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!).

10 October 2015

The Funfair

A travelling funfair came to town recently. Rides and stuff, that kind. 

Mrs. Amazing is 100% genuine fair fan. 
Apparently she was lucky enough to annually frequent one in her younger years (circa 1523), and as such, she still gets all over excited about a funfair.
I on the other don't recall any funfairs from childhood. 
But I do remember an amazing water slide down a mud bank (circa 704). Which was really fun and brilliant and is a really happy memory for me. The sun was out, we were in a field, the whole village was there, health and safety were two words that had never really met before.
Ahhh simple happy times!
<Chews hay>
<Poke self in eye with hay whilst wiping away tear>

I told Mrs. Amazing about my rustic memories... and she mocked me. 
Seriously! I know! The swine!

However as we stand in the field with the funfair all around us. Flashing its lights. Showing off it's curvy rides. Constant screams of delight from people having fun. Delicious smells everywhere.
I find it very hard to think of a good retort to Mrs. Amazing's rustic bashing.
So's your face
Your chocolate mouse could be lighter

Instead I suggest we get doughnuts.

(You expect me to share? Ah ha ha ha haaaaa.. Haaaa… Ha ha ha….. ha)

It's fair (!) to say that Boy8 and Miss4 love the funfair with all their hearts.
The flashy lights and noises do their magic on them every year, and every year they fall in love again. Fair enough (!) (I'll stop that now).
BabyBoy1 however doesn't really give a crap though. But that's coz he's so little.
At least this year he gets to watch us have a right laugh and me nearly chucking up.

However, despite all the funfair love, Team Parents (yay!) does have one teeny weeny, tiny niggle, lets say a snagoo, about the fair, when it comes to town.
You know the bright lights, the huge noisy rides, the blaring music, the shouting ride owners calling out for whoops and screams constantly over the PA? The excitement! Yeah? All that stuff?
Now imagine all that... right next door to your house. Yay!

It makes putting out little smeggers to bed like swimming up stream, with rocks on your back, baboons flicking boogies at you, and a bloody big funfair behind you, handing out free candy floss.

Anyway... After thirty minutes of coaxing and calming Boy8 to sleep, through kind chatting and good fun books. His already has clean teeth, he's ready for bed, and he's even yawned.

Dude! Just ignore the fair tonight, we'll go tomorrow after school
<Yawns> ' Yeah OK Dad, I am pretty tired'
[BOOM BOOM BOOM Music from fair]
'Think I'll go straight to sleep'
OK, night night, don't let the dinosaurs maul in your sleep
<Turns out light>
<Shuts door>

1 second elapses.

<Opens door>
['SCREAM if you wanna go faster']
Back to bed mate
<Peels Boy8 off the window>
['Give me a woooo']
<Tucks Boy8 in>
There's nothing that fun going on tonight <Is lying>
We'll go tomorrow, you're missing nothing tonight, OK?
['Boy8 defy your father, come and play']
What did he just say?
<Boy8 grins>
Night mate

The time it takes to blink very quickly elapses.

<Opens door>
<Boy8 is climbing out of window>
Back to bed mate

(He was so close, he could almost touch the awesome…)

... and he was the easy one to get to sleep!
Miss4 was a right pickle!!!
(Yes you read that correctly, a pickle. I'm sorry you had to read that, but I've gotta speak my mind and it can get pretty dang-diddly colourful sometimes).

The fair will be in town next door Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
Which is a lot of evenings that Miss4 and Boy8 won't sleep.
So Team Parents (yay!) devised a brilliant and genius plan, and by Team Parents (yay!) I mean Mrs. Amazing thought of it all, and I had the good sense to just say yes to it. (+1 husband point for just blindly agreeing)

We do a full reconnaissance of the fair after school. All five of us. Then Miss4 and Boy8 get to go on ONE SMALL ride each. SMALL. BabyBoy1 has to watch. 
Team Parents (yay!) get doughnuts.

'Can I go on this ride?' <Asks Boy8 ever hopeful>
What? The biggest ride at the funfair?
This one that twirls and twists and spins and dives violently?
<Boy8 nods>
This one that you have to sign a heart disclaimer before getting on?
Just before your bedtime?
<Nods but has realised it's hopeless>
I think you know the answer don't you?
<Sad face>

This is genius bit. I love this part of the plan so much I want marry it and have more children with it. Maybe not. An affair will do, got enough kids. It's a great plan.
Friday night Mrs. Amazing and all (ALL) the children will head off to her parents and stay the night so they can all get a good night's sleep!

