Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sick? Don't get me started

Above, dear friends, you can see a rather sick Jamie being cared for by his beloved Coleraine cousin Katie.

He picked up a bug during our long weekend in Norn Iron.  But sadly, that's not the end of the story.

Because just as he was showing signs of recovery, Katie went down with it.

Today Vanessa was off work with it and this afternoon, despite the smile, Charlotte seems to have picked it up.

Meanwhile, whilst I haven't (yet) contracted the bug in question, I've been horribly sick for four whole days.

Yes, Coleraine lost the Irish League Cup Final 1-0.

And whilst Katie, Vanessa, Jamie and Charlotte will all get better - I fear I'm damaged for life.   

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Up for the Cup

Today didn't got off to the start I had hoped for, but there's plenty of time to put things right. 

We Whites are due to clamber on to a teatime flight from Leeds Bradford to Belfast, before heading up to the North Coast to begin our (OK, "my") Irish League Cup Final preparations.

My beloved Bannsiders were nowhere near the Final when I booked.  But a couple of  incredible wins have meant that the weekend to come will hopefully be one to live long in the memory.

Yes, for Vanessa, Jamie, Charlotte, it might not all be about the football.  In fact, it won't be in any way about the football as they are not amongst the 2,500 Coleraine fans lucky enough to have tickets for Saturday's game.  Plus, they're not arsed.  But there will be plenty of other distractions and attractions for them.  Kids' stuff, women's stuff - you get the idea.

Which brings you to this morning's fun and games when I woke up to find that the hole where my recently extracted tooth once lived had become infected.  Excellent.

However, a quick visit to the dentist to have it packed with iodine and to get a prescription for alcoholic anti-biotics should hopefully do the job until we get back on Monday evening.    


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tell me it's snot true

More than three and a half years into the job, I think I've become fairly unshockable as a dad. 

Dirty nappies?  Not a problem.

Vomit down my collar?  We have a washing machine (called Vanessa).

Runny noses?  I've even stated sharing tissues, so relaxed have I become with snot.  Or so I thought. 

I say this because this morning on Radio 2, Chris Evans reported something about his experiences of fatherhood which so was so gross that I had to put my toast down.

He was talking about baby colds and how their tiny little noses often get bunged up.

But he added: "When they're really small, you have to suck the snot out yourself to allow them to breathe."

To any prospective parents out there, let me assure you that, yes, maybe occasionally, you may feel inclined to do a bit of excavating with the nail on your little finger.  But sucking out snot?  No!

To any actual parents who may have performed this hideous procedure when drunk, I would suggest you're much sicker than your sniffly sprog could possibly have been.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Words won't come easy (to him)

As I reported earlier in the week, Charlotte is now on her feet and walking greater distances by the day.

Her next exciting landmark will be the gift of words.

I mentioned this to Jamie this morning and enquired what he might say to her when she was able to speak.

"I would ask her if she would like to talk to me," he said.

"And what do you think she would say?" I continued.

"No," said Jamie. 

And I thought he thought she liked him.

Friday, 20 January 2012

The son, the stars and the planets

I was walking Jamie home from nursery last night and experienced a moment I am unlikely to ever forget. 

It was a dark but clear evening and the stars were beaming in the sky.  Jamie likes stars.

So, keen to help him along with his astronomical education, I pointed at the brightest light of all and attempted to get all clever.

"That's not a star, Jamie," I announced proudly.

"Yes it is," retorted White Jnr with total disdain.

"No, that's a planet," I replied.

"Ooooooooo," he cooed. "Is it Earth?"  (I told him last week that we all lived on Planet Earth).

"No, it's another planet called Venus," I explained.  "Isn't that exciting?"

"Yes, that's very exciting," said Jamie, without any obvious hint of irony.

Giving it a couple of minutes, I decided to find out if what Professor Daddy had just taught him had stuck.

"What's that bright light?" I asked, pointing skywards once again.

"It's a planet!" he declared proudly.

"And what's it called?" I enquired further. 


Maybe he's still a bit too young for planets.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Walk this way (if you're 12 months old)

Perhaps one for the purist this, but I thought you might like to know that our Charlotte can now walk; a handy skill if ever there was one.

And if you're bored, can you briefly see her strut her stuff by clicking on the play button below (sorry it's a bit dark).

Actually, I'll let you into a secret.

What you can see above wasn't the first take; this was the first take.

So, really a work in progress then. 

Mind the gap

So, what kind of day have you had thus far?  Rewarding I hope.

Me?  Oh, nothing dramatic. Other than having a huge tooth yanked out of my mouth with big pliers.  

Well, I say tooth.  But it was only really the root - the rest having been broken off a couple of weeks ago.  That might sound like the procedure was therefore less of an ordeal, however, the opposite is true.

If the whole tooth had been there, my dentist could in theory have achieved a firm grip of the bugger with her instrument of torture.  As it was, she had to dig into my gum in search of something to clamp on to. And when she did get hold of the offending piece of me, she seemed to take great pleasure in rocking my head around violently (think AC/DC fan) in an attempt to get it out. For a good 10 minutes.

