Posts Tagged ‘children’

When I were a lad…

…I lived in Devon. So no one (other than Monty Python)  used such Yorkshire-like phrases. And if I did then I probably would have been corrected to say ‘was’ instead. That’s not really important to this story – the point is, when I was younger, I can remember, one snowy winter, standing on the actually quite excellent climbing frame (built by my dad after he found he was unable to remove one of the supporting posts of an old wooden garage that used to be in the garden and he built a climbing frame around it instead, until when I was like, 20 or something, that original support eventually rotted away enough to be removed along with the rest of this makeshift but brilliant climbing apparatus – that’s not important to this story though) ….so I was standing on this climbing frame in my full winter gear – padded coat, gloves, balaclava, the works, when my brother throws a snowball at me…

I don’t want to give my brother the credit for what happened next because he missed…or, as I like to remember it, I expertly and deftly evaded the missile…

…unfortunately I then lost my footing, fell off the climbing frame and can then remember a very sick and claustrophobic feeling that I was in pain but couldn’t remove the million layers of knitted garments of industrial (grandma-strength) yarn.

My loving mother (no sarcasm intended…She was and still is…) performed the obligatory parental skills of rubbing my arm, moving it up and down, making sure I could make a fist, etc , and advising that perhaps the snowball fight should take a rain check. I can remember my arm being moved backwards and forwards, accompanied by the words, “I’m sure it does hurt, but you wouldn’t be able to do this if it were broken”.

Of course, it turned out that it was indeed broken. I wasn’t able to sleep that night, mum realised that maybe something was in fact the matter, and we ended up going to hospital where it was confirmed.


*                          *                            *                           *


Fast forward approximately 30 years… it’s a Wednesday, and I arrive at my son’s after-school football club to take him home. They are just finishing up. It’s penalties. They always have a penalty each at the end of the session.

Son is in goal.

He saves a penalty and appears to land awkwardly.

But he walks up to now take his own penalty. He misses.

He returns to be goalkeeper …and lets the next penalty in. Game over.

Only at this point does he appear now to express any hand pain.

Now call me cynical  *pause… to allow time for you to call me cynical* but I wasn’t convinced, and told him to stop making a fuss. He shouts at me for never believing him (all previously  ‘life-threatening’ injuries sustained by son to this point have turned out to be no more than scratches and bruises) and when we get home, I am internally eye-rolling but in the real world I’m going through a VERY thorough hand examination, checking for scaphoid fracture – negative, checking for peripheral nerve damage – negative, putting hand and wrist through full range of movement. He reports some pain but isn’t jumping through the roof. I basically performed a slightly more elaborate equivalent of rubbing his arm, moved it backwards and forwards and telling him, “You wouldn’t be able to do that if it were broken!”. To show him I was a loving and caring father, however, I did apply an ice pack (frozen peas) and a wrist wrap bandage thing for the evening.

The next day, he goes to school and plays in a football match afterwards (they lost 4- 1 incidentally… though that’s not important to this story).

The day after that, due to ridiculous roadwork near us, I decide he will cycle to school while I cycle our younger child (using a tag-along bike) to her school. Son returns home 5 minutes after leaving, saying his wrist hurts and could I drive him? No I could not. He needs to stop being a whinge-bucket and if he’d just kept going he’d have been over half way there by now… and anyway, his sister was all kitted up and excited about cycling to school… and we didn’t have time now… and traffic would be dreadful and if he wasn’t going to cycle then he’d better start walking now or he would be really late!

He cycled to school.

And he cycled home.

But when he didn’t want to play tennis on Saturday morning, I thought something was up. I looked at his arm again.

Now his arm did look a little bit bent…mmm…not sure… swelling? … worse?

To cut this story slightly shorter, we basically spent the day in various hospitals where, after x-rays and a 3.5 hour wait, the upshot was basically “We don’t know for sure if it’s broken either. We think it still might be a greenstick fracture so here’s a brace (removable velcro-strapped splint) to wear for 3 weeks. During that time no swimming… no P.E at school… no football… come back and see us in 3 weeks“.

To cover my own parenting inadequacies, I have been recounting the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried, “WOLF!”‘ to my son.

He thinks it’s a rubbish story.

I shall be collecting my ‘Father of The Year’ award next month.











P.S. they didn’t actually say “no running” so I have used his non-participation in school sports to persuade him out with me on three separate occasions for just a ten minute run.*


*and thus this blog fulfils its very loosely running-based brief.




Today’s topic is “Training With Children”, which can be traumatic. Whether your cherubs are tiny or toddlers, choosing the tip-top time to train can be a terrible chore, but is a task that must be totally talked through with your cherished one, if tears, tantrums and potentially even testicle twisting are activities you’d rather were terminated.

When I just had one child and they were small, I went on loads of long pushchair walks, especially around those parks with ‘trim-trails’ (fixed exercise apparatus, dotted around a marked track to be used for press-ups, chin-ups, hurdling, climbing, etc). I could put them on the bike and go for lovely long bike rides and not worry about needing to be back to collect anyone from school.

I can remember even with child 2, going for a pushchair run at 3am for about 2 hours because I figured if I was to be awake anyway, I might as well!

Now however, the little one is far too independent to use a pushchair but not really strong enough to walk great distances. I can put her onto a ‘baby’ bike seat but then I cannot use the tag-along bike attachment for the older child who is not yet confident enough to ride his bike on the roads. Oh there’s a way round most of these things and I do find them.

This evening, for example was simple.

Solution 1: Put children to bed and then go out


I very nearly just went to bed myself but I forced myself to go swimming instead. I forced myself to cycle there too so I’d have to cycle back. And then just because I was in the mood, I went for a run upon my return.

2k Swim; 10k bike ride; 2k run

And because I am slightly paranoid about copyright and crediting sources appropriately…


… So thank you Mark Anderson. I’m sure it’s a very lovely and informative book.

Failed? (Day 2)

Posted: January 2, 2012 in Janathon, running
Tags: , , ,

Well the only running I’ve done today is running around after children. Which, I might add, is the best sort, I think. It still tires you out and you can usually get away with not having to have a shower afterwards.

I did however, go for a bike ride.

I feel liberated actually.

Normally I feel a lot of self-imposed pressure to RUN everyday for the ‘athons.

Perhaps it is because I’d considered not doing it at all this year that it still feels good that I’ve done something.
Perhaps it is because recently, after I’ve been running it feels like I’ve been kicked in the stomach anyway.
Perhaps it is because someone recently gave us a very old ‘trailer bike’ attachment so I can go out on longer rides with my son (NotMuchOfaSitStiller) with him actually pedalling along too but so I don’t need to worry about him veering into traffic.

He learned to ride his own bike properly at the end of the summer but the darker evenings and poor weather have resulted in us only going out about twice since. Today, we rode for nearly an hour and included some pretty lengthy uphill sections.

I’m pooped.

In other news…

Child 1’s bedroom has laminate flooring completed and now also has a door. Child 2’s room also has a laminate floor and their walls are currently receiving a second coat of paint (as I obviously did such a bad job yesterday).

Also, I get connected with proper Wifi on Wednesday… So hopefully no more standing out in the cold at the end of the drive in the hope of pinching a bit of my neighbour’s BT signal (thankfully I can type this offline then upload quickly on a late-night drive-way excursion).

Looking forward to reading up on the efforts of fellow Janathoners very soon.