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!).

23 May 2015

A Light Goes On...

It's parent-late (9.15 #IRock), I'm watching tele, Mrs. Amazing is out convincing young men on wine sample tables that she didn't quite get the full taste, and could she have a bit more, when a light at the top of the stairs goes on.


It's a bit surprising as, although there are four of us in the house, only me is allowed up this late. (I am).

Its probably not BabyBoy1. Oh man I hope it's not him. He shouldn't be able to escape his cage cot yet.

It's probably not Miss4 as she can't reach, although she has been getting stalls for some things, unless I'm there of course 'Daddy can you reach...'. 

Which means it is Boy7. Who should be in bed. Asleep. FAST asleep removing his grumps, his school stress and fatigue that seem to overwhelm him every term, the utter wuss.

I go upstairs to investigate. Like a ninja-cat wearing cushion shoes I go up the stairs and land, silently, at the top of the stairs. Any noise now could wake everyone. I must be silent. I must be one with the floor and my surroundings CREAKKK CREEEAKKKK... Stupid floor.

I check each child, in reverse chronological order (obviously).
BabyBoy1's door is wide open and I can see him splatted on his bed. Wish I could sleep that well.
Miss4's door is open the exact 15degrees she requires, so she has not left her room.
Boy7's door is wide open. AH HA! 
Only he isn't in his room, he's AWOL!
<Crosses fingers for well paid superhero job in the city>

I find him in the bathroom about to have a wee, door wide open for all to watch.

For a change I don't shout at him, or berate him for being out of bed, I've done that too much lately, and I'M SICK of hearing me moan. (I suck).
For a change I just stand there and watch him (his back, his back, I am 2m away looking at his back) (Hmm still reads weird, but hey, you weren't there, it was fine).

He looks half asleep and his bed hair is impressive. I wish my hair looked like his. I wish I had Batman pajamas. (Mrs. Amazing sleeps at the heat of a thousand suns, pajamas are not needed).

I notice his head is huge, if you compare it to his body that is. That is a big head for a little body, must be tiring carrying that lump around all day. He looks little against the toilet, how do I forget he is this small?

(Boy7 doesn't wear a kilt or cap)

And when the hell was the last time I just looked at this boy? When he was still cute I bet, before Miss4 out cute'ed him (by bloody miles) and defo before BabyBoy1 cute'ed them both out of the water, pond, ocean.

Boy7's presence during the day is so huge, so massive, so enormouse (I want to spell it this way) it's like he's an adult, a really annoying and whiney adult, that refuses to use a knife and fork and likes winding me up.
But a fun adult, a sweet adult, a happy adult and... why is his head so large compared to the rest of him? Then a penny drops in my head.

Well a boulder, a huge foff boulder-penny crashes over dumb-thoughts-cliff and plops right into the middle of my realisation-pond (Yeeha! Boy got metaphorical skills) (Oh hang on...). 
His head is so large compared to his body, because he is a child. It's a classic sign.
A tiny little boy of 7 trying very hard to be like his adult, fully grown up, Dad (Grown up? No chance <sticks fingers up>).

And I keep getting cross with him for that... for stuff that doesn't really matter. Man I suck.

He is very cute when he's half asleep, my little boy is adorable. I don't even call him that any more, he got bigger. My little boy is seriously wonderful and I love him. Why don't I think that more often?

He then proceeds to have the longest, noisiest, like a fire hose, wee in history. #SoProud. 

When he's evennnnntually done, we exchange 'sups's and I walk him back to bed full of pride and loving thoughts.
I want to tell everything I've just been thinking, (maybe not the head size bit), I want him to know how much he means to me, I want him to know that I am doing my best as Dad, that I'm still his mate, his bud, not just this grumpy old man that is always worn out and cross with him.

But Mr. Mouth, the utter twat, refuses and only allows me to mumble 'back to bed them'. Damn me.
I tuck Boy7 in and then flatten him a little, hoping that says more that words. Then it's a kiss on noggin and 'Don’t let the dinosaurs maul you in your sleep'.

Night mate <wells up and goes off to punch the cat>

P.S. Don’t worry I didn’t punch the cat… Couldn’t find him...

