Learner Dad and the Fairy fraud

“You look like a real Collingwood supporter now.”
Ever since the mass exodus of Master Seven’s teeth, it’s become the joke of the year (and I use the term ‘joke’ very loosely).
Desperate to keep up with “Olivia at school who’s lost eight teeth”, Master Seven has been cajoling tooth after tooth out of his increasingly gummy grin.
So you’d think Learner Dad and I would be organised wouldn’t you?
A little stash of cash for the tooth fairy to withdraw from?
Uh uh.
The other night we got caught out big time. It was 11pm before I suddenly sat up in bed and said to Learner Dad: “We forgot to leave money from the Tooth Fairy.”
Now Learner Dad hasn’t made contact with a coin in years – he’s an Eftpos man through and through.
So it was up to me to rifle through my handbags and drawers to find something.
Nada, not one single coin.
So, in the dead of night, the Tooth Fairy (in this instance Learner Dad donned the wings) crept into Master Seven’s room, pinched a couple of coins from his money box, and dropped them into the glass he’d left next to his bed with his little tooth.
The next morning, Master Seven burst into our room, showing us the coins the Tooth Fairy had lugged into his room in the dead of night.
He showed us and then proudly dropped them into his money box.
BACK into his money box.
The first thing Learner Dad did after work that night was replace the money.
But do you think we’ve learned from it? Have we now set up a stash of cash for such emergencies?
But at least we have Master Seven’s!


Naming Rights

“Oh Jesus,” Master Seven moaned, slapping himself on the head.
“What is it?” I asked, as Learner Dad and I shared a concerned look.
“Nothing,” he replied, clearly distressed.
“Tell us,” Learner Dad urged.
“Well… it’s just… I’ve forgotten his name!” Master Seven gestured to Li’l Fatty, clearly embarrassed.
We were in the hospital, a couple of days after the birth.
I bit my lip hard, trying not to laugh.
I read recently that, while lower socio-economic families are increasingly embracing punctuation (bestowing beauties like ‘M’Shell’ and the now-well-known ‘La-a’ [pronounced La-dash-a] on their newborns), the middle classes are increasingly choosing surnames for their boys.
Names like ‘Cooper’, ‘Harrison’, ‘Fletcher’, ‘Davis’ and ‘Parker’.
So slap us in the middle ranks because give Li’l Fatty a first surname is exactly what we did.
Coming up with it was a no brainer.
We already had a list of boys’ names we were happy with before stumbling on his name at my baby shower.
But if we’d had a girl, there may have been a shit fight.
Learner Dad and I had both “meh”-ed each others’ favourite girls names.
This is a slight on me because, when it came to girls’ names, Learner Dad wasn’t too fussy.
Lucy, Lilly, Tilly, Milly, Marli, Molly, Holly, Polly, Poppy, Bonnie, Connie, Chloe, Elsie, Elli, Sally, Abby, Josie, Zoey…
Are we seeing a trend here? He loved them all – and many more.
He didn’t understand why names being too popular or associating them with other people was a reason for not choosing them.
“Surely if everyone’s calling their kid Lucy it means it’s a good name?” he’d ask.
Then there was: “What’s wrong with having the same name as Posh Spice’s and Nat Bass’ daughters? Wouldn’t that be cool of us?”
Or: “So we can’t call her Molly because your grade six boyfriend had an annoying sister called Molly? Seriously?”
Part of me wanted to give him this. I mean, being a single parent at the time, I’d got to name Master Seven myself.
But it’s a huge thing.
It’s a name you’re going to be whispering, singing and screaming for the rest of your life.
Little Master Seven wasn’t left out of the creativity – he came up with ‘Russia’ for a boy and ‘Chloe’ for a girl.
Needless to say, if the name had been his choice, we’d have been barracking hard for a baby… of the doodle-less variety!


Following in Daddy’s footsteps

Well Li’l Fatty was central to this stunt at Learner Dad’s Tassie radio station HOFM today… but it was Master Seven who didn’t stop banging on about having ‘Breakfast with the Stars’.

We were late to school after the event, a classmate running up to Master Seven to tell him the teacher was looking for him.

“Oh I’ve just been at one-oh-one-point-seven-haitch-oh-eff-em,” he threw back casually.

