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!).

26 June 2016


Thunder and lightning.
It is a little bit frightening isn't it?
And no I'm not being a wuss. You go stand outside in a storm holding a metal plate and then tell me how brave you are...

Mrs. Amazing: ‘What on earth are you doing?’
<Is cold and wet> I'm proving a point!!!
Mrs. Amazing: ‘You have nothing to prove! We all know you're an idiot!’
Mrs. Amazing: ‘To who?’
The internet! About how a storm is scary even for big tough men like me!
Mrs. Amazing: <Rolls eyes> ‘... But you’re not big and tough? Oh...’
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Are those Miss5's Thomas the tank Engine slippers?’
Yes! My feet were getting wet!
Oh crap! That was close... <Is scared>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Have fun!’ <Closes door and draws curtains>

(In his later years, Superman, forgets himself and playfully kicks a stone at a tree…)

There was a storm last night.
Stormwise in the UK we don't get enormous and life threatening storms very often. I think the last big storm was some thirty years ago and is spoken about, akin to an urban legend, by those old enough to remember it.
Which annoyingly includes me…

Did I ever tell you about the Great Storm of 87'?
Boy8: ‘87 what?’
1987 - the year. The Great Storm of 87!
Boy8: ‘We’re you alive then? Was there Vikings?’
<Feels old>
Yes. Eric the Bloody Frickin’ Nutter was my name. I was a florist..

I remember that storm because it fell (yes, fell) so many trees there was no electricity or school for two weeks. We played board games and card games by candlelight each night.
Best two weeks ever.

Last nights storm though, wasn't a big storm.
But it was loud. It was loud enough to wake me and I slept through the Great, but terrible because there was a lot of destruction, so great only in a size kind of way, Storm of '87.


Team Parents (yay!) we're knackered.
For a change. Normally Mrs. Amazing would be out of bed watching nature show off and I’d be trying very hard, but failing, to get to sleep with Mrs. Amazing telling me all about the storm.
But not this time. We were both so knackered and just laid and listened to the storm.


However a storm is different with kids.
Elsewhere in the house are Boy8, Miss5 and BabyBoy2. Who we’ve already spent two hours convincing to go to sleep.
And Mrs. Nature, Gaia, old Mrs. KABOOOOM-BZZZZZ-SPLAT-ARGGHH, is trying to wake them all up.
It's quite annoying.

Miss5 is the first up.
Which is fair enough. Miss5 had come that day feeling poorly, with a headache. It was so likely that she was going to be first up, Team Parents (yay!) hadn't even put a bet on it...

Which monkey do you think will be up first?
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Bubbles Miss5. She wakes at this time of night anyway...’ <Looks sad about it>
Does she?
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Yes. Captain Sleep-through-anything’
General, thank you. General Sleep-through-anything. I got promoted.
You know you can wake me, don’t you? I'm cool with it
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Yes, but that, in itself, can be harder and take longer than just putting Miss5 back to bed myself’
<Shrugs shoulder> It's 'cause I’m innocent, and work so hard every day
<Both laugh>

(Don’t look at me like that… You know why I’m wearing the mask…)

My money is on Boy8 to be first in.
He loves not-sleeping. He loves talking at us in the middle of the night.
You'll notice how BabyBoy2 isn't even an out-runner here. A combination of being solidly asleep like only the tiny can be, being trapped in a cage cot, and being awesome. Mean that unless there's a particularly big thunder crash that sets off car alarms.
BabyBoy2 isn't likely to wake.
It's an innocent thing I am sure.


Miss5 darts in.
I owe you £5. Damn it.
Miss5: 'Mummy I'm scar...'

And it feels like nature is taking the piss a little here. Poor Miss5.
As Miss5 already sounds scared and is rushing in to get a cuddle so she can feel safe. What she doesn't need right now is...

Miss5: '.... ekkkkkkk!’ <Dives into bed and hides>

Team Parents (yay!) do their best to calm Miss5.
Poor thing is shaking.


