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!).

31 August 2016

I Hope That's Chocolate Cake (Potty Training III: The Search for Clean Pants)

I get back to work.
I sit at my desk and flick on my monitor. Then regret flicking it as i've hurt my finger.
I glance down and, silly me, there's chocolate cake on my trousers.
Man. I hope it's chocolate cake.

(One for me and myself...)

I did just eat a very yummy chocolate cake.
Which gives me some comfort. Whilst I was busy battling ninja pygmies at work Mrs. Amazing, the brave soul, got Boy9 and Miss5 to make cupcakes at home.
Winner for everyone.

Except the state of the kitchen.
And the large amount of washing up left.
And the slight confusion over how much cocoa needed go in. The cupcakes had a good 500% extra cocoa in them. Yum.
And Boy9 eating as much butter and sugar as he can as he cooks. (Seriously who eats butter like that?)
And probably germ wise the cakes are on the chemical warfare side. I don't doubt there's a few Boy9 boogies in the mix. And of course Miss5 would have been licking her fingers and then putting them back almost constantly as well. Ew.
But it's fine. The cakes are baked, the germs probably die, or run away of something. No one has ever died from kid-made cakes.
I think.

The cakes were warm and very hella yummy. Nothing beats an activity with the kids that results in pudding.
Top marks Mrs. Amazing you genius.

My concern over whether it's chocolate cake or not is that BabyBoy2 is also learning to use the potty at the moment. Well to be fair he knows how to use it. You just sit. Easy.
We've even had 'successes' already. But he needs to learn WHEN to use the potty, and when to carry on playing and being awesome.

From the message I got Mrs. Amazing I felt it had been going pretty darn well so far...

One poo and two wees in potty!
Brilliant! Well done BabyBoy2.
One wee on sofa and two in pants… Oh.... Not so awesome.
Because fitting the entire sofa in the washing machine is pretty difficult…
What? The covers come off the cushions?
Mrs. Amazing: <Nods>
What an age we live in... <Looks wistful>

This is Team Parent (yay!)’s third child to train up to use the potty.
We're no experts. But we've got experience now. And that counts for a lot.
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Potties go the other way up’
I see… Thank you…. <Swears internally>

We have a method that works (for us) and it should work again.
We go for huge congratulations and cheering on any success. I for my part tend to throw said child about a bit in the air for a bit. Really reinforces our joy at a success.
There's no crossness over poo and wee everywhere 'mistakes', instead it’s 'Oh well's and 'It doesn't matter' and ‘We can buy a new one’ and ‘How did it get up there?’.

And of course chocolate buttons.
You gotta have chocolate buttons. Every 'success' gets a button. Which if you're only two is awesome as buttons are pretty big when you're two!
This kind of carrot stick would work just fine on me too. Hell I'd do most things for a chocolate button or ten.
But I won't do that.

Mrs. Amazing: 'It's time for work!'
No chance! <Sticks fingers in ears> LAAAALAAALAAAALAAAAA
Mrs. Amazing: <Unbuttons top>
<Hides under duvet>
Mrs. Amazing: <Wiggles a packet of chocolate buttons under that duvet>
<Packet is taken>
<Munching sounds are heard>
FINE! <Emerges from duvet> I'll got to work... <Grumbles>
But there better be more buttons when I get back...
Mrs. Amazing: <Kisses me goodbye>

We've been a bit unfair on BaybyBoy2.
He was ready a while back. He was doing all the classic signs.
Pointing at his nappy and saying 'Pooo'.
He seemed to know when a poo was coming.
He was demanding to sit on the toilet seat like everyone else.
And the last final, subtle clue, was that he sat on the potty and used it a few times.
Subtle, child specific, subtle clues that only the actual parents could pick up on.

