Things I Learned As A Parent Last Week

1. Last weekend I made slime for the first time.

2. Last weekend I made slime for the last time.

3. You know you’re a parent when you start whispering “for fuck’s sake” every time someone calls your name.

4. I say “I don’t know” a lot when I do in fact ‘know’ a lot.

5. If at first you don’t succeed, take a deep breath and ask them another 249 times.

6. Your spouse won’t start an argument with you if you’re cleaning.

7. I’m now at the stage where I’m getting up at the time I used to go to bed at on weekends.

8. It’s easier to play Jenga on a bus than it is to push a buggy with one hand.

9. Before remarking “he’s gone down well tonight” always check that the baby monitor is turned on.

10. We teach our kids not to lie but then 30 seconds later we tell them their picture is great

11. If you yell “what are you up to?” and your children say “nothing” that’s code for “you better get off your fat a** and check on us”.

12. Myself and the kids are never more nervous than when we insist we can’t find something and my wife goes to look for it herself.

13. You haven’t really been patronised until a 7yo hugs you and starts patting you on the back.

14. You don’t need fun to have alcohol.

15. If you make eye contact with a child on the verge of sleep you’re f**ked.

16. My toddler’s superpower is to eat half a banana and make it disappear

17. I miss the days of skipping pages when readinga story to my kids.

18. ‘Who’s poo is this?’ is something I say now.

19. My wife calls it yelling. I call it motivational speaking.

20. The grass is often greener because it’s fake.

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Digital Dad: Time to rethink your family holiday

For the second year in a row, we decided to pack up the kids and head abroad for Christmas. Sacrilege some might say, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

On both occasions we’ve headed to the Canary Islands mainly because you are guaranteed the sun, the flight isn’t overly long (circa 4 hrs), the resorts are very family friendly and Santa can travel anywhere, so why not head off? Granted, holidaying over Christmas can be expensive but if you plan it right and book it early enough you can get some fantastic deals.

December 2015 was our first family Christmas holiday abroad and although we as parents were run ragged, we still had great fun. Thing 1was four at that stage and Thing 2, our ‘livewire’, was two.

The latter kept us very busy mainly due to his mix of independence, fearlessness, craziness and humour, all of which make him a lovable rogue. One year on however and with the addition of our third child – Thing 3 – we decided to do it all over again.

THREE kids? Are ye mad or what? Honestly, it was one of the most stress-free, chilled out and enjoyable holidays we’ve been on in a long time.

Christmas in the Sun

Anytime we mention that we were away for Christmas we’re invariably asked, in typical Irish fashion, what did we do for our turkey and ham (?!) and did we not miss seeing our family over Christmas. Well for any concerned folks out there let me allay your fears; believe it or not, turkey and ham are available outside of Ireland.

So too is goose, roast beef, steak, shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab, chicken and more, all of which were available to us on Christmas day. In fact, the food in the resort for the entire holiday was excellent.

We booked an all inclusive package – breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus drinks and snacks all day long. Regarding our families, yes, of course, it’s lovely to see them on Christmas day but we live near them, we see them on an almost fortnightly basis and we tend to hook up for a home cooked pre-Christmas (and post-Christmas) meal anyway. So if you think about it, how much are you really missing out on?

Also on Christmas Day I don’t necessarily want to be dragging the kids and their associated toys from one house to another while the designated driver – usually me – grunts in the corner about getting home so that we can crack open the Quality Street. And before you wonder, yes Santa does visit the kids abroad. He pre-plans…

It’s all very simple or more simple than you might think. To add to this, most resorts usually have an onsite Santa who visits on Christmas day and gives presents to the kids too.

Granted, holidaying over Christmas can be expensive but if you plan it right and book it early enough you can get some fantastic deals.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas at home but like most parents I’m sure, the countdown to Christmas starts for us pretty much as soon as Halloween finishes. The kids immediately turn their attention to Santa, toys, pantomimes, Christmas trees, decorations et al, so by the time we hit mid-December we’re ready to escape the madness. We also find that the days between Christmas and News Years tend to drag – nobody is around, the weather can be bad and the kids can drive us bonkers! Give us a beach, a pool, some sun and a glass of something nice any day.

