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!).

19 June 2015

The Kill Order

The kill order has been given.

We, team parents (wooo!), have decided that any spiders found in the house, are to be killed.

Yes I know, we are utter monsters and deserve to burn in the firey, firey, fires of hell for entirety for committing mass spidercide.
And we're sorry. May the spider gods forgive us, I'll sacrifice the cat later to appease them (I won't) (I will).

But on the other hand, we are not sorry at all.

If you would Axel...

In fact we're fine with it because:

a) There are millions of them. In the house. Millions! Spider extinction is not the problem here.

b) I hate walking into spider webs when half asleep. If they would avoid leaving webs between the bed and the kettle, and the microwave, their mortality rates would be so much better.

c) They are tiny and it's easy. (Not a great reason I admit, but if it was tigers I'd probably be building them a little house instead).

d) I hate dusting and spider webs increase the need to dust. (I never actually dust, but dusting-guilt is almost as bad as actually dusting).

e) Picking up a tiny spiders at 4am and taking them safely outside, when BabyBoy1 is screaming, just ain't going to happen. The cat would get in and he's a git to get back out.
<Shows you scratches>

(It’s not dew, it’s Vodka… Shush…)

So sorry house spiders. The line in dust and food across the kitchen floor has been drawn, your time is up, either pay rent or time to get out.
Maybe I should put up a polite sign like the council do.

Dear Spiders,

Sod off.

The squishing humans.

The only real problem is we are being watched constantly, by Babyoy1, Miss4 and Boy7. So we try to be careful with our spidercide. We can't be seen to be purposely killing tiny defensive-less little creatures. Don't want to teach them bad stuff.
Far better we do it sneakily so they don't see.

Awww no! I accidentally killed that spider with the broom. 
Why god why! 
<Shakes fist>
'It's still moving'
Is it? <bang bang, bang>
'Yeah... it's dead now'
Nooo! Why god, why? <Shakes fist>

It may not seem a big issue but will Miss4 really understand the difference between squishing a spider or a hedgehog? Or even the cat? (crosses fingers).#
So we try our best to be responsible spider murderers. If questioned we will admit what we are doing. But it is not to be fun or entertainment at any level. Squish. Done. Very matter of fact.

However... It's not the same with Ants though. Squishing ants is fine.

We have too many ants in the garden. Some ants are cool. Crazy little fellas doing there ant busy stuff. Cool. But at present they are gaining a metre of territory daily and are starting to take over. What we really need is more spiders to eat them... Ohhh... <Learns nothing>

There is no need for a 'Kill Order' with Ants though, unlike spiders, it's a gibbon. Ants are always on the kill list. Just like flies.

Our methods of dispatching Ants are the same as everybody else's: Gruesome and medieval.
Hell we even show the kids what we are doing and why.

Example 1: Boiling water with Boy7

'What are you doing with the kettle outside?'
<necks tea>
I am going to pour boiling water on this ant nest. Wanna watch?
<Pours scalding water onto the huge, unsuspecting, colony of ants>
'Oooooo... gross... Do it again…
'Look there's larva, that's a baby ant... floating away…
'Ewww... Do it again'
<high fives all round>

Example 2: Stomping with Miss4

'Can I stomp on the ants?'
Yes. Yes you can. I'll help you!
<Dance off ensues>
<Someone other than me wins> (Damn it).

Example 3: Squishing by hand with Boy7

How long have you been doing that?
'An hour, two... Why?'
You realise you are cackling out loud?
Squish. Squish. Squish.
<Boy7 cackles>
Hmmm.... <Edges away... concerned>

Yesterday I found Miss4, with a flip (could have been a flop) on her hand hunting a teeny, tiny, spider in the tiddly (utility) room.

What are you doing?
'I'm going to squish the spider'
But it's only a little one... I'm not sure about this... You shouldn't really...
WHAM <Squish>.
She walks back to her seat proud as punch.
I reluctantly high five her, unsure of what message we are teaching this little girl.

