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Sunday, 31 July 2016

How to attract disapproving looks in health food shops: a tutorial.

Try organic food, or as your grandparents called it, "food". Funny ironic picture about health food stores and organic shops

Going to an organic health food shop is a dirty, guilty middle class pleasure of mine. It's a family outing, an event that doesn't happen very often. Truth be told, I really enjoy the people watching, and looking out for the walking talking cliches of society. Unfortunately, I ended up being one myself.

Here's how our recent trip to Wild Oats Natural Foods in Bristol didn't exactly go to plan.

It all started when the kid insisted on carrying the shopping basket. As usual, it was overloaded with expensive paraben free, fairly traded junk we thought we needed.

He was kicking off in the bulgur wheat aisle, trying to lift this thing like it was Excalibur stuck in the stone, all while grunting and toddlerswearing. It was like watching a dad trying to change a tyre for the first time; deeply painful to watch (I speak from experience).

I sympathise because I really recognise myself when he’s having a self-induced tantrum. It’s like someone's told him he can't look after the passports when going on holiday. An expert tutorial in what not to do if you want to keep me from losing my fricking mind.

So, whenever I gently tried to put an end to this painful scene, and offered to help and pick up one of the handles, he’d flail his arm around, screaming,“NO!”

Rule number one of health food shops: never, ever shout, unless you’re robbing the joint.*
*You will attract disapproving strangers, just like the ones in this blog.

Picture of a toddler having a full on tantrum and nerd rage while pushing a plastic shopping trolley
This. This is pretty much what it looked like.

Anyway, there was a pregnant lady wandering around the shop at an ethereal pace. Let’s call her Earth Mother. With her head shaved, she was rubbing her belly with that trancelike blissful zen mode that expectant mums get. But I kept feeling like I needed to shoot her apologetic looks because the toddler was having deep, unresolved problems with his chakras.

My wife hissed, “STOP offering to help him. Let   him   carry   the   basket…

This is a Dad's Diary nightmare. We’re causing a scene, and Earth Mother is looking at me with her calm half smile, like, “I forgive your child, because I’ve just been on the most wonderful retreat. You should try Buddhism one day, you really should.”

We had just become our own walking talking clichés, the arguing, hissing parents of a psychotic toddler. I began chucking obscure flavours of Pukka Herbs tea into the basket (the ones you can't get in mainstream supermarkets). I felt like a teetotal middle class white boy preparing for Glastonbury. Basically, an absolute tool.

I was now noticing all the disapproving looks, and one couple in particular stood out, because they were those young, hip, free spirits, and she had one feather hanging from an ear, no doubt a little memento she picked while she was finding herself in Peru, on a psychedelic ayahuasca trip. You know the type.

Just as this was happening, I heard my wife’s voice yelling from the next room, “Grab some nut butter, will you?”

NUT BUTTER? What sort of people have we become? And I go over there sheepishly, having a quick dilemma about which one to get. Does she mean cashew butter? Almond?

When we finally got to the till, I finally had some respite. The young couple from earlier were stood in front of us in the queue paying for their stuff. As they exited the shop, the man let out a loud sigh, an audible, painful sigh, and he whined, “I forgot to buy a croissant…”

Karma at last. I turned to my wife, put my thumb and forefinger together and made the universal hand gesture for ‘he needs some private time.’

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

The truth about vasectomies - a tale from a survivor

I got chatting to another dad on Twitter and we became friends. Then eventually we got talking about the state of his balls, as you do. Perfectly innocent, dear readers, I assure you. This was man time.

He's my bear, I'm his boo.

Anyway, it turns out that Brad had a vasectomy. I realised that whenever I hear that word, I think of this picture here. I know absolutely nothing about vasectomies other than that the idea makes me feel very, very afraid of scissors goin' baws deep in me. So I thought it would be fun to do an interview with him.

How old are you, Brad?
30 going on 31 years young this year.

Tell me about your kids?
I have two amazing sons. My eldest (Logan - yes, the same as Wolverine) is going on 5 in August and my youngest (Cole) is going on 2 in August. Comparatively they are very similar but very different at the same time. Logan is a very gentle soul whilst Cole is gentle but extremely boisterous as well.

And... A bit about you?

I'm originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. Moved with my wife to the UK in 2007 to pursue my music career. It started to take off but having kids kind of put a hold on it. It's all good though as I've found alternative paths of opportunity. Nowadays I work on a YouTube show called Dear Agony Dad, work a part time job and most importantly spend a lot of time looking after the kids.

Picture of Brad Nagle with his kids

OK let's get down to business. Why did you have a vasectomy? Are you a nutter?
We had long decided that we would only want 2 children so we had 2 options ahead of us. Either I got a vasectomy or my wife got her tubes tied. I decided I would go for the snip as it was a lot less invasive than tubal ligation as well as research has suggested that there can be greater medical complications / ramifications for a woman with that procedure.

