5 Annoyances That Parents Face

Hello again,

Apologies for my absence, life has a habit of getting in the way of the additional things I want to do. I have been meaning to write this for a few months now but I thought I’d do it after I responded to that work email, or once I fixed the shed door, or maybe my son’s bike wheel or…. you catch my drift.

Anyway have no fear, because I am hear and I promise not to leave it so long next time.

So, before having children, did you ever hear something along the lines of the following?

‘You cannot prepare yourself for parenthood, you’ll only understand when you’re a parent’

I’m willing to slam my chips down and bet that you’ve heard a variant of that at some point before you first held your bundle of joy.

This is usually to imply that changes are down to your baby rather than anything else. Well, us parents know that this is not exactly true. We start to view the world around us a little differently or at least start to realise how many people lack common sense.

I am going to point out 5 common and annoying situations parents find themselves in.

1) Stopping in front of the buggy

Don’t you just love when you are pushing your buggy/pushchair along, minding your own business for someone ahead of you decides to stop dead in front of your buggy. Instead of stepping to one side, they look at you waiting for you to maneuver around them. You know because that is a lot easier than stepping to one side to let you get past.

2) Adults that give your child food without asking

Ok, so you are trying to do a good deed here and that is very nice of you and all. But there are a few reasons why a bit of common sense should be applied.

“Err no thank you, my 6 month old doesn’t really want a hard boiled sweet but thanks all the same” or how about when the person in question looks like he/she hasn’t washed their hands for 3 years.

It can be quite an awkward situation because you don’t want to offend but first things first, you should not compromise when it comes to your children. If you would say no to a family member of friend then don’t feel bad for saying no to a stranger.

3) Mr or Mrs big mouth

Another adult annoyance is being around people who are not capable of knowing what is acceptable or more to the point what is not acceptable to say in front of your kids.

“You hear about that killer that is on the loose? I hear he lives not far from here”

How about close your gob until we can talk when my seven year old son isn’t standing next to me. I dunno, it just seems like common sense to me. They have plenty of time to learn that this world of ours isn’t always a nice place but it is definitely not a good idea to teach them this during their childhood.

4) Mr or Mrs foul mouth

This is very similar to number 3 and I suspect that I shall have a few readers who disagree with this one. I have come across and know a few parents who feel it is fine to swear in front of their kids.

“For Fakks sake, I told you to tidy your room”

Personally I hate it, probably because it was more than frowned upon when I was growing up. It was simply a no no. I don’t think I swore in front of my parents until I was in my twenties. So maybe it’s more of a personal thing but I hate hearing people f-ing and blinding in front of my children.

5) So little one, what do you make of the implications of strategic policies?

Have you ever come across some people who clearly do not have children or by the looks of it, have never come into contact with a child before so they simply do not have a clue how to communicate with them. Either they speak to them as if they are half their age or they speak to them as if they are adults, asking ridiculous questions that the kids have no idea what they are talking about. I tend to think my children are fairly bright kids generally but ask them to talk about Quantum Physics and well, they won’t have a bloody clue what you’re talking about obviously.

I’m sure I could come up with plenty more examples but it would be interesting and fun if you guys could contribute to some more. Drop them in the comments section (Link top of article)


No. 1 Summer Holiday Entertainment

I am sat at my local train station (at the time of writing) waiting for my delayed train as usual. I thought now would be a good time to jot a few words down for this website.

The sun is still blaring into my eyes at nearly 7pm which provides a strong reminder that summer is well and truly here. Those who have children old enough may naturally link the summer with the kids summer holidays. Six weeks of children in desperate need of energy burning which can prove to be a rather tricky task for us parents, especially when you have more than one.

I thought I’d recommend something that your child/children would love, well at least mine do. You would need to have a garden though so if you do not own one then apologies in advance because I’m not sure you’ll want this crammed into your living room or bedroom.

About four years ago or so the in-laws wanted to buy a Christmas present that our then three children could use, we had not long lived in our house and our garden which is a decent size was pretty empty. They decided that a trampoline would be a good idea. They gave us a choice of 8ft, 10ft and 12ft so we went for 10ft size as it was in between. The missus took a bit of persuading because they do take up quite a bit of space and we didn’t have much of an idea as to how often the kids would use it.

I’m no DIY king, in fact DIY and I are not friends but putting it together was pretty straight forward. Surprisingly so given the size of it.

