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This is a question Kids

Either you love 'em or you hate 'em. Or in the case of Fred West - both. Tell us your ankle-biter stories.

(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 15:10)
Pages: Latest, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I have little day to day contact with children
but one instance that does stick in the mind happened a few months ago.

I was at my desk wading through technical inquiries when my desk phone rang. I picked it up and answered it. I was greeted with a small querulous voice of a boy or about 11 or 12 years of age.

BOY "Err, my father owns a pair of your *********** loudspeakers (name removed to protect my anonymity) (£3500) and the tweeter has been dinged, is a replacement available and how much is it?

ME "Could you define *dinged*?"

BOY "Well it had a football hit it and crumple the front quite badly."

ME (imagining the limb numbing panic that is likely coursing through his veins) "I see. Looking at the parts list here, I have them in stock- its £260 plus shipping. The chances are that the dealer will need to fit it however."

BOY- in tiny voice. "Oh."

And with that he starts to cry.

ME- "Am I to assume that your father isn't aware of the damage and probably had some strong views about footballs in the vicinity of his hifi?"

BOY- "He's back tomorrow- oh God he's going to kill me."

ME- "Generally parents don't kill their offspring."

BOY- "You don't understand, he loves those speakers. There must be something you can do."

ME- "Do you have any money at all?"

BOY- "I have £40 as an allowance for the holidays."

ME "And where are you?"

BOY "I'm in *****" (As it turned out, not a million miles from a dealer friend of mine).

Pause

ME "OK- This is what I am going to do as I have been in this position myself. I am going to ship the part free. I am going to contact a friend of mine where I suspect the speakers came from and he will come and fit the part. You are going to have to give him the £40. This will mean it is a very expensive game of football but you may escape with your life. There is one other thing you will have to do though."

BOY- *sniffs* What is it?

ME- "You're going to have to tell your Dad what happened."

BOY- "But, but he doesn't have to find out."

ME- "But then however there would be no repercussions and no lesson learned. In telling him, you can show that through creative thinking- and crying, you got the problem sorted at your expense."

BOY- "How would you know if I don't?"

ME- "I have your name and house address. I can check. Besides your Dad will ask where the £40 went."

BOY- "Oh."

Details were confirmed and my friend went and fitted the tweeter the following morning. Some days later a package with letter arrived from the boy's father.

Dear Mr Hatred,
Just a quick note to say I received ****'s blubbing confession as per your instructions on my return. I was sufficiently impressed at his ingenuity to spare his life although he is unlikely to see daylight again in 2008.

Enclosed is further proof of a satisfactory resolution to this unfortunate event.

Regards
X

It was a popped football.
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 13:11, 14 replies)
Bit of an odd one... can't remember the names either...
Well, I tend to use the computer at home a bit, and every now and then people add me to their list at random.

This person wasn't an exception. I ignored the "Hi M8" things and the "ASL?" requests, but no matter what, this annoyance kept on coming back. Sometimes it'd be abusive, sometimes just annoying, but oneday I was bored though, and I decided to accept the challenge of a conversation.

The grammar was non-existent, the spelling was horrific, and the phraseology was right out of Charver 101. I usually Like talking to random lasses, but this one was unreal. Stupid and mind-numbingly immature. I fired off the usual 'off the shelf' insults "work at McD's?" etc... and got a reply that I didn't expect.

"Not old enough to have a job"

oh... alright.. how old was this person? I'd assumed they were about 19...

"Fuck off.. why whould I tell you"
Because I've just been slamming the hell out of you because of your childishness, but maybe you ARE a child and I should be cutting you some slack!!
"Oh... well, I'm 11"
Riiiight. In which case I'm sorry for being mean. I had no idea you where that young

Needless to say I can't remember everything that happened or how it was said... but I'll do my best.

The conversation continued, and we spoke on and off for a few days. I had been wrong. It wasn't a girl either. It was a little lad. He told me he was in the 'web to find some friends or at least someone to talk to, and he asked where I lived. I sent a couple of google links to Swedish picture searches, and he seemed to love the idea of other countries etc. He then said that he wished he could live in another land, but he had to move to London with his mum.

"Really? Why are you moving there?"
My mum says I have to, or she'll chuck me out on the street
"Woah... that's a bit mean. She's probably joking..."
No she's not. She hits me, it really hurts.

*Humpty stops and takes stock*: An 11 yearold Manchestor kid has confided in me... he's unhappy, in need of mates and claims that his mum is violent towards him. 2 options... he's taking me for a ride... (look out for requests for financial support) or he's serious. No harm in talking to the lad... What could possibly go wrong?

"She hits you?"
That's not good, why does she do that?
I don't know. She said she wishes I was dead, and that I'm ruining her life.
Have you told anyone?
No, I don't want to. My sister and my mum like each other.
Right. Let's get this straight. Your mum hits you, and it makes you unhappy.. and you haven't told anyone?
Yeah...
Well that's wrong. Your mum is supposed to help you as you grow up, not hit you. You *really* need to tell someone and talk to them about it.
Yeah, but who?
Teachers. You could try telling them?
I'm not good at school, the teachers don't like me
That doesn't matter. This is FAR more important than school, and they will know that. They'll help. It doesn't even have to be one of your teachers. Pick someone you like, or one of your friend's teachers and ask if you can talk to them... Tell them everything that you've told me.
Are you sure that'll be ok?
Yes. Absolutely. That's what teachers are for. Teaching is only a bit of their job, looking after pupils is what it's ALL about.
Ok.
and I'll be here as usual... ok?
yup.

******************************

I heard nothing for a couple of days... then a girl named Haley added me to her list.

She started out with "You don't know me but you know my brother."
*Oh shit... here we go: Kiddy-fiddling accusations..*
"I just wanted to say thankyou. I think you may have saved his life...."

It turned out that the day after I took the time to speak with him properly, he'd walked into school, and with a thumping heart, had walked up to his maths teacher - for whom he had some respect - and told him exactly what he'd told me.

According to his sister who'd been at home that day, police turned up at her mum's doorstep at midday and took her away. Both she and her brother were now living with their biological dad, and they were both really enjoying it.

The night that all this had happened and after social services had spoken to them both, Her little brother then went and sat on her bed and pulled his shirt up - for the first time ever his sister found out that her mum had been beating him. He was covered in bruises - all over his body. He told her about talking t me, and he told her that he's been thinking of killing himself: his classmates had surmised that this was probably his only option anyway.

So... she thanked me for being there when he needed someone, and giving good advice in a way that he could identify with it. It was a pretty cool feeling.

**************************

Kids might type like shit...
They may not embrace correct grammar..
They may really piss you off...
They might swear and spit...

...but underneath, some of them are just lost little kids.

Don't write them all off.. not yet.
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 12:28, 27 replies)
That really gets my goat.
No, not another rant. Normal service has been resumed...

My mother, the esteemed Mrs Rakky, is a psychologist and currently works in a hospital with children. You know, I can almost hear the murmurs of “Aaaah, that explains a lot then…”

Some of the kids mum works with are severely damaged. They’ve been abused, beaten, bullied, abandoned. You wonder why some kids are fuck ups, look at the way they’re treated by the very people who are supposed to protect them.

