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!).

7 October 2018

The Milk for Pancakes Morning Mission...

And there we were.
6:50am outside of Tesco Express (our nearest shop). Waiting for it to open.
So we could buy milk.
To make pancakes for BabyBoy4.
Me dressed, but with unclean teeth, BabyBoy4 dressed in Spider-Man onesie (teeth also unclean).
It's moments like this that make me reevaluate my life...

(Why don’t we have milk taps in our houses?
It’d save a lot on plastics and rushing to the shops?)

<Knackered, sits on sofa>
<To world in general> What's it all about? Why am I here?
MysticalVoice: 'To love and spoil your children'
<Craps self> Who said that?
MysticalVoice: 'I am your spirit guide, love your children, take them on brilliant day trips'
Really? Is that the meaning of life? Time with loved ones?
MysticalVoice: 'Yes, and buy Boy11 more V-Bucks for Fortnite...'
GirlsMysticalVoice: 'And lots of cakes and pom-poms for Miss7'
<Is very suspicious>
Should I not, show Boy11 that life is hard work and graft?
MysticalVoice: 'NO! That's not fair! Miss7 hasn't worked hard and she never grafts!!!'
GirlsMysticalVoice: 'YES I HAVE! DADDY! BOY11 IS LYING!!!'
BothMysticalVoices: <Fight breaks out and both fall out from the back of the sofa>
Nice try you two… <Grins at them>

The morning had started early.
5am in trotted BabyBoy4 ready for the day. Knowing full well where he was going to get the most response, BabyBoy4 went to Mrs. Amazing's side of the bed.
And I assumed my normal position of being very, very, probably dead, asleep, silence.
Mrs. Amazing told BabyBoy4 to go back to bed whilst giving him kisses and cuddles and snuggling him under covers (??).
BabyBoy4 was sworn to silence and stillness and allowed to stay in our bed.
BabyBoy4 did his best.
Well I think he did. I was drifting in and out sleep, waking every now and then to hear Mrs. Amazing warn BabyBoy4 that if he didn't lie down and go to sleep silently, then she would take him back to his own bed.
<Whispers> Do it, do it...
Instead however all three of us played a game I like to call 'No-one gets any sleep'.
Crap game.
But it does have the final bonus round of 'Jump on parts of Daddy that don't like being hit'.

The thing is.
I could get up and march the little devil back to his room. So could Mrs. Amazing.
And normally we would, over and over, until he got the message (and then just played in his room anyway).
But Team Parent (yay!) can't. When it's mentioned he starts wailing and crying.
And it's too much for us.
Yes he is probably manipulating us better than his four years warrant. But BabyBoy4 has just started school and his little world has been turned upside down like a bomb has gone off.
He has gone from la-la-la play with Mummy most of the time, some nursery, run about a lot, have a laugh, play play play. Happy times.
To school five days in a row, behaving, some play, thinking about stuff, making friends, playground politics, lunch time decisions, homework, reading books (not eating books).
Crikey. When you put it that way. He is coping brilliantly.
He is also very highly strung and tired out.

Which means he needs love.
Love and support, and as much normalness as possible. They all do.
Which I hope shows why when BabyBoy4 asked for pancakes we initially said no.
No milk left. But then...

BabyBoy4: <Heartfelt sobs and tears>
<Grumbles from me>
BabyBoy4: <More heartfelt sobs and tears>
<More grumbles from me>
FINE! Let's go to the shops!
BabyBoy4: 'Yay!'
You're coming with me though...
BabyBoy4: 'Yay!'
Go get a onsie on and some shoes...
<Tries to get dressed but falls about a lot, as not bendy yet>

At 6:30am.
In pain and with eyes wincing, I wrestled BabyBoy4 off me and decided I had had enough sleep. (I had not).
Now was the time to get up though. All totally altruistic you understand, nothing to do with anger and groin pain thoroughly waking me.
As I lean over to tell Mrs. Amazing the good news, she can stay in bed, she reminds me that Miss7 needs as much sleep as possible.
And Boy11, if possible, needs even more sleep than Miss7.
The start of term, and new schools has taken its toll on them both...