We have nets around ours to stop children falling out onto the floor, I’d kinda recommend this option if possible. I’ve seen many that do not have the nets surrounding it which I can’t help but feel this is an accident waiting to happen. We also got a trampoline cover to pull over it when you’ve finished in case of rain. We might have used this 3 times or so. Found it too much hassle to be honest, maybe that’s just my laziness so if you have the motivation to cover it then do so because if it rains then jumping is out of bounds.

Like all new toys it was fully appreciated and well used. Our eldest used it the most, she was 9-10 years of age when we first got it and she would use it after school and on weekends. She would invite her friends over so they could spend time jumping on the trampoline or simply to relax on and natter about the latest boy band group I’d imagine.

She began to enjoy it so much that we started taking her to trampoline lessons which almost sounds like defeating the purpose of owning one in the first place but it’s quite the opposite. She thrived at it as she had already had her own personal experiences on it. She has only recently moved away from the lessons and onto gymnastics instead.

Our eldest son who is now 7 started getting into using the trampoline. He is naturally very sporty and well coordinated so he picked up a lot from his older sister. To the point where he was doing her routines without actually going to any lessons. He eventually started taking up lessons himself although not as long as his older sister.

There is 17 months age difference between him and his younger sister (have you caught up?) so they spent a lot of time on it together. Whether that be rolling around or jumping.

If your children are young then I would advise them taking turns rather than jumping together. Our son is bigger and stronger than his younger sister so his jumps would upset her balance at first as she was not as steady on her feet. So we quickly noticed that it probably wasn’t safe enough to allow them to jump freely together. It is not a problem now though, they are both littleĀ  trampolining experts and yes you’ve guessed it our youngest daughter also took up trampoline lessons but like her sister she has moved onto gymnastics instead.

Summer evenings are very nice, especially during summer holidays or weekends when they do not have to rush to bed.

I’ve had my fair share of jumping on our trampoline and I tell you what, it’s not as easy as it looks. It is a great quick work out but for me there is something incredibly soothing and relaxing about lying down on the trampoline on a summers evening. I’ve made a deal with myself (I’m weird like that) that I will have a nice nap on that trampoline on a summers evening at some point, hasn’t happened as yet but I will get round to it.

So in short, if you are looking to occupy your little cherubs and you have the space for it then I would highly recommend getting your hands on the biggest trampoline possible because they keep the kids interested for a long period of time and if your bed breaks they could come in very handy.

Sleep Training The Boss

Ok so I am jumping into the deep end here as I shall be writing about our recent sleep training experiences. Every parent either will have or will soon have to go through the fun stuff. When I say fun I in fact mean not fun in the slightest, just so you know.

My son is 18 months now and it’s been a bit of a mini roller coaster with him to date. When they first come into this world they are in control, they tell us what to do and there is no answering back from us. Little baby wears the ever so little trousers in the home so when they want to sleep they will sleep, when they decide they want to wake up for some delicious milk then you better listen and hand it over. Routines tend to not exist in the early stages although doing the whole bathing, soft talking, dimmed lighting thing at a set time every day is a good idea but I’ve found that they tend not to pay too much attention in the beginning.

My son started to use feeding as a soother after a few months old and this was very difficult to break. Some people are against the idea of a dummy/soother and I understand that but for me they are like little helpers and parents need helpers, the more help the better. The trouble was that our boy had never taken to that idea, why have that rubbish when you can have the real thing was his motto, well I’m guessing it is his motto.

I say it was difficult to break because well, when you are starving of sleep it was far easier to pretend he was still hungry and get back to that wonderful dream that was happening a few seconds ago. This was great in the short term but it was getting a little out of control. The more he fed for comfort the less he slept in his cot at nights. All he wanted to do was feed and fall asleep in mums achy arms.

So how to break the habit?

Good question really, Muggins over here had to take over because when he was around his mother he just wanted his quick fix so it was time to properly go back to basics.

He used to go down pretty well at about 7pm but that was because he was breast feeding. He had given up on the bottle by this point which was a shame because he used to take it without any fuss. He would take either expressed milk or baby goats milk which is apparently better for them rather than the regular formula milk. They are sold at health shops and online but I’d advise doing some research on that subject if you’re interested.

When he first woke up from his kip a few hours later he usually wanted to be fed, as I said a bottle was not an option for him back then. If I was lucky then he would be winded and go straight back to sleep but unfortunately that was the exception rather than the rule.

I tried keeping him in the cot and rubbing his back, talking softly with him but that wasn’t really happening. So I tried picking him up and cuddling him, nope that’s not what he wanted either and he is a strong little so and so which was rather difficult because apparently falling out of my arms onto the floor wasn’t anything to worry about from his point of view.

