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!).

24 February 2017

The Great Cot Escape...

We've had a good run.
BabyBoy2 has been brilliant at sleeping in his cot.
Mainly because Team Parent (yay!) are expert at ignoring and staying under the warm covers now. And because BabyBoy2 is brilliant at quietly sitting in his cot until someone comes to get him. Singing and playing. Like a little noisy ewok angel.

But some time over Christmas.
Team Parent (yay!) wrecked it. We upset the apple cart. We rocked the boat. We nudged the Jenga tower. We prodded the bear. We beat the Wookiee (giggles). We changed stuff.
And much eating all the chocolates in a box, when someone else is out, you can't undo it.
You can't. I've tried. It's gross.

(...OK! OK! Maybe chess was a bad idea grumpy... How about another game...
How about something less stressy... Risk? Monopoly?)

BabyBoy2 got a cot upgrade.
Well his third-hand cot got swapped for a slightly larger second-hand cot. But that's still up.
Team Parent (yay!) being the knackered sleep deprived asuste sharp individuals that we are. Noticed that BabyBoy2 was getting a bit big for his cot.
There were a few subtle clues that only his parents would notice. He was starting to sleep diagonally. He wasn't touching either end I hasten to add. And if we had removed the mountain of teddies from one end. He would have been fine for another few months.
But diagonal he was. He needed an upgrade.

Which is a bit sad.
As that's the end of that cot. The same cot Boy9 screamed and cried in and had us running to him for the early years. The same cot Miss6 would be laid down in so quiet and still, only to have her awake from farting as we left the room.
Weirdly it had wooden balls on the end they could play with. Noisy things too. Bacon knows why you'd design a cot to have toys built in. But hey they loved them. I'll might even miss the sound of them rattling about the cot.
I had made some 'permenant' fixes to it over the years. But it's function still worked. It kept children in it, and sometimes they slept
Thanks cot. Good work.

(<Plays 'I'm Still CotStanding' by Elton John>
<Is impressed it lasted through three of them>
<Go to eBay...>)

The upgrade.
Is a little scuffed. But that's fine. BabyBoy2 cares not.
And he's not going to be in a cot much longer anyway. He's nearly three.
Still. Going from cot to bed was a step Team Parent (yay!) we weren't for right now.
As once BabyBoy2 got into a bed. He would free to leave whenever he wished...

BabyBoy2: 'Norning!'
Go away... It's ARGHO'CLOCK... <Checks R2-D2>... Urghhhh....
BabyBoy2: <Toddles off>
[Five minutes later]
BabyBoy2: 'Norning!'
Really... Go back to bed... Night time...
BabyBoy2: <Thinks>
BabyBoy2: <Climbs up on my chest. It is apparently trampoline time>


The decision was made.
The old cot was taken apart. New cot assembled. It went well. Very little swearing from me.
And BabyBoy2 helped me as much as he could...

<Is holding the entire cot frame in hands precariously>
Dude? Can you push that bolt in please <Points very clearly, with elbow>
BabyBoy2: 'Wot?' <Is confused>
Pardon. There <Points with foot> That one!
BabyBoy2: <Jabs the bolt and knocks it out of it's hole>
[Resets everything]
<Is again holding the entire cot frame in hands precariously, has learnt nothing>
Dude! Push that bolt through so I can get this nut on it... Please!
BabyBoy2: <Really thinks>
Go on!!! <Arms are breaking>
BabyBoy2: <Starts pushing the bolt!>
Yes mate!
BabyBoy2: <Changes mind, and puts the bold back where it was>
BabyBoy2: <Runs>
Fine! I'll do it myself <Is stretching weirdly> Near... ly... there...
[Almighty crashing owy noise]
Bums... <Giggles>

BabyBoy2 was very proud of his new cot.
He got a proper sized duvet. And he kept telling everyone about his new cot.
BabyBoy2: 'Daddy made it me!' <Beaming>
'Made' is a bit of a stretch. But it's nice to be noticed when I do some handy man person work.
And it's always lovely to have my little dude happy with me.
BabyBoy2: <Hugs my leg thank you>

But the new cot has one big problem.
BabyBoy2 has already worked out how to escape from it.
He pulls his rocking chair up close. And then well... I'm guessing as I've never seen him do it. We assume he pulls himself up using the rocking chair and then that becomes his steps ack down.
Bit of a problem.