Don't you worry, what if you change your mind? What then?
It was something I had considered beforehand, but decided that if we ever felt like extending the family down the line, we would look to adopt and give a child a better life than one that was potentially laid out before them.

Has it had an impact on your sex drive?

Nope. No impact at all. Only for the first few days after the operation.

What exactly happens when you reach the point of no return?
Having a vasectomy doesn't really change much surprisingly. You still ejaculate fluid, however because the tubes are cut, the fluid doesn't contain spermatozoa.

Does it mean you don't want to bash the Bishop much?
Not at all. Although a couple of hours after the operation I thought I would give it a whirl to see how the operation had impacted the old babymaker. Curiosity got the better of me. Needless to say, it was a short lived activity.

Has it changed your balls in any way?
I had never checked until someone asked me a few months after the operation. I noticed that they did hang lower in the testicle pouch as well as I could feel the small lumps on the tubes where they had cauterised them. I also have a barely noticeable scar along the middle of my scrotum.

Tell me about the procedure you had. What was involved? Is it painful?
You lie on a table in a small operating room for roughly 45 minutes whilst a surgeon and a nurse fondle your trombone and kettledrums. They do inject a local anaesthetic into your scrotum and then commence the surgery. The most uncomfortable part of the experience was when the surgeon squeezed the tubes to get a hold of them to cut them. I couldn't feel sharp pain but it was a numb pain. I felt like I was going to punch him in the face.

Wow it’s not what I imagined at all. How much input did you wife have in this decision? Did she approve?
She had a lot of input. I wouldn't make this kind of decision on my own as it would be selfish to take that away from her without consulting her on it first. We both agreed that two kids was a perfect number for our family unit.

Tell me about your YouTube channel, and Dear Agony Dad.
Dear Agony Dad is an online platform where dads can vent, have a laugh and learn about this rollercoaster of a ride called parenthood. I implore parents out there to get in touch to help build the community. I post a lot of videos too, so please subscribe to my Facebook or YouTube!

Website:     www.dearagonydad.com
YouTube:   Here are all our videos
Facebook:  Like to subscribe
Twitter:     @dearagonydad

Finally, what made you choose that name? Is it in any way related to your vasectomy?

No! It is a spin-off of "Dear Agony Aunt" advice columns.

Thanks a lot to Brad Nagle for his honesty here! Do check out his pages, they're really good.

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Friday, 22 July 2016

Embracing my dark passenger, my dad rage

Angry dad by a no swimming sign: rage, anger, fury

As I get older, I’m recognising I carry around my very own dark passenger, much like in Dexter, the TV series. I used to joke that every time he mentioned this dark passenger (i.e. every episode) that what he means is that he has a great big haemorrhoid on his arsehole causing him a huge amount of discomfort.

In reality, Dexter's burden is a constant murderous impulse in his head to kill people, and my own metaphorical haemorrhoid is my dad rage.

Dad rage is perpetuated by strangers. Normally it’s a disapproving look that sets it off. I can always see them coming too.

Picture the scene: We're on a beach. It’s raining a little, and it’s a cold, grey day. I’m carrying my son with one arm while he clings, naked to me, with his boy bits teabagging my chest. In my other hand I’m carrying a Kiddimoto balance bike and a soiled, shit soaked nappy.

Clearly, I don’t look like a guy you should trifle with, as I walk towards the nearest place of refuge: a warm café.

Like a scene from Reservoir Dogs, I notice a group of people walking towards us. Their faces show shock. Why is that peasant boy unclothed? How irresponsible of his parents…

Everything becomes slow motion at this point. I’m ready to push the dad rage button.

The group, transfixed, continue to stare, open mouthed, at this disgusting apparition of a parent as we approach one another. Like two tribes of apes, I focus my eyes into the eyes of their alpha male, an old man, whose face shows the most open disdain. He is wearing a purple sailing jacket; no doubt triple lined against the elements. He’s looking at the knobbly spine of my boy while he hugs my neck.
My eyes dare him. Come on, say it. Say it. Ask me why this young human is exposed to light drizzle. Do it.

His companions sense danger, they understand the threat of my imminent fury and look away, but Purple Coat continues to stare, assessing his options as we approach medieval sword swinging distance. He flickers a barely perceptible glance at my the metal object in my right hand to assess what he’s up against, and then back at my eyes.

We’re soon passing each other, so I slow my pace, I want him to say something, and I’m turning my head to the right to keep the eye contact unbroken. I’m desperate for things to kick off. I’ve already prepared my blood curdling onslaught for him. My passive aggressive opening bullet is already in the chamber; I’m ready to surprise him with, “Are you wondering why he’s not wearing clothes?”

