Things I’d Like my Son to Know

Lesson #2- Have Gratitude. 
Thank you.

Two simple swords carrying a complex and deep emotion. Being appreciative of an act for which one may not consider themselves worthy of. Both humility and acceptance in immense bounds. 

I sat in my car today, and listening to a hymn written by a poet from North India, “what means do I have to understand your ways” , and that was it. I was flooded with tears and finally, the strength to breakdown.


I didn’t think I would ever get the energy or the trigger to allow me to express an emotion like that. But it happened. Finally.

Son every emotion is to be experienced, appreciated, understood and then dealt with. Don’t hold any emotion in which may harm your mindset or heart set later. 

Each time you get the opportunity to experience an emotion, be thankful. 

Be grateful that you witnessed a feeling, because not everyone gets to do so. 

Thank God for everything. 

It’s all the Lords gift. 

Remember. There are 7.2 billion people on this planet. He can choose to do anything from anyone. 

Do something great and thank the lord that you were present to do so. 

Things I’d Like my son to know 

Life lesson #1- Life is precious. Each moment is a gift. 

I love being a dad, and sat with mum in hospital, she just schooled me about what I’m doing wrong as a dad. 

She stated the obvious, something I was missing with my son. 

Although I spend time with my son, I need to spend time with my son. 

I understand now mum. Thank you 

Son, make sure you find time, and make each moment a memorable one. Don’t spend lots to compensate. 

Just make sure your moments with your own children are beautiful. 

It sounds simple. 
Play with them, make them laugh. 

Life is precious. Each moment is a gift. 

The well placed F-Bomb.

So I’m not a huge fan of foul language, (in front of children), but sometimes the little things can really annoy the sht out of you at times. One such time was a couple of nights ago when my phone decided to play silly buggers and not connect to the Wi-Fi at home. The story of what happens next will crack you up…

Its late in the evening, and I’m about to take my son for his bath.  I decide that some music is in order because, well why not, and go to get my phone from the kitchen where it was sat charging.  I had left it for about 40 minutes or so, and it had only picked up about 10% charge which was infuriating, as Sid’s bath would take at least 8% of the charge.

Anyway I realise that it is also not connected to the Wi-Fi and so I turn the Wi-Fi on on the phone, and wait.  And wait.  And wait.

By this time I’m seriously hacked off and under my breath, seeing that my son is now buzzing around me I mutter “why the fk isn’t the phone connecting to the Wi-Fi?!?!?!”. He was about a metre away from me and I immediately realised I had said those magic words a little too loudly.  He suddenly stopped what he was doing, stared me right in the eye and said “Daddy don’t say that. Don’t say fk. It’s not nice to say it. Instead say .. Hmm (looks at his book of planes) instead say helicopter.”

I was both amazed and mortified at the same time.

I wanted to swing my genius son around and at the same time cut off my tongue for using such profane language in front of my angel with horns child.

There was an itching curiosity within me as I rested that evening.

How did my son, my 2 year old, whom we never swear in front of, know that fk is such a bad swear word?  No-one told him, and certainly not me.  I wondered – did my son realise that my frustration, linked to the extremely well placed F-Bomb meant that the word I used was a naughty word?  Or has someone secretly been teaching my son things to just wind me up?

I did a very crude experiment with him the next morning.  I pretended to get really angry and shouted out “What the chin!?!?!” – and lo and behold – he stopped what he was doing (eating) and said – “Daddy – don’t say Chin.  It’s not nice”.

Could it be that children are that more sensitive to the way we say things compared to what we say?

If it is so, then it is both sentiment, emotion, AND language that has an impact on a child.

This relates quite nicely to what we hear about communication and arguments – most of the time arguments occur not be cause of what we say – but because of how we say it.

It seems like this is not a learned construct – It’s almost innate and we know what this “feeling” of negativity is, from a very young age.

If there’s anything I have learnt from this experience, that is to never underestimate 2 things.

  1. The value of a well placed F-Bomb
  2. The ability of your child at such a young age to pick up on emotion, more than the words.

What a Milestone – Nappy Liberation Here we Come!!!

It took weeks of patience, routine, motivation but we finally did it….

We got our son to take a dump in the potty – moving us one step closer to nappy liberation.  Now is the tricky part.

I have celebrated and celebrated, with an immense number of “hip hip hooraaay’s” and further  celebrations while he pee’s and poo’s…

Its a massive milestone for us.  We have been spending an absolute fortune on nappies, and wipes, and nappy bags, but even still, because Sid looks a lot older than he is, I do get the odd stare from people wondering why a child that looks like a 4 year old is still in nappies.

He himself feels a sense of freedom too… he no longer needs to lie down to have his nappy cleaned, he is happy to go onto his “Winnie the Pooh” (quite appropriately named) potty and do his business.

He has a sense of accomplishment now, and a joy I’ve not seen on his face before.

So Sid is a curious one..

Continue reading “What a Milestone – Nappy Liberation Here we Come!!!”

Top 10 Beach Safety Tips from a Pro

We heard on the news that 5 young men tragically lost their lives out on Camber Sands Beach in Sussex, England while in the sea yesterday, 24th Aug. They appear to have caught out in a possible rip-tide which dragged them out to sea.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their sons, siblings who have lost their brothers in this tragic accident.