He was ready.
But we made him wait. Despite conditions being perfect. It’s summertime (which is essential). One of Team Parents (yay!) was going to be about him 24-7. (Not me).
The only thing stopping us is that we had a holiday booked. And we know from sad, sad experience that nothing can ruin your holiday fun quite so much as having to carry about someone's poo.
Or having to clean after them all the time.
Doesn't really blend with the drinking relaxing holiday goal we aim for.
So Team Parents (yay!) took the slightly selfish decision to wait.
Sorry BabyBoy2. #WouldDoItAgainInAHeartbeat

I got home for lunch to find Miss5 and BabyBoy2 hanging about in their pants.
Or in Miss5's case knicknocks. BabyBoy2 had on little green y-fronts and looked hella cute. And suddenly very grown up. It's amazing how old you can suddenly look with no nappies on. It really aged him.

Lunch was the normal fun: Stop poking me, stop poking your brother, eat the food you have, no you can't get down, no you still can't get down, no that doesn't count as a mouth full, stop that your mouth is full, no, still doesn't count, why have you got down? Again? Don't you like food? You must eat.
<Represses rage>

Midway through lunch BabyBoy2 popped down from the table.
Mrs. Amazing was on him like a hawk. I have you now <Twiddles with dials>
And BabyBoy2 was whisked to the potty.
Right near where we eat of course.
It's a beautiful and magical time in a family's life.

BabyBoy2 wee’d in the potty.
Success! Me and Miss5 cheer and holler from the table. (She’s an great big sister).
We clap and generally make sure BabyBoy2 feels very happy for a wee in the potty.
Which is a bit weird if you think about it. Because if that happened when I went for a we...

<Is weeing when doors opens>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Well done you!' <Claps>
Go away... <To rhyme with sod off>
<Miss5 appears>
Miss5: 'Well done Daddy' <Pats my back>
<Boy9 appears> <With camera>
Hand that to me RIGHT NOW...
Boy9: 'It's already uploading.... backing up on the cloud... It's on the the internet... and...'
<Is finishing very quickly> Give that here!!! ...
<Stumbles and has a zipper related incident>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Oooooo.... We'll just leave you shall we...'
<They all leave> <Miss5 returns and lays a blanket on my foot, then skips off>

That would be weird wouldn't it?
Still. That's what we're doing for BabyBoy2.
Every wee and poo gets a thunderous round of applause and praise from us.
Especially Boy9 who will use any excuse to get down from the table.
He gives a BabyBoy2 a pat on the back. And is then sent back to his chair by the power of my angry eyes.

Everyone gets a chocolate cup cake for pudding.
Except Boy9 who hasn't eaten enough to warrant a cake. Ha ha. Then I head back to work that internet won't surf itself. As I leave BabyBoy2 sides up to me and says 'weee'.
I know to do and leap (figuratively) into action.
HELLLLLLLLP <Runs about in circles>
I move quickly and efficiently. Pants down (BabyBoy2's).
Plonk boy on potty... Wait.

It's already too late.
I NEED wipes and a crucifix STAT!
Boy9: 'What does Stat mean?'
No idea... Do you have wipes?
Boy9: 'No'
Then why are we still talking?
<Mrs. Amazing arrives with wipes>

I clean up BabyBoy2 whilst he finishes off his business.
We both agree never to talk about it again. I clean myself up which takes a while as basically
I got slimed.

(I feel so funky…)

Pants are sent bin-ward bound.
No much point washing 7000th-hand old pants. BaybyBoy2 is released clean and poo free.
I head to work and as I sit I notice something on my jeans. Chocolate YAY! or poo NOYAY?
I stop myself from doing a taste test.

Despite all that.
And having to clean my trousers in a mens which has no towels at all, and I get bits of toilet paper all over me. I am glad I was home for that. Honestly.
Not the poo part so much... But being involved with a big step in BaybyBoy2's life.
Yep. I am glad I was there. Wouldn't miss it for all the bacon cake world.

Had I left for work two minutes earlier I would have missed it. It was very close.
(Makes mental note to leave earlier).
And yes, Mrs. Amazing was glad I was able to share in this part of BabyBoy2's life.
Very glad.
Mrs. Amazing: <Sniggers and whispers> 'Welcome to my world'


4 August 2016

Night Night, Sleep Tight...