Beach Cocktail time - virgin or an alternative

So how was it that a holiday with three small kids this time around was easier than a holiday with just two small kids the previous year? It’s quite simple really; the two older boys are now at a much better age where they can entertain each other without the need for Mum or Dad to don a clown suit and run around after them. It helped too that our newborn (Thing 3) is still immobile – a gurgling burrito you could say – so there really wasn’t much work in looking after him bar the usual duties of feeding, burping, changing and sleeping….pretty much what I did myself for the two weeks!

All of this plus the added benefit of a brilliant kids club (and evening entertainment) helped to oil our well-run parenting machine. The kids slept like angels too. Granted they stayed up until after midnight most nights but this was only on the basis that they napped – post swim – every day. Dually obliging, this napping lasted for three glorious hours every day. I’ve never enjoyed a glass of daddys lemonade silence quite like it in all of my life.

Give us a beach, a pool, some sun and a glass of something nice any day.

We honestly experienced no issues whatsoever – apart from Thing 2pulling down his pants in the restaurant one night and running around shouting ‘look at my hotdog’ – it was über relaxing, zero stress, great fun and without fail we were out every night. The kids had an absolute ball too.

If finances allow, we’ll most definitely be doing it again this year and although Thing 3 will be more mobile by then, Things 1 and 2 will be at an age where they can help us out a lot more.

So if you are thinking about it this year, don’t fret about the turkey and ham, don’t fret about your family – you can always invite them along – and try something different.

Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know more.


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Rolling Down The Lego River

And there it was. No sooner had I attempted the first dunk of my fun size Mars bar into my milky tea that I heard it, the mogwai-like gurgling of our newest addition – Thing 3 was awake…

I downed tools, secretly wept and prepared myself for another couple of hours of feeding, burping, peeing, wiping and crying. And that’s just me. Thing 3 arrived four weeks ago as if from nowhere (my wife will argue differently) and with Thing 1 and Thing 2 already tucked up in bed It gradually dawned on me that my nightly ‘Netflix fix’ will slowly become a thing of the past. Stranger Things Season 5 will be out before I’m back In my lounge pants and Mars bar heaven.

So there you have it, I’m a Dad of 3 boys aged ‘just turned 5’, terrible 2 (and I mean terrible) , and 4 weeks old. I love them dearly but I’ll be honest I’d been dreading the arrival of Thing 3.

Call me selfish – maybe I am – but I’ve never enjoyed the first 4-6 months of a baby’s life. Actually scrap that, I’ve never enjoyed my life for the first 4-6 months of a baby’s life. Hmmm yes, I must be selfish (my wife doesn’t argue with me on this)


Three kids is a game changer, I’m shattered, just shattered (and yes before you shoot me, my wife is even more shattered). It was Thing 1’s birthday last week and we had a party for him in a play centre – Kids Space Rathfarnham – which was very good although I probably lost 3lbs due to the crazy heat in the place (Mankini next time for shizzle). There was a lot of running around, wiping brows cheering on kids but being the CPO (Chief Present Officer) in our household I knew what lay ahead – helping Thing 1 construct his massive Superman Lego city AND following through on my promise – why oh why – to go camping in the back garden in his new tent. Thing 2 – who’s potty training I might add – had a wonderful idea of pitching the ‘ent’, as he calls it, and playing with the Lego in this newly pitched fort. BOOM, two birds with one stone I thought.

So we pitched, we played, we laughed, we shouted, we cried and shouted some more before we tucked into dinner and prepped ourselves for night camp (if only we could drop the ‘m’ I thought).


And so night fell. With my stamina dwindling and Thing 1 & 2 in sugar rush heaven we hit the ‘ent’ for what was to be a long long night ahead. I introduced the boys to an app I’d found called Voice Changer with Effects (free on Android) and they had great fun hearing themselves back as robots, creatures, cyborgs, extraterrestrials and more.

It was only at 3am when I was woken by a Monster-like voice and some Lego bricks floating (yes floating) past me that I realised something was wrong… Thing 2 had woken up. He’d found my phone and was standing behind me when he accidently hit the Monster voice.

He scared himself ‘piss-less’ to the point of peeing at full pace against the inside of the tent, creating a Niagara Falls-like gush straight through Lego Metropolis and past good old Daddy’s ears.

As the little Monster’s voice said ‘Daddy I’m doing a wee wee, Daddy I’m doing a wee wee, Stranger Things I thought. Stranger Things indeed, but probably season 6 at this rate.


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Digital Dad: How I Went From Superhero to Supervillain

It was a tradition in my old place of work (and hopefully still is) that whenever somebody left the company they would be given a large A3 card with a photoshopped image of themselves on the front. The card would be signed by all the staff, and typically the photoshopped image referenced the employee’s personality or the sterling work that they had done during their time in the company.