At one point I told her I felt like a horse (and even had the legendary song "My Lovely Horse" from Father Ted cantering through my head) but I think my quip just stiffened her resolve (and my neck). 

Anyway, it came out in the end and I've been drinking my own blood ever since.  And to think, I lovingly polished that tooth for all those years.

Further news is that I'm not allowed tea, coffee, hot food or anything delightfully alcoholic until tomorrow.

Still, the bad days make the good days more fun, eh?!  

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My life's going down the toilet

I was listening to Radio 5 Live this morning and heard the female presenter lament about the fact that her partner will turn 40 in a few days' time. 

"I can't believe I'm going to be going out with a 40-year-old bloke," she spat.  "I might only be a couple of years younger, but still. He's going to be 40 - UGH!"

Now, I am due to reach the big 4-0 in a couple of months.  And Vanessa, like our friend on 5 Live, is a couple of years younger than me.  

Am I really going to become a figure who disgusts people (including her) simply for still being alive? 

It is possible if truth be told. 

I remember the days when coming home to a new computer game or a cassette tape through the post got me hugely excited. 

But, on Monday, I can barely describe my sense of elation when I arrived back to find this perched on our toilet. 

Yes VELVET!  16 ROLLS of Velvet!  Does it get any better? I say not (other than Kleenex). 

So I'm almost 40, I'm proud to be so and, yes, I am disgusting. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A modern heroine

An undoubted high point in Charlotte's year-long existence came along yesterday when she was awarded a Certificate Of Bravery.

Some people I can think of have had to fight in wars, or enter burning buildings or tackle crocodiles with their bare hands to achieve such high recognition.

And Charlotte's feat? 

She had not one, not two but THREE injections in the same morning. 

I can tell you're impressed. 

So too was Jamie who got to eat her sweet.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

It's curtains for us

The final piece in the jigsaw which is our redecorated living room arrived yesterday in the form of our new curtains - loving crafted by hand by my mother.  And they look great. 

However, whilst my mum's brilliance as a curtain-maker should really have been the most challenging aspect of making our front window look nice, it didn't appear that way to me.  Because I still had to put our new curtain rail up.  

Indeed, I fretted about it all last night.  I am a man of few gifts, you see.  And something I don't possess is the ability to cause anything other than destruction with a drill.  

Getting out of bed this morning, I decided there was nothing else for it; I had to get another man in.

So, dear friends, meet Jonathan.

Jonathan, who also happens to be my brother-in-law, is a man who knows about lots of things - one of which is putting up curtain rails.

And, well...

...just have a look...

....for yourself.

My relief at a potential domestic disaster being averted was matched only by Jamie's admiration for his uncle.

At times I cannot help but wonder what my son thinks I'm actually for.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Where there's a will there's a White

Vanessa and I have just had the joyous task of signing our wills. 


Was it sensible for us to arrange to undertake this grim procedure on Friday the 13th? 

Well, let me put it this way.

If it wasn't, you are likely to know before we are.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

I've been bobbled

Tonight, I was planning to tell you all about my hilarious capers with my new bobble remover which arrived in the post this morning.

I had all sorts of innuendo and, well, filth to impart in a teasing but inoffensive manner as I set about shaving anything and everything I could find get my mitts on.

But then I arrived home, opened my piece of hi-tech equipment (£4 on Amazon) and guess what?

That's right - it doesn't f***ing work.

Now I've no idea what I'm going to do for the rest of the evening.

And you thought you had problems.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Water off a daddy's face

I had a stinker of a night last night when, once again, my manly abilities were exposed for what they are: non-existent.  I'll try to keep this short.

Jamie and Charlotte were about to have their bath and I noticed that the radiator in the bathroom was cold at the top.

It was time for me to get my bleeding key (or f***ing key, as I was to call it shortly afterwards).  I gave the little screw thing a twist, the radiator spurted large amounts of smelly wind and dirty water all over my face - and, bingo, it immediately heated up.

What a guy!

So I rushed downstairs to tell Jamie it was time for Bob The Builder to hand over his hard hat because I was the new Mr Fixit in town.

"Wow!" purred Jamie, and he was right.  I was magnificent.  A true hero. A man amongst metrosexuals.

What a guy!

And then I heard a wail from upstairs.  It was Vanessa.

"There's no hot water!"  Oh.  Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear.

So I checked the boiler.  It had turned itself off.  Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

An hour and a half later, boiler manuals, torch and screw driver in hand, I finally managed to get it working and the water was hot. 

I was great once again - what a guy!

Then, about 20 minutes later, I checked the radiator in the kitchen.   It was cold.  So too were the radiators in the living room and the hall.

Meanwhile, whilst not exactly hot, all of the upstairs radiators were working.

I spent another half an hour poking at the boiler and then an hour on Google trying to work out why, in our house, it was warm high and cold low.  By the end, I was none the wiser.

I left things overnight but, first thing this morning, there was no other option. It was time to call for Mr Water (also known as Mark). 

And by 10.30, our central heating system was working better than ever.

According to Mr Water, the boiler went off as a result of my overbleeding the system and starving it of water.