Night night, sleep tight.
Don't let the big dragon carry off to its mountain top and eat you bedbugs bite.

Actually scratch that…

Night night, sleep tight...
And if you wake up. Just go straight back to sleep. Don’t get up. Don’t check anything with us. It's all fine. And definitely don't sneak into our bed. Again.
(And we still wish you positive things with regard to the bugs and their biting, as in we hope they refrain) (Not that there are bugs or spiders in your beds of course)
<Smirks and whistles off>

Each child has their own tactics for trying to get into our bed:

(OK! I think I’ve got it… Just one question? Which line do I bat from?)

Boy9 knows to avoid me.
He knows that if he comes into Team Parents (yay!) HQ bedroom and I find him first.
Boy9's reason for being up better be pretty damn good.

What you want? <Eyes still shut> <Grammer still sleepy>
Boy9: 'I can't sleep' <Saddest voice ever>
Is it because you are being woken by a mini-version of yourself?
Is that your problem?
Try getting back into bed... and then sleeping...
Boy9: 'The rain is keeping me awake' <Spoken as though it’s a horror movie>
It doesn't normally <Wide eyes> Try counting every rain drop you hear...
Boy9: 'I think I heard the cat knock your Optimus Prime over'
Really? <Sits up> We better go check...

He can have a hug. Obv.
I'm not a monster. He can hop into the bed for a quick cuddle. But as Boy9 sleeps at the heat of a million suns.
It's never the longest hug.

Boy9 actively aims for Mrs. Amazing.
When he comes in during the night. If I catch him we can end up arguing, at ARGH-O'Clock, over him not waiting to discuss his awakeness with me.
Because it's only for Mrs. Amazing's ears. That just makes me happier.
Especially as I know it’s Boy9 code for: ‘My reason for being up, won't wash with you... But it's gold for Mummy’

Eventually though.
Boy9 is either frog-marched back to bed. Or, if I can be woken, maybe you can hire the D-Team. And persuaded. And you communicated with and generally made agreeable to carry a tiny person about.Then I sometimes carry the huge sack of potatoes (Boy9) to bed.
I rarely smack his head on walls anymore. I have become a lot from careful and caring.
However the landing are getting worse...

What have you been eating?
Boy9: 'Cake and bacon...'
Good boy... Here we go… <Walks into Boy9’s room>
Boy9: 'Can you drop me gently this time Da…
Yeah… Argh! No! You’re flipping heavy! ARGHGGH!...
Sorry! My bad! ... Thought the bed was here... it's not.
Night... <Blows a kiss and runs>

(It was the title and classiness of this cake that caught my stomach eye...
And it is served with booze... #Winner)

Miss5 is the master at sneaking in.
She's like a ninja. Light on her feet. Quick. Mostly silent. Patient and can blend into the shadows and disappear should I hear something.
Miss5 is also very huggable.
Even I (the King of all resisting) cannot resist a Miss5 hug deep in the depths of the evening. Shame Miss5 is quite so kicky.
Even when she's in a good mood. She still a bit kicky. Probably a sleeping reflex.
And also it's a huge shame her kicks are waist height on me.
Miss5 tends to aim for Mrs. Amazing's side of the bed too.
Which is fair enough as there’s the normal ‘Waking the Golem’ issue with my side.
But also Mrs. Amazing just can’t say no to a simple 'Mummy I'm cold'.
To be let in for a warm-up hug.

Often I don't notice Miss5 has snuck in.
Well not to start with. Eventually. Hours later I'll wake with Mrs. Amazing pressed right up to me. It’s not my birthday? The heat in the bed similar to that of the surface of Mercury.
For if Boy9 sleeps at the heat of million suns. Then Mrs. Amazing and Miss5 both hit the billion suns mark. And together?
Warm. Very warm.