My card was that of Clark Kent ripping open his shirt to reveal the Superman logo and suit underneath. My face was superimposed on Mr Kent’s body, and the reference I can assure you was not that I was a ‘Superman’ but rather Mr. Geek Chic like Clark himself.

Fast forward 12 months, and my then three year old – Thing 1 – who was (and still is) a Superhero fanatic came across the card as we were clearing out the spare room. He literally froze in astonishment staring at the card while momentarily glancing back and forth between me and my now alter ego Superman. He couldn’t believe it. He genuinely thought that I was once Superman (the man boobs giving away my early retirement) and not one to disappoint I took on this role with aplomb and embellished it for all it was worth.

I told tales of Lex Luthor, detailed my battles with General Zod, explained the menace that was Darkseid and talked about sharing burgers with Spiderman and Batman in Planet Hollywood. He loved it. I loved it. He saw me as Superman – my wife saw me as a SuperPrat but it didn’t matter because Thing 1 was ecstatic and as any parent will know that’s all the matters. No Kryptonite in the world was going to change this.

As time went on and Thing 1 got older, he continued to ask me questions about my cape-flying ways. Every book we read and every toy shop we visited resulted in further recounts of embellished tales of my superhero days. To be honest, I thought that he’d outgrow it and granted I didn’t extinguish the myth but being honest, I loved it.

I loved that he was still so innocent as to think that the Dadbod standing in front of him was once Superman. My wife, the real superhero in the house, could only stand back and dream about having a husband with a six pack and bulging biceps.


Yesterday, everything changed however.

Sitting down for dinner, I asked Thing 1 about his day. As usual, he had a great time in school and mentioned that he played superheroes with his friends. But he said that when he told his friend that I was Superman, his friend laughed at him. When asked how this made him feel he said ‘Not good’.

I looked at my Wonder Woman wife, and together our hearts sank. I’d have to tell him. I’d have to shatter my his dreams and I’d have to do it before school the next day. I felt both sadness and joy that this little boy was still so innocent that he believed everything I told him.

So this morning I faced the biggest battle of my Superhero career. I got up early with Thing 1 and as we sat together having breakfast I told him that I wasn’t Superman. I explained about the photoshopped card and that when he first saw it he was too young to understand.

He seemed to take it all in but what came out of his mouth next almost floored me…’So you were never a crime-fighter daddy?’ ‘No son I wasn’t. Does that make you sad?’ He turned away with watery eyes and proceeded to finish his Weetabix– the same Weetabix that I told him helped me with my super powers. I felt awful, and if I’m being honest I was close to tears myself.

We hugged and in fairness to the little guy, he took it in his stride and moved on pretty quickly. We went about building some Lego structures, and I withstood every urge I had to tell him that I was once a Lego character… I’ll tell him another time, I thought.

Thinking back to all the fun we had over the years discussing superhero tales and battles, I don’t think I would have changed anything. Kids are innocent and that’s one of the loveliest things about them. I genuinely felt emotional seeing Thing 1’s face change when he realised that I wasn’t the crime fighter he thought I was, but it was better he found out now than be made fun of about it in school.

This whole episode taught me a very valuable life lesson about how gullible kids are, and I’ll be extra conscious in future about the type of ‘tales’ I tell them. One thing is for sure though, I’m absolutely dreading the day that I have to tell them about the Easter Bunny.

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them

Signing off,



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Conversations With Kids – pt 1

Random conversations I’ve had with my 4yo and 6yo boys.

Me: So boys are you excited about school on Thursday?
4yo: I am
6yo: Not really
Me: Oh. Why?
6yo: Well I’m excited to meet my friends but not about the work.
Me: But you have to work. School is where you learn and the more you learn the better you’ll become at things and hopefully then you can be anything you want to be. You want to be an Astronaut don’t you?
6yo: Well maybe, i haven’t decided yet
Me: And Reilly (4yo) you want to be a fire fighter don’t you?
4yo: No not anymore.
Me: Oh yeah? What do you want to be?
4yo: An evil dentist.

