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!).

25 October 2017

And... Half Term Wind Down... And All Sick... yay.

Half term again.
And it's very much needed for all. They all are.
Tempers are frayed. Stress levels are high.
And everyone is either sick, or about to get sick...

Mrs. Amazing: 'You OK?'
Yeah not bad <Is eating chocolate>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Oh good, the kids have caught something and I bet one of us will get it soon...'
Nope! ALL FINE <Coughs>
.. Well... Except for this sore throat I have...
Mrs. Amazing: 'Sore throat?' <Presses quarantine button>
[Quarantine walls drop and imprison me]
Mrs. Amazing: 'Stay away sick boy!'
<Cannot reach the chocolate cupboard>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Sorry... sound proof!'
Mrs. Amazing: <Helps self to chocolate>

Team Parent (yay!) have been blindsided by our childcare requirements.
As in we haven't planned it. A quick 9pm meeting is called and quick decisions are made.
Who has the most holiday left? Who can take a day off and be with the three terrors cherubs.
What are your parents and my parents doing? Basically everyday of the holidays?
Then with these details guessed at, we rapidly assign days with Boy10, Miss6 and BabyBoy3.
Or split them up and farm off to friends and well wishers and that lady Tina I met down the the pub last week, who seemed nice, and frankly if she can care for the all the cats she claims she has, the kids will be fine.
BabyBoy3 still heads off to Nursery, half term or not. We pay, so he goes.
Which makes the allocation a bit easier. As the list of 'approved' and 'would be happy to do it' carers definitely shrinks when you point out there is bottom wiping involved.
And, as it's termed, accidents.

(When are we next free?
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Hang on’ <Checks>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘3015, a Friday… and only for seven minutes…’
Oh… <Is sad>)

Mrs. Amazing: 'So who is left on the list?'
Your mum, my mum, me and you
Mrs. Amazing: 'All busy'
Pants... I could take a day off?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Your holiday is low. Could you call in sick?'
<Is shocked> You mean lie?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Yes'
Sure If I have to, but know that I am against this totally and am only doing this under duress... Hang on!... I've work outing that night?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Hmmmm... that would look pretty bad...'
I KNOW! I could grow a moustache and then no one would know it's me!
Mrs. Amazing: <Sighs>
And a hat... a BIIIIG hat... tights... shades... have we got any wigs?
Mrs. Amazing: '<Just walks away>
My plan...
Mrs. Amazing: 'Yup?'
Well it was dumb... wasn't it...
Mrs. Amazing: 'You're so pretty'
Do you really think I'm pretty? Thanks! <Walks off chuffed>
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Muppet. I'll take a day off then...' <More sighing>

The last day of term.
They all got a small treat from the shops. As is Mrs. Amazing's tradition.
BabyBoy3 is very excited to show me when I get home. Miss6 has lots to tell me about her toy. And I am pretty sure Boy10 was gloating about what he got.
It was hella cool to be fair.
School bags are left where they fall. School shoes are discarded in weird and wonderful places around the house. I am sure they must remove one, hop about a lot, and then go take off the other. The bath time requirement is revoked and everyone gets to stay up a little late.

Mrs. Amazing: 'Are you coming to bed?
No way. It's half term! <Is chugging>
Mrs. Amazing: 'You still have to go to work you know...'
<Chugs harder>

And then saturday lumbered into view.
Did a little dance, before plopping down in front of us all and giving us all a big hug.
And the stresses and hardships of the term and their effects could be seen.
In each of my spawn.

(Not one of my Spawn... unfortunately…)

Boy10 is wound up.
Like a really tightly wound up thingy. That is championing all things wound up and has really taken it's aim and direction in life to be the most wound up to heart.
Talking to him is a bit like being shouted at whilst being asked for your company. And you have to duck Nerf bullets a lot.
Which is fine. Except Miss6 and BabyBoy3 are getting some of his unwinding thrown at them.
Which is not fine. Nofine (great word).
That morning Boy10 lasts a little under thirty minutes before he is sent back to his room.
Which isn't a great resolution for a problem I know. But it's only 7am and my brain noey workey dat early. He refuses. And I've nothing else.
But he gets the message that Miss6 and BabyBoy3 are not there for him to be mean to.

