A Rejection Reflection

Generally I have it good, I’m conscious of that, but throughout my life I’ve faced continual disappointment in certain aspects of it. Well mainly just one aspect to be honest. The voice, the speech, the articulation has always been a struggle and it’s never reflected the true thoughts and personality of this double tongued man.

I pick myself up. Dust myself off and move on. Again. And again. And again. I often feel like a kid. A kid who can’t get the words out. A kid who continually avoids phone conversations as often as he can. A kid who wants to say something but can’t. A kid who has to change and reconstruct words and sentences but still comes off second best. It’s always second best. Sometimes I even sound like a kid. Maybe that’s why I love the company of children so much; you can be silly with them without feeling silly. I love their innocence. Their dreams. Their thoughts. Their vulnerabilities. Their possibilities. Their future potential.

But alas, I’m an adult and this isn’t a moan or a complaint. This isn’t me looking for attention. This is me just journalising my thoughts and experiences. I’m just getting a bit sick and tired of me. I’m probably just a bit raw at the moment and no doubt it will soon again pass. It’s just my life. I’ve adapted as best I can. I’ve put myself out there as best I can. But often in life the best is not enough.

Call me optimistic and I’ll tell you why not. Call me cynical and I’ll also tell you why not. I balance on life’s tightrope. I’m the one who continually motivates. I’m the one who people always confide in. I’m the one who people seek out for advice. I’m not a sad person. I’m not a mad person. I’m not a bitter person. They’re just not traits of mine. I’m just a bit fed up with me being me. I always strive to achieve. I always strive to advance myself and to better myself. But when you once again hit that glass ceiling, it’s the “same old story same old act, one step up and two steps back”.

My biggest achievement is and always will be my beautiful family. I adore them. They keep me young, silly and happy – the way I am and the way I want to be. But sometimes, and as the lines in this song go

“When i look at myself I don’t see the man I wanted to be
Somewhere along the line I slipped off track
I’m caught movin’ one step up and two steps back”

DD

Things That Men Do That Drive Women Potty

Many moons ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek- piece about things that women/mums do that drive men potty. It got quite a reaction to say the least, particularly from people who possibly weren’t used to my humour/writing style at the time.

So to balance things up, I decided to ask my very loyal and vocal Facebook followers to list some of the things that their partners do that drive them potty. My intention was to use this ‘research’ to put together a somewhat definitive list, but let’s just say I got more than I bargained for!

Here are just a few of the very honest and funny comments that I received. Enjoy and thank to everybody who ‘participated’!

Ruth spoke about her man: Where do I start?! Clean the kitchen but always fail to actually wipe down the worktop! Wet towels on the bed. Using 500 pots to make one dinner! Taking socks off in the living room while watching TV and just leaving them there. Beard stubble left all over the sink when he trims his beard! Arghhhhhhhhh!

Nicky: Hmmmmm 1. Men who can’t fix things… should pay for a professional in the first place!!!! eg, my husband who put floating shelves up…. only the…things floated off the wall and brought loads of plaster off with it….. had to pay a plasterer … a decorator to fix said wall and the bloody shelves have been in the garage for 10 years on the floor!!!!

– Ohhhhh when they use the towels that are only used for visitors!!!!! Drives me insane

– Sitting on the toilet for an hour whenever anything needs doing!!!!

– Dads who panic when one of the kids, sneezes farts and sh*** at the same time…. the look of lost bewilderment on dads face is hysterical!!! ( where do I clean first)

– Dads….. when kids are happy it’s down to them…. when kids are being [a pain] it’s because mum is too soft on them…. had nothing to do with the ton of E numbers dad has just fed them to keep them happy and quiet

– Ooooooo this is like therapy!!!

Tara: Wet towels in MY SIDE of the bed 😡😡😡

Ruth: Leaving shoes in sitting room at night time and not bringing them up! .Leaving dishes on the counter over the dishwasher and not putting them in the dishwasher!! Making plans for their day off and not asking what the rest of the family would like to do. Saying they are starving and expecting their wife to make something for them.

When they say remind me to take my tablets etc….When they [sic] can’t find something the whole house is in turmoil. Not noticing when the house has been cleaned but does notice when it’s not done. Leaving dirty clothes on the floor and not pick them up! After cutting grass walks across clean floor and leaves grass everywhere.

Jennifer 1. Telling me I’m hormonal. 2. Telling me “oh your obviously due your monthlys 3. Telling me “easy knowing you have just finished your monthly 4. Telling me to relax 5. Telling me to calm down 6. Telling me I’m as mad as my sister. .. 😂😂😂 I’m sure I will think of six more…

Anna: Creating a pile of clothes that they think aren’t dirty enough for laundry and can still be worn the next day, but too dirty to go back in the wardrobe and then NOT wearing those clothes so they create this pile of semi-clean/semi-laundry clothes in the bedroom. 

