Sunday, 20 February 2011

the bird says 'would you all shut up?'

it was time to get a book of nursery rhymes. not for the kid but for me. the kid is too small still to appreciate a nice book. i needed one to brush up on my rhyming skills. the kid enjoys clapping her hands to verses. i needed to get the verses right, right? i found a sweet little book for a fiver: 'the nursery rhyme book'. it was nice to flick through it. i actually had quite a good strike rate, recalling seven out of ten rhymes. then on page 37 i found my favourite rhyme, i liked it when i was a kid and i like it even more now. word to the bird.

a wise old owl

a wise old owl lived in an oak;
the more he saw the less he spoke;
the less he spoke the more he heard.
why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

leave them outside

i read an article on the 'social battlefield' that is bringing children to a restaurant. it comes at a time when a new guide is leaving the printing press aimed at parents who want to take their toddlers and babies to eat out. a sorry state of affairs if those who should be leading by example need a guide. or is it just 'big brother' having his say, again? i don't want to go into the two very defined, opposing arguments: on one bank you have the parents - 'our kids running and screaming around the restaurant are just being adorable' - and on the other all the childless adults - 'just the amount of drink and drugs we took last night are enough to render us sterile. we are hungover'. so is there such a thing as having more of a right to dine out?  

there are badly behaved children - in most cases i blame the parents - but there are also just as many hungover twats who believe they have priority to all amenities - maybe they were badly behaved children once upon a time. a child can only be taught how to best behave in public eateries if parents have access to these places but, as a parent, i will also try to avoid a sunday roast in soho. however it is wrong that when i walk into a place on a sunday afternoon in stoke newington i have to ask if they are 'child-friendly'. the answer is not to have 'child-friendly' places, every place that can be accessed by the general public should be, by default, child-friendly, or simply 'people-of-all-ages-friendly'. it would then be up to the owner to choose if he wants to be 'lazy-sunday-hangover-friendly'. that way, i don't have to drag a pushchair, child and three bags into every place on church street looking for someone who will feed us. the young 20-somethings with no baggage and a healthy pair of legs should be fit enough, even with a hangover, to find a suitable place where to get over their saturday nights in some peace and quiet. in any case, this seems to be only a british dilemma. the rest of europe quite enjoys welcoming children to their restaurants. maybe because they are less hungover most of the time. 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

baby on board

i had to take the tube yesterday. it was that crappy time, you know, rush hour. i let two trains by. too full. on the third train there was room. i boarded. the seats in the middle of the carriage were occupied by shoreditch "artists". you know the ones, kept in their london victorian conversions by daddy as their "careers" blossom. they laughed. they were cool. i was glad not to be one of them. beside them, barely able to keep her balance as the train hurtled through the tunnel beneath london town, stood a heavily pregnant woman. she, unnecessarily, was donning the 'baby on board' badge. however, both badge and belly seemed to be invisible to the uber-cool people sitting in their tight jeans and check-shirts even though they all watched as she had laboriously mounted the train. it was only when a very old, shaky figure of man, who was standing beside the gestating woman, asked for one of them to give up a seat did they budge. they did, however, only give up one seat. leaving the old man to do the next four stops clutching the pole to keep himself from falling. my stop finally came. i got up and offered the old man my seat. 

Thursday, 3 February 2011

'good' father

i was leaving work to pick up the kid from playgroup.

"where you going?", asks a colleague
"to pick up the kid", i answer
"ah, there's a good dad", he says.

picking up your kid on time is simply part of being a father. now, if you don't go and pick up your kid that is when adjectives should be used. very negative adjectives.