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!).

12 August 2018

Suddenly He's BabyBoy4...

I say suddenly, but it's taken me ages to write this tale.
(So Grandparents, you have not missed a birthday, panic not).
However BabyBoy3 turning four came as a bit of a shock.
Not so much that he was four. I can read a calendar. I was there at the birth (eating biscuits with the midwives and guzzling tea WHILST Mrs. Amazing was being amazing and an absolute legend, and actually doing real magic of creating a person from her body, for the third time, the hat trick!).
I knew BabyBoy3 was soon to be plus one, i.e. BabyBoy4.

(Despite being told not to jump on the bed...
The birthday excitement was too much for BabyBoy3/4

It was quite a shock when it finally hit home that he was four.
To think that all my babies had grown up and the toddler years, the nappy years, all those joyous and weird and pooey wonderful days were done. It was quite a jolt to the noggin.
The tipping point in my wibbly wobbly mind was his birthday party.
We had been brave and done the party at home again...

Right, that's all the knives, guns, shotguns, nukes, missiles, swords, daggers, breakables, fragiles, hot things, cold things, poisonous things, toxic things, stuff that gets stuck to your clothes and is a right pain to wash off, secret things and tiny things that are really collectable so that they don't go '''missing'''
Mrs. Amazing: 'So you started with Boy11's room then?'
Uh huh <Takes off full nuclear suit>
Miss7's room next...
<Opens Miss7's door>
<Sparkles and glitter waft out>
<Enters cautiously, but is quickly hog-tied in devious trap>

We did think about hiring someone for the party.
Or booking a room and then hiring someone. But then I remembered that all costs crap loads of money. And actually a small gang of four old's, surrounded by their parents, probably weren't going to cause Team Parent (yay!) to much trouble.
We've done it twice before. We have two elder children. We've earned our stripes.
We can do this.

[Both lying broken and battered two hours later]
Mrs. Amazing: 'Urhghhh... Soooo tired...pass the wine...'
<Is slugging wine from bottle>
<Empties bottle, gets another>
Mrs. Amazing: 'When you're done... any chocolate?'
<Points as is slugging>
Mrs. Amazing: 'You've eaten five bars already???'
<Is slugging but manages to nod>

And we did.
We did it. The party was awesome fun! BabyBoy4 had a really good time, and it was lovely to watch him play with his friends. Who are all quite, quite, mad, but lovely and fun and happy. They were all so sweet.
BabyBoy4 loved every moment of it and we got to be involved with it all. Brilliant.
Boy10 helped out. Miss7 helped too. BabyBoy4 could not have felt more loved.

There was an issue.
A confusion over the theme of the party. Which was a bit of a problem.
When I spoke to BabyBoy3 he clearly wanted a pirate themed party. But when Team Parent (yay!) met to discuss the party, Mrs. Amazing revealed BabyBoy3 had requested a Frog themed party. Obvs. We arm wrestled for it.
Frog party it was.
And the Cake as by Mrs. Amazing was awesome.

(When we were out and Grandma was over babysitting…
She gave BabyBoy4 a whole frog to eat…
They are solid icing…
<Gives you a look>)

BabyBoy3's 4th birthday.
Was the most eagerly awaited birthday I have ever know (except the Queens as we all got a day off). BabyBoy3 asked for ages about when his birthday was. Months and months we were asked about his birthday and when it was...

BabyBoy3: 'Is it tomorrow?'
No mate, months away...
BabyBoy3: 'Is it tomorrow tomorrow?'
No. Mooooooonths away...
BabyBoy3: 'No, no. Is it lots of tomorrow tomorrows?'
Kind of... Look you see how it's cold and dark out?
BabyBoy3: <Smiles as very lost>
Well when the sun comes out, it's close to your birthday
[Next day sun denying all seasonal expectations, comes out]
BabyBoy3: 'YAY! It's my birthday!!!' <Does in your face dance, which he learnt from me Boy11>
Right... No... When I said it was when the sun comes out...
[There are tears]

The other two.
Looked forward to their birthdays, sure. Every year, as is the tradition.
But BabyBoy3 was really excited about it. Months and months before it was going happen.
I blame Miss7 for constantly reminding him his birthday was soon, but not too soon.
But hey that's the fun of having siblings in your life.
<Coughs> fun.

Here's my amusing list of things about BabyBoy3 that in future I'll look back on and blackmail him about with a smile and a tear in my heart as my little dude has grown into a big boy.
As normal I shall avoiding all the obvious stuff, like he's awesome, he's nice and just give you juicy Matt and Luke goss...

