Where is the tube?!

Bye bye London… hello Bristol! And… oh. Motherhood.

No dogs allowed

Posted on December 6, 2017




Felix: “Can we get a dog?”




Me, iPad in one hand, almost entirely blank piece of paper entitled ‘Christmas presents’ in other: “Afraid that will never happen sweetheart.”


“Daddy hates dogs.” 


Felix: “But I said please!”




Husband: “Oh you don’t want a dog Felix. Horrid things, dogs.”


“I could give you a hundred reasons why not to have a dog.”


Me, looking up: “A hundred?”


Husband: “Yep.”


Me: “Go on then.”


Felix: “Alex has a dog, AND…”


*eyes glint with delight*


“It sniffs…”


*dissolves into giggles*


“It sni…”


*more giggles*






*collapses with hysterical laughter*


Husband, defiantly: “Number one. They’re obsessed with ars… ‘bottoms’.”


Felix: “BOTTOMS!”


“Bottoms! Bottoms! Bottoms!”


*leaps around room*




Husband: “Number two. They jump up everywhere.”


Felix, ascending the back of an armchair: “BOTTOM FART!!”


Me: “Down from there please love. Chairs are for sitting, not standing on.”


“Felix… down please.”


Down Felix.”








… Good boy.”


*Look back at iPad*


“Any more thoughts on what to get your brother for Christmas? They’ve got a shirt made with ‘recycled post-consumer waste’ on here.”


Husband: “Which means…?”


Me: “Not entirely sure. But you know – it’s ethical. We really, really should get all our Christmas presents from companies that produce ethical… oh no scrap that it’s a hundred and fifteen quid.”


Felix: “I want a dog for Christmas!” 


“Tell Father Christmas I want a dog!”


Husband: “Well. While I’m sure he’d love a shirt made from recycled plastic bottles, what I reckon he’d really, really love, is to go off mountain biking… with me… again.”


“You know – properly.”


Me: “…properly?”


Husband: “You know – go off for a weekend. Or something.”


Me: “I’m sure he would. How kind of you.”


Husband: “I’m just saying, you know – he’d like it. That’s all I’m saying!”




Me: “Felix cover your mouth with your hand when you sneeze love. And don’t wipe your nose with your sleeve!!! Come on. Here’s a tissue.”


Husband: “Number three. Dogs slobber all over the place.”




Me: “You could pretend to BE a dog?! That would be fun!”


Felix: “I don’t want to be a dog I WANT A DOG IT’S NOT FAIR I HATE YOU!” ”


Me: “Are you feeling hungry love?”


“You sound like you’re feeling hungry?”


*Produce organic, over-priced faux-chocolate snack bar made almost entirely of dates from jeans pocket*


Felix: “Ooooh yes please Mummy!”


“Number four. Dogs only give a damn about you because you’re their source of food.” 


“Well it wouldn’t be much fun for him to go on his own would it?”


Me: “Eh?”


Husband: “The long weekend of mountain biking.”


Me: “… long weekend?”


Husband: “I’d obviously have to go with him.”


Me: “Obviously.”


*Look across to a silent Felix scrunching his crotch with his hands*


Me: “Felix, do you need the toilet?”


Felix: “No.”


Me: “Do you?”


Felix: “No!”


Me: “I think you do darling.”


Felix: “I DO NOT!”


Me: “I know! Have a wee now, then get changed into your camel costume to check it still fits!”


“The school nativity is next week!”


Husband: “Number five. You have to basically revolve your whole life around their toilet needs else you risk them weeing – or worse – everywhere.”


“In fact that should’ve been the very first reason!”


“Hold on – a camel? Again?”


Me: “Yeah, they got to choose.”


Felix: “Camels have humps!”


Me: “Apparently there’s ten angels, nine kings, four Marys, two Josephs, a wise man and a camel.”


Felix: “And a donkey! Sam’s a donkey.”


“Dexter wanted to be a dragon, but they don’t have dragons in that film.”


Husband: “Well that’s easy then – just re-using last year’s costume.”


“Wait. What film?”


Felix: “The Jesus film.”


Me: “It’s not a film love – it’s a…” *look across at husband* ”…story?”


Husband: “Yeah…a story that happened a long, long time ago.”


Felix: “In real life?”


Husband: “Yeah…”


*Looks at me*




*Looks back at Felix*




“… maybe.”


Me, picking flakey brown stuff off the corner of the iPad: “Seriously, how on earth is there Weetabix on here?!”


Husband: “Number six. No matter how much their owners try to hide it, dogs leave gross signs of their doggy-ness aaaall over the place.”


