Mark Tales of Parenting, Tales of School 2 Comments

Hell of a School Trip

Maybe it’s because I helped out at school last year and now appear on a ‘gullible parents’ list, or possibly it’s because when asked by his teacher, Luca told her I didn’t work during the week and watched football all day. Either way, this week I was roped into helping out on his school trip.

Seventy Year One pupils visiting an art gallery, what could possibly go wrong?

It didn’t start well. Apparently when it comes to other peoples children, there’s no margin of error with the number you return to school? I was only asking for a 20% leeway, which does sound a lot but in practice that’s only one child out of the six I was entrusted with, plus a couple of scarves and possibly a shoe?… Read the full post

Mark Uncategorised 2 Comments

Bending Time

Luca: “Is it a school day? AGAIN? Next year can you buy a calendar with less school days?”

It’s sweet that Luca thinks I control the calendar year. Sweeter still, he thinks that were I to make changes he’d be a net beneficiary? Like a token bank holiday would come close to compensating for my decimation of their school holidays.

But the more I thought about it, the less ridiculous an assumption it was, because their only concept of time is what I tell them, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been manipulating it to my own benefit for the last six years. Willfully bending it since the day they were born. Selfishly throwing it through wormholes in a way that would flummox greater minds than that of Brian Cox.… Read the full post

Mark Family Tales 1 Comment

Sticks and Stones and Piles of Ironing

I’ve not blogged for a few weeks. You hadn’t noticed? Shame on you!

I’d like to say this coincides with Janet breaking her ankle, but that would be to suggest my empathy has a shelf life of more than a few days, and we all know that not to be true. Or at least you would if you’d seen her struggling to juggle two crutches, a bowl of soup and a cup of tea, whilst I didn’t so much as look up from my phone.

Now, before you label me as some sort of heinous, uncaring monster, I had offered to help but it was immediately rebuffed, although for the purpose of balance (no pun intended), Janet would like it to be known that this was because she’d still not forgiven me for dropping her in the shower the night before.… Read the full post

Mark Reviews 2 Comments

Manchester City Stadium Tour

Man-City-Tour-1Were you to ask Sonny and Luca to describe me, their options would be plentiful.

Father, caregiver, storyteller, teeth-brushing inspector, school-on-time deliverer, comic in residence, Mario Kart Grand Master …

… but you don’t need to ask them, because I’ve done it for you.

They went with ‘watcher of too much football’ and ‘loudest trumper’?

Harsh. I don’t watch nearly enough football.

But what I do insist on watching is Manchester City games, albeit through flailing limbs as they climb all over me, whilst Janet, having earlier promised to entertain them for ninety minutes, naps in a pool of her own dribble on the sofa opposite.

It was also a prerequisite of having children that they too would support City. A contract they unwittingly signed at just twenty weeks old, via ultrasound, and that was later rubber-stamped by my purchasing of Man City bibs.… Read the full post

Mark Uncategorised 4 Comments

Class Bear Manifesto

On Friday, Luca emerged excitedly from school with the class bear tucked under his arm, along with a book chronicling its previous adventures. A book that reads more like the ultimate ’50 things to do before you die’ than any weekend I’ve ever experienced.

My weekend plans were in tatters.

And once again it fell upon me to be the sacrificial parent who selflessly lowers the bar for those that follow. To take it back from quad-biking in the Sahara, to a more realistic game of hide-and-seek in Sainsbury’s.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s time that we, the parents, reclaim our lazy weekends. It’s time we take back what’s rightfully ours. It’s time that  we put parents first.… Read the full post

Mark Tales of Parenting 4 Comments

Fickle Five to Sulky Six

Maybe I’m suffering from selective memory, but I don’t remember having any problem dealing with the terrible twos. The threes were memorable only for their feral grunts, and by the time they’d reached four I’d largely become immune to their insolence due to sleep deprivation.

But more recently I’m finding it hard work, and I’m not too proud to admit that I’m struggling. Really struggling. Struggling to keep a straight face.

I know my reaction isn’t helpful, but is it really my fault that I’m easily amused?

Besides, how are you supposed to react to someone whose ‘worst day ever’ is never more than a request to put their shoes on, away? It would be far more dramatic had their previous ‘worst day ever’ not been yesterday when you asked them to take their shoes off.… Read the full post