One of the things that mum has tried to do is to take kids out of the hospital setting and let them interact with the real world in a carefully controlled manner. This can be something as simple as a trip to the supermarket, to help them understand how to behave in public, or how “buying things” works; an alien concept to a teenager who has been brought up in a family who traded drugs for their daily essentials. She also takes them out to do nice things, education fun days, to museums, art galleries. People thought she was mad to try it, these kids are out of control and my mum is barely five feet tall, in her 60s, how in god’s name is she going to deal with a six foot 14 year old boy who thinks that exposing himself is a good way to introduce himself to people. But she has a way with them, plus she takes along a cohort of strapping male psychiatric nurses, just in case.

She took a group of the little uns to the petting zoo. It was a glorious day – the staff at the zoo had been prewarned that these kids were a little different and had got some of the less easily spooked animals out so that the kids could interact with them. One of the things mum tries to encourage is for the kids to improve their communication skills, to talk about what they are doing and describe their surroundings. Stuff that I guess most of us took for granted.

One little lad, about 9 years old, was stroking a goat. He was obviously totally fascinated by it and so my mum took the opportunity to get him to talk about it. Now this kid has been in care and in therapy since he was about 5 years old. Mum turns to him and says

“Do you like the goat?”

“Yes Mrs Rakky, the goat is beautiful”

“What does the goat look like?”

“He has white fur and two things on his head and big brown eyes”

“And how does he feel?”

The boy stops, considers, then looks the goat straight in the eye and says

“How do you feel?”

Apparently the nurse who was videoing this exchange had to hand mum the camera so he could go off and wee himself laughing.

Mum retires this summer. She’s spent the last 40 years looking after the children that no one else wants. She’s been punched, kicked, spat at, flashed more times than she cares to remember and has had to talk a child out of suicide. And she never once raised her voice or raised a hand in anger. I’ve had emails from kids that she taught (mum doesn’t do email) asking me to thank her for believing in them as they now have a job / house / family and a life.

And she didn’t do that bad a job with me. After all, she created a b3tard…

Click “I like this” if you think my mum deserves an OBE, or at the least a big ice cream and a gold star for being fab…
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 16:18, 21 replies)
Time for a pearoast me thinks. I ruined the day trip of the most annoying kid I've ever had the misfortune of being in the vicinity of...
As an experienced traveller of buses, I feel that I have gained a invaluable insight into the problems of public transport. The main problem is that OTHER PEOPLE ARE ANNOYING. This rule applies tenfold in the case of children.

So, one particular day I get on the bus to go into town and take my seat towards the back of the bus. Far back enough to not be sat with the elderly, but not too far back to be stuck with the thugs. All is going as well as a journey in a clapped out stinking bus can possibly go, when the child from hell jumps aboard with his fat arsed chav mother. They sit in the gap thats designed for the elderly and the crippled in the standard display of selfish procrastinating lazyarsed effortless behaviour that you now seem to expect from the tax swallowing handout dependent wasters that are the chav class. The mother opens a family bag of doritos, and proceeds to munch her way to an early grave, while satans fart stands on his seat and starts pressing the bell over and over...and over again.

This went on for about 10 minutes, and I could see everyone on the bus becoming restless as they all got closer and closer to a total nervous breakdown. And then, something incredible happened. Something so extraordinary, noone saw it coming... The mother actually did some parenting.

"IF YOU TOUCH THAT BELL ONE MORE FUCKING TIME WE'RE GOING HOME YOU LITTLE SHIT!" she bellowed menacingly at the perfectly described "little shit". The child immediatly stopped, looking shocked and upset but kept his hand near the button mostly for balance. And so, the perfect opportunity for vengeance had shown itself.

With a quick glance at the mother to make sure she wasn't looking at either me or the demon spawn, I reached up and rang the bell in quick succession. The mother glared at the child, his hand still over his button, and with wails of protest she picked him up, and marched off of the bus screaming at him that he was no longer going to the zoo.
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 16:09, 11 replies)
Is it wrong that I find this funny?
Possibly the funniest thing I ever heard about a kid comes from a colleague of mine.

Imagine the scene: breakfast, about 7am, mother and two-year-old son munching on their toast. All is quiet... no sound save the ticking of the clock. And then, apropos of absolutely nothing, junior speaks.

"Mummy?"
"Yes, darling?"
"CUNT."

Class. :)
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 9:52, 6 replies)
My journal entry from last July.
It has been two years since I last celebrated my birthday. In two days time, I turn 33. An age which really to me doesn't matter now. I think at some point turning 30 mattered. Turning closer to another box on a questionaire used to matter. I was asked the other day how old I would be, and I had no idea...It surprised me to think I was that old.

A year ago, I refused to celebrate my birthday. It was one of the worst periods of my life. My wife was pregnant, and had hyperemesis, a condition where morning sickness was extreme, to the point of continual sickness, de-hydration and stays at hospital. It's hard to be happy for a birthday when your wife, partner and soulmate is busy to keep water down, giving life to something deep inside.

Pregnancy should be a time of happiness, and joy and all I remember at that time, whilst I was driving back home to an empty house after holding hair back and being in that hospital, around that 'smell' was "I want my wife back". After weeks of seeing her in that much pain, and all that suffering, all I thought was about how much I missed her. I didn't care about the pregnancy, I wanted my wife back.

In February when Edie was born, though we didn't know what sex she was at this point, she didn't breathe for two minutes. Two minutes. It doesn't sound a long time. It takes more time to boil an egg. You can travel a mile at 30mph. 1605 metres. Think about it, start two minutes and count 120 seconds. When your baby doesn't breathe for two minutes that is the longest period of your life. Those two minutes were all of the years which I might not have, the times I might not have, not even knowing the sex, what sort of life I would be having with them. All I knew then was all the time leading up to the birth I wasn't Dad or father. I was playing pretend about how I thought I should be feeling. The moment I realised that I might not be Dad was the moment I felt like Dad.

In less than a year, it went from wanting nothing more than my wife back to wanting to hear just one cry from Edie. And it came, quietly and tentatively.

And in two days I celebrate my birthday, with my wife and soulmate. And a little girl whose cry I hear every day.

Though now it's with a little more gusto.
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 18:55, 7 replies)
The other night
I was on the phone to my friend. She had her first kid last summer. She put me on speaker phone so she could make the child's bottle while talking to me.

"The baby was up all night," she said, "She's teething. She nearly crawled today. She was sick over me last night. She's grown out of all her clothes."

She paused. "Are you listening to me?" she asked.

"Yeah, mostly," I muttered.

"It's because you don't have kids," she said.

"No, it's because it's fucking boring," I replied. And hung up.
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 15:19, 15 replies)
Why I'm glad I'm not a child today. By Davros' Granddad, aged 37 and a third.
I’m soooo glad I’m not a child today. I grew up in the 70s / early 80s and life just seemed so much less hassle.

School: We weren’t tested to death and actually learned stuff at school rather than learning by wrote. Teachers today aren’t there to impart knowledge, they’re there to meet Government targets. If we pissed about in class, the teachers could discipline you. I’m not advocating the random beating of children (I had a teacher who would throw those heavy, wooden blackboard dusters at you if you misbehaved, and he was a twunt), but if teachers had a bit more leeway to dish out some sort of meaningful punishment (not just a breaktime detention, FFS) without fear of reprisals from (a) the education authority, and (b) little Johnny’s parents maybe lack of discipline wouldn’t be such a problem. I was well behaved at school mostly because I had some respect for the teachers counterbalanced with the tiniest bit of fear of what might happen if I fucked about.

