WARREN HAYDEN: Back to the madness after half-term peace

It only feels like five minutes ago that the school gates swung shut and were locked and my daughters were looking forward to half-term and a whole fun-filled week off school.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:56 pm

But now, in what feels like the blink of an eye, they are back at school and ready for their minds to be filled with new information.

Now I have to get myself back into school-run mode which means busy mornings trying to get my two daughters to eat their breakfast, brush their teeth, put on their school shoes and all the things in between so that we can leave the house on time and get to school before the bell rings signalling the start of another day of learning for my offspring.

But last week it was so different – nine days in a row in which none of that happened, and I was truly delighted.

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Usually, from the moment my eyes ping open in the morning and my head rises from my slumber, to the moment I wave goodbye to my daughters at the school gate it’s like one massive whirlwind.

Some mornings are easier than others.

Sometimes I only have to ask once for my daughters to brush their teeth, other times it might happen on the fifth time of asking.

Don’t get me wrong, they are good girls. Of course they have their naughty moments and, to borrow a phrase I heard another parent using in the playground, they can sometimes ‘drive me up the wall’.

But I have realised it is so easy for young children to get distracted.

It’s clear they are always amazed and in awe of the world around them so anything and everything can stop their chain of thought and put them on a totally different path.

But the thing is, with so much to do in the morning, I am guilty of the same thing.

So last week I was delighted to know all that was going to stop.

In the morning there was time for one of those rare things I enjoyed many a time before I was a parent, a lie-in. Albeit, a small one.

Last week my breakfast wasn’t hurried and gobbled down quickly. It was eaten at a leisurely pace. And my morning cup of coffee didn’t just sit there, losing temperature because I was too busy to drink it. Instead I’d sit on the sofa and sip it while its steam was still rising.

Best of all, last week I got to enjoy the company of my two daughters.

I just love being in their presence. Whether it was a game of noughts and crosses, getting comfy on the sofa with a movie on Netflix or getting our trainers on for a run-around on beautiful Milton Common.

I enjoyed every moment of half-term, before the madness returned this week.

Roll on Christmas...


When on the treadmill at the gym I’d often see lots of men lifting lots of weights. I always think the same thing: rather them than me.

I was happy doing some running to keep fit. The weights didn’t interest me.

But apparently, weight-training can bring benefits. They say muscle-growth helps burn more fat and can prevent back pain. Allegedly it promotes a healthy heart and can tone your body and improve your balance. I was sold.

So I thought I’d give it a go. For the past few months I’ve been weightlifting at home and I’m feeling the benefit. I’ve lost weight, more than I ever did while running. My balance has improved: putting on my socks standing up is a breeze. Plus, I just feel better in myself.

It’s not all easy though. My daughters try to mimic my actions when I’m lifting my weights, which makes me laugh.

It’s impossible to lift weights and laugh at the same time. So I have to ask them to step outside the room. I also expected to have a ripped six-pack by now.

This dad bod will just have to try harder.