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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15 December 2016

School Christmas Fair / Fayre / Fare / Cake Shop / Offie...

Team Parents love a Christmas fair.
A few quid on a tombola.
Visit the cake stand.
Watch something interesting happen. Maybe involving our kids.
Visit the cake stand.
Get a burger or a hotdog.
Gamble legally in a school for booze.
And if there's time, visit the cake stand before we leave...

Hello!
StallRunnerCakeGuardian: 'Hello! You again?'
No. This isn't me! This is a hologram... You think this is the real Quaid?
Yep.
CakeGuardian: 'What can I get you?'
Cake. That please <Points>
CakeGuardian: 'One chocolate fairy cake?'
No... Not 'that' one cake <Is indignant>
CakeGuardian: <Looks confused> 'Then what were you pointing at?'
The table. The entire table. I want all the cakes on that table! <Points>
CakeGuardian: 'Oh... Classy '
What?
CakeGuardian: 'Nothing... That'll be... ooo... rr.... one pound ninety please!'
<Hands over wonga>
CakeGuardian: 'And your change...'
No, no. Keep the ten-pence <Walks off with entire table of cakes>
Mank-Moo! <Sprays crumbs everywhere>
CakeGuardian: 'You're welcome... fatty'

(I'll be back for more later...)

Ok to start with.
It's fair. Not fare - that's what you pay an assassin taxi.
And fayre is just wrong. <Tuts> Ask Wiki about it here.
You would think schools would know better? <Tuts again>
(Actually I quite like fayre, makes me think faeries will be there selling wings and dreams knuckle dusters)

Anyhoo...

We have two school fairs to attend.
Boy9's and Miss5's. They don't go to the same schools as we moved from one side of town tother. Simple. Each year, EACH AND EVERY DAMN YEAR, they are on the same day. <Swears into pillow>
But at least at slightly different times of the day. Which means.
Team Parents can, if we're quick, attend Boy9's and then leg it across town to Miss5's.
All of this with BabyBoy2 in tow. Ready to have a no-nappy accident at any second.
And Miss5 still needing to be collected from school by someone else.
Exactly when Boy9's fair starts.
I've said it a million times. We need a teleporter.

Of course by Team Parent (yay!).
I mean Mrs. Amazing. Who has to do all this as I'm at work.
Getting an hour off work to attend a fair isn't too hard to wangle.
But asking for most of the afternoon off to essentially tour all the local school fairs in the area...
Well that's a hard wangle...

Please can I leave early to attend my daughter's school fair?
Boss: 'Fate?'
No, no. Fair <Points at internet>
Boss: 'Oh right... Of course you can!'
Thanks... er... My son has a school fair too. Can I leave early for that too!
Boss: 'Well.. Sure it's Christmas!'
Thanks!
Boss: 'When is it?'
It is directly before my daughters! So I'll be gone most of the afternoon.
[The room grows colder]
Boss: 'Oh <frowny face> that's a bit different...'
... Is it? <Sense of impending doom growing>
Boss: 'You remember when you took a morning off to go do flower arranging with your daughter at her school?
Yes. And it's still just as true and as real as it was then... and is now...  <Shuts up>
Boss: 'Well like then. I'm just going to need a bit more of your soul to be able to approve it'
<Points at bucket lalel 'souls'>
More? Right... <Sighs>

Actually following a Team Parent (yay!) meeting.
We decided that actually Miss5's fair was fun and cute and worth me taking time off for.
Whereas Boy9's is MANIC and low in actual fun. As he's nine and just wants money to run off with and ditch us anyway.
Mrs. Amazing bravely agrees to take that bullet on her own. Brave lady.
But as Miss5's actually wants us there to show us stuff. Not just as cash cows.
We agree to attend Miss5's Christmas Fayre (yuk).
All four million of us.

We meet outside of Miss5's school.
In the queue to get in. Why a queue? Yes. Why make us queue?
As we wait Mrs. Amazing explains what Boy9's fair was like. She described it as a violent mosh-pit, stinking of beer, and full of bearded loonies. Without music.
I am not very sad I missed it. And have my suspicions about the amount of beards that were there.
When we get inside Mrs. Amazing sends me off with the kids for a bit. While she hunts for a wine, coffee, chocolate and magazine stand. Basically a sanity stand.
I have no objections.

Me and the children make slow progress around the school.
I'm used to getting through crowds quickly. But suddenly I've Boy9-meander, Miss5-distracted and Captain no-idea-where-he's-going. Coz he's little.
But we have good fun all the same. I just have to slow down a bit and accept the pace.
And keep a firm eye of each of the cats I am trying to herd.
We win some sweets at hook a duck. No loses at this hook a duck.
We see Miss5's classroom. We avoid some tut being sold.
We get a bit squished in hallways. We wait for to get served.
But all in a Christmasy way. Which is fun.
And we don't buy any more crap from the old-crap-stuff room as that's what I did last year.
Just before Xmas... <Looks guilty and away...>

(Yar! Yar! <Whistles> Comeby! Comeby!
Here puss puss… <Is scratched a lot>
<They steal my hat>)

Then Miss5 spots the face painting room.
Alarm bells ring in my head. WOOP! WOOP! But I can't remember why?
Why shouldn't I say yes to this? Think man! Think!....
Cake. Bacon. CHOCOLATE! Nothing.
I agree just as Mrs. Amazing joins us and in we go. Straight into a queue.
Smeg.