1. BabyBoy3 blocks the toilet up the most.
No he isn't a bear. He doesn't block it like that.
Instead BabyBoy3 is extremely generous with the toilet paper he uses. Every time.
We no longer watch him as he does it on his own. And as this is the third child Team Parent (yay!) have taught to wipe.
Just the fact he does it fills up with happiness and joy. So nice NOT to be involved in all the business anymore.
Yet the mornings I've dragged myself out of bed, stomped to my throne, only to find a basin full of water.
Well there's been a lot.
Twice I have found a whole roll wedge down there.

2. BabyBoy3 is the master of apologies
Or I am the biggest sucker to that little boy...

BabyBoy3: 'Sorwe Daddy. Sorwe Daddy' <Saddest little cute 'I've learnt my lesson totes' face>
That's OK dude... Just try to avoid it next time...
BabyBoy3: <Biggest eyes you ever seen>
Have a cuddle
BabyBoy3: <Cuddles me>
You want a present?
BabyBoy3: <Nods>

3. BabyBoy3 can't play Mario Kart
Oh sure this isn't a world breaker. It's not the end of the world.
Really it's not going to stop him in life in anyway.
And yet... As I watch him play. He really can't do it. The brain connections that say wall-avoid just are not there. Bash bash bash into the wall he goes. I'd like him to be better. Ah well, give him time.
Still it doesn't stop him demanding to play every now and then...

So dude what ya wanna do?
BabyBoy3: 'Car racing game!!!' <Bounces about>
But you suck? You sure? It always makes you cross and bored?
BabyBoy3: 'BRRRRRMMMMM' <Gets gaming cushions>

4. Our song has changed.
If you read this blog enough you may well have noticed that me and BabyBoy3, have a song.
(Which I still ain't telling you what it is). That I sing to him as I put him to bed every night.
Recently he declared that our song is no longer wanted. -I wept for hours.-
Not wanting to let go of this special bond I had very carefully set up. I changed tack and asked him what song he would like to sing instead.
And then I had the genius idea that I could teach him the words of a song, and how to sing it at the same. A three year old that could sing in tune, what a blessing that would be!
A Disney favourite was chosen (I still ain't saying) and that's what we sing together, slowly so he can learn it, every night.
He loves it almost as much as I do.

5. You can call him Spider-Boy now.
And Buzz Lightyear. And BatBoy. And Robin. And <Giggles> Woody. Basically whatever he is wearing you can now call him.
Which may not sound like much. But for the past three and a lot years you would be told off by BabyBoy3 for that kind of outrageous comment...

<Is looking at BabyBoy3 dressed as Batman> Hey Batman!
OK mate... <Runs>

My fierce, bonkers, little spider-boy.

6. It's Daddy! YAY!
No one is happier to see me arrive home than BabyBoy3. No one.
If I could bottle this bit of BabyBoy3 I would, and keep it forever. He actually says yay too.
Outloud. Yay.
When BabyBoy3 hears me come home, he leaps up from whatever he is doing, and runs to the door to see me. Even if it's just to shout 'Come see Daddy' and then he legs it off again.
It's possibly the best feeling to have someone so excited you're home. And I shall revel in it whilst it lasts. As the others? … Not so much anymore...

I'm home!
Boy11: <Eyelids flicker in recognition, barely>
Miss7: 'Hey Daddy' <Doesn't move>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Hi. Bye. They're all yours' <Runs out of the house>
BabyBoy3: 'DADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDY!' <Runs at me and hugs me>
<Has high voice> Dude! A bit more carefully next time. Lovely to see you!
<Walks off John Wayne style, eyes watering>

Wouldn't trade it.

7. BabyBoy3 is our most hitty child.
It's fine as he's got tiny little hands and no damage can be done. Still.
His kicks can pack a wallop though. Wincey wallop if you're not careful.
It's a mixture of him being very excited about everything in life, and him having very little spacial awareness.
It's also totally my fault.
As the Ninja training I do comes up a fair bit at home. I go once a week.
Sometimes I show him. We all watch Dragon Ball Z (which I am sure doesn't help). And although I did the exact same with Boy11 and showed him everything Ninja-ey I did.
I also had a lot more time back then. And I've kind of skipped over the part where I said to Boy11 a lot: you don't do any of this to your friends and family.
My bad! (I think BabyBoy4 rocks).

8. BabyBoy3 moves furniture.
The other two didn't do this.
Some mornings we try and go into BabyBoy3's room and well you can't.
As he's moved the bed in front of the door. Or the bed is sideways. His lamp is knocked on the floor. There's normally toys strewn everywhere and walking anywhere in the room is totes unsafe for any of Team Parent (yay!).
It's normally a morning thing he does whilst he waits for us to all wake up, and then wakes us all up at 6am anyway.
As for what time he gets up to do his furniture rearranging...
I shudder to think.

