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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27 September 2015

LyricTale: Ain't No Sunshine (When She's Gone)



In 1971 Bill Withers released his first single called 'Ain't No Sunshine' (When She's Gone). Not a bad first single. Read about it here.



It's a beautiful song, sung with Bill's delicious voice, simple guitar work and lovely string arrangements. But for me, it's the lyrics that elevate 'Ain't No Sunshine' to steak pie level brilliance.
I find the lyrics perfectly sum up the sense of loss and incompleteness I feel whenever me and Mrs. Amazing are apart. Even when she's being an utter bug.

Team Parent (yay!) have been together since the 1304, maybe 1403, I forget now, it was definitely before the renaissance. So for many, many, lovely years this song has only had one meaning to me. Missing Mrs. Amazing.

But the other day it played on the radio (Radio Hella'Tunes) and totally different thoughts and meanings flooded into my head...
Damn kids, work their way into everything, like spilt milk.

So with considerable concern that I am doing the equivalent of sticking a gold star on a Van Gogh.
And in the words of Zoot (from the Muppets) 'Forgive me, Charlie Parker, wherever you are'.
Me new thoughts...

‘Ain't no sunshine when she's gone’

'Daddy wake up!'
Urgghhhghghghhh
No
‘Where's Mummy?’
Escaped Away... what time is it?
<Checks time>
THE SUN'S NOT EVEN UP!
Go back to bed

‘It's not warm when she's away’

<Wakes up frozen>
<Boy8 and Miss4 have stolen all the duvet and are watching cartoons, all snuggly>
Oiii!

‘Ain't no sunshine when she's gone’

Why are the curtains still shut?
Who normally opens them?
Is there a button that does them?
<Jabs remote in hope>

‘And she's always gone too long’

‘How long has Mummy been gone now?’
Three sucky minutes
‘Really? Is that all!!!’
We've still got 8 hours to go
<All hug together for safety>

‘Anytime she goes away
Wonder this time where she's gone’

Where did Mummy go?
‘No idea’
Does anyone know?
<All shake head>
For shame...
What kind of children don't even know where my wife has gone
<Tuts>

‘Wonder if she's gone to stay’

<Checks wife tracking device>
<Sees Mrs. Amazing enter the specialist shoe, fabric, shawl and cushion shopping centre>
Nooooooo!!!!!

‘Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away’

Who wants to play eat over the sink so Daddy doesn't have to tidy up after you
‘ME!!!‘
That'a girl

‘And I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
I know, I know,’

YES I KNOW MUMMY does your breakfast different!
I'm sorry I poured your milk at the wrong angle
Which is your favourite cup then?
I have to guess?
No you can't sit next to Mummy, she isn't here!
You could sit next to me... <Hopes>
Fine then, sit on the floor

‘Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone’

Where's the other one?
‘Who?’
The shouty one
<Shrugs shoulders>
Oh you know, can't talk, poos a lot, always saying Dadada
BabyBoy1?
Yes him, isn't he normally about at this time of day
And who is that screaming?

‘But ain't no sunshine when she's gone’

So who's gonna give me my morning sunshine hug?
<All shake head>
Fine I'll hug the cat
<Gets scratched>

‘Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Only darkness every day’

<Opens curtains finally>
‘HEY! We can't see the tele’
<Closes curtains>

‘Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home’

Damn right
<Wonders which small army normally does all these jobs>

‘Anytime she goes away’

I've no idea where your school shoes are
Why ask me?

‘Anytime she goes away’

Are you sure it's wear a onesie to school day... Mummy didn't say...
<Both nod>
‘We swear’
Swear on R2 or it doesn't count

‘Anytime she goes away’

For lunch you both have peanut butter on a player card
Queen of hearts for Miss4
Aces of spades for Boy8
<Does rock hand>
‘We can't take peanut butter to school’
Really? Crap
Fine, take this
<Each get 200g of Mild Cheddar>

‘Anytime she goes away’

<Pushes children out of house>
<Looks back at kitchen, hall, bedroom mess, with regret>
<Still leaves>



23 September 2015

How was your day? (Ommmm)

This tale hurt to write.
Because I'm not sure I did the right thing.
I didn’t get what I wanted, Boy8 didn’t get what he wanted. 
We both lost.

