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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16 November 2017

Rage Against the Dad (Machine)...

Boy10 had slept over at a mates house the night before.
Which probably means he had no sleep.
Me and Mrs. Amazing we're busy getting ready for a party at our place.
Miss6 and BabyBoy3 were happy enough playing together.
In their mad little way...

What is this?
Miss6: 'Our babies house'
But that's right where I am sweeping! Tidying for the party!!!
<BabyBoy3 stomps about in sweepings>
Right! No new toys out! We've getting ready for a party!!!
BabyBoy3: 'Awwwwwww'
Miss6: <Sticks out tongue>
Put everything away... No toys out...
<Both head off and make mess around the corner>

(Seemed rather apt for them both... (source))

Team Parent (yay!) spend the morning cleaning.
And getting things ready for party. Boy10 was asked to tidy his room.
As it looked like an actual Nerf war and explosion had taken place. Bullets everywhere. And to de-hide all the hidden clothes.
Miss6 and BabyBoy3 were left to play and chill out.

By lunch time.
Team Parent (yay!)'s patience with Boy10 was wafer thin.
There had been rudeness. Strops. And meanness to Miss6 and BabyBoy3. Which isn't acceptable. Big brothers should be kind.
I'm a third child. I can still feel the injustices elder siblings can dish out.
<Weeps and dramatically sweeps away>

Towards the end of lunch.
Of a not very fun. Will you please eat up the party starts soon lunch. That had taken nearly an hour.
As they were all being utter fussy pains. Mrs. Amazing excused herself from the table and went to have a little moment away from the kids. For everyone's safety.
It was combination of Boy10 being rude and obnoxious to us all. And Miss6 being the world's slowest and most annoying eater. And BabyBoy3 had joined in, as little children do, when the big ones are doing stuff.
Team Parent (yay!) still had lots to do before the party and 'The Annoying Three' were refusing to eat a plain jacket potato.
With utter class and control Mrs. Amazing excused herself to me, and headed upstairs for fifteen minutes chill out.
Leaving me to fight the demons.

Back! BACK! You hellcats!
BabyBoy3: 'Meow!'
... er... kind of… er… not really...

I told them all off.
A ‘look what you have done to your poor Mother’ speech. For shame and all that. Boy10 was unrepentant however. <Eye twitches>
Boy10 lasted another five minutes at the table. Honestly I did my best. But I was up against someone really keen to be told off. I took the answering back. The rudeness. The obnoxiousness. Actual obnoxiousness. For what felt like hours. But was five minutes.
Then I snapped.

(Show of hands… Who wants what from me today?
There’s no point putting up both hands Mrs. Amazing…
It still only counts as one…)

Up I reared from my seat like a stallion.
Snatched the the knife and fork from his hands that he was STILL drumming on the table. Despite being told not to. A billion times. And send him to his room.
Off he stropped. Me helping him go. Him sending a few rude words my way. An insult or two.
Nice.

I walk back into the kitchen fuming.
The other two ate like the wind after that. BabyBoy3 ate the last of his food very quickly and looks very sorry. Then very sweetly did his best request to get down ever.
Miss6 whined once more. Until she realised how close I was to losing it with her.
Then she shushed and ate her jacket potato. Slowly.
But she ate it.

With lunch done.
I go and find Mrs. Amazing and explain that Boy10 just got worse. She is not surprised and absolves me from any blame. Which I needed. Thanks.
I offer a cuppa and she says she will down in a moment. Refreshed and ready to rejoin the battle. Which Mrs. Amazing was.
Which was lucky. As ten minutes later it's my turn. As I am about throw Boy10 throw several windows, my chank totally offed. When Mrs. Amazing suggests I take a break and she take over. Which I did. And she did. Dids allround.
A quick break had clearly made a huge difference for Mrs. Amazing. Maybe it would for me.
I use my time wisely and play stupid games on my phone meditate.

Then we had the party.
More rudeness from Boy10 during it. Boy10 called me a 'Grumpy Old Man' in front of his mates. Which is very rude and hurtful, who’s scruffy looking?. Mrs. Amazing made him retract his comment and apologise. I was holding a can of spray squirty cream at the time (don’t ask) and Boy10 was very lucky to walk away with nostrils empty.
However. All in all. It was a fun and lovely, but hard, and exhausting, party.
Team Parent (yay!) were knackered.

Then there was the rage.
And it wasn't anyone's fault. It was just bad luck. <Sighs> <Shakes fist at universe>
Guests gone. A good dent in the clear-up operation had been made. But it was 6pm and bed time. And everyone was going to bed early.
Especially Boy10.