Oh and I completely agree with the wet towels on the bed and sitting on the toilet with smartphones for ages while at least two of the three kids are crying :p

The Lazy Dad

Nicky: Dads think farts are funny!!!!

Oisineagh: Sitting on the toilet for ages to get out of doing stuff and needing to go to the toilet at the worst possible time!

Kristin: When he’s looking for something THAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE. Not being able to tell the difference in children’s clothes by looking at them…my oldest was wearing a 3/4 length tracksuit….because it was his 2-year-old brothers his dad put on him. 3/4 length tracksuit and wellies is not a nice sight

Rita Not changing the toilet roll once finished – places new one sitting on top of empty gggrrrrrrr

LouiseAll of the above….along with walking away mid-sentence. Telling me men cannot multi-task when I ask him to do two things at a time like put the dishes in the dishwasher and turn on the kettle!! However he can go to the toilet and read his smartphone at the same time!

Does not recall of our conversations which involves some sort of output from him but distinctly remembers some stupid fact the lads told him!! Has a panic attack when the kids have a dirty nappy!

Oh and don’t get me started on his runny nose/I’m dying….. I can hardly function crap! [Messes] around all evening but when it’s time to give me the baby he moves so fast!! Never organizes anything till the last minute and then massive panic looking for stuff!

Andrea: You know that game…the one where they get the dishes as close as possible to the dish washer without actually putting them in. That. That’s the one

Sue: Throwing Jocks on the floor RIGHT BESIDE the wash basket, thought the wash basket was in an awkward spot? Went on holidays together, same deal!!!

Gemma: Toenail clippings just do it over the bin/bathtub/outside. I was walking to the shops one day, there was an itch on my leg, I fold down my sock to find a toenail caught in the threads😷😷😷

SaraSocks in the lounge. Empty loo roll left in the bathroom. Never locking the doors – car or house. Presuming food will just appear at mealtimes 30 mins after being asked for washing, fills the washing basket. Need I add more??

Denise: Pretending to be asleep to get out of doing night feeds. Sitting on the toilet for 90 minutes playing games. They’re just the top two.

Samantha: I’m really lucky as my husband does absolutely nothing to annoy me. 😍Said no woman ever!!

1. Socks. Taking socks off and leaving them all over the sitting room.2. “Helping me”. Taking out a wash that’s just finished and leaving the damp clothes in a pile ready to be hung up..but NOT hung up. Usually on a bed making the bed damp too.3. Not being able to explain no.2 without him getting the hump.4. Deciding he needs to do something “very” important 5 minutes before dinner is ready and then being annoyed that he has to leave this very important job to eat the dinner I’ve made. 5. Not wanting to do anything on a Sunday because he wants to relax at home but getting irritated by 4pm cause he has cabin fever. 6. Asking me where things are without even looking for them!

Emer:I love my wonderful husband but he has a genetic disorder called “CantSeeItRightInFrontOfYou-itis” 😂 my lovely father-in-law and my 3 sons all suffer from it

You can find the full list of comments on my Facebook page and if you’ve any to add yourselves feel free to comment below.

Thanks

DD

12 Things That Women Do That Drive Men Potty

Overheard in Dublin recently, a group of women were discussing in jest what men do that drive them mad. So I decided to conduct my own little survey and to see what women do that drive men mad!

It was a task in itself narrowing down the list, but here you go.

Ps. don’t shoot the messenger.

1. Fake Tan:
“Oompa loompa doopity doo….”

The smell alone is wretched and yes we know that there are odourless options out there but no matter how much or how little is applied, fake tan looks awful. Granted, if the Oompa Loompa look is your thing then knock yourself out but I’ve yet to see an application of fake tan that doesn’t have streaks or doesn’t have darker patches in certain areas than others. All of this coupled with leaving the bed sheets looking like you’ve soiled them (I’ve enough of that with three kids) makes this one of men’s biggest bugbears.

Anne Hathaway's Bride Wars tanned look!
Anne Hathaway’s Bride Wars tanned look!

And don’t get us started on that big oven mitt application glove-thingy that women use. Men run a mile whenever they see their partners approaching them with it.

With Dancing with the Stars about to kick off and Nicky Byrne reminding people that men also wear fake tan – I am aware that this one could annoy everyone!

2. Too much make-up:
The words make-up and chisel should never appear in the same sentence so ladies remember this when you are applying your new face. Ask most men and they’ll all say the same thing, too much make-up is a turnoff.

What’s more, men know when too much foundation or bronzer has been applied and if we don’t we find out soon enough when half your face has dripped onto our clothes. Less is more.

Woman With Too Much Makeup - not a good look
Woman With Too Much Make-up – not a good look

3. Too much perfume:
Perfume is not mosquito spray and thus shouldn’t be applied in the same manner (the same goes for men by the way).