22 May 2015

His First A&E Trip...

BabyBoy had his first A&E outing last night (He's fine, don't worry).

His tiny hand got trapped in a door and, oblivious, Miss4 keep trying to slam it shut. Bless.
An accident - We 99% believe.
Door safety words have been said. Doors and their hinges have been threatened. 
<shakes screwdriver>

Miss4's utter lack of guilt reassures us it was an accident (or that she’s learnt to lie as well as me already).

Of the 7 trips to A&E we have done, only 2 have NOT been life threatening, or needed stitches or a cast. That includes this one.
What are we doing right wrong? Are kids really this accident prone?
I did start asking other parents what their A&E rate was. The first two said they had never been, ever (Liars)... I stopped asking people .

(Mrs. Amazing loves a graph)

So last night it felt like BabyBoy had really joined the A&E gang.

A rite of passage if you like.

- Said first word - CHECK
- Peed on me - CHECK
- Puked on me - CHECK
- First tooth - CHECK
- Bite me - CHECK
- Fallen off the bed - CHECK
- Points at stuff and says 'Doh' - CHECK, CHECK,CHECK
- Been to A&E - CHECK

We should have a party and celebrate - Happy First A&E!
We could have red balloons, I'm sure I could find an appropriate card. We could party games like doctors and nurses. Everyone could bring bandages and plasters. And there should lots of cake and tea, because I like them both.
Oh the fun we could have!

And whilst everyone is having a good time and shovelling cake into their faces, hopefully no one will notice that whilst BabyBoy was at A&E, it scared absolute crap out of me. 

I was fine… until I was alone at home.

Team ‘Parents’ (yay!) had a 5 minute logistics discussion and it was decided that someone needed to stay home and trick or lure the other, not bleeding children, to bed. (Save the baby sitters for real emergencies, like going to the pub together)
Plus…  Mrs. Amazing was already covered in blood and it seemed a shame to get me all bloody too. (I still did)

It was after Boy7 and Miss4 had finally given up the fight and gone to sleep.
I went downstairs and had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.
Everything was shit on tele.
My phone seemed pointless.
I already had a cup of tea.
I just had to wait and it was horrible and I hated it.

I knew he was safe and with his Mum and going to the best place in the world for when you need A&E, you know, A&E.

But BabyBoy is very, very, very tiny and it wouldn't take much to break him. Forever. If he was an awesome toy that broke easily, he would go on a self and only I would get to play with it. He needs wrapping in bubble wrap.

He needs his Dad there 24-7 so he doesn't get hurt. That's what a Dad is supposed to do? Right? Protect their monkeys children.

But how in Satan's nostrils am I supposed to do that when I'm not even there?

The cat walks in, thinks about moaning about his crappy crap food. Senses now is not the best time and leaves whistling (Impressive).

The weird thing is I thought I was getting better at handling each A&E trip. Not worse.
Luckily Mrs. Amazing seems to be get better at handling this stuff.
WTF! Being the big strong rock is my job, I was good at it!
I blame all that love and emotion stuff, eroding my island and stuff. Damn kids.
Stupid conflicted-confused Dad brain - Be the rock! / Be the loving Dad!

Still I imagine it was nice for Mrs. Amazing to catch up with all the A&E staff, hear the gossip, it’s been a while. Apparently they got our favourite room, the chocolate buttons were on the house. They've recently redecorated. New machines in the parents room as well. It’s the NHS, it’s free...

Thank you NHS for fixing one of my babies... Again.
Every drink you ever want is on me.

Let It Go! (The Charge of the Elsas)

'Let it go' - Ah now there’s a phase that’s changed its meaning since 2012 :)
It used to just mean:

a) Don’t worry about it, all those worries, let them go…. Ahhh do you feel better?

b) Or when something too heavy is being lifted:
‘ITS TOO HEAVY, it’s TOO HEAVY Its gonna break my back’
'Just let it go!'
‘My Death star!’ <sobs>

c) Or giving something up:
‘But I nursed this little fella back to health, it used to sleep in my bed, it’s my Croc-baby’
‘Yeah whatever Tony, but, best let it go.... Before it eats someone else’s horse’

But now it means something else! Yay!
Say it to any mother with young children and you will see what I mean, go on… I’ll wait…

Did you see the anger? The real ‘I will rip them off’ anger, the twitching eye, the scowl, the ‘If I hear that fecking song one more time...’ mad glint? Yeah? (Go on do it again… No not her, she’s a screamer...)

