Cynical Northerner

Dad, Cynic, Nerd

Annoying Baby Things

Why is it that everything to do with entertaining a baby is relentlessly annoying? I get that things have to be sensory which means different colours, lights textures and sounds but why make the sounds worse than nails on a chalk board.

For example; we have a baby activity centre that he sits in and can mash buttons in a 360 degree ark. Great except one of the button areas is a joystick and buttons that play notes. If you move the joystick it plays oranges and lemons rhyme, either as normal notes (fine), duck quacks instead of notes (weird but OK), dog barks (getting irritating) or cat ‘meows’ (OH GOD MAKE IT STOP). Guess which one is easiest for him to pull. Yep, the dying cat sounds. Who sat in a room and though “Ooo I know what is engaging for kids, a song that sounds like a bag of cats thrown down a steep bumpy hill.”

The other toys are as irritating, I get putting nursery rhymes as songs on the interactive ones, but what about the random songs that are basically cheap rip offs of pop songs. In a world where everything is digital and the next craze is shoved down your throat why not try adding a little class to the toys, why not make them play Mendelssohn or Schubert? Is it too much to ask for Pachelbel’s Canon?

The kids TV isn’t any better, with baby channels playing poor pantomimes in costumes that have clearly been designed while on acid. The one my son seems to enjoy is Pocoyo, meaning he shuffles his bum when he watches it. This is an animated show with a strange child and his animal friends. A common set up in the repetitive world of kids TV. It’s only saving grace is that it’s narrated by Stephen Fry which makes it slightly more bearable to listen to. I’m left wondering where this kids parents are and does he have an actual medical problem?

“Don’t touch that Pocoyo”

Touches and breaks it.

“Where’s your ball Pocoyo?”

How can you not see that? It’s literally next to you.

“Can you tell me what that is Pocoyo?”

No? It’s a tree. Dullard.


p.s. I think this picture is hilarious, he was at a sensory group play and was happy and smiling seconds before the photo then his expression shifted to this!


He’s Here

So, our son arrived 5 months ago. Since then I lost my job, got a new job, moved in with parents and bought our first house. Stress doesn’t even come close to describing what has been going on. Things are beginning to settle now so I can once again focus on minor annoyances that even I know are petty.

My biggest grumble in these past 5 months has been with my wife. She’s still on maternity and will be until January this means that she looks after Elliot every day all day. This must be difficult especially when he decides that he’s going to be an a**hole. I love him dearly but yes my child even at his tender age can be an a**hole. His best trick is to fall asleep on you and then wake up immediately when you put him down, he does vary this trick and let you walk downstairs sometimes before he squawks.

Anyway, although it can be difficult and boring sat in the house all day (something she rarely does, her social life has improved drastically) I’ve had an equally challenging and boring day at work managing people who are also a**holes but at least they can generally go to the toilet without assistance. To have a mardy baby thrust at me immediately as I walk through the door isn’t a welcome I relish.

I don’t mind taking my share, I’m more than happy to spend time with him and when he’s been a particular nuisance and has stressed my wife out I can see why she wants to pawn him off quickly but not every. Single. Day.  I’ve taken the decision to start running to try and get into any other shape except round, the days I do are great. I come in, get changed and take the dog for a run while listening to cheesy 70s and 80s rock. By the time I come in he’s usually getting ready for a bath, bottle and bed.

Basically, yes I’ll take the baby but first let me get changed, clear my head for 5 minutes and get comfy before I have to watch Pocoyo on Netflix.

Oh and Pocoyo is an a**hole too.

The wait begins


So my wife finished work on Friday and it was her first day in the house alone yesterday. I thought she’d be bored but not immediately. If it was me I’d enjoy a day of sitting in my pants playing games and listening to rubbish music that she doesn’t like.


Apparently that’s not her style. I came in from work to a mardy (See Arctic Monkeys – Mardy Bum for reference) woman sat on the settee watching the reality drivel that is Real Housewives of Idontknow. She was bored and irritable, and after a pretty crappy day at work I couldn’t be bothered to entertain her immediately. It’s worth bearing in mind when she was working I finished an hour earlier than her so I had time to unwind on my own. I’m a loner by nature and an only child so that 45 minutes to an hour was great.


