• Tough week…

    Tough week. Charlie’s mum’s maternity leave ended. So the person in our house who prevents fires etc. returned to work.. Whilst I found myself looking after our little boy properly on my own..

    Its true to say that as Lyns walked out the door that first morning there was quite a few tears, sobbing, and protest-soiling.. but, in my defence, by lunchtime I had calmed down a bit.

    Anyway, to alleviate Lyns’ concerns about leaving Charlie in the care of a f*ckwit, I promised to keep in touch…



  • Book Tour Dates 2017

    Thursday April 20th – SOLD OUT! The Man vs Baby Rave/Book Launch, Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

    Thursday April 27th – Sheffield Waterstones (Orchard Square) 7.00pm – 8.30pm – £3.00 incl glass of wine

    Wed 17 May, Chorleywood Bookstore, Chorleywood, – £8 Tickets (with Scummy Mummies)

    Thurs 18 May, Reading Waterstones, Reading – £5 Tickets (with Scummy Mummies)

    Wednesday 14 June, Urmston Library, Manchester 7.30pm This is a free Wordfest event. Book online at Eventbrite, phone 0161 912 3189 or email libraries@trafford.gov.uk

    Saturday 16th September – Chiswick Book Festival, details to follow..

  • Baby Hagrid

    So, this week, I accidentally called a woman’s baby: ‘Hagrid’.

    To explain…when I very first posted about this parenting stuff, I suggested that all babies are indistinguishable and that they all look like Ross Kemp. (What I actually said was that all babies look like one of the Mitchell brothers.. if you’ve got an ugly baby.. its Phil).

    Anyway, after eight months I’ve started to be able to distinguish between the babies at our drop-in health clinic. Only thing is, I don’t know their names.. So, just in my head, I use nicknames..

    There’s one baby that’s always chewing on his mum’s clothes, I call him ‘The Moth’, there’s one kid that looks a bit like Jeff Goldblum who I call ‘Jeff’. And, there’s another that, for some bizarre reason, is always dressed in army camouflage trousers.. I call him ‘Delta Force’.. you get the general idea.
    The thing is, there is one supremely hairy baby who I got into the habit of thinking of as ‘Hagrid’. (I’m not proud of it).

    Anyway, as I walked in this week, in a sleep deprived state, saying hello to everybody, I accidentally blurted “hey Hagrid”..


    The mum just stared at me.. I did try get and away with it by saying “Oh, er.. I call him Hagrid, y’know just because he’s such a big strapping lad”.

    Hagrid’s mum raised an eyebrow:

    “Actually, ..she’s a girl.”

    Oh, for f*cks sake.


  • So, we’ve just come back from Charlie’s first holiday…

    Man vs Baby

    One or two people were a bit judgey about the idea of taking a 6-month old away. “So, you’re taking him on holiday?” Yeah. “Abroad?” Yeah. “Somewhere hot??” Yeah. “On an aeroplane??” …By which point I was tempted to answer: “No, me and Lyns will be going on the plane, but we thought we’d get Charlie there by driving him to Dover and firing him out of a f*cking cannon”.

    What I actually said was: “It’ll be fine”. And you know what? It was.

    Here’s some other stuff I learnt holidaying with our tiny human..

    – We had a checklist for what to pack, it had just one item on it:.. ‘Everything’
    The amount of stuff you need to take for a weekend is comical.. to go away for a whole week its roughly the same amount of stuff that the nazis took to invade Poland.

    – Don’t take an expensive pram on a flight.. The moment you check-in and that pushchair disappears behind that rubber curtain it is collected by two WWF wrestlers who smash it against a wall for half an hour.. before it is transferred to the runway, where they reverse the plane over it a couple of times before placing it in the hold.

    At your destination.. for some bizarre reason you have to collect whatever is left of your pram (a wheel) from a baggage carousel that’s f*cking miles away.. (I’m sure our stroller ended up closer to the airport we’d just left).