*Sit’s back, satisfied.*


Me: “So that’s six.”


“Only 94 to go…”


Husband: “Six very good reasons why we’d be MAD to get a dog.”


“Sorry Felix – no dogs in this house!”






“Don’t wipe your nose on the cushion! That’s disgusting!”




*turns cushion over*


Don’t say the F word!

Posted on June 3, 2016



Me: “It’s just going to take me a little time to get over this.”


Husband: “You need time to get over me being mean to you…”


Me: “Yes.”


Husband: “…in front of all our friends…”


Me: “Yes.”


Husband: “…in your dream.”


Me: “Yes.”




“I’m not asking for an apology.”


Husband: “Well no. That could possibly be seen as a touch unreasonable.”


Me: “I just need time, you know?”




Husband: “I… ”


Felix, running into the room: “Daddeeeeeee!”


Husband, looking relieved: “Felix!”


Felix: “Daddy you have a willy and mummy haves a bagyyyna!”


*Husband looks less relieved*


Me: “Vagina.”


Felix: “Bagyyyna.”


Me: “Va. Va. VA – GI-NER.”




Husband: “Can everyone please stop saying vagina.”


Me: “He’s not saying vagina. He’s saying bagyna. I’m correcting him. We’d correct him if he was saying other words. This is no different.”


Husband: “Well… ok fine. ”


“Anyway, surely the equivalent to willy is fa…”




Husband: “Ffffffaaaan…”


Me: “Please don’t say that word. It’s gross.”


*Chair leg makes loud scrape on the floor*


*Both dash to catch climbing child & tumbling chair before they hit the ground*


Husband: “Careful Felix!  Chairs are not toys. You could get hurt.”


Felix: “Chairs are not toys.”


Husband: “No. Exactly.”


*hands him battered plastic Postman Pat van*


“Well if not… the F word… then something else…”


Me: ”He’s not calling it a foo foo or a fairy den or something.”


Husband: “Foo foo. Why can’t we say foo foo?”


Me: “He cannot go through life referring to lady bits as foo foos.”


“He’ll never get a girlfriend.”


Husband: “The fact he pees his own pants and shoves toast up his nose will probably prove larger stumbling blocks.”


“By then he won’t be calling it a vagina anyway.”


*whispers* “He’ll call it a pu…”




“He will never say that.”


“Oh my god you’re so gross.”


Husband: “Does he even need a word for it yet?”


Me: “Yes! He needs to know females are not males minus a willy. We are not defined by the absence of something.”


Husband, quickly: “Yep yep, fair point fair point.”


*Moves toward the fridge to avoid fierce battle between Postman Pat and a one-eyed teddy that’s just broken out at our feet.*


“Maybe we just use an already existing word?”


*opens fridge door*




“No… wrong shape.”




Me: “This isn’t a joke you know. This is important.”


Husband: “AVOCADO!”


*triumphantly holds half an avocado wrapped in clingfilm above head in Statue of Liberty-esque pose*


Me: “Urgh. This was exactly how you were being last night.”


Felix: “Careful daddy! Avocados not toys. You will get hurt!”


Husband, catching my glare: “That I might Felix, that I might.”

If adults were made to share like toddlers…

Posted on May 17, 2016




Person 1: “Hi! I’ve come to see you!”


Person 2: “Oh?”


Person 1: “Yep! We’re going to hangout! Woohoo!”


Person 2: “Oh… OK. Cool. I mean we’ve only met once, briefly, but OK. You seem nice enough.”


“How long are you going to stay for?”


Person 1: “Hmmm. Probably as long as it takes for one of us start cracking emotionally with either tiredness or boredom?”


Person 2: “Oh… OK.”


Person 1: “Sooooooo… what you got there?”


Person 2: “Oh, just a latte.”


Person 1: “Ah nice. Gimme some.”


Person 2: “You want some of my latte?”


Person 1: “Yep.”


*takes giant swig*


“Half for you; half for me.




“It’s only fair.”


“Oooooooh! Nice bag!”


*picks up Person 2’s bag and whirls it violently around head*


Person 2: “Umm… please can you put my bag down?”


Person 1: “Wooooah! Chill out man! I’m just borrowing the bag. I’m going to give it back!”


Person 2: “It’s just… it’s my favourite bag. And, well, you’re whirling it around your head. It’s not generally what I do with my bag… you know?”


Person 1: “I’m not doing it any harm, am I?!”


“Am I????”


Person 2: “Well… no.”


Person 1: “Ooooh! Nice phone!”


“You got Candy Crush?”


Person 2: “Umm… y… yes?”


Person 1: “Great! Pass it over.”