*I almost crashed the car*

4yo: Dad! Dad!
Me: What?
4yo: Come here. I need you.
Me: I’m doing something. What is it?
4yo: Please you have to come here right now.
Me: OK hold on.
* runs upstairs.
Me: Right what is it.
4yo: Look at how big the poo is that I just made

4yo: Dad can i have a ham and cheese sandwich but I don’t want any ham ok?
Me: Ok so just a cheese sandwich?
4yo (nodding): But can I have the cheese separate?
Me: Ok…so you just want a slice of cheese and some bread??
4yo: Yes but with no butter on the bread ok dad?. That new butter is yucky.
Me: Grand. Here you go.
4yo: But can I have a cheese string?
Me:So you just want a plain slice of bread and a cheese string?
4yo: Yes.
Me: Yes what?
4yo: Please
Me: But you can get them yourself. You don’t need me to do if for you.
4yo: But I’m tired. I need you to help me dadda

*Dadda my ar*e. He never calls me that unless he wants something the lazy toad*

4yo: “Dad, i’m going to live with you in our house forever and ever and ever”
Me: “Never joke about that again, do you hear?”

4yo: Dad?
Me: Yep.
4yo: What’s for dinner later?
Me: Spaghetti Bolognese
4yo: Ok. Can you cook it so that it tastes like Chicken Nuggets?
Me: Yeah sure, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

4yo: “When I grow up I want a husband like Mummy”.
6yo: “No Mum isn’t a husband. Mum is a wife. Dad is a husband”.
4yo: “Well i want a wife like Mummy then” .
6yo: “Me too but she would have to like Ninja Turtles”.
4yo: “Yea my wife has to like Paw Patrol too”.
[a communal pause and back they went to playing]

6yo: Dad can you tell me a word that doesn’t contain any vowels.
Me: Why
6yo: For school
Me: Why
6yo: For school i said.
Me: Why
Me: Why
6yo : FOR..*walks away angry and asks his mum*.

6yo: Dad?
Me: Yep.
6yo: How do you know that man?
Me: Huh? What are you talking about? Who? What man?
6yo: You called that driver Dick.
Me: Oh right. Eh, don’t mind that, he’s just an old school friend.

6yo: Dad?
Me: Yeah
6yo: Do sheep shrink in the rain?
Me: What do you mean?
6yo: Well. Mummy gave out to you because her wool jumper got smaller in the wash.
Me: Oh right. Yes, well wool shrinks if you wash it incorrectly. Daddy made a mistake.
6yo: So do sheep not shrink in the rain then?
Me: No the wool protects them and keeps them warm. They don’t shrink.
6yo: So do they not turn pink either.
Me: Well that was another mistake. Listen here comes Mummy, lets talk about something else….so how was school today?
6yo: Good.

6yo: “Dad, when will i be a grown up?”
Me: “When you have a drawer full of grocery bags within grocery bags and a bag/box full of new and used batteries”


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Digital Dad: Is Daddy Pig tarnishing ‘brand Dad’?

So, for the third time in as many bank holiday weekends I found myself at home with my three boys – Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3 – while my wife was away. There was a time when the thought of this would have filled me with dread but as I’ve fine-tuned my parenting skills I tend to look forward to it now (her being away that is!).

Yes, I could easily go down the route of writing about the trials and tribulations of my four days with my boys but I’ve done that before so instead I’m going to focus on the reaction that I – and I’m sure many dads like me – receive when one hears that I’m minding the kids for a number of days. There’s usually a snigger, a laugh, a pat on the back or a mock prayer to wish me well.

These, of course, are all in jest and if you know me or follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I like a laugh

BUT I can’t help thinking that in a society where typically stay-at-home parents tend to be mums, is there a deep-rooted feeling that dads aren’t ‘really’ capable of looking after their kids as well as mums?

Dad with Kids

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home dad. It’s just not for me. A few months back I saluted the stay-at-home/single parentbecause more often than not it’s a thankless, stressful job, so I absolutely take my digital hat off to anybody that does fulfill that role whether by choice or circumstance.

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be able to do it though. Or that I wouldn’t be bloody good at it either. I would. And I say that not with arrogance but with utter confidence.

Gone for the most part are what I call the ‘Shirley Valentine’ days where the ‘man’ goes out to work and comes home to a glistening house, a steak meal and a few cans in the fridge.

Granted, some people still live this way and if it works for everybody involved then fair play. I’m not one to judge. It’s just not how I and Mrs. DD live. As both working parents we tend to come home and divide up the tasks (cooking, feeding, washing, wiping, playing, homework, laundry etc) as evenly as we can…..granted I’m more the wiper than the chef.

