Toddlers Fashion (Dads Can Do It Too) 2

As I’m the one who is the primary caregiver in our house, I’m the one tasked with coming up with outfits that are both adorable, fashion forward and functional, that also hold up to the hell and muck making that a two and half year old will put them through.

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This piece is a simple pair of leggings and striped t-shirt topped off with a blue satin scarf.

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This a Japanese school girl type thing that I picked up off ebay paired with a matching pair of tights, adorable right?

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This was Marianna’s outfit for her mothers Mayoral Civic Service, a red party frock, with matching shoes, white socks and red pillbox fascinator.

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Another schoolgirl outfit and tights, an easy combo, but it looks good.

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Marianna in her fascinator with red patent leather shoes, white socks, a floral print dress with a matching belt.

So there you have it. Definitive proof that a heterosexual man can pick perfectly fashion forward outfits for a little girl.

Daddy Daughter Day Out

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Today I got to spend the day with my absolute favourite person in the entire world, my daughter Marianna. Now how is this different to any other day you ask? Well in truth it wasn’t that different, I spend most days with my daughter, but today, rather than just be sat around the house all day with her entertaining herself and me busying myself with housework or actual work, Marianna and I put on our outdoor clothes and hopped on a bus to my home town of Newport.

Whilst in Newport we took in the sights of the High Street and the still new looking Friars Walk, before adorning to Greggs Bakery where we had a sandwich and Marianna had a gingerbread man. We then rounded the trip off with a rather expensive visit to Sin City Comics where I picked up my almost 10 month backlog of comics, and because Marianna was such a good girl I let her pick a toy for herself, she chose a Funko Pop Dalek, because she really is my child.

We then got the bus back, seeing some cows in a field on the way back Marianna then recited a list of the various dairy and meat products that come from cows. When we got home we found that my new hat had arrived, then Marianna had a nap whilst I did a lot of housework, before my parents came to pay us a visit this evening. After that Marianna helped (well she didn’t hinder which is almost the same thing) me to make a chicken stir fry for dinner, we then played  bit before I put her to bed and resumed binge watching the new series of House Of Cards.

Having A Sick Child And What To Do About It.

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Yesterday my darling offspring Marianna was ill, its really the first time she’s been properly ill in her life (aside from the harrowing circumstanced of her birth), and we’re talking the full works; nose running like an Olympic athlete, coughing like she’d smoked for fifty years and the occasional bit of vomiting thrown into the mix for good measure. She was so ill in fact that I even relented and allowed her to come into bed with me, which is something that I’m usually a bit of a hardarse about (Its not for all the clingyness issues that arise from it, its just I really detest sharing a bed with anyone). I finally got her to sleep in her own bed around 2:30 this morning after dosing her up an calpol, and to be honest it really has helped, because after that I managed to get a pretty decent (albeit short) nights sleep, which was most welcome after the pretty rough meeting I had to sit through.

But today has been a bit of a mixed bag, this morning I couldn’t get Marianna to detach herself from me, so it was all morning spent on the sofa watching the Tigger Movie, while Marianna and tinsel hedgehog lay on top of me, after which she seemed to improve to the point where she was running around with her dolls and generally being a nuisance, because I had to stop her from drawing on the rug more than once.

I’ll be honest, it was a little upsetting, seeing her so ill and beyond keeping her hydrated and trying to bring her temperature down, there was nothing I could do to make her better. I’m sure I’ll be feeling this every cold and flu season for the rest of my life now. It took me right back to when she was born, because she spent almost three weeks in intensive care and all I could do was stare at her through an incubator.

All I can do is thank any deity that’s listening for giving us junior paracetamol.

Culture, Curry and Shopping Excursion’s

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Today was a day for culture, culture and shopping. Marianna and I ,this morning, decided to go shopping for clothes. Marianna needed some formal black shoes, and a cardigan to go with the dress I brought her the other day, which she’ll wear to a few things we have coming up like a family wedding, and a few civic functions.

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The Dress

After wandering every shop that sells child’s clothing and shoes in Cwmbran, its a fair few, we finally went into Primark last and there we found a lovely cardigan for £5 and a darling pair of boots that were reduced to £3, so we paid for our purchases and took the 2 minuet walk home, wherein I made a sumptuous lunch of a cheese sandwich, sliced grapes, a packet of crisps, a yoghurt and two jaffa cakes all for Marianna, which she ate in its entirety, which was a nice surprise.

So then we came to the question, what where the two of us going to do this afternoon, as I was up to date on house work, I had nothing pressing to do paperwork wise, which is odd when I have an AGM to attend tomorrow. So I decided it would be one of those days where I attend to my child’s cultural development. So we cranked up the ole’ Amazon Fire Stick, went to Youtube and started on with the opera. Knowing that a two year old, even one as bright an attentive as Marianna, would not have the attention to span an entire opera. So I opted to pick some arias, specifically from some famous sopranos, all of which weren’t overly long, Marianna decided she would dance to what she dubbed the singing princesses (I think it was the posh frocks and tiaras that put the idea in her head) after about an hour of various arias and duets we came to The Flower Duet by Lakmé and at this point I gave up on the opera, because I realised I was having a conversation with a two year old about the “pretty dresses” of the two sopranos.

