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!).
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11 November 2016

Maths Promotion... Or... Why I Had To Eat Lots of Bacon (Had To)...

Boy9 came home with good news.
He had moved up a maths group and Team Parent (yay!) wanted to make sure he felt rewarded and appreciated for it.
Mrs. Amazing suggested an all you can eat breakfast buffet. I love her.
Of course by celebrating and taking him out obv. we are manipulating him for our own selfish needs. But hey! That's part of parenting.
Gotta dangle those carrots...

Go on... Do the extra homework
Boy9: 'Can't I have your phone and go Pokémon hunting?'
a) No
b) It's my phone that I use for very important grown up activities...
Boy9: <Interrupts> 'Like playing Pokémon'
<Interrupts the interrupt> like SOMETIMES playing MY Pokémon GO game, on MY phone, with MY account.
c) No, because you ain't walking about with my phone on your own in a field looking for Pokémon when it's dark, without an adult
Boy9: <Sticks out tongue>
Quite. Yeah I know you think you're going nine forever... Now the extra homework?
<Pushes the homework sheet closer to Boy9>
Boy9: 'What do I get for doing it?'
The satisfaction of work well done. Self worth. Stuff like that
Boy9: <Sticks out tongue>
<Dangles actual carrot>
Boy9: 'I don't want a carrot'
Really? Damn... <Eats carrot>
Mod moo mooit for the moy of mearning? <Sprays carrot everywhere>
Boy9: 'a) No'
Boy9: 'b) Ha ha haaa a haaaaaaaaa... haaaaaaa. no'
Touché

(Boy9: ‘Quick Dad! I just caught a Charizard!’
Oh cool <Doesn’t move>
Boy9: ‘It just set your guitar on fire!’
<Moves>)

There's a local restaurant that does 'Kids eat free' (suckers).
And eat as much as you like (suuuuuuckers!). All five of us rocked up at 9:30am. Only Team Parent (yay!) had to pay.
It was nice for a change that we could make the most of being a family of five.
Lots of places we go to, the pricing, and indeed the dictation of what is a family, is set firmly at four. This was two free kids per paying adult. We even had a spare slot!
Theoretically.

We chose a booth.
And the lady serving us suggested it too. It's easier to trap the children in if a parent blocks the way. Obv. not foolproof as they are slippery little suckers.
Miss5 was always going to be sat next to Mrs. Amazing. There wasn't any doubt. Even Boy9 couldn't be bothered to fight to be next to Mummy. So I trapped Boy9 and BabyBoy2 in my side.
BabyBoy2 stood up on the chair immediately and had a good look about. Like a meerkat checking for Hyena's. I wonder what he saw.
To me it was a busy-ish restaurant full of people getting food. In a normal-ish way.
To BabyBoy2 though it must have been a room full of giants. Even though it was kids eat free. It was mainly full of adults.
Team Parent (yay!) understood this on some level. As there was no way he was going to be allowed to wander about on his own. Had there been more kids and parents about.
It may have been different.

The nice lady arrived to take our order.
The evil lady was busy. We could order whatever we liked from the English breakfast menu (eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. fatty yummy stuff) and then you could help yourself from the Continental food area (croissants, cereal, toast, jam, tea etc... oh and that stuff from trees… fruit!)
The aim of Team Parent (yay!) here is fill all the children with enough food to last them until tea time. As we're off out to fireworks and it will save us doing lunch.
Mrs. Amazing orders a reasonable, but nice, breakfast. I do the same but I scale it up. Greedy Man stylie…

Two eggs please. Two sausages. Two rashers... No four!
Lady: <Writes down four>
Actually make that eight.... No six. Eight is too much
Lady: <Writes down get fatty lots of bacon>
<Regrets not sticking with eight>
<Plans to steal someone else's>

We then optimistically order for the kids.
Boy9 is made to order some variety of egg. Otherwise, and I've no idea where he gets it from, he may just eat bacon.
Miss5 doesn't want anything meat based as per normal. But we insist as she needs protein. And add some bacon on for her.
BabyBoy2 is not asked and we just order what he is most likely to eat. More in hope than expectation though.
He's still got a snuffle. He’s dosed up on Calpol. And not back to his normal black-hole eating capabilities.

Then we hit the Continental area.
We have to go in two trips so that each child can choose what they want. But obv. with an adult nearby so that they don't toast their face or something. One of us stays behind because... er... we are worried someone might take the table?
Only Boy9 is trusted to go off on his own and then return. And even then...,
Miss5 is still a bit too young and it's a busy restaurant. She may get accidentally drop-kicked out of the building.
And BabyBoy2, well, he can get distracted whilst getting off a chair he’s on.
And then fall off.

(That’s BabyBoy2 sorted for round one…)

We return with mainly pain au Chocolate.
A plate full. And croissants. And waffles. Jam, butter, and lots of Golden Syrup packets.
Boy9 has gone light on his plate. But when asked is ready planning a return trip.
I am so proud.
Miss5 has chosen cereal the loon.