We had little, if any, concept of what stress was. How many kids today can be classified as suffering from depression? Okay, I know it’s not a new thing, but it does seem so much more pronounced and obvious these days. Not helped by the sheer stress some of these kids must be under. And what’s the choice available to them when they leave school? You need a bloody qualification in landscape management just to be able to sweep the roads… What’s wrong with on-the-job training?

There wasn’t the relentless peer pressure that there is today. Kids today seem to be judged on what trainers they wear, whether they have the latest mobile phone, how many games consoles they have. All we had to worry about was whether our parkas had blue or orange fur in the hood.

We had some concept of the value of things. We received new toys on birthdays and at Christmas, and the shops would drastically reduce their range of exciting new toys between the months of January and October. Consequently when we got something new, we treasured it. Kids these days just think ‘easy come, easy go’ and the most common question asked seems to be “can I have?” No recognition of the fact that ‘things’ cost money and that you don’t have an automatic right to have something just because it’s (a) in the shops and (b) your friends have got one. And the relentless TV advertising doesn’t help either. My family had little money, and as a consequence of that plus subsequent working environments (DSS / jobcentre), I have a rabid fear of being in debt that I'm not in control of. In fact, I get all clenchy if I think I'm about to go into my overdraft by £20...

We were protected from exposure to inappropriate images on TV but allowed to play freely in the street, wander off, climb trees, and go off on our bikes with our mates. These days, some fuckwit parents will freely allow their kids access to some of the most horrific and inappropriate TV / films / computer games, and yet will not allow their offspring to voyage more than a stones throw away from the house in case they get abducted and murdered. WTF?

Boys were dressed as boys and girls as girls, not like cut-price pimps and hookers. I mean, high street fashion stores selling padded bras for girls aged 8 for Christ’s sake? I despair, I really do. The utter spaktardery of some people beggars belief.

I could go on.

Rose-tinted spectacles? Perhaps. But I’m so glad I was a kid then and not now.

*EDIT* This makes me sound like a grumpy old man - I'm not. Honest guv. I just think that kids should be allowed to be kids, be allowed to be taught at school rather than tested, and not indulged constantly by fuckwit parents that think loving a child is about buying them stuff on tick, letting them watch what they want and feeding them processed junk.

*Makes indignant 'harrumphing' sound*.
(, Tue 22 Apr 2008, 12:30, 152 replies)
A Bit of a Rant
I was in the waiting room at Stoke station not so long ago; also there was a group of three chavettes. As is the way with these situations, I inevitably overheard, and listened into, their conversation. The topic that concerned them was whether they should get pregnant before or after doing their GCSEs.

The thing is, though, that they were asking themselves exactly the right question. Not because having a kid at 15 is a good idea in itself, but because, in fairness, it was possibly their best opportunity for a house and a tolerable income. (OK – welfare isn’t theirs: it’s paid to the mother on behalf of the child, but that doesn’t bother me for the moment.)

Here’s the deal: a working class kid at a bog standard comprehensive can make something of him or herself, but the chances are stacked against that happening. Instead, poverty, poverty of education and poverty of aspiration mean that, if you’re unlucky in birth, the chances are that you aren’t going to change your position any time soon. Why should the chav or chavette stay in school, when it won’t make the blindest bit of difference to their long-term prospects? Better to get a council flat and an income as soon as possible: you’re going to end up in a council flat with a welfare income either way, so why go to the effort of staying in school? And if that means having a kid, then so be it. It’d be dumb to do anything else.

That’s why the girls were asking the right question. But the fact that they were asking it indicates that they were bright: they were exactly the people who could make something of themselves, given the chance and a sufficiently broad horizon. Such a horizon is lacking in an education system that’s given up, though – that, at most, aims at training, which isn’t the same by a long shot. Useful is a virtue in Black and Decker tools. It’s not a virtue in people.

I spend a significant part of my time trying to convince working class kids to go to university – specifically, to do so to study things like philosophy, maths, physics, French, classics or whatever not because it’ll help get a job, but because it’ll make them better people. Sometimes it works. But there’s a devil on my shoulder that points out my bad faith: they’re not from wealthy backgrounds; there’s no grant; they’ll end up worse off, financially, unless they’re extraordinarily lucky or staggeringly determined. I’m lying to these kids. I’m widening their horizons in the knowledge that they’ll likely as not be unable to capitalise on that, because three decades of governments have given up on the idea of education and replaced it with gradgrindian utility calculi. In doing so, they’ve fucked the brightest and the best of the working class – like those girls at the station - and ceded their entitlement to the dumbest of the middle-class.

The kids are all right. Talk to them. They’re clever. They’re interested in the world. They want to be treated like mature human beings, they respond if that’s how you treat them, and they’re capable of amazing insight and engagement. Of course they break into your car and spray-paint your wall. Of course they’re twitchy and dope-jittery. What the hell else is there? Fuck it. They might as well be. I would. We’ve screwed them royally – they owe us nothing except contempt in equal measure to the contempt that we’ve shown them.

Apologies for lack of funny. I’m drunk, y’see.
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 21:32, 26 replies)
Dogging 1 year old
Many years ago (10 to be exact) my little lad was in the toddling stage. Now, I didn't know that he had learned how to climb out of his cot, but I found out one Sunday morning when I was enjoying my Sunday "lie in" with Mrs MICMAC.
I was really getting into the swing of it, when the look of mild amusement on my Dearests' face turned into shocked horror, as my cherubic son's face appeared above my left shoulder, and said "Hooray!! go faster Daddy!!"

I put a lock on the bedroom door that afternoon
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 7:32, 4 replies)
A finger of fudge is just enough to give your kid a treat.
New fathers have it bad: no sleep, no nookie. But I was determined to get my wife back in the mood, getting pretty intimate with her one night, when our month-old started wailing.
"I'll deal with him," I offered manfully, going to his room and trying my usual trick, which was to pick him up and let him suck one of my fingers. It seemed to work better than usual, the little guy slurping with relish, and moving on from my index to ring finger with gusto. It was then that I realised that the flavour he so enjoyed may be related to the fact that I hadn't washed my hands...
And that is how my month-old son supped on his mother's pussy juice.
(, Fri 18 Apr 2008, 7:36, 8 replies)
How to catch a Daddy
Songster69 junior recently discovered the joys of hiding. He's played peek-a-boo for years, but now he's learnt how to run upstairs and hide in his sisters' cupboards. Proper hide-and-seek will surely follow as soon as he learns not to giggle whenever we call his name. However, along with learning to hide comes the whole "logic" thing. That is, if he can't see Mummy, or can't see me, then we must be hiding. So whenever I go to work he spends 10 minutes or so disconsolately searching cupboards.

Recently he added another tool to his armory. He knows from his Cinderella DVD what to do if there's a mouse hiding in a hole - wave their favourite food outside and they'll come out to get it. Which is why, last Monday, Mrs songster69 found him heading upstairs yelling for me and waving a can of lager.

