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!).

6 January 2016

What a Difference a Day Makes...

What a lovely walk into school with Miss4 this morning it was.

It was bloody nippy a bit crisp in the air.
So we were wrapped up warm. We even held hands as we walked to keep warm. Result.
Obviously it's nice to hold her tiny hand. Very paternal and all that.
But also holding her hand means she cannot dawdle, brain explodingly slow, behind me as we walk.
But hey! she doesn't need to know that.

As we walked she thought it was hilarious to walk extremely close to me.
It was. So close that every now and then I thought I might accidentally boot her clear over the houses in front of us.
YES! TEN POINTS <Does conversion dance>
I resisted any such temptation and did my best not to knock her flying with relatively enormous legs. But it did feel good to have some physical interaction with her. I feel we don't have enough rough and tough together.

(Gilbert isn't her real name… It’s Bernard)

I am very aware she is girl (it's the endless talking) and so historically and traditionally Miss4 is probably less inclined, to engaging in behaviours that could (could) be regarded as boyish. Rough and tough. Tomfoolery. Punchies. That stuff.
But also on the other hand....
… That's utter bollocks. Miss4 is four and can, and should, being doing whatever the hell she wants to be doing. Really.
I am also aware that I mustn't (ooo that word feels dirty) over compensate and engage in her super hyper idiotic boyish behaviour...

Right! You pick up the flaming napkin...
'Won't that hurt?'
Maybe... Pat it from hand to hand <Demonstrates hand to hand patting>
Run with the flaming napkin to the wall
'Uh huh' <looks incredulously squinty at me>
Headbutt the wall... hard...
Why what? Look do you want to play?
Headbutt the wall, then find the nearest person and give them a dead arm
'Uh huh' <is considering running>
Obviously if a bundle starts,we all switch to battle Royale mode, with the normal rules and safety words
<Looks blankly at me>
It'll be fun
[Mrs. Amazing walks in front door]
Mrs. Amazing: I'm home!
<Whispers loudly> Game’s off! Quick hide everything
<Looks serious at Miss4>
Say nothing of this… <Shakes fist>
'Yes Dad'
<Runs off to tell Mrs. Amazing all>

However if she's there when we play 'Flaming napkin head smack punch bundle' she's more than welcome. She can even have a cushion to use (for the wall).

But I remember that at this age Boy8 was well into this kind of, supposed, boyish behaviour.
I didn't have to suggest it or anything, it just seemed to come naturally from him. He liked nothing more than trying to trip me as walked.
And me him back, obv. #BestSentenceEVER!
Still I am going to ignore that they are different sexes, because it’s more likely that they are different people.
End of.

BabyBoy1 is rubbish at walking with.
Rubbish, but very cute and fluffy and funny and adorable. He's like walking with a maximum zoomed cross hair dented bouncy ball, you never know where it's going to go. It's all over the place. And he stops to investigate everything....

'AH AH AH AH' (* 'Holly mother fudging play mobiles! Dad look at this!')
Yeah... sweet... A tree....
<Glances at the thousands and thousands of other trees>
Really amazing mate...
Worth stopping for...
[We walk on 30 cm]
'AH AH AH OOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo' (* 'Well change my nappy, and dunk my butt, ANOTHER TREE!')
<Rolls eyes>
Yep... ANOTHER tree...
<Glances at watch>
We're gonna miss Octonauts at this rate

But don't get me wrong.
Walking with BabyBoy1 is brilliant fun. Slow. But brilliant. And no one loves walking more than that little boy. Especially into puddles and mud.
Just don't be in a rush or near a forest when you go.

So that was today with Miss4.
Happy Daddy and daughter walk into school. We chatted about rude words she knew; bum(s), stinky, snot. And what they rhymed with. Rhyming is very important and educational.
My turn... Rhyme ‘ducking mat mit glad’...