And reluctantly (woohoo) I will have to, HAVE TO, stay behind (woohoo), on my own (next door to a fricking fair!) and to look after the Cat (woohoo).
Poor Cat me.

<Does dramatic voice>
Ohhhh, fate. Ohhh fate… I wish I could come to your Mums and stay with you guys
Even though the fair will be brilliant, and hella fun, and I can have burgers and candy floss for dinner and go on loads of rides...
and err... err ...
... actually I'm not sure where I was going with that...
I'll miss you all soooooo much <Has wide sad eyes>
<Mrs. Amazing is unconvinced>
'Look after yourself and don't... don't...'
'Just remember how old you actually are (30Lots)... not how old you act (15)'
Of course I will (23)

(I actually spend the night doing housework, playing my guitar whilst watching tele, and went to bed about 10. Because it's still Friday night, and I am still knackered from the week. The noise was pretty bad and it made the house shake. #ROCK #LivingTheDream)

We hit the funfair with cash, buggy and a very, very, very, strict three rides each rule.
Granny and Big Granddad came too, to play, to help with child adult ratio.
Miss4 and Boy8 have managed to be on their best behaviour all week, and neither has had any rides taken away from them (despite many, many threats).

Under duress Team Parents accompany the children on some rides.
Because it's fun some rides need adults to stop children falling out, or leaping out.
Team Parents (yay!) divide and conquer and share the rides. So we don't spend a huge fortune. Just a little one.

(My ride nemesis… Arghhhhhh!!!)

Miss4 and Boy8 get their rides and they are very happy. They got to do exactly what they planned on Thursday and we didn't break the bank doing it.  Team Parents (yay!) are quietly celebrating a funfair well managed, and done! And I am just turning the buggy towards home when...

Boy8 points out he hasn't been on the Frog ride, the one he has been banging on about all week. The one we wouldn't let him go on last year as he was too little. But now as he's tall enough (by miles) he would really like to go on it, now.
Miss4 sees the 'another ride' window is open and climbs in.

In a little more five seconds we have gone from two very happy contented children, to children that sound like they've only just escaped the salt mines, to find the sweet shop is closed.

Team Parent (yay!) exchange looks. We said three rides. Only three. Three.
Suddenly we realise we didn't manage it as well as we thought, if they are asking for more. Normally we would have been prepping the kids for ages about the imminent ending, and last rides, and preparing them for going home.
Only we didn't, because we were having so much fun.

Mrs. Amazing is starting to crack.
Torn between being able to eat next week and two cute little faces pleading for another ride.
I am happy to say no, but am reluctant to be the mean parent (again). I don't want to be Mr. No all the naffing time. This has to be a Team Parent (yay!) decision. Not mean old Daddy decision.
I like them being happy too.

I can see that Mrs. Amazing agrees totally with me, and sees my Mr. No concern, and she really, really wants to stick with the plan. But Mrs. Amazing also wants her children to have as much as she did at the funfair and what would one more ride hurt?

A lot.
Where would it end? One often becomes two, and then three. It's just like beers and minutes in bed in the morning. Very hard to stop, and you end up whammed and late for work.

Team Parents are quite seriously stuck, trapped by our own rules and plans. When did we become this grown up! And WHY! It sucks.
There is no way out, I prepare the doomsday device... and get ready to drag all four, yes four, of them back home screaming and kicking.

But the universe is a strange and weird place.
And sometimes help arrives when you least expect it, and from those you least expect it from.
And other times you get help from your parents, because they're your parents and they don't like to see you suffer, and more importantly they REALLY can't resist those cute little faces.

Granny and Granddad offer everyone another ride, on them, and utterly save the day. Yay!
Team Parents edict on only three rides is maintained, and by a loophole, the kids get another ride.
I disarm the doomsday device.

I want to run over and gave them both totally inappropriate hugs because I'm so happy.
Obviously... I don't.
Instead my weak and feeble thank you is drowned out by excited children picking their next ride.
But for the record. Thanks Granny-Amazing and Big Granddad.

(Me walking home with enough candy floss for one... me)

Epilogue, the next morning...

Go on... take me with you
I can't stand it anymore
I want to run away with the fair!
You again? That moustache is fooling no one
<Does shifty eyes>
<Moustache falls off>
Look mate I'm going to tell the same thing I told you the last ten times you asked
We don't take runaways
You're thinking of the circus, we're a funfair
And even if we were hiring we're not looking middle-aged, tubby, balding, scruffy looking, no talent, losers!
<Is outraged> Who's scruffy looking?
You! <Motions at me>
Ah well... yeah... You got me there...
<Pulls up jeans and stomps off>