And if there are children nearby when you say it, it’s even better!
You will get to witness one of nature's most amazing, most captivating displays, the quite insane ‘Charge of the Elsas’. (Oooooo)

Miss4 does it. Her mates do it. It seems that if you are old enough to walk but haven’t got spotty yet, boy or girl, you already know and have done, the 'Charge of the Elsas'. 

It appears to be quite simple:

1. Place cape overhead. Purple and blue preferred
2. Extend arms outwards as though doing a ‘Y’
3. Run as fast as you can from one end of the room, to the other
4. Repeat
5. Occasionally stop and jam one foot down hard and say ‘The cold never bothered me anyway’
6. Goto 2.

If there is a large number of Elsas, or as I like to call them a ‘Fridge’ of Elsas, the effect can be quite beautiful. <Wipes away tear>

(Fridges, not to be confused with a group of children being Elsa)

The best part of the 'Charge of the Elsas’ (A.K.A. ‘Running from one end of the room to the other, as fast as possible’) - is, I can do it!
It’s a game with Miss4, that being a boy has actually prepared me for! Hooray!
I nail ‘The Charge of the Elsas’ when Miss4 does it. We nail it. Rarr! 

True, I do occasionally rugby tackle her and pin her to ground, shouting ‘1,2,3 British bulldogs’ but somethings are instinctual and normally bloody funny. Just avoid doing it during a foot stomp moment. That’s bad, teary bad.

Thank you Disney. Thank you for finally creating a Princess and a song that I can join in with... first time, with no practice! Without feeling like a massive, lumbering giant, with enormouse (correct speeling) feet unable to do dance steps a four year mastered in seconds.
And it’s actually fun! Hooray!
<runs back and forth just for fun>
<was doing that anyway>

The key it is sung is good too, it’s in er… hurhghg... K minor57... Who cares, I can sing it, I can sing it in my normal voice, not falsetto. It’s not bloody snow white that starts 19 octaves to high and makes my ears bleed.

It’s also cathartic! 
‘You what?’
Shout out ‘Let it go’ a few times, feel that stress go, lovely.

Even the lyrics are good. it’s not about how much she loves Mr. Handsome because he’s a prince or some other materialistic crap, that no boy can ever be unless they’re born rich, royal, a dwarf, or just so happen to sell ice for a living....  
It’s a song about saying:
‘Actually... Sod you all.’‘I don’t care what you lot think any more. Foff’‘I’m gonna go batshit crazy now and just stop pretending’‘And then live on my own on this frozen mountain’ <Sticks out tongue>
And who hasn't dreamt of becoming a hermit since they had children? Hands up? Everyone? Thought so.

(Buy your copy here)

As for the song, ‘Let it Go’ I am sorry to all the Mums that don’t love it still. Maybe they’ve heard that song too much. Like every day, all day, on a loop, since they brought the CD. I feel your pain, I really do <pumps fist on chest> I’d hate it too if I had to listen to it that much.

But I don’t! and Miss4 loves it!
Which means Miss4 and me have found something we can both enjoy and sing along too, without me feeling like a fraud and a gooseberry, pretending to understand why her insane game is fun (playing housework is never fun).
This is a game that for a change, I feel like I know the rules and the point of it. That’s special, that’s pretty rare.
We to listen ‘Let it Go’ in the bath, in the kitchen, in the car, it’s on my phone. I voluntarily play that song for fun! <Gets evil eye from Mrs. Amazing>

And it’s brilliant for these moments:

Hey time to brush your hair, teeth, wee, go to sleep darling!
‘NO!’ <throws shoe>
We can listen to ‘Let it go’?
‘Yeah sure Daddy’ <gives me a kiss>

So forgive me, but I love ‘Let it go’. Cape ready, arms out, and let it go..

