That Was The Year That Was

In which our reluctant hero pops on a party hat, blows up some balloons and prepares for the birthday bumps.

Good evening. Is that you? It’s lovely to see you again, but surely you’ve got something better to do on a Friday evening? Soaking a ham perhaps, or tackling the washing before an early night to prepare for Saturday’s twelve hour parenting shift? Do you remember when there used to be two eleven o’clocks in the day? No, me neither.

Anyway. If my dates are correct (and we all know how inaccurate a science relying on dates is eh, Mums?) then my lovely blog is a year old. Whoop! 55 posts containing around 50,000 words and not a Friday deadline missed, albeit increasingly touch and go in recent weeks.

Starting a blog is like becoming a Dad. It seems like an exciting idea in the run up, but from day one you have no idea what you’re doing and spend half your life worrying that somebody will realise that you’re making everything up as you go along.

Over the year, I’ve written about such diverse topics as the early days of parenting, naming children, Peppa Pig World, holidays, choosing a school, children’s nutrition, classic parenting fails, surviving bedtime, the two year check, and still found time to invent the best parenting inventions yet to be invented. If that wasn’t enough, I made a fake news correction that was also fake news, wrote about online trolling with the sole purpose of trolling somebody, and unveiled the answer to the ultimate parenting question. Blimey.

Without doubt the most difficult post to tackle, both from a writing and emotional perspective, was about baby loss. Despite the story being a real and familiar one, I still start filling up when reading it back.

After an uncertain start, I essentially settled on tackling the less airbrushed elements of parenting. Why? Because (spoiler alert) stuff frequently goes wrong. Why else?

Fortunately for me, humour can usually be found in situations involving moderate disaster and, through a series of happy-in-hindsight accidents, this has become a good source of material. Besides, there’s nothing more dull than reading a load of insincere emotional guff about cherishing every moment with our offspring, despite what The Daily Mail thinks. They don’t have to live with them.

“What went wrong this week?”
“Well, the boy nearly drowned chasing a random dog into the sea on Tuesday.”
“Ah. I forgot about that. I’ll get my pen.”

I’m as pleased as I am surprised that the blog is still going strong. It seems a long time ago that the lovely folk at NCT Wolverhampton volunteered me for the job. At times it’s been like trying to control an unruly toddler, but the hard work has provided some pleasing results.

However, as the weeks pass, it becomes more difficult to write about the early days, not least as my littlest little person has past the first 1,000 days that NCT primarily support. Like an aging amnesic goldfish, I have almost no recollection of what happened last week let alone a couple of years back. This causes me a problem.

Little people don’t stay little for long and if I’m to continue blogging I need to focus more on the present. So from next week, I’m ditching the armbands and stabilisers and going it alone. What could possibly go wrong?

To be honest, I’ll be surprised if you notice much difference initially, but I have a few new ideas to play with once I’ve thought them through. I’ll update the banner at the top of the page too, as in real life I look nothing like the comedian Stewart Lee, despite my then three year old daughter seemingly thinking otherwise when she provided the artwork.

Thanks to anybody and everybody who has taken the time to read, share or like any of my posts so far. Hopefully I’ve provided a few chuckles, mostly at my expense, and maybe even the occasional pearl of wisdom out of my semi-successful experiences as a learner Dad. In the words of Samuel Beckett “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Thanks most of all to my little family, who I love dearly and without which none of this would be possible. So blame them!

For more tales of parenting and disaster, tune in next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. Probably.

Fin.

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