 So yesterday I made my excuses practically immediately as soon as I registered the atmosphere in the house and took the dog out for an hour. I listened to my downloaded radio 4 shows on my phone, Simon Evans for comic relief and Jim Al-Khalili for some bite sized science listening. Feeling much better and seeing that I’d lose the dog on the field if it got any darker I headed back home refreshed and ready to dance like an organ grinder’s monkey to cheer up my wife.  


So I danced and I sang, well I didn’t I let her pick the TV and tried to engage her in conversation to no avail. She responded, and talked a little but I didn’t get much back and I eventually retreated into sullen silence.


She perked up as we got in bed and cuddled up to me as I read my book.


Today I left what little cash I had on me all for 7 pounds on the side for her to put towards something entertaining. I hoped that went someway to alleviating the boredom or at least bought her some chocolate to keep her happy. I cant do 3 weeks (until D-Day) like this.


At least the dog will be happy, he might be set for a longer walk tonight!  

Useless Baby Advice

Image result for chocolate fireguard

As the name of my blog suggests I’m cynical and with that comes an innate ability to be irritated by people in general. I don’t show it, I’m generally pleasant to people. However, in a queue in Next waiting to pay for an overpriced cushion my wife picked out, all I want to do is murder the 40-something woman in tight jeans and a fat arse. She’s huffing and puffing because she’s got to wait an extra minute to pay for a similar overpriced cushion set with matching curtains. Grow up, wait a minute, the girl behind the till is 17 and doing her best.


The same general irritation applies to baby advice. Most of it isn’t actually advice, not from men anyway. In a pub or other similar social occasion with a group of people (typically my parents friends that have had kids) all you get is an unusual warning. “Oh, get ready!”  said in a foreboding voice is what I usually get. Get ready for what? For parenthood, psht here’s me thinking it would be easy but now thanks to you with your 3 words of usesless advice I’m much more prepared. It’s the tone that gives it the strangeness. Like I’m entering the forbidden forest (Harry Potter reference) or one is simply walking to Mordor (Turns out you can’t do that).


Another one I hate is “It’ll change your life completely” Really? Thanks Sherlock.  This was a planned pregnancy. Not a whim. I’m aware that having a child means more than just having an excuse to play with Lego again.


Even the ones that are somewhat more helpful are annoying. I say somewhat helpful because what worked for your child probably won’t work for mine. The advice is always unsolicited and when its from someone who you know has bratty kids I don’t think I’ll be paying attention.


Unless you have practical advice leave me alone, and then only help when asked. I want to do this myself mistakes and all.


I’m male I don’t ask for directions.  

Pregnancy Shopping

At first shopping around for baby things and baby clothes was a novelty. Mothercare and Mamas and Papas had cool outfits (I even bought a R2D2 baby grow…with hat!) I didn’t mind spending my weekend searching around Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire looking for anywhere with a baby section. Luckily due to my bonus in the summer and at Christmas we had a good chunk of money in savings to buy pretty much what we wanted within reason. My wife being organised had a list of everything we need and expected prices.


Cut to 2017, 5 months of shopping under my belt, nursery practically finished and I am now Ikea furniture God. Sundviks and Hensviks tremble and the clink of my allen keys. All the other essentials are in and we have drawers of clothes from tiny size up to 6-9 months (because it was cute and cheap). We don’t need any more. Yet every weekend we find another shop with a baby section and I have to imitate interest while my wife picks up another tshirt/baby grow with a bear’s face on it. It’s the same as the 3 bear tops we’ve got at home. It’s cute but baby clothes design is very limited. Bears, robots, cars and dinosaurs for boys.


As for other bits we’ve got bottles, toiletries, books, toys, a nappy stash and everything in between. The pram is assembled and taking up space where our dining table used to be. We’ve gone overboard, I say we I mean she.


If she finds another pointless piece of kit that we don’t need and won’t use I might have to looking for a bigger house (we already live in a 3 bedroom)


Mothercare can suck my well sterilised teats.

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