(Weapons of Spider-Destruction. Favoured by 4 year old girls)

Bit of a weird message we sent the kids then...

All living things are precious, you mustn't kill them.
(Except for ants and flies, and sometimes spiders).

... Seems fair...

But I'm glad I'm not a spider... Or an ant, or a fly...

17 June 2015

Visiting the Mum-Kingdom

I have a day off work (yay!).

Mrs. Amazing asks if I want to take BabyBoy1 to his singalong-play-eat-biscuits-toy-slober thingy: PeekaBiscuit. (There’s a nearby swimming club called ‘Floaters’... I shit you not) (Ha ha)

Normally I'm at work and miss all this stuff.
Mrs. Amazing is happy too as she will be left in the house alone for an hour.

They can be fun these things, he loves showing Dad stuff he does, I get some quality Dad-Son time, there’s free biscuits and tea. Win win.

‘Do help yourself to choccy biscuits’
<fills pockets with biscuits and then shoves three in mouth>
Ta <spits biscuit crumbs everywhere>

Mrs. Amazing has drawn me a map of how to get there. It’s only 3 mins walk away.
But my look of utter confusion when she points out of the window and track record of getting lost, make the map a good idea. She marks some big trees on the map for me. She might be taking the piss slightly, but the tree landmarks are handy.

I eventually find my way to PeekaBiscuit and am faced with getting the buggy up the awkward ‘upstairs double doors’ Mrs. Amazing warned me about.
7 years I've been driving a buggy and I know backwards through doors is best (for me). Saves on all that leaning forward and stretching, banging the door with the buggy and swearing and shouting, and then breaking the door a little and the buggy. Never looks good. Gives the right wrong impression.
Backwards is way easier. It’s just dragging stuff through doors. Easy. I can do that.

The main downside is that you can’t do a full S.A.S. room sweep as you walk in, but then again where on earth would I be taking BabyBoy1 that I need to be doing S.A.S. room sweeps as I arrive? Childless friends houses Nowhere.

So as I back through the doors I don't see what I am walking into at all. 
I turn round to face the room and I know I'm not in Kansas any more…

Toto: Woof woof (No shit bitch)

You ever been in a ‘local’ British pub? You know the ones, you walk in and everyone just stops and stares at you as though they want to kill and or eat you (Kind of like ’Cheers’, but the opposite… ‘Boos’ or ‘Piss’offs’).

Mr. Sting you're on...

Now imagine that horrible, chilling, desperate feeling of being an unwanted stranger, but instead of drunken locals, eating peanuts - It's tired, pissed off, SOBER Mums holding babies, twenty of them.

As I glance round I can tell a few hate me already.

I am intruding on their sanctuary. This is part of the Mum-Kingdom, a place where Mums can be together and get through an hour of child care with each other, supporting and understanding each others problems and worries. A small oasis in their day. With biscuits.

I change that. I ruin it. I break the spell. I shatter the illusion with a big ol’ sledgehammer, just by existing. Damn my molecular construct.

I remind the Mums of their previous lives, when they were free. Where they could do what they wanted, when they wanted. Where they could have lunch with their friends, and then just get drunk until tomorrow, or shop. I remind them that they could be at work, being all grown up, talking to grown ups, solving problems, and drinking hot cups of tea.

A magical place work where there’s no nappies, wet wipes are called cloths, tantrums get you locked up or fired, and you only get to see puke in the evening. 
Seeing any body else’s poo is forbidden.

I am Bill Gates in the Rugby team, I am decaf tea anywhere, I am Westlife being added to the got some vague talent rock 'n' Roll hall of fame… I am utterly out of place.

And worse of all: I am here voluntarily and smiling.
I'd hate me too.

I am just planning to run away and hide in the park for an hour (Mrs. Amazing will never know) when I see a Mum I know. A friend of Mrs. Amazing's that I know well enough to name. I even know her child's name. Bloody brilliant!
Don’t say anything dumb.