In my defence, he knows he's not allowed it and I am, therefore it must be my special favourite.
(, Sun 20 Apr 2008, 19:03, 3 replies)
driving
I was visiting my 7 year old goddaughter and I was joining her and her family, inc grandparents, other families etc on a trip. We were all gathered round her dads car getting ready to leave, everyone loading their cars with picnics, children, toys etc and my little GDD jumped in the drivers seat to pretend that she was the driver.

Everyone sort of laughed and i said, "go on, show us all how daddy drives".

She grabs the steering wheel, her face contorts into sudden hatred and anger and she screams "gerroutofthefuckingwayyoufuckingtwatwhycantyoufuckinglookwhereyourefuckinggoingyoustupidcuntwhofuckingtaughtyoutodrivedidyouseethatfuckingidiotcutmeuplikethatillfuckingshowyouyoufuckingidiot"

,and then smiles, and happily kicking her little legs, toots the horn.

Never laughed so much in my life.
(, Fri 18 Apr 2008, 9:07, 3 replies)
The Tran Game
Our neighbours have an adopted son originally from SE Asia. His name is Tran and he's 7.

I invented a silly little game called 'The Tran Game'. Some of my friends love it, and email me new examples all the time, but Mrs Spankengine has never, ever thought it even remotely funny.

It started like this:
One day I spotted Tran playing out in the snow. I called Mrs Spankengine over and said to her: "Oh look! The little boy over the road is playing in the snow. He's all wrapped up, but do you think that jacket he's got on is too small for him?"
"No, I don't think so" says Mrs Spankengine after a quick look.
"Yes It is" I insist. "Look again".
So she does. "No, it seems OK to me?"

Me (feigning exasperation this time): "Look again - isn't his jacket too small? Is Tran's Vest Tight?"

It took some explaining until she got it but to this day she doesn't think it's funny at all.

Click 'I like this' if you get it and you think it's funny.
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 20:29, 10 replies)
Peadiaphobia
There have been a few "anti-children" posts on here this week, it seems as opportune a time to post my own semi cathartic story about how the issue of kids and parenting nearly destroyed me a few years previously.

Around the time I first started posting here I was in a relationship with a lass I'll refer to as "G". I'd known "G" for some eight years or so, she'd originally dated a friend of mine before we started seeing each other. I'd always held her in high esteem, she had long, ebony hair, big brown eyes and outwardly a gentle, inoffensive nature.

To start off with, things went very well indeed. We quickly established early on that she wanted kids and I didn't, but we were both happy to give me the benefit of the doubt - in the right relationship, anything is possible. Besides, I really enjoyed “G”’s company and had high hopes of a positive future for the relationship.

After a few months, the cracks began to show. “G” began to get increasingly fretful about having children and began to press me to see if there was any possibility I’d change my opinion anytime soon.

"PJM, do you think you'll ever change your mind about kids?" was a question oft asked.

How do I react to that? Obviously she wanted children someday. Much guilt ensued. Do I really not want kids?

Unfortunately "G"'s agenda was to have children as soon as possible. She was dissatisfied with my (honest) explanation of my feelings, which troubled me. I enjoyed her company and she seemed to enjoy mine. If I could resolve my feelings towards not breeding then maybe a secure future beckons? The more I tried to wrestle with my conscience, the more frequent and intense the questioning became.

"PJM, when do you think you'll change your mind about children?"

"PJM, you'll love them if they're your own"

"PJM, it's every woman's right to be a mother"

Each and every time the future of our relationship came up, her eyes would fill with tears and she'd remind me how much she loved me and how much she hoped I'd have children with her. She’d talk frequently about friends of ours with kids and how much she wanted to have a family. She lost her own mother to cancer and had never come to terms with it, even nine years on. She wanted to provide the family life she'd been denied.

We were out with friends one evening and I overheard "G" ask someone "When will PJM commit?", I looked up at those watery doe eyes and I felt a sharp stab of guilt.

Now I respond very badly to guilt. It literally tears me apart and I found myself in situation where I couldn't bear walking away, but agreeing to have children with "G" to her time scale was madness. She was badly in debt financially and was unlikely to see black ink on her bank statement for another three years even if she were extremely careful with her money. I didn't own my own home and I was in no way ready to become a father. I felt "G" was trying to achieve having children long before the relationship had developed to a point where it was a natural progression. Even agreeing in principle wasn't enough, for within weeks there would be a plea to agree to the original and unrealistic timetable, which loomed like a storm on the horizon.

Kids... We all have our own ideals on the type of parent we'd be, even if we don't actually intend on breeding ourselves. I'd had a very bad paternal role-model and the fear of turning out repeating the same mistakes as my own father were very real. I'd rather never be a father at all than to be a half decent father. Had I enough fatherliness in me to ensure that I'd be a fair role-model? Did I, could I want it enough? Could I provide enough? My mind wandered to the mental image of trying to budget for a fast growing toddler needing clothes... Could I trust "G" not to max out her credit card again, seeing as I'd be expected to pick up the tab? My doubts were strong. However that wasn't the end of the story for me.

I tried to approach it rationally and sat down with “G” to explain the financial implications.

“But people just cope!” she opined.

“But I don’t want to just cope. I want to have a reasonable standard of living too. Besides, you think it’ll be another three years or so before you pay off your debts?”

Reason failed. It was obvious that in her mind we'd somehow manage because other people did. That was enough for her. I had a vision of me a couple of years down the line with a screaming baby, an evening job and desperately trying to make ends meet. Frankly, I was chilled to the bone. As long as "G" was clutching that baby, everything else was secondary.

"PJM, do you think that in three years time you'll want children?"

I took a decision to end the relationship. It’s fair to say that it didn’t go down well, there were veiled threats of suicide, of her feeling like she cannot go on without me. No matter what, my sense of guilt prevailed and I had to back down and give it another go. It wasn’t unwillingness on my part, I genuinely liked her but I could not face the building pressure to give a detailed timescale as to when I’d commit to fathering children.

To make matters worse, "G" had ingratiated herself with my family and friends, to the point where she'd turn to them for advice and moral support, often bursting into tears over coffee and biscuits. I felt like I had no-one to turn to for advice, whenever I wanted to talk to a friend, “G” had gotten there first. The comments from friends were at first mildly patronising, "He'll be great with kids, after all he is one himself". Then harsher words started to be uttered in my direction, words like "selfish". It felt like my bachelorhood was being forcibly wrenched from by grasp.

My feelings toward children were polarizing, I was getting to the point where I was beginning to detest the merest suggestion of children and the ever growing multitude who appeared to voluntarily surrender their independence and spawn. Why must I be expected to do the same? I was even actively considering getting myself vasectomized, so great was the burden of pressure on me.

Then one evening, a close friend with whom “G” had been confiding in summoned me round to his house and made me sit while he lectured me about "that poor fucking girl".

"You must show her you're ready to commit. Kids are amazing, you need to get your fucking act together sunshine." said Phil

"There's never a good time to have kids. You should just do it as soon as possible. It’ll be the best fucking thing you ever do." he continued.

I couldn't believe this. What could I do? Every time I tried to end the relationship I had people telling me how cruel I was and how I must go back to "G". The only option left was to consign myself to a life of parental servitude for which I wasn't ready. Everyone would be a winner except me, who’d be working hard to provide for a family just to keep everyone else happy. Was I a bad person to look myself in the eye and ask “What’s in it for me?”

