Male/female split

Nature has a way of sending subtle signs of who the cubs spend more time with.

Sunday morning in bed; the errant pair have joined me from their respective rooms.

She boots up my laptop and gets to work on a presentation of how we’re killing our planet.

He bimbles about, clasping his security blanket and foxy (the fox).

“Daddy, would you like my blanket?”

That’s very kind of you darling but I’m already under a duvet. Actually I was half out of it but covered nonetheless.

He precedes to lay it on me..

“I’ve covered your bangers for you…”

Maybe time to lay off the/ do more press ups.

BSD

Ante-climax

It’s a lovely sunny sunny day here and I’m keen to get outside.

First their rooms need to be tidied; they’re a mess. I manage to pry them out of the bath.

As I moisturise my son’s wrinkles away, I recall a find from last night.

Hey, as I went to draw the downstairs curtains, guess what walked past the window, along the road?

He paused in thought..

“Was it an antelope?”

That kind of took the sting out of my urban fox.

BSD

Down day

I think I’m exhausted, or pretty close to it.

We’re nearly halfway through the year and it has been a busy one. My writing has suffered.

It doesn’t help that I’m cramming a lot in, including learning two new skills. It means that for the most of the time, I have my head deeply buried in one type of reference medium or another. Luckily I enjoy doing that.

The cubs are on form although he’s a little under the weather. What that does do, is give the three of us the opportunity to cuddle up on the sofa and watch movies.

Never, ever underestimate the power of a down day and a cuddle. It’s almost as if I can feel my batteries recharging.

I’ve even ordered a pizza, rather than cook.

Tommorow, normal service will be resumed. I’ve discovered a new green space near us that we’re going to explore, waterproofs and picnics will be packed.

Adventure calls.

BSD

Pirates, and a case of the coughs.

I’m back.

I’ve had a bit of a break because, well, I was tired. I’ve been doing a lot of self improvement lately and that takes its toll. I’ll probably write about it shortly.

Not today though; today, is all about my budding thespian.

School play

My eldest cub has been bouncing off the walls for a month. She had been cast as a major part in the school play, ‘Pirates of the Curry-Bean’.

Curry-Bean……

Caribbean……get it?

I probably didn’t have to spell that out but it fills the page.

She was RedBeard; a major speaking part. For the last few weeks she’s pushed her learning of her lines. She’s practiced so, so hard to the point that her 3 year old brother was fluent in all the songs.

I gave her the nuggets of my experience, having played one of the Three Wise Men in numerous nativities and Joseph in one. This makes me a pro.

Tips

Proper practice prevents poor performance. She learnt this first. It was our mantra for karate and my mantra for everything.

She sang in the bath; she sang in her room. She sang at bedtime, accompanied by him; she sang in the car. I loved it.

The big day

Actually the night before.

They’ve been at their mum’s this week so technically the next time I’d see her would be when she entered stage right.

I wasn’t having that.

Thank you technology; FaceTime engaged.

We chat, I wish her luck before assuring her that I would be at both the lunchtime and the evening performances.

She responds by informing me that her brother, well on the way to being toilet trained, is having a wee in the bath.

Ok.

Maybe he’s more nervous than she is.

The big day (for real)

And I wake up with a hacking cough.

Where in hell had this come from?? Disaster!

Understand this; I’m a big fella; when I cough it sounds like a nuclear detonation giving birth to an adult volcanic eruption. It’s pretty loud.

Water. As much of it as I could drink without killing myself.

Drugs. Cold and flu remedies to be precise.

Cough sweets. Not good enough. Give me the industrial stuff – weapons grade if you’ve got it.

Timing. Tablets taken too early would lose their effect at a critical time; probably during a soliloquy. Time to work the clock backwards.

Tablets take 30 minutes to work but then last for 4 hours; taken too early I’d be protection-less at the commencement of the performance, ruining the show and scaring smaller children; too late and it wouldn’t kick in until the epilogue.

Take one in 10 minutes then another in a subsequent 5, thus staggering the impact whilst allowing for any delays in curtain up.

I may have overthought it.

The (revised) plan

Arrive 45 mins early; eat lunch. Take tablet(s); drink drink. Have wee. Take cough sweet (industrial). Drink. Nice.

Seat at the front, with other cub and mum; relax.

Curtain up

Apart from Captain RedBeard taking time out to wave periodically to loved ones during an orchestrated battle, it was amazing.

Proud daddy had the loudest clapping (thankfully not coughing) in the audience.

BSD

Hark the Herald

Last week, the mother of my cubs demanded to see them on my weekend, whilst accusing me ‘preparing nothing’ for Mother’s Day.

Once I pointed out that it wasn’t Mother’s Day, she backed down.

Today, at 04:35, I’m wrapping her presents so they can be presented first thing.

It’s so hard to wrap when you’re being blinded by your halo.

I’m up because of work btw; not because I’m unprepared.

BSD

Normal service

OK. I’ve calmed down. The last couple of posts were a mixture of anger and frustration, but I’m better than that.

In order to lighten the mood, I’ve amalgamated the 3 posts that have been sitting in draft.

Whole lotta 👅 going on
The usual Friday bedtime routine consists of me explaining to the cubs that they can’t sleep in my bed. Sometimes I mean it. This time I did.

They have a workaround. First thing on Saturday morning, they jump into bed with me and we have a cuddle and watch a movie. This time, I even let them consume a bag of popcorn in my bed.

Bad idea.

At a glance, I would say that their success rate for popcorn to mouth was roughly 50%. Give or take a 5% margin. Once the film finished I told them that I wanted all the uneaten bits cleaned up while I was in the shower.

Whilst brushing my teeth, I heard a commotion followed by silence. I resisted the urge to look.

When I did emerge, the bed was clean, the duvet turned down and they were nowhere to be seen. Nice work cubs.

