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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24 November 2016

The School-Run Walk of Shame...

You can feel their eyes on you.
Asking questions. Why? How? Again? Those shoes?
You're flustered. Hot from running.
Child dragging behind you.

Obviously this is not the about the other walk of shame.
Not the 7am walk of shame, hungover to hell, clearly still wearing last night's clothes.
Maybe some party popper crap in your hair. Knowing that everyone can read you like a book.
Even the bus driver smiles as you mumble for a ticket. Yes everyone knows what you did last night. Personally I've never really felt shame in those moment. I've felt pride.
And had I had the time. And more sleep. And no hangover. Then I am pretty sure I would have walked about with a sign saying BOOM POW. And been high fiving everyone. (This was years ago obv.).
But then I'm male and Lad culture is stupid encourages that behaviour. Sadly.
So to experience the walk of shame. Now.
At my age, thirty-plurburerber (coughs). On the school run.
Was a crap surprise.

Mate: 'Alreet'
<Shows off 'Boom Pow' sign>
Mate: 'You been reading comics again?'
Yes. Obv. But that's not why I've got the sign... <Winks> <Raises eyebrows>
Mate: 'Your eye alright?'
Yes. Ask me why I'm holding the sign! And look <Shows clothes from last night>...
Mate: 'I don't care'
Don't be an arse. CARE!
Mate: 'Fine. Whateves. Why are you wearing last night's clothes, and holding a sign saying 'Boom Pow'?' <Sighs>
Sorry. A gentleman never tells
Mate: 'Then why make me ask?'
...
Mate: <Sighs> 'Hang on… You slept at mine last night!'
<Does shifty eyes>
Mate: 'We played computer games all night and then you went to bed, ALONE, with some wood and paints?'
I hate you You can be a right douchebag sometimes you know...
<Runs>

Image result for beiber bag

('What's in the bag?'
Douche's. Obv... It's labeled?)

I'd like to say it wasn't my fault.
That I had to experience the walk of shame. But that's a lie. It was me. Not on purpose. Not planned. Just... yeah whatever. My fault.
I had BabyBoy2 to drop off at nursery and Miss5 to get to school. The exact same time of day as normal. Yet for some reason. Me We left late.
We do a loop on our drop off run. First to BabyBoy2's nursery and then me and Miss5 double back on ourselves, and head off to her school.
So, joyously, we get the full force of a walk of shame.
The School-Run Walk of Shame.

My suspicions were raised.
About our lateness. When I saw a work colleague passing in front of us. He is sickeningly young. Mid-twenties. And as such doesn't arrive early at work. Or late. He arrives exactly when he needs to. On the dot.
Unlike people with children. Who like to arrive early so they can get ready for the day. Have at least two cups of tea coursing through their veins before adults start asking them questions.
Or just time themselves for sanity purposes.

Boss: 'So ready for another day of work?'
<Weeps> Hang on... <Downs cuppa>
<Eats biscuits>
<Checks emails, Facebook, random sites>
<Has a wee>
<Remembers where desk is>
<Makes another cuppa>
Boss: 'Ready now?'
Yes... <Clicks a few more websites>... Yep ready...
One question?
Boss: 'Yes?'
What is it... that we actually do here?
Is it eating cake? Coz then I'm well in...
Boss: 'I don't know why I talk to you in the mornings!' <Grumbles off>
<Whispers to college> What IS it we do?
<Is handed prepared script explaining what we do, with my name on it>
Thanks

It's a bad sign.
I normally pass Mid-Twenties much later on in our journey. Smeg.
I then pass a very old friend (in duration, not age). Despite being late. He's worth a quick chat.
But as he drops his daughter at the same school as I do and he’s heading the other way already...
Then late we must be.

I remind Miss5 she needs to scoot like the wind.
Scoot girl! SCOOT!
Apparently her legs now magically hurt. OK…
LIKE THE WIND!
We plough off and Miss5 does her best. I can't run because she isn't that fast on her scooter.
But we do a good pace. Until we wade into the stream of people going the other way.
I feel like salmon.

(Leap girl! Leap girl!
FishDaughter: ’You know there’s stairs right?’
… Really?... LEAP!)

Then The School-Run Walk of Shame starts in earnest.
I know a lot of the people passing me. Because they are Mums and Dads from Miss5's school.
Their children already dropped off. On time...
'Morning'
Morning

As we are going opposite ways. The conversations are light.
'Morning'
'Morning'
Morning, morning!

The Mums I know are kind.
I guess that they can see I am flustered. Late. And doing my best to corral Miss5 into school.
The Mums I know just say morning like it was a normal morning and we are stood in the playground waiting for a door to open.
Thanks Mums.

