Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Dads Influence of Musical Taste

I often wonder about Dylan growing up.  I wonder what he will be like.  What he will choose to do with his life.  And most importantly of all, what his taste in music will be.

Dad rock is probably around 30% on the scale of coolness.  I wonder if dad rock even existed a generation ago.  But by the time Dylan is old enough to appreciate music I hope that what I listen to now is considered dad rock.

Music has been a life long love of mine.  I haven't been at nearly enough festivals and gigs in my time, yet I've probably seen more bands than most.  My taste in music has evolved through many genres from pop to punk and ska and rock and metal etc etc...  In my old age (28 going on 105) my taste has settled on the more gentle indie rock, with bands like arcade fire and modest mouse making the sound-waves that bounce around our home.

Dylan is still very very youthful (11 months) and as such is very easily influenced.  He seems to just love to dance around the room in my arms rocking out to *his* favourite tunes.  He tells me some of his favourite bands are exactly the same as mine, and when his mummy isn't around he always asks me to put the music on nice and loud.  So I am dreading the possibility that when he gets older he might grown out of the music he loves so dearly now.

Even when he was still in his mums tum he was going off to gigs.  Before being born he had felt the vibrations of jimmy eat world, less than jake and feeder.  Because you have to start them young these days.

I am hoping that by playing my music in the house as he grows up, he will go to nursery and through his school years as an advocate of what will one day be defined as dad rock.

Kids these days seem to use music as a form of rebellion against their parents.  Playing what parents consider to be the most offensive music ever created and turned up to volume 11.  If Dylan chooses punk rock to rebel then I will know that I have brought him up well... musically at least.

What are your musical aspirations for your little ones?

Or have your children already grown up, and if so, how has your music taste influenced your child?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Lazy Stay At Home Mums

Cherie Blair has this week had a go at 'stay at home yummy mummies' (read it here) who make babies with rich people and do nothing for themselves.  Apparently people who make decisions to be dedicated mummies instead of deciding to benefit the wider economy by getting an education and a job are being dangerous with their life choices.  Clearly she is being more than a little close minded about life.

You will notice throughout my post that my statistics are 100% correct.

As much as I disagree with her it did get me thinking about stay at home mums in general, and how they are perceived to be lazy and have it easy.  And in my experience this view is 100% true (based on 1 out of 1 - therefore 100% - stay at home mum where I know about their home lives).  In comparison to those who work full time jobs to fund the extravagant and relaxed lifestyle of a stay at home mum, they are indeed very very lazy.

This post is 0% sarcastic.

I'd like to make it clear at this point that I work very hard.  I work Monday to Friday full time, with such focus and effort that it is exhausting.  My job is to sit down and talk to people on the phone.  Not easy, when you consider that I have to be very chirpy for the whole time.  It takes me a lot of coffee (which I have taught myself to like) to get through such a long day.  On a scale of 1-10, I work a full 10 in terms of hardness.  Which is why I consider myself the 'rich' (and sensible) partner that Cherie Blair is referring to.

Now the stay at home mum that I know (without mentioning any names, (@mummyadventure) is rather lazy. I come home from a day at work.  But unlike the other 99.9% of working dads, I do not come home to a lovely cooked meal.  Nor a sparklingly clean and tidy house.  I come home to her being a tweetybloghead.  Sat on the corner sofa with her legs up.  And when I get in I am greeted by a request that begins "Pal, while you are up...".  So I have to hop-scotch my way across the minefield of Dylan's left out toys to get to the kitchen to make Becky a glass of water.  Clearly she needs it.  She's had a tiring day.  And I cant sit down on the 4 seater sofa as the other 2 seats are loaded up with more bags than you could possibly have used in 1 day.

She has been very busy I am sure.  She tells me that she had to go to a baby group (to see all of her friends) in the morning, or to go for lunch with her mum friends in the afternoon.  Apparently this is because Dylan wants to see his friends.  Which in a way I can believe, as quite often Dylan is on his soft toy phone to his friends chatting away, and probably arranging social outings.

