Sunday, 16 June 2013
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Warning all children. Father’s Day is fast approaching. That’s Sunday 16th June for those of you not yet sure. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your ignorance. I was one of you not five minutes ago, with that stomach churning fear of forgotten festivities.
“Times be ‘ard,” as Oliver Twist may or may not have said. Now we’ve heard this line pretty much ad nauseum for what seems an eternity. But it’s true, times are tough. People don’t have the money to splurge that they once did.
So if that Father’s Day gift idea is starting to seem just that little bit too far-fetched then this post is here to help you. The short break specialists, Center Parcs offer the following tips for Father’s Day on a shoestring:
1. Go Fishing – Yes maybe it does seem a little quaint and old-fashioned to all you urbanites out there. But there really is no better way to reconnect with this particular loved one than to take him to the river. It’s just you, him and the fish. To add to that, a day in nature can be regenerative for both mind and soul.
Particularly effective on: urban dad. A growing breed that is in desperate need of a short break from the city.
2. Take a bike ride – Again a very holistic approach to Father’s Day, that takes into consideration the calming, restful impact of nature. A low impact sport that can be practiced at varying degrees of experience.
Regardless of whether your family is a Lycra-clad acti-family or more similar to the Royle family, cycling is a pastime for all to enjoy. And what better excuse to get outside and do some exercise?
Particularly effective on: spandex dad. As well as couch potato-dad, more comfortable basking in front of Match of the Day.
3. Wash the car – This is a touching way to say thanks to dads across the nation. They volunteer their free time to act as full-time chauffeur. Tirelessly carting tenacious teenagers from party to party. It sure isn’t a glamorous existence but someone’s got to do it; those parties won’t rock themselves. It’s possible you’ve grown up and dad’s got a flash new motor to replace the SUV of the past. What better way to say thanks for that one time you weren’t very well down the side of it?
Particularly effective on: transforma-dad, who sends the kids off to University with a tear trickling down the cheek. But apparently the perfect antidote for losing the apple of their eye is to transform it from a post-pubescent teenybopper to a revved up racer.
4. Sort out their technology – What is it with parents and technology? It’s like that game with the chicken, the fox and the bag of grain, leave them in a room together and they’ll tear each other apart. No matter how many times you explain the difference between an iPod and an iPad it just won’t stick. This Father’s day take time to sit down and get their favourite tunes loaded onto that dusty iPad of theirs, install some solid virus software and explain to them the virtues of Google Chrome.
Particularly effective on: Daddus Neanderthalus. This is an ideal antidote for the type of father who is better left in the Stone Age. Loin-clothed and club in hand this dad needs dragging into the 21st century.
5. Let them relax – and put their feet up. They deserve it. Park them in front of the telly, provide them with all the cold beer and snacks they could dream of. Take their list of chores and get them done. Typical dad chores include: mowing the lawn, washing up, taking out the rubbish or walking the dog. Indulge them in a day of perfect relaxation to make them realise how important they are to you.
Particularly effective for: robo-dad. There are some dads who seem wired to work hard from dusk until dawn. Remind them of what it is to unwind.
Posted by Ian Newbold at 09:30
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
He loves it.
He gets time with people that are more like the man from Del Monte than me, plus he’s by the sea, plus there’s a growing gang of kids on their holiday site, plus late nights, plus crabbing on tap, plus, plus, plus.
I get time to myself, that I used last week for a mixture of work and top notch R & R with my lovely girlfriend.
Positive stuff all round.
I always leave Max telling him if he needs me to simply ask his grandparents to call.
He rarely does. And when I call to check on him, his usually busy building a den, in the sea, climbing a mountain of playing a game of football.
But I’m really only satisfying MY OWN yearning to know he’s okay.
And it’s similar when it comes to telling him I miss him.
“I’ve missed you, Dad.” Max said when I came to pick him up.
“I’ve missed you too,” I replied “But I wasn’t going to tell you.”
“Why did you then?” Max asked.
I had to think for a minute, or a few seconds anyway, and I eventually said something like that while I wanted him to know that he’s always wanted and missed, my reluctance to tell him is because I didn’t want him worrying about me while he’s off spending time with others. Or to have my potential for missing him, influence his choices in the future.
It really shouldn’t ever be a child’s responsibility to worry about their adult relatives, and I think potentially – in part – saying ‘I miss you’ imparts a little guilt and influence on that party.
Like any parenting responsibility it’s about balance, and I don’t want Max growing up thinking I am happier without him, or that I am ‘dumping’ him with people.
He needs to know he what he means to me, but without that becoming onerous on him.
You could say I am over-thinking this, and that a child doesn’t think in the same way, but revealingly on our journey home, Max explained that he doesn’t like to call me as it reminds him I’m not there, and he can get a little sad and upset.
I asked him if he’d rather I didn’t call when he was away, and somewhat hesitantly, probably a little worried of hurting me, he said that it was probably better that I didn’t.
I’m sure my calls and annoying interruption to what he’s up to play a part in him forming that opinion too, but he’s a genuine little fella (it runs in the family), and one who wouldn’t say something like that unless he meant it.
So, perhaps, just perhaps, it is as complex an issue as I’ve made it.
Posted by Ian Newbold at 12:23