The End

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting a great deal, or at all, recently.  Everyday life takes up too much of my time and it’s for this reason that I’ve decided that Dad at the Deep End is coming to an end.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing about my kids, parenting and life in general.  I hope anyone (not many) who has stopped by has found my writing in some way interesting or amusing.

I may return in the future to write about parenting in some shape or form in the future.  Until then, thanks for reading and if you are interested in me writing for your site or elsewhere, then please contact me.

Bye for now.

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When Will It Snow No More?

The school and nursery ‘mid-term’ holidays are approaching their halfway point.  When I was at school they were the plain old Easter holidays, but regardless of what they’re called, it’s still two weeks off for the kids.

We normally go away on holiday at this time of year but we haven’t made any arrangements this time around.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, my wife hurt herself in a fall so we weren’t sure how she was going to be.  Thankfully, she has a lot more movement in her shoulder, though she still has to attend physio.  While she is on the mend, there is another factor which made us reluctant to commit to booking to go away.

I cannot remember it snowing during April before.  It has now relented but until very recently out garden still looks like a scene from a Christmas card.

Had we arranged to go abroad then we wouldn’t have had a problem.  However, a trip to the north of Scotland or north-west England wasn’t so appealing given the recent weather.  The last thing we wantt to do is put our kids at risk, making unnecessary journeys on treacherous roads.

So instead of being away, we have been going on days out to some of our favourite local destinations.  Some of these have even been outdoors.

As for trips further afield, that will have to wait until the summer at the earlier – assuming the snow has gone by then.

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The World’s Gone (Dough)nuts

I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I enjoy a good doughnut.  Whether it be the plain old, sugar covered variety or one with toffee icing and custard in the middle (one of my personal favourites), they are a very pleasant treat.

However, no matter how good any doughnut or other cake tastes, nothing could persuade me to queue for three hours as has been the case recently, with the opening of the first Krispy Kreme in Scotland.

If ever evidence was needed that many people now act more like sheep than human beings, this was it.  A bit of hype and the world suddenly becomes obsessed with doughnuts.  I wonder how long these ‘fans’ would have waited at their local bakers or supermarket for exactly the same product.  In fact, I would be willing to bet that some of those standing in line don’t even care for doughnuts at all, but instead wanted to be one of the crowd.

I’m not sure why this story annoyed me so much, perhaps it’s just that I find it frustrating when people have no minds of their own.

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A Part-Time Follower of Fashion

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in fashion.  No, I don’t mean what’s being paraded down the catwalk in Paris, Milan or wherever, I’m referring to my own appearance and what I wear.

At primary school in the 1980s, the big decision revolved around trainers – should I go with Adidas Kick or Puma Match?  As I got older, the rest of my clothes became as important as my footwear.  Memories of my high school years include a variety of Joe Bloggs and Benzini t-shirts and tops.  As a student and in my early years of work, I had the money to splash out on French Connection, Firetrap and Calvin Klein – give me a break, it was the 90s.

Not surprisingly, as I settled into married life and started to focus on my newly born kids, buying expensive new clothes was fairly low on my list of priorities.  I still liked to look the part but there was more ‘value’ in my purchases.  I didn’t spend anywhere near as much on clothes and I started buying from shops that I wouldn’t have gone near, just a few years before.  Most buys were made on the premise that I needed something, rather than just wanted it.

While that situation remains the same at the moment, over the last few weeks I’ve started to look at what’s in my wardrobe and decided that it’s time for some changes.  Some tops and t-shirts for example, have started to look a bit tired – no surprising really, when you consider that I have owned some of them since before my kids were born.  I wasn’t kidding when I talked about value.

This doesn’t mean I am about to go on a huge spending spree.  I don’t have the money for that and, even if I did, I probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable about doing so, when I could be spending it on the kids.

I have treated myself to a new tracksuit jacket and I will buy a couple of t-shirts for summer – a new pair of jeans wouldn’t go amiss either, since I don’t wear much else away from work.

I will offset any expenditure by selling some old stuff on e-bay.  I have a Christmas gift (a hooded zipper) which didn’t fit and still has the label on it.  That will go up for auction along with a pair of old school Adidas trainers that I don’t really wear and one or two other items.

This isn’t some vain attempt to keep up with the youth of today.  I’m not interested in keeping up with all the latest trends, particularly not the recent resurgence of all things 1980s.  My ‘style’ (if you can call it that) is more like a 90s student – t-shirts or hoodies, loose fitting jeans and suitably retro trainers.

