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!).

29 July 2015

Ant Attack!

We are just about to start the bed time.
The daily battle of convincing three knackered, but full of energy children, that despite what the sun says and the chirping birds, and all the other children outside screaming, shouting, having the time of their lives... It's bedtime.
So we can do adult stuff (housework and sleeping).

I am sat with Boy8 and Miss4 watching cartoons, consuming cereal and milk (I have tea obv).
When Mrs. Amazing appears (like magic) in front of me, BabyBoy1 attached to hip and says:

'Boy8's room is full of ants, flying ones!'
Oh no!
That's terrible...
How are you going to deal with them?

Who am I kidding?
Pest control is my area. I don my black hood, sharpen my axe, and take Boy8 with me to see just how bad it is. If it's really bad I may be able to offer him up to our new Ant overlords whilst I make my escape.
And because Boy8 likes squishing ants.

(Ants rave)

I open the door to the ant farm and compared to last year.... It's not that bad! Bonus.

Still there are about 1000 ants running around Boy8’s room, some flying like drunken fools.
There's ants all over his Lego, over his desk, all through the pile of crap he's hidden under his desk. I have my suspicions he may have hidden a bag of sugar behind his desk, hence the ants. But it also could be the little buggers eating through the mortar and getting into the house to watch TV.

An audience appears behind me: Mrs. Amazing, BabyBoy1 and Miss4 and they all watch me as I tackle the ants. Who made popcorn?

I've no idea what to do.
They didn't mention this in basic Dad training. There wasn’t any basic Dad training. I can't remember watching my father remove thousands of ants from a bedroom. It doesn't come up in the pub chats. So how am I supposed to know what to do?

I suppose with hindsight I could've googled it. Grabbed a book and read it. Asked Mrs. Amazing if she had any ideas. Anything really to help myself. But obviously I didn't.
I blame the others.

They are all watching me with ‘expectation’. I hate that!
I can almost hear the chatter behind me.
'Don't worry Daddy will sort it out'
'Oh Daddy knows what to do, Daddy knows everything'

The pressure is huge. I bet this is one of those moments that define Dads in the eyes of their children forever.
Crap. I'm not ready.

I'm the Dad, which makes me the leader of this tribe. The alpha male (I bloody am), the head honcho, King dude, and my tribe is under attack. Thousands of fierce invaders are running amok in our village, threatening to take over and throw us out of our own home. And in this moment of need, in this moment of terror and fear... the tribe has turned to me.

Dumb ideas rattle through my head. Brainzilla awakens from her slumber...
Fire? No. This is our house.
Water? How would that help, it wouldn't would it. No. Bad brainzilla
Build something wooden? Like a house? Oh fun! But no.
Access computer game database for helpful skills? <NONE FOUND> No ant killing sims played yet. Crap!
Leap out of window and escape? Er... quite tempting actually. But no, my comics are in the loft.
Get comics out of loft, and then leap out of window? I'd need a huge rucksack?
Get the blue one whilst you're in the loft.
Good plan...

I snap out of it and panic make a decision. Like men of old, and young, and middle age, I resort to my base desire to protect and just start squishing stuff.

Boy8 gleefully rushes into help. But the rest of my audience looks unimpressed. I don't really blame them. Its a poor show and it's going to be like this for ages. There's a lot of ants.
This is the best I can come up with? Feeble.

(Ant: a common house pest <Squish>)

Mrs. Amazing throws me a bone.
'Would the hoover help?'
Bloody genius! Love her!
<Runs off to get hoover>

We have an awesome hoover. I choose and bought it (obv). It cost wayyyyy too much, but it is awesome . It also is hand held, and has a little pokey fitting that was made for this moment!!!

When I get back everyone else has gone off to have a bath. Which is a right shame, as now armed with the right tools, I can be that tribal leader that does look all cool and alpha-maley.
Damn you universe.
<shakes fist>

I'll just have to tell them about it later. Lie and exaggerate Juice it up a bit too.

The hoover works brilliantly on so many levels. If you have to remove thousands of ants from your house, I heartily recommend using the hoover as:
a) I don't have to kill thousands of ants like some vicious, vindictive God! Yay!
b) It's easy. Point and suck Just like Justin Beiber, when he's pointing.
c) You can even see them through the clear glass chamber of the hoover. How very Buddhist!
d) You can suck the flying ones out of the air. It's awesome!!!

Me and the ant-buster (hoover) work our way into the corner of the room looking for the source of the ants. Boy8 has come back to help (concerned what I may find in his room), me hoovering up any ants I find, Boy8 checks stuff as I pass out for any missed ants.

I pull out his Lego drawers and find a pair of pants ew!, a sock EWWW! and loads of other weird crap only a little boy would keep.
'There's my sock!' as though he had been looking for it.
We had.
'And my pants!' as though he had been looking for them.
We had not.
Shouldn't they be in the laundry basket?
<Boy8 shrugs shoulders>

As we work I talk about what we are doing and how it will affect this ant colony. I try to be an educational and thought provoking Dad. I figure that if I get him thinking about what we are doing then he won't see it so much as a 'LET’S KILL STUFF' bit of fun. More a pest control requirement.

It backfires terribly as after a few chats, he no longer sees this as a 'LET’S KILL STUFF' bit of fun. In fact he sees it for it is, decimating an entire colony of ants. Boy8 requests to be relieved of his duties so he can watch cartoons.

I continue solo, cursing my own mouth and feeling pretty lonely, and mean, for what I am doing to the ants. They just want to live too.
When an ally that I really didn't expect comes into the room and sits beside me.
'Can I help?' says Miss4 all ready for bed, wet hair, jammies on.

It is really nice to see her and I am surprised she has stopped what she is doing to come see me. She could be downstairs watching her Peppa's and eating her supper-breakfast snuggled up to Mrs. Amazing. Instead though she is Boy8’s room, which is an utter mess, stinky as it's full of ant poison, next to hot and sweaty me, also covered in ant poison.

I suck up a few rogue ants and give her a smile.
'Can I have a go?'

And we sit there together, just for a few minutes, sucking up a few ants with a hoover together. I finally get to be the tribal leader I'm meant to be and we have a right laugh. Thanks Miss4.

I show her the hoover chamber full wriggling ants.
'Ew cool!'
'There's one, get it Dad!'

I love her, she rocks.

The flow of ants still hasn't quite stopped so I go outside to check what's going on. It's quite biblical.
I put more poison everywhere I see ants. It's windy so I get covered in the powder, in my hair, in my eyes. #livingthedream

BabyBoy1 sees me at the window outside and totters over. He thinks this is great. Daddy is outside! Ha ha!
He slobbers on the window at me.
I smile back at him and he does it again.

I still have a job to do so I carry on.
I find myself smiling and winking at BabyBoy1 trying to make him smile, giving him attention... Whilst careful, and very purposely, killing thousands and thousands of ants, decimating whole colonies, families, with poison.

It feels a bit weird. But very tribal leader as well.
It’s not all glory then.