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 December 2017

Tinsillitis... Merry Christmas!

I was gonna name this tale ‘A Classic Christmas with kids’ as that's what it feels like.
The same kind of Christmas we've had ever since Boy10 rocked up all those years ago.
But I went with tinsillitis as it has loads more aptyness (real word).

There were clues on Christmas Eve.
Of what was to come. Now that we are looking back full of looky-back-wiseyness and cheese. Miss6 had told us that she was heading upstairs for a sleep. Bit weird at lunch time. And Team Parent (yay!) had just assumed Miss6 was still worn out from the school term, or was just going up to do some hardcore colouring in. As she does sometimes.
In all the excitement, cheese, and frantic last minute wrapping, ninjaing around trying not to make a sound, cheese, asking Boy10 what the smeg is he still doing up at 11pm when Santa's on his way. Well during all that... Team Parent (yay!) may have forgotten to stop to think through what was going on with Miss6.
And well those clues got missed.

(Diagnosis? Christmas nutter...)

Where's Miss6?
Boy10: <Is picking nose> ‘She went for a lie down’
Cool… <Gives frowny face>
Boy10: <Eats it and grins at me>
<Ignores Boy10’s grossness>
<Thinks about Miss6>
<Thinks more>
<Eats some cheese>
<Thinks even more>
Hang on! <Stands>
That's bad on Christmas Eve!!! Wake her, wake her immediately!!!
She'll never sleep tonight

Christmas Day
Our morning started at 4:30am. As BabyBoy3 randomly woke up and came to see us.
He was guided back to bed, sweetly not spotting the stockings full of presents outside everyone’s rooms, by Mrs. Amazing. And amazingly convinced back to sleep.
For a whole hour. Oooo-wee let the good times roll.
At 5:30am BabyBoy3 was up again and this time with Miss6 in tow. Who did spot all the stockings etc.
Whilst Team Parent do have a ‘We don’t want to see you until 6:30am’ rule. It is relaxed on Christmas Day. And by relaxed I mean utterly ignored and the day just started there and then. Despite the look on my face.
Boy10 was up in moments and we all climbed onto Team Parent’s (yay!) bed to open our stocking presents from Father Christmas. Not before Mrs. Amazing quickly ran off to make essential cups of tea, and chocolate milk for the troops.
My role whilst she was gone was stopping any early present opening occuring.
It was hella tough. Two slipped through.
<Hangs head>

Our Christmas breakfast wasn’t great.
Which is a shame as it’s important to Mrs. Amazing. It’s a special breakfast to her.
A bit of a fight with Boy10 over when the present opening should happen, and how dressed, and how full of breakfast they should be, happened. And ended when someone, no names, stormed off to Boy10’s room and had a bit of a sulk with thinking time, in Boy10’s bed, wearing Boy10’s clothes, smelling like Boy10. The rest of us had a very nice calm breakfast.
Whoever it was’s (??) problem is that they get too excited and don’t know how to channel all that energy. Yet. I am sure Boy10 an unnamed child of mine will get it one day.
Sometimes Team Parent (yay!) handle these situations brilliantly…. Other times we’ve had a little under five hours sleep so it’s a bit of relief when he, or she, (he) storms off.
Despite loving the calmness Mrs. Amazing deeply missed Boy10 though.
Unnamed person came back eventually. Made an excellent Christmas apology (like a normal apology, but very much coloured by the fact there are present very close).
All friends again.

We ate, we cleared, we packed.
Then we headed off to Grannie-Amazing’s for the rest of Christmas Day. Bonza!
At Grannie-Amazing’s Mrs. Amazing’s sister and family joined us. Taking the totals to six adults and five children. Which may sound good in the adults favour, but that’s four boys, BabyBoy3, Nephew4, Nephew6, Boy10 and a Miss6. A smorgasbord of ages to enjoy.
And of course those six adults sober and not full of cheese would be more up to the task. But it’s Christmas, sober and not full of cheese don’t really happen with my family, or Mrs. Amazing’s. More so with her’s.