And although I got things going again by putting more water in, I hadn't tightened the screws properly afterwards.  Oh, and I pretty much wrecked the screws too after using the wrong screwdriver.

As he left (with 35 of my quids in his pocket) Mr Water gave me two pieces of advice:

  1. Don't ever touch the screws on the boiler again
  2. Actually, forget 1 -  don't ever touch the boiler again.    
Thankfully Jamie wasn't there when this sharp piece of guidance was issued to me, so will hopefully retain just a semblance of admiration for what he thought I did last night.

But I can barely look in the mirror.

What a guy.

Monday, 9 January 2012

He can watch the highlights on the telly

My ongoing project of brainwashing, sorry, explaining to Jamie that he is in fact an Ulsterman continues to gather pace.

And at times I believe I'm getting somewhere.

Like tonight, for example, when someone on Radio 2 said "Northern Ireland" and, from his bath, he shouted it right back at me.  Very pleased with that.

Us Whites are due to go across for our annual January visit in less than three weeks and, this year, the dates could not have fallen with kinder fortune.

Because, on the afternoon of Saturday 28th, my beloved Coleraine FC will walk out at the Ballymena Showgrounds to take on Crusaders in the Irish League Cup Final.

It will be a very proud day for the town and one I hope to remember with affection for the rest of my life (if we win, that is).

And, in theory, it would be an even more special occasion if I could share it with my boy.

But that will not happen.  Because he's bound to misbehave and that would spoil it for me.

So he's not going - tough.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Thou shalt not gain weight

I don't know whether "they" say you're never too young too get active, but I certainly do. 

I therefore recently invested in Nickelodeon Fit as a means of starting Jamie and Charlotte off as I hope they'll intend to continue.

And yesterday it made its debut in our house. 

According to the bumf, Nickelodeon Fit "provides young children with fun, developmentally appropriate 'moderate' to 'vigorous' physical activities."

In practice, what this amounts to is 30 individual games ranging from pretend bike riding to pretend boat rowing to pretend ball throwing, with lots of variations along the way.

And as well as the Wii Remote, participants also get to use the famed Wii Balance Board (if their parents have one) which will be familiar to all Wii Fit loving folk (normally girlies) up and down the country. 

Yesterday was a little too early to force Charlotte to get involved, but Jamie was made to sweat for a good hour and a half - and earn his bath for once.  He also seemed to have a lot of fun (something of a bonus).

So, all in all, I'm very pleased with my purchase.

And it was much cheaper than two mini rubber suits and a treadmill.

Friday, 6 January 2012

A flash with a pan

I've been attacked by the Sinusitis Monster again over the last 48 hours, hence no updates.

However, my painful condition is nothing a nose break and a couple of black eyes won't sort (according to my GP). So I'm off to see the consultant in Leeds next month, after which he will inflict said damage. 

And to think, this time last week 2012 held such promise.  

But I might be getting off lightly, as yesterday we had a little bit of drama at Jamie's nursery.

Vanessa picked him up as normal but, before departure, was asked by one of the nice ladies if she had time for a quick word.  It was to report a crime

One of the other detainees had called Jamie a bad name.

And the response of Master White? 

Yep, he whacked the offender over the head with a plastic frying pan. 

Thankfully no physical damage was caused - so no lawsuits should hopefully be forthcoming.

But was it right for me to feel proud of my boy?  I say yes, but perhaps it's best not to tell him (or his nursery).

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Crawling from the nest

With Vanessa back at work, another landmark moment was reached in our house this morning when Charlotte joined Jamie at nursery for the first time proper.

Between now and September, the two of them will be there two and a half days a week.

And then Jamie starts school.

Bloody hell.

Somewhat predictably, Charlotte didn't have the happiest of days in her new surroundings.  But (according to those who know) it normally takes 3-4 weeks for the youngest new inmates to settle in.  So she'll be alright.

However, our little boy and little girl are really growing up.

And only parents with the hardest of hearts could have anything other than mixed views about that.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Gnome sweet gnome

In the rare absence of Wee John over Christmas and the New Year, yesterday Jamie insisted that some other little men come to live with us instead - and instructed me to buy some gnomes.

Sadly I had no luck at Poundstretcher in Guiseley (the lady advised that this wasn't the gnoming season), but Poundland in Keighley did come through for me at lunchtime today. 

Master White seemed pleased when he met his new playmates a few minutes ago and immediately asked for the honour of naming them.

So, ladies and gentlemen, from left to right, please meet Paul and Sebastian.

We hope they enjoy their stay.

Back to the future

This is my least favourite day in the year.

After the excitement and expectation of the festive season just gone, the prospect of returning to "normality" is one that has traditionally caused me more mental anguish than it really should.  

Vanessa, meanwhile, has always been much better equipped at dealing with these things and, as you can see above, she didn't allow the actual arrival of 2012 spoil her New Year's Eve. 

However, this year she could be forgiven for feeling just a little more sorry for herself than most as our "alarm" (i.e. Jamie) went off at 6am.  

Because, after 13 months of maternity leave, Mrs W is heading back to work. 

And that has got to hurt.  (Tee hee!)