At this point, I discovered that "G" had been going through my mobile phone and my PC, desperate for evidence that I'd been having an affair. I found "G" on front of my PC one evening sobbing.

"Are you meeting women from the internet for sex?" she challenged.

I wasn't. I had no idea where this was coming from. Turned out that she'd found me on a networking site on the net with my marital status listed as "single". The name of this networking site? Myspace.

Over the next two hours, every single website I'd visited and every single text message on my phone was dissected in minute detail.

"How many women in your phone book have you had sex with?"

"Is she prettier than me?"

“Are you talking to any of these women about me?”

I explained the Myspace page, for I had only one Myspace buddy and that was an old workmate, who wanted to show me his mate's band (hi Harold!). As for the women’s phone numbers, they were all friends of long term standing. I was as likely to sleep with any of them as I was to be elected the next Pope. I simply couldn’t go on with the destructive cycle of guilt, rampant insecurity and pressure from all sides. I was working 50 hours at week at the time as it was, plus I was prescribed a fairly outrageous amount of antidepressants just to keep me glued together. Something had to give before I did.

The catalyst was when my brother and another friend of mine took me aside and warned me that while “G” had been round for coffee and crying on their shoulders, she’d dropped very strong hints that she was contemplating “forgetting” to take her contraceptive pill without telling me first. Enough was enough and I called time. I explained that we must not see each other anymore and that was that. It was fucking difficult, but for the sake of both our respective sanities I had to be strong and call it quits. To be honest, there was a large part of me that really didn’t want to.

Over the next few weeks, my friends and some family members were very terse and distant with me, I stopped speaking to Phil outright. Indeed, my birthday came and went without a single phone call from my friends in recognition. I couldn't understand what I'd done wrong, I'd done the honorable thing and freed her, had I not?

A year later I discovered why.

"G" had spent the weekend of my birthday out with a large group my friends who felt the need to console her over the fact that not only had I heartlessly dumped her, but also the fact that she’d found me on a dating website. Despite her protestations to the contrary, she neglected to tell my friends that it was Myspace and told them something else entirely. Much else was said too, the likes of which were sufficient to ensure I was a social pariah for a long time afterwards.

Eventually, I had the opportunity to set the record straight with my friends and although some friendship will never be the same again, I can look back with a certain degree of comforting hindsight, I'd done my best and I'm satisfied my intentions were honorable.

A lucky escape? Quite.

*edit*

Although it must be said that that "G" isn't a malicious soul in any way and never meant any harm, her actions although fuelled by low self esteem and personal issues for which she'd avoided taking responsibility for had some very far reaching consequences. I'd withheld from posting this story on here, not only because some of our mutual friends of ours read what I write from time to time and will undoubtedly see this post, but also because it was still relatively fresh in my mind to make writing about it uncomfortable to say the least. So why write it?

Well, since then (April 2006) I have had the opportunity to put my side of the story to friends and family who for the most part suspected that some emotional blackmail was going on but even so identified much more readily with the tearful "victim" rather than the outwardly callous boyfriend. Although our friendship will probably never be the same again, Phil and I are talking and socialising once more. I have been able to resolve the situation in my own mind and move on, because I accepted I was being unconsciously manipulated. That kind of thing happens to folk every day.

As a result, these days I am okay with kids, mostly because the pressure to have them isn't an insidious presence in my background and I've been free to get to know some on my own terms and generally they aren't that bad... most of the time. I'm still not sure I'll ever want my own, but the decision is at least in my own hands. "G" knew full well that getting pregnant by deception was wrong, yet was so desperate for a child that she was apparently considering it - no doubt with the comforting caveat "You'll love it when it's your own".

Plus, of course given the subject material this week, I deemed it to be too topical a tale not to post here.

Aside from this, it's reinforced in me my own view a relationship is in the slightest bit rocky rocky or uncertain, then electing to have children is an exercise in the utmost irresponsibility - this may be easy for me to say given the fact of my gender and that I don't possess the stereotypical biological clock, but then as a great lady once said to me "They don't stay children forever, after that then what?".
(, Tue 22 Apr 2008, 17:36, 31 replies)
Since we're being a bit cathartic and posting non-funny responses here and there...
I'll share with you one of mine that still jangles my nerves.

I've been pretty open on here about the fact that my ex and I had a pretty bad split, and that we don't exactly get along, and that I have a rather low opinion of her. I've given some humorous examples in the past that could easily be construed as exaggeration for the sake of a funny tale. This is not one of them. Please bear with me, and apologies for the huge cast of characters.

Let's see... it was four years ago, I believe. My daughter (who I'll refer to as Mini-Me, or MM) was either 10 or 11 at the time. I had been out of the house for about four years, and things had settled into an uneasy truce, despite the ugliness that had gone on. My daughter was friends with the daughter of one of my ex's friends (who I shall denote as Cuntwipe here), and much as I disliked the mother, I had no quarrel with the kid (who shall be called Battleground) so I let my daughter hang out with her a fair bit.

Now, Cuntwipe had gotten in the middle of my divorce and had said a lot of very unpleasant thing to my kids regarding me, most of which were either outright lies or distortions. I had called her on this numerous times- not only was it not her place to say anything to my kids, but trying to turn a child against a parent is about as low as you can get. To say the least, I consider Cuntwipe to be one of the slimiest forms of life on the planet. But again, her daughter Battleground was blameless, so when my daughter wanted to spend the night with Battleground at her father's house, I allowed it- the father (call him Victorious) seemed a decent enough sort, despite having at one point been with Cuntwipe.

Perhaps I should have included this story in the Karma question, for what followed was divine justice in a way. In essence, Cuntwipe and her ex were having a custody battle, and it looked like Victorious was going to win. I smiled inside at this, but said nothing.

Then one day Mini-Me called me and wanted to talk- she was highly upset, so I dropped what I was doing and went to get her.

It seems that MM had been for an overnight with Battleground at Victorious's house, and had been present when Victorious and his parents were coaching Battleground on what she should say at the custody hearing. MM was highly upset by all of this as she had been through a bad custody hearing herself between myself and the ex, and confided to her mother what she had witnessed.

So what does my ex do? She calls Cuntwipe and tells her all that my daughter has told her, and she and Cuntwipe agree that MM simply MUST testify at the custody hearing.

Remember, my daughter was barely in middle school at this point. She was scared shitless of having to testify, and wanted nothing to do with the custody hearing that would determine which house her friend was going to be living in. And this is what she wanted to talk to me about.

Needless to say, my rage knew no bounds. I called my ex and asked if it was true that she was going to force our daughter to testify and she said yes, that MM's testimony would be vital. At this point I exploded and told her that there was no way in hell I was going to permit this to happen, that the morning of the trial I would drive MM down there myself and explain in great detail to the judge why I was objecting to my daughter being put through this.

The ex was equally adamant that MM was going to testify, so I told her that I'd see her there and hung up. My daughter sat there with tears streaming across her cheeks. I assured her that the judge would listen to me, and all would be fine, and she spent the night over at my apartment.