If you notice a lot of people sneezing around you or you see birds flying into walls as you walk by, it’s usually a sign that you’ve been overly zealous with the fragrance. #OooDeParfum

4. Taking an age to get ready:
This goes hand-in-hand with all of the above. We all know that women enjoy getting ready for a night out – and who would ever deny them that – but when the getting ready part ends up being longer than the actual night out itself, ladies it’s time to have a good look at yourself in the mirror. Not literally of course because that will take you even longer.

As I write this, I’m sure there are men all across the world crying with frustration at how long their partners are taking to get ready. Likewise, I’m sure that there are men fretting in bars/restaurants thinking that they’ve been stood up solely because their date – who has tried on 99 outfits – hasn’t turned up yet. What’s more is, when they do finally turn up, the ‘oh thanks, I just threw this on’ post-compliment comment is one that I always enjoy.

It’s the equivalent of a body-builder saying that they were born like that.

5. The Drama Queen:
Picture this, a woman takes an age to get ready (shock horror). When they finally come downstairs to their now half tipsy ‘I had nothing else to do while waiting’ partner and they ask said partner, how they look, most woman will get the ‘Yeah lovely, grand, now come on will ye’ response.

What follows is spectacular fallout – “Oh is that all you can say. Does it not look that well on me or something?” This is then usually followed by “I’m not going anymore. You can go by yourself!” 

The next half hour typically involves a grovelling man complimenting his partner on their amazing tan, their amazing make-up, their gorgeous fragrance (magpie just hits the window) and their amazing spanx outfit.

6. Messy:
Whether it’s clothes strewn across the floor, coffee cups on the bathroom sink or wet towels on the now wet carpet, messy women you are the worst. This coupled with the double standard of giving out to us men for being messy really takes the biscuit.

My gorgeous darling wife is a brilliant cook but she isn’t half messy and I mean throw a grenade in the kitchen messy. I have the luxury of tucking into delicious home cooked meals most nights but I won’t lie, this luxury comes with a sprinkling of apprehension knowing that over my shoulder 300 pots and pans are winking at me to be washed.

By the way…I know women will fire this one right back at me as men are notoriously messy – maybe I’m the exception.

Messy Woman

7. The Double Standard:
Hmm, this was very unpopular one among the list of dozens (honestly) and I experienced a dose of DS recently. I’ve been accused in the past of always wanting to meet up with friends when we go out as a couple (I’d call this socialising but apparently it’s not). Anyway, we headed out for a date night a few weeks ago only for us to ‘bump’ into numerous friends of my wife following a’ random’ suggestion – from her – that we go to a certain bar before our meal.

What a coincidence.

8. Back seat driving:  
Men just love being told how to drive while they are driving. It’s so relaxing, it’s so much fun and it’s not one bit irritating….said no man ever.

To this day I’ve have never heard a woman tell another woman how to drive while said woman is driving. I don’t know why but I could hazard a guess.  #HandbagsAtDawn.

Again I know, men do this…a lot.

9. Indecisiveness:
Man: What would you like to watch tonight?

Woman: I don’t mind, you decide.

Man: Ok.

Woman: No I don’t like that.

Man: Ok.

Woman: No I don’t like that either’

Man (fake-smile): Sure, you choose…

You get the picture.

10. Big Sunglasses:
Why oh why?

You are not Jackie Onassis. You are not Audrey Hepburn. You’ve just spent 18 hours getting ready to go out and then you cover your entire face with massive sunglasses.

Huge Sunglasses...are you in there?!
Huge Sunglasses…are you in there?!

11. Talking or making noise when watching TV:
Apparently, this is another huge pet hate for men and I’ll be honest, one that I didn’t think irritated me until opening sweet wrappers or eating crisps became a thing to do during the climatic scenes.

That or intermittent talking during a movie has caused heartache for men for years. Nowadays the endless pinging and vibrating of Whatsapp enabled phones has men’s veins popping throughout every scene.

Call us grumpy if you like, but we won’t hear you over the noise of the sweet wrappers.
12. Cloning:
Dolly was first cloned in 1996 and since then it looks like women are cloning themselves on a regular basis. Walk into any coffee shop or bar and you’ll see 15 of the same girl (not that I’m looking of course). Whether it’s UGGs and leggings or LBDs and 50-inch heels, more and more women are looking like each other.

This point was mentioned by every man I questioned so apparently we respond to individuality. You are beautiful, naturally, just go with your own look and you will stand out from the crowd.

(Written by the most unoriginal man ever).

