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Navigating parenting with a disability and trying to write a novel. Email:

Learn to be grateful for everything you can do — even the stuff you don’t always enjoy

I’m an obsessive reader about parenting. Find me an article about how to be a better parent and I’m there. Parenting-related Facebooks groups? I’m in them. I might not always take the advice given, sure, but I’m open to new ideas.

So my interest was piqued when I saw a fellow dad on Reddit talk about “the last time meditation” he uses to reframe his thoughts when doing something around the house — or with his kids — that he doesn’t usually enjoy.

The example he used was brushing his 7-year-old daughter’s hair. She doesn’t enjoy it and spends the…

You won’t really miss anything by going offline for a while

Sometimes, when I spend time with my daughter, I’m not really spending time with my daughter. We could be playing together, or reading, or watching television, and as much as I adore my 18-month-old toddler, my attention isn’t always fully there.

My phone is nearby, and I’ll sneak a glance every now and then. Or if I don’t, I’ll be thinking “I should probably check it, there might be a message I need to see”.

Of course, there’s never a message I need to see.

I can easily justify my phone use. I’m keeping up to date with the news…

The conspiracy theory no longer makes any sense. But it never did.

There were no mass arrests. No release of sealed indictments. No military tribunals beamed into everyone’s televisions via the emergency broadcast system. JFK Jr didn’t come back from the dead. Joe Biden was not revealed as a clone. The supreme court didn’t overturn the election result. Mike Pence didn’t, either. The ballots didn’t have secret watermarks. The Kraken lawsuit was laughed out of court. So was every other from Trump’s “elite strike force” legal team. Hillary Clinton still hasn’t been arrested. Donald Trump is no longer president. There will be no second term. Joe Biden is president. There is no…

No, it’s never okay

Like any new parent, I had plenty of worries about fatherhood. Being a dad with a physical disability added an extra layer of worry on top of your garden variety new parent concerns like will they love me? and will I ever know what I’m doing?.

Thankfully, eighteen months in to parenthood, my worries have proven to be, if not entirely unfounded then at least grossly exagerrated.

I worried that not being able to do much of the physical lifting and carrying would create a distance between us, but that has never been the case. …

Or if it stands for anything at all but power at any cost

Let’s call it what it was: an attempted coup.

Not just the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters that left five people dead, but everything the outgoing president has done since his November 2020 election defeat.

The refusal to concede, the near-constant airing of baseless conspiracy theories on voter fraud, the piles of lawsuits, the brazen attempts to pressure local officials to “find" votes. It’s all of a piece.

Everyone knew Donald Trump would be a stress test for American democratic norms. The good news is democracy held. Officials (mostly) did their jobs and the court system treated Trump’s…

Don’t give up before January is out this year

It’s a new year, which means new year’s resolutions. Of course, still being in the throes of a global pandemic means 2021 resolutions may be different from the usual — depending on where you live, your local gym might not be able to open, while quitting drinking might prove easier if the pubs and bars are closed where you live — but the Earth’s annual trip around the sun still gives us that compulsion to try to change for the better.

I know I make resolutions every year, even though I rarely announce them publicly. The reason I don’t make…

From worrying about fatherhood to relishing it in 18 months

I was scared of being a father well before I was one. I worried about it when my wife and I discussed having a child, I was worried about it when she was pregant and I was especially worried about it when I held my tiny, wriggling fragile daughter in the hospital room after she was born.

The first nappy change was mine. My wife was incapacitated with exhaustion and new stitches, and so this small, reed-thin, writhing new person was handed to me.

I placed her in a hospital issue cot/incubator, a little glass box on wheels, thinking that…

Don’t worry about a “good” Christmas, just aim for “as good as possible”

Christmas 2020 is going to be an odd one for most of us who celebrate it — unless you are lucky enough to live one of the small number of countries who seem to have the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

Here in the UK things are uncertain. Initially, the Conservative government led by the uncertain, flip-flopping Boris Johnson decreed that, for five days, up to three households could mix indoors for Christmas celebrations. It seen as a relief after close to the entire year spent in a mix of national lockdowns, local lockdowns, and confusing fluctuating restrictions.

(I can’t see…

New beginnings are also endings

I’m still putting the final little touches on my first novel, due out in January. (I’m one of those people who cannot stop tinkering, so I’ll probably be messing with for as long as I can.) But recently I had an idea for another one.

It’s just an idea at the moment. I’m still working out whether this idea has the potential to be a full novel and if there’s a market for it.

But there’s something else I have to consider if I decide I’m going to write this, and it’s something everyone needs to take into account when…

Spoiler: none of them are “stage a coup”

He may not be quite ready to accept it, but Donald Trump is a one term president, having lost the 2020 election to the Democrat former Vice-President Joe Biden.

Since the result was called Trump has mainly been tweeting misinformation in all caps and golfing. Honestly not that different from his pre-election style of governing. But in keeping with a norm-flouting presidency he has refused to concede (along with many of his Republican colleagues) and is not cooperating with the Biden-Harris transition team. …

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