Person 2: “You want to play on my phone?”


Person 1: “Yes. And I said please. So you have to let me.”


*takes phone*


“You read this instead…”


*hands Person 2 copy of the Daily Mail*


15 minutes later…


Person 2: “Look. I’d like my phone back now. It’s MY phone. This is… weird.”


Person 1: “Jeeez dude, you seriously need to work on your social skills!”



“Just one more thing before I head off then…”


“Where do you keep your car keys?”

I will literally say anything to make you behave in a more socially acceptable manner

Posted on March 14, 2016


Felix: “My willy is trapped!”


Me: “No, no it’s not. Your willy is fine sweetheart.”






*Look around*


At least ten people in the women’s wear section of Marks and Spencer are staring at us.


“He hates wearing trousers!” I say brightly to two ladies browsing khaki jeggings.


Felix: “Trousers off!”


Me: “No, trousers stay on Felix. Trousers stay…”


“Put your trousers back on Felix. Put your trousers back o…”


“No… NO…darling”


*deep breath*


“Please leave your nappy alo…”


“Felix Benjamin put your nappy back on RIGHT NOW.


*Watch as a small white bottom disappears behind a rail of pink cardigans*




Loud giggling emanates from the cardigans.


Me: “Right. OK.”









*Pick up wee-soaked nappy, trousers and shoes.*


Three raisins tumble out of a shoe and bounce their way to the feet of jeggings ladies.


Pink cardigans are now visibly shaking to the rhythm of a hysterically laughing toddler.


Felix, between cackles: “I hiding!”


“Mummy! I hiding!”


Have distinct suspicion that the jeggings ladies are no longer actually considering stretchy springtime leg wear, but merely faux-browsing in order to see how this pans out.


An elderly couple are now peering around a cluster of paisley trousers, and a member of staff re-organising quilted gilets has angled herself in our direction with notable interest.


*Adopt a casual ‘It is Perfectly Normal to Have Your Child Half-Naked in the Middle of M&S’ smile and stroll towards trembling pink cardigans.*


Oh god the sign says cashmere. Has he done his daily poo? Has he????


*Kneel down inches from nearest pink cardigan*


Me: “Ok Felix. Here’s the deal.”


“You have to wear a nappy and trousers in shops.”


Felix: “No! I got my bottom!”


*more giggling*


Me: “You have wear a nappy and trousers in shops, otherwise… a monster will come and eat you.”


“A really big monster will come and eat you right now.”




Felix: “Big monster eat Felix?”


Me: “Yep.”


“But, it’s OK. Because if you put your nappy and trousers back on, he won’t eat you. Because, you see, monsters don’t like trousers. They think they are yucky.”


Felix: “Peas are yucky.”


Me: “Well, that’s your opini…”




Me: “Felix, let’s not stray from the serious issue facing us here.”


“You are going to be eaten by a really big monster unless you put your nappy and trousers on.”


“If you put them on… then, well, you won’t.”


*head pops out from between two fluffy pink sleeves*


Felix: “Where is monster?”


Me: “Over there, behind the…”


*try to think of a child-appropriate word for gilet*


“… behind the silly puffy jacket things with no arms.”


Lady who has been tending to said gilets walks around the corner.


With three springs and an enthusiastic “I’M A DRAGON RAAAARGH!” Felix leaps out from the cardigans and into the path of slightly alarmed gilet lady.


Felix: “Mummy I dragon and I put fire over monster!”


*Blows pretend fire and a lot of actual saliva over her legs.*


*Looks up at lady*


*Lady looks at me*


*I look back at lady*


What I want to say is “I really am awfully sorry my half-naked son has spat on your knees, and I really will do my very best to prevent him from wee-ing on the floor.”


What I find myself saying is: “Well done Felix! Now quickly… RUN!”


*Take delighted half-naked toddler by the hand and both scamper for the exit.*


Have so far denied desperate requests to go back to “Monster Shop”.

An inopportune lie-in

Posted on November 4, 2015




3.10am, the other side of our bedroom wall…














“Neee naaaaw neeee naaaw!”






“Neeee naaaaaaw!”



“Neeee naaaaaaaw!”



“Neeee naaaaaaaaw!”












“Ello panda!”






“Panda is NOT a horse”






“Panda gone”














“Want a banarnaaar!”















“Postman Paaaat… Postman Paaaaaat… black ‘n’ white caaaat…”











“Twiiiiinkle twiiiiinkle little… FELIX!


*hysterical laughter*


“Ow I wunda what you… FELIX!”


*more hysterical laughter*
















“Willy in nappy!”


“Felix willy an Daddy willy but mummy no willy no.”







