Potty Mouth

Could this be the end of sh*tty nappies? I’ve been dreading writing this post…you know…just in case I jinx it…again.

I started writing this post months ago, when I truly believed we were on the cusp of a successful potty training regime. Sod’s law, my little boy regressed, and it became a constant battle to get him on the potty, and not pee all over the sofa/carpet/behind the shed/on the dogs. Oh, and no amount of telling me that is common with boys, doesn’t make the constant scrubbing, and washing of clothes any easier. Just sayin’.

Every child is different, but consensus says our lovely little leprechauns will begin the potty train journey somewhere between 18 months and three years. We have had a potty sat in the living room since JB was 18 months, just so it was there, visible, and awaiting an exploring mind. It didn’t take too long.

  

Of course, after filling it with toys, he was soon questioning what it was, and was quickly using it for the occasional wee.

We have always let him explore at his own pace, and made excited noises, with lots of praise, and the obligatory high five’s. But some how, he had developed a nervousness about pooping in the potty. Sure the carpet was fine, and the bath…well that’s the law. But the potty had been elusive, until recently. Now, although he hides away in the corner of the room to do his business, he will proudly present us with his ‘banana poo-poo!’

Maybe it’s because he’s moved into pre-school, and his peers, being almost a year older and more advanced…or maybe he has a little more confidence in himself, I don’t know. But what I do know is we are one step closer to the ultimate goal of pants!

  

Is it just me, or is it kinda weird having the phrase ‘always on duty’ on a pair of pants? Sure, your wife might buy you a pair for your honeymoon, or your best man at your stag do, but come on, we all know that boat has sailed when you’re talking about parenting, am I right people? 😉

So what do we know?

By the age of three, 90% of our little ones will be dry most days, there’s bound to be the odd accident, that’s only natural, and by the age of four accidents should be a thing of the past throughout the day.

It takes a little longer to master the art of staying dry through the night however, but most will have mastered it by age five, barring a few accidents.

The point is to relax and let your children go at their own pace. By trying to force them, you will create an anxiety toward a natural process that will cause you more headaches, and you will no doubt have plenty of those anyway.

The main thing is, that battle of the potty has been won, so it’s onto the next battle…trying to get my lovely little monster to pull up his shorts and not dress like Donald Duck!

  

Well…that’s all folks! Until next time, you might like to try some of my other posts.

I recently celebrated one year of blogging, find out how it felt in Happy Anniversary.
Or maybe you’d like to enjoy a jovial jest of digestive drama, with plenty of projectile poop, in Fifty Shades of Shinola.

Run Jump Scrap!

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Happy Anniversary

Its official, Dawn of the Dad is now one year old! Woo-Hoo!

Yes that’s right folks, a whole year has passed since my first post, A Trip to the Park, hit the virtual press so to speak. The keen-eyed among you long time readers will have noticed, that it’s had a little face-lift recently, with the edition of a couple of photos. (Finally!)

Obviously, along my journey of the last 12 months, I’ve picked up a couple of tricks that are a must have in the world of blogging.

So what have I learned over the last 365 days?

Firstly, bloggers are awesome! I have found such a wonderful community of people, who are more than happy to help you become all you want to be, and are always on hand with a kind word in the comments box, a share on social media, and even showcase your work on their websites. So a huge thank you to you all! You rock!

The last 8,765 hours have taught me how to use pictures. As the old adage goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and how true it is. The picture not only helps set the scene, it breaks up text, making it less monotonous, and more appealing.

  
Now that your blog post is looking cool and more engaging, you want to keep your audience on your site.

525,948 minutes have also shown me how to use embedded links within my posts. At the end of each post, or within the body of text, you will usually find three links that will take you to other, similar posts that I have written. I also put in links to other sites, which sounds odd, as you want to keep people reading your work. But somehow linking to larger, external sites, you increase traffic to yours, or so I’m told.

31,556,926 seconds later I realise I still have loads to learn, and trying to do all this on top of looking after a threenager all day, is very, very, tiring …

  

If you’ve only just discovered my blog, and you want to get a flavour of what I’m about, then you can’t go far wrong with the following posts.

Possibly one of my favourite posts, A Clockwork Thomas and Friends highlights the pain and suffering a stay at home dad must endure, each and every day.

When I’m not laughing at myself, and my wonderful life, I can be found raising a little cash and a smile for childrens charity. Run Fat Boy… is the latest push for charity, and I can reveal here right now that I am about to sign up for a 1/2 marathon in the spring. Details will be available as and when.

Every now and then I just have to highlight the injustice, and prejudice that seems to be more and more prevalent nowadays. Dads…Our Secret is Out is a little stab at the rampant sexism in the 21st century that boils my blood.

Well, time to raise a glass and watch the next 3.1709791983765 x 10-11 milliseconds fly by.