Boy8 walks in.
He does not look scared, and frankly I just think he is just cashing in on the being up fun. But I can’t prove it.
I sit up in bed ready to grab him and then send him back to bed. It’s easier to head them off at the pass. My plan half works as we hug, but he then outmaneuvers me and curls up on my pillow, right behind me..
I am now stuck sitting up.

Come on! Move... I am soooo tired! <Lamely swats at Boy8 trying to get him to move>
There's nothing to be scared of, the storm is probably gon...


I shove Boy8 across so I can lay down.
And us four lay in bed counting how many seconds between the lightning flashes and thunder


When it gets to nineteen seconds Boy8 agrees to go back to bed.
The storm has passed. I get my spot back in bed. It so much easier to sleep without someone the exact heat of the sun, and kicky, next to me. YAY!
Mrs. Amazing envies my ample adult space in the bed copies my lead and suggests Miss5 head back to bed.
Miss5 is less than keen.

Team Parents (yay!) have a quick discussion.
Somehow, I am dramatically out voted and find myself, a short time later in Miss5's bed trying to explain to her why she should stay in bed.
Why the storm is nothing to worry about as it’s passed by.
And why it’s still thundering, although it’s gone.
I explain it pretty well I think. Static electricity, basic atmospheric pressure theory, clouds, moisture.
You know, weathery stuff.
I am clear, factual and concise. I avoid mentioning about the raw power and the deathy-side of electricity too. It’s not so great for the sleeping I guess.
Miss5 disagrees with my ‘theory’ and instead presents her own madness

Miss5: ‘No Daddy. The thunder is when the clouds drive into each other’
Miss5: <Does hand actions> ‘CRASH! That’s the thunder!’
No. That's wrong. Is it?
Miss5: ‘Uh-huh... And the rumble afterwards is the sound of the clouds falling down to the ground’
Wrongo! Er…

I don’t like Miss5 to misunderstand stuff. I like to correct.
But it’s late. I'm very tired….

Erm… well… <Is debating with self>

I’ve done well so far. But I bet I side into more deathy-stuff and scare the bejesus out of her correcting her theory. Lightning zaps. BOOM. That side...

Miss5: <Getting impatient...>

I am really tired. Whatever... <Throws up arms>

Yes Miss5. That's exactly right...
Miss5: <Smiles with satisfaction>
… now go to sleep...
Miss5: <Rolls over happy and ready to sleep> 'Night Daddy'
Night <Heart fills with joy and love>... Zzz

[Fifteen minutes later]
<Wakes and sneaks out of Miss5's bed like a crap ninja>
<Sneaks back into my own bed> ... Ahhhhh <Is loving the sheets>
Mrs. Amazing: '... Zzz...zzz...zzz...'
<Gives Mrs. Amazing a look> <Bounces the bed a bit>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Zzz... ZzzT!’ <Snoring stops>
... Ahhhhh ... <Snuggles down>
[It starts to piss down with rain... finally]
<Thinks of the Cat shut outside. In the rain. Is cool with it>
<Sleeps like a baby…>

(left to right: Duck, Cloud Captain (the inspiration for Miss5’s meteorological knowledge), Derek Griffiths (the Cloud Captain!, frickin’ SUPERTED!!!!), Sarah)

21 June 2016

HELLO BabyBoy2!!!

It was BabyBoy1’s second birthday the other day.
He had the best day. He really did.
Cake. Party with mates. Cake. Tractor rides. Cake. Presents. Cake.
<Weeps and Hums cats in the cradle and murders rocks it on the guitar>

I think being two is the best birthday.
The cake is huge. It’s the only time in your life when you can double your age in one day.
And the difference between one and two is huge....

I’m going to the bar, want anything?
BoozyMate: ‘Two pints twathead mate
No no. You get one. Like everyone else. None of this two rubbish!
BoozyMate: ‘But you drink so slow!… Don’t make me watch you drink slowly. It’s cruel’
BoozyMate: ‘Two’
How about shots instead?
BoozyMate: ‘Yes! Great plan!… And the two pints’
<Rolls eyes> Fine… But I’m gonna take a glug out of one and then backwash it into the other
BoozyMate: ‘…OK. Gross but fair...’

