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!).
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21 October 2015

Man Hugs

I loves a good hug I does. 
Hugs are important. They are!

I hug my friends when I see them, my family, and hotties. Man hugs though are different, and normally require a few beers before hand.
I am an Englishman. A handshake is more normal between two blokes than a hug in my world.

Which is a shame.
As a hug says I love and trust you. I am happy to open my arms, making myself utterly defenceless, and then press my body against yours. Even if it's just for the briefest of moments. A hug shows a connection. A hug means something.

As a Dad of three, I have a lot of people at home that need hugging regularly and that has started affecting my hug boundaries.
I find I am hugging people more (I know them don’t worry).

(I have read this non-stop for the last 8 years, it may 
have had an effect on me… I do eat more bananas…)

BabyBoy1 loves a hug.
He doesn't like a long hug as he's a little boy full of energy and wants to climb and run and jump and doesn't tend to stop moving for most of the day.
But every now and then, when he's tired out, or ill, or just fallen off the bed face first again. He wants a big old hug.
Despite not being able to talk and having the IQ of a baby (because he is), even BabyBoy1 completely understands the benefits of a hug.
He's a wise, troublesome, slightly bonkers, little boy.

Miss4 loves a hug.
But mainly with Mummy. Me not so much.
Apparently I am either too spiky (stubble, can't help that, see She Can’t Sleep (Nor Can I)...) or I am too smelly (boy smells, can't help that either, without seriously changing my life-style choices).
Despite Miss4's reluctance, sometimes, to hug me I insist. I know how important hugs are. Which does makes me sound a bit desperate which I am and a bit of a weirdo, which I am not.
I could just ignore each hug rejection from Miss4 and then stop trying. But that would be terrible.
I'm her Dad. I have a special place and role in her life. I am, and will always be, the only man in her life that has no ulterior motives for her affections or time. As long as I don't abuse that trust, which I won't. I get to be a very unique person in her life.

Still, it feels like Miss4 and Mrs. Amazing are joined with Velcro sometimes. And she calls them ‘huggle wuggles’ which is way too icky for me and makes me want to puke on her head. But Mrs. Amazing doesn't mind it.
Meh.

Boy8 likes a good strong bear gripping, breath removing, hug.
Which is more my field of expertise.
He also likes being flattened, or laid on top of, or held upside down, or being thrown through the air.

Wanna try the Fastball Special?
‘YEAH!!!… wait... the what?’
<Picks up Boy8 and throws him>
<Boy8 splats against the wall comic book stylie>
Ooooooooo
First time! As planned
That didn't go as planned
<Runs>

(Ready?)

Still as boyish as Boy8 is, he still likes to snuggle up and hug it out.
Plus squeezing him to bit hugs are the best answer I've found so far for stopping grumps and anger. If I remembered to hug him more, I would.

Mrs. Amazing is a hug fan too. I won't go into it, but we have three kids. She likes a good [insert own joke verb here] hug.
(What verb did you go for? Really? <Slaps you> She is a lady you know! <Storms off>)

Anyhoo... we were talking about hugs.

I saw a good friend at school drop today. Another Dad of three.
I've known him for a lot of years and pretty much speak my mind at him. 

Mate! You look like utter, utter, crap
'Thanks you bastard'
Utter, utter, utter…
‘Yes I got it’

And he did.
He looked utterly exhausted. He looked like he had been up all night battling tiny terrors. Which is probably what he had been doing.

Still as he stood there looking tired and confused, a scooter in each hand, arms out, watching his youngest go into class. I felt really sorry for him.
I've been there, I imagine I will go there soon at some point, you cannot get away from there,  there is always there, until they leave home. (yep that passes my clarity tests... just... womble).

My friend is having one of those horrible days when the kids have almost beaten you, you are way too tired to adult today, and it's only 9am.
There's still work to attend.
Urghhhh.

We lost each other after that moment and I didn't catch up with him until we were at the school gates.

You alright?
<Does sad / happy nodding, that means no, but looks like yes>
<Notices the very puffy and red eyes>
Still drunk?
Hmmm... I understand

And I did. I understood, I fully empathised. I can do that, Mrs. Amazing taught me.
I knew his pain and the day he was about to face. A long slow drudgery day, with only more children in the evening and bed (for sleep) to look forward to.

We stood having this awesome conversation at the school gates, mums everywhere, some Dads. Headteacher just a few metres away. In plain view of all the classrooms and all the teachers.
My friend was heading off left, I was going right. So we had limited time, and I am not quite sure what came over me...
... I gave him a big hug there and then.

I managed to say nothing, which is good. Same rules as toilets.
Because for me, in those weird silent moments, I seem to put myself in, I do tend to say dumb things...

Mmmm... you're so warm
What that in your pocket?
It's better than I ever dreamt it would be
I don't have any pants on
<Inhales> You smell nice
You hug just like your wife does…
You ever seen Brokeback Mountain? ...Man it was boring 

See, best not to talk when hugging men. Looking back it still feels a little weird despite my silence.

But you know what?
It made him smile. And probably lifted his spirits a lot. He did look surprised I grant ya.
But I felt good for having hugged a fellow Dad in times of grief.
Even Dads need support sometimes. Even if we don't like to ask for it, or have it offered, or will accept it, ever.

And what is wrong with two men hugging anyway? HUH?
It's nothing. The answer is nothing, nothing at all (I promise you, nothing is wrong with it).

(Apparently these men play some kind of sport together…)
(It’s quite popular I hear but don’t understand or believe…)

Still, I do have to stop doing weird stuff at the school gates (see Welcome to the jungle (playground)), and I don't doubt a few eyebrows were raised in our direction.
Good. Raise away!
I'll hug you too.

<Hug>

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