I knew he would be like this.
Of which I am proud of me. That I worked it out on my own and didn't need Mrs. Amazing to remind me. +5 Dad Points
I just have to be calm and patient with him. He wants a fight. And I must NOT give him one. Unless we are actually fighting (for fun).
And... Mrs. Amazing did have to remind me that it was half term. Which I knew. But somehow had failed to connect the dots in my head.

Boy10 also refuses to any homework.
Which is a bit annoying. As it would be good to get it done and out of the way. But I can't fight that fight on his first day off.
I've no heart for it.
Boy10 just needs to chill for a bit. Not in front of the computer as that doesn't help. A bit tele wouldn't hurt.
But really he needs to be outside chasing and breaking (probably) things.

Miss6 works hard at school.
Really hard. And when she finally gets a break, she does a classic Miss6.
She had moaned of a bad tummy. And headache. But she moans of that most nights when she doesn't want to go to bed.
So it's fair enough that Mrs. Amazing ignored her and off school-shoe shopping they went.
Apparently. Mid trying on shoes Miss6 proved, rather visually, that she was actually feeling proper sick.
And puked in Clark's mid trying on shoes.
The staff were very understanding I hear. And Mrs. Amazing was as per her name.
Cleaning it up. Grabbing another mother, with a baby, and 'borrowing' some wet wipes.
Then running the bundle of loveliness out to the bin.
Before returning and encouraging the staff to please try the other foot as well, as there's no way they are coming all this way.
And not coming back with shoes.
And then even better. Damn she's impressive sometimes.
Mrs. Amazing asked if they could please try on some pumps / plimsolls / daps (??) as well. Whilst they were there. Which they got too.
Haha. Now that is hardcore parenting.
<Boughs Bows>

And BabyBoy3.
Poor little BabyBoy3 with a bad cough and unable to sleep through a night all week.
And his loving and kind, but hella tired out parents.
Well he suddenly got a red ear...
(Which if you don't know if the universal sign for 'Child is hella poorly', and they need resting and 4hrs Disney STAT!)

(Well that’s me busy for the next year…
<Puts on M.Mouse ears>
<Feels cool>)

Mrs. Amazing: 'Oh no! Red ear!' <Presses quarantine button>
[Quarantine walls drop and imprisons me]
Mrs. Amazing: 'No... But BabyBoy3 needs your spot on the sofa...'
Mrs. Amazing: 'And some chocolate...'
<Muffled>NOOOOOOOOO!!!! <Collapses dramatically>
<Hurts knee> <Doesn't cry>

Happy half term unless you work through it all, like me. So really just happy watching your kids having time off without you. yay.
<Weeps at desk>

20 October 2017

One, Some, Many, Days Like This...

It had been a long day at work.
Aren't they all? But this was one of those hella soul draining days.
So much so that I left the office not feeling elated and relieved to go home.
The drudge of the day had been overpowering and I was struggling to find something to feel excited for…

I plugged my headphones in as I left the office. <Giving everyone two fingers up>
I've had a ten minute walk ahead of me. And maybe, just maybe, some good music may clear my head. And get me out of this funk.
Get me back into the Dad mode I needed. At home was three monkeys waiting to be battled to bed. And at that moment the thought of that was almost more than I could take.
I turned the music up loud, music filling my lug-holes (ears), and got my walk on.

The rather excellent Elbow were playing.
And even better it was their pretty earth shatteringly good song 'One Day Like This' from 'Seldom Seen Kid'.
Which is about new love, and passion, and all those wonderful things me and Mrs. Amazing (she was Miss then, she wasn't born Mrs. that would be weird) got up to before we had kids.
When there was nothing else in the world except each other. Those first moments of love and passion.
If you don’t know the song. Go check it out.
We'll wait…
<Has a nap>
(Oh and it's not just me that likes the song. It was played live by the band at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Nice).

