Blame it on the Boogie

It was Father’s Day this weekend and I was reminded of how far we have come in fourteen short weeks as I was uploading pictures to Moonpig for cards to give to Grandads Aitchworld both. This in itself was a chore because of the sheer amount of pictures I’ve taken in that time and working through them looking for something I deemed suitable took ages. There are several million on my ‘phone and I think the memory card in my camera is full. I should really do something about backing them up now we’ve got so much sleep going on and I have a little more time to think. Oh yes, we managed to go from 10.30pm to 5.40am in the sleep stakes last night. I feel as fresh as those kids talking about how clean their bottoms are on the Andrex advert. Speaking of which…

I have mentioned Ukulele Club quite liberally in the past, despite the first rule of Ukulele Club. Now the actual name of the club is Biddulph Ukulele Group, usually shortened to BUG. One of the more active members approached me the other evening with a question about photographs, “We are launching the new BUG website very shortly and I am working on a junior BUG’ers page”. “A what now?” “A section of the website for members’ kids – I just wondered if you minded if we uploaded that picture of your twins to it; some people are funny about other people posting pictures of their children on the internet”. “I don’t think you should call it that Alan, but I don’t mind the picture going online at all”.

It does constantly surprise me what can and can’t and should and shouldn’t be posted, on the internet and in particular Facebook. It was brought home to me especially the other day, not by Alan talking about buggers, but when I took a couple of pictures on my ‘phone of Arthur and Henry enjoying bath-time, and they do enjoy a bath-time. My usual reaction when I take a cute picture of one or both of the boys is to stick it on Facebook. The novelty of having cute children still hasn’t worn off. I still can’t quite believe it happened, but there is no need for DNA testing as the evidence from their faces is clear that they are mine. So I tend to show it off a bit. Deal with it. Now the bath picture didn’t show any bits or bottoms but just as I was about to upload it, I pondered on whether it would contravene several nudity rules and in the event, I didn’t have the fight in me to dispute it if it did all kick off, so I hit cancel instead.

I have stated previously that the tiredness has largely been managed, by a series of early nights and grabbing extra sleep whenever possible. There have been moments though. I had an angry moment the other evening when at 10pm some bright bellend decided to let off fireworks. Most times when this happens people moan about their kids being woken up and scared and their pets being frightened. Not ours – the boys didn’t move a muscle or wake up and Dave sat on the windowsill watching them as Charlie slept on the bed without stirring. I was pissed off because they woke me up. I don’t really get fireworks anyway, but that’s another rant for another time.

Also, the other day I ran out of deodorant after spraying under just one arm. I found another can in the bathroom cupboard, but it was a different variety. Rather than shower again and start over, I just sprayed the other armpit with the different deodorant. I have no idea what it smelled like or whether the two fragrances worked together. I’m not saying my standards have slipped, but I didn’t really care. I also didn’t care when a bird shat on me when I was walking home the other day – fortunately I had the boys with me, which meant I had a changing bag with me and that means lots of baby wipes. I just wiped it off and carried on walking. This is a sign of how far I have come – six months ago I would have taken the top off and thrown it in a bin before I had reached the end of the street. I wouldn’t want a top that had been re-designed by shite.

It is fair to say I’m not the most co-ordinated of people in the first place. I think it is also safe to say I am not, and will never be, a fashion guru, and this has been picked up upon when I have sent the twins out dressed in certain outfits. How was I to know striped tops didn’t go with striped trousers? And that a blue dribble bib should be used with a green outfit? If we had just stuck to my original plans of baby-grows into adulthood this wouldn’t be an issue, but seeing as we have been given loads of clothes, it seems churlish not to use them and the boys have been getting dressed up a little of late when they go out. We usually take a picture of them and post them on Facebook, tagging the person who gave us the clothes, but even this has been mixed up a couple of times and we have tagged the wrong people for the outfits the boys were wearing. But when we got to Baby Boogie last Friday, I was admonished by one of the mothers there for the choice of outfits I sent Arthur out in a few days previously…

What do you mean; you’ve never heard of Baby Boogie?  This is a clever way that someone has devised of extracting money from gullible parents. You show up, pay £4 and you then get to sing nursery rhymes to your child. For your £4 you do get someone who shows up with a box of maracas and tambourines, an iPod loaded with the nursery rhymes you have just paid to sing, and various other bits of paraphernalia that apparently babies like. One of these was a foil blanket like they dish out to the runners at the end of marathons. Now I have been to a marathon – Mrs Aitchworld ran the Berlin marathon a couple of years ago and as she won her place in it as a competition prize (it’s a long story)as her partner I got VIP treatment in a hospitality marquee at the finish line and of all the people I saw cross the finish line, not one of them was a baby. To be fair, Mrs Aitchworld’s time was probably better than that of a baby’s and as I left the hospitality tent as soon as she crossed the finish line (well, as soon as I finished my pint. And wine. And food) there could have been babies finishing after I left, but I am in doubt of this. But the baby coordinator insisted she knew what she was doing.

I believed her up until the point where she produced a parachute. Now I am as tempted as the next man to throw their baby in the air as high as they can, although I am not quite at that point where I will actually do it. And I am really not sure that I will ever throw them high enough that they will need a parachute. I needn’t have worried – the babies don’t get attached to the parachute and they don’t get dropped out of an upstairs window. I will admit a combination of disappointment and relief. In the event, it was filled with the sort of plastic balls you would fill a ball pit with in a Wacky Warehouse and the parachute stretched to bounce them about to a little known nursery rhyme called popcorn.

Arthur and Henry are fourteen weeks old now. The self-awareness of what they are doing and their likes and dislikes are becoming more apparent with every passing day. Two opposite babies you couldn’t expect to meet, which is strange considering they are sharing the same genes. But then at Baby Boogie, the variation of development is immense. The age range of the babies in attendance is from about 12 weeks to about 26 weeks. I’m not competitive dad or anything… Okay, you’ve got me, I am and I will admit to already planning how I can surreptitiously leg any faster dads up in the sack race at my first sports day in a few years’ time. At Baby Boogie each of the babies were competent in different areas.

I suppose it is like life in general. Some of the younger babies were better than Arthur and Henry at grabbing things, who were in turn still better than some of the older babies at this. The older babies, who couldn’t be arsed to grab things because they have been there and done that and it is so three months ago, were far better than all the younger babies at tracking things with their eyes (well, better than all other than Henry, who doesn’t miss a damn thing) and Arthur was better than all of them at being ultimately not arsed about anything and sleeping through a lot of it. At the first one we went to, Henry was better than all of them at howling like a banshee all the way through it.

At the end of it, the Baby Boogie coordinator recommended we get a few things for the boys to aid their development. One was a sheer, see through fabric, as babies liked the sensation of having it draped over their face but still being able to see through it. Another was a feather boa, as they like the sensation of the feathers on their skin. And finally, a disco ball, as they like the lights. We got all of this, except I did get a bit competitive again and got a double disco ball. The cats love the feather boa. It’s like they’ve caught a whole sting of birds all by themselves, which isn’t something they are particularly adept at out in the wild, thankfully. They also like the sheer fabric. The twins couldn’t give less of a shit about either if they tried. The disco ball though… Well again, Arthur couldn’t really care less, but we have a winner with Henry – he loves it and can’t keep his eyes off it. I blame it on the boogie…

Quick poo update, as it has been at least a fortnight since I have related a poo tale, discounting the earlier bird poo anecdote above, is that this week it smells like salted-butter flavour microwave popcorn. That’s another foodstuff crossed off my list!


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