Considering your behaviour...
... and how tired you are...
... I calculate that you need to go to bed... three days ago...
Mrs. Amazing: 'DEAL!' <Runs to bed>
No! Not you... <Trails off>
<Coughs on the dust Mrs. Amazing kicked up in her haste>

Miss6 and BabyBoy3 were sat.
In jammies waiting for a cartoon before bed. But Boy10 was still watching a movie. Which Miss6 and BabyBoy3 had no interest in. However there was only five minutes left. So considering the mood Boy10 was in. He was allowed to watch the end. Whilst the other two waited.
I get milk for BabyBoy3 and do some more eating clearing up .

When the normally amazing magic box.
The magic one that sucks the tele programs from the aerial and shows us their wonder and flickering images of joy. Records them and stuff. That fella.
Well that lovely magic box started the rage rolling.

At 6pm exactly.
A cartoon for Miss6 and BabyBoy3 started recording. The one they wanted to watch ironically. The magic box was already recording the film Boy10 was watching. But on a +1 hour channel. As we had missed the start of it. Thought he'ld like that.
The magic box did what it was told. However it can only record two things if you are actually watching one of them. The magic box automatically changed channel to Miss6 and BabyBoy3's cartoon. Stopping Boy10 from watching the final minutes of his film.
I ran in as I heard him getting very cross about it mouth full of cake.

Boy10: 'Who did that? WHO DID THAT?'

It takes me a few moments to realise what happened.
It takes a while as Boy10 is in my face sure that I have stopped him watching his film.
Miss6 and BabyBoy3 are ignoring Boy10 as their cartoon is on. They're happy.
Luckily there is a message on screen that explains what the magic box has done. So I can at least explain and point to Boy10 why he cannot change channel.
He isn't listening though. He's just getting madder and madder.
I think I explained to him, calmly mind, and with differing words, ten times in a row what had happened. But he wasn't listening.
He was just getting madder.

Finally he got it.
And instantly wants Miss6 and BabyBoy3's cartoon recording stopped immediately.
I'm in two minds as I want them to watch their cartoon. So they can go to bed.
Boy10 would only be missing a few minutes of a film he has already seen. And it's recording anyway!
But Boy10's is adamantium and his voice just gets louder and crosser.
Eventually Mrs. Amazing hears and suggests he come upstairs and watch it on the small, but very much working, tele upstairs.
I leap on this as a perfect solution and tell Boy10. Over and over. Go watch your program upstairs. It's on. Go. Go. I am still talking calmly (I KNOW! Amazing huh!).
Boy10 however is not listening.

(Tada! I got a new badge at work!
Boy10: ‘Cool! What did you get it for?’
Pardon?... <Points at badge>)

Boy10 seems to have blown a fuse.
And in rage he starts unplugging everything connected to the tele. I am not really sure what to do. I know reaching out for him would be a huge mistake. He wants a fight. Any physical contact will go badly right now.
So I sit on the sofa with Miss6 and BabyBoy3 smiling and being happy with them. So they don't freak out or sense the stress in the room. And they don't.
Somehow.

Boy10 finally leaves.
Everything unplugged. Tele nearly knocked over. He had to abandon his plan to remove the scart cable. As it's an old tele and pretty heavy. I'd help obv. if he asked... But he's not really going to ask for my help right now.
Before he goes he stops to throw a big cushion at my head. Not fun-ly (real word) either.
Right at my head. With malice. I manage to ninja it aside and it wallops into the glass light shade.
Which wobbles…. OOOOOO! … and does NOT break!
Phew.

I smile to Miss6 and BabyBoy3 to show them nothing is wrong.
But inside I am a twisted wreck of anger and stress. Outside. Happy Daddy.
I start reconnecting the cables. Boy10 appears again. And hits me with a pillow. As hard as he can.
It's a pillow so I am fine. But he is not playing. Despite his poor choice of weapons.
A few more hits. And I realise I am more in danger of being knocked into the tele by a pillow and falling over. Then actually being hurt by something so soft.
So I move into more space and put my arms by my side. My decision is just to let him hit me with the pillow as much as he likes.
Let him burn his anger out.

No idea if that's a good tactic or not.
Someone did that to me once when I was young. I felt really helpless and embarrassed afterwards. So I am not sure it was the best choice.
But it's what I choose in that moment.

Boy10 goes at me for a bit.
But quickly realises pillows are not doing what he wants. Which is to hurt me.
So he moves in to start shoving me. Softly. He's only ten.
But that changes the tone of what is going on for me. This is now aggressive behaviour that I can't tolerate. It needs to end instantly.
I buffet his hands away and start towards him. Calmly mind.
Telling Boy10 to go his room. He is done here.
Go. Go.

A get another pillow thrown at me down the stairs.
But finally he is gone. I move back to Miss6 and BabyBoy3.
Put on a lovely, the world is all fine, la-la-la-laaaa, Sarah and Duck on tele.
They appear unfazed by everything.
Good.