    – One of our worries about the flight was that we’d get seated next to someone unhappy about being near a baby.. We hoped to be sat next to a kindly old Angela Lansbury type, with a soft spot for babies.. In the end we got sat next to a woman who had a face like a cats arse being burned at the stake..
    To be honest, we didn’t care.. after 6 months we’re developing a thick skin for this sort of crap.. Some people have a problem with babies, whether they’re sat next to them in a restaurant or on a flight.. These people are what my dear old nan used to call ‘arseholes’. (Also, I suspect that if the woman in question had greeted us with a smile, rather than a roll of her eyes, we’d have been more inclined to tell her that she’d come back from the toilet with her skirt stuck in her tights, and was showing everyone her arse).

    – When airlines say they have ‘baby changing facilities’ what they actually mean is: ‘a shelf’.

    – Changing a baby in a plane toilet is like the hardest round on ‘The Cube’. Basically ..imagine trying to carve a turkey in a phone-box.. now half the size of the f*cking phone box, and arrange for an incontinent dickhead to bang on the door every five seconds.

    – If your baby will sit quietly during the flight that’s great , if they will sleep.. even better. If like Charlie, your little one likes to ‘stand’ up all the time.. You can look forward to, what feels like a midget river-dancing on your bollocks for the next four hours.

    – Baby Passports are, as I suspected, a rip off.. I’ve said before that all babies look like Ross Kemp, but the idea that any baby is still going to be recognisable on their passport photo 5 years after their birth is insane…. Besides which the immigration people barely even glanced at it.. Charlie could have sailed through passport control with a drawing of Gregg Wallace on the back of a beer-mat (..and it wouldn’t have cost us 50-odd quid).

    – As for the heat.. It turns out taking a baby to a hot country is fine.. people in scorching climates have babies quite a lot, so it’s a bit daft for us to think that if we take a baby to a sunny place they will suddenly burst into flames, like someone’s opened the curtains on a vampire. It’s just common sense, ..shade, avoiding midday and applying factor thrumpteen suncream.
    (Just a note on suntan lotion.. let it dry off before picking them up or anything, otherwise its like wrestling a seal that’s just left a massage parlour .. Charlie was in less danger from the sun than he was from me juggling him like a bar of soap).

    – Even with all precautions there is a threat from the sun. To you. You will burn. You will be so preoccupied with keeping the sun off the baby.. You. will. burn. As I write this my face is a haunting red. (I think I applied suncream to myself once in the whole week). In fairness, I did mention to Lyns, before we went, that I wanted to come back with a bit of colour.. I just didn’t particularly want that colour to be the same as an angry baboon’s penis.

    – Sandy beaches are a bad idea. A six month old baby puts everything in reaching distance in their mouth so, in hindsight, sitting them down to play on four acres of powdered glass is a bit dim.

    – Unless you’re willing to use gaffer tape and a stapler, it is easier to get a squid to wear a bum-bag than to get a baby to wear sunglasses and a hat.
    Finally, what I would say to anyone considering taking their baby on holiday is this: ..Go.
    For all its pissy little challenges, to spend time together, away from our newly destroyed home, was incredibly special..

    I will always remember Charlie’s face as he curled his toes in the sand for the first time. ..His delight at being pushed around a hotel pool on the back of an inflatable crocodile. ..And, his fascination as we sat on a bench, hand-feeding a sparrow some crisps, overlooking the deep blue of the mediterranean sea.
    ..Small price to pay that it was the same colour blue as my trampled bollocks after the flight home.


  • Baby Fingernails/Claws

    Baby Fingernails

    You know how fast Wolverine deploys his claws.. ? That’s basically the same speed a baby’s fingernails grow.

    You can cut them, file them, angle-grind them..turn your back for 5 minutes, turn back again.. and there he is.. Edward Scissorhands, lying in his cot, ..raking his own face again, until he looks like one of the cenobites from Hellraiser.

    I’m sure our Health visitor thinks that in between her visits we enter him into underground knife-fights. every time she asks how things are going and we reply that everything’s fine.. I’m just waiting for her to follow up with “really,? So, how come he looks like you’ve locked him in a cupboard with a fucking puma?”

    (please, don’t suggest the answer is scratch mitts.. there’s more chance of keeping a pair of sunglasses on Voldemort)