’s year. But, by the summer of 2018, things were finally looking up.  

A photo of us taken during our holiday to Cornwall at Tintagel Castle - just before we found out the good news
A photo of us taken during our holiday to Cornwall at Tintagel Castle – just before we found out the good news!

We’d decided to relax and just see what would happen. If we got pregnant again then that would be brilliant, but we didn’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves for it to happen. We had an amazing holiday to Cornwall where we simply relaxed and toured some of the most beautiful locations in the UK. Times were good, and they were about to get better. 

Just after returning from Cornwall, I was out in our back garden mowing the lawn that had grown to jungle proportions while we were away on holiday. Alex had gone to the nearby Tesco Express, likely to procure some junk food for the night ahead (we must spend a fortune in that place!).

I didn’t notice she’d returned until she walked out of the backdoors and into the garden. She had her hands behind her back, which wasn’t unusual after returning from the shop as Alex often brings a surprise home for me, she’s cute like that. But, as corny as it may sound, what she had behind her back was our future.  

Yep, that’s as corny as it sounded when I decided to write that. 

Promise Me You’ll Carry On

I’m writing this to make a promise to myself. A promise that I will start writing here at least a couple of times a month. It’s a promise I’ve made before, but now that money is emptying from my wallet, I need to ensure I’m not wasting it.  

What exactly is the point in me paying for a URL, hosting and now a bloody SSL certificate if I’m not actually going to use my website? 

Every day I get emails about attackers trying to get into my website. Thankfully, I’ve made sure it’s now secure, which is a lesson I learned when I woke up to find that my website had been converted into a porn website overnight. A malware scan and clean-up fixed the problem, but it made me take precautions that I’d been lax in implementing before.  

I suppose the hard part is that my entire day revolves around sitting at a computer. Sometimes that day also involves writing content, and while it’s not the content I would choose to write if I wasn’t getting paid for it, that writing time has mentally exhausted me by the end of the day. All I want to do is slump in front of the TV and stick Netflix on or play a video game for an hour or so.  

There’s another massive reason why I’m exhausted, and I’ve been halfway through writing about that for a few months now. This week I’m finally going to publish it. While I know there is nobody sitting there waiting anxiously for a new hot take from yours truly (and who can blame you? Why would you return to a website that’s never updated?), it will do me the world of good to finally get it out there in a follow-up to the post I wrote about miscarriage.  

I have this dream of becoming a better writer, but that dream will never be realised if I don’t bother to do any writing in the first place. It’s tough when you’re staring at a blank page, but I need to realise that I’m not supposed to be aiming for perfection here. Anything I write here will help be improve and get back into a habit that I used to adore. If I just keep sitting on my thumbs, I’ll never get anywhere. 

Anyway, my WordPress admin panel will be seeing me again shortly.  

The Updates Finally Continue

In a couple of months, it will be two years since I sat down and poured my heart into an entry about how it felt to deal with miscarriage as a man. At the time I shared the entry on Facebook, as did my wonderful wife, and I was humbled to receive an outpouring of sympathy from friends and people I didn’t even know. I didn’t write it for the sympathy, but I appreciated everyone’s comments; especially from those who have been through the same thing, of which there are many.

As hard as it was writing that entry, it gave me the writing bug back and I was all set to continue positing here on a regular basis. That is until an incident happened that put me off even going near my blog.

I don’t want to go into details about it here, mainly because it’s not worth spending my time and energy on and I’m totally over it. All I can say is that, at the time, it was an upsetting incident that really put me on a downer, which I didn’t really need when I’d finally got everything out about the miscarriage and felt something approaching relief. It really hit my confidence and I didn’t want to write anything again.

I now realise that if I’m going to write a blog, I can’t always expect that people will be nice about what I write here. I welcome debate and alternative opinions, but I don’t welcome disgusting bile and hateful comments for no reason at all. I’m just going to ignore anything like that.

A few months after that happened, I decided to not let it bother me anymore and I wanted to return to normal and continue writing here. I wish that I’d documented everything that happened after that, but I was about to become a busy man and updating my blog came far down the list of a thousand other things I now had to do.

Let’s leave it here for now. I’ll return soon to talk about one of the best periods of my life

As a side note, one of the reasons I’m suddenly writing here again is that we’re currently in week 7 of the UK-wide lockdown that’s been implemented due to the spread of Covid-19. I’m still able to work from home, but anything resembling a normal life is pretty much non-existent at the moment.

I feel like I’m slowly getting the writing bug back. So, while this may never be set in stone, I’m going to try and write here at least once a week (or twice a month) to begin with.