(Sarah: ‘Ooo that weekend was rather heavy Duck’
Sarah: ‘I’m still seeing talking rainbows...’
Duck: ‘QUACK’

Meanwhile.
Upstairs Mrs. Amazing has taken over with Boy10. And he is releasing all his frustrations.
By shouting. Very loudly at the Mrs. Amazing. His room. His toys. The universe basically.
I imagine there was fist shaking too.
<Shakes fist>

Eventually there is quiet.
A deep bath is run for Boy10. CD player put next to bath for Boy10 to listen to, and focus on. Boy10 in bath. Mrs. Amazing calls down for Miss6 and BabyBoy3. I respond we are on our way.
Bedtime is a go.

Me and Miss6 have a lovely giggling story time.
Afterwards I pass Boy10 on the stairs. He gives me the dirtiest of looks. Like I was Piers Morgan. Utter contempt and hatred.
I smile back nicely. But he is clearly furious with me.
I head down stairs and continue tidying up. Feeling very exhausted and emotionally drained from keeping my cool with Boy10.
But the kitchen is a mess and there's lots of chocolates to eat.

After his bath.
Boy10 comes down to watch something. Eyes pretty red.
I sit next to him and say something nice and a bit funny (I believe).
Lighthearted anyway.

Boy10: <Looks furious> 'Shut up!'

Right.
Yes rude. Yes not acceptable. But this is not the right time.
I try once more to talk to him. He makes it very clear everything is my fault and he is furious with me. Fine. I leave.
Back to cleaning for me and hoovering up leftover snacks.

I go find Mrs. Amazing.
And ask her to please have a word with Boy10. Team Parent (yay!) quickly discuss stuff.
Military camp?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Yes. Siberia'
Nice….
We agree there is nothing to be gained in telling Boy10 off tonight.
But Mrs. Amazing asks there's anything I need from Boy10. An apology?
I am pretty sick of him right now. So I say so. Mrs. Amazing understands.
I add that I don't think it's good Boy10 goes to bed thinking everything is my fault.
Mrs. Amazing agrees and says she'll have a word.

I can hear BabyBoy3 still awake.
So go to put him back to bed. He tells me that if I don't give him his shield to go with his sword. He won't be my friend. I tell him it doesn't matter he will always be my BabyBoy3 and I love him. Now give me the sword, why have you got a sword? It’s bedtime!
BabyBoy3 stabs me in the tummy with his LEGO sword and after some encouragement goes back to bed. Without sword.
I leave. Feeling pretty unloved and stabbed. <Bottom lip out>
And head back to the kitchen mess.

Some music is needed.
And it soon weaves it magical magicy magic ness works. I lose myself in music. And I shift my 'Nobody loves me' mood. Mrs. Amazing finds me and asks if I can get Boy10 a USB cable for his walkman MP3 player. I find one and head upstairs.
Not knowing what Mrs. Amazing has said to Boy10. I didn't ask.
Mrs. Amazing may have set up this whole situation so we could make peace.
Or Boy10 could have her asked to set this up so we could make peace.
Or...

... this was all a test and I can finally take my place as an Avenger! or there's an exhausted little boy (Boy10) upstairs just wanting to listen something before he goes to bed. Chill himself out. Wonder where he might have got that habit from?...
<Puts on louder music>

There's no point discussing what has happened with him.
Mrs. Amazing has more than likely covered it all. So I just help him setup his music.
Boy10 is being nice. But is clearly very close to the edge still. His anger gone though. Burnt out. Hormones stopped messing with his head.
Boy10 is no longer glaring at me as though I'd eaten all his sweets again and deleted all his saved Minecraft worlds. (Which I would never do, some things are sacrosanct).
I sort his MP3 player out.

I wish Boy10 goodnight.
And pull him into my arms without really thinking about it. In hindsight this could have gone bad. Really bad. Boy10 could have felt trapped and got cross again.
But as I embrace him in a standing hug. He doesn't resist.
We hug each other hard with a lot of feeling.
A good squeeze if you will.

Now I am probably could be wrong.
But to me that hug felt like sorry - I love you Dad.
In one hug all is forgiven.
<Hands back all the LEGO man heads I had removed as revenge>
For both of us.

I'm in bed by 9:30pm that night.
Having bathed for at least an hour. I even took a beer up with me.
My body worn out and tight everywhere from contained stress and frustration. I don't sleep great for the same reason.
I find it really hard keeping all those emotions in and keeping my cool. And my body pays a price for it. Must get better at letting stress and frustration go.
<Makes note>
<Loses note>

(This is the metaphorical armies of hormones Team Parent (yay!)
will face in the <Shudders> teenage years… thrice...
<Orders forty giant eagles>)

Especially as Boy10 is only ten.
We've not even hit the teenage years yet. And Miss6 isn't that far behind…
And then there's BabyBoy3…
Theoretically and technically they could all be in their teens at the same time - Boy19, Miss16 and BabyBoy13!!!
<Gives you a very wide eyed look>
<Signs up to as many pubs meditation classes as possible>
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