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!).

27 October 2016

Is He Still Coughing?

It’s that time of year.
No not bogeyman time. And not big red suit man time either.
No. It’s getting colder. There’s even more rain.
It's cold and cough session and snot is in the air…
Winter's coming...

BabyBoy2 has been coughing for about week now.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s only a cough. You utter, utter, bastard.
It is. It is only a cough.
Lot of babies get coughs and are totally fine. Coughs come and go. Almost every single time. Coughs are fleeting. Been a week? Wow. Bad one huh?
But don’t worry it’ll go.

(Go on! SHOOO! You stupid Chough)

[I arrive home from work]
Dude! <To Boy9>
Boy9: <Eyes barely flicker away from tele>
Dudette!! <To Miss5>
Miss5: 'Daddy' <Runs over for a hug>
BabyBoy2: <Turns instantly> ‘Dad-Cough cough cough cough cough cough cough-dy!’
<Picks up BabyBoy2 and rubs his back>
<Puts BabyBoy2 down to carry on watching Octonauts learning the viola>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Hey’
S’up Hey… Has he been coughing like that all day?
Mrs. Amazing: ‘... yeah’
<Team Parent (yay!) exchange glances>

We've had problems with coughs before.
With Boy9 they turned into chest infections. Antibiotics sorted them.
When Miss5’s crackles (doc term) started filling her lungs. Antibiotics and a hospital rush fixed that. So you can understand our concern with BabyBoy2.

Actually I spoke to Mrs. Amazing about this.
I wanted to see if she was as worried as me. And no, no she's not.
It’s me that’s all worried and a bit stressed by it all...

For me:
Each trip to the hospital knocks me for six and weakens me a little.
Normally experience makes me stronger: drinking practice, movie marathons, work, Iron Cake competitions etc. Yet this doesn't.
It seems to stack up inside of me. Building and building until... BANG!

For Mrs. Amazing:
She said each hospital trip is kind of reassuring. Each time there's been an emergency and we've run to the NHS they've made everything better. She feels reassured there's people that can help out there.
#LoveNHS #AndThankYou

So whilst I'm fretting and worrying about what might happen in my head. Wearing myself down and out. Mrs. Amazing sensibly isn't.
It isn’t normally that way round.

(Shouldn’t his hat be inside his head?...)

BabyBoy2 will be fine.
I know. Plus Team Parent (yay!) are cold experts now. We do not sit about watching tele, eating chocolate, having the odd shandy, letting these things happen.
No. Team Parent (yay!) kick into bubble wrap mode:
1. BabyBoy2 wears a vest 24-7.
2. House temperature is increased.
3. I stop sharing food with him.
4. Wet laundry is purposely hung in BabyBoy2’s room to add moisture to the air (helps coughs).
5. Time outside is kept to a minimum and only in direct sunlight. Even if he is really excited to see me after work. He has to wait until I get inside the house.
6. Drinks are constantly passed to BabyBoy2. More. More.
7. Bowls of steaming water are pushed under his bed at night with droplets of Olbas oil in it.
8. Vicks VapoRub is put on his chest at night and I spend the rest of the night failing to get it off my hands and getting it in my eyes.
9. There's a Calpol (pink one, tasty) and Nurofen (white one, not so tasty) truck pumping medicine into his room is given as per instructions, frequently.
10. BabyBoy2 gets longer naps.
11. I sacrifice a pillow to be jammed under his mattress so he sleeps with his head up a bit.

Basically. Team Parent (yay!) wrap BabyBoy2, ever so lightly, in bubble wrap.
<Goes to get more bubble wrap>

The smegger little dude doesn’t help himself either.
When you’re a bit short of energy and breath. What you really need is to sit and chill.
BabyBoy2 doesn't get that at all.
He’s two. His main mission in life is too expend energy as quickly and as joyously as possible (which I love him for).
BabyBoy2 finds everything fun and exciting...
Little dude... I got you this... <drum roll> a train ticket!!!
BabyBoy2: 'YAY!' <Runs about the house showing everyone what he's got>
BabyBoy2: 'Cough cough'

It's hard to keep him still and resting.
It’s like telling a grasshopper not to leap. Or a bird not to fly. Or a bug not to bug.
It's build in, it’s natural. There’s a hardwired need and desire.
It’s like telling me to leave chocolate alone...

