Wednesday 19th December
You can tell it’s nearly the end of term as even my little girl, who is usually up at six am, is now sleeping in. It was nearly 7.30am before signs of life were heard from various bedrooms. Captain Chaos came down like an early cave man beating his chest for food, drink, television and the usual accoutrements. My wife claimed she had to leave for work, (which I think was an excuse!) She just wanted myself to see how tough her job really is as a mum. Okay, okay don’t tell my wife but I don’t know how she does it. I was on day three and on my knees. My wife left the house with my little girl promising that she was getting ready for school. Thirty long and drawn out minutes later I shouted at the bottom of the stairs that kings and queens have dressed faster. At this point a half dressed little girl appeared claiming she was doing her best. Sorry my fashion queen, but had Daddy known it takes this long to get dressed for school, I would have woken her up just after midnight and gone back to bed.
I was a desperate man, so I shouted we were leaving very soon. My little girl finally appeared so I asked her to make herself some breakfast. “No problems,” was the reply. So off she trotted to put toast in the toaster whilst I saw to ‘his lordship’ who was now barking orders from the sofa. I sent Captain Chaos to brush his teeth and went back to ‘Queen Slow’, who was now watching the toaster. Sorry poppet, but why are you watching the toaster? “I’m waiting for my toast to cook. As it had been around ten minutes, I’m fairly sure something is wrong. “Really?” came the reply. Sure enough, as I got nearer the toaster, it was not switched on. I demonstrated the ‘on’ button with sarcasm which was wasted. I stressed out even more, jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth announcing we were going to be late. Eventually I got them both in the car and whisked them to school at record speed.
This was bad, as there was no wife and no tomato ketchup!
I took it easy today, and by the time I collected the children they went quietly to the car. My little girl pulled the emotional heart strings and claimed she did not want to play on the tablet this evening, but just talk to me. I wiped the moisture from my eyes, and said your loving dad would pay full attention. I opened the front door, walked across a sea of coats abandoned on the floor, only to find two kids on the sofas with tablets not communicating like zombies. Charming! One minute ago, all my little girl wanted was a chat, now a computer tablet had taken my place.
I asked numerous times fish fingers or chicken nuggets for dinner tonight? My kids, who were clearly paying attention, announced “Waffles please.” I repeated again fish fingers or chicken nuggets, to which they replied crossly “Waffles.” Sorry people, am I talking a different language here? Maybe the veins throbbing violently in my neck are affecting my speech. I volunteered to switch off the Internet, and suddenly received a response, “Oh chicken nuggets please.” Okay people, back to being zombies while your loving dad prepares an unhealthy meal. That only happens every now and then, and I was running low on enthusiasm and energy.
Having finally got a decision over dinner, I started cooking while my resident zombies starred into their computer tablets. I had almost completed the meal when I discovered a major disaster! I went into the fridge for tomato ketchup and found we were out of it! I let out a little scream like someone had just stood on my feet. There wasn’t any in the fridge, and my kids insist on this with every meal. This was bad, as there was no wife and no tomato ketchup! There was only one way dinner was going tonight, and that’s in the bin. I was now declaring a secret emergency, and hid this deep dark secret for a while. I served the dinner with my hands almost trembling due to the secret I was hiding from the kids. No sooner had the plate hit the table, than I was busted. Suddenly the room went silent like the Internet had gone out, and both kids looked at me, declaring “What do you mean no ketchup?” Suddenly a flash of inspiration came over me, and I rushed to the fridge and . . . Okay people you need to forgive me for what I did, but remember I was a desperate man on the edge! I grabbed copious amounts of cheese and sad faces turned to happy faces in an instant. I did a fist pump in the air in my mind claiming ultimate victory like a seasoned pro.
Sorry my loving wife, but Daddy just shot up the charts to number…., sorry kids what do you mean you’ve eaten the cheese but cannot finish the rest of the dinner? Okay I just went from hero to zero again. Seriously, this parenting lark is a lot harder than it looks.
My wife arrived back and we put the kids to bed, with Captain Chaos coming in for the lavender oil you spray on your pillows to help you sleep. I laughed at this initially, but so far Captain Chaos has gone straight to sleep for the last two nights, which has not happened in five years. Tonight he borrowed the bottle on his own, and by the time I got there his pillow looked like a North Sea oil spill. In fact I was worried his head would touch the pillow and immediately slide right off. The omens were good! There should have been enough to knock out the entire street. Within ten minutes he was downstairs, so the moral of the story is a little goes a long way.
Night, night diary, sleep tight.
Thursday 20th December
I did not realise I was that tired, but everyone woke up around 7.30am, which left around an hour to get ready for school. Captain Chaos appeared from his cave, sat on the sofa and barked orders at his personal butler (me!) My little girl floated round the house as if time had stood still, and I was getting a little panicky. At one point I asked my little girl to put her coat on. Bless her she was about to when my wife announced we were not leaving for another twenty minutes. I am afraid I always arrived early for anything, so to me we were sailing close to the wind. As I don’t do the school run I am not a seasoned expert.
I think I said the other day diary, that I insisted on being called ‘Papa Elf’ and as my kids walked into the playground I shouted “Papa Elf says goodbye!” I had forgotten to check for grown ups and all the grown ups just looked at me like I had been inhaling chemicals that were messing with my brains cells. I simply died of embarrassment, got back into the car, and asked my wife to smoke the tyres for a quick get away. My wife translated this to pull away like our driving test and proceed unless directed otherwise.
I was ready to take the shirt off my back in the supermarket aisle.