I remember what was wrong with face painting.
There is always a queue. A long. Slow. Boring queue. Which you cannot escape.
One of Miss5's class mates pass with an awesome butterfly on her face.
Miss5's face lights up at it.
We have no chance of escape now.
Damn it, damn it.

I offer to stay and wait with Miss5.
Like the gentleman I am. Mrs. Amazing declines my offer and opts to stay put.
Instead she sends me off into the madness again with Boy9 and BabyBoy2 for cakes.
We're gone for months and eventually come back with sweets and cakes.
To find Miss5 and Mrs. Amazing have moved three millimetres forward
Thank bacon this is a fast face painting queue.

As I look about.
All you can see is parents in pain. Dying slowly behind their eyes. Waiting.
Knowing that in less two hours all makeup, they’ve waited for ages to get put on, will have to be removed for bedtime anyway.
It’s like queuing to be poke in the eye. And they charge for it.
Me, Boy9, BabyBoy2 sit down at the desks and start on our cakes. And we pretty much have a picnic right there in the classroom whilst everyone else in the queue has to watch us.
Sorry. And sorry I didn't share.
And not sorry it was my cake. Bad luck.

Eventually, at the turn on the millennium, it is Miss5's turn.
I've not heard what she wants. But I am guessing butterfly. It's what I'd have.
She's still going to be ten minutes so Boy9, BabyBoy2 and me head off again. Toilets. Cake stand. Both call to us all. BabyBoy2 especially and we race out. We make it. Mostly.
We end up at a stall where the lovely lady running it, is a friends wife.
The stall is ‘Roll a dice and win a teddy!’.
Only there's only two teddies left. They both hella suck. No way I want those coming home with us. Another sucka parent takes the most preferable teddy. Leaving one. The worst.
The last choice teddy left for some poor fool to purchase.

My friend appears next to me. Smiling.
Like a shark. I am then essentially cornered by them both and clearly explained to: That once this teddy (the last chicken in the shop teddy) is gone. They can both go home.
He begs. I glance again at the teddy. It’s crap. No.
He pleads. Hmm.... No.
He points out it is only fifty pence. Hmm... I'd still rather have the money… No.
He invokes the ‘All-Father Cry for Help’, ‘Dude to dude treaty’ and the ‘Don’t be a twonk’ look of anger, and I have little choice...
FINE!

I hand BabyBoy2 fifty pence so he can roll the dice.
AMAZING! (not at all amazing) He wins. We win the last teddy.
My friend and his wife leave quickly shouting thanks and giggling a bit.
BabyBoy2 looks really happy with his new teddy. Which does soften the blow.
He shows me it close up. It does actually say 'Best Dad ever' on it. Which I hadn't noticed.
I have a inexplicable and rapid change of heart and warm to the teddy. No idea why.
Then me and BabyBoy2 have great fun throwing it about for a bit.

Mrs. Amazing appears in a puff of smoke and glitter.
With Miss5. Their long lonely vigil at the altar of face-painting over. Phew.
It is not a butterfly on her face. And I can't quite place it.
So I ask...

What are you?
Miss5: 'Christmas vampire!'
Oh! ... Cool! ...
<To Mrs. Amazing with my eyes 'WTAF?' >
Cool! <Thumbs up to Miss5>

Mrs. Amazing explains later.
Butterfly was on the cards. Butterfly was totally the choice.
But then a slightly older girl before Miss5 had gone for Christmas Vampire. And that was it.
I can see how it happened. But it still doesn't that much sense.
But Miss5 is really happy with her face paints.
And leaping at people.

I show Mrs. Amazing our winnings on the tombola.
Some bottles and chocs! Very little money was spent too. Mrs. Amazing says how much she won at the other fair. Even less was spent and more was won.
I tot everything up in my head. And we're way ahead. Which seems weird to me to be honest.
But whatevs, we do it for the good of the school.
<Shines halo with booze>

(I claim everything for me... because... <Just runs>
<Is tackled to the floor by Mrs. Amazing>)

Knowing what we have to take home and consume later, we all leave pretty happy.
Boy9 has sweets. I've cakes and chocs. BabyBoy2 has a new teddy.
Mrs. Amazing has lots of new medicinal drinks for Mummies.

And Miss5.
Well Miss5 walks home looking like a Christmas Vampire.
She couldn't be happier.

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