When I ask her what she does with her day, she mentions she "would rather play peekaboo than do washing up".  To be fair, she does feed Dylan.  She does clean up after him (although she always seems to forget about the mess he leaves in front of my computer every single day).  She also does his washing.  Although if you bear in mind that his clothes are tiny compared to ours, this is technically the smallest of jobs.

So I can see why people have the view that the stay at home parent 'has it easy'.  As it involves 2 long breaks during the day when Dylan sleeps (I only get 1 break at work). A big part of the day is often spent socialising with friends (the people I see at work are colleagues, not friends, except on Fridays when we go out drinking, and occasionally on weekends too).  Looking after a child is stress free (honest!).  You haven't got a fat man in a suit barking orders at you all day.  With the exception of advise from the ex prime minsters wife, you are pretty much free to do as you please.  And even at your busiest, you are playing with your child.  Playing.  How ghastly.

And I am sure you can understand my thoughts on the matter.  I mean, I have it so hard.  I have to work 9-5 Monday to Friday, and then suffer the same fate as the mother on weekends when the child is largely mine all mine.  I have to travel an hour to work, and an hour back from work.  I have to suffer tesco's bloody sandwiches almost every day year upon year upon year.  This is a hell all on its own.  I have to force myself into an addiction of coffee to create a sociable version of myself to get me through the unholy hours that happen before lunch time.  This is not a particularly cheap addiction either, at £2.40 a cup!  And then when I get home I have to cook us both dinner and then do the washing up.  Two whole things.  I mean really.  Could you imagine how a man would have reacted back in the 60's?  Violently, I am sure.  Fortunately times have changed.  Instead of violence I give her love and kisses.

I'll take you through a typical day in my job.  I get up early.  I mean really early.  Like 8 o'clock or something close.  I arrive at work have cycled through Canterbury town.  The fresh air is one thing, but the people cant walk in straight lines, this makes cycling very difficult through a pedestrianised high street. At work, I have to load up my PC, open like 8 tabs or so, remember lots of ever changing passwords, remember the ins and outs of the products I sell.  I have to talk enthusiastically to people all day in my practised baby voice (it seems people who run businesses are often not as clever as you may expect).  Then I have to remember to shut down my PC at the end of the day and navigate my way back through the high street of zombies.  Hard stuff, right?

Becky's day?  Socialising.  And hanging out with a baby who has no needs at all.  He is perfect after all.

But to spite my good will, I get told that I am so lazy!  Me?  Pah!  Too lazy to make my own sandwiches or take a flask of coffee.  Too lazy to cycle the full 16 miles home every day and catch the train instead.  So lazy because I don't cook a proper meal 7 days a week.  Yes, sometimes I want to only do 1 thing around the house on some days instead of 2.  And yes, I do feel justified in spending my own money on a luxury or two (the coffee, not the bloody sandwiches).  So here is my bucket, please fill it with sympathy.  And please write to Cherie Blair to explain yourself.  To explain why you stay at home and look after children instead of going to work to earn not quite enough to pay for the child care required.  

Oh, and in case you weren't sold already.  Becky only works around 8 hours a week.  How lazy!

So, to all those lazy stay at home mums out there, me and Cherie are on to you!

To read about the easy life of Becky please read her blog here -

To read about how easy a child Dylan is to look after please read my review of him - Review of Dylan

PS, don't read this post about the first time I had Dylan for a whole day.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Weekend Of Just Me And The Boy

This week my other half (The Mummy Adventure) has been away at the (apparently) wildly anticipated Britmums Live 2012 show.  So I have been left at home with  Dylan, my wonderful boy who is nearly 11 months now.

A weekend alone with him is a very long time in comparison to the rest of my life as I work full time and I spend weekends with the 2 of them.  Time alone with Dylan is few and far between.

