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In Excess

​”We will just buy a small gift.”

No, don’t.

Family and friends have been doing that for five years, and sometimes just because it looked good at the time or one boy touched it in store.

We now have an extensive library of toys and books. Being us, all are boxed and shelved so as to ease the declutter process each afternoon.

What I would prefer to hear, or what I dream of hearing:

We’ll drop a few dollars into their accounts.” Yes, each boy has one.

“We’ll donate a few dollars to your choice of charity in their name.” RFDS

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Star Kids

It was a proud moment when I found Jai playing with an aluminum-cast Millennium Falcon and Tie-Fighter.

I bought them a few years ago, just before the 1-minute-of-Mark-Hammil epic. They were meant to be figurines to display in my geek-shed. When I dismantled the shed, both were ceremoniously dumped in with the kids toys. Well, they are toys.

But Jai hadn’t taken any interest. So I returned them to a shelf beside my bed.

Shaun the Sheep: Series 2
This morning Jai jumped over our bed, slid over the other side, Dukes-of-Hazard style (though he said Shaun the Sheep does it!), and stopped to stare at my book shelf.

Pointing up, “What are they?”

Oh boy, he finally noticed them. “You want to play with them?”

“Yes please!” Okay, I had to remind him to use the magic word.

“Well, you are now known as Jai Solo. Aidan can be … Baby Fett!”

The Complete Saga (Star Wars) It was a fun three minutes of his version of Star Wars. We didn’t do the Kessel run in twelve parsecs, but the universe was destroyed by teddy bears, ‘slobber-glue’ covered the earth, and Baby Fett tried to eat the Millennium Falcon.

Then they were offered sliced apple … and the moment was over.

Though Jai is still calling his little brother ‘Baby Fett’. Gotta love it.

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Rewards for Effort

Little Hand Not all conversations with #MisterFourGoingOnFourteen are intelligent, smart, funny or entertaining. So it is with disdain that I share these two stories. Yet I hope another Daddy can learn from it. Or at least empathize.

1.

So Small, So CuteDaddy: “My new crutch. Please may I have it back?” It’s for my current yet ongoing knee problems.
Jai: “Nope”. He walks around with it, wielding it like a sabre.
Daddy: “Please don’t point that at people, particularly mummy and daddy!”
Jai ignores me. I hobble around the house, trying to catch up with him. I can walk, but not for long. My right knee hurts like hell.
Daddy: “Please do NOT hit the windows. Don’t hit your brother. Don’t hit the back of my legs. PLEASE do NOT do that again!”
Jai looks at me, then looks away – and taps his brother on the shoulder. No pain, but scares Aidan. He toddles off to find mummy. Smart kid, he leaves the scene of the crime.
Daddy: “Ok, that’s IT! Time-Out for You!” I reach frantically for boy, but fumble on his shirt.
Jai dumps crutch and runs. I pick it up, and resume walking better. Jai gets away with it this time, but not for long…

2.

Set of FourJai (moments after I regain control with arm-crutch): “I want Shaun the Sheep!”
Daddy: “You have to clean the messy lounge room first.”
Jai: “It’s a mess?”
Daddy: “Yes. Your toys do NOT belong on the floor. You know where they belong.”
Jai: “I don’t see it.” Sigh. Plays skip-rope with mummy’s tape-measure.
Daddy: Sigh. “Take another look. Tell me what you see.”
Jai: “Trucks! Animals! Balloons! Books!”
Daddy: “Good. I will clean up Aidan’s, you do yours, we will meet in the middle.”
Jai: “The where?”
Daddy: “Start cleaning up. I’ll tell you when we get there.”
Jai: Intrigued now. “OK.”
Oh my days, he actually cleaned up.
Daddy: “High five dude!”
Jai raises hands and wipes Pluto into the next galaxy. Oh my hand.

It’s fun, but only after he starts listening – and realises there is a reward for his effort.

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Grand Spanner

Because visual clues are important in conversation of all age groups, here is an Instagram picture of a plastic spanner. Read it for the humor…