Speaking on the BBC Asian Network this morning, I was joined with Aaron Dhanda who is a Community Drowning Prevention Officer with The Royal Life Saving Society UK who gave some great advice on safety when out at the beach, and in particular this applies to parents with young children.

Here are his top 10 tips for beach safety shared with

  1. Seek advice from your travel agent when booking a holiday to ask if the beach is safe and whether trained lifeguards will be on duty
  2. Be aware that the most common time for children to have accidents on holiday is within the first hour of a holiday when parents are unpacking and distracted. Parents should take care during this time to make sure that they know where their children are
  3. When you have unpacked, visit the beach and look for yourself what the potential dangers are before going into the sea
  4. While at the beach, never let your young children out of your reach –supervision is the key to preventing serious accidents
  5. Always ask for local advice, for example from lifeguards, tourist information offices, local coastguard stations, or even local fishermen, on where and when it is not safe to stroll on the beach or enter the water
  6. Do not swim near or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater and coral
  7. Water safety signage can be very different in different countries, so find out what local warning flags and signs mean – and adhere to them
  8. Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – there have been drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea and get into trouble. Do not use them in open water. Use them in sheltered and confined spaces, such as rock pools
  9. If you get stuck in quicksand or mud do not stand up. Lie down, spread your weight, shout for help and move slowly in a breaststroke action towards the shore
  10. If you witness an emergency, whether it is in the UK or overseas, know how to call for help

This is not an exhaustive list – but with all things, be sensible, know the risks and precautions, and be safe.

Summer Holidays.. Uh oh!

OK so it’s that time of the year. That dreaded time of the year, when parents look to their diaries (and wallets/purses) to plan out activities for their kids, who are now let loose from their restraints of school, and free to roam the world and drag their parents along with them.

Sid is only 2 at the moment, and so my experience of this is quite limited. Much to my satisfaction I must say.  That said, he is a very demanding and inquisitive child and always wants things to do to entertain him.

I have found that off all his toys, from the least to the most expensive, his favourite toy is his £2 bubble-gun.

I don’t quite know what it is with kids and bubbles, but my God, Sid loves them.

So over the past 6-8 months, Sang and I have found a few things that are just superb for kids, that don’t quite cost a lot of money, yet provide hours of fun (depending on the age of the little one)

The best we have found for kids up to about 6/7 years old is our local farm, or a local farm.

They are free to get into, have lots of animals in enclosures, and plenty of fresh food to buy.  One of my favourite ones is Lizzies Farm and Tea Room in Worcester.

I was taken here by my wife as part of my first fathers day present from Sid, and what an event.  It was his visit to a farm, and he was overjoyed at the sight of the lambs, rabbits and the giant bovine.

And what was great for me and the Mrs, they had a lovely little tea room, serving fresh cakes (and what a selection!) and home made sarnies, with fresh pickle, all home made.

Details can be found on their facebook page

Find a local farm, support your local producers, and have fun!

Fatigue, and the 2 year old

We came back from Canada over a week ago, and getting back into a routine is as painful as listening to Jazzy B’s new track..

My son, on the other hand has a whole different level of energy and his body clock is all over the shop. Only today has decided to sleep at 7.45pm, which means that I can get on with the chores, and get a little downtime from work.

I remember during the early months of Sid being around and the pain of fatigue that still plagues my mind to this day.

I have never experienced anything quite like it before or after.

But that said- after 2 weeks in Canada, my son must be feeling a lot worse that us. He can’t comprehend what’s happening to his body clock, mood or his eating.

My advice to parents travelling through time zones isn’t full of supporting evidence or backed by science, but it just my take on the deal.

  1. Drink plenty of water before your flight and during– no one likes a whiny parent least of all your kid and you’ll get really crabby if you’re not hydrated.
  2. Kids on plane– they should make a movie about it. It would be a number 1 hit. Sid was great but he got a cold the day we travelled and so he was winging the whole way but for 3 days he was really ill and not eating. Just keep fluids for the little one- and don’t forget the calpol or nurofen for the plane!
  3. If you book the front seats above the bulkhead– remember that the seat armrests don’t move up to turn the seats into a bench, which is a really useful thing for kids sleeping.
  4. If you have friends travelling with you – let them know they will be alternative baby sitters. This will really help you get rested before you handle the jet lag
  5. Set your clock half way to the time zone you’re travelling to before you take off. That will help you settle down and adjust. Remember- kids are greatly impacted by this more than adults.
  6. When you land, your phone might already adjust its time to the country  you land in. Keep an analogue watch to your home time zone. That will help you understand your child’s pattern. It was 3pm when we landed in Toronto, but for my son it was 10am so snack time and due for nap time. He should have slept on the flight but didn’t so his clock was really messed.
  7. Keep inflatable pillows for the journey. They are invaluable for resting if you’re delayed at the airports etc.
  8. Look out for airport pushchairs for toddlers. Toronto airport had these brilliant push chairs called “Transat Limo’s”. Dubai had regular pushchairs, but places like gatwick didn’t have anything.
  9. Take a harness. We were gifted a little rucksack that had a harness on it and it came in handy when you need to put your child down!

Most of all- try and have fun. Kids like all parents know, are really sensitive to emotions of parents. When we stress, they get anxious. Smile lots and they will be fine.

My mantra with Sid is – laughter is the best medicine.