Mrs. Amazing: ‘I am going to show you, so there’s no confusion’
Uh huh… <Puts down toy The Times>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘This here’ <Points> ‘Is our chocolate’
My Our chocolate. Gotcha
Mrs. Amazing: ‘This here’ <Moves to other side of the kitchen, a different cupboard, and points> ‘Is the kids chocolate’
My chocolate?
Mrs. Amazing: ‘No. No. See the mistake you’ve made here, is that you assume ALL chocolate in the house is yours’
Mit mis <Is eating ‘Our Chocolate’>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘No. Not true! This chocolate is the kids. It’s not for you’
Mrs. Amazing: ‘You shouldn’t steal your children’s chocolate’
<Gives Mrs. Amazing a funny look> In some ways you me are very different...
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Don’t touch it’ <Is firm>
OK... <Sulks off>
[Returns later]
<Takes chocolate whilst wearing gloves>

Eventually we took BabyBoy2 to the doctors.
He wasn't that bad. But waiting before has gone bad for us. We just needed to know how bad it was. Should we stay at home or race off to the hospital.
We needed the Clash someone with actual medical knowledge.
Not me googling stuff...
<Has been googling for ages> So it seems... based on what I looked up...
BabyBoy2... is... fifteen months pregnant… and made of jam...
… I don’t think that’s right…
Mrs. Amazing: 'You think?'
... yeah… fifteen months is too long...
Mrs. Amazing: 'I'm calling the doctors and getting him an appointment'

(The kids playing dressup...)

BabyBoy2 visited the docs whilst I was at work.
So I sat at work waiting (and working obv. busy busy...) to hear the doctors thinkinials (prognosis). Obv. I want to hear everything is fine. It's just a cold.
But I’ve already thought through what I might have to do…

Dr. Mallard: ‘He's in a bad way can you run out of work instantly?’
Dr. Mallard: ‘I think he would be best in hospital can y…’
Dr. Mallard: ‘He needs to a rare flower from Australia, four lotus blossoms from Japan, and a matter-transmatter-matteration-trans device. With bluetooth’
... I'll be ten minutes... <Runs>

I hate waiting.
It sucks. It was a hella long sucky morning to be honest. Stupid worrying. I do hope this is not becoming a habit of mine. Oh wait... Did I just worry about that?
Finally Mrs. Amazing texts with the doctor’s verdict (abridged): Just a cold. Keep giving Calpol, Nurofen, lots of drinks, keep warm.
Phew. So nothing to worry about then.


Later that night.
I took a bowl of steamy water up to BabyBoy2's room.
It was late and dark when I carefully put in some Olbas oil drops.
Too dark it seems. And too many drops. Which I now realise I knew as I was doing it.
But I was very tired at the time and I just went with more is better.
The Cake/Beer/Bacon/Pie/Sex/Toys/Sleep/Sweets/Duvet rule.

As I leant down.
To put the steaming water under BabyBoy2's bed. My face, my mouth and both eyes got a huge blast of vapour from the excessive drops I had put in.
If you've never experienced it. It’s like eating five extra strong mints at once. Munching them up. And then taking a big, deep, breath of cold air. Naked, in the arctic.
I staggered out of BabyBoy2’s room temporarily blind, breathless and every single drop of mucus removed from my body for the next month.

It took Mrs. Amazing ages to stop laughing.


20 October 2016

Me Swimmin'?

I took BabyBoy2 swimming a while back.
Not all of us. Just me and BabyBoy2.
No odd sibling thrown in, being all focus stealing and such.
Just me and BabyBoy2.
He was pretty happy about it...

BabyBoy2: 'Me swimmin'?' <Cute little head tilt>
Yes mate. You and me, swimming!
BabyBoy2: 'Me swimmin'?'
BabyBoy2: 'Not Boy9?'
BabyBoy2: 'Not Miss5?'
BabyBoy2: <Hops up and down due to excitement>
BabyBoy2: 'Me swimmin'!!!' <Runs off to have pretty much same conversation with everyone else in the house, including the Cat>

I don't know why this was the first time.
Really. If I sit and think about it, I cannot understand why I haven't taken BabyBoy2 swimming on my own before. We've gone plenty of times as a family. I took Miss5 and Boy9 solo lots.
BabyBoy2 loves the water and we have a great time splashing about together.
So why not? Bacon knows.

