You know you spend too much time on Twitter when…

I’ve done a couple of posts recently that seem to have struck a chord with people; You Know You’re a Parent When… and Twitter is Like… I’ve been totally bowled over by the response to both, so thank you very much. It seems that the secret to a successful blog post is having an ellipsis in your blog title, and doing all your writing after several glasses of wine.

It’s the middle of the morning right now, so I’ve not had any wine, but just for a laugh I thought I’d combine the topics of those two posts, and do a quick one called You know you spend too much time on Twitter when… Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
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Twitter is like…

Twitter analogy

I was out for coffee the other day with a non-tweeting friend. “So what’s Twitter actually like?” she asked.

I ummed and ahhed, and explained it all very badly, mumbling some fairly dry stuff about retweets and hashtags and follows. She didn’t look convinced. So I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
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Live In The Now: June

Wow. I’m amazed that it has been a whole month since I put up my first Live In The Now post. For those that missed my May ramblings, the premise is that you try and take a monthly snapshot of your life, and capture some of the details that you don’t take the time to record in photograph albums or baby books. It’s something that the excellent Scribbling Mum started, and if you haven’t checked her blog out I’d urge you to do so.

Anyway, it has been one of those weeks. DorkyDad is travelling, and within five minutes of him getting in a taxi to the airport I’d managed to drop a two-litre carton of milk on the kitchen floor. DorkySon was supposed to be getting a haircut – something that has previously been no problem – but on this occasion he had a meltdown and refused to let anyone near him. In the queue at the bank, DorkySon stuck his fingers so far down his own throat that he threw up all over himself. And today we walked past a toy shop without going in and buying a new truck and so I was rewarded with twenty minutes of screaming around the supermarket, before DorkySon slammed his legs against the checkout counter with such strength that he flipped his pushchair right over and ended up staring at the ceiling. The shock of that, finally, made him shush.

Phew. I feel like the gin and tonic I am sitting sipping has been well earned.

As always, though, there have been many funny, loving and colourful moments to compensate for the tantrums. We hosted a birthday party for a good friend, N, and let DorkySon choose his present… so N ended up with a toy car for his 30th (not just any toy car, but a pink Lotus…). On a similar note, we decided to let DorkySon choose his own new shoes, and as soon as the sales assistant brought out a blue pair, a brown pair, and a red pair, we knew we’d be taking home the red ones. He is proud of himself for plucking up the courage to go down the slide on his belly, but he is still talking about how much the siren on a police van scared him. He has a hissy fit if I start to unload the dishwasher or unpack the shopping without asking him to help me, but can I persuade him to tidy up his trucks…? He is downright resistant to using his potty, but would happily stand all day putting pieces of loo roll down the toilet and flushing them away. He knows what he likes, and knows what he doesn’t. I have never met anyone as comfortable in his own skin as DorkySon.

Scribbling Mum mentioned that one of her little ones is picking up a lot of family phrases that are making everyone laugh, and on a similar theme I dedicated a whole post to DorkySon’s language explosion, which is ongoing. He too is parroting back phrases that we use a lot without even realising: “Okay, let’s go!” “Good job, DorkySon!” “Goodbye – see you later!”

Following a second, successful, attempt at a haircut, he has picked up the phrase “make me feel better”… He got some hair in his mouth, so I gave him a sip of juice, saying it would “make him feel better”. Then he spotted some crisps in my handbag, and said “crisps make me feel better too”. Now he has added the phrase to his repertoire of bedtime time-wasting activities. It used to be the case that I needed to tuck his toes in, or give him a sip of water, now he says, “DorkySon doesn’t sleep. Chocolate milk, ice cream, crisps all make him feel better.” He is getting far too clever for his own good.

This month has also seen DorkySon using the word ‘love’ for the first time. He has ‘I love DorkyDad, DorkyMum and DorkyGranny’ all down perfectly. When I go in every morning he tells me that Binky has a hole in him ‘because I’ve loved him so much.” Ahh, Binky – he deserves an entire post to himself sometime – but he is the DorkyFamily equivalent of Scribbling Mum’s Stinky Rabbit. Unfortunately he has also taken to wandering around the house shouting ‘I love butt” and “I love poop”. I figure that like most other unappealing habits, that one is best ignored.

In other areas of life, we have had an exciting time. I had my first feature published in the Guardian (whoop! I will never get tired of saying that!). As a result of that, we had a few days fending off calls and emails from the tabloid press, who wanted to re-run it, but we said no. I am so very, very tempted to write an article myself though, detailing my life as seen by the redtops. DorkyDad went to Paris to compete in the Slam Poetry World Cup. And now we are gearing up for the Edinburgh Festival; I’m going to be writing about it and DorkyDad is going to be performing in it.

I have learnt so much about blogging in the one month I’ve been doing it – not least how many other people are doing it. I am deeply grateful for the two guest blog opportunities I’ve had over at The Blog Up North and Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy. I’m also grateful for the people who have taken the time to read and comment on my own blog. I am starting to understand that there is a real community out there, and no matter what kind of week I’ve had, there will be other parents out there who have been through something similar and will lend an ear or make a kind comment.

So, if anyone has any tips about how to avoid supermarket tantrums and bank queue pukes, I’d be very grateful. But not a word about DorkySon’s red shoes – they are perfect for him, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Rise of Slacktivism

Computer screen showing Facebook login page

This post could also be called ‘Why I don’t like the like button (but I use it anyway…)’

It has been quite a weekend. The video showing Barack Obama’s awesome humiliation of Donald Trump at the White House correspondents dinner has 30,000 YouTube likes. So far, Osama Bin Laden is dead has 25,000 Facebook likes, although I’m sure that number will rise exponentially over the next day or two. And the big winner is Pippa Middleton, whose Ass Appreciation Society, also on Facebook, has nearly 130,000 likes.

There are many problems with the like button, the main one being that it makes us all (and I include myself in this) lazy. Like doesn’t always just mean like, and it doesn’t really take a lot longer to type, “I read that article too, and I completely agree with it!” or “What a great photo – you look lovely”.

I remember when I used to write letters to distant friends – real letters than needed to be put in an envelope and posted. Then we stopped writing and started emailing. Then we stopped emailing and started writing on each other’s walls. Now there are people who I communicate with entirely through likes – they like my status update, I like their engagement announcement – but there is very little two-way conversation to remind each other what we actually, erm, liked about each other in the first place. Continue reading