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!).

30 March 2017

Dinosaur Bones! YAY! (NHM)...

It was half term.
And for a change. I was prepared.
I had a half term plan. We were all going to go out.
Together. And we were damn well going to have fun...
[Dramatic end of the world music starts]

I'd even pre-planned it.
Madness. A month before hand I'd put in the day off request at work with accompanying pint of blood, bone of an ancestor and map to the hidden treasure of Bob the muppet.
Mrs. Amazing was on board with the idea too and had a day off as well.
The plan was to head to London. And visit the Natural History Museum (NHM)!
(Which is where the British keep lots of stuff Natural History related) (And it's free to get in!) (And there's dinosaurs. Real bones and stuff!!! <Squeals Battle cries>)

Team Parent (yay!) didn't agree on whether or not to take BabyBoy2.
Both were right thoughts. I wanted the little fella there. As can you imagine the sensory input his little head would get from walking around the NHM!
Yes. A lot.
And I was expecting to learn loads myself. And I'm thirty-cough-cough-my-knees-hurt.
Mrs. Amazing's counter argument was just as good.
BabyBoy2 will be a right pain and wee himself all the time, and we'll have to take a buggy, and wouldn't it be nicer to just have one child each to care for a change.
All good and pretty convincing arguments.

I persisted.
I wanted BabyBoy2 to see dinosaur bones. And the big blue whale at the NHM. But mainly the dinosaur bones.
He was going frickin’ love them! (and me).
Mrs. Amazing proved her class, for the zillionth time, and relented. We would go en masse .
Albeit with a definite implication that I would be carrying everything, more so, and all toilet related issues regarding BabyBoy2 were mine, and mine alone to enjoy.
Fine. I was going to do that anyway but hadn't told anyone.

As money wise we are in the 'Ain't-Got-None' bracket.
We needed food for the whole day. For five. That we could carry. No buying on site.
Another Team Parent (yay!) vote later. And Mrs. Amazing was off to catch up on some real-world-work. And I was emptying the fridge making sarnies.
A whole hour it took. And I don't spread that slow. I'm quick. An frickin’ hour.
Ham only for Boy9, tuna mayo for Miss6, and smaller versions of everything for BabyBoy2, who isn't fussy (except when he's really fussy and won't eat anything, but that's not flavour related).
One premium grade, the best sandwich I can make, for Mrs. Amazing. And a cornish pasty for me. Nice.
Then I added 10am snack stuff. Top-up-sugar-levels treats for random points during the day. Waters all round. Juice boxes. And afternoon fruit for the those that refuse their most favourite sandwiches. Swines.
An hour.
Actually I think I worked pretty quickly.

(May not hold enough food for five, but can easily fit in a jet pack,
flamethrower for the wrist gauntlets, and a whipcord launcher...)
(Should they be needed again)

There was too much for my rucksack.
Mrs. Amazing had to take overflow in another rucksack. She opted mainly for the chocolate snacks.
Which was disappointing wise....

Boy9: 'Dad what are you eating?'
<Has brown stuff on hands and all round mouth>
... Er… Mud... <Swallows lovely, lovely chocolate>
Boy9: 'Really?' <Is not convinced>
You dare doubt my word?
Boy9: 'Go on then... Have some more...' <Big grin>
<Crouches ready to eat more mud>

It occurred to me our three monkeys aren't shrinking. Imagine how many food we'll need in a few years. We'll be leaving with suitcases full of food and I swore I would never find myself in that situation again...
But on the other hand if I accidentally lose them all on route. I could set up a shop.
Might make a few bob...
<Ponders new plan>

We departed with the tide.
I felt hopefully for our quest. With the Dragon's eyes safely stuffed down by britches.
I was also buoyed by having the greatest code-breaker in the land, Boy9, on my crew. His prices were steep but his skills were undeniable. Miss6 was the company's expert in colours and gems. BabyBoy2 a renowned demolition expert. And Mrs. Amazing Captain of the ship (what? <Checks> Captain forever... Oh...).
Fierce and fearless, we'd follow our Captain into the maw of hell should she ask...
(She's has the car keys)

We bundled into the car.
And drove to the station as there's no way I'm carrying three knackered children home at the end of the day. I'll be knackered. They'll be knackered. I want the car for that moment.
It is only as we get out of the car and pay the blood sucking swine parking machines their soul toll. And BabyBoy2 shouts 'TRAIN' for the first time.
That it occurs to me I've never been on a normal train with BabyBoy2.

How did that happen?
How is it two plus years into his awesome and world conquering life and we've never been on a normal busy train together. I've no idea. He loves trains!
Poop-Poop! etc...

[We all bundle on train, bags, rucksacks everywhere, and manage to get seats near enough each other]
[Miss6 swaps away from me to sit with Mrs. Amazing]
<Doesn't cry about it>
[The carriage is quiet]
BabyBoy2: 'TRAIN!' <Points at train on the other platform>
BabyBoy2: <Looks at me> 'TRAIN Daddy!'
<Quietly> Yeah mate <Thumbs and eyebrows up>
BabyBoy2: 'TRAIN!' <Points>
<Quietly> Yeah! Train! Wooo...
[Train leaves]
[Quiet in carriage again]
[Another train flies past]
BabyBoy2: 'TRAIN!TRAIN!TRAIN!TRAIN!' <Is on his feet and hollering to the carriage>
<Quietly> Shhh... BabyBoy2...
... Whateve's... YEAH! TRAIN! WOOO! POOP POOP!