9. BabyBoy3 disagrees with Team Parents (yay!) bedtimes for him.
He doesn't wail. He shout. He doesn't cry.
Sometimes he lays there singing to himself, or playing with toys in his bed.
Other times runs about and steals stuff from Boy11's room. Or Miss7's. Or our room.
It's like living with a magpie.
And it's not as though he’s quiet about it, THUD THUD go his little feet across the ceiling as Team Parent (yay!) turn the tele up and pretend he's fast asleep....

You go
Mrs. Amazing: 'I don't want to'
He just hides under his covers when I go up, and giggles
Mrs. Amazing: 'He just hugs and kisses me and tells me lots of things'
Arm wrestle? Oh no... wait... Mario Kart contest instead!
Damn it! <Trudges upstairs to find BabyBoy3 moving all my clothes into his room>

10. BabyBoy3 is still the happiest little fella ever.
OK probably not ever. But compared to the other two. He's well ahead.
I am really, really, really, glad that BabyBoy3 still has this about him. I wrote about it on his third birthday. At the time wondering if it was just because he was young and little and hella cute. A bit of me worried that as he grew up his wonderful attitude to life would slowly be stripped away. BUT IT HASN'T!
He's still the happy go-lucky dude he's always been. He just seems to be happy to be here, existing. Which is something I shall always aspire to.
BabyBoy3 you were utterly brilliant. Thank you.

I can’t wait for more matey.

(BabyBoy3: ‘Can I eat my lunch in my den?’
… Hmmm… Yeah!
I see no problem with that!
[Later, whilst cleaning sofa]
... I see problems with that...

20 July 2018

Boy11's Last Drop Off...

I'm feeling nostalgic.
There's a lot going on at the moment.
Lots of things ending, lots of things we are now doing for the last time.
People to say goodbye to, and buildings we are never gonna visit again...

Boy11: 'What we doing here Dad?'
This place, 'Burger Off', is shutting down and I wanted to get a last burger...
or two... <Does shifty eyes>
BurgerOffDude: 'What'll it be lads?'
Eighteen burgers with all the trimming please!
Boy11: 'Or two?' <Gives me a look>
Oh shush...
[We wait whilst they cook]
Boy11: 'So why are you shutting down?'
BurgerOffDude: 'What? We're not shutting down! We'll be here forever!'
Boy11: <Gives me a look of surprise>
Oh don't look so surprised...
<Takes burgers and runs>
<Is found in burger comma, it's not a pretty sight>

(... Yes that’ll do for the boy…
Now have you got anything big?)

All of them.
All three terrors are leaving their respective nursery, junior school and primary schools.
All on the same day. That is some hardcore crappy crap planning from Team Parents (yay!).
Take my advice. If and when you have children, if you can find them, hire the A-Team! Try to avoid having a three year split between them all.
It's pretty intense.

The main tale here is Boy11 is finishing primary school.
Six years he has been there. It was our first school as parents.
There's been plenty of ups and downs, good and bad. Loads of cool stuff. Some crappy crap stuff too.
But as I picked Boy11 up from his Year 7 disco last night. I realised that this was probably going to be the last time I would be on school grounds. Legally.
I did feel a little sad. I know the building well, I can get lost trying to get to any of the classroom in that building in a heartbeat. They have the greatest booze raffle stand I’ve ever seen. £5 in and you walk off with at least three bottles. They had a skateboard club!
All his first field trips happened there. A lot has happened.
<Pinches own leg in attempt not to cry>
<Ends up crying over pinched leg>

Boy11 has already got his leavers jumper.
The school did try and keep them until the end of term and away from the children because of the heat (the UK is actually hot at the moment). But then the school clearly caved as they rapidly changed their minds and they just handed them out.
If you don't know what a leavers jumper is it's like a replacement for getting all your mates to sign your shirt or blouse (I wore both).
Now instead they get a lovely hoodie with all their classes nicknames on, and a huge 18 for the leaving year. It's cool.
Boy11 loves the hoodie and wears almost constantly. He loves the new jumper smell on it.
Team Parent (yay!) have told him that if he wants to keep that smell, he has to avoid sleeping in it, leaving it on the floor in the mess of his bedroom, using it as a brakes when he sliding about, and just general don't mush it up. If you love it.
Good general advice for life I feel.

([At soft play]
ChargerPerson: ‘And how old is this boy? If he’s 11 that’s twice the price?’
No no, he’s definitely 10…
ChargerPerson: <Points at the jumper>
Oh that? We just love the number 18 in our house… Great number…
ChargerPerson: <Is suspicious>

It's going to be hard on Boy11.
Not everyone at his school is going onto the same secondary school as him. Most. But not all. And he's old enough to know what that means. What will happen. That he will probably never see some of them again. Or at least not for many years.
The mate he spent most of the disco with, having great fun with, is one of them.
I asked him in the car on the way back from the disco about it. And as he said that mate wasn't going to be at his school. I saw a quick flash in his eyes of regret and sadness, and a bit of anger at the world for taking his mate away.
I tried to explain why it was happening, but failed. Because really it's a bit daft. It’s just adult reasons. Nothing Boy11 will care about.
Instead I just watched him handle his emotions pretty darn well.

