Eric, now three and a half, is an adventurous, cheeky little imp who likes monster trucks, dinosaurs and building/breaking things. He dislikes sleeping, sitting still and broccoli. Eric began developing eczema when he was 2 months old. Within a couple of weeks he looked as though his face and body had been sandpapered. After being assured by medical staff it was “definitely not food-related”, we had him tested privately for allergies, and discovered he was allergic to egg, prompting years of trying various lotions and potions in a bid to prevent him looking as though he had been dipped in red paint. My friend describes Eric as “confident”; my brother asserts he is a delinquent.
Arthur, or ‘Bear’ as he is known, is a happy little 15-month-old who likes rubbish bins, black olives, and hugging his Jellycat poppet bunny. He dislikes gnocchi and being told not to play with his brother’s toys. Bear managed to dodge the eczema/allergy bullet; instead, he has metatarsus adductus – a foot condition known in podiatry circles as ‘banana foot’ (seriously). Thankfully, having a right foot shaped like a boomerang does not appear to have affected his walking, and he can usually be found waddling around the house causing total chaos and destruction, just like many other children his age. Getting a shoe on him, however, remains a challenge.
I’m an award-winning journalist, cake lover and mum to two beautiful*, albeit slightly feral, children. Before having kids, I used to enjoy real ale, hot coffee, motorbikes and holidays in the sun – none of which I have sampled very much of since starting a family. Today, my life is mostly about softplay, toy cars and trying to stop my two boys from poking each others eyes out, as well as trying to navigate my way around allergies, eczema and metatarsus adductus.
*I’m probably biased. They’re not all that.
Glen has the joy of sharing parental duties with me. He is a very ‘hands-on’ dad in terms of raising our children and keeping the house moderately clean. When it comes to putting together a cot, pushchair, or anything else accompanied by a meaningless diagram or 98 page manual (ie most baby-related equipment), he cannot be seen for dust. In the tiny amount of spare time he finds, he likes going to the gym and cleaning his ridiculously expansive collection of Adidas trainers.