And now he’s snoring away and I'm all alone, and having to live with the consequences of what I choose to do. Bugger.
I just wanted to hear about his day...

Boy8 had an exciting day! He started a new football club (feet skills) and got a new responsibility at school. All things that he loves and I want to hear about.

I missed out on hearing about Miss4’s day as Mrs. Amazing put her to bed, and BabyBoy1 is not so much with the talk-talk-makey-sensey, just yet.
So I was 100% ready to give Boy8 a damn good listening to.

And then what happened?
Really?
No!!!
and then what happened after you put on your shoes this morning?

BabyBoy1 and me have an excellent bedtime. I read him some books, he opens flaps. I lift him to the light switch, he turns off the light delighted with himself (new skill). He eats his toothbrush a bit. I sing him to sleep. He goes to sleep.
He’s brilliant, and asleep in 5 minutes, the awesome little wonderful dude.

I can still hear Mrs. Amazing coaxing Miss4 to sleep as I nicely say to Boy8 it’s bedtime.
He’s had brupper, he’s watched some cartoons, he’s dressed in his tiger-onesie, just gotta brush his teeth.

‘Oh I’m so tired'
Yeah mate, I bet!
I want to hear all about it!
Brush your teeth and I’ll meet you in your bedroom!
(Considering how cheery I sound, I was may have been skipping a bit)

However instead of rushing off to clean his teeth like anyone sane would do, Boy8 refuses to move and buries his face in the sofa.

A fight is brewing, I can practically taste it. Yuk fighty. 
Which would be a shame as I really want to hear about his day. 
My day at work was good enough...

Boss: ‘What are you working on?’
<Opens door a tiny crack and peeks out>
Ohh... Something brilliant and complex... and busy...
‘Can I see?’
Er... No. Not yet
‘I want to see. NOW’
NOOO!
<We struggle>
<The door is opened>
Do you like it?
<Shows off, 1:50 scale, panoramic, 3D model of Pixie Hollow, with moving parts, and all fairy characters, made entirely from stolen company paper-clips and post-it notes>
<Boss has all of his flabber-, well and truly, -gasted>
'You know... This isn't what we pay you to do?'
<Nods and smiles, and then runs>

(Apparently not a real holiday destination... #Gutted)

But Boy8 doesn't care how my day went. He does however want to end it with a big old fight.
I ask him to move, a lot, and I get rude and snarky (oh yes snarky, it’s horrible) back.

Normally he would get the fight he is looking for. Normally I would square up with him toe to toe and let the shouting wars begin (Reigning House Champion).
But not today. No way!
Today I am one with the universe. I am calm like a mountain stream.
I am at peace. Bake off was on last night
I calm myself.

Ommmmmmm

I tell Boy8 to hurry up and head upstairs.
Which is a brilliant ploy that normally works. Because now he's on his own downstairs, with the promise of a story waiting for him upstairs. He just needs to get up and move. And Boy8 loves his bedtime story.

The clock says it's 6:45pm which means he has a whopping 45 minutes to clean his teeth, read a story to me, and then have me read a story to him.
EASY! What could possibly go wrong?

Ten minutes later I am still sat on his bed, waiting for him.

Ommmmmmmmm

He does eventually come upstairs, but I can hear his voice from Miss4’s room. He’s telling Mrs. Amazing a load of whoppers about how I shouted and screamed at him to go to bed, and that's why Mrs. Amazing should do his bedtime. Not mean old Daddy.
The utter, manipulative traitor and stinker.
They grow up so quick <sniffs>

Ommmmmmmmmmmm

Mrs. Amazing spots the lie easily as she didn’t hear any screaming or crying and I have Mrs. Amazing's trust and respect, plus I’m stood in the room saying it’s all lies and pointing at Boy8, with my tongue out at him.