I feel the same when someone escapes leaves work.
They are just gone. The main reason that you saw each other has gone. The building you both visit daily. Has become two buildings, and they are not the same.
Sure you can try and keep in touch. But my horribly large age and oldyness tells me the chances of that happening is very low. And rarely happens.
<Wipes nose>

If I ask Boy11 how he feels about saying goodbye.
To the school, to the teachers, to some friends. He is quite sad about it.
Some teachers have made a mark on him. And he will miss them.
They have inspired him. Picked him up when he was down. Taxed him. Tested him. Been fun to be around.
But their days are numbered. The circles of life that they inhabit will soon change to the next lot. But such is the lot of teachers.
Always watching their charges moving on, saying goodbye.

Boy11 has already had his taster day.
For his new school. Annoyingly it was on the exact same day as Miss7's. Which gave Team Parent (yay!) a logistical issue.
i.e. how to be in two places at once. So we divided and conquered. BabyBoy4 was dropped off at nursery. I took Miss7 to her new school and Mrs. Amazing took Boy11 in, catching up with us later.
Mrs. Amazing said as she dropped him off at his new HUGE school with billions of kids in it, some sixteen, already with mortgages and premium bonds and stuff. Boy11 looked a little worried and unsure. Until he saw a friend.
Apparently the relief on his face was clearly visible. And then he was gone until 3pm.
He even walked home on his own.

The fact he can walk to and fro to school on his own.
Is brilliant! We love it! It is going to make the morning run so much easier. Oh sure we've still got two other monkeys to get to school and stuff. But not having to drive across town to drop Boy11 off is going make things so much simpler.
I know, I know. There will be new things coming. After school clubs, events, things we gotta attend still.
But not having to drive him about every mornings and afternoon AT THE EXACT SAME TIME as one of us needs to be getting Miss7. Well that's gonna be pretty sweet.

Of course I will miss it too.
Dropping Boy11 off at school was really good fun. It was nice to see his mates. And see his teachers.
It was ten minutes in the car where we could talk. Or more likely rock out to banging tunes on the radio. I also really enjoyed hanging about in the playground meeting the Mums and Dads doing the same. I've made loads of friends that way and enemies.
But that will now stop for Boy11. Sure I can still pounce of strangers meet new people when dropping off Miss7 and BabyBoy4. But for Boy11 that boat has sailed. The gates are shut. The football practice is over. The tokens have run out. Player 1 has no credits left.
<Weeps and goes off to play on computer>
Secondary school parents rarely set foot on school grounds.
It's true.

Boy11 has been getting me ready for this though.
Not on purpose obv. just in his natural getting older ways.
Somedays the morning drop off stopped being me getting out of the car and walking in with him. To me just letting him out of the door. And then me pulling faces at him as I drive off. Some things have to be done.
Then Boy11 was by my side cycling into school. Which we did four times, before a mate was added to the journey. And that happened once, and then I wasn't needed.
<But is secretly happy to be avoiding that huge amount of exercise>
Then suddenly Boy11 was scooting in on his own. Boy11's need for me or Mrs. Amazing to get him places, is dropping away very very very quickly.
He's now suggesting I don't need to get out of the car when I drop him off places.
A part of me could just weep. I am becoming a taxi service.

And secondary school is just going to make that worse.
The amount of times Team Parent (yay!) will be at the school will be dramatically less.
We just won't be needed so much. Well I hope not. I hope he behaves and we don't need to be visiting every other day.
<Shakes fist>
Boy11: <Is watching tele> 'WOT?'
Boy11: <Shakes fist back>

This morning was the last drop off.
Oh my heart. We chatted in the car and listened to 'All Right Now' by ‘Free’ as loudly as possible, both enjoying the awesome guitars and bass solo.
As we got closer to school Boy11 asked if I could pull over some five minutes away. So he could scoot in the rest.
It's way cooler to scoot in. I hear him. Rather than have his Dad hug him goodbye outside the school gates. Plus scooting in on your own steam is way cooler.
I agreed and was strong and was waving him goodbye when he stopped.
And said...

Boy11: 'This is the last drop off I've got with you isn't it Dad?'
Yep <Is holding back tears>
Boy11: <Smiles at me>
Have a good day! <Reining, reining them in>
Boy11: 'Love you Dad' <Scoots off>
<Has a moment to self in car and removes all the random dust and debris that had clearly instantly flown in my eye and was making my eyes water>

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