DD

30 ESSENTIAL ‘TIPS’ FOR NEW PARENTS

  1. When remarking that ‘they’ve gone down well tonight’ it’s always best to check that the monitor is on first.
  2. You can never have too many ‘Swiss Army’ wipes but you can certainly have too few.
  3. The contents inside a baby’s neck folds can often be far worse than anything found in a nappy so it’s best to continually keep it clean.
  4. If you lose your car keys. Again, the neck folds.
  5. The day before you bring your kid to their first swimming class, put a little pee in their bath so that they are used to it.
  6. Teach your kid from an early age just how comfortable the couch is so that they aren’t constantly asking you to do stuff.
  7. That said, no good ever comes from a toddler sitting naked on a couch.
  8. When tantrums kick in use a playpen. When they’re finished, just climb out.
  9. Have your partner leave you a voicemail of the baby screaming. Save it and play it to people when you need/want to get out of something.
  10. Never ask “What’s for Dinner?”. Ever.
  11. And don’t go on about how hard your day was even if it consisted of a rectal exam.
  12. Always go big on Mother’s Day… the fact that she’s not actually your mother doesn’t seem to matter.
  13. Continually emphasising the need to keep your kid on a strict schedule makes it easier to say no to crappy things you’ve been invited to.
  14. If you have boys, always always point the willy down.
  15. Playing with my kids is great but nap time is better. Take advantage of it, even if your threatened with a shovel.
  16. Potty training and bubble baths should not be mix. Don’t question it.
  17. When your kid starts crying, start crying bigger and louder. They will soon stop and look at you with concern.
  18. If your buggy doesn’t have a cup holder, get one. It’s easier to play Jenga on a bus than it is to steer a buggy with one hand.
  19. Spending time with your kid is not called babysitting. Terms like ‘Dad Duty’, ‘On Call’ or ‘Doing Time’ are safer alternatives.
  20. Just so you know, technically glue is edible.
  21. Get used to the plunger, you’ll be using it a lot when your kid(s) get older.
  22. Avoid permanent markers.
  23. Assuming they’re fit and able to pitch in, accept every bit of help on offer from granny and granddad. Their philosophical advice will be brilliant. Their medical advice not so much.
  24. There’ll be more chance of you winning the lotto than seeing the bottom of your laundry basket so invest in a good a dryer.
  25. Don’t beat yourself up about tidying the house. It’s impossible. You’ll move things around and hide stuff in different rooms and that’s about it.
  26. It’s perfectly acceptable to walk away from people who don’t have kids and say they’re exhausted.
  27. Regardless of what people say to you, it’s impossible to ‘enjoy every minute of parenthood’. Strive for survival at best.
  28. Schedule a date night at least once a month.
  29. Remember that you will always be your child’s favourite toy.
  30. Last but not least, always expect the unexpected….It’s easier said than done.

DD

Dad of 3. Husband of 1. Master of None.

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Postnatal Depression – a man’s world

I watched a movie called Tully the other night – starring a brilliant Charlize Theron – which dealt with postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder relating to childbirth. A powerful movie which highlighted mental health in a unique way.

In my opinion, this is a man’s world (in the negative sense) and what women go through to bring another life into this world is nothing short of amazing. Postnatal depression is all too common. I know people who have had it and people who are currently going through it and like any mental health issue, more attention needs to be put into giving mothers the time, care, attention and support they need to navigate through it. There’s light at the end of every tunnel and while postnatal depression effects mothers, if not handled correctly and sympathetically, it can have long term effects on an entire family. For those of you going through it, keep the chin up, talk about it and don’t ever feel ashamed or ostracised. Those days are gone…or maybe not.

Thousands of mothers left to cope alone with mental illness

Digital Dad: Apps to Keep Your Kids Happy

Appy in Your Nappy. Whether you’re a parent, a child or a childish parent we all need a break from our loved ones and mobile apps are the perfect gateway to this peace filled utopia.

I’m an advocate of exposing kids to technology at an early age. Within reason of course and in our house our two eldest boys are allowed 30 mins of mobile screen time per day. It keeps them occupied, it keeps them entertained, they do actually learn from it but more importantly, it keeps Mum and Dad somewhat sane.

Here are just a few of the apps that we use…

YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids aka the babysitter that we never had. An excellent free app for kids aged 3+. With categories such as Recommendations, Shows, Explore, Music, and Learning, YouTube kids offers children oodles of great content all geared towards your little ones.

There are also parental controls and timer settings so you don’t have to worry about your kids getting square eyes or accessing to inappropriate content. It’s definitely worth a download.

Ages 3+

Free (iOS)(Android)

NetKids

NetKids too is another very good ‘discovery filled’ app that provides unlimited entertainment for your young ones. Kids can watch videos, listen to music, play games – both educational and fun – and enjoy narrated stories.  It’s a safe, ad-free, money-free and filled with the popular characters most kids love

It does require a large amount of storage space however so all of those get fit/stay healthy apps that you don’t ever use (hello Dadbod) might need to be uninstalled. Unfortunately for droid users, this is only available on your Granny Smith.