(Hey… What’s this pinned paper to the bottom of your cot?
BabyBoy2: <Grabs it and eats it>
That… that was weird… But not totally out of character…
<Skips off to find chocolate>)

BabyBoy2's escaping history so far...

Escape 1:
I've already told this tale (see here). It was a surprise. It was hella cute.
It was annoying, I never got back to sleep and was knackered all week, bloody early.

Escape 2:
After BabyBoy2 had his normal three book. Song sang (me to him). Quick round of find the moon on the ceiling. Pin him Tuck in. Warmed teddy to hug. Good night wished. All lights off and door shut.
I found him an hour later.
Light on. Hidden. And giggling a lot under his bed.
(The rocking chair was removed that night) (he was un-cool about it, angry WAHH etc.).

Escape 3:
BabyBoy2: 'Norning!' <Has a book>
<Eyes still shut> Go back to bed...
BabyBoy2: <Runs off>
BabyBoy2: <Is playing very loudly>
Mrs. Amazing: 'He's going to wake the others!'
<BabyBoy2 and Boy9 appear>
<Boy9 is mostly asleep and has no idea what is going, he has just followed BabyBoy2>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Go back to bed Boy9' <Boy9 stumbles off to bed again>
Mrs. Amazing: 'BabyBoy2 it is the middle of the night, don't wake anyone up again'
BabyBoy2: <Leaves, feet thudding, dragging with his book> 'Soweee Mummy'
[Team Parent (yay!) have heated debate about who should get up and convince BabyBoy2 is it sleep time]
[A decision is reached]
Owww! Ow! <Rubs ribs> I'm going...
<Falls asleep again> ...Zzz...
Argh! <Rubs different rib> I'm up!
<Dons dressing gown>

BabyBoy2 has gone back to his room.
He’s in his cot again. He had climbed back in. <Give you a look>
Hella cute.
My noisy little dude is sat playing with his cars in bed. How on earth do I tell him to go back to sleep? He's not going to listen. Or want to. And I don't want to tell him either.
BabyBoy2 has worked really hard escaping. He should be being rewarded.
Still…. It's is 5am. Not my favourite time of day. Don't want this to become a habit.
And he very well may wake the kraken Miss6.
She Disco'ed hard yesterday. Nothing wears my kids out than a two hour, after school, school PTA fundraising disco.
It's like kryptonite to them.

(What do you mean I can’t use my own custom made tiles in Scrabble?
Brother: <Points at line one> ‘There… we added it last time you tried this…’
<Reads> Oh… fine… I’ll just put VZZZBX
Brother: <Points at line two>
<Points at line three> Unless it is a quote from a legendary telly show
<Smugly places tiles, scores fourteen billion>)

I don't know what to do with BabyBoy2.
I can't make him stay put. And he's not really being naughty. Just should be asleep and quieter.
I pass a few books into his cot, and ask him to keep the noise down.
Which he does and I slink back into bed.

Five minutes later.
BabyBoy2: 'NeeeeeNaaaaaaaaa! Brooooom! Eeeee! AHOY MATEY!'
BabyBoy2: 'When he hears his fire alarm...'

Oh smeg it.
I grab BabyBoy2 on my way downstairs to play.
I plan to lay down in front of the telly. Stick 'aw 'atrol on for him.
But as we get to the telly he passes without a glance. And I realise the telly was only for me.
He cares not.
BabyBoy2 is heading to the trains and cars. Which I suddenly remember are way more fun anyway.
I stroke the We ignore the telly. I flick on the kettle. I need tea. Lots.
And we get the trains out and start creating. Building track. Running down elephants/lions/badgers with steam engines. We have a brilliant morning.
Lots of giggling and fun.

Miss6 arrives at 6am (thirty mins early).
She steals my playing buddy and the two of the romp off into their own little world. Building forts on the sofa. Which is fine really. <Weeps> I love how well they get on.
I make another round of tea and take one up to Mrs. Amazing.
Just think. All that fun me and BabyBoy2 had with the trains, I nearly traded that for watching a ‘Paw Partol’ we have already seen.
I nearly missed out on a few hours play with BabyBoy2.
Just us two. And he frikkin' rocks.
And what for? A bit of much needed sanity creating sleep.