I run over to her and hug her, weeping for joy walk over and say hi.
The other Mum's, the ones glaring, tutting, patting steel pipes, holding shivs, cracking their knuckles, eye balling me, see me engage one of their own in conversation. It’s a tense moment.

(Their eyes burn into my soul and make me hate myself… More so...)

‘Oh hiya’ my saviour says and the signal is sent out. I am known, not a (total) nutter.

The frowns go, the pipes disappear, the nut crackers are hidden, and for the next hour or so, I get to visit the Mum-Kingdom…

10 June 2015

The Hair Fairy

Got home from work to be greeted by Boy7.

‘I'm going to get some money tonight’ he cheerily says.

Oh good you've finally got a job. You might be a teeny bit young, I'm sure there are laws, but oh well, I’ll won’t say if you don’t.
Are there benefits? What sort of income are we talking, can I quit work? Or will you be earning just enough to buy sweets.
Coz that’s good too, we can always build up from there.

Boy7 notices my look of confusion and gives me a big toothy smile.

Oh right.
It’s nothing, hut hum, shady is it? Robbing? Blackmail? Global blackmail?
Because if it is… you know... I've a car, I can drive you...

He continues smiling at me.
Hang on… Didn't you have more teeth yesterday?
How did that come out?

'I pulled it really hard until it came out for the money!'

Nice. Just like nature intended.

(Tooth worth cash)

But it got me to thinking <Klaxon sounds>

... Sod the tooth fairy, there should be a ‘Hair Fairy’ for all that have follicle issues!

Just like the tooth fairy, but instead of finding some money under your pillow when you lose a tooth, you get money whenever you notice your hair has fallen out.


'Where’s the sellotape? I need these buggers'
'That one's white! FFS!'
‘I look ridiculous’

Then sparkle! sparkle! the Hair Fairy swoops in, tidies away the lost hairs and leaves behind some money. Paper money.

‘Ooooo money!’

See! That would definitely soften the blow!


Let’s say £1 a hair which seems fair. I'd be rich (and bald).

I explain my great idea to Mrs. Amazing.

She is less convinced. Probably because she'd have to it and she has no follicle issues.

Instead she requests a Phone Fairy, for when she misplaces her phone. Which happens enough that she wants a new fairy dedicated to the problem.

Naaa. Rubbish idea.
You don't want some fairy bitch sparkling and fluttering in and stealing taking your phone. The money would be good granted, but then you've got to go out and get a new phone, you'll (I'll) have to set it up again. What about the photos that weren't in the magic cloud folder. Lost. Gutted. Miss4 may never smile for me again!
No no, the Phone Fairy would suck.

Now a Phone Gnome would be good. Finds your phone and magically leaves it beside your bedside during the night, that would be very handy.
No SIM changing or anything.

Mrs. Amazing agrees and points out I do that for her sometimes.
Er... Are you calling me a Phone Gnome?


9 June 2015

The 3 stages of Peekabo

Stage 1: Lovely sweet, innocent, Peekaboo

I put a cloth over my head (wondering what I can smell).

Where's Daddy?

BabyBoy1 panics
'One minute he's here, then poof, he's gone! He's magic!'

I pull the sick soaked cloth off my head and mentally note to check cloths before putting them on my head. BabyBoy1 erupts in smiles and laughter. Daddy has magically re-appeared.

I'm brilliant. It's brilliant. He's brilliant.
Best game ever!

(Unhappy I had the cloth on my head, I got Boy7 to wear it.
Made me feel loads better)
(Yes, Roses do grow out of his head)

Stage 2: Crap Hide and Seek

Peekaboo has evolved. You can now move and we call it hide and seek.
Miss4 loves hide and seek.

'Daddy come find me!'
I watch Miss4 hide behind the curtain. She sees me watch her hide too, giggling. Her feet are sticking out of the bottom of the curtain. Bless.
The sun is shining behind her perfectly silhouetting her tiny body in the curtain. She is giggling noisily and calling out 'Yooohoooo' to help me out.

