Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

30 December 2015

After the Un-Wrapping...

How was your Christmas?
Good? I hope so.
<Hugs you anyway>

Last night was the first night, in probably a week, I went to bed sober.
It’s funny how getting whammed having the odd drinky is totally acceptable at Christmas time. 
And totally awesome as well.

I've also eaten far far far too much cheese.
That’s strange too. In what way does eating more aged dairy products symbolise Christmas? The best kind of way. Who cares! In our cheese world it does. Team Parents (yay!) stocked the fridge up with many lovely different types of cheese and we splurged on crackers. Not just Jacobs crackers as per normal. No no.
We had Jacobs Crackers variety box. Twice. <Drools>

BabyBoy1 loved the extra cheese in the house.
He has been sneaking into the fridge a lot and coming out with cheese. Which is fine really, although I am not totally happy sharing. It's mostly good for him.
He’s also leant that things that look coins, probably have chocolate in them. Which does feel like a choking incident waiting to happen. But hey! it’s Christmas. 
I assume he can tell the difference between coins that bend in his mouth and taste of chocolate, and well, real coins. Real coins that, so far, have no use in his wonderful world.
If only he knew that you could trade normal coins for the chocolate ones.

BabyBoy1 was given a brilliant present.
Auntie-Amazing took a Pinterest idea and made it real. Yes I KNOW! It can be done! 
She actually made something from Pinterest in real life!
She’s magic!

(We all want one... Even the Cat...)

Basically Auntie-Amazing has given BabyBoy1 a Batmobile.
Not a fun little car that looks cute, not the Mickey Mehmeh car, a bloody Batmobile.
He's only one and already has a Batmobile. That's one of my life goals he has already checked off. Brilliant! The jammie smegger.
Without the stickers it would just be a black car. Covered in Bat stickers makes it at least a Millennium Falcon on ‘Awesome-O-Tron’. (Tron is on it about 15th).
Even better though was BabyBoy1’s reaction.
He is only just getting the hang on Christmas, the unwrapping, the bizarre yet brilliant influx of new toys and stuff, the cheese, chocolate for breakfast, constantly drunk parents.
BabyBoy1’s face as he realised the car was his. Just his. For him.
Was amazing...

‘Uh Uh UHHH’ (* ‘That’s AWESOME! WANT!’)
<Moves towards car>
Dude, it’s yours
<Gives me disbelieving look>
<Opens the door for him>
<Tiny eyes light up>
‘... Mine?’ (* ‘I now claim this as mine, forever… come near... you die!’)
Dude, it’s all yours
<Holds back Boy8 and Miss4 from having a go>
<BabyBoy1 sits in his car grinning>
‘Mine?’ (* ‘Seriously mine? For keeps?’)
<All the adults nod>
<Biggest grin ever from BabyBoy1>

BabyBoy1 sat in his car for the next three hours.
He unwrapped presents in it, he ate in it. He only got out to walk around it, and then climb back in it. He wouldn't let go without some serious force as he was removed to have a nap. When he woke he climbed straight back in.
I think the other children had one or two goes. But BabyBoy1 had to be distracted by something else shinny. And then when he noticed he was straight over, pushing, nicely at least, anyone out of his car.
Great present.

Miss4 got the yellow Lego snowflake she had asked for.
Santa came up trumps. Somehow he managed to track down a single yellow snowflakes for her. I heard rumours he had to get it from a French eBay site at a horrible mark-up, because it's really hard to find just one yellow snowflake, on it's own, at Christmas time. <Grumbles>
Still she loves it. And she is chuffed to bits that Santa found it and brought it just for her. That's gotta be worth any swine eBay mark-up. 
Santa put it in a jewellery box as well, just to make it extra special.
Good work Santa.
Good expensive choice.

(The fireplace I feel adds the required gravitas…)

Santa didn't let Boy8 down either.
Although not quite how Boy8 had thought it would happen. Boy8 had asked for two (yes two) dwarf hamsters from the big fella. FC. Santa. 
So on the day Boy8 unwrapped a brilliant hamster cage, with hamster food, hamster water bottle, hamster wheel, average sawdust. Everything you could want to start looking after your very first hamster. Everything... except an actual hamster.
But don’t fear. You don’t get to be Santa just because Team Parents (yay!) got whammed one night, some eight years. No no.
Santa clearly had thought about it. He had written a letter. A nice letter saying that ONE hamster was probably the way to go, and not the dwarf one’s either.
Santa had done his research as the pet shop people told me the same when I asked too. Funny that. How does Santa find time for all this stuff and research? Probably has a Elf that’s an Hamster expert I reckon.

Yesterday me and Boy8 went and got his hamster.
Santa had also given Boy8 a voucher for the hamster, so there was no messy money situation going on...

