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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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...

Dude?
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> …
I’LL MEET YOU THERE!)

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.
Bless.

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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13 September 2018

Twas the Night Before Secondary School...

It twas the night before Boy11 started Secondary school.
And all through the house, not a creature was stirring.
Not one of the terrors children, were out of bed.
They were all asleep.
Amazing.

I had been to Ninja training class.
Which is my weekly nod to being healthy. It kinda of works.
I do tend to come home super proud of myself. And then eat thousands of crisps. And chocolate. And cheese. And chocolate. Thus undoing all my good and exhausting work.
Normally my class is an hour and a half of pain. But fearing that it may harder to get Boy11 to sleep than Mrs. Amazing me on Xmas eve.
I came home early from class.

(Mrs. Amazing: ‘What you having for tea?’
<Whispers> Chocolate <Normal voice> salad!
Mrs. Amazing: ‘I heard that!’
<Runs Waddles>)

Mrs. Amazing: 'You're back early!' <Pushes all the chocolate wrappers off the table>
Yeah... I'm shattered. I think my knees hate me now.
Mrs. Amazing: 'Hard class?'
Yeah.... <Pulls self in using only lips>
<From floor> How was Boy11 getting to sleep tonight?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Fine'
That bad huh? Well it's no surp.... HANG ON? What did you say?
Mrs. Amazing: 'Fine!'
<Is shocked>

I was shocked.
Normally anything exciting happening and Boy11 struggles to sleep. Which is totes fair enough. Excitement affects us all in different ways. Some talk incessantly about it <Looks at Miss7>, some go all quiet and just want to be busy (me), some jump on furniture and shout in joy <Looks at BabyBoy4>, and some like winding everyone up by making weird noises, bugging siblings, and refusing to sleep <Looks at Boy11>.
I was happy for Mrs. Amazing and the calm bedtime she had had haddy had had. But a little puzzled why she was looking quite so eye-twitchy, I asked how the others were.
BabyBoy4 was fine. Yay!
Miss7 however...
Mrs. Amazing: <Mimes throttling>

And therein lies the rub of parenting with more than one child.
When the one behaves. The others seem to take it as a personal challenge to hold up the parental-irritation levels for the kids team. yay-love them.
However there was a reason. It had been Miss7's first day at her Junior school. She was pretty wired.
I'm not sure why, but I feel Miss7 has not got the attention she should have got for her first day. Don't get me wrong, Team Parent (yay!) were there in full force. All both of us (and BabyBoy4) dropped her off at the school in the morning.
It's just that it was overshadowed by Boy11's huge school change from Primary to Secondary. Miss7, in comparison, was just going from Infant to Junior.
And what can you say about that. Poor middle child.
<Feels her pain>

(<Dyes hair purple>
<Is called into a meeting at work>
<Is told hair is awesome>)

I am still amazed about Boy11.
So much was changing for him. New bag, new uniform, new school, new teachers, new kids at school, he got a COMPASS!
And there he was fast asleep. At a reasonable time. A-maze-bloody-ing.
Obvs. being the Boy11 that he is, he had packed and unpacked his rucksack a few times that night, and most nights that week. Which is fine. He was well prepared.
We had also practised his walk in, so he knew where he was going and stuff. We timed it.
How he was actually going in wasn't fully decided until that morning. Either a lift with Mrs. Amazing, or walk with mates. Boy11 choose a lift.
I wasn't there when this decision was made. But I am pretty sure that had Mrs. Amazing been free to express her feelings about his decision. Mrs. Amazing would have been cartwheeling and back-flipping around the house letting of fireworks.
I suspect she was happy to be involved.

I was not (involved).
My path and destiny that day lay elsewhere, I was starting my journey to the windy mountains.
Miss7 had her second day at Junior school and BabyBoy4 needed to be looked after.
As he didn't start school until the day after (oh flipping yes, what a week).
So me and Miss7 and BabyBoy4 waved Boy11 goodbye calmly and cooly to Boy11.
Oh who am I kidding. I hugged the crap out of Boy11.
As Boy11 climbed into the car. The excitement got to me. So I started to poke him, friendly style. Slapping his cheeks softly, friendly like. Basically using his little body as a drum. Boy11 laughed a lot. And it really eased my nerves. So that was good.
Not sure how healthy that is really.
But then I also think that is how boys communicate sometimes...

Yo bruv! <Gives bruv dead arm>
Bruv1: 'Yo back' <Punches me back>
You good? <Gives knee strike dead leg>
Bruv1: 'Yeah mate! Really good' <Thwacks me over the head>
Sorry can't stop <Flicks bruvs ear as leaving>
Bruv1: 'No worries, see ya soon <Leg sweeps me, missing, pretends to be stretching>
<Both leave and out of sight of each other, rub all injured parts>


(Didn't hurt! <Is lying>
Tis but a scratch)

Then with Boy11 gone.
Me and Miss7 and BabyBoy4 headed off. Fifteen minutes walk, BabyBoy4 on scooter, and I had left plenty of time. +10 Dad points.
Obvs. despite doing the walk the day before. We go the wrong way.
Miss7 insists the turning we want is the next. I swear it isn't and BabyBoy4 sides with Miss7.
Democratically out-voted we pass the turning I am sure is right: a) because I remember it from yesterday, and b) because lots of people with matching school uniform to Miss7 are heading that way.
We walk on to the next turning and it's a dead end.
I say nothing and graciously walk on totally not rubbing it in Miss7's face.
#GrownRightUp.

Me and BabyBoy4 drop off Miss7.
Who is fine. Probably a bit tired. But that what happens when you are a terror going to bed.
I imagine tonight will be better as she has lost her tele access tonight. And Miss7 hates that.
A normal and reasonable bedtime is highly expected for Miss7 tonight (it was <Team Parent (yay!) high five>).
And as me and BabyBoy4 walk / scoot away from the school. I notice I have enough time to get to work. And I am feeling good. Proud of me.
Emotionally, this morning, and the previous one, have been hard going. But I've kept my dignity and at no point have I been a howling weeping father fool. #Winning.

A few minutes up the road.
Mrs. Amazing comes into view. Which is a bit surprising, but she quickly explains nothing is wrong. Just fancied joining us. Lovely.
Then another Mum joins our little group, and there's a lot of excited adult chatting going on.
And I am engaged and enjoying a natter, watching BabyBoy4 near the roads, and chatting on and off with him about mad stuff. Hearing about Boy11 and how he met up with at least eight mates before going in.
And he was fine and happy. Which is a relief.
And all is good with the world. Team Parent seem to have nailed it, and nothing has gone wrong.
Then somethings makes my foot slips a little on the floor.

I look down.
Dog smegging poo. On my shoes. BabyBoy4 missed it. I had not.
<LOTS OF SWEARY WORDS ABOUT DOG OWNERS THAT DON'T CLEAN UP AFTER THEIR DOGS, ESPECIALLY NEAR SCHOOLS>
I try cleaning it off on grass. Obvs. grass is not really clearing it off. The wrong sort of trainer grips. I think BR made the trainers or something.
The thought of being able to smell poo on my trainers all day at work doesn't really appeal.
So I leg it back home, change shoes. And am late to work.
Finally I sit down at my desk and look at my screen.
And wonder how on earth, considering all that happened this morning, all the emotions and stuff that had been flying through, how in the name of Bacon sandwiches, was I supposed to concentrate on work all day.
<Watches clock until home time to hear about Boy11's day>
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