Till next time droogs, why not check out other great bloggers via the following links.

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King of the Wild Things: Dean Heritage Centre

I remember as a young boy, when the Dean Heritage Centre opened. We took a school visit, to discover the rich history of our locale. The blink of an eye, and thirty years have passed us by. This time instead of being a small boy, exploring our rich heritage, I am now guiding my own son down memory lane.

The wonderful museum, with around 20,000 pieces on show, is the main attraction here. JB showed a little interest in a few of them, but as a two year old I didn’t expect much. 

However, dotted around there are little workstations, furnished with crayons, pencils, and pictures ready to colour. A wonderful touch, designed to give older children, and us parents, a chance to discover the cornucopia of history the Forest of Dean has to offer, while the little ones doodle.

From Iron Age, through Roman and Saxon times; the industrial revolution, two world wars, and a gallery dedicated to the life and works of our local playwright, Dennis Potter.

  

Now I’ve wet your appetite, lets move on the the meat and potatoes of why we were here in the first place.

The Dean Heritage Centre have a Hungry Caterpillar trail, running until next Easter, winding through the woods, finishing at an adventure playground.

All the stops along the way feature a large wooden caterpillar and the fruit that has been eaten. They are marvelous creations from the on-site chainsaw carver, Clayton Ryder.

  

The playground is exactly as I remember it, although smaller for some reason, but the look on my sons face, put me in mind of how I felt, playing there, all those years ago.

Can you find all of the sugary treats that gave the hungry caterpillar tummy ache? 

 I know if I’d eaten a cake this big, I would be suffering for a week! They are hidden in and around the playground, and my little cherub was so excited when he found them.

Along with the Hungry Caterpillar, you will find, a coal mine, traditional charcoal burning, (the last weekend of August), and lots of other wood carvings. You will find pieces from previous trails such as The Gruffalo, and Room on the Broom. 

  

  

There is also a bug trail, and if you don’t like our eight legged friends, then I suggest you turn away now.
  

Did I mention the great archives library they have on site? Surely I mentioned the ferret walks, and the Pigs?

There is literally loads to see and do here, they have an art gallery where they showcase great local artists, and many other attractions on certain dates. Check out the Dean Heritage Centre website for further information.

All in all, a great escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, whether that’s into the magical past for you, or the wonderful world of books for your kids.

King of the Wild Things is a series of posts about the wonderful places your children would love to visit in the Forest of Dean. Check out other posts in the series by clicking the following links.

Perrygrove Railway

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#BeardsForBabies II

As most of you are probably aware, over the last month I have been growing a beard to raise money for the Lullaby Trust, and today, (26th June), is the final day. The day that all involved reveal to the world the fruits of their labour.

 The fresh faced fizzog of your fatherly friend.

Before the big reveal, I must first give a big shout out to all those that got on board, growing facial fuzz, for such a great cause. You guys rock!

But more importantly than all of us scruffy urchins, I’d like to give a huge thank you to all the people that have donated their hard earned cash to help. Even if there was a little persuasion on my part. 😉

 

Through my Just Giving Page, and at work, my friends and family have raised a whopping £155 to date. I am truly overwhelmed by your support. Thank you so much.

If you would like to help, please click the link above and help out. The page will remain active.

For those of you who are new here you can read about what the Lullaby Trust stand for here, and you can read my thoughts about sudden infant death syndrome on my post.

Well, it’s time to cut to the chase, (pun intended), and reveal this years official #BeardsForBabies beard.

I thought I might do something a little special to thank you all for your support, and decided to have a little fun with the beard, so this years official beard is…drumroll please…the mighty mutton chops!

 

Puts me in mind of all those wonderful bare knuckle boxers. Who’s up for some fisticuffs? 😂

The Dad Network
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Day of the Dad

What’s that you say? “Day of the Dad”? Surely you mean “Dawn of the Dad”?

Nope…Day of the Dad. More commonly known as Father’s Day, or in this case in particular, the name of the event I attended on the weekend. 

An informal pre Father’s Day, Father’s Day as it were. A chance to leave the family at home and chill with my peers in the dad blogging world.

The event was the brainchild of Al Ferguson from The Dad Network, and I must say, a bang up job Al. Great idea, great venue, great food, and most importantly great company.

  

Located on the bridge of the Tatershall Castle Riverboat in the little village of London, I got to meet up with a great bunch of dad bloggers, and vloggers, from across the UK, to share a beer, and a few anecdotes about life, kids, and blogging.

  

We had the pleasure of a visit from a couple of reps from The Lullaby Trust, who came down to witness first hand, the wonderful array of beards on show, and chat about the wonderful work they do.