I just think in this day and age, dads probably still aren’t given the credit that they deserve when it comes to raising their kids. Or rather, people don’t have the belief that dads can do a great job (or as good a job as mum) raising their kids.

Certainly, cartoons like Peppa Pig, where Daddy Pig is the stereotypical family buffoon or likewise Homer Simpson or Fred Flintstone, don’t exactly help matters.

And before anyone mentions it, I’m aware that I usually take the tongue-in-cheek approach when writing about parenting but I can assure you that I do this consciously because, well, that’s my personality and I only ever write about things that I’ve experienced/observed as a dad hence I like to think I know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I’m sure I could go on and on about this but I’m more interested in getting your thoughts on it. So, if I’ve managed to hold your attention thus far, let me know how you think dads/men are perceived in the parenting sphere regardless of whether you’re a brilliant mum or a brilliant dad.



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Digital Dad: Stay-At-Home Mum vs. Stay-At-Work Dad

How is it that a week off work can totally and utterly destroy you? Oh yes, I remember now – I have three kids and a wife (on maternity leave) who required a much-needed break from our three crazies.

I left work, said goodbye to my sanity and headed home. In 10 days I’d be back, sitting at my desk staring at a screen that doesn’t have Paw Patrol on it. The plans and visions I had for my week off were modest to say the least i.e. have a breakfast every morning or have a shower without Thing 2 coming in and launching a bar of soap at me. Simple things indeed, but not too simple as it turned out.

I walked through the front door to be greeted by my beautiful darling wife (I have to say this of course, as she reads these weekly articles). I say greeted but wifey merely opened the door to me. What greeted me were two hyperactive pre-Halloween ghouls and one 14-week-old Lucifer baby. Plans.  Ah yes, plans. I knew in that exact moment that I could put any pre-conceived notions that I had for ‘my’ week off into a box and throw them in the fire. They’d go up in flames just like my week (granted I did have my breakfasts). Boom, there they go.

My beautiful darling wife is currently on maternity leave so needless to say stress levels and exhaustion are set to max. I knew that I’d essentially be the hired hand for the week and I was OK-ish with that. Cue Saturday morning, I was left to look after my three little treasures while wifey headed out for what I hoped would be a short stint in the shops. It wasn’t.

Hired Hand

Things started out well. I took out the PlayMobil for Thing 1 & 2 and waffled to Thing 3 as only a goofy Dad can to a 14-week-old. An hour later I gave Thing 3 a bottle. He fell into a milk coma within 20 minutes so I popped him down for a nap and genuflected on the way out of his room in the hope that he’d sleep for a few hours. I must have genuflected incorrectly because he was up 20 mins later in full screaming mode. Bliss.

I knew that I’d essentially be the hired hand for the week and I was OK-ish with that.

While this was going on our now 3-year-old aka Thing 2 who is being potty trained – or rather he’s training us in the art of giving in and continuing with nappies – proceeded to pee in his clothes and tap-dance in his socks on the yellow pool that lay under his feet. I immediately launched my SOS call-a-friend and Dad, who was out cycling, said he’d knock in for a cuppa. I needed to prioritise, screaming baby or Gene Kelly. I chose the former.

I lifted up the stinkiest baby that ever was and placed him on the carpet. I was sure to breathe through my mouth the whole time but as I opened the nappy what met me was like something from our local Indian takeaway. I nearly passed out. Meanwhile Gene Kelly had stopped dancing in his p**s and was now demanding fresh clothes and new socks. I was demanding new children.

I immediately launched my SOS call.

The doorbell rang. It was Dad. Aka Bungee Cord. As I was changing Thing 3 I lifted my hand up to direct Thing 1 to open the door for ‘papa’. As I moved my hand back, I instinctively rubbed my cheek (face cheek that is) only to realise that I had sh** on my index finger and I had smeared it on my cheek. I looked like something out of Dances with Wolves. Papa came through the door in full fluorescent cycling gear, the colour almost matching Thing 3’s nappy contents. I immediately instructed him to run upstairs and grab a change of clothes for the tap-dancing lunatic.

I lifted up the stinkiest baby that ever was and placed him on the carpet.

Within three minutes calmness was restored. Thing 3 was placed on the play mat, Thing 1 & 2 were happily sitting down watching Ratatouille (v. good btw), I had washed my hands and Dad made the cuppas.