Brutal. This is being a dad. It’s like a primal, protective instinct. I may not be perfect, but if a stranger ever dares criticise my parenting style I am ready to destroy them.

But no, it’s not to be. His confidence falters, and he looks away as we pass each other. Just like that, all the tension in the air dissipates. Having established my dominance and protected my son and heir from the rival apes, I am free to swallow more coffee and keep him warm while more clothes are fetched from the car.

The preceding buildup, AKA how to attract disapproving strangers from hundreds of metres away.

1.    Child rips off clothes upon arrival at a beach, only it’s cold and windy.
2.    Child enjoys the sea breeze against his skin and seems impervious to the cool breeze tickling his tiny nutsack. Meanwhile, the thing he refers to as his winkie flaps around with purpose.
3.    Child takes regular breaks to plant his legs wide apart and urinate into the sand, while laughing.
4.    Child gets a little over-excited (in more ways than one), and that makes me cringe and giggle at the same time.
5.    Child inevitably takes a gigantic facebomb into a pool of seawater because he’s not even looking where he’s running.
6.    If you’re lucky, you get to persuade child to put some clothes on. A couple of minutes later, history repeats itself, and you realise you have no spare clothes for him.  
I always thought I was quite a chilled out, placid guy. But parenting has obviously changed me. The 6am starts, and the frequent arguments with the charming, funny little human version of myself now has my nerves on a knife edge!

Do you recognise this in yourself?
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Dad's Potty Training Diary: Germ Warfare

Nothing says you’re a parent more that walking into a nice café while clutching a piss soaked Thomas the Tank Engine potty.

An old man stares in abject terror as the child then picks it up a few minutes later and starts swinging it, while a piss particle perilously slants towards the plastic precipice, threatening to jump off into his americano.

But I’m pleased to report that potty training has gone very well so far. You just have to get over the fact that germs are everywhere, especially when he’s insisting on standing up to do it just like daddy.
This is a whole new ball game, as I’m sure parents of boys will understand. There’s not a lot you can do when your boy dangles his meat and two veg on top of the porcelain, while you say “Noooo” in slow motion.

Especially when he’s then delightedly flopping it up and down on the germ coated rim. 

This is an absolute minefield when you’re in a public toilet, I always feel like he needs a hosedown with a pressure washer afterwards. 

He recently acquired some mysterious brown substance on his hand when we were at the park, and I’ve always had the philosophy that if it looks like shit , smells like shit, and it’s on a toddler’s hands then it’s definitely been ejected from an arsehole at some point.

So off we went to the nearest public toilet, while I’m there terrified, shouting, “Don’t touch your face, don’t touch your clothes, hold your arm out at the side. Hold your palm open.”

And then, when we got there, I was stood right by the stinking urinals holding him up to one of those steel hand wash stations, while we got him sorted.

I digress. As a blogger I think you’re supposed to say what your views are on the subject of potty training. My view is that we felt we wouldn’t rush it, and wait til he was ready for it.

He’s 3 and a quarter now and was using pull up nappies, getting himself dressed in the morning, taking off the piss sodden nappy from the night before and then putting on a fresh one, so it seemed the right time. 

I'm really proud of how he's taken to it like a duck to water. Good job, kid.
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Thursday, 14 July 2016

4 reasons why playing Pokémon GO is basically the same as parenting a small child...

Has anyone else noticed this or is it just me? Grown adults are running around excitedly searching for Pokémon to catch, and then training them up. But really, they're just parents in disguise. 

As the latest global craze, everybody's talking about it, but it's actually been happening since the dawn of time...

Delighted to announce I finally got my Pokemon monster to level 3 - oh wait, I mean my kid. Meme funny joke toddler kid child raising parenting


So apparently there's this new craze, you train up these little monsters and wait this sounds a lot like raising a toddler - Pokemon go parenting mother father trainer to a toddler small child funny



Apparently you can get your little monster to fight other monsters in Pokemon GO. But that happens at every kids birthday party I go to, and I don't even ask my son to do it, it just happens - funny joke meme about parenting a small child or toddler and it's the same as Pokemon Go

You see? It's happening in every household where there's a toddler already!

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Hit the button below, I'll be following Pokemon GO with interest!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Why England Lost to Iceland at Football - Blame the Parents.

I decided to do some research, to try and make sense of England's crushing defeat to Iceland in Euro 2016. Despite the country having a population roughly the size of the city of Leicester, it all makes sense now. I totally get why they beat us.

Did you know it's customary in Iceland for babies to be left outside to sleep in sub zero temperatures?

...Read the full article here, on the Huffington Post!