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!).

24 February 2016

Thank You Worst Witch...

Have you read 'The Worst Witch' by Jill Murphy?
I haven't. Not all of it… yet...

But that’s mainly because I grew up in a house full of boys.
Hundreds of them. Everywhere. You couldn't move for boy books (Roy of the Rovers), toy cars, stinky sweaty footyball kits and smells. Everything was very much boy themed (especially the smells).
Not much girl stuff made it into the house. Definitely not stories about young girls attending a witching college and getting into slight scrapes.
But then, that was ages ago, before steam was invented, and PC meant a fuzzpoliceman.
Sorry, Police Officer man.

Mum: ‘Does anyone want this toy kitchen to play with?’ 
<Offers to her boys, more in hope than expectation?>
Me me me!!!! <Raises hand>
<Get's looks and thumping mimes from brothers>
… Actually... On second thoughts...
<Further punching and kicking mimes, throttling, stabbing, elbows etc…  from brothers>
Nope! Changed my mind, don't know what I was thinking...
Let's all go play Footy Ballington… I LOVE IT
Bet I convert more than you lot! <Runs off>
<Rude gestures made behind back, but all go play Football by brothers>

[Years later]

Who wants steak and ale pie?
Bruv1: ‘Me!’
Bruv2: ‘Me! I WANT LOTS’
Bruv3: ‘IMMEDIATELY!!!’ <Mimes punching and thumping>
No... <Smacks bruv with pie ladle> Sit!
Bruv3: <Sits>

Miss5 was given 'The Worst Witch' for her birthday.
Mrs. Amazing was instantly vocal about it, and started flicking through the pages in joy and with childhood memories bubbling up. It's amazing how a few sheets of paper can do that. 
Even more exciting was knowing that Miss5 was going to be reading it for the first time very soon. I get the same feeling when Boy8 picks up a 'Calvin and Hobbes' or an 'Asterix'. 
Mrs. Amazing loves the 'The Worst Witch' books. She loves the film that was made. 
Which makes sense as it's got Tim Curry in it! I KNOW Tim 'Rocky Horror Show' Curry!

(So Tim… Through the medium of prosthetics… Tell me how you're feeling?)

I, on the other hand…
Was not excited to read it. It looked a bit dullo to me. 
But who cares what a 30Lots man thinks about a book aimed at small people. Elfs.
And really getting Miss5 into chapter books is bloody very important, and Miss5 was dead excited to be reading chapter books.
She was keen as mustard (what a ridiculous saying… ‘very enthusiastic’ it means).

I'm gonna be honest here.
Four or five chapters in... I was pretty bored.
And I was the one reading it out loud. 
Obv. I was my best Monty Python style ladies voices for the teachers. Slipping into panto dame every now and then, due to a bit of a cold.
But after five chapters there had been no near death explosions at all.
Not one serious comeuppance, moral learnt, or face punch in the story.
No lasers. No gross out slugs and potions. No broom races. No one had been turned in a pile of poo and pretty much every seemed get on really. It sucked.
Someone did get turned into a pig I suppose.... But it didn't grip me, I kind of knew she was going to be OK.
And worse, and unforgivingly, there hadn't been a single hint that a huge dragon would be rocking up later and burning stuff, to my delighted squeals.
So far the story had been about a clumsy witch and her mate doing stuff that was a teeny bit magical. But mainly they were just going to school.
I was unimpressed.

Then the other night me and Miss5 got to Chapter six.
I can't tell you what happened in the story that was different to the other chapters, as it all seemed the same to me. I was reading it aloud but didn't notice the change.
Like I say, I am not the target audience. I find it hard to empathise with young girls attending boarding school. With pigtails. And skirts.
But something in the story changed for Miss5.
Suddenly. She was right there, in the story.
She was utterly gripped.
And as the tension in the story grew, Miss5 edged closer to me as I read, and started to lean on me as she listened.
Which was bloody brilliant.

Because if you didn't know…
Whilst Miss5 and Mrs. Amazing are the best huggy, kissy buddies ever, and seem to need three rounds of goodbyes every morning, and every bedtime.
I'm STILL made to sit on the floor for story time.
Apparently I'm too smelly and stubbly to get in under the covers as Mrs. Amazing does.
Which is totally unfair who's scruffy looking, I shave much more often now.

I do get more hugs than I used to from Miss5.
I really do. Our physical relationship is improving.
But, lets say, using chocolate to compare what Mrs. Amazing gets against what I get…

I get a chocolate button...

Whereas Mrs. Amazing gets a Choccywoccydoodah cake....

(And no I don’t have any affiliate links with ChoccyPomPom… I just like eating their cakes).

Forget all that crap and my heartbreaking, jealous, and failing attempts to win my daughters love that never work. Forget it.
Miss5 leant on me as she was gripped by every single word of the book. Everyone's a winner.
A book I was being utterly un-gripped by.
Apparently the story then got scary as I read. I didn't notice.
But Miss5 suddenly held onto me tight.
Then as the tension went, as the chapter finished, she backed off again.
Again, I didn't notice anything change in the story and by then I was looking for it.
But it was very real for Miss5.

It is clear to me now.
Miss5 is not going to be the same as me. Or like everything I do.
Bonding with her is not going to be as easy as it is, or has been with Boy8.
I am going to have to think about stuff a lot. And from her point of view. Craaap
But I bet you every comic I have 50p a gentleman's wager.
It will be worth it.

<Runs out to buy all the Worst Witch series>
<Runs back and just does it online… It’s easier… Less wolves...>


(Mrs. Amazing made me add this, something about first batman loves…)