I dragged Louie along to the football at Privett Park (the home of the mighty Gosport Borough) recently.
I’d like to say he was willingly accompanying me, but I think he’d have rather stayed indoors watching Postman Pat.
And, if I’m honest, there’ve been times this season when I’d have rather remained at home and tuned into Postman Pat too.
The performances haven’t always been particularly inspiring over recent months.
CBeebies often seems a better alternative.
You might presume this was Louie’s very first match as a spectator but, unluckily for him, he’s been going since he was about six months old.
Some parents take their children to Old Trafford, Anfield or Stamford Bridge and some, well, some don’t. For him it was Privett Park.
I think he secretly enjoys it though, or it might just be that he can’t yet communicate his absolute hatred for it. We’ll find out for sure when he slowly starts to acquire a bit more language.
It was an entertaining 90 minutes this time around and not just because Gosport recorded a rare and comprehensive victory.
The little chap has only recently discovered walking, you see, (he’s a little lazy like his dad was at that age) and decided to spend the duration of the game completing agonisingly slow and extremely thorough circuits of the pitch.
At one point during one of his many laps of honour, he paused for quite some time while gazing quizzically up at a volunteer steward.
I figured he was trying to determine why he was wearing such a bright yellow jacket.
He was totally baffled and mesmerised by it.
The confusion definitely got the better of him and he eventually admitted defeat in his quest for an answer and toddled off again.
Then, during the little man’s rather repetitive tour of the ground, we found ourselves positioned behind the dugouts just in time to hear Gosport boss Alex Pike advise one of the visiting coaches to sort his hair out. Louie seemed to find that highly amusing.
I have to say that a lot of people remarked on how much fun it would be when the number one boy finally began walking.
I’ve now realised that it was only people without children who told me that.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great seeing him move under his own steam.
But I have absolutely no idea where he is from one minute to the next any more.
If they do tracking devices for toddlers, then please let me know.
THE DATE THAT MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER
November 28, 2015. A date which is now forever etched in my memory. And if my memory fails, which is often the case, it’s also engraved on a bracelet I wear around the clock to ensure no future birthdays are forgotten.
It was the day my first and, to date, only child, little Louie Howard, entered the world.
What a truly emotional, magical and pretty traumatic experience childbirth is. And I was only the expectant father, cheering from the sidelines while my wife, Kerrie, was very much out there on the pitch, kicking every ball and putting the referee (me) in his place on more than one occasion.
I say ‘Kerrie’ because that‘s her name, but we very rarely refer to each other by name any more. It’s simply ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ these days.
So anyway, our little family is now three-strong, or five if you count our two dogs, Rupert and Rosie.
Kerrie returned to work last October, so I’m now in sole charge of Louie and the hounds two or three days a week. A daunting prospect at first, but I now feel fairly competent looking after our toddling livewire. Kerrie, on the other hand, may disagree