Stressed Dad

My wife had only been gone two hours at this stage but it honestly felt like an eternity. It turned out that she’d be gone for a further 3 hours and it was during this time that I was able to reflect on just how difficult and sh*** it can be – quite literally – staying at home and minding three little people.

Men can give women a hard time for ‘staying at home with the kids’ but in all, honesty I’d swap it in a heartbeat for work. I just couldn’t do it. As much as I love my kids, I’d go crazy if I had to mind them all day long.

As wifey came home, she was greeted by a very happy, very grateful and VERY clean husband who would no longer crack jokes about ‘relaxing’ at home while I headed off to work.

Relaxing it definitely isn’t.

Any comments?


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Pinocchio Parenting: The Lies We Tell Our Kids

I’m a good parent and I lie to my kids. Lying isn’t what makes me a good parent, but it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad one either.

The truth is, everybody lies. Toddlers, teenagers and adults – we all lie. Think about it, you even lie to your own kids you know you do. If you say you don’t, you’re lying!

We lie to our children for a multitude of reasons; we want to protect them, or we don’t always know the right answer, or we’re just lazy or we’re just having some fun. The latter backfired on me recently.

Obviously, there’s a difference between little white lies and lying to kids specifically to hurt them. The former is the result of taking care of the small people we love but who inevitably drive you to your breaking point and threaten to send you over the edge. [The latter, we don’t even go there.]

So, with that mind, here are some common lies Reddit and Pinterest users have heard parents tell their kids. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

1.“The ice cream van only plays music when he runs out of ice cream.”

2. “My dad told me the rumble strips on the highway were for blind drivers.”

3. “Your mom and I were just…em, wrestling.”

4. “If you don’t behave in the drive-thru you’ll get a Sad Meal.”

5. “Smoke detectors are actually Santa-cams.”

6. “My dad told me people only get 10,000 words per month. If you reach the limit, you can’t physically speak until the new month begins. Anytime I was especially talkative, dad would say, ‘Careful, you’re over 9,000 by now.'”

Little white lies...
Little white lies…

7. “If you pee in a pool, there’s a special dye that will turn it red so that everybody knows.”

8. “If you lie a red dot appears on your forehead that only parents can see. It only goes away when you tell the truth.”

 9. “They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy.”

10. “When I was a kid my parents warned me that if I pressed the ‘reset’ button on the power outlet the house would explode.”

11. “You’ll have to drive a little Smart car if you don’t eat your vegetables because you’ll be too little for a big car.”

12. “We’re not French so we can’t eat the French Fries in McDonalds.”

13. “The tooth fairy won’t come if your room is messy.”

14.  “If I didn’t sit still during a haircut, the barber would cut my ear off. The worst part was that the barber would play along.”

15.  “We have to leave the zoo now. The zookeeper called my cellphone and your crying is upsetting the animals.”

16. “We’re going to bed now, too.”

17. “I’m leaving without you.”

18. “When I was little my Dad told me that toys grew under the weeds in the yard and if I pulled them, eventually a toy would pop out. And I believed it for a long time…”

19. “The car won’t start unless everyone is buckled in.”

20. “We’re almost there.”

21. “I want to carry you but the doctor said your legs would stop growing if you didn’t walk.”

22. “Our fish went to live with their friends in the ocean.”

23. “My father always said the animals on the side of the road were just taking a nap because the road was warm.”

24. “My son was 8 before he knew that football games on school nights had a second half. I always sent him to bed at halftime.”

25. “When we go on a road trip I’m going to tell my kids, ‘If you go to sleep, we’ll take the shortcut.'”

26. “We got our daughter to eat fish by calling it ‘Argentinian Chicken’. That worked for a long time until grandma came along and messed it up.”

27. “Parents used to tell my only brother and I that we used to have another brother who turned into a mushroom from not taking a bath. Even added him to the family albums.”

28. “My dad said if I could look after a special growing rock, and watered it each day until it stopped growing I could get a dog. I’d water it and every week, while I was at school he’d replace it with a slightly bigger rock.”

29. “The funniest one I heard was a father who was asked about coconuts in a store by his son. He said: ‘Don’t go near those son…those are bear eggs…'”

30. “That drawing is fantastic.”

31. “I’ve got eyes on the back of my head.”

32. “We’ll come back later and buy it.”

33. “If you have the lights on in the car at night, the police will pull us over.”

34. “If you don’t wipe your bum properly, it’ll close up and you’ll have to spit out your poop.”