I explained to my boss why I needed part of a day off work for this, and he was aghast that my ex would do such a thing, and told me to take the entire day if I wanted. So the morning of the hearing I was ironing my clothes when the phone rang. It was Cuntwipe's attorney, informing me that she had decided that she didn't need MM's testimony after all.

I put away my clothing and put on jeans and a tee shirt and drove to my daughter's school, and wrote a note that I asked be taken to her immediately. The note said that she didn't have to go, that I love her and I would come get her after school and take her to dinner.

The ex was very frosty about all of this, especially when Cuntwipe lost custody (as well she should- she shouldn't be allowed to have custody of a goldfish, let alone a child), but there was nothing she could do about any of it. I said little to nothing and let it drop.

The end note to all of this, however, came about two years later when I was going through MM's school backpack. In one of the pockets, folded and frayed but still intact, I found the note I had written. It was one of her most treasured possessions, and she carried it with her all the time. I'm not sure, but I think she still has it somewhere...

My apologies for such a long-winded rant, but I feel a bit better now. I told this story to the Lunatic Artist this weekend, so it was still in my mind this morning.

Bottom line in all of this, people- however ugly your divorce gets, no matter how much hatred you feel toward your ex, however bitter you may be- LEAVE THE KIDS OUT OF IT.

Edited to give longer names to make it easier to follow.
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 14:51, 15 replies)
Two true tales
Both from around the same time - my son was very young, around 2 years old. The first was just sort of funny (after the fact). The second, I still don't know.

The first: we were in the local swimming playpark - not a proper pool, just rubber rings, and a wave pool, and jacuzzi beds. Leith Waterworld - always a handy weekend destination. Coming out of the wave pool, my son sees a very large lady spilling out of her costume in all directions and pipes up: "Fucking troll! Fucking troll, Daddy!" He's not being quiet, and half the poolgoers hear this, especially as he's pointing straight at her. She goes scarlet and scurries away. I tell him I'm very cross with him, he's being very rude, and we're going home now. This does not make him happy. I pick him up and cart him off to find my wife, who's on the jacuzzi beds, and tell her we'll be leaving, even though we've only been there 10 minutes.

"Why, what's the matter?"

"Well, your son just called a woman a very nasty name."

At this, Little Sasquatch speaks up: "Not nasty. She fucking troll!" Mrs Sasquatch blanches, and asks him where he's heard such horrible language.

"Thomas Tank!"

It takes a few moments, but understanding slowly dawns. "Oh, you meant 'Fat Controller!" We leave anyway - the thought of trying to deliver that explanation to the lady in question just didn't appeal somehow.


The second one weirds me out to this day. We were in a mini-mall, and waiting outside the health food shop, as it was tiny, and packed, and didn't need all three of us to go in for a few bits of shopping. Across the way was one of those art/print/poster shops, and in the window was a print of the classic Barrie Clark picture of a Spitfire. More interesting to a small child than rice and spices, I thought, so we went over.

"Isn't that a nice aeroplane?" I say.
"Spitfire." says my not-two-year-old son.
"What...?"
"Spitfire." he repeats.

It's not written on it anywhere, and he's not reading yet anyway. How the hell does he know?

Then he says, clearly, and in a broad Yorkshire accent: "Aye, that's the one. We can do it. Give 'em hell, lads!" Then he looks up at me and repeats, as if he's the one speaking to a small child: "Spitfire."

At this point Mrs Sasquatch emerges with shopping and he runs over to greet her. The moment, whatever it was, is over, and he never makes further mention of it. It kind of stuck in my mind though, although I never heard from our own personal 'Captain Howdy' ever again.
(, Sun 20 Apr 2008, 1:56, 9 replies)
As a wee sprog in primary School...
My class was to make "lanterns". Mrs Cartmail (yes, real name) explained the technique....

I didn't like Mrs Cartmail. She smelled funny and was mean.

1. Select Bog-roll tube, and wrap its waistline with silver/gold stick back paper.
2. Select favourite Coloured Sticky-back paper, fold down the middle and cut slits into it.
3. Cut 1 strip of paper, and stick over the top of the tube as a handle
4. unfold large coloured bit, and wrap around the tube... creating shoddy lantern effect.

I did this at warp speed. I've always been good with my hands. Other kids were having "issues" with their paper and so on... and I had a finished lantern. I was pleased. "Miiiissss I've finished!"

Humpty, That is NOT what I told you to make.
Yes it is miss
No It isn't. I told you to pick your favourite coloured paper.
I did miss.
Oh really? What colour is that then?
*confused* Black miss!
BLACK ISN'T A COLOUR!!
*so very confused, and aware that the rest of the kids were staring* Yes it is.. You said..
I SAID PICK A COLOUR... DO IT AGAIN!!
but but but *trembling lip* but ALL *our* lanterns are black miss
DON'T ARGUE! DO IT AGAIN!

I was distraught, and she tore up my lantern.
by the time I finished making my lantern again, all the others had finished. I was lagging.. but.. I had selected the darkest blue there was.

WHAT COLOUR IS THAT?
Blue miss
*Cartmail fumes*
Miss? If black isn't a colour, What colour are my trousers?
*silence*

************************

My mum came to collect me as usual... Mrs Cartmail was waiting and dragged us into the classroom. Cartmail ranted about how I argued with her about black being a colour.

My mum answered that Black *was* infact a colour, and if Cartmail had hated black so much, why did she supply black paper?

Cartmail then said I had been cheeky and tried to make her look stupid, proffering my trouser question as evidence.

My mum smiled a sweet smile and asked her what her answer had been... When Cartmail said she didn't answer it, my Mum asked her; "Well then, IF black isn't a colour, What colour are his trousers?"

Cartmail was silent.

"Well, Let me tell you. His trousers are black. It Is a colour, and he DID make you look stupid. You should be ashamed of yourself."

I was then home-schooled for a year.

*************

Shit... long and pointless. I'm sorry about that!!

Ohhh.. Tangent time.

Since then I've enjoyed asking pointy questions at exactly the right times.

I used to work at JCB at one point of my life. One of the Bamford (founders) family came around to each factory and spent time with his chief accountant explaining how we must all save money for the company. Use less hand-towels, close doors to keep heat in, Use public transport instead of hirecars, turn lights off.. blah blah blah. Serious stuff. the highlight and largest saving the reckoned was to use public transport instead of hire-cars

"Any Questions?"
*Humpty raises hand*
"Yes?"
"We know how you like to lead by example; how did you travel to the factory today?"
*Loud intakes of breath from well over 500 employees...*

The hypocrites habitually travel using the company helicopter...
(, Fri 18 Apr 2008, 15:01, 10 replies)
Kids
My daughter has just turned four, and as a result has everybody wrapped around her little finger. As part of the custody settlement that I went through I get to have a little chat with her over the phone every Tuesday evening.

And thus it was that we were chatting away the other night, when Daughter Dearest is interrupted by her vile harpy of a mother calling her to dinner, admonishing that she 'wasn't going to ask twice'.

A slight pause. I hear Daughter Dearest put the phone down and ask "Why are you interrupting me when I'm talking to my Daddy? You always tell me not to interrupt you, why are you interrupting me?"

Cue the ex-wife doing the 'speechless' thing.

Daughter Dearest gets back on the phone, heaves a huge sigh, and mutters into the phone, "Mummy's talking and it's all like bleah bleah bleah. She's boring, Daddy."

