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!).

4 May 2016

His Golden Ticket...

Boy8 called me on the phone at work.
Which is always a shock.

Boy8: ‘s’up?’

I was busy working.
Being very busy, in my very busy workyness. Stuff was definitely being done, and to, and at a high standard. Like normal. The status quo.
There is no need for anyone to doubt that or check it.
Anyone... <Glares at the internet>

No way. You are wrong.
Workmate1: 'No. You are the one, that is, wrongo'
You are being a fool
Workmate1: 'No no! DAMN IT! You thoughts of this matter are that of a buffoon!'
Workmate2: 'Yeah, I'm with this guy' <Points>
Workmate2: 'You are King wrong'
Then you are both fools! How can you think that! It's madness! <Big arms>
Workmate1: 'Dude! Lemon Curd is, and will always be, a reasonable flavouring for a cupcake'
Workmate1: 'Cease this anti-curd vendetta you have and accept it as an alternative cupcake flavour to chocolate, vanilla and caramel with oats in' <Slams fist on table>
... NEVER! <Shakes both fists>
Workmate2: <Nods> 'Dude! Let it go!!!'
<Breaks into song>
Fine. You are both dead to me now  
<Takes all the cupcakes, leaving the lemon cturds>

(<Pukes into own hand> Boy8? Come here… Let’s shake hands!)

A phone call from Boy8 can mean three things...

1. Bad news
Boy8: 'Dad. There's been a terrible accident'
OMFB! Really? What happened?
Boy8: 'We were playing football in the sitting room’
Boy8: 'With the table mats…’
I see... And... <Fears the worst>
Boy8: 'And your...' <deep breath> 'Boba Fett Slave 1 spaceship has...'
Has what? <Stands up>
Boy8: 'Has...'
Boy8: <Long pause> 'It's gone to a galaxy far far away...'
<Hangs up in tears>

2. Information request
Boy8: 'Dad?
Yep mate <Is still working a bit>
Boy8: 'I want this movie of a Lion dance in my PowerPoint presentation'
OK <Feels confident>
Boy8: 'But I want it to scroll in, bounce around a bit, spiral, and then project as a 3D hologram onto my face?'
<Feels less confident> <Stops working> <Starts Googling hard>
.. Give a minute... er... You got a pen?
Boy8: 'Crayon?
That'll do... Right first we need some dilithium crystals...

(As the label says ‘Authentic Dilithium Crystals’. That’s just brilliant)

3. Good news!
He's done something awesome and he's phoning to show off share something that means to world to him, with his Dad. Or Mrs. Amazing has put him on the phone and told him to tell me the brilliant stuff he's done.
I don't care which. Both are cool.

It's quite a context shift in my head, switching from work to Dad mode.
It can be quite jarring sometimes. Suddenly I've my sons voice is in my ear, I'm probably still busy talking, I may have said 'shoot' down the receiver and done a pretend gun. I am not in Daddy mode.
Boy8: <Voice that says I am only eight> 'Hallo Dad!'

Ping! Dad mode.
I leave the room and run because he's already getting me to guess what happened this morning. A classic sign it's good news.
I leave the room to make sure I give him my full attention. Boy8 is having a slightly rough time at the mo. A few people in his life that he loves, are moving on. It is rocking his eight year old ship. And pure Dad-focus can calm even the roughest of seas. Or make them worse.

Brainzilla: 'Are you are some kind of emotional tidal dampener now?'
Oh bugger off … Yes, does it suit?
Brainzilla: 'No’

Team Parents (yay!) have discussed Boy8 at length already.
OK I nodded a lot. But that doesn't mean I wasn't thinking it. Wasn't aware of the problems and extra stresses about to laid onto Boy8 plate. It doesn't mean I hadn't put my mind to it.
But luckily Mrs. Amazing had thought about it, and better yet, she had thought of a plan.
We I nodded both agreed Boy8 was going to be extra emotional and 'challenging' over the next few weeks. So we needed to acknowledge it, prepare for it, and be ready for the storm.
Mrs. Amazing's plan was a classic Mrs. Amazing plan. 
Be extra loving and supportive to him. Like normal. But extra.
Like pie with chips, but with pie on the side, next to more chips.