Finding her may not be the challenge she imagines it is. (Or Mrs. Amazing has been making comments about my finding and looking skills, again...)

But I make a show of it like a puppet from sesame street.

Where's Miss4? Is she here? <I look under a pen>
More giggles escape from behind the curtain.
Is she here? <I check under my cup of tea, and drink it>
Is she in the chocolate cupboard? <Whilst I'm here...>
Is she behind the kettle? <Makes a round>

Much pretending later I pull the curtain back and 'find' her.
Good game, laughs all around.
And no one nearly has a heart attack.

Stage 3: Ninja skills

It's no longer peekaboo. All the fun and innocence of the original game has gone. It's not even joyful hide and seek. Boy7 has ramped up peekaboo to the extreme. It's now comes with a warning, it's Ninja Attack. (Great game).

I've had a long day at work. I'm tired and I just want to sit down with a gallon of tea, eat chocolate until I need tummy settlers and watch comedies. But no, the house monster needs feeding and it wants dirty laundry.
Not paying attention I open the airing cupboard to get all the laundry out of the laundry bin, unaware that Boy7 is currently playing 'Peekaboo' with me.

It turns out that Boy7 started playing the moment I got in the door. Where ever he is, he hasn't made any tell tale sounds. He is in stealth mode, utterly silent, awaiting his prey.
Oh and everyone else is in on it. 
The gits.

Where's Boy7?
I ask innocently looking away from the laundry bin.
I look back just as Boy7 explodes out of the laundry bin shouting.

Ekkkkk! (This is an ancient battle cry I learnt from a well hard warrior, it may sound (look) like a girls scream to you. But it is actually an ancient warrior battle cry, I swear) (Tits).

Everyone laughs at Boy7's brilliant 'Peekaboo'.

Deepbreath!... Deepbreath!... Deepbreath!... Heart racing...
Breath... Breath...
Potential heart attack... Pride in shatters... Must avenge... Not dying... Be cool... Be cool... Don't punch him...

I lean against the banister for a moment, to clear the spots before my eyes, and then finally join in the laughing (Whilst silently plotting revenge).
Still, he keeps me young...

8 June 2015

A Sleep Worth Fighting For!

It's early Monday morning and BabyBoy1 is shouting from his cage cot.
He's a noisy little bugger. Bless.

He can't talk yet, but I get the gist of his shouting:

'Guys??? GUYS??? Where are you?'
'The sun is up IT MUST be morning!'
'I'm hungry!'

I hear Mrs. Amazing stir and say a bit miffed 'You are kidding me'
She does not sound very happy. I consider laying still, going back to sleep, and pretending this has nothing to do with me. But I know it does. Actually it is mostly my fault.
So instead, using my amazing powers of deduction and empathy I deduce that Mrs. Amazing would very much like me to get up and sort him out. Or something that rhymes with 'Cluck cough boo bar stewards, band bet bee bleep', she does tend to mumble in the morning.

'I am waiting!!!'
'I'm alone! Where is everybody?'
'Ooooo fingers!'
'Ooooo cot!'

Luckily I got to bed early last night. So when I send the signal to my body to leap out of bed, it isn't rude, it doesn't stop my good intentions by sending pain shooting about, it just does what it is told to do and I am up. Vertical.
It's a morning miracle.

Miss4 waves at me from the other side of the my bed. When did she sneak in? She's a ninja.
I go and grab BabyBoy1 and head downstairs. I'll get him Milk, that will shut him up soothe and calm him.
'Hey it's you!'
'<Slap in the face>'
'What IS up your nose?'

But I stop at the bottom of the stairs because the thermostat bravely tells me what the time is. It's not 6:30 as I thought it must be. It is not even 6:15.
It's sodding 5:20.

Uh uh. No way BabyBoy1, no. We are not having our first bottle in the morning at 5:20. You my friend are going back to bed.
'<Slap face, slap face, eyeball poke>'
'<Tries to escape father’s arms by wriggling>'

My choice here was threefold: (+1 for big word)

Option 1: Get him milk and shove it in his gob and then both clamber back to bed.