We were even early to school today and had time to run around the playground for a bit. Well until an adult that knew me showed up and I had to stop. And you know, talk.
Ah well. It was a nice chat.
I got a kiss from Miss4 goodbye and she even said she loved me.
It's all I want from my morning drop off.
#Winning #DaughtersLove

Yesterday though was different.
Much like bricks and meringues are different. Like farting and hugging are different. Like my thoughts on what an early night should entail, and Mrs. Amazings...

<Both leap into bed>
'Soooo... Kids are all asleep'
'I'm not too tired out...'
'It's not that late...'
<Grins at me>
You don't mean?...
<Grins too>
[Both reach for..]
<Mrs. Amazing pulls out a pen and the meal planner diary>
<I pull out a Monopoly board>
Ohhhh... Crap
<Is hopeful> You can be the boot tophat wheelbarrow?
'What are you going to be?'
Foot high R2-D2! Smash! Smash! Beep Beep! Help me Old Kent Road, you're my only hope...
<Shakes head> No <Manages to rhyme it with sod off>
<Gets slapped>

(Nope! Can’t find the car anywhere…)

See! utterly different.
Much like the journey into school with Miss4 yesterday was a million different than today.
A mill-e-ion.
I liked today and our walk in. Today was right. Today was lovely and made me smile all day.
Yesterday. No. Bad yesterday. Down yesterday.

It all started going wrong just after Mrs. Amazing left with Boy8 and BabyBoy1.
I was upstairs when I heard the wailing.
Miss4, despite having had, and had given three separate goodbye kisses and hugs to Mrs. Amazing, still felt Mrs. Amazing had left without saying goodbye. It upset her.
As I walked downstairs, I found her wailing at the window and after asking her to lower her pitch a few octaves I gathered why she was upset.

What's wrong?
What now?
Calm down... Use words... Less high…
Oh. I see and I believe her

Miss4 had been pretty waily and emotional all morning.
So like any good swine sensible and emotionally connected Dad (like I beith) I ignored her totally. And left her wailing.
Hoping she would stop on her own, as she was being a bit silly. Four year-olds huh!
She didn't stop. I had to go and cheer her up. But the damage had been done.
I am not going to go into much detail, but the battle highlights are:

1. Putting on her shoes for her. Four times. And then having to hold them on, whilst being hit.

2. Turning my back and seeing her coat and fleece thrown off. Again.

3. Trying to put Miss4 down on the floor, but being unable to as she had tucked up her legs. It's a back breaker. I laid her on her face in the end.

4. Lifting Miss4 out of the door, so she had to stand, and then watching her run off before I had my shoes on. (She didn't go far, she's four).

5. Walking half the way to school with Miss4 running 10m ahead of me, glancing over her shoulder to blow raspberries at me.

6. Having to walk past two Mum's I recognise whilst carrying Miss4 along (carefully) by one arm and her screaming at massive volume...

They quipped at me. #QuipShame
Still at least they were supportive and not judgemental. I must have looked vaguely in control at least.

7. Walking the rest of the way to school in silence. Miss4 10m behind me.

(Not everything needs a caption… Oh wait! Dangit!)

Did I do well?
Well no. Of course not. And it's all Miss'4 my fault.
I'm the adult (GAHHH!) and should have handled almost everything better. The only bit that I take comfort in is not shouting at her. At no point did I raise my voice at her. It was firm and bloody minded about clear what I wanted. But I never shouted.
<Pats own back, a little>
I also should have realised it was her first day back at school. In only her second term ever. Miss4 was probably full of worries and concerns and stresses. She loves her teacher, has friends, loves school. But she was probably still worried about it all.
I should have known that, thought about it, and been more fun and understanding.
Failing that I should have bribed her with bling chocolate.

We were late to school, obv.
Luckily her teacher was still at the door. I hugged Miss4 until she stopped ignoring me, and then finally give me a hug goodbye.
No kiss. But the hug was enough.
The hug calmed me as well and I suddenly realised all my many mistakes this morning and quickly turned it around. I made her laugh and smile, and told her much I loved her, and Miss4 went in smiling.
I know I cannot remove Miss4's worries about school. Or stop her feeling them.
But I can definitely make sure I don't add to them.

I also refrained from wishing her, underpaid, teacher good luck.