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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22 September 2017

Secondary School Hunting and Genius Mrs. Amazing...

OMB!
Secondary school is looming.
Boy10 and Team Parent (yay!) have already started looking around secondary schools.
His days at primary school already dwindling.
My little boy is about to start getting bigger a lot quicker.

Boy10: 'Why am I in a box?'
<Sat on the box> You are in a box, to help you stop growing up anymore!
Boy10: 'OK. That's seems a responsible, albeit extreme, response and plan to stop me growing up'
Boy10: 'Kind of touching really...'
Glad you think so...
...
Hang on! STOP BEING MATURE IN THERE!
<Bangs on box>
Stop growing up!!!

(Right that’s your daily minute… Get those hands back in the box…)

Due to the unique way our local schools work.
They have all have decided that two weeks into the Boy10's final year of primary school (I believe it is for all children, not just Boy10). During the evenings. That! is when they should have all their Open Evenings.
Which feels a bit mean on us parents who have just adjusted to everyone being back at school again, after the summer holidays.
And are finding the ropes a bit slimy and rotten, and keep tripping over them.
And on the children who are in new years, new classes, getting used to everything and then being dragged out late (for them) at night to see secondary schools.
But hey ho.
Pawns that we are.
<Swims for it>

Off we went to the first school.
A probably-not-going-to-go-to school a bit too far away. That is an Academy (sponsored by a business) and strive for excellence.
Well they all do. It's just during the talk they said that about a million times.
And did you know the results they got last year? I do. Verbatim. Over and over they said it.
One of the best in the county!
So... not the best though.

We obv. were late getting there.
A mix of traffic and we left late. Skills.
We did hope to catch the 6:30 talk. We made the 7:30 talk. Which was lucky for us.
But I do feel sorry for school staff and kids that had to endure the same talk three times.
I barely made it through one. I did manage to find a canteen and get a round of teas in. And then giggled away with some friends all the way through the whole talk.
Really showing Boy10 how to behave.

The school was full of first years.
Which I think in new money you call year 7. Or for simples, the kids were eleven.
The year 7's were there to walk us around the place. Answer any questions. Be the hosts as far as I could tell.
Yet as they were year 7's that meant they had only been at the school two weeks...

So... <Thinking of something to ask> ... er...
In the two weeks you've been at this school, what has been your highlight so far?
Year7: 'We got yesterday off to make up for being here tonight!'
I see... <Gives Mrs. Amazing look>
... interesting...

Why don't they fill the school with fifth years?
Er... year 11's... (sixteen year olds) children that have been there a long time?
Are they worried what they might say?

And what's has been your highlight so far?
Year 11: 'The fire'
What fire?
Year 11: 'The fire when all the children rebelled against the odious teachers regime and rose up and took back our freedom!!!'
Year 11: <Breaks out into Vive Le Enfants>
<Entire room of children start singing along>
<Team Parent (yay!) quietly back off>

(Vive)

Still it was a nice evening.
We didn't get back until nine in the evening. Which meant Boy10 was pretty nuts and wired for bedtime. Funsies.
But it was good to show Boy10 what a secondary school looks like.
Obv. he loved the science labs as they were setting stuff on fire. Making stuff explode. Magnets. Lasers. Death rays etc...
All excellent stuff.
Open night for Science teaches must be a doddle. They merely have open their big books of 'Awesome showoff experiments' and choose.
I feel sympathy for the R.E. teachers. The geography teachers. The languages...

GeogTeacher: 'And this rock is blue'
<Silence from the crowd>
GeogTeacher: 'And forty billions years old! Oooo!'
<Silence from the crowd>
[BOOM from the science labs]
<All the adults check their watches and start shuffling out>
GeogTeacher: 'Er.. and this rock is green... No wait... that's the same rock...'
<Everyone runs>

Maths and computing knew what they were doing too.
Robots out in the computer labs. Roboting about. Cool.
Fun puzzles in the maths rooms. Really. Fun ones. With sweets as taking part prizes. Boy10 got well involved with those.
I'm pretty sure sweets from teacher wasn't something that happened too often whilst I was at Secondary school.
Maybe they did. It was three four millennia ago.

