Jul 31

Again, where was I…?

So again, where was I?

Oh yes, last time we met I was an English Dad in New York. That is still true. The kids have got older and bigger, I too have got older and bigger and my wife is more beautiful than ever.

So much to catch up on, too much to catch up on in fact. However, here are the Top 10 things that have happened since we last talked (and in no particular order):

Two princes

Two princes

1) The British Royal Family added another name to their Ancestry.com account. His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. A big congratulations to you Kate and William. If you need any tips on how to look after your young chappy, might I suggest going to a different website?

2) Charlie is now walking. Well not so much walking as staggering with his arms up in the air like a drunk bloke carrying an invisible but surprisingly heavy traffic cone. But he’s vertical.

3) Andy Murray won Wimbledon becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. You’d be forgiven if you missed this; much like the Royal Birth the story received only limited media coverage.

4) Max is no longer trying to kill his brother. Whether he is starting to love and accept his brother into our family or whether Charlie is now better equipped to run away, it matters not. He is beginning to take his responsibilities as a loving older brother seriously.

5) Max has learned that being nice to his brother gets him presents.

6) The Summer arrived, and is still here. And with Nana and Babbo now living in Long Island the whole family has been enjoying “the countryside”. They have nature there and everything. And surprisingly good wine.

7) Anthony Weiner took a picture of his c*ck and sent it to… oh hang on, sorry, I was only going to mention new stuff…

8) In cricket, England is beating Australia in the Ashes #youreallydontgiveash*tdoyou

9) With the kids spending a couple of weeks in Long Island with Nana and Babbo, during the work week Alex and I have been reliving our pre-kids life. We even went to see a movie. Hey, I know that I can’t live without them and that they are the best thing that ever happened to us but really… #whatwerewethinkingthisisawesome

10) I have realized that I can’t keep up a daily blog. You may also have realized that. But I’ll post whenever I can so please keep checking in.

Family reunion

Family reunion

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Mar 26

Taste test

First Cheerio…

and not his last

First raw Brussels sprout…

and probably his last

So there you go- according to my focus group, kids prefer Cheerios to raw Brussels sprouts.

Now don’t say I never teach you anything.

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Mar 25

New York State of a Mind

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This weekend I was reminded that not only will my kids grow up with a different accent to mine, they’ll grow up with a different vocabulary to mine. And I don’t just mean the whole “two countries separated by a common language” thing, nor do I mean the whole “what’s a CD Daddy?” thing. I mean the vocabulary and references they’ll acquire by growing up in New York as opposed to a sleepy village in England.
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This weekend I somewhat ambitiously took the two boys to a brunch downtown to say goodbye to some friends who are leaving New York. Alex was working on Saturday so it was a boys only trip. To add a little excitement to an already adventurous journey between two opposite parts of Manhattan I thought to myself “Why take a taxi when I can take the double stroller beast on the subway?”
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Half way through the journey I had one of those Hugh-Grant-in-Four-Weddings-and-a-Funeral epiphanic “odd decision” moments. Being the weekend the subway was a bloody nightmare- a fact that didn’t escape Max’s attention when our Express train decided to make local stops.
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Max: Is this the Express train Daddy?
Me: It was the Express train but now it’s a local train.
Max: Why aren’t we on the Express train?
Me: Because it’s the weekend and the subway goes a little crazy on the weekend.
Max: Can’t we change to an Express train?
Me: I’d love to sweetheart, but it’s now running as a local train. I think it’s when the subway gets too close to Brooklyn it refuses to work properly.
Max: Okay, but the Express train is a lot quicker so next time we should take the Express Daddy (disappointed)..

Max and Charlie consulting the subway map... still unsure as to why their father would take the local train- rookie error

The notion of taking the subway, let alone an Express subway would have been completely foreign to me growing up. Or even taking a cab for that matter. Around the same time as learning how to crawl Max learned how to hail a cab, and I wish I was joking about this.

Growing up I didn't know what a "boozy brunch" was either. Although as I was driving a double stroller both myself and the passengers only drank in moderation.

Another of this weekend’s classic New York kid moments happened when Max’s buddy was impressing his parents with his counting skills. Breezing past 10, he sailed through to 20 without a hitch then effortlessly through the 20s… 25, 26, 27, 28, then 29… at which point he paused and then said… “PH”.
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PH, of course, meaning “Penthouse”.

Sadly not the PH

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Mar 24

Five guys

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This Sunday saw a great meeting of the minds. From left to right… Masters Finley, Charlie, Easton, Elliott and Max.

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They met to discuss a wide range of topics such as:

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What effect does having only one guitar have on the harmony of a group (Answer: not great)

What effect does having five boys in one room have on the freshness of the air  (Answer: not great)

What are the chances that one adult conversation gets finished throughout the entirety of the meeting (Answer: not great)

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Mar 21

Mine Again

When Charlie was born everyone said, and even Alex had to admit, that he looked like me. Fortunately for the little guy, having come into the World with Spinal Meningitis, he was already pretty immune to dealing with bad news.

And over his first seven months he has continued to exhibit his father’s features. Again, begrudgingly and murmuring “I sodding carried him for 9 sodding months” under her breath, Alex also had to agree.

Until tonight when my wife came into the kitchen holding a picture of herself at roughly Charlie’s age and declared: “you know… he looks like me”. I had been in the middle of putting my new ice cream maker through a second round of testing (tonight’s flavor: coffee) and the ridiculousness of her statement made me pour double the amount of espresso into the mix.

There are a few things that I don’t necessarily agree on with my wife but I let slide for the sake of harmony (like using the taxi driver’s “suggested tip” button when taking a cab, or allowing Charlie to be naked in our bed or on the sofa or ANYWHERE THAT YOU DON’T WANT HIM TO P*SS ALL OVER…) As I said, I let these small things slide but the “he looks like me” thing… I drew the line.

Okay... she may have something, but for one thing- Alex is black and white and Charlie is in colour. Case closed

And she didn’t stop there either… plucking out another photo from thin air she then turned to Max.

At least this is in colour.

While I admit that early on Max took more from his mother’s family than from my side, there is no denying that as he gets older some more of his Dad is creeping in.

The older Max gets the more I see the resemblance

So we are left with both Alex and me now claiming that both of our kids look identical to ourselves. There is of course the obvious conclusion that Alex and I actually look a lot more alike than we dare to admit… but we’re not going to go there. And I suppose it should also be said that it doesn’t matter if we see ourselves in our children or not, it doesn’t affect how much we love them.

Whether we believe that or not, it should be said.

Just like it should be obvious that if you eat a lot of coffee ice cream made out of real espresso at night then you’ll be wired at 1am while writing your post.

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