Reasons why playing Elsa with Miss4 is the best, and the other Princess suck:
(Jazmine I am sorry… People change over time… It’s not you… )

Cinders (from Cinderella)
‘Wanna pretend we’re Cinderella and clean stuff?’
Do I what?
‘Go on, you take this broom and start sweeping’
Yeah ok then... for you… <runs>

Rapunzel (from Tangled)
‘Let’s brush our hair out so it’s really long’
That’s a little insensitive... I’ve no hair

Mulan (from well, Mulan)
‘Let’s pretend to be boys’ <Proceeds to burp, fart, scratch self, a lot>
Hey we don’t all do that <farts> all the <burps> time!
<leaves room to scratch, like a gentleman>

Belle (from Beauty and the Beast)
‘You’re the ugly, horrible, nasty, smelly, beast and we all hate and are trying to kill you,’
Am I really...
Can’t I be gaston?
‘No. You’re the beast! Kill the beast!’
Arghhhh… <Gets the crap kicked out of him by children>

Ariel (from The Little Mermaid)
‘Let’s sing! Down where it’s wetter, that’s where it’s better...’
<Leaves feeling awkward and ashamed to be male...>

Oh and P.S. Ana. FYI. Where I’m from nice girls don’t go around saying ‘I want you to take me up the North Mountain’

21 May 2015

School assembly: 'Are Shadows Alive?... (Bloody no)

What is wrong with me? 
All I had to do was sit there, enjoy watching my child and his mates entertain us, make small talk, and wait. 
Brainzilla was not required.
I just had to enjoy the school assembly and not do anything on this list:

a) Mock and or insult anyone I find deadly dull. All age ranges.

b) Point and laugh at the expensive of a child falling or acting like a twat (the child), then realise I am talking to the parent.

c) Call someone's child by the wrong name:
Ah and this must little Bernard?
'No...' I get the look of disgust, '... This is Daisy,'
<I decide to dive head first into the gaping hole before me>
You should probably shave her then, the beard is confusing...
<leaves quickly>

d) Don't spend 15 minutes obsessing over the, not important at all, why would anyone care, assembly title they are showing on the OHP (fine... 'Projectorrrrrr' <raspberry>).

(It did say ‘Are’ at the top… The world moved as I took the photo)

The question on the screen starts seeping into my head…

'Are Shadows Alive?' the screen asks me.

I have to answer. 
I'm like that. In my head though, don’t worry, not out loud. I'm not a total weirdo!!!

'Are Shadows Alive?'
And that should be it. Job done. Back to the small talk.

'... and so, then I said...'

'Are Shadows Alive?'
NO. I can draw it out for you if you like, a little sun, a shadow.... Nice.
No is the answer.

'... well that just goes to show you can’t believe a word they say...'
'Are Shadows Alive?'
Nope, nopey nope nope. They wiggle about, come, go, but no. Not alive.

'... I always say that, I do...'

'Are Shadows Alive?'
Of course not, no.

It’s like my eyes are tied to the sodding screen. I can't stop glancing at the screen. No! The screen doing nothing. The screen displaying light that ISN'T moving. NO.
I cannot stop looking at it.  No!
I am a moth!

'Are Shadows Alive?'
Fur Cough, No.
'... well my sister just joined them...'
'Are Shadows Alive?
A sphinxer asks a question?
'Are Shadows Alive?'
Ha ha… Bloody No.
'... he convinced her with his pole...'
'Are Shadows Alive?'
'... I was a bit surprised...'
Titing no, you smug bastard.
'Are Shadows Alive?'
'... do you think that was wrong? ...'

Ah, now that, that last one, I said out loud.

Unsure of what I have just said 'No' to, I turn to face the poor soul, holding the tiny straw, sat next to me. Mrs. Amazing is on my other side wrestling BabyBoy for silence, for safety, for her very sanity. It's 50-50 so far. (£10 on the boy).

The poor soul looks surprised at my answer.
'You don't think that was wrong?'
It occurs to me I haven’t seen her husband today? Or her sister? Is that red paint on her hands, or something else?
What have I just said 'No' to? Has a serial killer just opened up to me and confessed all, but I missed it because I was too busy talking back to a static screen! No, no no git face!

