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!).

29 April 2016


Stupid clocks.
Stupid daylight savings time (UK).
It was hard enough to get Miss5 asleep when it was dark. It's bloody near impossible with the sun bursting through her window, at bedtime.

The clocks had gone back.
And it was my turn to put Miss5 to bed.
Team Parent (yay!) rotate who is putting which child to bed each night. You either get the boys (Boy8 and BabyBoy1) or just Miss5.

(Are those jelly beans?)

BabyBoy1 goes to bed first as he's the littlest.
The other parent then drags sweetly carries Miss5 up to bed to start her bedtime.
Then when BabyBoy1 is half naked in his cot, thrown every single toy out, singing as loudly as he can, and banging the sides of the cot against the wall fast asleep, the first parent gets into a blazing row with Boy8 about how every night we go through this ridiculous charade, WHY! WHY! WHY! You know damn well what time it is, and it's his bedtime.
We maximise two parents attempting to get three children to sleep. It works well.
I think.

You would think the parent doing two bedtimes would always be last down stairs.
HA! You would think that <Tuts>...
Miss5 is the hardest to get to sleep at the moment.
Presently it requires magic, voodoo spells, luck, being very strong with the force and a hammer patience.

Like I said, they had messed with the clocks again, forwards, backwards, whatever.
It's the one where Team Parent (yay!) get one hour less sleep, but struggle to go to bed, and the hell hounds kids just wake up when they normally do anyway. yay.
And come evening time we are suddenly trying to convince the children it's bed time, in broad daylight.
Great plan.

Miss5 is having trouble staying in bed at the moment.
Her normal bedtime is two stories. One she reads, one the parent with the teeny tiny straw in hand reads. And maybe a bit of Where's Wally if it's me. Because I'm always on the hunt for that bugger. Teeth are normally brushed without problem and Miss5 is mostly very sweet to put to bed. We giggle and laugh through the books, talk about the day that has gone...

What did you have for lunch?
Miss5: 'Nothing pie' <Giggles>
Haha... Anything to drink?
Miss5: 'Nothing juice' <Giggles>
Haha... And pudding?
Miss5: 'Nothing crumble' <Giggles>
(Mrs. Amazing had already told me she had pasta, water and custard, so no worries there)
Miss5: 'Dad?'
Yep <Starts tucking her in>
Miss5: 'What did you do at work?'
Nothing Lots of good, hard, money making work, I am a valuable member of the team... just like normal <Does shifty eyes>
Miss5: 'Haha!' <Giggles>

I kiss Miss5 good night and optimistically turn to leave the room.
The sofa and the chocolate cupboard are calling me from downstairs, and I really want to hear and embrace their calls.
But as I get to Miss5's door, she's standing right behind me.

Back to bed <Happy voice> You need your sleep!
Miss5: 'No' <Not happy voice>
<Puts Miss5 back to bed, gets to door, but Miss5 is behind me>
Back to bed <Normal voice> let's not play this game again... for your own safety
Miss5: 'No'
<Puts Miss5 back to bed>
<Rushes to door, and leaves>
<Door opens right behind me, it's Miss5>
ARHGHGGHGH you scared the crap out of me, I thought it was one your teddies come to life and walking about...
<Annoyed voice> Back to bed
Miss5: 'No'
<Puts Miss5 back to bed>

That continued. A lot.
My voice went from 'Happy' all the way down to 'Bloody furious and annoyed' and 'How the smeg am I playing this game again, it sucks!', three whole levels.
I had been home from work a grand total of fifteen minutes, less the story time, before this all kicked off. I haven't even had a cuppa, or second cuppa, or thirdies.
I had only once stolen self-shared chocolate from the kids chocolate stash.
I was not ready for Miss5's brilliant psychological warfare. I knew it too. I knew I was going to lose this one.
Damn it.

(Behind this dam of self control, is the sea of pent up anger and frustration...)

I tried to be calm.
I did. But with each time I put her back into bed, my anger was bloomed rose.
Her door is almost next to her bed. It was taking me longer to put the covers on her, than it was taking her to get out of the bed. If I ran off and escaped, she came and found me, just like work do.
I had to stop letting her walk back to bed, because she was refusing to walk.
So I started ‘helping’ her towards her bed. Nice shoving basically. Not hard, she's still tiny. But clearly.
I could feel the wrongness in what I am doing. It wasn't the right solution.
But it’s hard to stop.

Miss5 breaks the cycle for me. yay.
She starts becoming kicky with the covers. The small amount of control I had over the situation has gone. It's too much for me and my tempter. So before I throw her to the moon…
I leave Miss5 kicking her sheets off her bed and go and make my dinner.
Like a hungry champion does. Yeah.