Pet Shop Girl: That’ll be £10
Cool…. Hang on…
<Dumps huge handful of change on the table>
<Takes back penknife, memory sticks, lighters, gum and mag-light>
<Sorts though pennies>
I've got £7.43? That enough? <Flutters eye lids>
Pet Shop Girl: Close… But no
Try this card
<Tries card>
Pet Shop Girl: It’s only good for £1.22
Really? OK. Split it on this one as well…
Pet Shop Girl: 25p on that one....
OK OK <Lays out another seven cards>
Please start with the Darth Vader card, then the Samurai Jack card, R2-D2 card ... and end with the Captain Barnacles card here <Points>
<Gets a look from the girl>
<Smiles back and dies a little inside as aware is spoiling magical moment for Boy8>
Pet Shop Girl: Your grand total comes to £9.87… You're still short
Who are you calling short?
Er… Boy8… You got any cash?
REALLY? This is the last time though… You still owe me £3
Yes, yes, all right I'm good for it, don't go on…
<Boy8 pulls out wallet stuffed with notes>
Can you change a £50?

Boy8 is very happy with his hamster.
Team Parents (yay!) can tell. We are his parents and we can read that little boy like a book. Every nuance, every words he says, how he walks, how he holds himself, we have seen him grow from nothing to Boy8 he is. We process and understand his every movement and interpret it's meaning. 
It’s really a special, mystical, magical parent thing.
Oh and he drew this...

(We spend many hours deciphering this… Subtle as it is...)

Then the hamster training began.
We want Boy8 to be able to handle the hamster brilliantly. Of course.
Don’t want him scared of being bitten. I seem to recall being bitten by my hamsters when I was young and not liking it very much. I think I got good enough to be able to handle my hamster. But I am not 100% sure about it. I was probably a bit wussy about it to be honest. But I did have three of the little furry dudes, so I bet I did man up eventually. I didn't.
So I sat down with Boy8, with Miss4 watching, and took our time getting to know the hamster. I read up on how to do it safely. And had received advice from the other lovely lady at the Pet shop.
I was one with the force knowledge.

Boy8 was bitten straight away.
Blood! A proper pin prick on his finger.
I could see in his little gangly eyes that this was a pivotal point in his hamster training and I needed to be strong for him.

It’s fine, don’t worry about it
He’s just getting to know you
It’s still bleeding! <Is close to tears staring at finger>
Yeah it’ll do that, just suck your finger…
Watch me do it...

I got bitten straight away.
Internally I thought OW! And then my but that is bleeding a lot
I gave the hamster a bit of a look. But then I noticed something.
The look of tears in Boy8’s eyes had gone. He was laughing at me.
Watching me get bitten, just like he had, was the exact remedy he needed.
It seems that if his Dad (me) can get bitten as well, then it’s nothing he is doing wrong. My similar failure absolved his. I am so glad.
This all occurred to me whilst I sat there sucking my finger and crying.
Boy8 shock off the agonising pain and tried again.

But I was even more proud when he got bit again, and he just laughed it off.
He and his hamster are going to get on just fine, I am sure of it.
He’s been bitten, twice!, and is still going back for more.
Hell he'll be fine for love too.

Miss4 however.
Having watched me and Boy8 get bitten thrice (combined), vowed clearly and loudly never to go near the fluffy dude ever. She crossed her heart and everything.

She’s a smart cookie that one.

23 December 2015

A Christmas Play (Skit)

I love Christmas.
And I am way too busy eating cake writing poems, drinking booze discussing literature, stuffing my face with cheese that upsets my tummy but I love it anyway visiting relatives, to write anything up to my normal high standards (no laughing please).
Plus the chances of finding enough quiet 'me' time to pull my thoughts out of Brainzilla and get them down on... er... screen are practically zip. 

I've more chance of a lie-in on Christmas day...

'Wake up! Wake up! ITS CHRISTMAS!'
... Urghhh... go back to sleep... 
<Looks at clock>
... It is far too morning...
... I hate you...
... we are not getting up...
<Uses deadly serious voice>
... until at least one child wakes... OK! 
<Gives Mrs. Amazing a look>
'Fine, fine, no need be a grump...'
<Sings noisily quietly to self> 'Dashing through the snow...'
<Gets grumpier>

(Is there a window open in here?)

So here’s a short play (skit) instead...

[Kids finally asleep]
[I walk downstairs to find all the windows open and Mrs. Amazing]
Why are all the windows open?
It's freezing in here!!!
It’s gonna cost a fortune to reheat this!
It's nearly Christmas for baubles sake!
‘It's stuffy in here... I wanted some fresh air’
Why didn't you go outside then?
Lots of fresh air outside
‘It's cold out there’
<Logic capacitor explodes>
‘Plus I want the fresh air in here’
‘So stop being such a wuss and put a jumper on’
I have! <Shows off R2-D2 knitted jumper>
‘Put on another’
No it took me ages to pick this one
Plus I am not wearing two jumpers in my own home
Unless we are playing the chocolate knife and fork game
Anyway... <Sniffs the air>
… the air seems pretty darn fresh to me now...
Let’s shut the windows
‘I'm a bit hot as well’
<Thinks of a great plan>
OK then... how about we shut all the windows, and instead of me having to wear two jumpers…
You take your top off? <Looks as innocent as possible>
‘Fine’ <Rolls eyes to the heavens>
<Fist pumps>
‘Stupid boy’

Merry Christmas X

20 December 2015

Decompressing and Changing Tempo

Christmas has fully arrived at our house now.
Miss4 has survived her first ever term in one piece.
Boy8 has defied the bookies by making it through his term as well, alive.
But more importantly I don’t have to attend work again until January.
Pinch ME!