HeadTeacher: 'Morning!'
HeadTeacher: 'Toll please'
What? School is free in this country. I ain't paying anything. <Shows fists>
HeadTeacher: 'No not money, if your daughter could stand here please'
Miss7: <Stands where told>
HeadTeacher: <Presses button on energy sapping, stress injecting machine>
HeadTeacher: 'All done! Have a good day'
<Gives Head teacher a look>... <Moves on>

I tell BabyBoy4 we have to sneak downstairs...
BabyBoy4: 'OK DADDY' <Thud thud thud>
BabyBoy4: 'OK Daddy' <Thud thud thud of bum on stairs>
<Gives up<

Me and Babyboy4 then.
Go through a charade I like call ‘Simon says, but no one does what they are told’. Which we seem to play most school mornings. I tell BabyBoy4 to put some shoes and his onesie. Whilst I get myself ready.
He runs off to his room. Making the same amount of noise as an elephant herd at tap dancing classes.
I whisper / shout up the stairs after him ‘Shhhhh’.
His little head appears and shouts back ‘WHAT’. I repeat ‘Shhh’.
He shouts back ‘OK’. I am pretty sure I hear Miss7 stir and start getting out of her bed.
I call BabyBoy4 down to me.

He has not got changed at all.
Apparently he cannot find his onesie. I hold up the one I wanted him to put on. The one I held up to him before ran off to find the onsie I am holding.
He giggles.
Which is good as it reminds me that I am talking to someone that is only four years old. And whilst it feels very natural to get cross with him for not listening. It is also dumb.
You can catch more flies with honey than barking orders at them, well something like that anyway.
You get my point.

We bundle into the car.
BabyBoy4 asks if he can sit in the front. Which I um and ah about. He is nearly big enough. However I check and ask if Mrs. Amazing has allowed him to do so yet?
No he honestly says. So that’s a no from me too.
BabyBoy4 takes it well and happily gets in his seat on his own.
I put on his favourite song at the moment, ‘I’m still standing’ which is from the Sing soundtrack (its a cover version of the Elton John classic).
No idea why this song means so much to him. But I like it too so we sing along together and head off to get milk so we can make pancakes.
Ideally very quickly as we have to get home, cook them, eat them, and then still get everyone to school and work. And that’s no mean feat normally.
Let alone when we have to do a milk rumn.

(Look what I got!!!
Mrs. Amazing: ‘That’s not milk!’
No… It’s better! <Pours everyone a pint>)

We arrive at the shop.
It’s empty so I park easy and we bundle out of the car. BabyBoy4 insisting on climbing out my door, rather than just coming out his own door. Sigh.
We’re in such a rush that I leave my phone in the car and we walk up to the door.
I am pretty sure they will be open. I sure they will be.
People like me want milk first thing.
They should be open.

They are not open.
You gotta remember I am barely awake and this news does not go down well in my camp.
I look to the sky and mutter stuff under my breath. Being very careful not to accidentally say the sweary words outloud and the OK words quiet (unlike a certain Mrs. Amazing did yesterday) (although to be fair I dropped an F bomb in front Boy11 the day, when I wasn’t concentrating).
I look to the sky and wonder what on earth the time is.
And how long will we have to wait.

BabyBoy4 however.
Is more proactive than me and without me seeing, puts both his little hands into the double doors or the store and somehow manages to prise them open.
And into the store he goes calling me.
It was quite a shock when I look down from the sky and see BabyBoy4 in the store beckoning to me, big smile on his face.
The store manager that comes over and shoos BabyBoy4 back out of the shop is less impressed with my little lad.
She’s pretty cross to be honest. I guess she thought I did it.

So we have to wait.
We go back to the car and grab my phone, which is my clock, and it seems we have ten minutes to wait.
BabyBoy4 suggests we go to the play park and wait. But it’s soaking wet and I know, because I was involved in his dressing, that under that onesie there is nothing else.
Him getting damp isn’t the best plan I decide. No instead we walk back to the doors, and wait.
Him dressed in his Spider-Man onesie.
Me still barely awake.

Then he asks me to take his hand whilst we wait.
And it’s then as we wait. I stop and look down at this tiny little boy.
He’s very happy. He’s got his Dad holding his hand doing something just for him.
The promise of pancakes coming (assuming they have milk, they did).
BabyBoy4 turns and looks up at me and smiles.
It's then I realise there’s not much I wouldn’t do for this little boy. For any of them.
Even if does mean finding myself in these weird situations.

Other people arrive and start queuing behind us.
Which just makes it weirder as we are blocking the entire entrance, hands held, looking as though we are here for something incredibly important, like bread or eggs, booze.
Nope, just milk.