8am, inside our bedroom….


Me: “Oh my GOD it’s 8 o’clock.”


Boyfriend: “It can’t b… oh my GOD you’re right”


“But I can’t hear… anything…”






*both leap out of bed and sprint into next room*


Boyfriend, looking down at softly snoring child: “Hmmm…”


Me: “We’ve got half an hour before we need to leave for nursery…”


“I guess…. we…. wake him up…?!”




Boyfriend: “You do it”


Me: “NO!”


Boyfriend: “Sssshhh!”


Me: *whispering* “Sorry! But the last time we woke him up was, you know…


…that time in Wales.”


*both shudder*


Boyfriend: “But it’s gone eight….”


“We have to wake him up”


*bends down over cot and whispers*




















“Right that’s it. Pick him up.”


*tentatively scoop up floppy child”


*silence – aside from snoring, which is now considerably louder as his head is hanging right back and mouth wide open*


Boyfriend: “Felix buddy! Time to wake up now!”


Felix’s face tightens, mouth closes, eyes screw up, face turns purple and mouth re-opens to form the precise shape that gives best acoustics to a high-decibel scream…


*quickly lie him back down in cot*


Felix’s face resumes its normal pinkish hue, eye muscles relax and snoring begins once more.


Boyfriend: “Well there’s no other option.”


“One of us has to phone in sick.”

Pretending to be an adult

Posted on April 2, 2015




Me: “The shower’s still leaking.”


Boyfriend: “It can’t be. I re-sealed it – all of it. THREE TIMES.”


Me: “Look…”


*point to huge pool of water*


Boyfriend: “But I re-sealed everything! There simply is nowhere for the water to get through.”


“I… I don’t understand.”


Me: “I’ll call a plumber.”


Boyfriend: “We can’t call a plumber. It’s a leaky shower cubicle.”


Felix: “Marmite! Marmite!”


Me: “No marmite now darling – it’s time to go to nursery!”


“I’ll call the manufacturers.”


Felix: “Felich have marmite! Have it! HAVE IIIIIIT!”


Boyfriend: “I’m pretty sure they’re not going to replace a 4-year-old shower cubicle covered in mildew and smears of badly-applied sealant.”


Me: “So, what? We have a leaking shower… forever?


Boyfriend: “I just… I just don’t know.”




Me: “No love we’re going to nursery… Nursery! Hooray!”


Boyfriend: “Oh, last time I picked him up they gave me this…”


*hands over crumpled form*


Felix: “Felich have it! Have paper! Felich have it!!!! PAPER!! HAVE IIIT!!!”


Boyfriend: “We have to write comments. And give it back to them. Today.”


*skim read full-side-of-A4 account of Felix putting toys into and taking them out of a box*


Me: “Comments? What kind of comments?”


Boyfriend: *shrugs*


Quickly scribble: “We are very pleased. Thank you.”


Boyfriend: “You can’t just put that.”


Me: “You write something then.”


Boyfriend: “I… no.”





*press security code into nursery gate*


Gate wont open.


Try code again.


Won’t open.


Press intercom buzzer through to Scary Office Lady who once glared at me in the corridor for talking about a hangover, and then included an “Attention parents: please make sure you only have child-appropriate conversations when waiting in the corridor” in the following month’s newsletter.


Me: “Hi. the gate isn’t working.”


Scary Office Lady: “What code are you putting in?”


Me: “9382”


Scary Office Lady: “It’s not working because that’s not the code”


Me: “Yes it is.”


Scary Office Lady: “No, it’s not.”


Me: “Yes it… Oh. No. That’s my pin number. Shit. Sorry.”


*oh god just said shit*


Me: “Sh – sorry – I can’t remember the code.”


Scary Office Lady: “Are you a parent?”


Me: “Yes.”


Scary Office lady: “Who’s parent?”




*Can I say another child’s name? Can I…???*


Scary Office Lady: “Hello?”


Thankfully, Perpetually-Frazzled-Dad-of-Twin-Girls I often bump into comes out the other way and lets me through – with a particularly strained “heey”.





Entrance to the freelance office space I’ve just started using…




Lady: “Hi are you new?”


Me: “Yes! Relatively! Can’t seem to remember the door code!”


Lady: “Ah don’t worry I’ll let you in – I’m Zara by the way!”


Go to shake her hand, but speedily retract it halfway through when realise she is going to kiss my cheek. She backs out too, and ends up just stroking my right shoulder, while I end up flicking the edge of her left boob.


Both laugh awkwardly and walk in.


Both head straight to the loos.


Both go into the only not-blocked cubicles, which are next to each other.











