It’s Started. (The Battle of Why)

A conversation from earlier…

me: “Come on, let’s get something on your legs”
Little One: “Why?”
me: “Because I don’t want you to get cold.”
Little One: “Why?”
me: *sigh*

It doesn’t look like she is in full flow yet, but we are getting prepared for every little thing being questioned, with the occasional conversation turning into something like a pub quiz for the insane. For example, I can imagine her asking “Why is it raining?”

Though I guess smart phones make things like this easier then it used to be,  because lets face it. Most answers in life are now a google away.

Its just a matter of putting it in a way a two year old can understand.

Visiting The Twisted Oak, Ide, Near Exeter.

Its been a busy few months for The Twisted Oak pub, which can be found in Ide, just by Exeter. It was closed down by its previous owner, due to “high running costs”, then the building had squatters move in. After the squatters left, the new owners tidied up The Twisted Oak with the intention of building up a family friendly pub.

The Play carpet at The Twisted Oak, Ide

As you walk in, you are greeted with a choice. Do you want to choose the Family Dining Area / Play Area, or are you going to the Bar / Dining Room? As we had a toddler with us, the choice was obvious. As we wandered into the family area, my eyes were distracted by the “Sweet Shop Bar”, while the little one made a beeline for the indoor play area. The play area is made up of a fairly cute climbing frame, with a couple of slides, stairs, and wheels to spin.  Imagine an outside metal & plastic climbing frame, but inside! Around the climbing frame there are also ride ones, and boxes of toys. The carpet was a huge road mat!

What this place isn’t, is a soft play centre. But where I’ve found soft play centres to have fairly naff food, this place has a great menu, with great food being served from it. The adult menu was very varied, and there was a lovely childrens menu available too. There is quite a selection of booster seats for the younger children to use to attach to their chairs.

After the little one got bored eating, she went for a wander around the dining area. After taking a few moments sitting against the bar, and pretending to hide around the tables, she saw what was being shown on TV. Where most pubs might have the news channel playing, our little one looked up and saw Cbeebies being shown.

There is also an outside childrens climbing frame/play area, but other than a quick view of it through a hedge, we didn’t check this out, as the ground under foot was still quite soggy and it seemed more suited to older children. There is a nice outside wooden benched area, opposite the front entrance though, which would be nice to sit in during warmer weather. Apparently there is also an outside seated area near to the outside play area, but we didn’t view that.

Now as I had to go to work in the afternoon, I didn’t think anyone would be impressed if I checked out the beer selection at The Twisted Oak. If its anything like their sister pub, “Farmers Union”, I imagine its worth checking out.

The tuck shop idea is genius, and of course we had to test it out!! A takeaway coffee cup full of sweets for £2.50, not bad. Yum yum yum!

Is The Twisted Oak a family friendly pub? From the looks of our trip there yesterday, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a nice pub to bring the family to.

I just need to find the nearest bus route there (to allow the good lady wife to be able to drink as well)…

The Twisted Oak Website.

Toddler in Toilet Seat Horror!

It looks like a Devon parent has found a new way that toilet training can go wrong.

According to

Devon firefighters had an unusal emergency call out – to a toddler with a trainer toilet seat stuck on his head.

One fire appliance from Ottery St Mary was sent to Brackendown, West Hill, Ottery at 8.17pm tonight (Saturday) to deal with the incident.

The fire crew were able to remove the toilet seat from the child’s head.  The child was uninjured.
If anyone was to write a book entitled: “Potty Training. How Bad Can It Be?”, this little tale may have to be included.


The Dad Network

How Long Do You Wait?

Imagine the situation: Your toddler leaves the Living Room heading towards the kitchen, making “I want food noises”.

Question: How long do you wait until you go after the toddler?

A) Nice and Quick!
B) Do you wait, finish what you’re doing then go?
C) Hang on… See if you can identify any noises… then RUN!
D) Meh. You have locks on your cupboards you’re fine.
E) Meh… Let see what the toddler does.

If you’re settling for option E.
Good Luck

10 Reasons Why Dads Matter.

Dear Dads.

Ever felt that all the attention is on the mum? You know, she has the mum groups, the various classes, the extra time to actually understand the kid, and you have… work.

Well Babycentre have come up with 10 reasons why you also matter:

1. Who else, other than mum, will tuck her into bed at night, teach her how to ride a bike, fund her first holiday with friends and buy her first pint?

2. He’s got your genes. You are a part of his history, who he is, how he looks, right down to those big ears and awkward gait.

3. You matter to your partner, too. When you get stuck in from the start, breastfeeding is more successful and she is less likely to suffer from postnatal depression.

4. You’ll raise brainy kids. Children with involved fathers have better social skills when they reach nursery and do better in examinations at 16.

5. Being a good dad keeps your child sane. Father-child closeness is a crucial predictor of long-term mental health.

6. Successful professional women tend to have at least one thing in common: fathers who respect and encourage them.

7. Do well as a father and, when your child’s time comes, she’ll be a better mum.

8. You’ll keep him out of prison. Good fathering means your son is less likely to have a criminal record.

9. She’ll be happier later. Father involvement at age seven is correlated with your daughter’s contentment with love at 33.

10. Do you want your child to have higher self-esteem, be friendly and trust others? Your influence makes a difference.

The Am I Ready To Be A Dad Test?

Well it seems that someone has come across The Dads Sofa after doing a Google search for “am i ready to be a dad test”, so I figured I’ll actually write one. I guess the important question to answer on a “ready to be a dad test” really is simply:

“I’m I Ready to be a Dad?”

Answer: No you’re not.

I once heard that, Mums become a Mum when they become pregnant. Dads on the other hand really only become a Dad when they see their kid for the first time. Whilst I dont fully agree with that sentiment, I think it helps to illustrate my point that sometimes Dads just need to hold their little one for the first time to really feel like a Dad.

The thing is, if you’re looking for a test to see if you’re ready to be a dad, you’ve probably realized its a challenge, and by looking for validation on your dad credentials from Google, I would like to bet you may not feel 100% confident about it.

Which suggests to me that you are not an idiot and that you care.

And thats a damn good start.

This is a slightly edited version of an old post.