The rest of the journey is like that.
BabyBoy2 slowly wins over everyone on the train. His joys at what we all take for granted. Is infectious. Eventually there are smiles from strangers whenever he sees a train.
Not everyone. But most.

Then we have the joy of London Underground (trains).
Which are exhausting as parents. They smell. They’re hot. And there’s wee in places.
Not going the right way doesn't help either (me). But we quickly turned around.
BabyBoy2 is too little to be on escalators on his own. So he needs to be carried.
Miss6 needs her hand held and a bit of timing and guidance for every on and off.
And an eye needs to be kept on Boy9 in case he wanders off.
It's like a parenting skills assault course.
At one point I find myself carrying the buggy over one shoulder. The heavy food rucksack on the other two (?). And BabyBoy2 wriggling in one of my arms.
Picture that. Go on. Picture it. Can you see my smile? No? No you can't.
Fully loaded I estimate I have a range of five platforms like this until I pull something in my baby carrying arm. And then maybe two or three more, whining and moaning like I am holding up the universe, before I finally have to give up and just leave him and collapse on the floor.

As I fatigue.
I stop unpacking BabyBoy2 from the buggy and just hero him up the stairs in the buggy (yes hero, it may look awkward and weird, but trust me that's what hero looks like).
Plus it's quicker than getting him out, picking him up, folding up the buggy, going up stairs carrying it all, reassembling buggy, convincing BabyBoy2 he wants to go back in the buggy. For every set of steps. Only to find more FRIKKIN’ stairs around the corner.
No. Better to hero him up in the buggy. Awkwardly.
It's easier.
Except weight, effort, safety wise.

We finally arrive at the NHM.
Snack time whilst we queue to get in. That's a quarter of the food gone. Man the rucksack feels nicer now.
<Starts dancing>
And then we are in. There's nothing to pay for.
I resist hugging one of the stewards.

However it's not quite spring in the UK.
Which means we have big heavy coats and it's a hot warmish day.
We pile the coats on the buggy and it collapses under the weight.
OK we don't. But it would have.
Team Parent (yay!) check the costs and splurge out on the cloakroom. I ain't sweating all the way round a museum again. It'll be worth the money.
Even if it is an eyeball per item to hang a coat on a coat hanger. That are there just for that purpose. <Gives you a look>
Buggy park is free though! Bonza!
I go and flipping queue some more.
The rest camp off to the side and eat all my the sweets.

Just before I get to the front of the queue.
Mrs. Amazing gets my attention...

Put your top back on!
Mrs. Amazing: 'OY! Captain Sweat-On'

Mrs. Amazing points down at BabyBoy2.
Fast asleep in the buggy. Worn out from the train ride. And the underground ride. And being carried about. And seeing billions of new things. And from jumping on the seats most of the journey. Excitement has taken its tole on him.

We keep the buggy with us and BabyBoy2.
And it works out better than we could have planned. Whilst BabyBoy2 recovers from being carried. We get to do the mineral and earthquake sections in the NHM that involve a lot of reading and being thoughtful. Perfect for Boy9 and Miss6. They both learn loads. We all have fun. #Result #MadeYouLearnAtTheWeekend #InYourTinyFaces
Then we decide to head to the dinosaurs.
The main show.
Just as BabyBoy2, two hours later, wakes up.
As if on cue.

So we stop for lunch.
BabyBoy2 needs feeding when he wakes. Every time. And the other two are now hungry monsters. Plus Team Parent (yay!) are starving.
Knowing that the eating areas could be miles away, and without doubty down a lot of stairs. We make camp under a huge fishy-bone display thingy. Technically in a hallway.
But we're tidy and keep ourselves out of the way as much as possible. Well most of us do. BabyBoy2 is yanked back into the camp every few minutes.
Now full of food. And despite BabyBoy2 refusing to give back a plastic sandwich tub which he has now claimed as his, for the rest of the day. We head off and go and see the dinosaur bones. And other awesome stuff.
Rucksack now pretty light.
<Dances a bit, but is actually quite knackered already, stops for a breather>

(Note the sandwich box...)

BabyBoy2 loves the dinosaurs.
Obvs. Me too it’s hella awesome. BabyBoy2 is so utterly excited about everything we see. All the sensory brain explosions in BabyBoy2 I was hoping for, happen. The museum is great. There’s high up stuff, low down stuff, mid range too. There is something for us all. It's quite brilliant really.
<Sings national anthem>
<But trails off mid first verse as not entirely sure of the lyrics>

We all have great fun.
No grumps from anyone. It is awesome. And did I mention free?
And. Dinosaur bones rock. Rock hard.
Go visit.

Then it's time to leave.
More walking. Underground again. Train again.
And having the car waiting at the station is much loved and appreciated.
<Hugs car>
<Flips parking meter the bird>

Then finally home.
We must have been gone a year at least. Everyone gets a cartoon and carried to bed. They are all fast asleep in moments after a story. BabyBoy2 holding the dinosaur toy we bought him. Miss6 the same. Boy9 holding his new dinosaur game. All happy and right royally knackered.
Team Parent (yay!) limp in front of the tele and become one with the sofa. Really bond with it.
And then an early night (to sleep).

Excellent day out.
<Is bloody smug>
<Rubs sore hero arms and can barely move the next day>