Team Parent (yay!) get tea.
And the rest of our food is on the kids plates. We know not everything will get eaten and so plan is to 'help' them out.
I start stuffing BabyBoy2 with pain au chocolate and he happily munches away on it. Jumping up and down on the chair. Boy9 is told off for doing the same.
And everyone justs eats. And it's lovely. All of us together. Mrs. Amazing makes a 'we are gathered here today because of Boy9...' speech.
But mainly we all sit nicely and quietly in a restaurant and eat.
Ahhhh... lovely.
Of course it doesn't last.

The tea is gone too quickly and I head off for another.
With BabyBoy2 is tow. He needs more pain au chocolate. As someone sat next to him has been eating his food. <Does shifty eyes>
I get extras / spares for me too.
Boy9 heads off to the loo already. With a clear instruction that this is the one and only toilet trip he is allowed.
When I get back Miss5 wants to hit the Continental area again. As cereal wasn't the best choice (as we all knew). So Mrs. Amazing and Miss5 head off.
I battle with BabyBoy2 about drinking something. And then genius give him the milk leftover from my tea.
Boy9 asks to go to the toilet again.

And that goes on for about an hour.
Team Parent (yay!) getting up and down and taking someone, all of them, strangers, back and forth to the Continental area. Amid getting more tea.

My food is starting to get a bit cold.
And I've a back log. Mrs. Amazing is the same the other side. The plates on the table are stacking up and the children are starting to loose focus.
That moment just before, when it was all lovely and nice and great. Which I loved and will do this again, just for that moment. That's gone. Well gone.
It's nipped off and found a pub open at that time in the morning. It's already on it's third.
Lucky moment.

BabyBoy2 has escaped.
Cerberus I am not. As BabyBoy2 is lying on the floor between some tables. Quite happy though. Just very in the way.
I am taking the free time to eat. Whilst looking about in case someone comes his way not expecting to find a two year old sprawled out on the floor.
Boy9 has his shoes on the chair again. BARK BARK. Shoes come off chair.
His eggs are still untouched. And a one sided discussion about how he should eat them occurs. I eat them so they don't go to waste.

Crayons and drawing stuff is then got for them all.
Which seems like a brilliant idea and gets BabyBoy2 back to his seat. But after picking up his crayons for the ber-billionth time in a minute. Fights over colours and menu’s getting graffitied.
It starts to feel like a really sucky plan.

We don't hang about much after this.
The fun is wearing thin and BabyBoy2 is now colouring under the table. We're not sure what he is colouring either.
Boy9 is bouncing about and wanting to swap seats with a very reluctant Miss5.
We pay up. And then all waddle out. Full. To go home and rest for a bit.
Maybe make a cup of tea.
Boy9's maths promotion well and truly celebrated. And Team Parent (yay!) not needing to do lunch.
Winner!

However just before that.
Miss5 heads off to the toilet on her own. Hands very covered in Golden syrup.
Because she was using her hands to eat Golden syrup. There was a pancake involved, but mostly ignored.
Miss5 assures us all she will be fine. Team Parent (yay!) exchange looks and glance across the big, now quite busy with adults, restaurant.
I follow after her still eating covertly.

I am spotted.
And Miss5 tells me to go away. She doesn't need any help. Even with the big heavy doors. She is fine.
I explain I am going to the toilet for my own needs and wasn't following her at all.
She buys it. And once at the toilets we separate and I watch my little girl head off into the ladies alone. Slowly. As it takes her ages to open the big heavy doors.
It's weird. I've no idea what is in the room she has just gone into. And I am unlikely to ever know. I find that quite strange and unsettling.
Still. I watch her go in and just wait outside.
It's lucky I did. As Miss5 comes out moments later...

What's wrong? Can't you open the doors?
Miss5: 'No. I can!'
Is there something evil yukky in there?
Miss5: 'No'
What's wrong then?
Miss5: 'I can't reach the taps...'

(Quick quick! Before the landlord comes back!
Reach up and grab one of those taps)

My mind reels like a cool movie.
(Because it's my tale and that's how I am going to portray my thoughts). Like an awesome and very slick cool movie. My mind zings and zangs (cool gone) through the closed doors and walls, and darts into the men's and checks my memory of the taps.
If the ladies are in any way similar to the mens. Which they probably are.
I can see Miss5's problem clearly. She has little T-Rex arms.
It's a height and reach problem. I smile at her and tell her OK, I can help.
Miss5 starts for the ladies door...

I can't go in there!
Miss5: 'Why not?'
Court order
There was a lot of fuss last time. I never got my camera back...
Laws mainly. Everyone is allowed some privacy when weeing. Not many grown up ladies would be happy to see a man in there
Miss5: 'Oh'
Miss5: ‘...’
You're going to have to come in here with me...  <Points at the mens>

I can see she is disappointed.
She managed the big heavy doors all on her own after all.

Miss5: 'Is it smelly and yucky in there'
There is a very high chance that it is, I am afraid...
<We go in>
Miss5: 'Ewww!'
Yup...

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