Dylan is the best baby you could possibly imagine.  Probably his most enviable trait (to other parents) is his knack at sleeping a good 13 hours or so every night, and a very routine 2 naps in the day.  However this morning he clearly new what was going on.  To him it must have been like Christmas morning, knowing that he will spend the whole day with me.  And I can only put it down to his pure excitement, but he was awake a good 90 minutes before his normal time, calling out for me to come and airlift him to the world of toys downstairs.

Its worth noting that Dylan's favourite words are "Da', Dad, Ada, or Dadadadabababanananana".  So when he wakes up in the morning and shouts his favourite word, I come running! (regardless of what The Mrs might have you believe) :-p

Today we had matching meals all day.  We had weetabix with milk for breakfast.  For lunch we had scrambled egg on toast.  And for dinner we had BBQ at a friends house.  We clearly both have good tastes in food.  After all, great minds do think alike. :)

I love having such quality time with Dylan.  He loves a little cuddle and loves even more to be thrown around the living room like an aeroplane, a pretend tigger, or just a rag doll.  As long as it could be construed as an imaginary roller coaster ride, he loves it!

He is also probably the happiest baby in the world.  For a good half hour at the BBQ he was just laying on the grass looking up at nothing, wiggling his feet and arms with excitement and giggling away at himself, singing his version of birdsong.  He was so happy just being in the company of me, that he seemed as happy and relaxed to be laying in the grass as I was last week at download festival.  Although I did miss him a lot (see my last post to see just how much).

He also had a cat nervously scrounging for scraps of food around him.  Dylan took this opportunity food a quick stroke, following by a little poking, and then a back hand to the poor cats face.  Clearly Dylan still has a bit to work on in terms of being around small creatures.

So overall, the whole day together today has been really good fun.  We're really looking forward for the same again tomorrow.  Here's to hoping that he gets up at 9am tomorrow like he does for his mummy.

P.S.  The house is much tidier without The Mrs being here making a great big mess :-p

What do you get up to with your quality time with your baby?  Any comments are more than welcome and if you have enjoyed this read please take a look through some of my other posts.

Missing Dylan


Dylan is the most amazing boy ever!


I have known Dylan for nearly 11 months now.  Since the second he was born.  And I have loved him from before he burst his way into this world.  It's such a cliché, but I do love him more and more every day.  Over 300 days later equates to a lot of love!

Now I don't always get to see Dylan as often as I would like to.  I work Monday to Friday every week and some weeks I finish later than others.  There are some weeks I barely see him due to getting back from work just after his bedtime.  But knowing he is fast asleep only a few stairs away is enough of a comfort.  And peeking through his doorway and seeing him happily kipping in his cot is nice enough.

But a few weeks ago I went to download festival.  For those that don't know, this is a music (metal) festival at Donington Park in England.  For many years now this festival has been the highlight of my year and is unmissable.  I turn up on the Wednesday and am home by the following Monday.  That's a lot of days away from my little boy.  I knew I'd miss him but I didn't realise just how much.

On the first day there I see a lot of people who I haven't seen since the previous year.  Everyone is asking how my little boy is.  Constantly telling people how great he is and how much I love him only made me miss him more.  And this was only the first day.  The second day was much more of the same.

On the Friday the bands started.  The whole year I had been waiting to be stood in that muddy field with some of my favourite people.  It feels like a second home to be stood in front of a huge stage a million miles away from normality, listening to some of the biggest and best bands in the world.  The first band that I saw was machine head.  They're not one of my favourite bands but they put on an amazing show and the gig had a real buzz.  At first I felt almost euphoric being back there again.  I was looking around me at all of my friends having a great time, a field full of thousands of people doing the same, and a huge band only a stones throw away.  The feeling of that being the best thing in the world lasted only for a few seconds, before I realised that it wasn't the best thing in the world.  I wanted to be with my family.  Being torn between my 2 favourite things in the world, download festival and my very own family, whilst having such a lovely time... it all became a little overwhelming and as I thought of Dylan a few tears ran down my cheek.

