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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1 September 2017

The First (of probably many) Betrayal...

I had a day off.
It's summer holidays so all three monkeys children are home with me.
And after a shouting and arguing rocky start with Boy10.
It was breakfast time...

Who wants pancakes?
BabyBoy3: 'ME!'
<Throws tiny pancakes>
Miss6: 'MEMEMEMEME!'
<Throws medium sized pancakes>
Boy10: <Silence>
Pancakes dude?
Boy10: <Minimal reluctant nod>
<Throws large sized pancake>
Sorry! My bad!
Boy10: <Peels pancake off face>
Here's another!
<Throws large sized pancake>

(A small pancake I made that went AWESOME!)
(And can do the the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs...)

All three of them fed.
Water nicely offered and watched until consumed. <Shakes fist>
And they were free to leave the breakfast table and off they all departed.
Boy10 to the computer to play his favourite game. As usual Boy10 checks with me before he goes onto the computer. Because that’s the rule.
I spend some time umming and arring because I am pirate wondering how I can say no whilst giving Boy10 something more constructive to do.
But I'm short of ideas today and have some work I want to do in the garden.
So Boy10 is told he has an hour to play then come help me in the garden.

I time him.
Using the oven. Which is the all powerful timing device in our house.
Not our phones. The oven. It's central and easy to set. Bonza.
I set an hour assuming Miss6 will come find me if I miss it and say 'The timers gone off Daddy'.
Love that girl.

BabyBoy3 and Miss6 need no such instruction.
As they are already playing with toys in the kitchen. A beautiful mad mix of fire engine and knights and dolly play. I've no idea what they are doing. But it works for them both.
And they are happy in their mad little worlds.

Which leave me the breakfast bomb site mess.
I remove all the Golden syrup from everything. Load the dishwasher. Pick the larger chunks of pancake off the floor.
Then quietly letting Miss6 and Boy10 know I will be outside.
I escape.

My plan is to build a garden feature.
A ramp. Made of mud. It's better than it sounds.
Imagine a grass covered hill and being able to run up and down it.
That's the mad great plan.

I get thirty minutes of peace.
Before there is a cry for help from Miss6. Can I get her some tape?
I stomp back in, remove muddy shoes, get tape. Check Boy10's timer. Grab some chocolate, for energy. A cuppa. Because tea is awesome. Shoes back on.
And out I go again.

Five minutes later.
Miss6 is stood in front of me. Asking if she can help.
I pass her the spade and sit down.
Of course she can. But I have to think of a job she can do.
It does occur to me she is still in her pyjamas. But I am sure she will be careful.
She is also wearing her best trainers.
But you know... careful.

BabyBoy3 arrives a few minutes later.
Also not dressed fully. He wants to help too. I set them both digging.
Which they love! But are rubbish at.

(Chief mud stomper hard at work)

About an hour goes by and nip back in.
And let Boy10 know his time is up.
And that I expect him to come out and join us.
And a few minutes later....
He does! <Faints>

Blinking at the light of day.
Hand still twitching from wanting to hold a mouse (computer one).
No grumping. No arguing. Outside. I must be doing something right.
He's still in jammies obv. Clearly they are all going to stay in jammies all day.
I’ve passed that phase of the day. I ain’t going back now. Everyone just needs to get over it.
Especially as BabyBoy3 is sat, jumping, laying about in the mud.
Miss6 is also sat in the mud digging away. All pretence of careful gone.
I plan to put a clothes wash on later (which I do do) (ha ha do-do!).

Now Boy10 has actual muscles.
Actual muscles that can help. So I tell him to get a real spade and get cracking. Which he does.
It's great! It's like my own small army of helpers.
DIG! DIG! MY PRETTIES! AHAHAAHAAAAA
And of course everyone loves digging.
I've music playing from my phone and for the next twenty minutes we all have a lovely time.
Digging away.

Then at some point Boy10 drifted off.
Inside. I was busy dealing with Miss6 who has got mud in her eye.
Well BabyBoy3 had thrown mud in her eye. As he got too enthusiastic with his spade. But she is fine. And a brave little soul that can pour water into her own eye.
Miss6 learnt this skill very recently when she broke a glow stick and it went in her eye. And I stood there explaining that no plaster, no cream, no tissue was going to help. Only water in the eye will help. And yes if we went to the docs they would do and say the same.
And whilst I felt a bit mean at the time, she can now rinse her own eye.
And because the glow goo had stung. Miss6 had learnt first hand why you wash out your eye.
Mud cleaned out. Brave trooper.
Back to BabyBoy3 and a quick word about throwing mud.

Don't throw mud!
BabyBoy3: 'Thorry Daddy...' <Sad little face>
<Prompting voice> And…
BabyBoy3: 'Thorry Miss6...' <Gives Miss6 cute as hell hug>
Good boy <Buys him a present>

(<Is shocked> Did you throw all this mud BabyBoy3?...
BabyBoy3: <Little nod>
Heck, I'm not even mad, that's amazing!)

