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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29 November 2015

New Medical Advice for Teeth...

Recently I discovered that the medical advice in the UK regarding brushing children's teeth had changed. 
It is now: you should do it for anyone under eight (I may be paraphrasing). 
(And of course by discovered I mean Mrs. Amazing told me).

'And that’s the new medical advice, crazy huh?'
Yes
'You understood what I said?'
Most of it…
'Which bit are you struggling with?'
Well I don’t know why it relates to me to be honest
'You have kids… three of them…' <Points>
<Shout-whispers> THEY’RE CHILDREN?
<Nods and sighs>
I thought they were Ewoks!... shaved ones...


Image result for ewoks
(Left to right: Boy8, Miss4, BabyBoy1, actual Ewok...)

Which is great.
Nothing wrong with getting up-to-date medical advice, rather it was current than be about leeches and exercising demons.

So I want you to run four miles
Demon: <Looks annoyed>
Then jump this 18ft wall
Demon: <Looks up and annoyed> <Swears at me>
And then I want fire breath on this <Holds up the Conservative manifesto>
Demon: No way <Takes manifesto>
Demon: That’s like my instructions manual on how to be a Demon
Demon: Plus the boss would kill me, he wrote it
But you're fine with the rest?
Demon: Yeah sure, gotta stay fit <Smiles and then remembers to glower>

Of course Boy8 is already eight, which makes this change medical advice a bit late for him. Or Team Parents (yay!) need a time machine, which is annoying as I threw one out just last...
Worse though is that things like this instantly make us older.
It will come up in conversation at some point, and I’ll have to explain why we didn't and it will be because of how old we are. Damn it. Swines.

I did wonder if maybe we should brush Boy8’s teeth for him until he was sixteen.
You know to make up for not doing it before. May make camping with his mates a bit awkward. I’d be happy to attend any festivals though. School trips could get 'legally' complex.
Probably best put this in the ‘dumb ideas’ room box.

But considering that Boy8 reacts to brushing his teeth much like the cat does when I tread on his tail (totally by accident obv.).
I can't help but feel that this new advice has actually come eight years too late. I think Boy8 could really have done with us brushing for him, for all those years. Rather than us trusting he was doing it right, and 'getting' it.
Coz he flipping hasn't.

Have you brushed your teeth
'Yes' <Does shifty eyes>
That's a lie isn't it?
'I'll breathe on you?'
Please do not OK... minty -and gross-... nice
Let's see those teeth though
<Shows teeth>
Go brush them <nicely pushes Boy8 in direction of bathroom>
<Watches Boy8 brush his teeth (bored senseless, would rather be head butting wall)>
You only brushed one side
'No! I did them BOTH!!!'
<Internal sigh> Not 'that' side though <Points>
‘I DID!!!’ <freak out and hides in the corner>
'You can't make me brush my teeth!!!'
<Recites now traditional 'You can't make me' speech>
No, you're right I can't and won't. You're going to do them
F.Y.I. I bloody can make you
‘Why do I have to brush my teeth?’ <Recites the lengthy 'Why me?' and 'Life is so unfair' rant speech>
I am going to stand here and wait until you do
<Closes eyes and imagines self on set of Episode VII>
'You are so mean!'
<Recites the hurtful 'I hate Dad' prelude to war>
<Finally… brushes teeth>
‘Done‘
<Throws toothbrush into sink and goes to stomp off>
Hair!
‘WHAT! WHYYYYYY!’ <freaks out and hides in the corner>
<Recites 'Why me?'/'Life is so unfair'/'I hate Dad' mega-mix>
<Goes back to set of Episode VII>
['...And this is Mr. Ford']
[HeloooOoo...<Faints>]
[<Wakes up in the arms of Carrie Fisher>]
[<Faints>]

Miss4 is a lot easier for teeth brushing.
Easier, but not simple. She is happy to brush her teeth herself, she likes the independence. So we let her brush first and then we do a quick brush after as per the new medical advice.
But before we are allowed to brush Miss4 has implemented a complex password system, that also features gesture recognition.
Oh and you have to remember all the old passwords, and give recite them in order.
Fun huh!