(Hear and watch the pretty random video herey)

There's beautiful violins in it.
Which sound to me of swaying. Of holding someone tight. Every time the bow hits the strings, the silky smooth sounds of an orchestra playing all as one, talk to me of flying free. And unfettered. Sweet huh.
It all builds to a glorious crescendo where Guy Garvey, the lead singer, is belting out in his incredibly crisp tones that 'It's looking like a beautiful day'.
It's hard to not feel cheered by that.
The end soars into the bacon and cake heavens as a choir joins in, all singing 'One day like this a year'd see me right, for life’
Amazing. And I lose myself, in a good way, as I walk. Where the devil am I?
And I know he's right. Guy that is. I remember how wonderful it was when me and Mrs. Amazing we were just living for each other.
Totally engulfed in each others presence. All day, every day. Before the children.
All of them. Before we were Team Parent (yay!).
Before nappies. Before sleep was something to chase. Before we were <Shudders> responsible <Twitches> adults.
Amazing times.

I get home and reluctantly remove my headphones.
Back to being a father of three. Back to always being busy.
I open the door and expect to find Boy10 on the computer playing Roblox or something. BabyBoy3 and Miss6 sat watching cartoons with Mrs. Amazing.
All getting ready for bed.
But it is OK. I have removed my mood. I am ready for them all.
And actually I feel a lot of love for them all. My plan is to be 10% extra fun this evening.
Thank you foot Elbow.

But as I open the door and poke my head in HERE'S DADDYYYYY!.
There is no one there. And the house is silent. Lights are on though.
No sounds of bath time. No tele on. No Boy10 having a four year shower and still not managing to clean himself.
Trust me. When you have three kids. Nothing is more alarming than...

(Unlike most knees Boy10’s repel all water and cleaning products…
We are hoping that this skill can one day be used to help reduce friction on larger ocean vessels...)

Then Mrs. Amazing appears from the kitchen.
Rushing by. Looking a little like the day wasn't easy.
She explains where the children are. And what they had done.
And that they are all little rat bags, and have to go to bed early, without any tele.
I put back on my coat and headphones and head out into the night promising I'll back within a year.

It seems tea time had not gone well.
Boy10 had refused his food totally. And rudely.
Miss6 had been outraged there was bacon on her pasta and had refused. Again rudely.
BabyBoy3 however wasn't really in trouble. He had just been whining all day due to his cold and inability to sleep through the night this week.
Mrs. Amazing had given them both a lot chances. And without doubt the punishments were fair.
And everyone was taking their punishments differently.

For Boy10 it's a stake in the heart.
How dare we take away his tele time. HOW VERY DARE WE.
He has a cake-given right to watching The Simpsons, or a bit of a film (who does that!), before bed.
I find him sulking in the kitchen, doing some Hama beads (Perler in the U.S.).

Miss6 is more Zen about it.
And frankly quite happy as she is doing colouring in. I think enjoys the excuse to do that rather than watch tele. Although for the record she is also very annoyed about missing stuff. And blows me a raspberry.
And can I pass her some more pens please.

So whilst Mrs. Amazing puts Miss6 to bed.
Me and BabyBoy3 sit and watch his favourite cartoons. An Octonauts and a Sarah and Duck. Lovely. It's nice to cuddle up together. Giggling.
And it's really calm and peaceful.

Until Boy10 grows bored of his Hama beads.
And decides to start driving a remote control car around the house. A noisy one.
So much so BabyBoy3 complains he cannot hear what Sarah is saying.
Then Boy10 walks in, walking as slow as possible so he watch as much tele as he goes by.
Boy10 blatantly looks at the tele as much as possible as he goes past.
Just to annoy me.

Come on, you're not allowed to watch tele tonight...
... Just head on through...
Boy10: <Does slowest walk ever>
<Eats cushion in helpless anger>

I ignore him and he departs.
But then the remote control car comes back in. Without Boy10.
Which is really very funny. But not for me right now, as I'm the adult in charge. Bacon-damn-it.
Eventually I just stop the car with my foot. I don’t damage it. I'll be buying a new one if I did. But it's enough to convince Boy10 I might. The car is removed and Boy10 is sent away.
He cackles and makes as much noise as can before leaving.

Then it's BabyBoy3's bedtime.
We have lovely stories. Giggle a lot. We sing together as I close the door confident that BabyBoy3 will go straight to sleep.
Then I realise he hasn't got any water and head off to get him some.
And there's my mistake.  In that two minute window Boy10 sneaks into BabyBoy3’s room and 'says' ''''night night''''.
Or as I would like to call it... riles him right up!
Double grr.

