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!).

26 July 2015

"... and though she be but little, she is fierce!"

Miss4’s poorly again.
She has some bug in her that is making her poorly. It's not doing much, it's just loitering. Like a gang of 17 year olds with fags and cider, it's just hanging about. Not really causing any serious trouble. But man do you wanna call the police on them...

... I digress.

I hate when Miss4’s poorly, I worry.
I worry because she’s only little and she doesn't have much padding on her and padding is really handy when you’re tiny and sick.
I worry that I won’t be there when she needs me. She’s a tiny little girl. I worry.

She is not poorly enough to call the doctor, not poorly enough for an ambulance (thank 12oz steaks and chips), but poorly enough that sending her to nursery seems pointless, as they will just send her back and still charge for it.

On the sick-o-meter (real thing), she's probably about a 4.
0 - Not sick at all, stop faking.
1 - Ahhhh have a cuddle, now get to school faker.
2 - Drink this Calpol, and eat these sweets. Now go play.
[Above this text Miss4 still has to go to nursery, because we have to pay her welfare is paramount. (Not comedy)]
3 - Drink this Calpol and rest. I said rest, get down from there…
4 - Drink Calpol. Rest, why won't you rest? You keep falling over!
5 - Hmm Calpol's not doing it... Drink this Nurofen as well. Rest and sleep please.
6 - Calpol and Nurofen administered as often as the instructions allow. Even waking in the night to administer. Ah hell just glug it (Never do this)... Rest is now voluntary, but she still won't sleep.
7 - Doctor time. She's sleeping and resting too much.

(Calpol: One of the main reasons we get any sleep. Thank you Calpol)
(and Tesco’s cheaper equivalent, for when things are tight, Crapol)

I'm stopping at 7 because it's not fun to think about my kids being that sick, next is ambulances and stuff like that. We've been there, it's crap. I would only go back to those thoughts if I had to. I feel the same about painting edges and plumbing. Only if I have to.

So Miss4 at 4 on the sick-o-meter means she mumbles constantly is a bit quiet, doesn't eat enough, doesn't rest enough, doesn't drink enough, looks poorly and needs constant company.
Poor little lady...

... oh and every now and then, because she's a bit poorly and feeling emotional, she becomes a screaming banshee of fury.
Bless. Bless her volumetric lungs.

Like the other morning as I was loading the kids into the car…

BabyBoy1 is not happy to be put in his car seat, but his fight is short lived and once locked in, there really is no choice.
Boy8 has switched the boosters round, so he can sit in the front. He assures me it's his turn. I believe him. You would.
Miss4's seat is in the back of the car and ready for her to climb in.

'I want to sit in the middle'
No no, it's safer if you are on the side.
'I won't wake up BabyBoy1 by talking to him'
Oh! Good. Thank you for not.
But safety and all that, hop in!

Miss4's face drops and tears of anger quickly flow.
Oh go on! I'll let you drive
'NO!' <becomes kicky>

I try to coax her into the seat a bit more, but fail. Then rather than force her into her seat, I decide to leave her to burn her strop out, and go reclaim Boy8, who was in his seat, but is now absent.

I find Boy8 engaged in very super important Lego play.
We discuss my feelings about this, involving throttle mimes and fist tapping.
I am sure I got through to him this time. (I did not).

When I get back to the car, I find Miss4 still by the car door. Good start!
And more importantly, she’s calm.
Boom POW! Dad skills! <Self fives> (which is a clap).

I smile at Miss4:
Come on, in you hop!
'I want to sit in the middle'
You're on a booster!!! Why do care where you sit???
But it's not as safe...
<Tears, shouting, refusal to get in car> (not me).

I change tactic.
I don't like giving in, but really it wouldn't be so bad to let her sit in the middle. She is poorly and her sitting in the middle won't destroy the universe, a city maybe, a few countries, but I’m fine with that.