We discussed it maturely as normal...

Do I have to? <Does big Y arms>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Yes' <Does crossed arms>
Why? <Keeps arms aloft>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Because his confidence could take a hit or two here...'
… Wouldn't that make him less sassy with us? <Is hopeful>
Mrs. Amazing: 'No. It would make him even more sassy!'
That is not possible
Crapbadgers... For that reason then... I'm in...
Mrs. Amazing: 'Good...'
<Looks shifty>
Mrs. Amazing: 'What's wrong?'
Nothing... <Starts backing out of the room>
I've just got to take a few... er... pictures... and banners to take down...
Regarding yesterday's Mario Kart challenge...

(I have you now <Adjusts dials>
<Falcon swoops in> ‘YEEEEHAAA!!!!’)

However talking with Boy8 on the phone is still a bit weird.
It reminds me of talking with relatives the other side of the world as a girl boy, constantly talking at the same time due to the time delay on the line, ruining the flow of conversation and having a lot of you-go, no you-go. Silence. You-go, no you-go... etc.
All the visual clues Boy8 would normally get that indicate someone is still talking and doesn't want to be interrupted: fist shaking, me saying NO, showing him www.zipit.com, gaffing taping his mouth, leaving the room ... you know those micro expressions.
They're missing.

I do love hearing Boy8’s little voice though.
He does sound very eight on the phone. He's normally so big and loud and always moving, it's nice to have him in one place.
Just his little voice.

Of course BabyBoy1 gets the phone every now and then.
But he still gets confused about the lump of plastic in front of him that sounds like his Dad.
He just smiles at it (I've been told). Or if he does talk, it's not towards the receiver at all.
Or he tries to eat the phone.
Or both.

Calls from Miss5 are very hit or miss.
Miss5 is still reluctant to talk on the phone in case it steals her soul. She’s doesn't really see the point. Not a plus for the phone chat-chat.
Sometimes he's really keen, but then changes her mind totally. Or if she does start talking, she tells you something and then she's off to do stuff.
No time to hang about chatting, she's good important colouring stuff to do.


Boy8's news was good! (On the phone) Yay!
<Fist pumps> <Hurts arm>
He had been awarded an 'Active Learner', oooo, earned a 'Golden Ticket' for reading, oooOoooOoooo, and got to pet the school dog. All in one day.
Bonza! All big things in Boy8's life, he was very proud of himself. And so he should be.
The equivalent for me would be: an email of thanks at work, winning a trip to the pub in the company raffle (there is no raffle) (the pub is real though), and then an early night with Mrs. Amazing.
That's how good a day he had.

(‘Why’s it got bite marks in it?’
Wasn't me… <Does shifty eyes>)

I made sure I told Boy8 how proud I was of him.
I told him hard he had had (!) to work for this and how brilliant it was.
At least ten times, and in at least twelve different ways. Without swearing or resorting to mine (still on phone). I felt good that I had made him feel special.
He felt good that his Dad cared about what he had done, and was a bit impressed. A win-win situation.
It’s nice to get it right sometimes.

Just before he finally got phone-confused and accidentally hung up on me.
Bless. I took my chance and asked him if I could come to the Chocolate factory with him, just like Grandpa Joe. You know, as Golden Ticket = Chocolate Factory.
He said it wasn't that kind of Golden ticket. It was more likely going to be a cinema showing.
I'm pretty sure I managed to keep my disappointment to myself...

Boy8: 'Dad? You still there?'
<High pitched whimpering and snivelling> <Bass removed, non-directional, opponent confusing, warrior noises being made on purpose>
Boy8: '... I think he's gone or whimpering ...' 
<Hangs up>