Now, I'm not one to cry... ever... I'm cold hard man with no feelings whatsoever who burps and farts and drinks beer and wipes my hands on my jeans after eating chicken with my fingers.  So after a few tears I sucked it all in and carried on having a lovely muddy time.

On more than one occasion the thought of leaving early and coming home crossed my mind.  I didn't, mind you.  But I was shocked at just how much I missed my little boy and it was almost refreshing to realise just how much he has changed me.  He has suppressed my appetite for going out at the weekend and getting very drunk.  I don't feel like he stops me from doing anything, but I literally don't have that urge any more.  My urge is to stay home and be with my family.  And don't quote me on this, but at the moment I don't think I could go to download festival again next year.  By then my ever grown love will have had another 365 days of love added.  It might just kill me to leave him for that long ever again.  I can still cope with leaving him to go to work.  But anything more than that would be unthinkable!

Now, where did I put my beer?

In case you are feeling a little weepy and thinking of your own loved ones, I have linked below to the funniest thing ever, called missing missy.  Its hilarious and it will cheer you up. :)

This has been Missing Dylan.  This is Missing Missy.

Thanks for reading.  To find a bit more about Dylan, read the review here --> click here <--

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Silent Sunday

Barefoot Books Review

Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books have been so kind as to send me 2 of their delightful books to review.  Both books are for my 10 month old to enjoy.  I have read both books to him and this is what we thought.

As a reward for reading my review, you are all more than welcome to a 20% discount off of all of the Barefoot Books.  Just click here:

The two books I was sent are worth £8.99 each.  So with the discount you can get these for only £7.19.  Both books I have received are well worth such a bargain price.

Who's In The Farmyard?

This is Dylans favourite book of the two.  Each page of the book is made from card, and so it is nice and sturdy.  Its great as Dylan can grab away at the pages and play with the pictures without worry about the pages becoming damaged.  

Its a peek-a-boo book, where ever page has a circular hole which shows part of the picture of the next page.  I think this would be great for a slightly older child who is learning animals, as you get to see the picture of the animal before you turn to the page which tells you what the animal is, and the noises they make.  Either way, Dylan enjoyed reaching through the holes and touching the animal on the other side.  He also likes to turn the pages.

I enjoyed the book as it is good fun to read.  Its quite a short book which I think is best for children his age.  We normally read it 2 or 3 times in a row, and I think he likes the repetition and seeing the familiar pictures.  The story involves making lots of animal noises so it is as fun to read as I imagine it is for Dylan to listen too.

The book is very well illustrated, bright and colourful.  I'm hoping when Dylan is a bit older I might be able to get him to make the noises too, although he may be quite a while away from doing this.

I Took The Moon For A Walk

This is a longer book than the first one, and all of the pages are also made of card.  It is the story of a boy going on a journey and taking the moon with him.  It is a very imaginative story and the illustrations are again very nice.  The story reads almost like a poem.

Dylan listened to the whole story and touched at some of the pages.  The pictures from one page to the next have a very similar colour theme, and they don't differ much.  I think this made the book a little less interesting for Dylan.  I think this would be better suited to an older child as Dylan is too young to understand the story and the pictures aren't as vibrant as the first book.

However for an older child I think this would be great as the story is nice and its almost like a lullaby.  Each page of the story is a scene giving you something to talk about, such as the night time animals.  The back of the book has information about the moon and nocturnal animals and invites the child and the reader to start up a conversation about these topics.  I think this is a great addition to the book as it adds a little education at the same time.  I imagine that children around 3-4 years would be much better suited for this book.

Have you read any of their books already?  Please comment below to share your thoughts.

To read my other posts about the life of Dylan and me, or to read any of my other trusty reviews, just click through the rest of my blog.

Thanks for reading.
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