Finally the doors open.
In we go, get milk. I mention to the person serving us we’re only here for milk for pancakes.
They really do not care. I mean really don’t care. Fair enough. Not sure why I said it really.
Then we head home. Me worrying about the time. So we get into the car hella quick, and drive off in a rush.

Halfway home.
A little voice (BabyBoy4’s obv.) says ‘Look Daddy’. I explain I cannot really look as I am driving. But a glance in my mirror and I can see his belt isn’t on. ARGHGHGGGH!
With a bit of coaching BabyBoy4 quickly manages to put it on himself and click it into place.
Whilst I managed not to crash the car. Good work both of us.
But oh my word. I hadn’t checked. What on earth was so important that I forgot to check he was in the car safe.
Nothing. I am a Muppet. Gonzo in fact.

(It’s hard to take you seriously…
...With that shirt on...)

Still, he is safe.
We get home. Pancakes are had. BabyBoy4 barely eats them. I find my favourite swearing pillow and have a good moment with it.
We all rush about to get ready for school and work.
And it’s just as I am making everyone's lunches Mrs. Amazing asks if I got any bread.
… Was I flimming flamming meant to?
<Goes back to pillow>

The kids go to school with jam smeared on a playing card with sandwich substitutes, wraps.
And I promise to get bread on my way back from work.
What a stupid morning!

21 September 2018

BabyBoy4's First Day at School.

BabyBoy4 was so excited.
He was a crazy little ball of energy, ready, ready, for school.
And Team Parent (yay!) could see he was ready.
A change had come over BabyBoy4 over the summer holiday.
He had suddenly been ready for school, it's hard to say what it was.
But somethings in him had changed...

BabyBoy4: <Ignores me>
Little dude?
BabyBoy4: <Looks up>
You looking forward to school matey-bob?
BabyBoy4: <Runs about screaming and punching the air shouting 'School! School!'>
<Has fingers in ears>
I'll take that as a yes then...

Of course he was drip feed into school.
Not literally that be would hella weird, violate many laws, and be very costly in BabyBoy4's. No. BabyBoy4's first outing, as that's what it really was, was a brief visit to school to meet his new teacher.
Fifteen minutes it lasted.
We spend longer in some shops in town than that. So it didn't worry him none. Which was as designed I suppose.
In we trotted to together. Off he went with the teacher. And all the parents sat in the assembly hall and ate biscuits and drank tea.
Nice break from work me and as I was pretty hungry, the biscuits were very appreciated and devoured.
<Is spraying biscuit crumbs everywhere> Bease bass be ba plate!
<More crumbs>

Then the next visit was a morning.
But duh-duh-durrrr. This time in uniform. Big step I know. No more plain clothes BabyBoy4. Now it was time for full on school uniform.
We brought two new cute little jumpers and weird trousers that have no flies or zipper. Kind of like joggers, but made of dull grey school uniform. Lovely.
And Mrs. Amazing bravely went to the biggest Clarks (shoe shop) she could find and got BabyBoy4, Miss7 and Boy11 new shoes. Brave, brave woman. <Salutes>
I was shown a lot more shoes than I was expecting that night when I got back from work I call tell you.
Three. BOOM.

(Can I get a nice picture of your smiling little face?
BabyBoy4: <Hides behind bag, giggling>
You rat-bag! <Bundles him>
<Lots of giggling>

All of Team Parent (yay!) were there that morning.
Only half the class was in school that day. So there were a few people missing. But BabyBoy4 had a few friends there. So he was happy.
I was hella proud of the little fella. Brave he was. Brave I tells ya.
Skipping along happily as we all walked to school together.
Obviously we had to drop Miss7 off first. But once she was safely detached from Mrs. Amazing and locked away at school. Team Parent (yay!) were free to focus totally on BabyBoy4.
Who prompted ran off to play with some mates, so we got the old chit-chat on with the parents we knew from last year.
Funny how these first days are always different.

(Wait for <Gasps> …
<Panting> wait for…
<More panting> … <Deep breath> …

A big difference for BabyBoy4.
Is that he already knew the school. Miss7 had been there before him.
BabyBoy4 had spent four years waiting in the playground for Miss7 to come out of school.
So he already had friends in the playground. Which was brilliant.
And we had been to fates, meetings, shows, performances, loads of things, at that school already. With BabyBoy4 in tow or arms.
So there was plenty he recognised and people he knew at least by sight...