Come on... open your gob!
<Shakes head>
Ok... "Swimming"
<Shakes head>
"Swimming Pool"
<Shakes head>
"CousCous"
<Shakes head>
"Coo coo"
<Shakes head>
"Christmas"
DING! <Mouth opens slightly>
What? the hell... <Thinks> Oh yes
<Presses Miss4's toes>
<Miss4 opens mouth slightly>
<Presses Miss4's nose>
<Miss4 opens mouth ready for brushing>

One of us is barking mad and a sucker.

BabyBoy1 is Captain Keen when it comes to teeth brushing.
I am sure given the chance BabyBoy1 would brush his teeth all day, every day.
And he's only got eight of them.
I think BabyBoy1 enjoys being able to rub a tooth brush on his gums for when he's teething, which is fair enough and always... always teething.
Also I think for BabyBoy1 brushing his teeth is something he can do that his big brother and sister do, and that he can join in with.
Much like eating at the table, which he loves, as he can join in with us all. But even eating at the table he is doing something slightly different to us all. He gets his own food, his own special bowl and cutlery. He isn't quite ‘in the gang’ as it were.
Teeth brushing though, he gets the same as us all. Some paste and a brush, and running water.
You can see why he loves it so. He's a nutter.

It doesn't matter that he's rubbish at it. Because he is tiny and cute and no one really worries how well you brush when you’re tiny and cute. Well they shouldn't.

I call for BabyBoy1...
BabyBoy1! Teeth! 

... and he drops whatever he is doing... 
<Smash>

...and runs to join me. You can hear the thudding noise pitter patter of his tiny feet from quite a way away.
<Thud><Thud><Thud><Thud><Thud>

Another one… not going to be ninja...gutted...
He runs into the room very excited. But quickly spots his stool is missing.
'Ooooo Ooooooooooo' (* 'Father have you seen my height increaser?')

And he's off on a stool hunt.
<Thud><Thud><Thud>

It's normally where he left it in the morning, so the hunt is short.
He appears again struggling with the heavy (for him) stool. He pops it on the floor, way too close to the sink and climbs up. As the stool is too close he is on tip-toes and a bit awkward. But he likes it that way. He smiles, excited, that it's teeth brushing time.


(Of course my tooth brush is bigger than BabyBoy1's)

He has to stretch to reach the sink.
So his chin rests of the ceramic as he stands on tip-toes. It's heart squeezingly cute.
His little T-Rex arms struggle to reach the tap, so I help and put water on his brush for him.
He snatches it back and shoves the brush into his mouth. He doesn't brush. He just chews it.
Every now and then he reaches forward to get fresh water on the brush.
But that's it.

Really that's not what Team Parents (yay!) would choose for him to be doing.
Actually brushing his teeth would be high on our list to be honest. But BabyBoy1 is so happy to be part of the teeth brushing crew, so damn happy to be included and doing the same as everyone else, how could we ever tell him he's doing it wrong?

And really, if you're that happy brushing your teeth, you must doing something right.


25 November 2015

Turns Out... I'm Cavalry!

It turns out I am cavalry.
Which surprised me. Because most of the time I seem to be the leader of the 'Solo Scout Party', or head 'Primary Reconnaissance Advanced Tester' P.R.A.T. for short.

And why?
Because that's what gentlemen do, they wander off into the dark to find out what is wrong. Alone. No chocolate, nuthin’. Investigating anything that one of us 'may' hear in the night. You heard nothing.

'I heard a creak'
Sorry… sprouts
I am asleep and careth not
It could be a bear?
'Nooo... don't be silly...'
'Why would it be a bear' <Is unsure>
A bear escaped a local zoo just the other day
They said it is likely to break into houses at this time of night
'Really?'<Is wide eyed>
Uh huh... And it attacks families just like ours
'Nooo' <Hooked, lined and sinkered>
The only warning you get is a floorboard creak just before...
'Before what?!'
<Does cutting throat mime>
'Go see what made the noise'
Bugger off, didn't you hear the bear story? No
'Go on... you're the man!'
<Grumbles>
Fine... <Puts on Piglet slippers>
but if it is a bear... <Does up Tigger onesie>
and I get eaten…  <Tugs Pooh beanie on tight>
...
'Zzz'
you just carry on sleeping… <Sighs>

Being the man of the house pretty much defines me as chief tester and investigator.
So yesterday when I dawned on me that I had become the cavalry, the relief column (he he), the backup, for a night. Well it surprised me.
I thought I was cannon fodder to be honest.