The Dads though.
Of which I am one and would be doing the same. Make no mistake. Aren't as nice.
They grin. They smile. They mock. They enjoy my discomfort...
'Oversleep?'
Sod off!
'Heavy night'
Go to hell!
'I've got that book you wanted?'
Shove it where the sun doesn't shine!
'... The north facing side of my garden? Huh?'

Schools are funny.
If you are on time. You end up waiting with the rest of the parents. At the school gates waiting for them to open. In a huge mass of people and children.
Then once the gates open a flood of people funnel into the school all moving in one direction. It's hard to go against it.
Some are rushing and nipping about. Others have all the time in the world, dawdling along.
There’s buggies everywhere. It's hard to move.
Then once the kids are dropped off the mass of people move the other way. And start streaming out of the school gates. You can the trails of people for about ten minutes after a school run. It's kinda of awesome.
And a battle field at times.

So when me and Miss5 arrive.
We hit the mass exit of people head on. And have to battle our way through.
Miss5 is fine and nipping about behind me. Adults that have children are like horses. They can weave their way around little people without putting their hooves down on things they shouldn't. It an parent magic power. Most of the time. Miss5 is fine.
Me though. I am getting bumped and knocked about. Having to wait. My progress is slow.
The Mums I know have gone past already. And now it’s the other people.
With looks of 'What a bad Dad?', 'Late? I wouldn't be late like that...', 'Typical man <Tuts>', 'That poor girl', 'Mrs. Amazing would never be late like this', 'Those trousers?', 'When will the BBC wake up and realise...'
It’s probably all in my head...

Then the stream of people stops.
Abruptly. CRAP! We really are late! Everyone else has had enough time to drop off their child(rens). Mill about a bit. Then leave.
And we've only just got on school grounds.
Smeg.
I tell Miss5 to scoot.
Miss5 has been very good and dismounted once we were on school grounds. As she is supposed to. But I want speed from her. I insist she scoots.
Despite knowing darn well she shouldn't...

Miss: 'OK. I suppose it doesn't matter if no ones here! I can scoot!'

Sigh.
I mentally add teaching her you can break the rules as long as you don't get caught lessons to showing Miss5 how to be late. Really going for the Dad win this morning.
We round the corner and it's terrible. Miss5's classroom door is shut.
I have to knock.

(C-3PO: ‘You sure this is the right place?’
R2-D2: <Beeps and whistles>
C-3PO: ‘Cool. Master Luke needs Vodka, 20 B&H,skins and three Curly Wurlys...’
R2-D2: <Beeps and whistles>
C-3PO: ‘Chewy? Screw him. He can get his own damn comb...')

They are nice.
They open the door and Miss5 bounds in. I apologise for being late. All the while wishing wish I had choosen to be dressed in full disguise this morning. Beard. Hat. Prosthetics. So Miss5's teacher doesn't know it's me.
'Oh no trouble at all, these things happen' she says. I hear 'Well that explains SO much...'
<Sigh>
<Runs out of school as still late for work>
<Stops moments just around the corner as is a bit tired>
<Strolls>


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17 November 2016

The Wrong Trousers!!!... Or... Running at Birds With Miss5...

Oh how life farts in your face sometimes.
Not very often to be fair. Just sometimes.
Sometimes life gives you a chocolate. Yum yum. Other times it's a fly in the gob.
It's pretty mixed. Other times though. It’s a fart in the face...

Not literally of course.
In this instance. But that does happen too.
I recall it happening a lot growing up with three brothers. And now in my life with three children…

<Is tickling Miss5>
Miss5: <Giggles>
<Throws Miss5 into the air>
Miss5: <Does double twist, pike, ‘Use the Force’ pose>
Miss5: <Lands tummy down>
<Is smug about the awesome throw> <Goes to pick her up again>
[Sound similar to QE2 coming into dock occurs]
<Gets fart in face> <Passes out>
Miss5: <Lays a blanket on my foot>
[Later…]
<Awakes in hospital and is being treated for gassing / chemical warfare>

(‘Does that help?’
Well... it filters out the smell at least…
'So no?'
<Nods>)

The night before.
Despite the heaviest of weekends. I dragged myself out to Stretching and Falling class. I turn up, I stretch, I fall over a lot. It's a good class. I heard there's other names for it, but whatevs.
For a change. I travelled light. No credit cards. No knife. No torch. No coat. No Jumper (which was dumb in the UK mid-November). Just me in trackie-bottoms. A stretchy top (not that kind). My keys and my phone.
And a bottle of water as falling over stretching is thirsty work

<Does stretching in class>
<Feels good about stretching> <Feels a bit like a warrior>
<Falls over>
<Feels less warriory>