BabyBoy4: 'YOU!' <Is pointing>
RivalBoy4: 'YOU!' <Points back>
BabyBoy4: 'We meet again...'
<Both start circling each other>
RivalBoy4: 'It will not go so well for you this time, I think'
BabyBoy4: 'Oh no?'
RivalBoy4: 'No. This time, the soft red, ball with the PAW patrol logo on it, shall be mine!'
RivalBoy4: 'HAHA!'
BabyBoy4: 'Over my dea...' <Burps>
<Both crack up laughing>

I felt really happy for BabyBoy4.
He was clearly relaxed about his first day at school. Two other boys had called his name as he walked in. He ignored them, obvs., his little mind was on other things at the time.
And to be honest he isn't used to people calling out his name like that. Normally kids just stand in front of each other and just start talking.
But BabyBoy4 seemed at peace with starting school and his first day.
It made me happy inside.

Whilst we all waited for the door to open.
The door being the door to the class room. Which is very firmly kept closed to keep out children and parents until the school day starts.
However, pressed up to the glass of the door were lots of little faces watching what was going on inside. And then they ran about a bit. Then faces back on the glass.
Then finally the door was opened.

BabyBoy4 realised and ran back to us.
To collect his bag and his water bottle ready to go in.
Then Team Parent (yay!) pounced and gave boy the hugging of his life. First Mrs. Amazing BabyBoy4 height. Then me lifting him up into the air.
Then Mrs. Amazing again.
I looked around whilst Mrs. Amazing and BabyBoy4 were mid hug and all the parents were doing the same.
Saying to goodbye to the little ones. The 2nd and 3rd time parents not being quite so squishy about it. But knowing that everything changes now. And the first time parents being hella squishy.
I don’t blame them.

Then it was time for him to go in.
And it all got very real. And no. I didn’t cry. (Mrs. Amazing did, but that is not very surprising).
We watched as he joined the queue to go in. He was chatting with a friend, and fiddling with his water bottle. Barely managing to keep his bag in his hands.
Then he said hello to his teacher (lovely lady) as she was greeting everyone into the classroom.
And he waved to me and Mrs. Amazing with a smile on his face and he was gone.

Actually at that exact moment I had been taking pictures on my phone.
Quite a few as I tend to. And looking back at them at work, they showed me something I had missed.
BabyBoy4 had waved to us both, big smile on his face, and then just before he disappeared in the door. He had glanced back at Mrs. Amazing with a little worried look on his face.
Then he was gone.
OH! It makes me need to fan my eyes (overheating) even now writing about it.
My brave little dude.
<Fans eyes>

Two days later.
BabyBoy4 had his second day and I was doing it on my own.
This time I found it so much harder to let him go. But I did and in he went.
Didn’t look back or anything.
It was me that struggled. I stood at the window watching him. Just seeing what he was doing, who he was talking to.
Which I did for a while until I realised a LOT of emotions were building up inside of me.
And I suddenly had to leg it for work before I become a blubbering wreck.
It’s not easy looking on as they grow up sometimes.

(Mate: ‘You OK?’
<Wipes nose> I’ve so much stuff in my eyes
<Higher voice> It’s making them stre <Too squeeky to hear>
Mate: ‘There there’
So much stuff… in… eyes…
Mate: ‘Yeah, yeah, I know... ‘ <Rolls eyes>’

Anyway, back to that first day.
I took my work lunch later so I could be there too to pick BabyBoy4 up.
Both me and Mrs. Amazing and lots of other parents stood there waiting. Hoping to catch a glimpse of their child through the windows.
Yet the sunlight was not playing ball, and unless you stuck your face on the glass, like the kids had in the morning, there was no way to see in. Which I am pretty all the parents in the playground were a bit annoyed about. As everyone dearly wanted to know how their children were, and how they were feeling.
Then suddenly faces, little ones, appeared at the classroom window. Some I recognised, some I did not.
I was just pointing out a mates child, to my mate, who had clearly seen their child way before I noticed anyway. When any worries I may have had about BabyBoy4, and his first day at school.
Were cleared up.
My friend stopped me talking and said look yours is there.
I looked at the door.
And there was BabyBoy4 waving, big grin on his face. Right at the front.

Then he stick his tongue out and made a funny face.
Then another with his hands on his head.
Tongue again.
And more… and more...

In fact I am pretty sure I got ALL his funny faces, twice, some thrice, through the classroom door window, whilst we waited for it to open.
It was hilarious. Love that boy.

And so yeah, I think he’ll be fine and bonkers enough at school.

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