After walking him in and apologising to the teacher, I shut his classroom door to the sound of “Sorry Miss T I’ve just been at one-oh-one-point-seven-haitch…”

As for Li’l Fatty, another day, another nappy change…

In the interest of keeping his privates private, you really can’t see much…

The gift of RE-giving…

“Did you check there wasn’t an inscription on that?” Learner Dad asked me as we drove away.
“What? Oh shit no! Why didn’t you ask me that before?” I yelled.
We’d just been to visit an old work colleague who was expecting a baby.
And I’d re-gifted.
That’s right. I’d wrapped up one of the five neutral baby books we’d been given for Li’l Fatty and re-gifted it.
It was my first and probably last time.
Clearly there are too many risks. What if they send you a public thank you message, and photo, on Facebook?
What if she was the one who gave you the book?
Or if she was there when you were given it?
Now there was a chance she was flipping through it and about to find a message that said “Dear Li’l Fatty, many happy memories, love…”
Oh god, maybe her!
Seriously I think the best course from here is to stick to re-gifting only the gift bags (and hope all my friends have boys!)
But even that has its risks.
I recently threw a board game for one of Master Seven’s friends into a bag with racing cars on it, almost missing three crucial words – ‘It’s a Boy’.
Does anyone else re-gift?
I have a box full of 000 clothes Li’l Fatty never wore.
I have girls’ clothes too (from those who didn’t believe what I said I saw at the ultrasound).
His nursery is adorned with three monkeys, 16 teddies, 31 puppies and a handful of soft toys Master Seven never got around to meeting, toys I mistakenly thought Li’l Fatty might need.
Of course he will discover many of these toys in the coming years.
As for the others… maybe they’ll make the best gift of all – the gift of charity!
NB: If you gave Li’l Fatty a gift and are reading this, fear not! We loved your gift the best and would never part with it 

A little MORE conversation…

“I’m in the Kmart car park and I can’t get the bloody pram open,” I blurt out when Learner Dad answers his phone.
Then: “Okaaay,” he says, from his desk.
In his office.
At work.
I wait. I know I’m being all manner of bitch right now.
I mean, what can he possibly do about it from work?
“Have you tried pushing down the grey bar?” he asks.
“I would if there was a f****ng grey bar,” I respond.
I rarely swear. He must be frightened.
“Everybody’s looking at me, I have to get things at the shop before I go to school to pick up Master Seven and…”
Oh shit, I’ve just noticed a grey bar. I can’t tell him that now.
“Oh hang on, I’ve found a black bar,” I lie. “That seems to be working.”
Much to his relief, I let Learner Dad go and get on with my shopping.
As I push Li’l Fatty around the store, I start thinking: ‘Is this me becoming a wife? A dependent? The ball and chain?’
Learner Dad and I got engaged at Easter and I seem to be nailing the part of wife-to-be.
But then, maybe it’s not so much me becoming a Mrs as me returning to the life of a SAHM (acronym for Stay At Home Mum and the term we cool ones go by now thank you very much!)
Being a SAHM brings with it a certain kind of starvation… a hunger for adult conversation.
You can only say ‘bububub’ and ‘ging-ging-ging’ so many times a day.
Sure, Master Seven’s arrival home from school takes the conversation up a notch but you get sick of bum and poo jokes pretty quickly too.
I satiated my conversation hunger in Master Seven’s early years, when I was a single mum, by calling my own mother regularly.
She got the “he’s vomiting”, “he’s smiling” and “how do you get his finger out of the DVD player?” type calls.
But I would never have called her at work to say I couldn’t open the pram.
Those kind of calls I’ve reserved for my lucky future husband, Learner Dad.
And with that, I must dash and call him.
I think Li’l Fatty just made a new noise…


What’s the toy story?

When Master Seven only had a Mario toy and a Luigi toy, he used to make karts out of his shoes and create tracks with remote controls and whatever else he could find in the loungeroom.

One birthday later, he has every Super Mario toy and accessory in existence.

He no longer has to try and be creative or resourceful – it’s all there at his fingertips.

And I only have myself to blame – Learner Dad and I bought him the Mario Kart track, along with a bunch of figurines, and recommended others get him Mario gear.

In fact I could take every toy out of Master Seven’s room and re-fill all the empty space with everything he got for his 7th birthday.

After two family celebrations and a party with friends, he has a stack of new things so high, he doesn’t know where to start.

I created a ‘present table’ in his room – many of his new things are still in their packets.

Learner Dad goes big on birthdays and Christmas. The first special occasion he shared with Master Seven and I, he arrived at our house with a washing basket full of gifts.

The excitement his generosity generated created a precedent.

Although I used to buy Master Seven only one gift (knowing he’d get 871 others from friends and family), I go a bit harder at the shops now than I used to.

But the article above (click on What’s the toy story? at top of page), posted on the Hobart Mums Network, got me thinking… /p>

Is our generosity putting our kids at a disadvantage?