I don’t there’s anything wrong with wanting to look your best, but I it will be interesting to see what my attitude is in the years ahead.  Will I still be hunting for the right pair of Nike trainers in my 50s?  Or perhaps I will eventually give in and begin to dress for my age.

I’m sure my kids will be quick to offer advice, particularly if it’s something they don’t want me to wear when I’m going somewhere with them.

As long as I don’t start borrowing clothes from my three boys when they’re older, I think I’ll be ok.

 

 

 

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Step In or Step Back?

The whole family had our regular dental check-ups last week.  While my wife was in the treatment room, I was seated in the waiting room with the rest of our lot.

The twins were over in the kid’s corner playing with an etch-a-sketch type device.  All was well until two other boys – one about the same age as our two and his older sibling – arrived on the scene.  They had no interest in any of the other toys and stood and watched as Thing 1 and Thing 2 created pictures using the attached pencil and different shaped stampers.

Eventually the new arrivals became tired of this and the younger boy made a grab for the toy.  I was sitting close by and could see and hear everything that was going on.  Before I had the chance to even consider intervening, Thing 2 held on to the sketcher, saying, “Hey, don’t that.”

I was pleasantly surprised by our younger twin’s reaction, having expected him to acquiesce to the other kid.  Instead, he remained calm, didn’t shout and didn’t hit.  It was the first time I’d really seen him standing up for himself against a kid he didn’t know.

That however, didn’t put other two kids off.  Both grabbed at the stampers and tried to make their own mark on the picture.  Our two responded by drawing and then rubbing out everything that appeared.  A situation with four boys, playing with one relatively small toy, was unlikely to end well.

Sure enough, within a matter of seconds, Thing 2’s little face crumpled and he moved away from the small table, returning to where I was seated.  It turned out that during the grabbing and banging, the edge of the etch-a-sketch thingy had come down on his pinky finger.  I don’t think was in any way intentional on the part of the other kids – it was simply a consequence of the rough ‘play’.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure how to react.  My natural instinct was to become involved and speak with everyone concerned.  Had there been any hitting or bullying going on, that’s definitely the course of action I would have taken.

However, on this occasion, it didn’t seem right: first, I wouldn’t have been comfortable disciplining somebody else’s kids, particularly when their parents were seating nearby, though acting as though they had no idea what was going on.  Second, we won’t always be there.  There will be times when our kids will be challenged by other kids in one way or another and they will have to stand up for themselves.  My or my wife’s continual involvement or interference isn’t going to help them develop.

In the scheme of things, this incident was nothing more than a petty squabble between some kids.  However, it provided me with a taste of the type of situation my kids will encounter on a more regular basis, as they widen their social circle.

 

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It’s Snore Joke

I’ve had a bit of a sore throat over the last few days, possibly a touch of tonsillitis.  It hasn’t been bad but that, combined with a sniffly nose has led to me snoring in bed.  It’s not something I normally have a problem with but hey, these things happen.

Unfortunately, my darling wife wasn’t entirely understanding about the situation.  This in itself is rich considering that she snores on a fairly regular basis.  On one memorable evening I could actually hear her when I was downstairs watching TV, while she was upstairs in our bed (obviously).

Anyway, it was bad enough when she woke me at around 1am – she informed me that I was stopping her from sleeping and that she was considering going downstairs.  However, she then decided to pass the time by recording the noise I was creating on her mobile phone.  She then took great delight in playing the recording to the kids….repeatedly.  They of course found this to be hilarious and did their best impressions of their dad snoring.

Hopefully I will breathe and rest easy tonight – but if I don’t, I’m sure someone will let me know.

 

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No Roses or Violets

I was in a supermarket last week and it took me a few minutes to work out why the store in question was promoting boxes of chocolates so heavily – St Valentine’s day.

I’m probably going to sound like an old bore, but my wife and I no longer buy each other gifts or send each other cards at this time of year.  It’s not that we’ve fallen out or that the ‘magic’ has gone, we just feel that, with four kids, there are other things we could be spending our money on.

We do buy each other gifts at other points in the year – my other half loves flowers and I like to buy them for her, I’d just rather do it when she is least expects it rather than because card shops or florists are telling me I should.

I’m not knocking February 14th altogether – for younger couples or those who have recently started dating, it can be a special time.  It’s just that, for an old married couple of 8 years, it’s not as high on our list of priorities as it once was.

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