Expectations

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I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on this photograph.

This is my son in his very first football kit, about to have a bath after his training session.

Max turned 2 years old on Thursday. After I took this photo today, it made me think of all the times I had put my kits on, to go out and play whatever the weather with always the same ending. A hot bath to help relax my tired limbs.

This is the very first time Max has become a part of this routine. The first time he has worn a kit. The first bath.

I have this moment captured forever. My family bloodline has a gene pool that has produced talented offspring. It is yet to be seen whether Max has been fortunate enough to posses these attributes and it is entirely up to him if he is happy to play any type of sport as he grows up. For me, this image is priceless. As far as documentation of my own sporting history goes, all I have is mostly my own memories. But looking at this photo, it is amazing how much of these memories I had forgotten.

As parents, we expect our children to follow in our footsteps but to do it all better than we did. We had our chance.

I am so proud to witness the starting point of Max producing his own special memories and I will do my upmost to capture as much of these on film as possible. My son is about to embark on the journey that I have been and done. He has so much to experience, winning, losing, euphoria, fear, respect and many, many more. These are all life lessons.

Even if sport is not for Max, I will be there every step of the way.

MaxDadUK

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Mystery Monday’s

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The look on Max’s face says it all. “Dad, what are we doing here?!”

For this weeks instalment of Mystery Monday’s my fiancé had sent us to Bird World.

Many years ago, Bird world in Farnham, Surrey was a massively popular attraction for families to enjoy a day out. This was back when the likes of places such as Thorpe Park were little more than a farm with a couple of mediocre rides.

I can’t remember the last time I visited Bird World. But now, in the middle of winter, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the place. It was like walking into a ghost town. Hundreds of caged birds from all over the globe with no spectators to witness their beauty. Upon walking into reception, even the girl behind the counter seemed surprised to see another human being. Two if you include Max. Admission for one adult was around £6.50, not too bad at all. “Would you like some food to feed the birds?” Due to how quiet it was they probably needed a good meal so yes, another couple of quid. Then Max sees the cars lined up. “Carrrrrr!” Dammit. Another £5 for the hire. Probably the best money I spent too seeing as I didn’t have the buggy to push him around in. So I’ve now spent more than I had originally been pleased to but I now have a very happy Max.

In we go.

The first sign of life we see is a tonne of ducks on a half frozen pond, this is great, I could have just walked around the corner from my house to see ducks! We fed a few and moved on, even Max wasn’t interested at this point. Next, we come across two reindeers, one brown, one white. Not birds but very impressive to see! Wait…whats that over there? Other human beings! A young couple walking around with about as much interest in what they can see as I would have if I was sent to a Justin Bieber concert.

My fiancé had told me that at 3:30pm it was time for the main event. Ok this could be promising. Maybe Santa will be putting the random reindeers to use? I was way off. It turned out to be penguin feeding time. I was still fairly excited to see this because at least Max would enjoy seeing the penguins go crazy, whilst I learn some interesting facts from the keeper presenting the show. Again, we were the only ones at the feeding event. We stood in the cold for roughly twenty minutes waiting to be amazed by the sceptical. It was a very long wait, however I did manage to witness a couple of stalk like birds having a fight over their places in the tree. The moment had arrived. The large wooden door swung open. Out walks a young keeper with a bucket of fish and a mother and her daughter. Wait. What?! Did we miss something here? I could have sworn that Max and I were the only ones in the park yet we managed to miss the invite! Anyway so what happened next was even more disappointing. Handfuls of fish were thrown at the penguins and not even a “HELLO PENGUIN LOVERS!” was announced over the tannoyed. So much for the facts.

So after leaving midway through the feeding frenzy, I sped my way around what was left to see and we said our goodbyes to Bird World.

It is such a shame that such a big, interesting place does not have much appeal to people anymore. Usually I hate being in over crowded places but this one definitely needs some life injected into it to give it a more enjoyable experience. I’m sure in the summer it’s a great place to visit. On the weekend. At peak times. But unfortunately its not one for this time of year.

Lets see what next Monday brings…

MaxDadUK

Chocolate

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You will be forgiven for thinking “What a terrible photo!”

