Just four short years ago my daughter Caitlin came into the world at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
If I had a pound for every time a friend, colleague or family member told me to enjoy every moment because before we knew it she’d be waving goodbye at the gates of her new school, I wouldn’t be a rich man but I’d probably be about £30 up.
Thing is, at the time I didn’t realise how true that sentence was.
It seems like one moment she was a baby who would wake us up every two hours during the night for a feed and the next she’s a girl who can talk for England and asks me to play her songs from One Direction on YouTube.
Time really has flown and tomorrow is that big day that all those people told me would happen in the blink of an eye. Caitlin starts school.
Strangely she is fine about it, but it is me who is a bit anxious about the oncoming milestone.
Will she make new friends at school? Will she get on with her teacher? Will she miss her mum, dad and sister? Will she eat her lunch?
But according to a recent article in a national newspaper, there is something far more important to think about.
Apparently the biggest worry at the start of a new school term is what to wear – and it’s not referring to the child.
Caitlin already has her school uniform sorted, but that article was talking about the parent.
Search engine Google has had a 40 per cent increase in parents asking ‘what should I wear on the school run?’
Maybe it’s because my fashion knowledge is extremely limited, but this has never even entered my mind as something I should think about.
According to the article, what we wear on the run will tell other parents all about our home life. Wearing a pair of muddy trainers indicates a meltdown is in progress.
Having a large pair of dark sunglasses covering your eyes means you’re probably not getting enough sleep and don’t want anyone to engage in conversation. Arriving at the playground with scruffy, unmade-bed hair suggests you aren’t holding things together very well.
In my opinion, what a load of old tosh. I wonder what my fashion choices, jeans and jumper, will be giving away to the other mums and dads? But surely it’s better than wearing pyjamas on the school run, which I have witnessed around Portsmouth.
Back to reality and I’m excited and a little nervous about Caitlin starting school tomorrow and can’t wait to hear all about her day when I pick her up. I’m also looking forward to seeing which parent has the biggest bunch of keys as apparently that means they are rich.
I really enjoyed taking my daughters to the International Kite Festival on Southsea Common.
We were there on the Monday, the final day, which luckily had perfect weather. It made me realise how fortunate we are to live by the sea and be able to take Caitlin and Alyssa to such a beautiful part of our city.
Southsea is my favourite part of the island in the summer with a great atmosphere, especially on the common with people enjoying barbecues and games of rounders.
After finding a parking space with, surprisingly, not too many problems, we made our way to the kites.
Initially I thought the day wouldn’t require any money leaving my wallet, except maybe for an ice cream.
However, the route took us right through the pop-up funfair and a teacups ride.
With Caitlin and Alyssa I took my seat on the ride and was approached for payment.
Six pounds, yes you read that right. Two pounds each, for a 60-second ride. Since when did fair rides get so expensive? We didn’t have a second go.