So every week. Ish.
There is now a school Open Evening to attend. Until the end of October, when we have to decide which school we want. And submit our forms.
Which is pretty hard core planning ahead for me. I was hoping we could do it a week before we start.
Mrs. Amazing: <Shakes head at me>

And each Open Evening means we need a babysitter.
But that can't be helped. It would be hard to get time off work to go during the day. And then the schools really should be teaching stuff. Not trying to woo us.
And woo us is really what they were doing. It was a bit strange.
Like they wanted us to buy into their vision.
Meh.

We already know neuftyneufy percent which school Boy10 will go to.
As he will be able to walk there. Which is a huge bonus for Team Parent (yay!).
We would only have two monkeys to deliver in the mornings.
And because...
...
...
well
...
...
we know which school we want... <Shuffles foot on the ground>
... and that the school is OK and checks out with us.
Because. Mrs. Amazing is an evil genius.

Last year.
When all secondary school thoughts were a clear year and a bit away. Mrs. Amazing made a genius suggestion. As the school we most want to see is last to have their Open Evening. Which would give us very little time to decide.
Why don't we just... er... sneak along to their Open Evening a year early. They are ‘Open Evenings’?
<Is gobsmacked and impressed>

(Me and Mrs. Amazing…
Hang on! Does that make me Pinky??? WHAT!!!
<Mulls it over>
Suppose it's better than bald, fat, old man...
<Gives Boy10 a look>)

Which is what we did.
Now we get to see all the other ‘maybe’ schools already knowing what our favourite is like! #Win
And we get to check up on the school two years in a row. In case it was a fluke first time. #WinWin
Genius (Mrs. Amazing is) (not me) (I’m pink).
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16 September 2017

Like Frikkin’ Parent Ninjas (that are careless with their possessions)...

I had been at work.
And after skipping running out of the office whooping and hollering, I had managed to get myself home.
And as walked up to the front door. I got ready to be greeted by my small army of lunatics children…

BabyBoy3: <Drops whatever he is doing, meets me at the door excited> 'Daddy!!!'
<Gets a leg hug>
Miss6: 'Daddy!' <Gives me a hug and has lots of things to show me and tell me>
Boy10: <Eyelids flicker, once, in my direction>

But as I got to the front door.
I notice there is no car at home. Which is surprising as normally there is a car there. Whatever model had taken Mrs. Amazing’s fancy that morning Ours in fact.
And the little faces that normally I see through the windows, getting ready to fight, or leap off the sofa, armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, covered in snot. They are not there, too.
<Wonders if I am at the wrong house>

(My house… This is not… Ooooo)

I let myself in.
Which makes me happier this is my house. I’ve got a key.
And of course the Cat is here. The fussy cat.
The cat that doesn't like his food ever. I give him more of the same food he doesn't like. And then flip him the bird.
And then I am a little disappointed that no one was here to greet me. It’s nice when they all come running, happy to see me. Mrs. Amazing glad to have more adult-ish company.
Of course this could just mean they are all hiding.
Ready to jump out and scare the crap out of me...

Helloooo? Is anyone hom...
Boy10: <Dives out from behind a door 'AHHHHHHHH!'
EKKKKKKKK! ARHGHGHGHGG <Runs into a wall, knocks self out>
Boy10: <Laughs for hours>

After a heart stopping.
Fear ridden house search. I accept there is no one home. And that some parts of the house are pretty scary when it’s all silent. And the Cat’s a sneaky git that enjoys leaping out at me.
Where the smeg are they all?
I check the chocolate cupboard again. Still not there.
<Flicks on kettle>

Where are they all?
I check my phone for a message from Mrs. Amazing. 'We're running late, be home soon' something like that. But nope. No message.
Which means Mrs. Amazing is probably driving.
And running late.

So what on earth to do with all this rare and free time?
<Checks chocolate cupboard again>
Being the good Team Parent (yay!) member that I am. I head upstairs and get everyone's bedrooms ready for bed. Draw the curtains. That kind of things.
I also grab jammies for all and line them up on the sofa. So all three monkeys can come in the door and get instantly ready for bed.
I get BabyBoy3's milk warmed and ready and Mrs. Amazing’s wine chilled.
And then I sit and drink my tea.
Lovely.

It is strangely quiet without them all in the house.
I could do anything I wanted. Things I always want to do, but can’t.
I could watch what I want on the tele. Play my guitar.
ANYTHING!
Of course whatever I start doing, I know, I KNOW!
That just as I am getting into it…. They will get home and interrupt it.
I make another cuppa.
And then, and this maybe a little left field, I decide to cook a lasagne.