I then spent the next forty minutes with BabyBoy3 running.
Actual running. Out of his bed and room. Giggling and trying to punch me.
Where's that come from? Where my cute little boy gone? Ow! Don't hit those, that hurts!
Nothing will sooth him. Nothing will convince him to stay in bed.
I eventually take his Buzz Lightyear away and that only makes him wail and then start climbing furniture looking for it.
Buzz is returned. And all my chill is has gone.
I leave BabyBoy3 and head away, so I am not there to play with.
Where Mrs. Amazing suggests I take a minute out to calm.

Obvs. I do not.
I meant to. I really did. But didn't actually.
Instead I wade back in and get caught up again.
Until finally they are all being annoying at once. In a mexican stand off kind of way. With me in the middle.
I am trying to stop BabyBoy3 escaping his room behind me. Boy10 is sneaking up the stairs, now holding a banana gun (it fires little plastic bananas, it's awesome), aiming at me.
And Miss6 has just appeared saying you cannot sleep in her bed.
Her sleeping place.

Poor Miss6 gets the brunt of my anger and frustration.
Not full on shouty I hasten to add. Not totally lost it. Still some control.
Boy10 is warned that he better make himself scarce for the rest of the night.
BabyBoy3 is firmly told to go to bed again.
I get a raspberry.

(Err… thanks…
... Errr... Where did you get that?
BabyBoy3: <Runs>)

I realise my mistake.
And go apologise to Miss6. I say I am sorry. She's cool about it. She was being naughty getting out of bed again anyway. But I do apologise.
When I later tell Mrs. Amazing what happened in this moment. Miss6 being out of bed is what makes her scrunch up her tea cup.
Ceramic mind.

Eventually I give up trying to convince BabyBoy3 to stay in bed.
Instead I sit down and play Lemmings on my PC.
Yep the really old game from 1991. It's free. And still as fun as it was three millennia ago.
Eventually BabyBoy3 finds me and stands behind me watching. I ignore him.
He tries crawling under my chair, but bangs his head.
And goes back to watching over my shoulder. As I am clearly ignoring him.
I change from trying to save the little Lemmings on screen, to purposely killing them.
It feels good.

BabyBoy3 starts to sound sleepy enough to be dragged back to bed.
Boy10 has wisely hidden in his room. And doesn't appear again until he suddenly realises he won't get his bedtime story unless he stops bugging me.
He stops bugging me and gets a short story...

Once a upon a time there was a boy called Boy10, who really bugged his Dad.
And behaved like an utter looney at bedtime. So his Dad sat in his room and did a really big stinky fart as revenge.
Boy10: <Looks at me>
Boy10: 'Dad don't!!!'
<Huge gas explosion>
Boy10: 'OH NO! IT'S EVERYWHERE' <Cough cough>
Boy10: <Passes out>
<Leaves smugly, and considers improving diet> <Does not>

Miss6 wisely doesn't get out of bed again.
When I checked on her. She was still awake.
Just lying in the dark plotting staring at the glow in the dark stars on her ceiling.

But finally they were all in bed.
Boy10's not asleep but that's not so bad. He is ten.
BabyBoy3 is snoring away. Dressed in his Buzz Lightyear jammies happy that he has been promised a go on Lemmings tomorrow (not my save game he won't).
Miss6 may still but plotting. I didn't want to risk opening her door and disturbing her.
But the bedtime battle is finally complete.
My sense of calm and peace. Mutilated.

(A seasonal representation of my mind calmynessington (real word)).

I staggerd make it downstairs.
Where I find Mrs. Amazing. Who after putting Miss6 to sleep. Had totally abandoned me to catch up on some work. She was sat in the kitchen working away.
Quite happy...

Mrs. Amazing: 'How did it go?' <Without glancing up from her work>
I'll tell you about it later once I've had a beer or seven...
<Mutters> One day like this a year'd is gonna put me in my grave early...
<Gets on with the housework>
Might finally catch up on some sleep...
<More muttering>

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