Fatherhood²: Robert at School – One Week In

September 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Well, today marks the end of Robert’s first week of school (I know it’s Monday – he started on a Tuesday!) and I’m pleased to report he seems to be enjoying it MUCH more than he had previously been imagining.

Having said that, he certainly *hasn’t* got used to getting ready for school in the morning yet, protesting “I don’t want to go to school today” on a regular basis. But his mother gets like that at least once a week, so I guess we can’t expect miracles this early…!

Despite the miserable pose he struck in the photo that accompanied last week’s post (“Fatherhood²: Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to School we go…“) his first day went relatively smoothly – and the rest have followed in a similar vein, with only a couple of minor hiccups along the way. Here are a few of the highlights from week 1:

Fatherhood²: 5 Books for Preparing Kids for School

September 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I should probably have written this post a couple of weeks ago to be honest, since we’ve been drip-feeding some of these books for the past few months at least. But hey – better late than never!

As this week will see a load of little munchkins heading off to ‘big school’ for the very first time, there will almost certainly be plenty of nervous tears, anxious stares and scary moments – and not just for the children. So you may be wondering “What can I do to help my little one getting ready for school?”

Well, there are plenty of books out there which are ideal for subtly getting your little poppet ready for the big day, so I thought I’d collect a few of them together with some handy descriptions in case you fancy buying them. We’ve read all of these, so they get the Elliss seal of approval (unlike a couple of crappy books we’ve read lately – but I’ll save that for another post!) – but do feel free to contribute your own suggestions in the comments…

Fatherhood²: The Trials and Tribulations of Toddlers and Technology

June 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

As somebody who spends half of my life sitting in front of a screen (if not multiple screens!), the topic of how much time children should spend on a computer is one that I follow quite closely – though admittedly one that is only just coming on to my own parenting radar on a personal level.

I’ve written posts in the past dealing with the issue of parents who spend too much time on their mobile phones, but I wanted to address the issue of how small children themselves are educated in the use of computers – and what you can do to help them.

Like it or loathe it, computers (and mobile devices) will be a big part of your children’s lives. If, like me, you have children of a pre-school age at the moment, by the time they get to senior school they will almost certainly be doing lessons on tablet PCs. Even now, a large proportion of schools are phasing in the use of laptops and mini-books for regular lessons – and junior/middle schools won’t be far behind.

Fatherhood²: Five Scary Parenting Myths…

May 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

…and 20 moments that will make you forget them!

Unlike five years ago, we’re now at the stage in our grown-up lives where more and more of our friends from school/university are starting to settle down and have families. As a result, my Facebook feed is quite often filled with expectant or new parents fretting about the experience they’re about to… well, experience.

A couple of months ago, two very good friends of mine from school shared the good news that they were expecting their first child. After the initial round of congratulatory and positive messages, my banter with the man half of the couple settled back in to it’s normal routine – light-hearted mocking and fun teasing, like we always have. Thanks to my friends cocky (light-hearted) arrogance, there have been quite a few opportunities to tease him about the joys of parenthood – an opportunity I usually relish, figuring that most people will know I’m only joking.

However, after a conversation with my friend in which I realised my teasing might be a little out-of-kilter with my usual tone here on the blog, I decided I should right the balance by putting together a list which will hopefully give parents-to-be some positive to focus on.

Fatherhood²: Birthday Parties for Kids – How Much Effort is Just Enough?

May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

With both Robert and Freddie’s birthdays coming up in the next couple of months, our minds have turned to the sticky subject of birthday parties. Obviously with Freddie it’s a first birthday, so his opinion on how it’s spent is not really top of our priorities – so long as he gets food and a bit of sleep, he’ll be happy.

But with Robert it’s his fourth, and more crucially the first he’s had where he truly understands the concept of both a birthday and a party – especially now that he’s at pre-school, being invited to lots of other birthday parties himself. Until this year, the only parties he’d really been exposed to were those of our friends’ children, which is a fairly small group. But now he’s in a class of almost 30 children, and the ferris wheel of parties has started to crank up…

Fatherhood²: Time to Set the Children Free, Once Again

April 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Robert, leaving.With just over a week to go until Sara returns to work (albeit part time), the day is also approaching when we’ll have to leave Freddie at nursery for the first time. Not only that, but it’ll also be the first time Robert has gone full-time at pre-school – so nerves are definitely running high in our house at the moment, to say the least.

Whilst I’m definitely worried about all three of these changes, I’m well aware that we’re very lucky to only be experiencing most of these for the first time now, almost 4 years in to our time as parents. Sure, Sara went back to work after Robert too (and last time it was full-time).

But last time we were extremely lucky in that we had a relative who was able to do the child-minding for us – something which isn’t possible this time round. Robert spent Sara’s work hours with his aunt Katy, who very kindly looked after him along with his cousins who are around the same age.

Fatherhood²: A Children’s Book for Every Life Lesson

March 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Whilst reading Robert his bedtime stories tonight, I chanced across a new book which we’d not read before. As Sara often gets books out from our local library, we try to mix the newly-lent books in with our more regular favourites – if for no other reason than to avoid the tedium!

Tonight’s book was one called “The Littlest Dinosaur and the Naughty Rock“, and – if you haven’t figured it out from the title – it concerns a little dinosaur who gets sent to the dinosaur equivalent of the naughty step. I won’t spoil the ending for you all, but needless to say he learns a valuable lesson while there…

Fatherhood²: Guest Post – Feeding Time at the Zoo

March 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Henry has been asking me to write a blog for ages. I’ve always declined the offer as I’ve really got nothing interesting to say on parenting – plus I’d never written a blog. So it was a teensy bit scary. But I’ve finally thought of something to write about which, if it reassures or helps just one person, then it’s worth the time and effort.

As a new mum I was desperate to breastfeed – after all its what they’re designed for; it’s what the books you read recommend; it’s what the nurses in hospital pushed for; it’s what the midwives visiting the house encouraged and it’s what well meaning family members understood. Child No. 1 had other ideas…

When he was born he wasn’t breathing properly which is apparently quite common with caesarean births. So we had to wait a couple of minutes before he was able to be cuddled.

Fatherhood²: There’s No Place for Goodies and Baddies in our House

January 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Here’s a sentence I never imagined I’d say five years ago: I’ve recently been giving quite a bit of thought to the fundamental differences between Thomas the Tank Engine and Chuggington…

Before you start worrying for my sanity, I should clarify – I’m not a train spotter, and haven’t been putting any (okay, much) thought in to the logistics of a train with a face. No, I’m talking about the main differences between the two shows – which might explain why I find one much more preferable than the other.

Fatherhood²: It’s Political Correctness Gone MAD!

December 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I was originally planning to post a video with this piece, but modern life appears to have put a dampner on those plans – something I had previously thought was just a joke fuelled by Daily Mail readers turned out to be true: You really can’t put pictures of other people’s children on the internet anymore.

Yesterday was an exciting day for my wife and I – Robert’s class at pre-school were doing a small Christmas “show” for the parents, singing Christmassy songs and wearing little Christmas hats they had made. Needless to say, we were VERY excited about this – as it seems other parents were too, as the room was packed.