Also you get used to birthdays the more you have.
You start to get the concept…

First birthday: What just happened there? That was a weird day. Was that a one off? Should I say anything or does that stop it happening again? What was with the food on fire? Can eat this? Yes.

Second birthday: Well this is becoming a habit. Awesome. These toys rock btw. If this is regular like, can I make some requests? I’ve some present ideas for next year if you are struggling. Burning food again? I’ll eat this.

Third birthday: I have a list <Pulls out large list> and I have already eaten this. I feel sick.


I think BabyBoy1 knew it was a special day.
As Team Parents (yay!) have been tidying everything for the last twenty four hours solid. The good coasters are out (the Star Wars ones, not the faded Pink Floyd ones). The perpetual mess has been hidden tidied away better than normal.
The lawn has been mown. I’ve strimmed the crap out everything. that is allowed to be strimmed.
Team Parents (yay!) have voluntarily taken toys outside and put them on the lawn. To be played with. Voluntarily. Madness.
And there's a tablecloth on the garden table...

What's that for? <Points at the table cloth> Worried the table will get cold? Ah ha haaaa haha!
Mrs. Amazing: 'Heh meh'
Has the table just gone through puberty and doesn't like being naked in public anymore?
Is this your new get-rich-quick scam plan of fashion clothes for tables?
How drunk were you last night? You missed Miss5's bed with this sheet by miles?
Mrs. Amazing: <Glances at watch> <Is used to waiting whilst I am being 'funny'>
Crap! That steam-roller victim’s ghost is back!
Mrs. Amazing: <Sits and start reading a magazine>
Dumbo called! He wants his hanky back!
What Boy8 mess are we covering up, this time?
Mrs. Amazing: 'AH! Now then…' <Peels back table cloth>
Oooooh! <Looks at pen-marks caused by Miss5>
Mrs. Amazing: 'During your watch I believe'

BabyBoy1 was awoken to us all singing him Happy Birthday.
Which was his first clue. Sorry BabyBoy2!!! <TRUMPETS> <Weeps a little>
And yes he’s still a baby, despite what everyone else says.
<Sticks fingers in ears> LALALALALA..
BabyBoy2 joined in the singing, he loves a Hap-Birth-Ay singalong.
Then we all bundled into Team Parents (yay!) bed, a rare treat, and watched BabyBoy2 open his presents. The TRACK-TOR was a hit from Boy8. And although BabyBoy2 loved everything afterwards nearly as much.
Nothing trumps TRACK-TOR.

BabyBoy2’s day was awesome.
I wasn’t at work. Because he was surrounded by everyone that loves him most in the world.
His mates came to his party. Every meal had cake at the end. Often with candles on it to blow out or cover in spit.
Each new guest brought a present. So by the end of the day BabyBoy2 had his own ankle grinder (??), sand pit, digger Duplo (a clear winner), some balloons (which Miss5 hid) and some lovely new books. Happy days.
And everyone, all day, was happy and excited to see him and gave him their full attention. Which, if you’re third child, is smegging rare.
Seriously second birthday's are the best.

Now as per tradition.
I’m not going to write a big vomit inducing list of why BabyBoy2 is the most magical child ever to grace the earth, about how flowers appear under his feet when he runs, or his poo smells of custard, and angels sing when he enters the room. As that would be dullo.
Instead, just know BabyBoy2 is hella awesome and a right little dude, and Daddy’s boy.
More interesting I feel is stuff that only the inner council family know.
The weird personal stuff...

1. BabyBoy2 still thinks hiding is covering your eyes
OH CRAP! Where he’s GONE! <Panics>
BabyBoy2 has just vanished!!!
Phone the police! Phone the army! Phone Sherlock!
GET ME Liam Neeson!!!
BabyBoy2: <Removes hands from eyes>
Oh! He's back! Oh right… that’s very clever… <Sits>

(Timmy mallet as a child...)