Boy8 says a few more rude, lippy, comments, and is shoved, nicely mind, off to the bathroom whilst I go and wait some more on his bed. I check the internet is still full of cool stuff. It is. Phew.

Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Ten minutes later Boy8 appears in his room and apologises. It seems genuine and he starts to tell me about his day. Great!
Back on track.

Except whilst he is talking his breath wafts over to my nostrils, and I realise he hasn’t done his teeth at all. Whilst gagging.
I suggest, nicely and calmly, he does his teeth again.
His response is 'amateur dramatic' and he calls me names, cries, dives face first into his bed, and tells me how mean I am and what rotten Dad I am. I know, a father’s dental hygiene concern really is the worst.

OmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

(How the hell did I get up here? Help? I’d like to get down now…)

Five minutes more pass and I go looking for him. He still hasn't done his teeth. I find him doing, well I don't know what he was doing, waiting for me to tell him off I would guess.

In total that's now thirty minutes of faffing, to get one set of teeth clean, Boy8 must be going for his PB. A lot of rudeness, cheek and lip has been thrown at me, but finally, as I stand there watching, he has clean teeth.

Boy8 slumps back into bed and attitude that emanates from this tiny boy could be used to strip paint or my mind.

That's is it. I have had enough.
The foot is down. The die is cast, this ship has sailed, the bottle is empty, the last of the embers is about to burn out, the chocolate wrapper is just an empty wrapper.
No no Boy8. Enough of this madness. 

Boy8 no longer gets his story. He just gets bed. Decision made.

I calmly and nicely explain to Boy8 that he's taken sodding ages too long to get into bed, and that it is now just bedtime, no story.
The tears flow fast and angry (his).

I don my shield of calm and ignore his spear and arrows of hurt and pain. I am still one with the universe and uber calm. I will not engage in his emotional battle, else I'll end up shouting at him.
Calmly I flick the light off and wish him goodnight, and leave.

Ommmmmmmmmmbloodysoddingrarrrrrmmmmm

I leave as far as the stairs (still progress) and continue being calm.
I sit on the stairs and wish Mrs. Amazing goodbye as she’s off to her bazooka classes (she’s a natural apparently).

Miss4 appears from her room, as she needs 75th cuddle goodnight with Mrs. Amazing. But that's fine.
It's still Miss4's first week at school. Emotionally she's all over the place, an extra cuddle won't hurt or set a new prescient, at all.
Me and Miss4 wave Mrs. Amazing off together as she speeds off in the Amazing-mobile (car). Miss4 protests she isn't sleepy at all, and then crashes out asleep in under a minute.
Bless.

Boy8 is still sobbing and wailing from his room. Which I have been ignoring.

Ommmmmmmmmmrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmm

Boy8's volume is rapidly rising as he can tell he is being ignored. However as I am now making sure Miss4 isn't faking and is really asleep, I can't talk to him anyway.
Plus the foot was down.
My attention for Boy8, this evening, has expired, unless he has cake.

Boy8 emerges from his room full of tears, still being rude and pissy, demanding a story, and throwing more insults at me. I stop my eye twitching, and guide him back to bed.
But he won't go.
Fine. It is not fine.

OmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM 
<Deep breath> 
Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I leave him and go down stairs. He's 8, he can put himself to bed.
But he doesn't, instead he follows me, still wailing (yay!).

Dreading the emotional explosion that will surely happen when we get downstairs, and the inevitable battle to get him back upstairs. I do something unexpected.
I turn on the stairs and hug him, hard. We fall up the stairs a bit, as stair hugging is hard to do. 