Ok this is silly am just going to pee…






Flush & quickly walk out, avoiding eye contact with her for rest of day.





Self-service till at Sainsbury’s, clutching a quickly defrosting spinach and ricotta pizza, a multipack of babywipes and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc…




*Look at empty bagging area*




Wait a long few minutes before man brandishing a swipe card pops up.


Me: “It’s saying there’s something there. But… there’s not.”


*man wearily taps in long and complex sequence of numbers*


Man: “And can I see some ID please…”


Me: “Huh?”


Man: “ID – for the wine.”


Me: “I’m 32.”


Man: “I still need to see ID.”


The last time I saw my driving licence Felix was using it as a spoon to feed Big Panda his invisible lunch.


Me: “So, I don’t have any on me – but look… I’m buying a 10 pound bottle of wine! I’m definitely not 17!”


Man: “I do see that, but now I’ve asked I can’t sell you alcohol unless you show ID.”




*Hand man wine.*


*Man walks away, wearily.*







On the sofa, eating takeaway pizza…


Boyfriend: “So nursery text me today.”


Me: “They text you??”


Boyfriend: “Yeah they text quite regularly – we gave my number because you’d lost your phone. Remember?”


Me: “Oh. Yeah.”


Boyfriend: “It’s Easter Bonnet Day at the end of the week, and we’ve got to make a bonnet with Felix for him to take in.”


*wave of mild panic*


Me: “But…he’ll… he’ll eat it!”


Boyfriend: “We have to try.”


Me: “What on earth do you make Easter bonnets out of anyway?”


Boyfriend: “I… I don’t know… cardboard?”


Me: “We don’t have any cardboard.”


*Both look over at half empty pizza box*

Guest post by Felix Benjamin, age 20 months.

Posted on February 5, 2015



My day…


6am: I’m awake.




Hold on. I’m alone.






Oh hey Mummy.


Jeez you look knackered. You should try getting more sleep.


Hey – remember that time in the night, when you were crawling around my bedroom floor at 4am looking for my dummy, but I had it all along and then I hit you in the head with it?! Wasn’t that HILARIOUS!


Hold on, where are you taking me?


Wait, we can’t leave my room – I’ve not pulled all my trousers out of the drawer or tipped over the nappy bin yet! No!




Oh yeah, breakfast. Actually, funny you mention it because I. Am. Starving.


Seriously, hurry up because if I don’t eat right now I THINK I’M GONNA DIE!




Oh. Weetabix.


Actually, I’m good thanks. I’ll just chuck it on the floor and chew on my pyjama sleeve.


8am: Gimme the purple crayon. Gimme.. me… GIVE IT TO ME




Look. I draw, you watch? OK? Sit there, and watch me draw CIRCLES!.






No, don’t LEAVE ME.








Why are you laughing?


Oh great she’s looking at that small rectangular thing again.


That is NOT watching me. I’m not exercising my artistic genius if you’re not WATCHING.


Well while I’m waiting I’ll just practise on the floor.


Ha, back in the room now aren’t you Mummy.


10am: Snack time!






*chuck all over the floor in disgust*


Oh hold on.


*eat one*


They are raisins.


Soz. My bad.


Can I have some more please – that last lot are all over the floor.


Seriously, I know there are more.






3pm: *Knock at the door*




No wait, that’s not Daddy.


TINA! It’s Tina from next door!


ohmygod. She. Is. Hilarious.


“Tina Tina Tina Tina Tiiiiinaaaaaa!!!!”


She’s put my teddy on her HEAD!




But where’s she going?? No not “bubye” no no no no NO!




20 minutes later…


Phew! Think I just beat my all time best at wailing without taking breath! Ha! Can’t for the life of me remember why though.


Ah mummy looks tired. Bet she’d like a dummy.


Hmmm I don’t have a dummy. But my shoe will do nicely.


Here you go Mummy. No in your mouth. No, mouth. Just suck the shoe – honestly, trust me on this one.


No????? Fine. Suit yourself. I’ll just chew it then.


4.30pm: Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his…


He’s SO great. He’s even got a cat! I love cats! HAHAHAHA! aaaah. Pat.


Bored now.


Ooh crayon!


I’ll just practise some circles on this bit of white wall while I wait for Mummy to finish making my tea.


She’s cooking salmon again. Ha. Not a chance love.


6.30pm: Sheeeesh I am TIRED.


Daddy is reading stories in HILARIOUS voices while mummy cleans the wall so I can draw more circles on it again tomorrow.


Quite need a poo, but think I’ll wait until I’m tucked up in bed so it takes Daddy ages to sort it out and then really wakes me up in the process.




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