2. We have a song
I've sang BabyBoy2 the same goodnight song to him, almost every night, since he was born.
Yes, it’s ‘Killing In the Name. BabyBoy2 snuggles into my shoulder, and just listens as I sing.
Then he lays down calm and happy. He doesn’t always go to sleep after that. It’s not a magic song. But it’s our song.
And it’s a secret. I’m not telling you what it is.
<Sticks fingers up at you>

3. BabyBoy2 learnt to jump and I didn't notice
I know. I suck. <Hangs head> And he’s been working really hard on it too.
BabyBoy2 really wanted to join in with who-can-touch-the-ceiling-by-jumping competitions we have. And can I say, as eight-year-unbeaten-champion and tallest in the house, you are most welcome to the games.
It was a huge event when Boy8 mastered jumping. Miss5 we all watched as you leant to leap. BabyBoy2... er… sorry. It's the curse of being third (like me) you get a hairy chest have to work harder to get noticed.
Sorry dude.

(I believe you can fly just about take off from the ground, for a few milliseconds... )

[Boy8 is mid-loooong story]
Boy8: '... and then something that happened I can’t remember, oh wait… no.. yes...'
<Is struggling to to stay awake>
BabyBoy2: <Walks in with Cat balanced on head>
Miss5: '... but why do I have to go to get dressed?'
BabyBoy2: <Starts juggling with flaming Duplo whilst tap dancing>
Boy8: '... and then they all said taps, but I said no taps...'
<Is putting a brave face on it… twenty minutes and counting...>
BabyBoy2: <Builds for his big finale> <Juggles with Cat>
Miss5: '... but I'm scared of socks...'
BabyBoy2: <Trips and falls> <Accidentally knocks the remote on the floor>
<Gratefully tp escape the story black hole> BabyBoy2 what are you doing?
<Scoops him up and heads off to play>
Be more careful of that remote it's one of the family.
So... what have you been doing today?

4. BabyBoy2 cheers (woohoo, not clink) stuff I do
You are my little groupie. Here get yourself a beer cup of milk.
You cheers after every song I strangle play on the guitar.
You cheer when I get home from work.
You cheer when I wake you up in the morning.
You rock!

<Whispers to BabyBoy2> That why you're my favourite...
Boy8: 'What The Fish-Finger? WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE? IT’S ME ISN'T!'
Boy8: <Storms off>
Miss5: 'It's me isn't it Daddy?' <Flicks hair innocently> 'Daddy?' <Flutters eyelids>
Mrs. Amazing: <Mouths 'It's really me isn't it?'> <Flicks hair not-innocently, pulls pie out of the oven, undresses a chocolate bar...>
Of course it’s you Mrs. Amazing! Obv.! <Takes pie>
<Burns hands>
BabyBoy2: <Is quietly hugging my leg and won't let go>
<Quietly high-fives BabyBoy2> Shhh...

5. Bye!
When BabyBoy2 is done with something. Or is going to get something. Or just needs a quick run about. He calls out 'BYE!' to signal he is done with that situation.
It's really handy. I don't know how many times I've waited like an idiot, under a chair, on the floor, inside a cupboard, in the pub, waiting for Boy8 or Miss5 to come back.
They never bloody do.
BabyBoy2 however is a gentleman and never wastes my time that way.

6. Octonauts.
Ah hell I love Octonauts. But to BabyBoy2 it’s something more. It’s become his cartoon.
He may still ask for Sarah and Duck (which he adopted from Miss5’s), but we all know, that really you want Octonauts. We know dude. We know.
You stare straight into our eyes, with your big blue eyes and ask, no plead, with a cute little head tilt…
BabyBoy2: ‘Noctnaughts? Noctnocts? NocNaughts?’
It never gets old. We could correct you. Anyone of us in the house could correct your pronounciation.
But… well... it’s funny.