My wife explained today was going to be fun packed with supermarket shopping. Seriously what did I do wrong? Why was I being punished? As we trundled round the supermarket with upside down smiles, my wife started putting party food into the trolley. At this point I was racking my brain to remember what party? Curiosity got the better of me, and I asked what party? My party food queen announced we were buying it for the kids school parties. What?! We were buying mountains of this food and my wife explained you need two bits for every child. I was ready to take the shirt off my back in the supermarket aisle and asked my wife to it to the school. Sorry but we only added up the other day we had spent over £50 on funds for the school. With times being financially tight it seems nearly every day we send the kids with a £1 for some activity.
We got home and my wife started smiling at me. I did question if she needed the toilet, but she said she had a favour to ask. You’re probably already ahead of me, but being slightly slow I had forgotten all the party food needs cooking. I had the oven to near nuclear and was pushing food in and out of the oven like I was a television chef, with my timer chiming away like a town clock. As I got to the end my wife reappeared just at the right time. I proudly announced I had fulfilled my duties and I was off to relax. Apparently I was not ‘off to relax’ but to assist with moving a cake then help with lunch. I knew this, I was just testing of course.
We set off later in the afternoon to collect the kids, as they were being let out early. My wife had a hairdresser appointment so I said I would meet her there. As I got to the school gates, there was my wife driving her toy box on wheels, so I hopped in as it was raining. My wife then made a startling statement, saying I would need to go to the door and get the kids. Being a man I did wonder what happened to my wife in the rain, when she explained it may affect her hair that she had just had done. Are you kidding me? What type of a hairdresser are you using where rain affects your hair? Not sure about my wife’s, but my hairdresser carries no warning about rain affecting your haircut. I did have visions of my wife suddenly going from amazing to an eighties tight perm, but decided for safety not to air that thought. I duly collected the kids and we all headed for home.
My wife and I were going out, yes I know it’s that time of year already, so I got glammed up. In boy language getting glammed up means combing your hair and wearing an outfit with as few stains as possible. My wife’s idea of getting glammed up is slightly different. She came back down the stairs like a supermodel. Having left the babysitter with the kids, I knew everyone would be okay because the Internet was working. Heaven help my family if the internet goes down! I know what you’re thinking, and I bet it starts “Back in my day….” Yes, I know, back in my day we relied on a televisions aerial made from an old coat hanger, and you held it in various directions until a sort of picture arrived. Today our television comes from the Internet and includes some great bedtime stories. Having lacquered our kids pillows with the lavender oil, or as I like to call it ‘knock out agent’, we partied the night away. In reality diary, it went something like panic about the kids until eight pm, discuss if we should text the babysitter and check everyone is still alive, then whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ear. Only kidding we were whispering oh for coffee, duvet and an early night. Who said parents don’t know how to party?
Night, night diary, sleep tight.
Friday 21st December
Last night when we returned I went to the bathroom only to find a dinner knife on the toilet. Curious? Yes so was I. So first thing this morning when Captain Chaos was conscious we asked what the dinner knife was for. Apparently he was conducting an experiment last night of vital importance. Well that clears that all up then! A wise man once told me if you don’t want the answer to a question, don’t ask it.
Today was the last day of school, and the mountain of party food was to be delivered to the classrooms. Having got everyone in the house ready, we pulled the party food out of the fridge, only for the first punch up of the day. Apparently an argument was happening over who was taking the chicken nuggets, and who was taking the pizzas. After listening to both sides of the arguments it transpired that all the food was going on the same table! I tried to reason, but as voices got louder we settled on swapping the food and everyone was happy. We delivered the food to the classrooms, and turned to find one child missing, and the other legging it. I am guessing it is considered embarrassing to say goodbye to your parents.
After treating my wife to coffee and cake, and later a spot of lunch, it was time to pick up the kids. My little girl came out and announced she felt a bit sick after consuming more food than she should have. Captain Chaos followed saying he did not have enough, but had a bag of chocolate which should fill the gap. Fill the gap? We could melt the chocolate and fill the pot holes in the road, he had so much chocolate.
Having established the basics I dropped him off and watched my little water rat charge up and down the pool.
Now keep in mind its a short car journey home, and by the time we got home the back of my wife’s car looked like a landfill site. My wife starting collecting the mass of old envelopes and chocolates wrappers. We were just a few wrappers away from having to license our car as a registered landfill site! One quick cup of tea later Captain Chaos asked if I could take him swimming, which was normally Mummy’s job. I felt honoured and jumped at the chance. I collected his swim bag and shot down the road in my wife’s toy box on wheels with the heater on gas mark 6. As we arrived Captain Chaos announced there’s only one rule you need to remember, you’re not allowed in the girls changing room. I thanked him for his useful advice and asked anything else, you know little things like where do we go? What time? What do you need? Having established the basics I dropped him off and watched my little water rat charge up and down the pool.
As we got to the end of the swimming lesson, I stood by the pool to be told “Well you got that wrong!” Puzzled I asked what did I get wrong? Apparently Mummy always has a towel ready. I gently explained I was a beginner, and the towel was about five steps away in the changing room. I hung my shamed head low, and got Captain Chaos changed ready to go. As we tried to leave, he stood by a snack vending machine and said “Mummy always gets a snack.” I was personally not sure how my wife funds the snack machine each week as they had telephone numbers next to the snack. I came over all faint and giddy when I saw the price of a small bar of chocolate and asked Captain Chaos to get in the car.
We got home and I gave Captain Chaos a ‘free’ snack from the biscuit tin. I explained to my wife how I had failed our son. Who knew swimming could go so wrong? After a quick dinner, and a few rounds of fights between the kids, we put them to bed.
Not only did we breath a sigh of relief but so did the house. Roll on tomorrow, as operation lie-in was a go, repeat operation lie-in was a go and my plan was fool proof.
Night, night diary, see you much later tomorrow after a fantastic lie-in!