This actually happens to be the effects of a sugary treat. T’is the season to be jolly! So what will we end up with stacks and stacks of?? Yep, CHOCOLATE! For me that’s great, I love the stuff, but for my soon to be 2 year old the nightmare has begun!

It’s now the second day of advent and lucky Max has himself three calendars to work through over the course of twenty five day’s. That means he gets to start every one of these days with a hyper attack. This is excellent for him, but for me, instead of being able to ease my way into the morning with a steaming cup of coffee, I am immediately plunged into full on active dad mode, and I like my coffee!

I have never been blessed with the ability to roll out of bed with a great big smile on my face, ready to take on the day. I’d say I’m more like one of the zombies you’d see in those old fashioned movies until roughly 11 o’clock. So…When I am treated with a heavy dosage of a toddler maniac before I’ve had breakfast, please forgive me for finding it a little tough.

You may think to yourself “Why not give him one in the morning, one at lunch and one in the afternoon?” Dear oh dear. Unfortunately that would leave me in an even more excruciating situation. Don’t get me wrong, I wish it was as easy as that. But as most parents know, this leaves the inevitable meltdown moments that make me cringe every time I think about them. To have to face this meltdown at least three times a day for the whole of December, I think I’d have to eat all of the the chocolates myself. Then probably blame the dog. Just for good measure.

So, I guess for now the only fair thing to do is to let him have his mornings of madness.

Part of me feels like swapping the rest of the chocolates for raisins, that would be a pretty disappointing start to day for Max. Only twenty three days to go, I can make it till then, right??

MaxDadUK

Youtube

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Right!

After yesterday’s fail with the upload I have now managed to edit together my first video for Mystery Monday’s!

For someone who is fairly computer illiterate I can’t help but feel pretty chuffed, I’ve succeeded in pasting together short clips using iMovie on my fiancés Mac. You might be wondering why to me this is such a big achievement? LET ME TELL YOU! I have literally had to click on every single icon and drop down menu there is on the programme, I went for the age old method of trial and error to put together a 5 minute video. As I’m sure you can imagine, this takes what feels like an eternity to do. It makes it even less fun when still listening to ‘Wheels on the bus’ on repeat. So I can assure you, this is an achievement!

So now…Where is this video?!

Honestly, I have no idea! With my naivety I thought it would be a case of save video, click upload, job done. Nope! Turns out my video is lost somewhere in the downloading realms and currently has 29hours left to finish the upload. COME ON!! This will have to be one for the fiancé to sort out when she is back from work.

Moving on…

I’ll tell you about what we got up to for now. With my fiancés genius idea of Mystery Monday’s I headed to the first venture.

I must admit that when I found out I would be going to the local community centre at 11 o’clock on a Monday I thought the worst. During the walk, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Please don’t be a yoga class for mums, pleeeease!” I arrived at the front door. I scanned the advertisements and timetables and the first Monday class I saw at that specific time was  PARENT AND TODDLER DANCE CLASS, this cannot be happening to me!

So after making a commitment to my fiancé, I take a deep breath and in I go.

In the corridor I see one parent with his son, looking at this chap he seems quite similar to myself in age, it put my nerves to ease a little. Then that got me thinking…this guy has tattoos all over his neck, why on earth has he turned up to a toddler dance class? Not to discriminate but he definitely doesn’t seem like that type of character? What’s he done to upset his Mrs I wonder?

Anyway. We go in. I am immediately put at ease and can take a sigh of relief when I see tonnes of footballs scattered over the floor. My fiancé is awesome! What she had signed me up to attend turned out to be a football class for toddlers. After the weekends football fail it was time for a bit of redemption! I’ll admit that at this stage my son isn’t quite ready to compete with the likes of Alan Shearer, and was more focused on how dizzy he could make himself by spinning on the spot but he did get involved once he realised how much fun the other kids were having. This is a good sign that he is capable of joining in with others and is willing to learn new activities.

These classes are a franchise and are located across the country. They are called Little Kickers and can be found on a google search. The first trial session is free and thereafter you can enrol on a 10 week course which is reasonably priced. The sessions are 45 minutes long. I would have never known that something like this existed if it wasn’t for my fiancé and this is the whole point of Mystery Monday’s. If we can help you to discover something new or just a more valuable way to spend your free time with your kids, then that is mission accomplished!

The video will be up soon…I promise!

MaxDadUK