Sunday, 17 June 2018

A posh new haircut and the debate about the fringe!

I am sitting up early on Father's day, with a very quiet house and none of my family awake as yet and I was thinking about Lucy's new haircut and how fabulous she looked. Amy has a new haircut too (looking great and dynamic Mrs Hammond). Anna received countless compliments about her hair and heroic saves at a football tournament yesterday. One parent asking her what her hair product was as she has been diving around all morning and it hadn't moved a centimetre! I bowed to family pressure and went to the same hairdressers as the rest of my crew yesterday. I have resisted this for many months and there have been several attempts to get me to go. I am a loyal person and creature of habit and have been going to the same place for nearly twenty years. However, of late they have failed to cope with my awkward hair - I have no real style and it simply needs a tidy up - how hard can it be! I moved to another and that has not worked out. So I relented and I was suitably impressed. Trying to gain recognition for my great haircut (everybody likes a compliment) and feeling smart and handsome, I asked the girls what they thought. I got the stark reply that 'it looked like it always does!' Charming! A bit disconsolate, I decided I was ok with this having witnessed Amy and Lucy bickering and niggling all week about what to do with her fringe! Who needs complicated hair and the pressure to look great. I am what I am and not really going to be able to change that after forty three years on the planet! Lucy does look great though and on Father's day I can beam with pride at my beautiful girl, who on the day of her birth, triggered my amazing journey as a parent over twelve years ago....

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Could the time of the hat be making a reappearance?

I normally don't make much of an appearance in half terms, trying to save my time off for the holidays and finding that balance of bringing the pennies in. However, this half term with Amy undertaking a project, I needed to step up to the parental plate and entertain the girls and contribute. After all there are three half terms a year and I am often not about! I loved it and spent some really great time with the girls. Anna and I had a date watching the champions league final (where I lost money to her and backed the wrong team) and the new start wars movie. A nightly kick about at the park with both girls was the highlight of the week for me and Lucy really improved, scoring many a goal against her sister! It didn't last and the work thing kicked in, but I look forward to some more time like this with the girls again soon. I also got to see my old friend Kate and her lovely family, a rendezvous which Amy normally manages each half term and I miss out on. One wonderful thing returned which is worthy of note is Anna has purchased a hat for the first time in over a year and it was a delight to see her wearing one again. Happy days in the early summer sunshine! xx

Monday, 21 May 2018

I think I may have committed a truly epic parental cock up!

For years Amy and I have religiously waited for Anna to go to sleep, writing small notes in our best tooth fairy handwriting, frantically rushed around searching for change at 11pm and snuck into her room and swapped bloody teeth from under her pillow. Late last week, it turned 9.40pm and Anna's tooth had come out days before and she duly popped it in a bag under her pillow. Tired  and wanting to go to bed, with Amy already snoring her heart out in bed and not well, I took a gamble and prepared the reward and note as usual, sneaking into Anna's room thinking that she would be asleep already, tired from the heat and her day at school. A couple of minutes later she came through and enthusiastically told me that Boxer had been (having forgotten to come the previous two nights - bad parents!) I went to bed and thought nothing of it, thinking I had got away with it! In the morning, Anna approached me and in her usual stark and blunt manner said 'you do realise I caught you putting your hand under my pillow, Boxer is not real, is he?' At this point panic set in, but also a huge sense of relief that I no longer had to do this late at night shenanigans each time a bloody tooth came out. Lucy was present for this conversation and urged me to continue the ruse, I am afraid I buckled under the parental pressure and stated that 'she had me and we were just helping her for all these years to use her imagination, but Santa is real!' Why I said this I do not know, as I could have gone to bed early this year on Christmas eve. Muppet! Later that week Anna sent me a lovely text saying 'Never mind dad, its not your fault, I really enjoyed all the notes from Boxer - you are the best dad ever!' Now there is a child who knows how to play her parents and twang their heart strings. Lucy when she discovered this simply said 'creep!' Does this mean I don't have to part with any more cash Wiggle?

Sunday, 13 May 2018

If only she could follow instructions!