Miss6 struggled.
And lasted about two hours before she complained of a headache. The boys were too noisy. They probably were if you were in a forty inch thick concrete bunker had a headache. Poor love.
So Miss6 went upstairs and chilled out for a bit. Put on headphones and sang along to the music on her MP3 player. Which is both hilarious and brilliant to watch / hear.
Christmas dinner arrived and Miss6 declined. Headache.
She wasn’t even there for presents under the tree opening. Shocking I know.
She guest-starred for a bit, and unwrapped one or two. But mainly she missed it and sat playing quietly with her Glimmies (oh don’t ask, they glow in the dark, I just go with these things now).  She was sorely missed as without her the family dynamics change drastically.
Nephew6 is her bestie, which normally leaves Nephew4 to play with BabyBoy3, and Boy10 to be kind of like a sweeper going around the children and adults.
Without Miss6, Nephew6 and Nephew4 played together. Boy10 was left alone.
And I was upgraded to BabyBoy3’s best bud for the day, a rather larger, and grumpier, Miss6 replacement.
It was awesome. But tiring.

BabyBoy3: ‘Daddy? Canyou’dis with me?’ <Cute eyes> <Tugging at me>
<Is eating cheese> Hang on… Yes mate… <Crumbs everywhere>
What are we doing?
BabyBoy3: <Points>
Right! General cars playing and stuff. Brilliant!
<Sits on floor>
<Face becomes track almost instantly>
Ow! EYE! EYE-EYE caramba!

Eventually it is bedtime.
For BabyBoy3 first. He is a bit teary to be going to bed. As clearly he hella loves Christmas. Because all day everyone has given him brilliant presents. I don’t blame him, I still love it, Christmas rocks! and this is only his third.
But BabyBoy3 still has to sleep, as we’ve Christmas V2 to do tomorrow at my Mum’s house.
And by now all the adults would like to switch to adult mode and really make some headway into the cheese, booze, swearing and watching tele.

The bedtime plan.
Was to have BabyBoy3 in with us on the floor on a mattress. Miss6 in with my two nephews. Yet plans are made of sugar-glass and easily break. No matter how shiny and sparkly and delicious they may be. The plan is changed as Miss6 is still poorly. She’s in with us.
BabyBoy3 is upgraded to sleeping on the mattress on the bedroom floor with me two nephews. Who will sneak in later, once he’s asleep, uber quietly, to sleep on the bunk beds.
Clear? Good. <Ignores your protests>

I then spend twenty of the most uncomfortable minutes.
Ever in my life getting BabyBoy3 to sleep. I am a bit drunk. Full of cheese. In a dark room, on the floor. And forced to sit at an awkward angle so BabyBoy3 can touch my arm, but still be on the mattress.
I stagger out.

Then the plan goes into action.
One by one the children are bedded, and slowly the adults switch to stretchy trousers.
And glasses are charged, a lot. Leaving just Boy10 up as he’s allowed to stay up a bit.
Does he use this time well? No. No he does not.
At one point he has twisted his loose tooth so much he cannot now twist it back. So it is sticking out at a funny angle on his face and can be seen as a lump on his cheek.
I offer to help deal with his teeth problem in a old fashioned way. Boy10 strangely declines.
He’s learning quick.

(Teeth adjustments… Ew...)

Boy10 is bundled into bed.
Not before his tooth comes out. Which he proudly shows us all, and reminds Team Parent (yay!) and the Tooth Fairy obv. That he will be expecting to find some cash under his pillow in the morning.
But finally. All the children are asleep. The adult all clear siren is sounded, quietly.

Until Miss6 arrives downstairs.
She has been sick and wet herself (Which I only add as that is what happened. And because people do have accidents. And it’s daft to pretend they don't. That just makes it all the more embarrassing when people do. OK? <Shakes fist>).
Team Parent (yay!) leap into gear. I find cleaning products and go clean the carpet. Which I am acutely aware is in the room I plan to sleep in later. So am in a bind over how much chemical smell I want Vs. puke smell. Lovely.
Mrs. Amazing looks after Miss6, warms her backup, and settles her.
Twenty mins later. A bit slurry and blurry. My job is done. I think I’ve done well.
Mrs. Amazing confirms I’ve done well. Which may sound funny, but Mrs. Amazing has been sobered by Miss6 being sick.
And I have not.

Miss6 is given Calpol.
Oh sweet children elixir. Miss6 is eventually put back in bed. Our bed. Not the floor.
And Mrs. Amazing heads to bed with her, to watch over her. But not before helping out the Tooth Fairy with the tooth-coin issue.
I finish watching the excellent Kingsman: The Secret Service film that is on.
And then head straight up to bed after eating more cheese, a quick bedtime drinky, more cheese, chocs, cheese, water.

