I was at a Christmas fair a couple of weeks ago when I ran into someone I’d not seen for a while, a fellow father of small children. This in itself is unremarkable; there are plenty of parents around. The continuation of the human race largely depends on it.
What’s more, having small children myself I rarely engage with people who aren’t similarly encumbered. It’s reached the point where I no longer know how to conduct myself around those without kids. What do the childless talk about? I can see how people end up resorting to the weather.
Anecdotally I’ve heard that many parents are in the same position, their circle of friends so diminished that it consists entirely of other parents. This is a form of ghettoisation that has been sorely underresearched. I suspect it could be shown to have contributed to Brexit.
Kids’ birthday parties, a good idea for a blog post, I thought. I can rattle off a rant about junior school shindigs in the time it takes Lola to eat her way through a packet of party bag Haribos. To wit, remarkably quickly.
But hold that thought, I thought. How about waiting, returning to the idea in the first or second week of September shortly after Lola’s fifth birthday party, unleashing the diatribe when the wounds are raw, the credit card bill unpaid, the post-traumatic stress still being worked through.
Yet here I am writing about birthday parties in mid-June. Which begs the question why? Neither of my kids was born in June. There should be few topics further from my mind.
Anyone who knows me well is aware that my bibliophilia verges on being a mental illness, so I couldn’t let World Book Day 2016 pass without a quick post.
To my eternal regret, WBD (does that acronym exist? It does now) wasn’t around until the tail-end of my school career and certainly didn’t generate the same level of frenzy amongst the nation’s pre-teens as it does these days. It’s my own fault for being born so long ago I guess, but the good news is that I have two little girls to celebrate it with.
I love the fact that the world now has a day to celebrate books and reading. As PR stunts go, its one of the best for one of the worthiest causes in my opinion. As you can see on my Instagram feed (and hence the hashtag in the title of this post), Lola has already been dressed up to mark the occasion; unprompted, she decided she wanted to be Silky, the fairy from The Magic Faraway Tree, though she never misses an opportunity to don her fairy wings so we probably could have anticipated that one. I suggested Moonface or the Saucepan Man but was met with the derision I deserved.