The support for their #BeardsForBabies campaign has been truly amazing within the dad blog community, either that or they’re just a bunch of scruffy oiks! 😉

  
Two weeks growth, and the itching has just about stopped now.


The thing that surprised me most about the day, was the fact that even though there were no kids on board, the dads just couldn’t help but play with the Lego! It had me perplexed right up until the end of the day, when it was revealed that there was a £25 Etsy voucher up for grabs.

  

All in all it was a wonderful day out with a chance to to meet and greet all the great dad blogs I follow, and be introduced to some great bloggers I’d yet to come accross.

If you would like to see what we all got up to at Day of the Dad, there was a film crew on board, and it will be a feature on the Chrissy B show this Friday, for their Father’s Day special.

To all the dads out there, here’s wishing you a great Father’s Day this Sunday, and I hope to meet you all at the next Day of the Dad bash for some more fun! (A little bird tells me it will be June 11 ’16).

Well, until next time droogs, don’t forget to show your support for the Lullaby Trust and all those poor dads with itchy facial hair, mine is here.

Be dobby, smeck grimly, and skvat jeezny by the sharries droogs!

Dohigh.

The Pembrokeshire Coast

Last week we took a well earned break, and introduced the little boy to a traditional British beach holiday.

This year, as last, we visited the Pembrokeshire coast, staying at the excellent White Gate Caravan Park. This five star rated park is set in the quiet, and aptly named Pleasant Valley, and is mere minutes away from the coast and sandcastle heaven.

Our hosts, John, Charlotte, and their lovely little boy made us feel welcome from the get go, and were more than happy to help us achieve the perfect holiday experience, letting us know what is going on in the area. They definitely deserve the five stars they have been rated.

A visit to Pembrokeshire would be incomplete without a visit to at least one of the fifteen castles in the area. Last year we visited Manorbier, a sort of a trip down memory lane from my boyhood. This year we visited the daddy of them all Pembroke Castle.

  

You can imagine the excitement for a little boy, running around this massive castle, exploring all the little nooks and crannies. There is also lots to entertain older children, and adults alike, as the castle comes to life to explain its rich history.

The British weather being what it is, you can always expect a drop or three of rain, even in June, and this week was no exception. Luckily for us it was only the first couple of mornings, so it didn’t dampen our spirits.

  

With the rain freshly cleared up, off we trotted to Anna Ryder Richardson’s Manor House Wildlife Park, to visit the rhinos, and tigers. Unfortunately, the Sumatran cats aren’t yet at the park, but there are still plenty of other animals, to keep the little ones entertained, including lots of lovely meerkats trying to sell insurance to the visitors.

With the sun now out, complete with hat, (hip hip hooray,) we got to hit the beaches! Starting from left to right, along our little bit of coastline, we have Tenby, Saundersfoot, Wiseman’s Bridge, (our closest to White Gate,) Amroth, Marros, and Pendine. They are all beautiful beaches, and depending on which you chose, you can have all the hustle and bustle of Tenby, or you can have the beach to yourself at Marros.

As with all beach holidays it’s not just the bucket and spade that’s compulsory!

  

As you can imagine a week of sun sea and sand, meant that we HAVE to eat ice cream, CONSTANTLY! It’s the law, don’t you know.

No matter how much fun you can have at the seaside, (and we had lots!) it still wasn’t the crowning jewel of our holiday, oh no, that prize goes to Folly Farm.

  

When it comes to farm parks, I’ve seen more than my fair share over the last two years, but all pale in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, in the eyes of a two year old they are all wonderful places where bunnies can be petted, and soft play areas are as big as football pitches, (in their eyes), but Folly Farm goes that one step farther and appeals to the child buried deep within the hearts of us parents. 

I know for a fact that most dads would jump on this little digger in the sand pit, alongside their toddler and dig holes. Across the other side of the path at Folly Farm is dad heaven.
 

Once little Harry has learned how to milk a goat, why not show him how this little family feed.

   

And if your family tire of watching the zebra and giraffe graze, or the penguins swimming around under water, then I guess you could take in the adventure playground that IS the size of a football pitch.

  

If you manage to do all that, and still have energy/time left in the day, then the indoor fairground is worth a visit. Some of Britain’s oldest steam powered carousels, waltzers, and ghost trains, are not only on display, but you can ride them to your hearts content.

   

     

Dotted around this large fairground, you can find a hall of mirrors, hook the duck, rifle ranges, and all the old stall games your grandparents would remember playing in their youth.

All in all, I’d say that in our busy week in Pembrokeshire, we only covered about a third of all the activities available.

Bare in mind that most things are off the agenda with a toddler, due to age, or height restrictions, and you can start to imagine what fun can truly be achieved with the likes of roller coasters and lazer quests or paintball.

I think there will be many more visits to this area over the next 20 years, and we will never tire of it!

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