OK, as long as it fits, you can sit in the middle
<Instantly stops tears, shouting, stubborn refusal to get in car>

I push her booster across the whopping 50 cm that is difference between, the seat that is not acceptable no way, to the seat where she is happy to sit, in unsafe-land.
It doesn't fit. The physical world is working against her (and me) and she can't have what she wants.

With BabyBoy1's tank-sized car seat on one side, Miss4's booster seat just won't fit, unless she's happy to sit at a weird angle. Which I am sure she would be. But I am not, on her behalf.

Sorry. But it just won’t fit <braces self>
I am sorry.
I'm really sorry, because for some reason, it’s really important to her right now. And I like to make her happy, especially when she’s poorly and not really in control of her emotions as normal.
Her response is as expected.

She bursts into tears, and makes it clear she doesn't want to get into the car, through modern dance.

(Similar to Miss4 in a strop)

Mrs. Amazing arrives on scene wanting to know what the problem is, as they need to leave now. I explain, whilst we both dodge kicks, scratches, and general stropping attempts to hurt us whilst we ignore her.

A quick vote is taken over who has to put the screaming little girl into the car, and then fight her into her seat.
I demand a recount and accuse the vote counter of being utterly biased, and unable to count.
But claiming I got four votes, and won by a landslide, Mrs. Amazing has already buckled herself into the driving seat and wished me luck.

If you've never had to move a tiny person that doesn't want to be moved, you're lucky. Because it's kind of like picking up a angry cat, but bigger, more dexterous and better at unbuckling themselves.
Essentially you've got to try to avoid the bits that can hurt, which isn't easy, as most bits can hurt. Feet, fists, pointy little elbows, nails, TEETH!
Technique is king in these situations, and not being cross. A basic understanding of self defence and grappling skills are also helpful. Kevlar optional.

I pick her up, careful to make sure her legs are pointing kicking away from my groin. Learnt that lesson the hard, painful, gasping on the floor, eyes crossed, way before. Then I jam her into the seat facing the right way round.

With the speed of a puma (puma, puma, puma) she is backwards, facing the wrong way in the chair. Which she has done totes on purpose.

Leading with the legs, as legs lead the body, I twist her back round the right way. All the while avoiding the flaying hands and feet. I reach over her to buckle her in, which Miss4 takes this as a cue to try and dive out of her seat head first, into the foot-wells.
Luckily for me, and her (face landing), suntan lotion had not been applied today, I manage to stop her and put her back into the seat.

Her escape for freedom thwarted and clearly feeling frustrated and out of control.
Miss4 deploys her sonic-based weapons. She screams.

She screams as hard and as loud as she can, right into my ear. As I'm leant over her fighting with the stupid buckle.

Owwww! Gosh that was loud.

She screams again and I have white spots before my eyes, my head is rattling, and all I want to do is shove her flip flops in her mouth into my ears.
ARHGGGGGGG My word, you've some strong lungs there!

I am pretty sure my brain has had enough and has legged it to somewhere quieter, as all I can hear now is a buzzing in my head. Like something has been unconnected but not powered off.

Miss4 lets loose one more scream for luck, as I finally manage to shove the smegging buckle in and I calmly, yes calmly (+1000 Dad points), close the door.
Job done.

The rage and screams continue from inside the car.
BabyBoy1 is watching in fascination, taking notes, learning all the time.
Boy8 is still sat in the front, being a paragon of virtue. Wise choice, but transparently sucky.

For a moment I stop and watch Miss4 (from outside the car, where it’s safe).
My word she is magnificent. Such fury and fire in such a tiny little person, she really is very impressive.
#proud #bitdeaf
Ooooooo she’s going to be so much fun to watch grow up. I can’t wait! (really, looking forward to it).
"... and though she be but little, she is fierce" - William Shakespeare, A Midsummers Night’s Dream.
I'm not sure if William had any kids, but if he did, and one was a 4 year girl, that little girl may have been the inspiration for this brilliant line.

I consider telling Miss4 how awesome she is, and how much I think she rocks \m/.

<screams continue from car>
Maybe later, when she’s less screamy and kicky..