A mate emailed this lot. I have no idea what the original source is (and neither does he) but I’m going to hazard a guess that they’re all Americans I’m informed in my comments section that most come from this site http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/. Go take a look. It’s just too wonderful to stay in my InBox. Click on an image if you want to see the full horrific glory. Enjoy!
Monthly Archives: February 2012
They say women forget the pain of childbirth pretty darned quickly, otherwise no-one would be insane enough to go through it again. Except for masochists.
Well there is an equivalent for dads. OK, it’s not quite in the same league as pushing a melon out through a keyhole, but it still qualifies in terms of Sentimental Memory Loss Syndrome.
It pertains to the issue of Having Another, as in the question I am often asked: ‘So, are you guys going to have any more kids? Would you like one?’
Now as the oldest of four boys and the father of two sons, I’ve always fancied having a daughter. Yes, I have a 10 year-old stepdaughter, but she is Very Much Not Mine. She has her own dad. She likes it that way; he likes it that way; and I Very Much Like It That Way.
But a daughter of my own? That’s a different question. The answer, even at the knackered and groaning age of 48, is often ‘Yes’, depending on how much I’ve had to drink when the question is occasionally curve-balled my way.
Sobriety soon dissuades me of this fantasy, for the simple reason that I know Mother Nature doesn’t let you pick and choose (though I read an appalling report last week that some doctors actually terminate girls on request in one part of the UK).
Anyway, I’d quite like a daughter, yes. And actually, depending on what mood I’m in, I wouldn’t even say No to another boy for the simple reason that mine aren’t babies any more and I actually really, really liked them when they were.
Oh how the mind plays tricks on you!
On Saturday, I had a short and very sweet – but ultimately utterly exhausting – dose of reality of what having a very little ‘un around is like.
I guess I’d never truly experienced it before because when my lot were babies, I was at work. I never got to see the havoc a Motivated Mini can wreak on an adult life. But I experienced it yesterday.
My stepdaughter’s dad came over to ours to collect the Light of His Life and with him he brought his one year-old son (my stepdaughter’s youngest, baby brother – pay attention at the back!)
‘Why don’t you take Daisy out for an hour? I’ll look after Freddie,’ I suggested.
The last time I saw a man move that fast was when Usain Bolt broke the 100m record. Out the door he shot, leaving me and my two sons literally holding the baby. He stepdaughter’s real dad’s baby!
Except he wouldn’t be ‘held’. The boy is a force of nature. He’s just learned to walk, he’s just learned to bark commands, he’s just learned to ignore any and every instruction that involves the word ‘No’. And like a pocket-sized Ranulph Fiennes, he was off to explore this strange new world he’d been dropped into.
The stairs were his first mountain to conquer, then the bedrooms, then every thing that wasn’t nailed down in the bedrooms, then the kitchen, then the vegetable rack, then the plug sockets.
My lads tried to herd him like Collies around sheep, but it was to no avail. Little Freddie wanted to see and know and touch and taste everything.
It was wonderful to see how caring my sons were to this strange, super-motivated little rugrat creature who was carefully deconstructing the carefully deconstructed world they’d built for themselves.
But for all the situation’s Aww Factor, I had never felt so on edge. Partly because he wasn’t ‘mine’ (Heaven forbid anything happen to him on MY watch) but mainly because I’d forgotten how child-safe our flat used to be when ours were as little as Fred – and how utterly unsuitable and DANGEROUS it was to a just-walking-semi-crawling one year-old.
So when his dad and sister turned up, I handed him back quicker than the Jamaicans pass the baton in a relay race.
Would I have another baby?
Nah, nope, not on your Nelly. I’ve done my bit.
Our home is far from ideal. Aside from the wet towels, the mountains of plastic junk that clutter our children’s rooms, the thick layer of dust that coats every surface and the permanent stains on the carpets, our home is rather small for the five of us.
Three bedrooms and a roof terrace is not a meagre size by any stretch of the imagination, but living and working here all day I sometimes feel like a Chilean miner.
Oh, how I would kill for more space. Oh, if only we could afford it.
‘Why don’t you just make the space we have nicer?’ my working wife asks on occasions.