Removing Miss5 from our bed is the trickiest.
If Miss5 is asleep. That’s fine. I can pick her sleepy-self up, and carry / hug her back to bed. Easy job. No probs.
However. If she's awake it can go one of two ways.
Back to bed Miss5 <Nice voice>
Miss5: 'Sure Daddy. Let's go' <Happily toddles back to bed>

Back to bed Miss5 <Nice voice>
Miss5: 'Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive… you are mistaken’ <Shakes head>
Miss5: 'I. Will. Not. Be. Going. Anywhere' <Becomes un-pickup able like the Cat>

If it's situation (b).
Which it normally is. Then I have to call in my Team Parent (yay!) team mate. Mrs. Amazing.
Otherwise there's going to be two angry people shouting at each other in the wee hours of the morning. I am not at my most tolerant at that time of decade day...

Miss5: 'NO' <Starts kicking towards me>
Don't you KICK ME!
Miss5: <Takes the dare>
OW! RIGHT! <Picks up kicky daughter>
OW! No scratching! OW!
<Puts hellcat daughter back in her bed>
Go to bed! Er.. SLEEP!
Miss5: 'NO!' <Follows me back to my bed>
<Copes badly> ARGHGHGHHH!
[Repeat a few times, and very little progress is made]
Mrs. Amazing: <Gets up, puts on dressing gown, calmly talks to Miss5, picks up Miss5 and she goes back to bed quietly and happily>
<Fails to get back to sleep for ages, is too annoyed>

It's a nitro and glycerin thing.
Me being nitro and Miss5 being glycerin. And when you mix the two...
<Looks at the rubble> What have we done?
Miss5: ‘It can’t be my fault’
Oh yes? Why not?
Miss5: ‘I’m only five!’
Damn it. Look... It's think it’s best we just…
... RUN!
Miss5: 'Sure' <Skips off>

(It seems to say ‘O NO’ a lot... Which feels apt...)

And then there's BabyBoy2.
Beautiful. Lovely. Happy BabyBoy2. Still stuck behind bars in his cage cot.
Singing away to himself and generally being pretty calm and cool about stuff.
BabyBoy2 only gets into our bed because we put him there. Normally because he is poorly.
And yet when he does get there. His big chance...
He blows it every time.

BabyBoy2 just cannot be calm in our bed.
BabyBoy2 never learnt how to be in bed with Team Parent (yay!) whilst they are sleeping.
He has failed to master the art of lying still. And being quiet. In our bed.
Or at least pretending enough that Team Parents (yay!) can at least get restless, broken, uncomfortable sleep. #TheDream!
To BabyBoy2 our bed is a play park / trampoline. With his two favourite people in it.
It's just too exciting...

BabyBoy2: 'Ooooooo!' (* 'Look! There's Mummy! Yay!') <Bounces over>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Hello’ <Has eyes shut>
BabyBoy2: 'Ahhhhh' (* 'And there's Daddy! Yay!') <Bounces over>
<Gives a slobbery kiss> <Headbutts me too>
Urgh (* ‘Hey dude! Love you too!’)
BabyBoy2: 'Mummy!' (* 'Look there's Mummy again! <More bouncing>
<Gives a non-slobbery kiss>
BabyBoy2: 'WOWWWWW' (* 'You've pillows! And a light!')
<Light goes off and on very quickly a lot>
<Pillows get thrown about>

We don’t help either.
Team Parent (yay!) laugh and giggle as BabyBoy2 bounces around.
He is utterly adorable and it is very hard to make him stop and calm down. Moments like this to me are the best moments of parenting. He is hella cute.
Even 3am when you’re knackered.
And yeah we could take him straight back to his cot. So we can get a bit more sleep.
Which do we tend to need.

(One of BabyBoy2’s best sleeping positions!
The other is at a right angle across my face.
Which he alternates between every other second.
Whilst bouncing...)

Or we enjoy some golden moments with our littlest one.
Because they are magical and worth everything. And before he gets all big like the other two sneakily did. We should probably put him back to bed.
BabyBoy2: <More happiest person in the world bouncing>
But I’m sure another ten minutes won’t hurt...

<Yawns and sucks in a whole planet>

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