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!).

12 January 2017

My Time and How Best To Get It...

I like to be a good dad to all my loonies children.
And to me being a good Dad means giving them my time.
Sober enough. Not phone in hand. Not trying to watch the rugby. Not falling to sleep.
Looking them in the eyes and engaging in what they are saying and doing.
That's the main thing they need from me. I think.
My time and attention...

Boy9: 'Dude. You got any money?'
Yep thanks!
Boy9: 'Can I have some?'
<Narrows eyes> What for?
Boy9: 'Stuff' <Does shifty eyes>
Then no...
Boy9: <Thinks> '... A Star Wars toy...'
<Opens wallet> Get two! Run my boy... Run...
Boy9: <Is eating chocolate>
Where's my your Star Wars toy?
Boy9: <Is laughed at for being a sucker>
<Steals the chocolate>

I also want to be a good husband.
And cat owner. More good husband I'd like to point out. Some A lot more.
So that’s five demands on my time. Which if you then add in work makes six. And I suppose I need time with me too. So that's seven.
My time is basically like a crap chocolate spread sandwich.
Spread thinly.

(And that’ll do for round one of spreading… Only seven more to go…)

And it seems everyone has their own tactics to lure me in...

Boy9's tactics are simple.
Divide up my time in nice small segments. And then hog it all for himself.
He tends to suggest two-person games. Like Chess. That, from his point of view, don't actually totally exclude everyone else. As long as they are happy watching. They are not.
Or he's very sneaky and suggests things I can't refuse...

Boy9: 'Let's fill balloons with paint and shoot them in the kitchen!'
YES! DUDE! PLAN! <Double high fives>
<Checks with Miss5>
Miss5: <Shakes head>
<Turns back to Boy9> Bad Boy9! Bad! Leading me astray like that...
Boy9: 'Then can we race the sleeping bags down the stairs?'
<Runs> <Calls over shoulder...> Shotgun the fast blue one!...
[One minute later]
<Is hurt>

BabyBoy2's tactics are beautifully direct.
And those of a third child. Clear and a little forceful.
BabyBoy2 walks up to me. Grabs my hand in his tiny warm hand.
And then starts to drag me wherever he wants me.
He has already learnt to ignore any words I might saying. And to just keeping on pulling.
It's hella cute...

BabyBoy2: 'Comeon Daddy' <Grabs hand>
Mate. Not now. I'm busy...
BabyBoy2: 'Comeon Daddy' <Pulls hander>
I'm busy!
BabyBoy2: 'Comeon Daddy, comeon, comeon Daddy' <Tugs hand>
SHEESH! Just one wee in peace...

The Cat.
Well he's a git. And very successful at getting my attention.
a) He sits on what I am looking at…
Get OFF my model of Sauron's tower... Oh look now! <Is furious>
You've knocked all the glitter off it!

b) He carefully trips me...
<Is doing JK-esque dancing> <Feeling cool>
Cat: <Thinks ‘To get my way, I shall trip him’>
<Is tripped by ninja master Cat><Says hi to floor>
<Cool levels dip rapidly>

c) Outright attacks me...
OW!!! You bit me! I am SO not opening the door for you now!
<Is bitten again>
Alright! Alright! <Gets up and opens the door>
Cat: <Thinks ‘Actually… I’ve changed my mind> <Goes to sleep in my spot>
<Swears a lot>

d) Or failing all of that he sits on my lap and purrs a lot.
Which is nice despicably manipulative.

And finally there's Miss5's and Mrs. Amazing’s tactics.
They both use the same tactics. (Mrs. Amazing Obv. has some extra special moves too. But you ain’t hearing about those here).
They both use a combination of word-trickery and mind controlling magic…

Wait-a-second... <Looks> There's no pie here? <Lifts random objects>
Miss5: 'Can you play Shopkins with me?' <Big eyes>
<Is trapped and cannot say no, as that's saying I can't physically play Shopkins which I'll never admit to, and am reluctant to say yes to>
... er... Yes. Of course I can... <Accepts it> <Sits>
What's this? <Hold up blob of plastic that looks like an ice-cream with a face>
Miss5: 'It's a Ice Cream Kate!'
Miss5: 'You can't eat it'
<Spits it out>

(Hi Kate! Come on it… Sit down… <Gets a spoon>)


Back to the family and my time.
To aid anyone wanting to gain my attention for a bit. I do have a few (four) suggestions, pointers, tips if you will. That may help maximise your time with me. Feel free to hand them out to your mates. Pass 'em about...

1. Put a cuppa in my hand (of tea)
Mrs. Amazing knows this one already. If I've already got tea in my hand. I am going stay put for longer. It's simple.
Otherwise you've only got a few minutes until I get up and head towards the kettle.
And then who knows what is going to distract me on the way to the kettle via the chocolate cupboard. And back via the tele...
Tangled Die Hard is on!!!

2. Music
I have discovered that doing things at work. Where life is pretty brain focused and challenging...

WorkMate: 'Your turn'
OK... So I've got to make the elastic band ricochet of my desk
WorkMate: <Nods>
... through the plant...
WorkMate: <Nods patiently>
... bounce off your head...
WorkMate: <Nods>
... and then fall into the bin
WorkMate: 'I don't know why you’re asking me... It's your game'
And all of that is assuming I've nothing better to do than to lower myself to this frivolous waste of time?
WorkMate: 'Have you?'
<Gives a look> ... Quiet please! Man making history here...

... is in stark contrast with home.
It's a lot less goal-orientation, task driven, brain tax-i-thing-ing with the children. (All the children, they are equal in this).
I've found that sitting doing two piece jigsaws, playing Shopkins or listening to detailed explanations of Pokemon evolutions, for hours on end.
Can sometimes, sometimes that is, it can get a teensy bit boring...

Miss5: 'He's dozed off again!'
Boy9: 'I'll get my Nerf guns...'
Miss5: 'I'll get my hair bobbles...'
BabyBoy2: <Leaps at me>

For example.
At present BabyBoy2 loves doing jigsaws. He's will spend ages doing them. Hella cute.
And having me watching really heightens his enjoyment.
So whenever BabyBoy2 asks. I go sit, ready to play whatever games he wants and it's a marvellous bonding moment for us both.
He loves it. I love it. He's awesome and I love being with him.

In those moments. It's almost as though my brain is crying. At me.
My eyes water. I yawn a lot. Basically all the signs say I should sleep. It's like my body is argueing with me. But my brain is saying this is important and wonderful. Play the games! Enjoy them. Smile. Look happy!
But my body is snuggling down for a nap.

Music to rescue.
By having some rocking music in the forebackground to sing, dance and speak in verse listen to. My lazy body is tricked. And feels stimulated enough.
And reluctantly keeps all systems running like normal. The awakey ones.
It's basically the same principle I apply at work.
But with harder jigsaws.

3. Be offering me food (Yes we are still in the list)
Chocolate. Fudge. Most sweets. Cake is normally a winner. Bacon. I'll hang about for food almost always. It's genetic. Just before any meal time I am most prone, and can easily be trapped got by offering food.

("I have suspicions about the situation we currently find ourselves in…")

And the final tip.
Which is easily the most effective. And sure fire to get my attention and time.
Yet for most people it is the hardest to achieve.

4. Be, but not of, Mrs. Amazing.