Brainzilla: <Slaps me with my own hand>
Brainzilla: ‘Come on man! Cha! … Priorities!’
Yeah... <Rubs face> Good point...
<Heads off to the chocolate cupboard>

14 February 2017

Me Do It!...

BabyBoy2 is changing.
He's now a lizard. He is shrugging off the shackles of being two.
Casting down the trappings of his body and its basic motor controls.
Throwing asunder the gentle and loving support from Team Parent (yay!).
Basically now he wants to do stuff, himself.
<Give you a look>

Which can presents a few problems.
Some stuff he can't do. He may be two and a decent blob of months.
But he is still not three. (the world opens up at three, think oyster ownership, the world MWAH HA HA HAAAaaaaa).
For instance, getting in the car...

<Carries BabyBoy2 to the car ready to plug him into his car seat>
BabyBoy2: 'NOOOOOOOOO!' <Wailing etc..>
Dude? What's up mate?
BabyBoy2: <Surprisingly strong little arms and legs locked rigid against the door frame>
Nice try! <Pushes really hard>
<Resists forcing him… I've got time...>
What's wrong? Use words. Tell me what's wrong? What do you want?
BabyBoy2: <Through snivels and tears> 'Me do it' <Wailing>
Oh... Crap. OK mate. <Puts little boy down on the floor in front of the car door>
<Notices huge streak of snot down jumper>
BabyBoy2: <Bottom lip is still wobbling, but nods>
<Watches BabyBoy2 climb into the car on his own>
<Is still waiting as the new millennium passes>
<Has regrets>
<Tea is probably cold>

It's hard to let go.
<Dons cape, Miss6 arrives by my side with cape ready, and off we run, arms up>
I can't hold it back anymore!!!
It's hard to let BabyBoy2 grow up sometimes. It's what I want. It's what he wants.
More importantly it's what he needs.
BabyBoy2 has to keep growing up. There are only so many nappies I want to change.
And as with Boy9 and Miss6, as they developed, games just got better and more fun...

Boy9 I think you are NOW ready for this
<Deals cards>
It's a game, which my elder brothers claim they made up...
<Is doing mystical voice>
I've never met anyone else that knows this game...
<Waves hand, mystically>
And no one knows where it came from...
Boy9: 'You just said your brothers made it up'
... Do you want to play or not?
Boy9: 'Sorry.. mystical...'
Yeah... <Thinks> Ohhh I've lost my thread now...
Anyway mystical stuff, oh 'er, special secret family stuff, it's awesome, you'll love it
Boy9: 'Cool. Let's play'
Yes mate! <Sits ready to play, cards in hand>
Boy9: 'How do you play?'
Oh right... Get comfortable...
[There's a card playing montage, laughs, fights, tears, concentrating, dramatic slow mos]
[Months pass, we play every night before bed, Boy9 slowly gets it, starts to understand the nuances (oh yes nuances) of the game, and he slowly becomes a convert player]
Boy9: '... And then I can lay this, that and this... Which means you have to pick up ten cards!'
<Grumpily picks up ten cards>
Boy9: '... And then I lay all of these... And I win!'
<Quietly> … yes...
Boy9: 'Again! That's every night this week I've won!'
Uh-huh... Whateves...
Boy9: 'Another game?'
Sure! But let's change game...
I'm thinking dead arm competition?

(Boy9: ‘So am I doing well Dad?’
… Yeah really well… Say did I tell you about the magic hand rule?
Boy9: ‘No?’
Well if you  got… hang on <Double takes on own cards> if you get these cards
<Shows my cards>
You instantly win ALL the chips and the game is over! Lucky me!!!
<Takes all the chips>)