An year hour later.
I realise Boy10 didn’t come back. So I decide I better check on him.
I am not worried about him at all. He's ten, it's summer hols, he can do what he likes. Ish.
He has my trust. He won't be doing anything dangerous. He would ask before doing anything dangerous I am sure. So I don't miss out.
Like I say. He has my trust.
I would just like to know where he is. See if he wants to join us again.
I pop inside.

OW!
Boy10? Dude?
Where are you? Come play?
Duuuuuuuuuu... <Is shocked to silence>

I find Boy10.
Headphones on. Which is why he didn't hear me.
On the computer.
The computer he isn't allowed on unless he asks. Always. Everytime.
On the computer that he was allowed on earlier for a limited time, but is not allowed back on until later.
On the computer.
<Fumes>

He notices me and his reaction speaks volumes.
He jumps a little and whips his headphones off and instantly says he's sorry.
I give him my 'I am seriously chanked-off with you right now, and you've been caught red handed' look. You'll have to imagine it.
I pause before saying anything so I don't just shout at him.
I manage to calmly tell him I am disappointed and not very happy.
He runs.

Up to his room.
Which is a bit annoying as I can't send him to his room now. I suppose I could go get him, bring him down stairs, and then send him to his room.
But seems a bit silly. Really I want him to join us all in the garden. Digging fun.
But as I stand there thinking. I realise I am pretty miffed at him. And hurt.
I’m hurt because I feel betrayed. I trusted him.
I am feeling actual betrayal of my trust.
How very annoying.

BabyBoy3 and Miss6 are now bored of digging.
But that's OK it's seed throwing on the ground time. Something they can both do brilliantly.
But as I do this fun with the little loonies.
My head is still running over the betrayal.

It's bugging me.
I plan lots of harsh punishments for Boy10. I'll delete his saved games. I'll put a password on the computer so he can never use it again. I'll steal his teddy and hold it to ransom. I'll set fire to his bed.
But the little loonies keep me busy for a while. Until they give up on scattering seeds and just ditch the lot in one spot. And then saunter off.

Boy10 keeps a low profile until lunch time.
I'm still a bit annoyed so rather than cook twice to allow for Captain Fussy A.K.A. Boy10.
He can just have the same as us lot. The fussy smegger.
I knows it's childish and a little vindictive. But it makes me feel a million better.
Hungry Boy10 eventually appears. He asks if there is anything else to eat that he might like.
I'm respond honestly. No. As I didn't fancy cooking another meal for you, as you snuck on the computer without asking.
I am not very happy with you.
<Sticks tongue out at Boy10>

Boy10 takes his food.
And to be fair doesn't complain. He even tries the stuff he doesn't like.
He doesn't complain after his movie request for something other than Moana is met with a no. Boy10 clearly knows he is trouble.
And is doing his best to make amends.

(Don’t think you’ll get round me with really, really, tasty
looking chocolate cake… <Licks lips>
Boy10: <Walks away with cake>

LEAVE the cake!...)

Eventually he comes to ask me for something.
Bored of watching Moana for the billionth time. Looking a bit sheepish. I already know what he is going to ask. And frankly I admire his guts.
Can he go on the computer again?
HAAHAHAAHHAHAHAAHA!!! Oh mercy!
<Wipes away tear>
No.

Boy10 looks a little gutted. And is just about to walk off.
When I have an idea...

Tell you what...
How about you earn some time on the computer instead. Redeem yourself?
How's that sound?
Boy10: <Is suspicious, but spots the loop hole I am offering>
I've some jobs you could do. That would be a great help. You could earn time on the computer for each one you do… Deal?
Boy10: 'Deal'
Boy10: <As an afterthought> 'Thank you Daddy'
Yes-yes, I am the nice one... Right. There's plumbs that are rotting that need picking up.
The recycling. Your room makes me want to weep a little. Tidy it…
And there's more digging to do!!! <Is hopeful>

I write him a list of jobs.
Which Boy10 goes through and does well. And he gets to go on the computer later on.
Both of us happy with the situation.
And me? Well I'm very proud of myself for keeping my cool. For NOT handing out crazy punishments in the heat of battle. For handling the situation like the big boy I am.
Mrs. Amazing will be so proud...

[Later]
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Why are they all still in pyjamas?... Caked in mud?’
<Shrugs whilst sat on mud ramp>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Are those Miss6's best trainers?’
Er... <Runs>

Will I ever fully trust Boy10 again, like before?
Probably... I hope so. I am sure I will. I forget lots of stuff.
I may just check on him a bit more often for a little while...

Boy10? Dude?
Where are you? Come play?
Duuuuuuuuuu... <Is shocked to silence>
Are you reading? Freely and without being made too?
<Faints>
Boy10: <Sarcastic and not at all worried about his Dad fainting>'Ha...ha...'

He really was reading.
A comic mind. But actual reading for pleasure.
Magic Parenting days.
<Does high-choir singing to make the moment more magical>
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