BabyBoy1 has a hell of a cold at the moment.
It is stopping him from sleeping as he wakes up unable to breath, and then panics. Which is fair enough. Knowing how to cough your throat clear is not something it seems you are born with. Shame for us.
So all week Team Parents (yay!) have had our sleep ruined disturbed by BabyBoy1 waking up every couple of hours, as, and when the Calpol / Nurofen fades.

Miss4 has caught the same illness.
She can clear her own throat which is good. But she can also get out of bed and sneak into ours. It's not until the bed temperature has reached ~4000 degrees do we normally notice she has snuck in.

(Still missed and thought of every damn day... <weeps>)

So it's been a classic broken sleep week for Team Parents (yay!).
I'm not moaning, it is what it is. Exhausting.
And Mrs. Amazing has taken most of the strain. 
Apparently waking me, can be harder than just getting up and then rocking someone back to sleep for three hours at 3am.  I'm not sure about that, but it's definitely safer and less sweary. The times I do wake first, I tend to crawl angrily into action.
It does take a lot to wake me...

<Plays trumpet directly into my ear>
Zzz
<Wafts pie under my nose>
Zzz <Stays asleep but tries to eat pie>
<Puts chocolate on my lips>
Zzz <But eats chocolate>
'I am going to buy as many shoes as I can on-line'
Zzz <But sleep is restless>
Fine... <Undoes one button on pyjama top>
Yes?

I know I have been left to sleep because of the morning report and I am grateful. 
Sleep is definitely in my top 100. 
In return I have been doing more when I am at home, trying to reduce the toll on Mrs. Amazing. But my time at home is limited and I can only turn the tide of battle so much.
Yesterday I got this message from Mrs. Amazing. 
It may not seem much to you. It may even seem pretty cordial and is simply stating how things are going at home…


My response was ‘Shiiiiiitt!’.
I know the lady. I know Mrs. Amazing pretty darn well.
She may well have put...


I was busy at work when I got this. 
But stopped what I was doing to text back support and an offer to dump them both on me and then run, when I got home. I didn't get a response. Mrs. Amazing was already planning that anyway.

Enough build up, my great day at work finally ends.

I get home and find BabyBoy1 and Miss4 sat on the sofa drinking their milk. Mrs. Amazing is slumped underneath BabyBoy1 with a 'help' look on her face.

Man what a day, I'm off to the pub
I see no problem at this moment in time
It's gymnastic-nookie night, you better warm up!
Are you OK?
What would you like me to do?

Mrs. Amazing heads out into the real world for a walk and I catch up with Miss4 and BabyBoy1. Who are both delighted to see me and behave lovely and sweetly. It's lucky Mrs. Amazing nipped out.

Mrs. Amazing comes back thanks to Magnum P.I
Miss4 gets a Mummy bedtime and I get BabyBoy1. Miss4 takes longer to get to bed. Even ill. You have to guard Miss4, until she actually falls asleep.
BabyBoy1 is great at going to sleep, so I am finished first.

I have a moment of genius. Rather than bugger off downstairs and raid the chocolate cupboard again. I wait for Mrs. Amazing to come out of Miss4's room...

I'll do guard duty
'What? Why?'
You go catch up on Facebook, and watch utter crap on tele
'Really?'
Uh huh… Watch that really terrible stuff I can't stand
That horrible soul sucking, depressive, stuff you like...
'The News?'
<Shudders> If you must...

Miss4 is pretty good and eventually she is asleep. Guard duty done.
I find Mrs. Amazing laid out on the sofa, eyes covered, motionless, not talkingTele not even on. Phone ignored.
Shiiiiit. All bad signs.

<Picks up shot glass>
Have you been having whiskey shots?
'Jack Daniels'
God that's hot
Another?
<Eyes flicker to say ‘yes, lots’>

('And those are since you hot gnome... hic... <cracks up with laughter>')

Whilst Mrs. Amazing lay recovering I shut myself away in the kitchen and cooked, cleaned, laundered, dried, sang and danced to Elbow
Then I came back to Mrs. Amazing to listen a lot, bring more shots, and watch Mrs. Amazing slowly come back to her amazing self.

So like I said, I was the cavalry.
I turned up near the end of the battle, after everyone else was dead, ill, or at least severely injured, and managed to turn the tide of the battle. Ararenother win for Team Parents (yay!)!

Mrs. Amazing was in bed at 8:30 again.
But before she zonked out, she thanked me for looking after her, and gave me a kiss.
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