It's really hard to let BabyBoy2 do stuff himself.
Actually it's not. Given all the time in the world. It would be easy to sit and watch him joyfully try and try again. Slowly mastering what I consider to be simple tasks.
But there's never enough time.
Team Parent (yay!) are always rushing. Unless the three terrors are in bed. Then we are pretty static to be honest.
But we need that too.
The rewards though for letting BabyBoy2 try are huge.
I only have to look at Miss6 and Boy9 to see them.
They, mostly, can dress themselves. Even if their fashion sense and practical sense may need some work...
It's brass monkeys out there…
Boy9: <Looks confused>
It’s very cold. Minus five degree (celsius)...
Boy9: <Looks shocked that weather even exists>
This <Points at his thin summer jacket> is not warm enough!
Boy9: <Has a bit of a paddy, there's an argument, at one point he has no coat on, eventually I get my way (the sensible way)>
Boy9: <Grumpily heads out to the car>
<Notices Boy9 has shorts on>
<Swears quietly into some coats a lot>
<Regains composure, leaves it to natural consequences>
Heh heh
(Tony: We’re never gonna find it... Do you even remember where you last saw it?
Geoff: My helmet? My spare totally white helmet? Designed to blend in with snow?
Tony: Yes… <Taps blaster rifle>
Geoff: In the snow…
Tony: <Into radio> ...er… we’ve a man down here... )

But they can both do lots for themselves.
They can get toys out. Work the remote. Turn on the computer. Vaguely, with pushing and shoving, tidy stuff away. They can find my phone. BabyBoy2 is rubbish at finding things. He’s even worse than me (Lord of all bad findings).
They are both becoming autonomous the mouse leader of the Transformers.
It's great. It's what Team Parent (yay!) want.
It what should be happening.

<Heart fills>
But he's so little. And he's my last little boy. I don't want to let go just yet.
With every new skill he gets. He moves further away from being my baby boy. And this part of my life. With very little children.
And it’s all ending and stuff… <Kicks ground, ignores pain>... faster than I want it to.
<Weeps BIG STRONG MAN TEARS, hell they're like buckets of water splashing on the desk BOOM BOOM, its actually impressive, if not a little apocalyptic>
<Blows nose like a herd of elephants>

I know. I know.
Gotta let him go. Gotta let him become more... urghhhh... independent.
However I don't actually and technically have to be happy about it. Do I?
We've still got many years together when BabyBoy2 is going to need me.
And I best make the most of them…

BabyBoy2: 'Trains' <Points at big heavy trains box>
Trains what?
BabyBoy2: 'Pardon? Sorrwe? ... Pweeease!'
I am late for work… More than normal….
<Gets down box and sits and plays>
<Is double late for work>

However what I want doesn't really matter.
BabyBoy2 has two elder siblings to learn from. He is practically racing along on some things.
Other things not so much, as he has less of Team Parent (yay!) focus.
He's still in nappies at night (WHICH IS FINE), but the other two were out of them by this age.
He's ready. It's us. We are dragging our feet a bit (WHICH IS ALSO FINE).
We can only do our best. Which we are doing.
Which is, say it with me, is fine.

Don't worry about BabyBoy2.
Being the third child has made him more than capable at developing at his own rate.
And, more importantly, being able to remind us he needs to keeps developing at his own rate.
He showed us very clearly the other morning.
It was 6:15 ARGHGHGH WHY! WHY! Go back to bed Miss6! and Team Parent (yay!) was listening to BabyBoy2 calling for us.
He's smart enough to alternate each parent.
He's knows one of us will crack at some point...

BabyBoy2: 'Mummeeeeeeeee... get out! Me get out? Get out? Mummmmeeee'
<No movement from Team Parent (yay!)>
BabyBoy2: 'Daddeeeeeee get out! Me get out? Daddeeeeeee? Pweeeeese? Me get out?'
<Still no movement from Team Parent (yay!)>
BabyBoy2: <Suddenly Quiet>
<Team Parent (yay!) sink back to sleep, BabyBoy2 is safely trapped in his cage cot>
<Miss6 is told to stop talking, it is still sleep time>
BabyBoy2: 'ME DID IT!'
<Both of Team Parent (yay!) eyes ping open>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Miss6, go see what BabyBoy2 has done...'

She will get there quicker than us.
And Miss6 can be trusted to asses the situation and report back.
She’s awesome like that.

[From the hallway]
Miss6: 'Oh! Well done BabyBoy2'
BabyBoy2: 'ME DID IT!'
<Thuds of Miss6 running back to report>
Miss6: 'BabyBoy2 has climbed out of his cot'
<Team Parent (yay!) look at each other, the dreadful ‘he can escape his cot! We're never going to be able to sleep again!’ truth sinking in>
Mrs. Amazing: <Quietly to me, so Miss6 doesn't hear> 'Craaaaa...'


(Those bars cost money you know… <Is cross>)

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