Ages 3+

Free (iOS)

Kids Apps

Voice Changer with Effects

This voice changer app is a firm favourite in our house and anyone who has read my Lego River post will understand why. It’s free on Android and it lets your kids record themselves, apply numerous effects and then listen back. If your kids love sounding like monsters, aliens, robots, helium, animals etc then they’ll have lots of fun with this.

Well worth the download.

Ages: 3+.
Free (Android)

Hopster

Relatively new but massively popular nonetheless, Hopster is ‘already trusted by over 600,000 families’. With Davina McCall as a major investor, Hopster’s aim is to make ‘screen time smart’ by combining popular kids TV shows with fun, educational learning games and classic nursery rhymes in a safe and ad-free environment.

I’ll be honest we have only used this a handful of times – as it’s only recently been available on Android – but it’s excellent and well worth the £3.99 subscription per month. Before you start counting your pennies however, Hopster offers a free 7-day trial so check it out for yourselves.

Ages: 3+.
Free (iOS)(Android)

Dad and child playing on tablet

Bambuda

So this one is for all the nostalgic parents out there. It’s a very simple yet clever app that reminds you to take a photo of your child(ren) every day and it then generates a short time lapse movie with accompanying soundtrack.

It’s free on iOS and is a great way to ‘watch your kid grow and transform’ or monitor just how much you’ve aged as a result of having children!

Free (iOS)

MSQRD

MSQRD -This excellent app is great for kids and adults alike. Create live filters for your selfies and share them with your friends. Your kids will get a huge kick out of turning themselves into Superman, Batman, monsters, clowns etc. The list goes on.

t’s free, safe and the makers are continuously adding new and funny filters.

Free (iOS)(Android)

Enjoy!

DD

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Digital Dad: HELP! I have a Threenager

We have a ‘Threenager’. I know this because the ‘Terrible Twos’ have not gone away but Thing 2 is now three and still a nappy-loving, independent, ‘I’m not changing’ three-year-old at that. I need help.

He’s a great kid, a sweet kid, a very funny kid, a polite and outgoing kid but all when he’s not throwing tantrums or roaring at the top of his voice because he didn’t get the green cereal bowl. When he’s the latter he’s quite simply a nightmare.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t say this but there’s only so much one can take from a screaming kid at 6am (“Daddy I’ve had a good sleep, I want to get uppa”) followed by intermittent fits of rage and dirty protests throughout the day. I first experienced the full wrath of this during our camping trip. He was demanding with an extra dollop of demanding on top. He wore me out, more so than the self-inflicted 3am bedtime and the 6am wake up.

He’s a great kid, a sweet kid, a very funny kid, a polite and outgoing kid but all when he’s not throwing tantrums

Before we had kids I was led to believe that the terrible twos and the teenage years were the worst. I think now that this was the brainchild of some spin doctor/PR guru because I fear that these stages are just going to blend into one. I certainly hope this isn’t the case but before I go any further let me stress that Thing 2 isn’t unmanageable; he’s just difficult to manage. He’s the one that will usually kick off whenever we’re out and about i.e. parks, restaurants, cars, parties, shops, shops, shops, etc . Needless to say, we’re huge fans of online shopping.

The Tantrum

I just don’t want to be that person who lives in fear of how to cut my son’s sandwich or where I should sit on the couch. And before you say it, I’m no pushover (maybe this is where Thing 2 gets it). I don’t suffer fools gladly and I’ve re-varnished the naughty step several times over the past few years, so there.

I certainly hope this isn’t the case but before i go any further let me stress that Thing 2 isn’t unmanageable; he’s just difficult to manage.

Being a father to three young boys is tough. It’s tiring, it makes you weary and zaps you of any energy and patience you have, especially after a long day’s work. Sometimes it’s just easier to give into that roaring child rather than slug it out (not literally of course). I’m not a stressful person, I’m not a shouter, I’m rarely angry so when I pick my battles – I’m usually calm. I keep my sense of humour, I explain my reasoning and more often than not we sign a peace treaty.

Therein lies the problem: I’ve never wanted to be a politician but at the rate, I’m going I’ll have signed more treaties than Trump. And no, I’m not one to offer a ‘sweetie for a treaty’. If you’re wrong you’re wrong and you don’t get rewarded for being wrong.

Tantrum Child

I’m well aware – and many people have said same – that Thing 2 is just exerting his independence and his developing mind is unable to process complicated emotions. And like most things, there’s a flip side to every coin. As independence blooms so to his confidence, vocabulary, maturity (kinda) etc and that is great. I don’t want Thing 2 to be a shrinking violet but I don’t want him to scare off Violet either.

I’ve never wanted to be a politician but  at the rate I’m going I’ll have signed more treaties than Trump.