35. “My dad told me oil stains on the street were little kids that got run over because they didn’t hold anyone’s hand while crossing the street.”

36. “To keep my sister and I busy my mom would tell us if we could kiss our elbow we would turn into the opposite sex..”

37. “Burger King is for royalty.”

Have you any funny lies that you were told when you were young? Do you tell lies to your kids? Comment below.


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My Homemade Haircut Disaster

Thing 2 will be four in October and to look at him you’d think he came off the set of Point Break (think Bodhi). He has a blond curly mop of unkempt hair – unlike me but very much like our postman – that can at times obscure his vision but damn he’s a cutie.

Lately, however, we began to feel like the lack of grooming might be cruel as the constant brushing of his fringe away from his eyes made him look like he was constantly saluting us. I would always salute back.

I had planned to take him to my barber aka. the ten minute €10 haircut which has served me well for many a year – “short back and sides and leave the Jedward fringe please”. Our five-year-old now goes there too and like me, he’s in and out in a jiffy.

Thing 2, however, is a different beast. He’s more stubborn. He’s crankier. He’s more of a live wire. He’s Bodhi, a law into himself. As he gets older I’m hopeful sure he’ll mellow but to bring him to the barber would be a stretch too far for this cowardly dad…I just didn’t need the hassle or the stress.

Home Haircut

I had promised my darling wife that I wouldn’t give him a home cut but while the cat’s away, or rather at a yoga class, I decided to get the scissors out and strategically sheer him.

I had only ever done a home cut once before and although Thing 1 did end up looking like a Benedictine Monk I was convinced that I could do a better job with a lighter wavier head of hair. I was wrong.

A few snips here and a few snips there and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. In between chats about Paw Patrol and Mike the Knight we also played ‘I Spy’ until my ‘I Spy’ challenge resulted in Thing 2 shouting “the floor” and rapidly moving his head downwards.

Now while he got the answer right (“I Spy with my little eye something we stand on”) he also managed to lose half his fringe…the vertical half. I gasped. Half a floppy fringe and half a spiky scalpy fringe…no comb-over in the world was going to fix this atrocity. Bodhi was now long gone. What sat in front of me could only be described as a cross between Donald Trump and Flock of Seagulls.

As my adrenaline kicked in and Trump Seagull stared up at me I started to panic. Fine, the hair would grow back but my wife was going to be home soon so I was unclear what was in store for me.

It took a few days before we could make proper eye contact with Trump Seagull without cringing (thank god I collect trucker caps) and another few days for me to acknowledge that my sheering days were over.

My claims that it would have been easier if we had had a girl because it would be a simpler straighter cut (I was talking pure sh**e), fell on deaf ears.

To non-parents, this may not sound like a big ordeal and in the grand scheme of things it isn’t. The thing about cutting your child’s hair is the first unbearable ‘half fringed’ glimpse of them as a non-baby. We had waited 3 years and now he was a no longer our helpless little dude.

He has been shorn – had you seen him you might even say ‘branded’ – he is more grown up, more expressive, still cute but less cuddly. He is more Wall Street than Sesame Street.

I haven’t touched a pair of scissors since but we do have another son so third time lucky, who knows? In the meantime however the full salute has been reduced to a half salute and I continue to pray for the welcome return of Bodhi.


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Digital Dad: We put our Faith-legg in Waterford

I adore my kids I really do, but like a lot of parents (I hope) I enjoy being away from them too. Everyone needs a break and when it comes to children, too much of a small thing can drive you potty.

So to ‘de-pottify’ ourselves, myself and Mrs. DD decided to head south for two days while our amazing child-minder took over the reins at home. With school drop-offs/pick-up sorted and the cupboards stocked, we left knowing that the kids would be well looked after.

We like to travel around Ireland as much as we can, particularly during the summer when we usually spend a couple of weeks in Kerry. For a weekend away, however, I prefer trips that don’t involve half the weekend getting there so for this reason we chose Waterford.

At just over two hours from Dublin, or a total of three hourly news bulletins (the milestones by which I track a journey), Waterford ticked all the boxes and with the added bonus of the Deise Greenway to explore, we headed off like excited school children.

Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort
Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort

First Impressions
Our digs for the two nights was Faithlegg House Hotel, a beautifully restored 18th mansion on the banks of the River Suir which houses a four-star hotel situated in a stunning woodland location.

It’s also home to an 18 hole golf course which offers a wonderful sweeping vista as you make your way down the long and winding driveway to the house.