I blame busyingtonness (real word). Busy with the other two herberts children. Busy with work. Busy with friends. Busy helping the pub community pub. Busy surfing online growing as person.
Busy filling in endless permission forms...
<Shakes fist at form> YOU KNOW WHERE I LIVE!!!

Busy with life in general.
There's only so much me that can be spread around.
I'm not Marmite. I don't need to be spread thinly. I'm more chocolate spread.
I am best when applied liberally... I'm also hungry it seems.
Sorry BabyBoy2. I will reduce the time I spend at the pub work cleaning doing other stuff.
And give it to you.

Go on... <Passes present> Open it now...
BabyBoy2: 'Ooo' <Furious unwrapping>
BabyBoy2: <Pulls out a small watch with my name on it>
It’s a bit more of 'my time', for you
BabyBoy2: ‘Ohhh’ <Is disappointed it's not a tractor>
BabyBoy2: <Tries to eat it>

BabyBoy2's huge joy in us going swimming.
Is not that he's going swimming. It's that he's going swimming and the other two (Boy9 & Miss5) are not.
Which may sound a bit mean of him. But really it's not.
BabyBoy2 has watched ALL HIS LIFE (really) Boy9 be taken off swimming twice weekly.
And Miss5 head off swimming with me or Mrs. Amazing once a week.
And he's had to listen to all the drama and faff that go with events like that...

Where did you last see your goggles?
Boy9: 'On my face'
What. Geographical. Location. <Has tension> Did you last see them?
Boy9: 'At the swimming pool
Did you bring them home?
Boy9: <Shrugs shoulders>
Have you even looked for them?
Boy9: 'Yes! Of course!' <Is outraged> '... No'
<Looks for a microsecond> Found them... <Gives Boy9 look>
Boy9: <Take goggles> 'Shotgun the car stereo!' <Runs>
What? No! NO! It doesn't work like that... <Runs too> Driver priv...
<Falls in tangle of towels and shorts> <Swears>

(They’re your goggles?
Boy9: ‘Yep’
That you use for swimming and no one minds, or thinks are dangerous?
Boy9: ‘Yep’

So for BabyBoy2.
This isn't about going swimming. This is about being big enough to go swimming on his own (with a supervising adult).
This is about his Dad managing to stop for a moment and picking him. Just him.
This is about BabyBoy2 being one of the gang. The 'I get to go swimming' gang.
Bless him.

Miss5 was taken swimming lots.
And Boy9 is half fish. But, poor third child, BabyBoy2 only gets a rare solo outing.
I could legally take all three kids on my own (as Boy9 is 8+) and leave Mrs. Amazing to sample wines and 'window' shop. But that would cost us all a fortune I don't want to. As only one child can swim (FishBoy9).
If I took all three alone I'd have two loonies running about, basically trying all they can to drown themselves. And wanting to be thrown in the air constantly.
Which is what Boy9 would be doing as well, but at least he can swim.
No thanks. Not for me. I need my partner in crime, my BatGirl, my Mrs. Amazing for that kind of madness.
<Whispers> Madness...


I got up late as normal for a change.
So I was in a huge rush to make the Little Splashers group at the swimming pool with BabyBoy2. Little Splasher's is an early morning thing only (yay).
It's cheaper than normal swimming which is great! It's safer swimming for little ones. And it's cheaper than normal swimming which is great. I know I've put about the price twice, but it's quite a big selling point. Especially as BabyBoy2 is only going to last thirty minutes maximum in the pool. Before his lips go blue.
Miss5 can last forty minutes.
And her lips really do go blue.

I run about the house picking up stuff we both need for swimming:
Shorts for me. Little Wet suit for BabyBoy2. Bottle of water for after.
And snacks to eat in the car before we leave the street for after.

We bundle into the car.
Buckle up. Start engine. Then I leap back out of the car and run into the house.