Into bed I hop.
Mrs. Amazing: ‘OY STOP HOPPING!’
It's not comfy as Miss6 is in there too. But it is what is. Balanced on the edge of the bed, next to two people that sleep at the heat of a billion suns. One who’s got a temperature.
I somehow manage to sleep.
Until BabyBoy3 comes in at some ghastly hour. Four in the bed doesn’t work soooo badly. That Miss6 gives up her space and heads to mattress on the floor. Leaving BabyBoy3 between Team Parent (yay!).
Now as I had spent most of the day with BabyBoy3 he gravitates my way. Which is nice.
But also I have the most annoying nights sleep ever, as he kicks, scrapes, pokes, twitches, kicks in the giblets, OW OW OW OWWWW! All through the night.
Mrs. Amazing does her best to help.
But really it’s a night I would rather forget forever.

Boxing Day
We breakfast. And then a rapid meeting of Team Parent (yay!) is called.
Normal boxing day procedure is that I head home, feed the cat, shower, unload presents on my own. Get a few minutes to myself. Yay. Then come back from them all, and it's off to my Mum's.
But Mrs. Amazing delivers the illness bomb. Miss6 needs to rest. It is unlikely that Miss6 will make it to my Mum’s for boxing day. Nor will Mrs. Amazing.
I am unhappy with this. We chat for a while until it becomes clear what is most important, and what we need to focus on. Presents. Being all together at Christmas.
We change the plan, and if after Miss6 has a rest and she is up for it. Miss6 and Mrs. Amazing will join us at my Mum’s. As my family's Christmas runs very late. We are talking presents starting at 4pm late. Which I am used to. But it is still mind bending for Mrs. Amazing.
Mrs. Amazing: 'WHY???'
But we won’t stay at my Mum’s overnight, as Miss6 is too sick for that.
Which means no matter how we do it, I have to be sober.

Me, Boy10 and BabyBoy3 sobery head off.
To my Mum’s for Christmas V2. We have a lovely day. Most of my brothers are there, and despite having to stay sober, we laugh a lot. Especially during the traditional ‘Play really loud music whilst the sons do all the washing up’ fun the brothers do. Mum interrupts at one point, and is moshed around for a bit.
Tears of laughter all round.

(Just leave the plate...
<Sneaks carrots onto my Dad’s plate>)

Then I get a message from Mrs. Amazing.
Now in the light of day she has noticed huge white spots at the back of Miss6’s throat.
It’s probably tonsillitis, but as it’s Christmas, it’s tinsillitis.
Miss6 apparently finds this very funny.

Mrs. Amazing and Miss6.
Never do make it over to my Mum’s. Instead they wait for a doctor to phone on Boxing Day.
Miss6 needs antibiotics quickly. They are heading out to a local hospital, just as me, Boy10 and BabyBoy3 arrive home.
At 8pm.

They come back thirty minutes later.
With Penicillin which tastes foul. Miss6 takes her dose and is bundled to bed.
(Thank you NHS as always you are utterly fantastic. I love you).
Mrs. Amazing is knackered out having spent all day with Miss6 and is in serious need of some adult company. The swearier the better. Fing’Ay!
But Team Parent (yay!) don’t last long and are soon heading to bed for sleep.
Christmas done for another year. Wonderful though it was. Both of them.
We are utterly, utterly pooped out and crawl into out bed together.
And just want to sleep.

(Have I mentioned there's more tales on Instagram? No?)
(Well there is! Herey)

Except that Boy10 somehow managed to have another tooth come out today (??).
There is a quick vote and somehow I win by a landslide and have to help the Tooth Fairy out. Luckily I had grabbed a coin off my Dad earlier. So our normal no change panic was avoided.
However as I reluctantly get back out of my warm, lovely bed, into the cold, cold air. Just in pants.
I give Mrs. Amazing a frowny, grumpy look. She just snuggles deeper under the covers.
As I leave I want to say something witty and clever, as I'm a bit narked off about having to do the Tooth Fairy job. But in my sleep and Christmas addled state I only manage to say ‘Grumble grumble’. Which Mrs. Amazing doesn’t quite hear, so I have to repeat it.
Witty and clever, on the second telling, it flipping is not.

I helped the Tooth Fairy out recently.
She’s busy some nights. See ‘My Tooth Fairy Impression‘, because in that you can see that from me there is a kindness and desire to maintain the magic for Boy10 that can almost bring a tear to my own eye. <Sniffs>
But not this night. I wasn’t like that Boxing Day eve...

<Stumbles in>
<Reaches in forcefully for tooth knocking Boy10 asunder>
<Throws coin in in (!) exchange>
<Stumbles back to bed... and sleeps a lot>

Actually that way was quicker... hmmm…
<Makes note>
Merry Christmas all!