As I said above, he’s a sweet kid. He’s mad as a brush. He does and says the funniest things, he’s as good as gold in preschool and he loves playing with his brothers and snuggling up to Mummy and Daddy. He’s normal apart from when he’s not normal. It’s very annoying.

Am I worried about it to the point where I’m constantly reading up about how to deal with a Threenager? No. Am I worried about it to the point where I think we need to see somebody about it? Absolutely not. Selfishly, I’m more concerned about how I feel and will feel about him if he continues to be the ‘problem child’…he’s just a lot more work than the others.

He’s normal apart from when he’s not normal. It’s very annoying.

Coincidently, I was recently sent an email about books that teach kids how to handle tantrums and help them to better understand their feelings. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read them all (yet) but I thought I’d list them for you nonetheless in case you find yourself in the Oval office giving ‘sweeties for treaties’.

If you too have a Threenager or have any tips, tricks or advice that you’d like to share feel free to comment or get in touch below.

Kids Books To Help With Tantrums

Books To Help With Tantrums

Little Monkey Calms Down

Courtesy of Amazon

Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt-down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down.

Ages: 2 – 4

My Mouth is a Volcano!

Courtesy of Amazon

This book, in which an excitable boy named Louis wants to share his ideas all the time but whose mouth tends to erupt in a volcanic spew of nonsense, serves as a clever, approachable way to teach kids how to filter their thoughts and why listening to others is just as important as talking.
Ages: 5 – 8

Soda Hop Head

Courtesy of Amazon

Lester is a kid but everyone calls him “Soda Pop Head”. Most of the time he’s pretty happy, but when things seem to be unfair his ears gets hot, his face turns red and he blows his top! Lester’s dad comes to his rescue by teaching him a few techniques to “loosen the top” and cool down before his fizz takes control. “Soda Pop Head” will help your child control his/her anger while helping them manage stress. It’s a must for the home or classroom.

Ages: 4 – 8

Mouse Was Mad

Courtesy of Amazon

Who knows the best way to be mad? Bear stomps. Hare hops. Bobcat screams. Mouse? He just can’t get it right. But when he finds the way that works for him–still and quiet–he discovers that his own way might be the best of all.  Linda Urban’s story about self-expression and managing anger is both sweet and sly, and Henry Cole’s cast of animal friends is simply irresistible.

Ages:  4 -7

How Do dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?

Courtesy of Amazon

Brimming with humour, this sparkling new book handles a timeless children’s topic with wit and wisdom. Romp and stomp! Roar and slam! Almost everyone gets angry. But how can young dinosaurs also learn to calm down, take a time out, and behave?

Ages: 3 – 5

Llama Llama Mad at Mama

Courtesy of Amazon

Does any child like to go shopping? Not Llama Llama! But Mama can’t leave Llama at home, so off they go to Shop-O-Rama. Lots of aisles. Long lines. Mama is too busy to notice that Llama Llama is getting m-a-d! And before he knows it, he s having a full-out tantrum! Mama quickly calms him down, but she also realizes that they need to make shopping more fun for both of them.

Ages: 2 – 5

Rude cakes

Courtesy of Amazon

Who knew that cakes were so rude?! In this book a very rude cake who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents gets its comeuppance. In the end, even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.

Ages: 2 – 5

Enjoy.

DD

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Digital Dad: Stay-At-Home Mum vs. Stay-At-Work Dad

How is it that a week off work can totally and utterly destroy you? Oh yes, I remember now – I have three kids and a wife (on maternity leave) who required a much-needed break from our three crazies.

I left work, said goodbye to my sanity and headed home. In 10 days I’d be back, sitting at my desk staring at a screen that doesn’t have Paw Patrol on it. The plans and visions I had for my week off were modest to say the least i.e. have a breakfast every morning or have a shower without Thing 2 coming in and launching a bar of soap at me. Simple things indeed, but not too simple as it turned out.

I walked through the front door to be greeted by my beautiful darling wife (I have to say this of course, as she reads these weekly articles). I say greeted but wifey merely opened the door to me. What greeted me were two hyperactive pre-Halloween ghouls and one 14-week-old Lucifer baby. Plans.  Ah yes, plans. I knew in that exact moment that I could put any pre-conceived notions that I had for ‘my’ week off into a box and throw them in the fire. They’d go up in flames just like my week (granted I did have my breakfasts). Boom, there they go.

My beautiful darling wife is currently on maternity leave so needless to say stress levels and exhaustion are set to max. I knew that I’d essentially be the hired hand for the week and I was OK-ish with that. Cue Saturday morning, I was left to look after my three little treasures while wifey headed out for what I hoped would be a short stint in the shops. It wasn’t.