Mrs. Amazing is going out.
I see her and she utterly sympathises as last night Miss5 treated her to the same. She totally feels my pain and frustration and she is right behind me, and Team Parent (yay!).
But she's also off OUT to shark wrestling club, and I'm on my own.

Miss5 comes and finds me downstairs. yay.
I am cooking my tea. I am using the grill to make yum burgers, with cheese, onions and all the trimmings. I turn the grill off and risk ruining my entire meal to carry a kicking, screaming, little girl up to bed and dump her on her bed.
She is up and behind me before I get to the door.
That is fine and expected. I am calm.
ARGHGGHGHGHGHGHGHGHG <Lots of fist shaking>

(She was too fast for me...)

Mrs. Amazing's advice was just wear her down, just keep putting her back to bed.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…
So that is what I do. Over and over.
It did occur to me that I should count how many times I put that little girl back to bed. It would have been a great thing to put here. Right now. NOW! BAM! NUMBER.
But I lost count.

I lost count because my entire focus was on staying calm.
I accepted the horribleness of the situation and just plodded back and forth, from door to bed, from bed to door, avoiding the kicks. Ignoring the futility of it all, and just reinforcing that Miss5, was indeed, going to bed.

I plod.
I'm bored as sin and showing it. I want to make sure that every time Miss5 sees my face, she sees I am not having fun. I am unhappy doing this. This suuuuuucks.
She cares not. She's five.
However plodding and trudging and being quite switched off about it all, is helping me stay calm at the irritating situation I find myself in: Walking back and forth between the door and the bed. 
I feel like I'm drinking alcohol free wine (??) or eating low fat mayo. It’s utterly pointless.
I'm sure, that had I been watching what was going on, I'd be in tears of laughter.
Well I'm in tears...

Miss5 doesn't like my plodding.
She starts asking me questions, whilst I shuttle her back to bed, again and again.
Dad can I do this? Can I do that?
I don't answer. Which I find really hard not to do. I like answering.
I don't answer because I can't. I am just about holding my frustration inside.
The trudgery and plodding has now become my shield, and to engage with Miss5 now, in any kind of verbal battle will disastrous for both of us.
If I drop my shield now...  
She’ll see the chocolate stain on my top
Well. I can't.

I know that if this was the start of the evening.
I'd talk to her, I'd take this moment and turn it around by making her laugh and giggle and bedtime would be fine. Fun even.
But it's not the start of the evening. It's been forty minutes of pain and horror.
I'm hungry and I know my burger and trimmings are down stairs, half cooked, getting cold under the off grill.
Eventually I manage to leave the room and Miss5 stays put.

But only because she's in tears of frustration.
She's also been screaming at me for ages. My ears hurt.
She demanded I answer her, she demanded I go away, leave, naff off, get mummy, get her cake, everything, nothing…

The last few screams were her demanding to watch the sun set. Over and over.
Miss5: <In the pitch of scream> 'I WANT TO SEE THE SUNSET DADDY'
Miss5: <In the pitch of scream> 'I WANT TO SEE THE SUNSET DADDY'
Miss5: <In the pitch of scream> 'I WANT TO SEE THE SUNSET DADDY'
Stupid clocks.

Ok… Miss Shouty...)

That's a weird thing to have screamed at you.
But the screaming and tears have finally taken their toll on Miss5 and she's stopped getting out of bed. It was probably only five or ten minutes after that she was fast asleep.
She was so tired.
Little pain in the butt love

I limped downstairs.
Not because my leg or foot hurt. I was limping in my heart and head. They were hurting.
I cannot cope with that much emotion and anger thrown at me, for so long. Eventually it got in. Shield or not.
I am so very glad that I didn't get cross.

Sadly though.
My burger was as crap-cooked as I had feared it would be.
I'm not sure how all the crapness got in, it was looking pretty awesome until I went upstairs. 
But in it did get.

Miss5 slept all night.
And no 6am appearances for a change. Silver lining and all that.
When she did come in though she knew what she had to do straight away. She came over and flicked my ear to me and gave me a huge hug and a kiss. And said sorry for being a spawn of satan rat-bag.
Obviously I had already forgiven her. Mid crap-burger that happened. But the hug and kiss reminded me how much I loved her. 
A lot.

Right! You are now, officially, off my bad list <Adjusts list>
Miss5: ‘Yay!’
And back on my good list <Adjusts other list>
Miss5: ‘Yay!’
Right beneath... Pie!!! <Nods to indicate the honour>
Miss5: ‘Yay! Thanks Dad!’ <Fist pumps the air> ‘ABOVE PIE! Yeah!’
Broccoli pie that is…
<Boy8 barges in>
Boy8: 'Hey? Am I on that list?'
<Mrs. Amazing barges in>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Yeah me too? HEY! What's that at the top??? R2...'
<Eats the good and the bad list>
Nweed <Sprays paper at everyone> 
to knlow <Sprays more paper>