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 August 2015

The 3.2 Stages of Chase

Stage 1: Sweet lovely pretend chase - Hurts the knees

It's not really chase is it. Hence the pretend bit.
BabyBoy1 races off on all fours as fast as he can. He loves chase. Heaven knows why, he’s never gonna win, in fact his favourite bit is when I catch him and wrestle him to the floor. 

1, 2 ,3, PIN!
<Does victory dance>

It’s a lot of attention though, and he likes that.

The gulf between BabyBoy1’s speed and mine is because I'm a competitive sod of the size of my limbs, yes all of them are enormous. 
All of them <Shakes massive fist>
Even with my old man aching knees (ooooo, ahhhhh) and body, which is way too big for crawling, I still easily beat BabyBoy1 from one side of the room to the other. With time to spare.
BabyBoy1 spins little hands and feet round like a gecko with its tail on fire, making a terrific racket.
It’s brilliant. He’s brilliant.

To announce the commencement of a chase. I bang my ring on the floor (yes, ring).
I bang my wedding ring, which is on my hand, my hand which is on the floor as I am crawling, on the floor, to make a noise (everyone clear?).

BabyBoy1 has quickly learnt what he needs to do when this happens:
a) Work out where Dad is
b) Crawl-it in the opposite direction as fast as he can
c) Get caught and tickled

Great fun. We all have a laugh, my knees end up sore, but it's worth it.

(No, no the other way… away from me)

Stage 2: Delightful giggling chase - Good fun, with a bit of danger and a high injury rate.

Miss4 loves a chase. I don’t think it’s the competitive element for her. I just think she likes being chased. Which does have me wondering if that’s a girl thing, as I spent many a lunch time in playgrounds (as a child, obv.) chasing girls. Who, I think, wanted to be chased. I may check that…

Anyway, maybe that’s why Miss4 likes chase. Or maybe it’s just a game Miss4 knows and enjoys. Meh, who knows.
Chase with Miss4 normally starts spontaneously, like this:

Miss4 come here
<Miss4 giggles and runs off>
We don’t really have time… Oh fine…
<Stretches, gives chase>

Miss4 runs at almost 2 meters away and then just bobs there, whilst I arms wide like an idiot giant human pincher try and grab her.
Giggles pour out of her each time I carefully miss grabbing her. I start laughing, she manages to giggle harder and it goes really nicely and is great fun until:

a) I finally catch her. Mentally noting to tell work I was late due to traffic, not an elusive 4 year old.

b) She smacks into something. Head first, face first, trips over her own feet, doesn't see the enormous table or simply just manages to fall down. Still giggling.

c) I hurt myself chasing because I forget I am a fully grown (I am) man (still am) and, as yet, cannot pass through solid objects, like tables, doors, walls or any of the other children. Or I trip on a toy.

Great fun with lovely giggling. Best kind of chase.

(Damn those bouncy balls...)

Stage 3: Chase to catch the sod - Exhausting and annoying

Chase with Boy8 is no longer a lovely sweet game. Or giggling fun. It’s ... well it's grown up a fair bit. It's now one of two things:

3.1. Pure bloody competition to be the fastest in the house.

It’s an alpha male attack. It is, you ask Boy8 who is the fastest at school. He will be able to tell you everyone’s racing merits and the order they finish in a sprint race. It’s important to him, it’s how the boys measure up (for now).
So when he finally beats me it will be the first nail in my replacement coffin for sure. But it is not this day… it is not this year… oh no...

I like to think I am pretty fit, I exercise. But I can't really run for toffee. (See here for proof)
The funny things is I would run for toffee.
I’d run really fast for toffee. If they made toffee Olympic medals I would so be there. Sod gold, I want toffee or fudge... mmm... Fudge… I want fudge from here 
#mmm #teethhurting #worthit


My point is when we chase/race there is always pride at stake. Mine.
So far, except for a few times when Boy8 cheated, when I clearly wasn't ready and that time my leg hurt lots, Boy8 has not managed to beat me.
But he will, it’s definitely coming… (I may have to retire all physical activity around that time).

3.2. Catch the sod bugger

This version of chase is not so fun (for me). This version occurs when he has been naughty and I need him right in front of me to shout at him to discuss my feelings, and he’s legged it. At full speed.
And it normally involves a table large enough I can't climb over it.

(Quite a crowd turned up to watch)

It starts like this:

Come HERE right now!
'No' <Legs it behind table, out of reach>

And suddenly, without warning, I've made the decision that I need to chase him.
I could have just let him go and show him I am above this situation, me being the grown up all wise and proud. I could just sit down and read, write a haiku, pick my nose, and wait until he is close enough to grab realises his folly.

<Shakes enormous paper>
So Boy8… You've finally come to your senses at last
'Yes father. You were right'
'Cuff me and take me away, I deserve it. I was a cad, a bounder'
<puffs on pipe>
I... I am proud of you Boy8. So very proud.
<Both exchange looks of mutual respect in a very British manner>
See you at tiffin
<Ignores flames from newspaper as pipe ash catches>

Instead though, I chase him around the table.
I decide in the few milliseconds I spend thinking on it, that the best way to teach him not run away from me when he's in trouble, is to chase him.
I am a lemon.

Boy8 knows he is in trouble. It's in his eyes, they are full dilated, full of fire and excitement. He's a bit scared but loving being naughty at the same time. Fair enough.
He also knows that as long as the table is between us, I cannot grab him.

I lunge one way. He goes the other.
I talk to distract him and then lunge. He's 8, he plays 'it' at school regularly, he knows all the tricks.
I pull out a few chairs behind him as I chase, hoping it will slow him down on the next time round.
It utterly backfires, as Boy8 is small and agile.
Me? I'm a big lumbering giant.

The chairs are a huge obstacle to me and any ground I may have made on him, is lost as I shove the chairs out of the way. Banging my shins and knees. Ow ow!

I realise I am panting as well.
Boy8 looks likes he could do this all day.
I doubt I could.

Eventually my anger and fury loop around on themselves and I explode.
The anger cancels itself out as I realise the ridiculousness of the situation I have put myself in.
I sit down and stop playing chase.

Wary of a trick, Boy8 is still hopping about the other side of the table.
I take some deep breaths and calm myself down.

Then the magic happens.
Then the thing I wanted to happen so much, happens all on it's own accord and I can only sit there feeling like a huge bit of a prat.

'Sorry Daddy'
<Ruffles Boy8's hair>

I explain what he did wrong. Why he shouldn't run away and why it made me mad.
I also apologise for chasing him and getting cross, then we hug it out.

Still a little out of breath I notice that there is at least one bead of sweat on his brow. Well at least he had to try a bit.

Let's pretend none of this ever happened... and not tell your mother so I don't have to explain why I thought chasing you around the table was a good idea.
Chocolate milk?
Good idea!
<Boy8 smiles>
For me... Not you!
<Boy8 stops smiling>

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