So it was getting on for four o’clock and we switched to the ballet, mainly as I saw this awesome version of The Russian Dance from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker the other day. So we watched that and then moved on to Swan Lake, where Marianna could get a good look at the “Dancing Princesses” and try to copy their moves (the kids pretty damn flexible, but not coordinated, not even a little bit) but it did inspire this beauty of a conversation.

Me: Marianna, would you like to be a ballet dancer?

Marianna (Age 2): No, I want food. 

The perfectly innocent, but still perfect, response made me remember, from many many years ago, the date I had with a woman studying ballet, I can’t remember the name of the woman, but I do remember that it was possibly the cheapest dinner date I have ever been on, and its made me smile. And with that, I made dinner, we had curry and chips, followed be Neapolitan Ice Cream, it was nice, Marianna then had her bath and went to bed, now I’m on the sofa writing this with The West Wing on in the background while a little part of me is wondering if we finished all the curry or if there’s enough for me to have a second bowl in half an hour or so.

 

Discussing The Past (And The Morally Dubious Things We May Have Done)

I watched one of my favourite films yesterday, Thank Your For Smoking, which was based on the book by the same name by Christopher Buckley. The film focuses on a lobbyist for the American tobacco industry. The main protagonist, as you would expect, engages in a series of socially dubious and morally ambiguous actions to promote the agenda of Big Tobacco all whilst trying to save his soul and mould his teenage son into a functioning member of society.

Its been the first time I re-watched the film since becoming a parent and its actually made me think, what will I tell my daughter about the morally questionable things I’ve done in order to pay may bills. I’ve done some lobbying for the tobacco industry, I’ve done some PR for companies that pollute and deforest, I can’t really go into specifics due to confidentiality and non disclosure agreements, but there have been days where I felt the need for a shower after meetings and press briefings. I can’t really say I was overly successful with the way my career in public affairs turned out, given that for the most part I’m a stay at home dad, but I was good at my job, and a little part of me is still proud of what little I did manage to accomplish.

But one thing that happens in the film (SPOILERS) is that the main character, Nick, tries to explain to his son the world of subtle moral shifts that adults  seem to fall into. And I can’t help but wonder how I’m going to deal with having to explain these things to my daughter. How am I going to explain that I advocated on behalf of an industry that kills over 320 people per day without destroying that black and white morality that children have.

I suppose I could point out the charities I represented and that might offset my being Satan in a reasonably priced suit, but this is just one of those things I have to look forward to as a parent. I mean most parents will probably have to go through some sort of shining a light on their past in their children’s eyes, but mine might be the kind of light show that would put Pink Floyd or Jean-Michle- Jarre to shame.

Colouring In

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Today I didn’t really have much on, well I didn’t really have anything that I was actually going to do. So playing with Marianna earlier she began colouring in the Spider-Man colouring book that I, I mean Santa, got her for Christmas, after about ten minuets of colouring both in and out of the lines, Marianna handed me the book and said “Daddy do it” so I took the book, got out the felt pens and began colouring in Spider-Man.

Adult colouring books seem to be all the rage lately, apparently they aid in stress management, however I did not find this to be the case. Being dyspraxic, my coordination is awful, my handwriting is terrible, I can’t even hold a pen the right way, so as you can guess colouring in is a chore, but my little girl asked me to do it, and by god I wasn’t going to let her down.

So using some fineline felt tip pens and a lot of internalised cursing, here is the page that I did.

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As you can see, Marianna decided to help with the background, but overall I was pretty impressed with my efforts, (about an hours worth of effort if I’m honest), I’ve seen worse colouring jobs in actual published comics. However, I certainly don’t understand how people can actually do it to unwind, I actually feel a lot more wound up now I’ve finished than before I began. But it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon bonding with my little girl.

Happy Birthday Marianna

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Happy 2017 everyone. Today was my daughter, and shining star of my life, Marianna’s second birthday. lots of her relatives have come to visit and she was loving her place as the centre of attention. I however spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking a sumptuous buffet, then playing host, refreshing drinks, topping up glasses, that sort of thing. It was a lovely day and Marianna thoroughly enjoyed herself. She selected, without coaching, the toy that I brought for her as her favourite.

However this has not left me with as lot of time for writing a blog post for today. So here are some highlights from the party.

 

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Marianna in her Snow White outfit
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My homemade prawn cocktail ring
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Marianna opening her gifts this morning.

 

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Marianna and the buffet table.