Hired Hand

Things started out well. I took out the PlayMobil for Thing 1 & 2 and waffled to Thing 3 as only a goofy Dad can to a 14-week-old. An hour later I gave Thing 3 a bottle. He fell into a milk coma within 20 minutes so I popped him down for a nap and genuflected on the way out of his room in the hope that he’d sleep for a few hours. I must have genuflected incorrectly because he was up 20 mins later in full screaming mode. Bliss.

I knew that I’d essentially be the hired hand for the week and I was OK-ish with that.

While this was going on our now 3-year-old aka Thing 2 who is being potty trained – or rather he’s training us in the art of giving in and continuing with nappies – proceeded to pee in his clothes and tap-dance in his socks on the yellow pool that lay under his feet. I immediately launched my SOS call-a-friend and Dad, who was out cycling, said he’d knock in for a cuppa. I needed to prioritise, screaming baby or Gene Kelly. I chose the former.

I lifted up the stinkiest baby that ever was and placed him on the carpet. I was sure to breathe through my mouth the whole time but as I opened the nappy what met me was like something from our local Indian takeaway. I nearly passed out. Meanwhile Gene Kelly had stopped dancing in his p**s and was now demanding fresh clothes and new socks. I was demanding new children.

I immediately launched my SOS call.

The doorbell rang. It was Dad. Aka Bungee Cord. As I was changing Thing 3 I lifted my hand up to direct Thing 1 to open the door for ‘papa’. As I moved my hand back, I instinctively rubbed my cheek (face cheek that is) only to realise that I had sh** on my index finger and I had smeared it on my cheek. I looked like something out of Dances with Wolves. Papa came through the door in full fluorescent cycling gear, the colour almost matching Thing 3’s nappy contents. I immediately instructed him to run upstairs and grab a change of clothes for the tap-dancing lunatic.

I lifted up the stinkiest baby that ever was and placed him on the carpet.

Within three minutes calmness was restored. Thing 3 was placed on the play mat, Thing 1 & 2 were happily sitting down watching Ratatouille (v. good btw), I had washed my hands and Dad made the cuppas.

Stressed Dad

My wife had only been gone two hours at this stage but it honestly felt like an eternity. It turned out that she’d be gone for a further 3 hours and it was during this time that I was able to reflect on just how difficult and sh*** it can be – quite literally – staying at home and minding three little people.

Men can give women a hard time for ‘staying at home with the kids’ but in all, honesty I’d swap it in a heartbeat for work. I just couldn’t do it. As much as I love my kids, I’d go crazy if I had to mind them all day long.

As wifey came home, she was greeted by a very happy, very grateful and VERY clean husband who would no longer crack jokes about ‘relaxing’ at home while I headed off to work.

Relaxing it definitely isn’t.

Any comments?

DD

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Pinocchio Parenting: The Lies We Tell Our Kids

I’m a good parent and I lie to my kids. Lying isn’t what makes me a good parent, but it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad one either.

The truth is, everybody lies. Toddlers, teenagers and adults – we all lie. Think about it, you even lie to your own kids you know you do. If you say you don’t, you’re lying!

We lie to our children for a multitude of reasons; we want to protect them, or we don’t always know the right answer, or we’re just lazy or we’re just having some fun. The latter backfired on me recently.

Obviously, there’s a difference between little white lies and lying to kids specifically to hurt them. The former is the result of taking care of the small people we love but who inevitably drive you to your breaking point and threaten to send you over the edge. [The latter, we don’t even go there.]

So, with that mind, here are some common lies Reddit and Pinterest users have heard parents tell their kids. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

1.“The ice cream van only plays music when he runs out of ice cream.”

2. “My dad told me the rumble strips on the highway were for blind drivers.”

3. “Your mom and I were just…em, wrestling.”

4. “If you don’t behave in the drive-thru you’ll get a Sad Meal.”

5. “Smoke detectors are actually Santa-cams.”

6. “My dad told me people only get 10,000 words per month. If you reach the limit, you can’t physically speak until the new month begins. Anytime I was especially talkative, dad would say, ‘Careful, you’re over 9,000 by now.'”

Little white lies...
Little white lies…

7. “If you pee in a pool, there’s a special dye that will turn it red so that everybody knows.”

8. “If you lie a red dot appears on your forehead that only parents can see. It only goes away when you tell the truth.”

 9. “They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy.”

10. “When I was a kid my parents warned me that if I pressed the ‘reset’ button on the power outlet the house would explode.”

11. “You’ll have to drive a little Smart car if you don’t eat your vegetables because you’ll be too little for a big car.”

12. “We’re not French so we can’t eat the French Fries in McDonalds.”

13. “The tooth fairy won’t come if your room is messy.”

14.  “If I didn’t sit still during a haircut, the barber would cut my ear off. The worst part was that the barber would play along.”

15.  “We have to leave the zoo now. The zookeeper called my cellphone and your crying is upsetting the animals.”

16. “We’re going to bed now, too.”

17. “I’m leaving without you.”