And what she means by that is: why don’t you be a Real Man and get your drill out and fix all the stuff that needs fixing around here?
It sounds like more of a threat than a suggestion.
So aware that I am quite possibly living on borrowed time in this respect, I have done photographic survey of the Jobs That Need Doing. Here’s the evidence….and the excuses for doing nothing about them!
1. CRACKS IN THE WALLS
And not just one wall, either. They’re all over the place. Spreading like cobwebs across the kitchen and the bedrooms.
Excuse: Well, clearly, the walls are coming-a-tumbling down. This is not neglect, this is science; this is gravity at work. I saw it on a Prof Brian Cox documentary the other day. It may be the Weakest Force in the Universe, Dear Prof, but it’s also the strongest, otherwise we’d be zooming out into the dark depths of Outer Space. You can’t fight gravity. I rest my case.
2. ROTTING DOOR AND WINDOW FRAMES
The paint has flaked off to such an extent that water has seeped deep into the wood, making it nigh on impossible to open the door to our roof terrace with the aid of a crowbar (I know this for a fact because that’s what I used to prise it open to take this photograph).
Excuse: It would need sanding down, filling in, painted with primer, then painted again. I haven’t got time for all that – I’ve got three kids to slave over. Besides, it all that dust couldn’t possible be good for their fragile, still-forming lungs.
3. DEAD PLANTS ON THE TERRACE ‘GARDEN’
My wife longingly and lovingly grew, nurtured and tended to these last summer, producing quite a respectable harvest of lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and a veritable pot pourri of herbs that I used in my cooking. Now they’re as dead as the wood on the door frames.
Excuse: Well, what do you expect me to do? I can’t get onto the bloody terrace because the door is jammed. Anyway, the local organic grocer sells some lovely herbs: it’s important to support your local shopkeeper.
4. BROKEN TOILET FLUSHER
God knows how this happened, but with five of us squeezing into a tiny bathroom, it had a certain inevitability about it. Must stop feeding the children their Five-a-Day.
Excuse: It will teach the kids how much they take for granted. When-I-Were-A-Lad we didn’t have an outside toilet. Until we moved to a brand spanking new council house during the slum clearances of Manchester, we had to go to a little shed at the bottom of the garden. A broken toilet flush? Pah! Character building.
5. DAISY-BUILT BIRD BOX NOT HUNG
My ten-year-old stepdaughter made this at a crafts event and when she brought it home as a present for her Mum she was cuffed to pieces. ‘We’ll get blue tits and great tits and finches and maybe even a parrot,’ she declared.
Excuse: Think again, eldest one. I’ve seen the magpies fixing their beady eyes on it through out bedroom window. And our bedroom is precisely where it’s staying.
6. INGRAINED CARPET STAINS
My God, these are stubborn buggers. I have tried to shift them. But all brands of carpet cleaner and even my best efforts with my beloved steam cleaner haven’t removed so much as a molecule of dirt. I have no idea what said dirt actually is, but it ain’t going nowhere. They’ll be around when the rest of the house falls to piece or the Earth stops spinning.
Excuse: If you squint your eyes and look hard enough, it’s like one of those 3-D pictures. Look! There’s a dolphin breaking the surface. Look again! It’s Saturn and its rings. And again! It’s the face of Christ.
What would you like to change about your home? Tell me in the Comments field below for a chance to win tickets to the fantastic Ideal Home Show, sponsored by Everest Home Improvement?
The show runs from March 16 until April 1 at London’s Earls Court and I’ve got five tickets to give away to one of my readers.
How to enter:
All you need to do is leave an answer to this question in a comment at the bottom of this post:
If you could change one thing about your home what would it be and why? Please leave an email or twitter address so I can contact you should you win.
Is it this?
Ideal Home Show sponsored by Everest
Ideal Home Show sponsored by Everest
Ideal Home Show sponsored by Everest
Or something else entirely?
The competition is open right now and will run until 1st March 2012 when it will close at midnight. The 5 winners will be announced shortly after that and tickets will be send out. You must be a resident of the UK and 18 years or older to enter.
So get commenting! I can’t wait to hear from you!
*This post is sponsored by Everest.