7. You can hear chocolate
BabyBoy2 can hear chocolate being opened. He can hear it being eaten from a room away no matter how quiet I am. He manages to time it, everytime, to walk into a room when chocolate is being taken from the chocolate cupboard. Genius.
And how can I anyone resist when you ask so sweetly…

BabyBoy2: 'Choc-choc?' <Cute little head tilt>
Sigh. Fine... <Bites off a crumb>
BabyBoy2: ‘<Is very happy>’
BabyBoy2: 'Morrrrre?' <Head tilt>
Borry. Mall Mone... <Mouth is very full>

8. Boys in Cars
Letting BabyBoy2 into any part of the car, that isn't his seat, is always a huge mistake.
No matter whose car it is. BabyBoy2 scrabbles off like a rocket into any seat and refuses to leave. Try and pick him up, and he goes limp. Eventually, when you’ve finally got a grip on him he has to be ripped out of the car screaming and shouting.
I think it’s because he hates being in a baby chair. He wants to be like the rest of us. In a seat. Dream that dream boy. Dream it...

9. Certain textures give BabyBoy2 the heebie jeebies
Flour, sand, playdough, anything similar, give BabyBoy2 the heebie jeebies if it touches his hands.
He's improved a lot. Mrs. Amazing has worked hard on helping him adjust, as it were.
It used to be so bad it would make him retch a little. Luckily Team Parents (yay!) filmed it so you can see in the future. Good times.
For instance the sandpit we got you for your birthday. You love it. But after diving straight in, you then had to get straight back out again, have a heebie jeebies moment, then back in.
You beautiful little loon.

10. BabyBoy2 loves to dance
The dishwasher disco / dance-off is nothing until BabyBoy2 rocks into the middle of us all. Arm in the air, pumping it out to the beat.
Tiny feet moving faster than you cope. Heart and soul in the music and with us all.
It’s beautiful.

(... Not that surprised he’s knackered… We didn’t get back from the club until 5am…
Mrs. Amazing: ’WHAT?’
Er… I  mean he was still up when we got back at 5am…
Mrs. Amazing: ’WHO?’
Miss5 and Boy8.... <Gets sinking feeling> Boy8 wouldn't leave...)

11. All fruit is called bapple
Again, we could correct him. But do not.
It’s funny.

12. Bedtime is like the Waltons
Babyboy2 likes his goodnight routine,
There's leaving the downstairs area round of hugs and kisses.
Then there’s the we-all-meet-up-in-the-bathroom round of hugs and kisses.
Everyone gets a hug and a vague kiss, or a full on lip slobber.
It takes a while and not everyone (Miss5) is that keen on a second round each night.

Give your brother a kiss
Miss5: 'NO!'
Go on! He loves you
Miss5: <Holds out foot to be kissed>
<Foot gets hugged and then dragged in for a kiss>
Miss5: 'ARGHGHGGHGG' <Wipes off slobber>
BabyBoy2: <Totters off happy>

(Has just found the Sarah & Duck sticker at the back and was very happy about it.
The stickers hid the hand-me-down-ness…)

11. BabyBoy2 you are the happiest person I have ever met
Really. And I've met happy people. People that taste tea for a living, people that quality control chocolate, even people that own a Lego Death Star, the happiest people in the world.
BabyBoy2 tops them all.

Since he was born, and every day in between, and I bet for many years to come.
BabyBoy2 has faced the world and everything in it with a big smile on his face and a huge open heart.
Don’t get me wrong. Boy8 and Miss5 are happy children (when they are not whining or screaming) but BabyBoy2 is happier.
He's just delighted to be here.
I hope that never, ever, goes. Because people like that are truly magical in this world. People like that love life. Are just happy to be here. They enrich everyone around them and live their lives to the fullest. They are awesome. I think.


Bye bye BabyBoy1 <Weeps> <MAN HOWLS>
I can’t believe you’re two already, walking and talking, saying no to stuff, which we ignore, having opinions and nearly done with naps.
It has been an absolute pleasure, and honour, to be your Father so far. I've loved it. Thank you and I can’t wait for more. My baby boy. <Wipes away tear>
You are utterly scrummy.

You’re TWO!!!! TWO!!! <Both fist pump> OMFB!!!
BabyBoy2: 'Daddy!’ <Hugs my leg>
Ready for more?
BabyBoy2: <Nods> 'More Choc-choc?' <Tilts head>
Sure… Your Mum has some around here… <Searches> Oh yes here....
<Both eat illicit choc-choc>

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