Most important.
BabyBoy2 is doing great with his potty training. But... let's just not go there, especially in a pool.
I run past Boy9, Miss5 and Mrs. Amazing shouting 'FORGOT NAPPY'.
I quickly grab a nappy from the tiddly (utility) room and race back out. In fact I grab two. And pat my own back on my excellent Dad skills. Two nappies. Just in case. Always be prepared. YEAH!
I leap back in the car, with BabyBoy2 still sat in the back, tapping his watch...

Right dude, what music do you want?
BabyBoy2: 'Det dit Do(ugh)?'
Was that Floyd I heard? Roses? Queen? Swift? Radiohead? RATM?
BabyBoy2: <Shakes head> 'Det dit dough' <Is sure>
Some Bob Marley?... FINE! Frozen... <Prepares self for singalong>
BabyBoy2: <Prepares self for singalong> (He sings on the 'go'es)

By the time we get there.
I'm pretty excited about it all. This is going to be really good fun.
But my excitement is nothing compared to BabyBoy2's. He's jumping as he walks.
We walk / bounce through the car park, but it's taking ages. I had forgotten how slow this little fella goes sometimes. The Little Splashers hour ends soon. We need to move faster.
I pick him and our speed is increased nineteen thousand fold.
There's a lot less 'Oook!' at cars too (but still some).

(Actually… He'd probably fit him in that bag... Hmmm...)
(I would like to point out that the bag is not mine (I pinched from my Mum ). My bag has Star Wars all over it and is from another, galaxy cheaper, supermarket.
<Waves> Hi Mum!).

We queue.
We change. I am upset that my trunks are boring, and BabyBoy2 has Spidey ones.
We're in the pool and we have the best time.
At one point we had been chuckling together for a solid ten minutes. Wriggling about in the water making each other laugh. We probably nuts (crazy). But I hella don't care.
BabyBoy2 is brilliant. We have such fun. He's hilarious.
Love that little dude.

Then with ten minutes to go.
Before blue lips time. I glance over at BabyBoy2. Who is running off for another go on the tiny pirate slide. And I notice that the shorts he is wearing are tight. Really tight.
Team Parent (yay!) must get him a new pair.
He slides. Drowns a bit. I save him. He loves it.
And of course now I've noticed it. I look again at his shorts as he passes...
And is it just me...
Or are BabyBoy2's shorts shrinking?

BabyBoy2 splashes into me.
We have a bit of a cuddle and then he's up again and off for another go on the slide.
Which is when I find something in the water.
No. Not that. Or that.
My hand finds a clear spherical ball. Like a droplet of water. But with a casing.
I glance down and there's quite a few about.

Brainzilla: 'Come on Lemon. Work it out...'
Brainzilla: 'Tight shorts... Strange balls of water.. Have you seen these balls before?'
Yes... In a nappy... In a nappy that I threw down the stairs and it split...
Brainzilla: 'MU-UP-PET! Come on...' <Taps... er... something>
[Eons pass]
... er...
But swimming nappies don't have the little ball things…
Swimming nappies only catch stuff...
They don't absorb.... Ohhhhh....

BabyBoy2 slides past me again and toddles off.
His shorts are struggling now. They are being stretched from the inside. Ready to explode.
The normal nappy BabyBoy2 is wearing, is trying very hard to absorb the entire swimming pool. It's about half way through.

We carry on playing for five minutes hoping no one will notice leave instantly.
And in the changing room I confirm my mistake. Normal nappy.
Normal, quite heavy, super absorbent, I'm quite amazed he could still walk, nappy.
My mind flicks back to earlier. When I dashed into the tiddly room and just grabbed the first nappies I found. There was a lot of choice I recall.
Night time nappies. Daytime nappies. Pull ups. Pull downs. Too small nappies. Giant nappies from the other kids, but didn't use. Cheap nappies. Mega cheap nappies.
And of course, the one's I didn't really look at. The one's I needed.
Swimming nappies.
Annoyingly I recall that I was proud of myself for grabbing two.
Two of the wrong type... Smeg.

Brainzilla: <Sighs> 'Lemon'

(I’m third in from the left)


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