So to get him to take the bottle I tried a new method. I carried him back downstairs into the living room sat him on my lap with a warm bottle of milk on the arm of the chair in full view. Offering him the bottle would result in a karate chop to the bottle and the bottle spilling on my carpet which wasn’t really an option.

He eventually reached out for his bottle himself and started drinking. His mother was peaking through the door grinning like a Cheshire cat probably at the prospect of a full nights sleep coming into view over the horizon.

From that point onwards he started accepting the bottle again and his breastfeeding was phased out during the nights. The children’s mother had to sleep in another room to get our son used to the new sleeping plan and it was remarkably smooth from the point he re-took the bottle again.

I would love to say it all ended happily ever after from that point but the truth is baby teething kicked into gear a few weeks/months down the line and as I said earlier in this article, our son wears the trousers so he got his mother back again in the night.

We needed to take a few steps back for a few weeks but getting back on track was a lot easier the second time round. Our boy is now 18 months old now and is sleeping much better these days.

We’ve had different experiences with all four children when it came to sleeping because all of them obviously have different characteristics, so there is no one rule for all in my opinion. Fortunately all of them have adjusted to normal sleeping patterns so I cannot complain too much especially when I’ve heard stories of 10 year olds not sleeping at all at night time because a routine was not established at a young age.

Do you have a similar or a different experience for sleep time? Do you have any sleep training tips to share? I’d love to hear your views in the comments so what you waiting for?

’till the next time.

Parent Playgroup Born On The Train

I thought it kinda makes sense to start this website by giving you a little insight into myself and the reason why I decided to start this blog in the first place. Firstly I have no idea how this will go, it could be read by 3 people in 3 months and I could just get bored of it all and never touch it again but I’d much prefer the site started to grow and hopefully parents/readers could get something from this site.

So a little bit about moi I guess. I am a 36 year old father of four wonderful children. Two girls and two boys aged 12, 7, 5 and 18 months at the time of writing. I am self employed so luckily I get the chance to spend a lot of time with my little monsters.

The idea for this blog started a few months back, here have this cup of hot cocoa and I’ll tell you the story. I was sat on a train to Euston station, I sometimes choose the slow train because I find the train a great place to write on my laptop. If my office was a slow train I’d get so much more work done but that right there is another matter.

I found myself sat opposite a mother and her two children. Her boy must have been two years old or so while her daughter sitting to her right was roughly 8 years old or so.

I remember the mother was talking to her son very loudly, you know the type right? The old ‘look at me speaking a little louder in public so everyone can hear me’ type. If that’s you then please stop it.

Anyway, it was getting increasingly difficult to focus on what I was doing at the time, when I glanced up I noticed that she pretty much had her back to her eldest and was cooing over her younger child. I observed this continue throughout the journey and when the eldest attempted to make conversation she was quickly dismissed and paid very little attention in a manner that was quite different to the over the top hyped up version that the son received.

Shortly afterwards the daughter started getting off her chair and swinging on the handle bars which got mum over there pretty wound up. The daughter’s behaviour was visibly changing in front of our eyes and it appears that mum was pretty oblivious to what had been happening.

The eldest daughter was being pretty much ignored for the journey and when she made conversation her mum acted as if she was simply an annoyance. She then decided the only way to get noticed was to misbehave.

It was all quite fascinating and sad to see this play out in front of me. I felt like handing her a note explaining her daughters behaviour when it was safe enough to run off the train but it really wasn’t any of my business.

It got me thinking after she got off a few stops later, what if more people understood what impact their behaviour has on children? What if we could make a difference by educating at least one person. I include myself in that, you always learn as parents and I am by no means any sort of expert.

So after that experience I decided to finally give birth to Parent Play Group. A blog where I will share various parenting experiences and hopefully get a lot of contributors/readers sending in stories/situations of their own.

I don’t want this blog to be exclusively about myself but I guess it is a starting point.

Before I go can I ask those who have stumbled upon these pages to leave a quick comment just so I know I am not talking to myself completely. I’d really appreciate that.

’till the next time

Hello Mr & Missus Internet

Ok, it has taken me some time to get round to kicking this all off. I have been meaning to start this blog for a good few months now but as you know, life tends to get in the way of plans. Luckily I managed to point life in the other direction and sneak behind it’s back and throw this out there.

I will have to do a bit of site tidying up before I get fully into the article writing thingy. Can’t have guests turning up with this place a mess can we?

Needless to say, this blog will be about parents, kids, experiences and so on. I want this to be a blog for and by parents and not just myself rambling on so I fully expect reader articles and comments in the erm.. comment section.

Right back to life before it notices.