18. “When I was little my Dad told me that toys grew under the weeds in the yard and if I pulled them, eventually a toy would pop out. And I believed it for a long time…”

19. “The car won’t start unless everyone is buckled in.”

20. “We’re almost there.”

21. “I want to carry you but the doctor said your legs would stop growing if you didn’t walk.”

22. “Our fish went to live with their friends in the ocean.”

23. “My father always said the animals on the side of the road were just taking a nap because the road was warm.”

24. “My son was 8 before he knew that football games on school nights had a second half. I always sent him to bed at halftime.”

25. “When we go on a road trip I’m going to tell my kids, ‘If you go to sleep, we’ll take the shortcut.'”

26. “We got our daughter to eat fish by calling it ‘Argentinian Chicken’. That worked for a long time until grandma came along and messed it up.”

27. “Parents used to tell my only brother and I that we used to have another brother who turned into a mushroom from not taking a bath. Even added him to the family albums.”

28. “My dad said if I could look after a special growing rock, and watered it each day until it stopped growing I could get a dog. I’d water it and every week, while I was at school he’d replace it with a slightly bigger rock.”

29. “The funniest one I heard was a father who was asked about coconuts in a store by his son. He said: ‘Don’t go near those son…those are bear eggs…'”

30. “That drawing is fantastic.”

31. “I’ve got eyes on the back of my head.”

32. “We’ll come back later and buy it.”

33. “If you have the lights on in the car at night, the police will pull us over.”

34. “If you don’t wipe your bum properly, it’ll close up and you’ll have to spit out your poop.”

35. “My dad told me oil stains on the street were little kids that got run over because they didn’t hold anyone’s hand while crossing the street.”

36. “To keep my sister and I busy my mom would tell us if we could kiss our elbow we would turn into the opposite sex..”

37. “Burger King is for royalty.”

Have you any funny lies that you were told when you were young? Do you tell lies to your kids? Comment below.

DD

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My Homemade Haircut Disaster

Thing 2 will be four in October and to look at him you’d think he came off the set of Point Break (think Bodhi). He has a blond curly mop of unkempt hair – unlike me but very much like our postman – that can at times obscure his vision but damn he’s a cutie.

Lately, however, we began to feel like the lack of grooming might be cruel as the constant brushing of his fringe away from his eyes made him look like he was constantly saluting us. I would always salute back.

I had planned to take him to my barber aka. the ten minute €10 haircut which has served me well for many a year – “short back and sides and leave the Jedward fringe please”. Our five-year-old now goes there too and like me, he’s in and out in a jiffy.

Thing 2, however, is a different beast. He’s more stubborn. He’s crankier. He’s more of a live wire. He’s Bodhi, a law into himself. As he gets older I’m hopeful sure he’ll mellow but to bring him to the barber would be a stretch too far for this cowardly dad…I just didn’t need the hassle or the stress.

Home Haircut

I had promised my darling wife that I wouldn’t give him a home cut but while the cat’s away, or rather at a yoga class, I decided to get the scissors out and strategically sheer him.

I had only ever done a home cut once before and although Thing 1 did end up looking like a Benedictine Monk I was convinced that I could do a better job with a lighter wavier head of hair. I was wrong.

A few snips here and a few snips there and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. In between chats about Paw Patrol and Mike the Knight we also played ‘I Spy’ until my ‘I Spy’ challenge resulted in Thing 2 shouting “the floor” and rapidly moving his head downwards.

Now while he got the answer right (“I Spy with my little eye something we stand on”) he also managed to lose half his fringe…the vertical half. I gasped. Half a floppy fringe and half a spiky scalpy fringe…no comb-over in the world was going to fix this atrocity. Bodhi was now long gone. What sat in front of me could only be described as a cross between Donald Trump and Flock of Seagulls.

As my adrenaline kicked in and Trump Seagull stared up at me I started to panic. Fine, the hair would grow back but my wife was going to be home soon so I was unclear what was in store for me.

It took a few days before we could make proper eye contact with Trump Seagull without cringing (thank god I collect trucker caps) and another few days for me to acknowledge that my sheering days were over.

My claims that it would have been easier if we had had a girl because it would be a simpler straighter cut (I was talking pure sh**e), fell on deaf ears.

To non-parents, this may not sound like a big ordeal and in the grand scheme of things it isn’t. The thing about cutting your child’s hair is the first unbearable ‘half fringed’ glimpse of them as a non-baby. We had waited 3 years and now he was a no longer our helpless little dude.

He has been shorn – had you seen him you might even say ‘branded’ – he is more grown up, more expressive, still cute but less cuddly. He is more Wall Street than Sesame Street.

I haven’t touched a pair of scissors since but we do have another son so third time lucky, who knows? In the meantime however the full salute has been reduced to a half salute and I continue to pray for the welcome return of Bodhi.

DD


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