It is almost as though I am taunting them all.
Go on! Interrupt what I am doing! You'll regret it. I am making lasagne.
And no one ever wants that process to be stopped.

(#TheDream)

Forty minutes later.
I've made the bolognese sauce, the white sauce, even properly left it to infuse, and I am just layering everything up. 90% done.
When the gang finally pull up in the car.

I go outside to help Mrs. Amazing.
Miss6 and BabyBoy3 are fast asleep. And will need to be handled very carefully.
As if they now wake getting them to bed will be annoying and take ages.
Which we don’t want. At present they are sleep.
We just need them to be sleeping in their beds.

Boy10 on the other hand.
Leaps out of the car and starts running about with Mrs. Amazing's cheery patterned shawl over his head….

Boy10: 'I am Cherry man!' <Cool superman move>
Team Parent (yay!) as one: 'SHhhhhhh!' <And a 'you better stop that instantly' look>

Team Parent (yay!) exchange looks.
No works need to be exchanged. We've two children to whisk up to bed. Without waking them. Team Parent (yay!) instantly switch to ninja mode.
Cars are opened and closed as though a sound detecting laser cannon was pointing at our backs. Boy10 / Cherry man is shushed again and ushered inside to get his jammies on.

<Whispering> QUIETLY!

Mrs. Amazing gets BabyBoy3 from the car.
He is very asleep, and he the most, needs to stay asleep.
If he wakes now. It'll be nine o'clock before he finally crashes out again.
Mrs. Amazing is very careful taking off his belt.

I have Miss6 to remove from the car.
And put into bed. I get the door open like a ninja. Seat belt is carefully removed, like I am defusing a bomb.
Then I notice Miss has Mrs. Amazing's coat on her legs. I go to remove it. But it doesn't move. It's then that I realise Miss6 has put her legs into Mrs. Amazing's coat's arm sleeves.
Sheesh!

Slowly I manage to get Miss6 free of the coat.
And pull her up into my arms. She wakes a little.
My heart starts pounding...

Shhh shhhh it's beditme...
Don't wake up.... Shhhh shhh… Please
Miss6: <Opens eyes briefly> <Falls back alseep>

I take Miss6 upstairs to her bedroom.
And gently put her on her bed. Luckily for me she is keen to sleep.
I only have to put the duvet over her. She has fresh water already, as I did that whilst I was waiting. The curtains are all closed and I feel darn proud of myself for getting all their bedrooms ready earlier.
Miss6 is already asleep.

I meet Mrs. Amazing leaving BabyBoy3's room.
He is also fast asleep. We high five at the top of the stairs in silence and head downstairs.
Still one to go. But there’s no rush for him.

Mrs. Amazing explains why she was late.
Saved the world again. A shoe lorry tipped over, and she was getting them all. They got caught up in traffic. Hence why they are so late.
It is the first words we have exchanged since they got home. Ninja mode now turned off.
I say I've made a lasagne whilst I waited.
Which is fifth on the list of the best things someone could do for you whilst they wait.
A hungry Mrs. Amazing is very happy with me.
And Mrs. Amazing takes Boy10 quietly up for bed…

Boy10: [STOMP STOMP]
Team Parent (yay!) as one: QUIETLY!

Feeling very proud of Team Parent (yay!).
I head out to the car to get all the stuff in. There's always stuff. It always needs to be in.
Team Parent (yay!) had worked like a well oiled team then. Ten years of being parents had finally paid off. We were slick, efficient, requiring minimal interaction, children putting to bed ninjas.
I am so proud of us.

(Bagsie the Pirate one…
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Damn it!... Stupid dolphin sticker…’ <Grumbles off>
<Is very happy with pirate sticker>)

Then I realise we'd left the front door wide open.
Since we’ve been upstairs. Quite a while.
Every single door on the car is wide open too.
Boot too. With all it's scooters and bikes just sitting there screaming 'pinch me', ‘no me,’ ‘no me!’.
Mrs. Amazing's handbag is sat in the footwell of the passenger side.
It’s so tempting, I nearly pinch it.

So parent ninjas we are.
But very careless and lucky ones, that are prone to leave our valuables just lying about whilst we work. But still ninjas.
<Rolls eyes at us>
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