This option will mean I could get a good 10mins extra snooze before he finishes, burps and is ready for play. Then maybe 10mins more whilst I manage to distract him with whatever I can find next to my bed Here have R2D2. Careful... Careful... 
You don't get R2 anymore... 
<both sob>

(Driod down… Beep boooo-o  o   ooo   blip)

This option is tempting... Bedoptia is calling… But it's only fool's gold sleep, so it's crap.

And it's setting a precedent, it's giving in and saying the morning Milk is at 5:20. Please wake up everyday at this time, as now is when you will get your milk.
It might not sound too bad to some, but what happens next week when he gets up at 4. I'll end up getting up before I go to bed in a few months. We'll end up nocturnal eventually, like vampires! KEWL!

It also will wake Mrs. Amazing up, no matter how well she acts asleep. And then Boy7 will take it as an open invite to get up too...

Option 2: Declare it's morning, get everyone up and just start the day early.

This is a very risky move. It can work, but the cost can be high and it has the potential to backfire horribly. Everywhere, all over the floor with everyone grumpy.
The risk is too much and frankly I don't have the clearance or authority to call it.

Option 3: Fight!

Yes fight. Fight for our right to sleep. Fight for being able to function properly for the rest of the day. Fight for some rest, fight for the unobtainable 8 hours recommended by kid-less lying scientists.
Be a man and fight this baby. Now is the time to draw a line on the stairs and whisper (so you don't wake Boy7):
No BabyBoy1! Milk is at 6:30! rarrrr!!!

I can win this battle. He's a baby. I'm pretending to be a fully grown adult. I have a vastly superior intelligence (but needed a spell checker for those 3 words, I put ‘wastly suprieror iteligence’ - go figure), I have greater strength and stamina, this is my battle to win. 

FATHER'S! What is YOUR profession?

[See movie 300]

Yes well... Quite. Maybe that should be

FATHER'S! What is YOUR profession?
The “Earny-money, do as much housework as time allows, and maintain order and sanity in the house”-man!

But that's less catchy... and way harder to get all your troops to shout out in unison.. you get my drift anyway.

Despite it being ARGH-O’Clock I have fired myself up for this battle and I take BabyBoy1 back to his room with the definite intention of putting him back to sleep for at least an hour.

Twenty minutes later we are downstairs playing.

Now I can make lots of excuses here to defend myself, but really it was a strategic retreat. Really. Lose the battle, but win the war and all that.
I tried, I really tried, I sang, I cooed, I shushed, ignored, frowned, poked his tummy, pretended to be dead sleep, ...  but he was having none it. Sun up means it's morning and playtime. Damn his internal body clock.

Also and this is more important I feel.
I only get a couple of hours with BabyBoy1 a day. Mornings before work when I'm still tired, lunch break from work when I'm a bit tired and hungry and rushing, and evenings after work, when he's tired and smelly and I'm tired after work, and smelly, and mainly I'm convincing him to go to bed.

So I could spend the remaining 50 mins trying to get someone wide awake and full of the joys of morning back to sleep, whilst slowly winding myself up and getting cross, all for the vague hope of another few minutes in Bedtopia.

Orr... (and FFS it's a pretty easy choice)

I just go downstairs and just sit on the carpet with BabyBoy1 and play with his toys with him. It's pretty obvious which side of the fence BabyBoy1 is on.
'Look Daddy!'
<Slap slap>

And I love playing games with him, it’s the best. Look a tower <Smashes it down> We laugh.

And then he shows me I've made the right choice...
'<Slobber kiss>'
Ahhhhhh ewwwww...

At 6:30 the microwave pings and he gets his milk (I pass it to him). Fair play, he downs it.

I yawn and smile (#proud), and neck my second cup of tea. I might have drawn lost the battle, but at least the war is still up for grabs.