The daily work slog is a welcome break from the kids '“Â Kieran Howard
Should your two-year-old toddler have a better social life than you? Since entering the world in November 2015, Louie's rapidly developed a circle of friends which is already embarrassingly larger and more impressive than mine.
His massive collection of mates is bigger than I've ever experienced at any stage of my 34 years, including when I too was an under-five '“Â so my mum informs me anyway.
I'm not kidding when I say his huge network of pals is strikingly similar to something only usually seen among celebrities and sports stars, minus the all-night parties of course.
He's that busy trying to squeeze in meet-ups, that I don't actually know how he fits in the time to sleep and eat anymore.
He recently had three away-day play-dates in the space of five days.
I can't remember the last time I had that many outings with chums in the space of five months, let alone days.
As hectic a calendar as that sounds, that doesn't even include a picnic gathering at Gosport's Stanley Park that same week.Â
I sometimes get home from work of an evening and he's still out socialising. I didn't think that was supposed to happen until he was 18.Â
My social life, on the other hand, starts and ends with seeing my work colleagues.
And when I say 'seeing them', I mean just at work.Â
It is true what they say though. Going to work and simply being in an office environment does offer a surprising escape and break from the daily routine of raising two children.
Yes it's work, but it's basically like being on day release.
There's no stomach-churning nappies or melodramatic toddlers to contend with for a solid 10 hours. And Lennie's social circle? Well, his is a little more modest and a lot more in line with his dad's.Â
He is only two months old though, so it's quite excusable.
At the moment, his journeys out mainly consist of trips to the hospitalÂ for an all-clear on a clicky hip and the local medical centre for routine check-ups and weigh-ins '“Â not exactly things you'd buy a ticket for.
His most recent appointment was his eight-week first set of immunisations.
I was again left holding the baby as the questionably long needles were inserted in his tiny, fragile legs. Kerrie still can't yet bring herself to take on that role. She was the same with Louie.
I can't say I blame her though. It's not for the faint-hearted. Yet again we were left thanking a certain magical purple pain-relieving potion.
The wonder that is Calpol really is a parent's strongest ally.
Sound the CBeebies alarm
I'm destined to live to a ripe old age, if the latest study is to be believed.
Â Researchers have found sleeping for more than eight hours a night could lead to you dying younger. Well, have no fear. There's absolutely no chance of me achieving anywhere close to eight hours of shut-eye over the course of a single night. Aside from Lennie's nighttime feeds, I'm still occasionally awoken by a toddler who insists on demanding random things which really don't need demanding during the hours of darkness. I'm often still coming to as he's shouting 'milk Daddy' or 'Thomas train gone' at 3am. His latest sub-standard reason for dragging me out of bed and down a flight of stairs was because he wanted CBeebies on.Â I repeatedly told him it was 2am and it wouldn't be back on for another four hours.Â Sadly, he appears to have little trust or confidence in anything tell him. I'm effectively like a politician to him, so I had to prove the point by turning on the TV and showing him the 'CBeebies has gone to bed and will be back at 6am' onscreen message. He then finally believed me, rested his head back on his pillow and didn't stir again until the morning.
IÂ can't wait for the next middle-of-the-night alarm call.