What an awesome kid.
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 4:36, 1 reply)
I don't remember this, but apparently when I was in primary school
my teacher said "James, there's a thin line between genius and insanity, and you've just crossed it.", and I replied "from which direction?"
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 21:10, 2 replies)
Etiquette lessons
A discussion with my younger stepdaughter, about how grownups use euphemisms to avoid swearing. I play the part of the Dad in this story, while the other parts are played by my wife and our degenerate brood.


Mum: "Grandad D says 'sh....ugarplumfairies', doesn't he?

Dad: Of course, he means another word beginning with 'sh...'

Elder Sister (age 8): "Yes, he means 'sh...'

Mum + Dad: "THANK YOU, WE KNOW YOU KNOW"

Dad: "Yes, he means 'Sh...anghai', doesn't he?"

Elder Sister: "No..."

Dad: "Oh, you mean it's 'Sh...alimar', then?"

Elder Sister: "No..."

Young Cherubic Moppet (age 4): "Sugarplumfucker!"
(, Sun 20 Apr 2008, 19:15, 2 replies)
I came downstairs and caught my 3 year-old son...
...standing ON TOP of the TV. (Big 1990s Sony affair). Just standing there, with a smug look on his chops.

"What the hell are you doing up there?"
"This."
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 15:35, 3 replies)
Irish nephew called Fin, aged 3
...a few weeks back, walks upto me and says "You should shave your moustache off uncle Jeccy"
"Really? Why's that?" says I.
"Because you look gay."

The little cunt.
(, Fri 18 Apr 2008, 19:21, 7 replies)
Flattery - kiddy style
My eldest daughter, when about 4 or so, was watching me dress one morning.

"Mummy, when I grow up, will I have big boobies like you?"

"Yes, darling, you will," replied a very flattered WeeWitch. Suffice to say, my (bra) cup does not runneth over.

"Mummy, will I have a big bottom like yours, too?"

I smiled bravely and went off to look up the orphanage's phone number.
(, Thu 17 Apr 2008, 18:46, 3 replies)
A job!
I generally have little time for fuck-trophies. Mrs. Lustfish and I aren't really the parenting types. However, should we ever have a little crotch-fruit of our own, I would be proud to be the kind of parent that my friend Rick is.

He has a daughter, and I visited when she was about six. As I arrived, this cute-as-a-button little girl came running over, and asked "Uncle Lustfish, would you like a gin and tonic?". Why, yes, I would, as it happened.

So off she bounced and made me a damn fine G&T. I thanked her for this, and complimented Rick on his fine parenting skills. He said, "that's nothing - ask her what she's getting for her sixteenth birthday!".

Now, Rick is something of a pervert, so I did ask - but with some trepidation. Nothing could have prepared me for her answer, though.

"A job! So I can pay Daddy back!".
(, Wed 23 Apr 2008, 19:25, 7 replies)
I was once a Dad (almost)
If anyone has ever thought a child should be born then perhaps it was this one.
Here comes perhaps a long story. But I'll try and make it as interesting as possible.

I never wanted kids. What a load of effort they are! They hold you back from doing things you want to do and why would I want to bring a child up in this hostile overpopulated world anyway?

I had started seeing this girl, I'd known her a while but she kinda dissapeared then came back onto the scene. We started seeing more and more of each other. We weren't together yet and hadnt actually done anything with each other. One day she confided in me that she was pregnant with her ex's baby. She was only 17 at the time and hadn't even told her own family. I told her it was entirely up to her as to what she wanted to do. The thing is, she was well into the pregnancy. Believe it or not nearly 5 months before she knew she was pregnant. Yes its rare, it does happen. She literally went to the doctors complaining of weight gain and irregular and extremely light periods! But yes she was pregnant.
I of course took a step back from this developing relationship as a result. At only 17 she wasnt wanting the child at all and didnt feel she could give a child what it would need. She was extremely worried about family support, and I guess what every young mother would worry about.

Anyway I don't want to drag too much on this part but basically she was too late for an abortion. One day too late actually so she had to have the baby.

I kept on seeing her, and it was obvious that her ex wanted nothing to do with it, and even denied the fact it was his accusing her of sleeping around. The usual teenage response for finding out that youre a daddy. Thing is I was a bit older (low 20s) so was somewhat more objectivly minded.

One day we had gone to town together with some of her friends when a heavilly pregnant Kelly (for thats what we will call her) suddenly fell rather ill. I took her home and she spewed up in my nice shiny new car on the way back. I wasnt too bothered though. I was mainly worried for her. They ended up phoning the hospital and was told to bring her in as she was just getting iller and iller as the evening progressed. She was starting to get contractions. I asked her if she wanted me to come with her. And she said yes. Normally Kelly was one of these girls to say "Its up to you I dont mind" but i really needed a firm answer here. I mean we werent exactly a full on couple at this point. But the fact she said yes was fine.

We went to the hospital with her mum, and they got her straight into the maternity ward. It was rather serious to say the least. They ended up calling out the chief consultant. There were problems, Kelly had got an infection and her temperature was sky high and the heart rate of the baby was also rather high. They wanted to get mum better first. I had the great job of holding the sensor thing onto her stomach to keep a constant measure of heart rate. They pumped her through of anti-biotics. And there were times when we had to all leave to doctors to it, and then were alowed back in. There was a lot they wasnt telling us, as we heard them talking and they werent sounding too happy thats for sure.
I had Kellys mum crying on me and saying thank goodness you are here. I wouldnt have coped if you werent. This was quite amusing considering just 24 hours before she was giving me the ole "Dont you dare hurt her" speach!

They induced her to give birth and I prepared myself to witness a live birth. But then they found some other problems, and rushed her up for an emergency cezarian. Obviously her mum went with her leaving me sat in a now empty ward waiting.

Half an hour later I heard the sound of a baby crying echoing through the corridor. By this point it was 3am and I was high on caffeine. A nurse said, he's here do you want to come and see him. So I did, and there was a very tiny alien thing laid all wrapped up in a cot. I cut the cord. Well obviously it was already cut but it needed cutting shorter. Mum was being stitched up in the operating theater. It was quite a feeling seeing this tiny red thing laid there squirming around. I remember saying to him "Welcome to Earth mate!"

They put the baby in the Special Care Unit as he wasnt well either. Another a hour later and a very dozed and completely knackered looking Kelly was wheeled down and they gave the baby back to her. It was all very nice and her mum was in tears of happiness after being so worried that the baby and even her could have been lost. It was touch and go for a moment there. Loads of photos taken (which are now very embarassing as Kelly really did look rough after going through all that lot!)

The next day Kelly and Baby were perfectly fine. I never found out the full details of this infection. I think it was a water infection or something, but apparantly it was a little touch and go at one point.

It makes you really realise what is important in life. Life I guess. I work in IT and people get all hyped up about a computer not working. Like its the end of the world. Yet these people there at the hospital were literallly dealing with a matter of life and death. Stuff that will change peoples lives forever. It really puts into perspective some peoples jobs. If you see people getting all stressed out because a tax report isn't ready on time. Think to those doctors and nurses working in hospitals all the time dealing with real life important things. Despite our story being a happy ending, sadly many are not. Those nurses and doctors were nothing short of remarkable. The professionalism was commendable. I felt I couldn't thank them enough. It wasn't just us they were dealing with that night, and before we had even left and there were more births coming in. Their actions changed our lives forever, yet I bet they dont even remember us now. They did so much for us, and it didnt cost anything. Yay for the NHS is what I say on that one. Very well done there.