The next morning.
Miss5 and Boy9 troop in first thing. It's not quite 6:30am but it's not worth the 6:28am argument. Besides any talking and angry clock showing is done on Mrs. Amazing's side of the bed. My side is reserved solely for those pretending to be fast asleep that need extra sleep.
6:30am finally happens. Mrs. Amazing rises and officially starts the morning.
Internally I celebrate the start of a new day, it's possibilities and all I might achieve and strive for today. Externally I pretend to dead, moreso.
Then Mrs. Amazing drops a bombshell…
[THUD]
Mrs. Amazing: 'I’ve started reading DC comics and I’m starting to think the Green Lantern is a well thought out and insightful character’
Mrs. Amazing: 'I've gotta catch a train at 8am'
<Is far away, dreaming happily>
Mrs. Amazing: 'So I'll be leaving early'
<Sits up> Shiiiiiiiit!!! Craaaap!!!!

Which means I've got to get…
BabyBoy2 and Miss5 filled with breakfast. Ready for school. And then walk / fly / glide / beam them to school. Then get myself to work.
Which is all fine. I can do that easy. But I've thirty minutes less help from Mrs. Amazing to do it.
Even I know I have to get up, instantly, and get cracking!

Miss5 convinces me to make pancakes.
Which is dumb on my part. Pancakes take longer. They just do.
I'm still in bed and my first decision of the day. Is to make breakfast take longer. Than it needed to...
Brainzilla: <Claps> ‘Bra-vo’
<Giggles> Bra!
Brainzilla: ‘He he... <Whispers>... Idiot...’
What?
Brainzilla: ‘Gridiot…. An old friend… Just popped into my head...”
Called Gridiot?
Brainzilla: ‘Yep’ <Whistles off>

(What do you mean you’ve changed your mind?
<Sits> <Starts eatin’> My Mam Moutragged! <Shakes fork>
Mass the Molden Myrup mill ma? <Eats more>...)

BabyBoy2 and Miss5 happily bounce downstairs.
Delighted to be having pancakes. Mainly due to the amount of Golden Syrup those both have. But hey! They eat the pancakes. It's win-win.
I put high energy music on. Rock obv. And prepare to cook pancakes faster than the speed of sound.
We three have to leave at 8am. It is now 7am. Somehow it's taken me thirty minutes to get downstairs.
Mrs. Amazing says goodbye through modern dance and smoke signals and Boy9 is dragged along behind her. Leaving just me in charge...
[The house explodes]

Miss5 asks to help make pancakes.
Whilst making batter I explain that we are in a rush and if she could not help that would be great and faster all round. Miss5 ignores me and gets a chair so she can reach.
Quickly I get her to stir stuff. It doesn't actually take too long and then she’s off to do something else.
Phew!
Babyboy2’s chair arrives at the counter top. And he bounds up ready to help.
Sigh… Here. BabyBoy2 stirs stuff too. And then runs off leaving a batter trail behind him.
I am so glad they both helped.
I put Fireman Sam on tut tele and plonk them both down. So I can cook in peace whilst dancing to Taylor Swift AC/DC. YEAH!
Which is hard enough in itself without watching for small people under my feet.

Pancakes are served.
And eaten. Well and quickly. Then they are whizzed up to clean teeth and then whizzed back down for more Fireman Sam. Miss5 is handed the remote and instructed to put on lots of Fireman Sam's.
BabyBoy2: 'YAYYYYY! <Sings> Fireman Sam'
Whilst I run about and do everything.
The kitchen is cleared. Laundry is moved along its windy long path to the draws. Dishwasher contents replaced with dirtier versions. Counter top clearer. Bags collected.
I opt for dressing BabyBoy2 and Miss5 in front of the tele. Because it's quicker.
I swear there were moments whilst I dressed them both. When they actually looked away from the screen and saw me.
Maybe I was imaging it.

(The original… Back when Sam was still Welsh… (AND AWESOME))

Then it’s coats.
Shoes. Me doing everything for speed purposes. And we’re out of the door.
Then I run back in and check the cooky-jobby-thingy stove is all off. Again.
Then we are out of the door and off. Only running ten minutes late.
And I am running. Miss5 is scooting. BabyBoy2 happily sat in the buggy shouting and cheering at everything he sees as I pelt him along at break neck speed.
We look like loonies escaped from a film. Moreso.
I've never been prouder.

BabyBoy2 is delivered to Nursery.
He cries when he realises me and Miss5 are leaving him there. His tears rip at my heart and I can't stand it for a moment. We had all been having such fun together and BabyBoy2 just doesn't understand why it has to end. I'm not entirely sure either.
Still. The best thing I can do for him. As Dad. Is pretend I'm fine. Not torn in half.
So I just leave, in that Daddish way, that Dads do so Dad well. Dad.
I sob a little once out of sight...

