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.

Please don’t let them win

A father’s plea

The moment you find yourself feeling enmity towards someone of a different faith, you’re letting them win. When we judge them because they look different to me, you’re letting them win. When racism expands in our society, we’re letting them win. When EDL or far right groups allow you to think a faith is the enemy, you’re letting them win. When your own community leaders tell you that another community is at fault- you’re letting them win. 

IS want to divide us, they want us be led to division and point the finger, they want us to begin the war. 
We will only defeat them if we stand together. All of us. 


Leaving a bit of my heart in Paris

 The 12:13 from Gare Du Nord left on time, and we sit in the carriage, with a mixture of feelings- anxiousness, relief, sadness, excitement, and above all gratefulness.

Arriving on Friday 13th, in one of my favourite cities in the world, I was so excited for what I had planned this weekend with my wife to celebrate her birthday.  

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower, Disneyland Paris, and then a day of sight seeing on Sunday. 

We had a beautiful time on Friday, with dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel, and then a lovely walk around the neighbourhood. Missing our train was a godsend as it meant we got a taxi back to our hotel in Port Des Versailles without venturing towards the hotels and bars affected by the attacks. 

I woke up at about 7.30 knowing that we had a busy day ahead of us in Disneyland Paris -and saw about 100 missed calls on my phone over night, and my immediate thoughts were- is everyone ok back home??? Little did I know that we were caught up in worst attacks of terrorism in decades in Europe. 

Feeling very on edge, and a little confused we called the embassy and asked the hotel about our options. Turned out that Paris was on lockdown so we were stranded in the hotel and surrounding area. 

We couldn’t keep our eyes from the news, even though we didn’t want it to pull us closer into the feeling of sadness we were already keeping at bay. 

We spent the next day walking, talking to locals, trying to spread smiles and compassion to a people rocked twice this year by violent extremism.  I wondered, would the people pick on me given that I have slightly middle eastern features? How much do they know about other cultures? The backlash of 9/11 on people of eastern heritage was terrible, would the Parisians be the same?

Much to my surprise – no  they seemed more comfortable and understanding with us, making conversation, and trying to make us, clearly tourists, comfortable. 

I have grown fond of Paris, and the people here. I hear the stereotypes of the French “arrogance” for my fellow Brits however, I find people are innately filled with love. They just want to enjoy life, watch their families grow and earn to provide for them.  I see them as my own. This, I feel is synonymous with all people, I cannot help but feel warmth for all. 

Leaving Paris, a warm, eerily quiet city today (Sunday) I feel a sense of connection to the beautiful city.  I feel I have left a part of my heart in Paris.  

A city I love for so much, now a city in mourning. I leave a piece of my heart for the people of Paris, because we were just there, because people do not deserve to be treated like that, because we neighbour them. 

I saw the resilience of the Parisians, their defiance against what was, and their strength for what will be. 

Paris, you have kept a piece of a fathers heart, and I will never forget 13/11/15. 

#parisattacks #terrorismhasnoreligion