As time went on, I began to realise that this baby wasnt gonig to be a burden. Infact it brought me and Kelly very close together, to the point we got a house together and I practically became babies daddy. I was there when he crawled for the first time, there when he walked for the first time. Even my own family were begining to see him as part of the family. I helped him mutter his first words. It was amazing seeing this thing that was laid on the hospital bed grow into a happy bouncing toddler.

I'd like to say we lived happily ever after. But sadly that didnt happen. 18 months later, Kelly cheated on me and I ended up moving to Spain. Thats another very very long story.
I'd love to have my own kids some day.
They give direction in life, a sense of achievement seeing them learning new things, seeing them happy. I feel I have a lot to teach and I'd love to teach my child and experience him developing his own skills and personality. They are a joy to have around.
(, Wed 23 Apr 2008, 16:14, 5 replies)
Encouragement
My 20-month old daughter is very cute.

She learns from our behaviour - and we of course encourage her all the time.

This means that now every morning when I put my first sock on I hear a little voice pipe up "Well done, Daddy", and then after the second goes on "Clever Daddy".

Oddly I do feel quite pleased with myself as a result.
(, Tue 22 Apr 2008, 23:54, 4 replies)
Cake Tale.
I like kids. I seem to have a particular affinity for stompy, shouty little boys who enjoy being hung upside down, rolled about in filth, and all that sort of thing. And I plan on having several of my own, should my ovaries not prove bullet-proof (a possbility, considering my parents couldn't have children. Yark! Narf! But seriously...)

It seems that the key if you wish your children to avoid obnoxious brattery is to have more than one kid. By all accounts, I was an absolute horror until Mnemonic Minor showed up when I was five - a goggly-eyed ball of dough with bright ginger hair and one ear bigger than the other (he's now tall, blonde and a part-time model, the b@st@rd.) Before this (partly due to medical problems which meant I couldn't walk til I was three, and partly because my parents had lost a couple before I came along) I had far too much attention and fuss made of me. Being ignored - or at least no longer the centre of attention - was the best thing that ever happened to me.

To illustrate, I shall tell you the tale of the village fete - a story of Machiavellian plotting, rebellion, and cake.

...

I would have been about four when this happened. Mum, for reasons lost in the mists of time, had thought it was a good idea to take her organically-reared (read – sugar-starved) offspring for a stroll down to the village hall, where preparations were being made of the annual Flower and Produce show. (yep – we know how to throw a party in rural Dumfries.) She was probably just bored off her tits trapped in a house with an insomniac, rabidly-questioning child who’d just learned how to get about independently, adn was making full use of her newly-acquired skill. The Flower and Produce show was, as might be expected, your typical WI set-up – the Biggest Marrow competition (no silliness please), home-grown produce rosettes, hand-knitted sheep, flower arranging, a needlework prize, and – most importantly – the Bakery Contest.

As we went in, I was put under strict instructions “not to lay a finger on any of the cakes”, on pain of death, or at the least a hefty spanking. Mum went over to the other side of the hall to talk to some middle-aged ladies in beige two-pieces. I wandered about the displays for a while, sneezing at the flowers, tentatively stroking a knitted teddy bear. But slowly and inevitably, I was drawn towards the long trestle table where the cakes had been set out, ready to be judged later that day.

The cakes sat, plump and alluring, on a cloth of perfect white. They seemed to glow with an inner light of their own. To my childish eyes, there appeared to be hundreds, a feast, a fantasy banquet. We weren’t really allowed cake at home, but here, in case you haven’t already clicked, was cake aplenty, There were sponge cakes oozing jam, deep crumbly chocolate cakes, gooey caramel cakes, layer cakes topped with thick buttery icing and a swirl of raspberry sauce. There was a deep scarlet cherry cake topped with cream and generously decorated with deep red fruit. There were tiny fairy cakes iced in all the colours of the rainbow, topped with violet icing flowers.

Then I came to the end of the table, and there it stood – the piece de resitance. The Great Gateau. It was at least five layers high, and iced in palest pink, with brilliant gold sugar roses piped onto the sides. It was a thing of wonder and delight. I looked at those sweet, shining, roses, and I began to salivate. Just one, just a little one, from round the back…surely nobody would notice? But I couldn’t touch. I’d been told specifically to keep my hands firmly behind my back. There was nothing to be done. I would have to go cakeless. Unless…

All of a sudden, the wail of a demented beige-clad banshee split the silence of the hall. “WHOSE is this CHILD??”

Mum span around to see me, hands clasped firmly and obediently behind my back, blissfully face-first in the cake. I had simply leant forward and taken a massive bite out of the side. But I hadn’t laid a finger on it.
And yea, it was delicious.

And I STILL got a spanking. Bloody kids? Bloody parents, more like.



I like cake.
(, Tue 22 Apr 2008, 17:14, 9 replies)
Outwitted by a five year old
My Ex's Uncle lives in Blackpool and we went to stay with his family and check out the Pleasure Beach, the Tower etc. His daughter, Ellie, is five and at that age where conversation is a never ending stream of questions. She walked into the front room just as we were putting our coats on to go out for the day and the interrogation began.

Ellie: "Where are you going?"
Me: "We're going to the Pleasure Beach, Ellie."
E: "Why?"
M: "To go on all the rides."
E: "Why?"
M: "Because they'll be exciting. We don't have rollercoasters in our town."
E: "Why?"
M: "Umm.... there isn't anywhere to put them I suppose."
E: Why?
M: "Ummm... they built shops and offices instead."
E: "Why?"
M: "Errr... so people could have somewhere to go to by stuff and earn the money to do so."
E: "Why?"

At this point her Uncle walked in and she lost interest. Which was frankly a relief as I'd mentally started writing the letter I planned on sending to the council when we got home. "Dear sir, why *did* you build shops and offices instead of rollercoasters...?".

Anyway, me and the ex went out and had a great day. On returning Ellie was out in the garden making sandcastles in her sand pit. I decided to take revenge for my earlier grilling and give her a taste of her own medicine.

Me: "What ya up to Ellie?"
Ellie: "Making sandcastles"
M: "Why?"
E: "Because I like them. What are you, stupid?"

Outwitted by a five year old.
(, Mon 21 Apr 2008, 21:26, 1 reply)
Oh the shame...
A while back I was working for a very small company. A company so small I was actually working in the third bedroom of my bosses house.

The upside of this was that his missus would make us lunch, always something healthy and very tasty. The downside was the his four kids would sometimes interrupt, but nothing too bad, I was never expected to wipe bums or anything.

One lunch time we're having some lovely soup and bread and chatting about public displays of affection (which neither of us really mind too much). My boss jokingly says that he never hugs his wife, to which the oldest of his kids responds:

"yes you do, you take all your clothes off and hug mummy and you go UH UH UH UH! and then mummy turns around and you..."

At this point she was stopped by two beetroot faced parents. Work was never the same again...
(, Fri 18 Apr 2008, 10:03, Reply)

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