Miss5: 'Dad? What you doing?'
Solving really hard maths in head. It's making my eyes leak...
Miss5: <Totally buys it> 'Oh. What maths?'
Er... (crap)... er... nineteen plus fifteen?
Miss5: 'That is hard'
Yeah I know... <Does shifty eyes> Look. We literally have to run now...

We run.
Well Miss5 scoots. I run. We still have to get back to the house. Grab Miss5's things.
As we left them at home so we don't have to carry them with us. Then run Miss5 to school. And me to work. There is still a chance we can do all that on time.
Not a big chance. True. But a chance. You gotta believe!
<Runs>

We get home and I run to the door.
In full fluid-motion. Hand in pocket reaching for keys. Hand ready to push keys into little slot. Then step through door. It's all running automatically. I'm not really thinking about what I'm doing. I'm a few steps ahead. Trusting my body will let know if something is wrong.

There's a problem.
Whoop whoop. Hands have set an alarm ringing in my head.
And I stop my face mere millimeters from the door. Narrowly avoiding a good face whack. Hands. Me. I can’t find my house keys.
Where the crap are my house keys?

The keys that I always have on me.
In these jeans. These trousers. The one's I am wearing.
Everyone relies on me having my keys. It's my job. I've always got my keys. It's what I do.
I check my pockets again four, maybe five thousands times and they are definitely not there. Crap!
And then the fart hits my face... And I work it out.
Stretching and Falling class last night. Trackie-bottoms. Travelling light. Keys in trackie-bottoms. In the house.
My smegging keys are in the house.

(<Regrets the home security upgrade...>)

Miss5: 'What's wrong Dad? Can't we get in?'
No! We can't. It's the wrong trousers Gromit Miss5!!! <Does hand thingy>
Miss5: 'But I need my school bag'
Yes <Panic building> And your lunch! CRAPOLLA!
Miss5: <Giggles>

I run through options in my head.
Send her in, but no bag. OK. But no lunch. Bad. Miss5's probably needs to eat.
Maybe I can break in? No. I can't. I don't really either. It's my house.
Has anyone else got a key? I run and ask the neighbours if I gave them a key? No's all round.
Damn it. Damn it.
Who else has a key? Granny! I phone granny.
But she's already walking other grandchildren to school and can't help. Smeg.
But she mentions Grandad may not have left with Boy9 yet? I call.
The phone takes the piss out of me. And rings very slowly at me.
I need to hear a click-pick up from Grandad. Else…
Else I've right stuffed up and I'll be very annoyed with myself...

GitPhone: 'R.... I..... N.............. G'
COMEON!COMEON!COMEON!
GitPhone: 'R.... I..... N.............. G'
ARGHHH! <Explodes>
SituationSaviour: 'Hello?'

The cavalry is on it's way.
With key. Stupid incredibly helpful little metal device that nearly thwarted me in the school run. And eventually we make it too school. Somehow with five minutes to spare.
And I'm not late for work.
Happy days.

But between the phone call and the cavalry arriving.
Me and Miss5 had ten minutes to wait. And nothing to do. Really nothing to do. No toys hanging about. No tele. Nothing to jab or draw with. We couldn't even sit.
Stuck as we were outside the house. Waiting.
It should have been boring. But it wasn't.
Life with Miss5 is never boring...

<Gets off phone>
Miss5: 'So what do we do?'
We just gotta wait...
Miss5: 'Huh....'
Miss5: '...'
...
Miss5: 'See that bird...' <Points at bird on phone line>
Yeah...
Miss5: <Runs, arms outstretched at bird, shouting very loud.. > 'BARGHHHHH!'
What now?

Oh my bacon.
What did she just do? She’s nuts! To my surprise the bird is scared off. I never thought that would work. Miss5 just isn’t big enough to be scary.
Miss5 sees more birds and is already running at them. They are far off. It'll never work.
They fly off too.
Miss5 is shouting and yodelling a little now. Arms right out, kind of flapping.
I don't really know what I am seeing and can't help but start laughing from delight. Miss5 starts laughing too.
I join in with the birds scaring and fail. And I just can't do it as well as her. I am just not free enough. I'm too self concious.
I did think being bigger would make it easier for me. But I am totally wrong. It isn't size that does it.
It's heart. It's passin. It’s commitment to moment. It’s being a loony. It’s beliving you can do it, even wehn you can’t.
This all occurs to me as I watch Miss5 roar past me in another direction after more birds way up high, houses away.
And still managing to scare them off.
I am starkly reminded of how wonderful she is.

Had everything gone to plan this morning.
And it had been fart free. We wouldn’t be running at birds together. Having one of those moments that will make me feel all happy and squishy about Miss5 when I think about it later on. The best moments.
We would have just been on time and that would’ve been lame.
Coz I frikkin’ love that loon girl.


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