I wish him goodnight and I leave again (as I'm starving and need to get my dinner on).
As I said, his time and attention with me tonight is done. The hug was a freebie.
I made my decision about his behaviour. I must not let any of his normal tricks and ploys get around me. I must teach him about ‘cause (being a smegger) and effect’ (no story).

The hug worked for about a microsecond. As Boy8 races past me on the stairs and bares my way into the kitchen. Wailing, being rude, crying, demanding. It's a bizarre mix of emotions and would be hilarious to watch, if it wasn't being thrown at me.
I bring my emotional shields up.

(Incoming emotional attack!!! Shields!!!)

I am really, really, really tempted to get my muscles out and force my way past him. I am way bigger than him, it would be easy. But I know that's a bad solution.
He's not tiny any more and can fight back hard enough now, that he can hurt himself. Also it's a bad example.
Gotta think about BabyBoy1 and Miss4 as well. I can't show Boy8 that he should shove through both of them.

But I can't seem to talk him out of my way either,as he's in full blooded emotional excess now and not making much sense.

Ommmmmmmmm <Grinds teeth> Ommmmmmmmm <Cricks neck> Ommmmmmmmm

I manage to  trick him out of the way by pretending to do something else, twirling flaming swords whilst juggling tomotoes. But Boy8 follows me into the kitchen and reaches alpha-level emotional break down and rudeness and name calling and sense bad makingyness.

Shields up maximum, happy place, happy place...

So all the pies are free?
'Yes sir, all free'
And all these ladies?
'They bring you unlimited chocolate for afters'
Amazing
'R2-D2 will be serving you drinks'
<Beep>
'Would sir like some music?'
Yes please
<The Stone Roses starts playing>
<Wipes away tear of joy>

So happy place firmly in mind, shields right up, I ignore Boy8 like a champion and just start making my dinner.
Oooo a (cornish) pasty!

It is all too much for Boy8 he explodes. I am using new and unusual weapons and he doesn't know how to battle me calm. So he goes for the big swear, storm off!

'You're an...'
'...an...'
'... ABSOLUTE IDIOT!'
<Storms off>
<Door to his room slams>
<Wall dent increases>

Nice to know where he is with his swearing. Lame town. Not very far.
He called Mrs. Amazing an 'absolute butt-head' the other day.
Brilliant. What a tilly swat.

Boy8 goes to bed on his own, no story, and I don't see him until the next morning where we hug it right out and are mates again (I laid on-top of him until he told me about his day in great depth, that counts).

But after his dramatic and slightly funny storm off, I am left with huge emotional guilt and weight on my shoulders. The tension in my shoulders is so bad they crack as I roll them. 'Ommm' my reasonably sized butt.

It's already 8pm and I am now knackered, not in the best of moods, ready for booze bed, starving, and not sure I handled all of that very well.
I did my best. But Brainzilla is shouting away at the back of my head:
'YOU DAMN FOOL! That was crappppp!!!'

I am so upset with all the shenanigans that I put a generous sized portion of healthy veg on my plate. What the hell was I thinking? Where's the chips, fried egg and other pie! I just wasn't in my right mind.
Damn healthy food.
<Kicks the sofa and scares the cat>
<Smiles, two-for>

Mrs. Amazing is eventually captured and brought back home, kicking and screaming, and we discuss my evening of fun. She understands and supports my stance on 'no story' and ignoring, as probably the right thing to do. Good.
Validation and support. I needed that.

But being a wise-women (aren't they all) <Shakes head>, and able to see life on an emotional level. Mrs. Amazing adds that Boy8's anger, rudeness, emotions need to be released, either through tears or laughter. Take the anger to tears if you must. But the emotions need to come out as tears or laughter. Always.

'I am quite surprised you didn't just make him laugh it off...'
'You're good at that jester-boy!'

Of course! That would've worked brilliantly, that would have saved me loads of stress and effort...
Oh...

Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmn it


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