Faithlegg advertises itself as ‘a charming destination for a leisure break, wedding, meeting or conference’ and on first impressions, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

We parked up, turned off the third news bulletin and headed for the reception where a warm fire and warm, helpful staff greeted us. ‘Kids? What kids!’, I thought as I checked-out while being checked-in.

We headed to our room – a classic double but with a super king bed, large TV, tea/coffee facilities, robes and a decent sized bathroom – unpacked and left to explore our surroundings for fear of taking a sneaky power nap and waking up eight hours later.

Classic Double Room
Classic Double Room

The Lounge
Sorry, I lie; we made a quick cup of tea first and enjoyed the macaroons and truffle chocolates that were waiting for us on our arrival. Now If you know me, you’ll know I love treats so needless to say I was a happy camper after my ‘heroic’ two-hour drive.

Deciding not to exert ourselves and with pre-booked dinner only a couple of hours away, we decided to head to the lounge for some ‘no kids hanging out of us’ refreshments and chats. And if there was ever a lounge to lounge in, then the Aylward Lounge was it;

It’s a large beautifully decorated room with a grand piano, numerous comfy couches, armchairs, tables and chairs, all perfect for relaxing and ‘wine-ding’ down. The stout wasn’t half bad either.

The Aylward Lounge
The Aylward Lounge 

Our dinner that night was in the Roseville Room Restaurant and the starters were some of the nicest we’ve had. Mrs. DD had Ardsallagh Goats Cheese Parfait with Pinenuts, Saffron, Pickled Pear, Brioche Crouton (it was as nice as it sounds) while I opted for Pan Seared Scallops with Twice Cooked Pork Belly, Black Pudding Dust, Green Apple Puree. Double yum all-round.

For mains Mrs. DD went for the ‘Chargrilled Fillet of Irish Black Angus Beef with Potato Fondant, Braised Beef Croquette [these were great], Baby Spinach and Bone Marrow Jus’, whereas I stuck with fish and had ‘Pan Fried Fillet of Monkfish wrapped in Serrano Ham, served with Roasted Cauliflower and a Smoked Paprika and Chilli Cream’. Again both were delicious.

Like ourselves, dessert was fruity and cheesy (you can decide who’s who) as we decided to share a Green Apple and Blackcurrant Parfait and an Irish farmhouse cheeseboard accompanied by tea and coffee.

It was the perfect finish to a fabulous meal and a special mention must go to Gielsa for making us feel so welcome.

After dinner, we headed back to the lounge for a nightcap and although the atmosphere was somewhat subdued – no music and non-lit fire – we were happy to retire to our sanctuary upstairs as breakfast and the Waterford Greenway awaited us the next day.

The Dining Room

Breakfast consisted of both hot and cold options, all very adequate, and with a table situated beside a large bay window overlooking the grounds, it was the perfect start for the day’s activities that lay ahead (more on that next week).

We spent the rest of the day cycling the 46km stretch of the Waterford Greenway, nursing our sore saddle bums and enjoying some of the great bars and restaurants that Waterford City has to offer.

It was a great day but we were happy to return to Faithlegg that evening where we nestled right back into the comfort of the Aylward Lounge to enjoy some live music and a few evening tipples. Bliss.

The verdict…
We had the pleasure of being invited to Faithlegg House Hotel on a complimentary bed, breakfast and evening meal basis and we really had a wonderful time.

The setting is lovely, the staff are very friendly and helpful, the food is fantastic and the service can’t be faulted. The house is in a glorious setting and being only a 20-minute drive by car from Waterford city centre makes it a great base for exploring all that Waterford has to offer….and it has a lot.

It was the perfect escape for these tired parents so I can’t recommend it highly enough.

So will we be back? Eh, yes definitely…just let me mention it to our child-minder first.

The damage…
We were guests of the hotel – the cost of our two night’s bed and breakfast with a dinner in the award-winning Roseville Rooms Restaurant on one of the evenings is €199 per person sharing.

Afternoon tea and spa treatments are also available as additional extras. A discount on green fees is available for guests.

The details…
Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Resort, Faithlegg, Co Waterford.  |  | t: +353 (0)51 382000

Other options in the area…
Other hotel and spa options that we looked at around Waterford include:

  • Fitzwilton Hotel
  • Waterford Castle
  • Dunbrody House Hotel
  • Granville Hotel

Wherever you choose, I hope you have a great time and If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.


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