That evening at bedtime, whilst reading Dig dig digging for the millionth time, I thanked them for tidying my bed.

“That’s ok dad; once we’d got the big bits we just licked the rest clean”

I sat silently, asking Jesus why he’d let something like that happen.

Getting my own back
Tonight’s routine was a little muted. They’re both under par so there was little resistance.

Tucking in the eldest, she remarked that she felt awful with the flu. Her temperature was elevated and she had a headache.

“Dad? How does flu spread?”

Well it’s a virus that is very clever once it gets in your system. It can hide, it can change, known as mutation and will act differently in different people.

“Yes but how does it get into your body?

This is where it gets really interesting; it’s so clever that it knows it prefers to be inside new people to survive so what it does is to make you cough and sneeze and it’s then carried in the thousands of water droplets that come out of us when we do. If you breathe those water droplets in the virus gets into you. It can also survive for 24 hours on hard surfaces like door handles. You’ll then come along and touch that door handle, then touch your face. The result is the same.

She silently takes it all in and begins to process it.

“So when we were in the car with you daddy, that’s when we got it?”

No. I kept licking your face while you slept.

“DADDY!!”

Sprint finish
” Dad; I think you need a new workout. I’ve made one for you”

Ok sounds good. What’ve you got?

“Well you start of with 25 star jumps..”

Ok; then?

“Then you move onto 25 press ups..”

Sounds good. Anything else?

“You should touch your toes 3 times..”

Sounds like a spell now but go on..

“Then finish with a small run; say 13 miles”

I’ll pass.

BSD

Inappropriate reflex

And I don’t appear to be able to control it.

Allow me to elaborate. There is a lady on the school run, well actually she’s the mum of one of my daughter’s friends. She’s also one of the carers in after-school club and I can’t stop this inappropriate reflex when in her presence.

It’s happened about 7 times now. No, not about 7 times, 7 times. Exactly 7 times. I’ve counted.

It happens when I sign my daughter out of the club and we have a conversation. She’s a lovely lady and we get on really well; we always have done.

As I sign the time and we say our goodbyes, it happens. It always happens.

I wink, and walk away.

As I walk away I always, always ask myself why the heck I just did that? but whenever it’s her, I always do.

Now let me add some back story here. I have no intentions towards this lovely lady. She has a great personality and is attractive but I have no improper intent towards her for a multitude of reasons, not least because she’s not interested and that she has a fantastic husband who I regularly converse with whenever we see one another.

I started to think it harmless and she doesn’t respond in any way but I think I’m now conditioned to close our conversations in that way.

Not just her

I’ve only ever caught myself doing it once before, in a meeting with the Head Mistress of the school when we thought my daughter was being bullied. After a rather terse exchange I threw a wink and cheeky smile combo which wouldn’t have looked out-of-place in a bar.

With the speed of an echo she threw one back and met my smile with one of her own. I felt uncomfortable. I, felt uncomfortable!

I dismissed it as a nervous response to my wink which was so out-of-place in the whole conversation.

I did try to stifle a wink once but the result was a cross between a sneeze and a medical episode.

I feel like a cad from a vintage film.

I’m laughing at this now but it could be fever.

pexels-photo-469676.jpeg

BSD

Unexpected revelation

I still have flu. It really sucks. This isn’t a moan-fest. It might just be a tender look into myself.

I think the biggest reason being ill and subsequently off work sucks so much is because it’s highlighted the emptiness of my nest.

I have the cubs from tomorrow and all over the weekend and I can’t wait. At the same time, I’m also willing myself to be better so I can make a decent job of looking after them. I’m aware this is wishful thinking. I’ve already silenced the man-flu-ers with a 6 pound weight loss in the last week.

I’m rambling.

The last week has been a GroundHoggy existence of sleeping and falling asleep, punctuated by scant eating.

Unseen elements 

So this empty nest thing is the single parent conundrum. Do you get a place that is big enough for your family or something more compact and bijou?

I went for space. I have one of each and they’re getting to an age where they want their own space so it was a no brainer.

The flip side of having the bigger place is that as the non-main-caregiver (how 21st Century) is that for the majority of the time, you kick around it on your own.

I’ve noticed this more because I’m not at work.

The elephant

So the revelation is that the empty nest seems emptier

Hang on

I’ve literally just had a nap. I was rambling so I shut down for a bit. Hate this.

The elephant. cont.

Is that to be ill when one lives alone is, well, lonely.

I’ve spent a lot of time in bed lately just trying to shake things off and for the last week there’s been a pile of clean laundry on my bed.

It was folded and waiting for me to put it away but has since been fashioned into a pile, about the height of sleeping person to which I have been propping myself up of a nighttime.

I hadn’t thought much of it as I’d done it unconsciously over a few days. Plus, research says that sleeping with your head slightly elevated whilst suffering from flu is beneficial to breathing.

I think I miss the ‘Do you want anything?’ type questions and the fact that at some point, food would arrive.

I did a slow cooker thing that lasted 3 days but now I need to stand up and cook.

I’m not going to.

Let’s kill this

Well folks this is a ramble fest. Sorry.

The moral of the story is, being ill sucks when you’re single.

100% more optimism will be available in my next post.

BSD

First day of the school term

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;

Or close the wall up with our English dead

“It’s only school dad; and that sounds like a bad thing to do”

Some children have no sense of occasion.

BSD

He’s making a list; he’s checking it twice..

And he’s working out who’s been naughty or nice…

So you need to be good! I told my son, in a last ditch effort to keep him still while I cut his hair.

You know who’s coming tomorrow don’t you?

‘Batman?’


Merry Christmas folks; I hope you and yours all have a happy holiday.

Thank you for your continued support in this little project of mine. Xx

BSD