Life just races by. Every week blurs into one and by the time you realise it, the weekend's gone and you are back into the grind of the working week. Lots gone on in the family Hammond to catch up on, some frustration, one hilarious moment and some proud parental moments too. My eldest daughter Lucy is beautiful, finding her confidence and growing up at a speed I cannot fathom. Now needing grown up conversations  about personal hygiene and adult things, Amy is shouldering the burden of such things. Glad I am not involved in these and that Lucy only wants to talk to her mother at present, although I am currently bracing myself to cock it up if needed! A week or so ago, Amy and Lucy spoke about the need to shave legs and under the arms. Lucy popped in the shower and sorted this out. On coming out, she declared to her mother she had sheaved her arms too! After much laughter Amy and I composed ourselves, but could not resist a slightly sarcastic jibe in the morning! Not sure if the issue was in the clarity of the instructions or the stupidity of the recipient - we will never know! I am so glad she did see the funny side. Not good parenting I hear you say, nothing that Lucy would not have said to any of us. She is after all developed in her sarcasm usage and at 'Ninja' level. Anna despite high levels of moody and grumpy continues to excel on the football pitch. Now with an interest in goal keeping pulled off the save of the season yesterday, tipping a stinging shot over the bar to stop the opposition equalising. It was truly a sublime save and one I wished I would have been able to capture on video. Then people would realise it is not just parental bias driving my description of her heroics, I can tell the world I was there on this epic day, even though they may not believe me......

Monday, 7 May 2018

It would be rude not too!!

It has been a stunning bank holiday weekend, with warm sunshine basking over the wonderful Norfolk countryside. Sadly with Mrs Hammond spending the weekend beavering away at an outstanding work project, it has been left to me to entertain and stimulate the girls. The menu of enjoyment has been simple with not much choice on offer - sunshine, ice cream, plenty of fluids, relaxation and much eating Hammond style. My parenting skills probably do not go beyond this - so stick with what you know! We've been fossil hunting, eaten way too much ice cream, lots of penny gambling in the arcades and had a potter around a very packed Wells. The best excursion organised by my children's entertainment unit (me) was a nostalgic one for me. A picnic prepared by Anna by Walsingham ford, right next to my childhood home. I could see Berry Hall in all its splendour in the spring sunshine and it brought back many childhood memories. I loved watching the girls play where I had once done so, paddling and playing poo sticks. The odd shout of 'car', to avoid getting splashed was heard too! A lovely and unusually warm bank holiday weekend. Shattered now and going back to work for a rest!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A worrying case of hat hair!

The time of the hat faded some time ago with Anna choosing another path in her fashion sense and overall look. Focus these days is on short hair, more football kits, always wearing shorts (despite sub zero temperatures over the winter) and copious amounts of hair gel and 'product' as it seems to be called. Last weekend brought some unusually hot weather and Anna broke out one of the last hats she has to shield herself from the sun and heat. She did however forget that the combination of hair gel and a hat, brought a very unusual style that she had not planned for, with quite hilarious and public consequences! I have to say, I loved the time of the hat and her discovery in finding herself and the image she feels most comfortable with and I missed them. So, despite messing up her cool styled hair, I quite enjoyed the brief comeback at the weekend. Thank god the effects were not permanent, although they could have been with the amount of hair gel she uses! Love my wiggle and her style x

Monday, 23 April 2018

Something special to share with my girls...

I recently read a very moving and emotional article from a female local journalist about the bond she shared with her dad at Carrow Road whilst watching the football. Having lost her dad recently and quite early in life, this resonated more with her and she shared some of the great memories they had together.  This got me thinking about the time I share with the girls. I love my football and have shared some great memories already at Carrow Road with Anna mostly and at Wembley on that wonderful promotion day. Until recently, if I blatantly honest I viewed my fortnightly trip to the footy as my time, my peace and quiet with twenty seven thousand other people and shared memories with friends. I think I may have changed my mind a bit, so have gone out and bought the girls a season ticket to share. The more I considered it, the more I realised how much I could share and enjoy with the girls, I could be a proper football dad and try and explain the offside rule and discuss players and tactics. Anna is already bonkers about football and would come every week, I may have some persuading to do to install this passion in Lucy. She may have even agreed to come, just to spend time with me and that, if the reason is alright with me. The three of us went to the game last week and had a great time and both girls got very animated. One day, you never know, the girls might write an article after I am gone about their love for coming to the footy with their dad and how much it meant to them. One day and it would mean the world to me....