P.S. Miss6 is recovering very nicely and is full of beans again, and still thinks the medicine is foul. But finds extremely sugary tea helps.

15 December 2017

They Can Move It When They Want To (We're Rocketeers) ...

When it comes to being on time, there are two types of people in the world.
Those that are late and those that are not.
Time stands above us all and is utterly unsympathetic in it's judgement.
No matter your excuses, reasons, things on fires, line of chicks in the road, unfindable school bags. Time judges everyone the same.
Late or not late.

Of course some people would love to be on time.
Like me. Hardwired into my brain is a need and screaming desire to always be on time for everything. Although added into the mix are the words of wisdom I picked as a young boy. Better to be late, than not ready.
Which when applied to the children means it's better to have to push through the sea of parents heading out of the school, have to go to reception, look guilty, and then be buzzed in, WITH Miss6's school bag in hand. Than be on time.
It's complex.

Being on time does bug me though.
I want to be on time. And I organise myself thusly and I assume left to my own devices I would arrive to most things drunk, in a very gentlemanly,  bit early, way.
However I am no longer on my own. Boy10, Miss6, BabyBoy3 and yes indeed Mrs. Amazing now confuse me, and my on-time abilities.
But hell! I wouldn't have it any other way.
Unless of course that other way was still with all of them.
But on time.

I used to care so much about being on time.
That I used to vent my frustrations on those around me. I am no angel now about it now.
But I have worked hard at it and now I internalise all my rage feelings. A lot more healthy (??).
One of the times that I really learnt just how bad I was.
Was with Boy10, back when he was Boy3. Little tiny Boy3.
Come with me and see...

[We all get into a big box with Time Machine written on it]
Cuppa? Biscuit? No, not those... This won't take long.
<Presses big button>
[Everything goes all wobbly]
We're here! The year is 19852011... TOUCH NOTHING!
<Gives you a stern look>

(From the utterly brilliant, and well worth your time, Calvin and Hobbes)

We lived twenty minutes from nursery.
And our mode of transport was me gasping jogging alongside Boy3 on his wobble bike. Ignoring the teasing comments from strangers as we went.
Boy3 would wobble along as fast as he could and his concentration would allow.
Some days we would get wet in the rain. Others we would meander along in the sun. A few times we stopped at the park and played.
But there was this one time at band camp, one morning, when we were running late.
And I really let it all get to me.

Seems daft looking back now.
And dumb. And mean. I was only going to be late for work. I just wanted Boy3 to go faster. And he wouldn't.
We were running late as Boy3 had taken ages to get ready. We had fought about getting dressed that morning (me making him, not the other way round). So I wasn't in the best moods before we left.
Boy3 had me, well, barking I suppose <Hangs head> at him to go faster all the way there.
Then with nursery in sight. Boy3 decided he was tired and had probably had enough of me verbally chiding him.
Boy3 stopped and refused to move any more.

I'm cringing at myself writing this you know... <Is cringy>

I freaked.
I can't remember what I said. Just that I said a lot and was very cross. So cross people nearby started looking at us.
I remember their looks and it feeling horrid and weird. But their looks got into my head, even as I was still ballin out Boy3.
He started crying.

Yes. I suck I know.
To start with. I thought the strangers understood what was happening and why I was raging at this little boy. And I felt justified in what I was doing. But that stupid thought soon sodded off. As it should have. And was replaced with a much more sensible one.
They weren't looking on understanding what I was doing. They were looking on wondering what the smeg I was doing. And did they need to do anything about an adult that had clearly lost it.

Eventually I ran out of words and looked at what I had done.
Boy3 in tears. What a bully I was. I hugged him tight and said I was sorry. He was OK, but pretty shaken. His Dad had been pretty mean to him.
<Sad face>

Later Mrs. Amazing passed on what Boy3 had said to her about it all...

Boy3: 'He was just SOOO cross as me!!!'

Now there's a memory that twists like a knife in my heart everytime I think it. Prat.
A Dad low.

<Claps> RIGHT! You've seen enough!!! Field trip over!
Everyone back in the time machine <Claps more>
Put that down! ... Mint anyone?
<Hits big red button>
[Nothing happens]
<Kicks time machine>
[Everything goes all wobbly]
We're back! 2017!
Does anyone have a frequent time travel card that needs stamping?