I start to edge my chair away from this probable psycho. Hard to do in a tiny chair, in the middle of rows of people. But I'm sure I pulled it off subtly. 

'... well, I think he'll be a brilliant prime minister, I'm still going to vote for Cameron.'

Thank God! Not a serial killer, a Cameron supporter.

I consider telling Mrs. Amazing we have to leave immediately, there's an utter lunatic sat next to me. When the assembly starts.

With enormous joy the message on the screen change is removed. 

'Are Shadows real?' the screen now says.
Damn me.

Brainzilla? Did you give yourself a girls name? 
Brainzilla: No <does shifty eyes>

19 May 2015

It's As Though He's Trying To Communicate...

The fault is mine. I am the communication bottleneck, I'm the adult, he, despite his volume, is only little. My clarifying clear clarity clearly isn't clear enough.

Maybe I should use semaphore and stand there waving huge flags at Boy7. He couldn't claim he didn't hear me then. Might be a bit slow, and we'd both have to learn semaphore and I am pretty busy already...

(Says: I've had an accident, bring toilet paper)

… maybe not.

I can’t be that hard to talk to him, I seem to know what to say, just my mouth has other ideas sometimes...

Breakfast example:

What I should say: 

Dude. It’s breakfast time, yes, Yay! Could you possibly put the Lego down, yes out of your mouth too. Then please could you join us at the table, we would love hear your hopes and aspirations for the day, you've got a clear window of my attention whilst I eat. Come on mate! 
<ruffles hair> (his, not mine)

Ahhhh... Wouldn't that be lovely. I really feel that if cups of tea could be relay-handed to me as I stagger downstairs, this defo could happen, I could do this, I believe, I want tea...

What I actually say: 
Sit down and eat your breakfast.

OK, possibly a bit grumpy, bit short. Maybe not. POV and all that. But hell it's morning and my nice voice only starts working from 10 o'clock onwards, on good days. And let's not forget that it's breakfast, we have done this before, once or twice...

What he seems to hear: 
I know normally you're not allowed to do that, but screw that rule, I just want you to go for it. 
Yes, shoes DO make it BETTER!
Oh! and I would consider it a personal favour to me, please, if you could scream like a banshee at the same time. 
Thanks mate.

See! Somewhere, and I am struggling to spot it myself, we are failing communicate. Flags really could be the right approach to this.

Bedtime example:

What I hope I would say: 
Night night mate. Thank you for today, for being in it with me. 
Being part of your world and life as you grow up enriches my life more than you can ever know. Tomorrow is a fresh day , so let's go get it ready with a good night's sleep behind us.
<Whispers all echoey 'I believe in you' as I shut the door>

Urgh.  Just urghhhh. <vomits through own eyeballs>

What I actually say: 
Night mate, get some sleep, you look like cra... tired. 
<turns off light>

What he seems to hear:
Before I leave the room, while I am still watching you and we have eye contact. I want you to look straight into my disbelieving eyes and get out of your bed and start playing Lego!
Just start playing right in the middle of the floor as though the last thirty minutes of story reading, calming down and chatting didn't happen.
Then either ignore me, or act indignant as hell when I ask what in the name of Optimus Prime’s gear stick you are doing.

What I bloody well should say:
Night mate, I've electrified the floor. 
If you step on it whilst the lights are off you will receive a small electrical shock which will hurt.
I've also wired your Lego up to the mains. Do you know what happens when you run current through plastic? It heats up. And then melts.
Oh and this here...
<taps wall> 
... WebCam, we can see you. 
And this here... 
<taps cage> 
... Siberian Timber wolf, will attack anything that moves. Night!
<walks off whistling>

Ahhhh problem solved!
(Stop looking at his weapon)

We didn't know, we just didn't know ...

<breaks down in tears>
A white sofa seemed such a good choice at the time, the pretty lady said it washed clean, she had an accent, she thought our baby was cute, she pressed me close to her, she flicked her hair, said it matched the wallpaper, I am married to her...
... I would have chosen black… 
<voice cracks> 
chosen blaaaaack….

Want new Tales send to your inbox? (You do).