<fist pumps>
OWWW!!! What was that for?

I know that not all Dads can, or indeed want to, take this much time off at Christmas and they have my sympathies for both counts.
I however save my holiday for this time of year.
Christmas is frigging awesome and I want here with with my three monkeys children making the most of it.
They will be getting new toys that need playing with.
There is lots of chocolate to be eaten.
I also get to see Mrs. Amazing all day, which is awesome as well.
She rocks just as much as the monkeys monkeys.

(What has happened here? <Looks for clues>)

Miss4 however is utterly wiped out.
Her first school term has really taken it’s toll. She had her very successful début as ‘Very Important Star that Stands on Stage’. I hear the reviews were excellent.
In one term at school she has started to learn to read, be on her own all day, made new friends and enemies. They even got her doing some maths as well. The madness.
That is some hard core, serious ramping up of learning in Miss4’s life.
She has coped brilliantly, I doubt I would be so graceful about it...

‘OK… So you’re current role is…’
‘What is it you do again?’
Freedom fighter
Miss World
Plant pot
<Is removing post-it notes from my face as I talk>
I do stuff <Nods to confirm the lie>
‘I am sure you do’
‘Anyway this quarter you need to learn quantum physics, advanced latin and we want you to start theorising on pretty much everything’
Hmmm… very interesting… sounds like a lovely challenge
<Puts trainers on>
‘Oh, and one more thing...’
<Is doing stretches>
‘We want to do all that whilst you get to know these three hundred people’

No wonder she is utterly knackered and the most just a little temperamental person in the entire universe. To make matters even more awesome she is talking more. Making less sense, but talking more. Just like me at the pub.
Miss4 just needs to decompress.
I feel for her, life is harder when you are tired out.

Boy8 needs to decompress too.
He always does at the end of term. Being eight is pretty exhausting and by the end of term he is either bouncing off the walls or zombied in front of the tele.
Boy8 just needs to decompress too and he will be fine. Nothing bad, he justs needs to unwind.

BabyBoy1 is fine.
His life is full of sleeps, cake, crying, laughing, poo, and lots of hugs.
He does not need to decompress.
He’ll need his break after Christmas when it’s just Mrs. Amazing and him again, and we've all gone back to school / work.

It turns out the person that needs the most rest and recovery it seems is...
<Drums roll>
Well crap on a stick it turns out to be me.

You would think when I got home from work, on my last day of the year, I would walk into the house singing and laughing.
Well I did. But as Mrs. Amazing was wrapping presents (mine) I shooed out of the door and had to wait outside the house for a few minutes. Nice.
Still, a few of the most boring and crappy minutes later, I did walk in the door happy and ready for Christmas, and Brainzilla put the brain elastic firmly into ‘holiday’ mode.
Great! Good work Brainzilla. Surely?

(Make it sausages...)

I have just spend most of the year working. Most of the day talking with adults about adult stuff (!). Things happen logically and sensibly at work.  Without getting all wibbly about it, let’s just say life at work goes at a certain tempo.
And I am used to that tempo. Begrudging heart and bloody defiant soul.
I don’t like it. But it is what is.

The tempo at home is different.
It’s Mrs. Amazing’s tempo. It’s the kids tempo. It’s the tempo of when I am not there.
It’s very different.
I know Mrs. Amazing was hoping I would just slip into the house tempo as walked in the door. I did not.
But I am getting it, I am starting to hear the tune again.

In two weeks time I will have to shift tempo back.
Which does seem a little mad right now and it’s only going to make going back to work even harder. I’ll be in the wrong smegging tempo again.
But I’ll do it. I’ll do it every year until I explode. (That how I will go to win a bet).

Because home is where everyone I love, lives.
I can either try to change them to my tempo. HA! Or I need to pickup their music fast.

Imagine we are are instruments in a orchestra:
Mrs. Amazing - Jazz flute, Boy8 - Drums, Miss4 - Clarinet, BabyBoy1 - French Horn, and me - Tromboner. The choice is mine.

(My instrument of choice in morning... hides other sounds...)

I can either join Mrs. Amazing at the front, and we can conduct and duet this Christmas together.
Or I can be crap third triangle. With a small part, that no one really hears. Grumbling away at the back until I get back to work.
This mad little lot are the music of my life, so I better get with the beat quickly.

<Runs into room singing Bublé stylie as loudly as possible>
ALL I WANT …. FOR … Christmas
<Grabs Mrs. Amazing and we duet together>
<Miss4 sticks her finger in her ears>
<And sticks her tongue out at us>
<Boy8 stands right in front of the tele, ear on the speaker>
<BabyBoy1 dives face first into the sofa>
Duet: Is you!
<We point at Miss4, she leaves the room>
Duet: And you!
<We point at Boy8, he pauses his film, then leaves the room>
Duet: And you!
<We point at BabyBoy1’s bum pointing at us>
Ignore them…

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