But why do we fall over?
So we can learn to get back up (thank you Batman). I learnt from that horrible mistake.
That has never happened again. Maybe a few cross words sometimes about lateness.
But never that bad again.
I now have a little switch in my head that goes off. -A mate installed it, can’t go near electricity pylons now <Twitches>.
It's the 'You're getting too stressed about this' switch. And I know now when that switch goes off, I must stop. Being on time isn't that important. It's not worth upsetting anyone I love about it. Enemies fine obvs.
But loved ones. Nopey. Now. I just accept the lateness.
It is surprisingly liberating.

However Boy10 (who was Boy3 obvs.).
Gets stressed out when he is late. And it's all my fault. He's learnt that from me.
Which now I think about it, I got from my Father, sigh. <Actually sighs>
I do my best to teach Boy10 my new way. But undoing things like that can take a long time.
I'll keep working at it.

<Brushes past shames off>

I was awoken by Mrs. Amazing calling me.
Apparently it was 8:10am and shouldn't we have left by now? Yes, yes we should have.
This particular morning me, Miss6 and BabyBoy3 all needed to leave, that's LEAVE, the house at 8:10am. Else Miss6 would be late for school and I'll be late for work.
It doesn't really matter if BabyBoy3 is late for nursery, but he may miss second breakfast, and that would be bad.
I leap out of bed.

(We did BabyBoy3 get a cloak from?
Mrs. Amazing: ‘It’s Miss6’s frozen cape’

Put clothes on.
Raced downstairs and apologised to Mrs. Amazing for not getting up. As she had done everything this morning so far.
We somehow managed to leave at 8:25. In those fifteen minutes I managed to neck a cold tea, make Miss6's lunch, clean down the surfaces in the kitchen, flush the toilet that someone had left a poo in, cleared out BabyBoy3's potty which also had a poo in it (yuk), got myself ready (I clearly spend a lot of time on my appearance), said yo to the three ratbags, listened to two rocking tunes, and then forget my hat, despite the rain.
Mrs. Amazing very sweetly had Miss6 and BabyBoy3 ready by the door in hats and gloves ready to walk in the rain.
Lateness was seriously calling.

Lateness: 'Oy baldy!'
What? Oh look, sorry, but I am rushing... I can't talk!
Lateness: 'But I have free cake?!'
Really? … No no, I don't want to be late! No thanks!
Lateness: 'Bacon?'
... er... No!
Lateness: 'Bacon! Cake! A whole mountain of chocolate and a lovely cup of tea?'
... I do need another cuppa... <Walks over to lateness>
Lateness: 'SUCKER!' <Runs>
Damn it! <Is now late>

It was raining when we got outside.
No scooters due to rain. So they had to run. And I had to encourage them to do so. But without getting wound up and stressed out. Quite a challenge.
But I've learnt my lessons over the years and after the tenth time of asking BabyBoy3 to get a move on. We had only gone ten yards.
My switch flipped and I caught myself.
I just accepted we were going to be late. Miss6 for school - sorry Mrs. Amazing -
and me for work.

And then Miss6 and BabyBoy3 amazed me.
The second I stopped berating them. The moment I chilled out and just let them be.
They solved the problem all on their own.
It started when Miss6 walked up behind BabyBoy3 and tapped him on the back...

Miss6: 'There! Now you've got your rocket pack on'
BabyBoy3: <Smiles>
BabyBoy3: <Quickly rushes round and taps Miss6's back> 'You got yure rocket pack on!'

And then they both whooshed off pretending to fly.
At full running speed. I joined in. Very happy with the amazing speed they suddenly had.
When Miss6 stopped me and pointed out that I didn't have my rocket pack on so I couldn't fly yet.
Are you kidding me?
But without a pause, Miss6 tapped my back and I was rocket pack ready.
Off we all flew!
Looking like nutters.

(YEAH!!! And I bet I looked exactly that cool too...)

For the rest of the journey they rocketed along.
Even up the little hill which normally knackers out BabyBoy3. Whoosh they went.
We did all have to stop for fuel a few times. Which involved someone else standing next to you, touching you and then saying glug-glug. There were oil stops too. But they were all brief.
But the speed they whooshed at was incredible. Miss6 and BabyBoy3, which is more surprising, rocketed (ran) all the way to nursery. That’s a long way for a three year old.
They went faster than they ever had on scooters or bikes.

Even I couldn't miss that lesson.
Right there in my face, all up in my grill. Being taught to me by Miss6 and BabyBoy3 and all their years of experience. You want kids to move faster?
Let them put on their imaginary rocket packs! And whoosh!
Oh! And stop being a stressy twatonk.

Want new Tales send to your inbox? (You do).