Split Attention

I’ve worked up a good mixed routine of cardio and resistance training via the KickStart coach at the gym which I’m looking forward to getting to grips with. I made a start on it today but by necessity I couldn’t entirely focus on it as I also had the cub with me.

He lives splashing around in the pool. After complaining about the days heat in the flat today it made for a good reward for doing his homework to bring him along. Lady M is mired in paperwork so stayed behind, while boy s is working today. That meant it was our first visit just the two of us, rather than the whole triad trading off watching duties.

If I’m making this sound more momentous than it was, it’s not deliberate. The cub is familiar enough with the pool, and gym, to not be phased if I’m momentarily out off his line of view. That said, I did make sure that the treadmill I used was in plain view overlooking the pool so we could gesture or smile as needed to reassure.

So I’m now sat in the cafe area, waiting for him to emerge from showering and changing, then we’ll go pick his dad up from work

So This Week…

I had a call yesterday to come pick boy s up from work. A little matter of his not being able to breathe. So off we went to the hospital where I was able to park near enough to the A&E to not kill him with the walk to the doors, and he was duly whisked away.

Due to Covid I couldn’t accompany him, so I went back to work to focus best I could, and as the evening approached with no news began to ring to try and find out if there was any news – if only so I could update everyone and reassure the cub.

As it turned out, it appears to be late onset asthma, so they were able to stabilise him and after checking everything else they could, he was released back into the wild with an inhaler and instructions to talk to his GP

The cub responded by being as publicly bolshy and snarky as he could be, even while admitting privately to Lady M how worried he was – so that’s all normal.

Now we try to get back to some semblance of normality. Honest.

Funny Numbers

I was having lunch with a friend today and we got to comparing the weird and wonderful things said by their youngest and by the cub that make us pause briefly every time. Both are of an age where they voraciously consume online content by a variety of providers. One thing that both have picked up is their concept of Funny Numbers that always seem to provoke laughter.

The Funny Numbers are 69 and 420, the meaning of which are utterly unknown to the cub. He sees and hears other people reacting in videos or in comments and seems to have constructed a world view where these are somehow intrinsically funny to people.

I have no intention of instructing him as to what they refer to, as he says them to get a reaction. In some ways it was reassuring to hear from another parent that he’s not the only child who does it.

For now then I’ll carry on carefully not reacting beyond a slightly bored bemusement. He’ll get bored at some point I’m sure…

Christmas and Beyond

As someone recently noted on social media, I live a strange life, and I embrace that and aim to keep it that way so it doesn’t lapse into being boring and dull. I am proud to include a diverse and vibrant bunch of people in my life and celebrate their individual journeys as well as our commonalities.

This Christmas has allowed us to reconnect and bond with friends, partners, family, and those who might wander between. I caught back up with my brothers, and the Charleesi, with friends who have built their own forge, my parents, my partners, and a variety of children attached to various of the above.

So the plan today has been to sit quietly with Lady M, give our presents to each other, watch TV, play games, and not stray too far from the sofa.

It’s not the family gathering we had planned, but it’s a good substitute and rest ahead of the excitement and busy weeks ahead.

Don’t Split The Party

We descended on boy s at the new flat today to eat, socialise and play D&D along with Mx W and Lady B who were staying the weekend there too. We were enticed there by the offer of a roast dinner, as if we needed any real excuse to go catch up.

Roast gammon, potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower, pigs in blankets and Yorkshire puddings all featured – and with boy s finally having induction pots and pans he was able to whip up a grand feast while we nattered in the other room and I toyed with Syrinscape software to cue up a soundboard for the game.

I’ve subscribed to the site so have access to all the sound packs, and still feel like I’m only just scratching the surface of it. I happily recommend it for DMs looking for some extra atmosphere for sessions.

And what a session – heavy on the roleplay as the group attended the university’s winter fair and interacted with various oddballs and situations before finding that a sage was present who could help with their missing memories from their first adventure – if they could find him as he seemed to have disappeared from inside a locked room in the library’s guest house.

Well, one thing led to another, and now they’re trapped inside a mansion in an extradimensional pocket searching for clues for a keyword to unlock the doors and get home. So far they’ve fought a swarm of animated books, been surprised by a cat, and greeted by homonculi housekeepers. They also split up, and are scattered throughout the mansion. Normally this wouldn’t be a too much of a challenge but they were at a social event and so don’t have most of their adventuring equipment or weapons.

As a result, they’re a little jumpy. I’ve not even started playing spooky music. That said four pickled hands just scrambled out of a jar to attack the dwarf at the end of the session so here’s to the next time we all get together…

Found Family

It’s something of a trope to call queer gatherings and especially polyamorous groupings as a Found Family and its a concept that appeals to me, even if I have no intention or desire to replace the perfectly wonderful and odd family I was born into. I’m lucky in that respect as I haven’t suffered the rejections so many other queer people have experienced, and so my Found Family is an addition to my life, not an alternative.

At the same time it still came as a surprise yesterday to be called Dad by the cub – not in a casual slip of the tongue way, but as a deliberate statement while we were discussing our Christmas plans for this year:

We will be going up to visit my parents and taking over the spare bungalow in the process. The thought of having five adults around was a bit daunting for the cub until we told him there were two houses side by side and it was while we explored that with him that he explicitly acknowledged that he saw Lady M and I as parents alongside his dad: that he sees Lady M as mum and myself as a dad.

And then he asked, with the perfect timing of a child, if he could have ice cream for dessert.

I’m still processing it, having dropped him off to school this morning. It’s one thing to have that warm affection for a child grow into a fierce, if sometimes exasperated, love – and still quite another to hear it returned, expressed, and said outright by that child. I think I lost sight that I wasn’t the only person recognising and building a found family in this new unit.

Preparations and Nattering

We’re aiming at boy s and the cub moving in this weekend, albeit probably on Sunday as I’ll be working on the Saturday which puts a crimp in things. So that’s gearing up as a set of things that need to happen.

In the meantime I’ve enjoyed my last day off on a coffee date with a friend. There was much nattering and talking of friends, family, plans, and laying of plans for them to join us at Pride in Godalming in a fortnight.

Nice way to spend an afternoon, kept me out of the rain.

I’ve even been very disciplined and not looked at any notifications from work – I shall see what awaits me in the morning.

Well That Was A Day

From the beginning of the day, where a flatbed lorry full of scaffolding pulled up outside, to the discussion of health issues with someone who blacked out at work last week, to dataset organisation, job advertising, and myr s coming out to their father it’s all been a bit non stop.

I may have given a gentle cheer when I got the text from myr s that they’d done that at the same time as announcing they were moving out. I then had to explain that cheer and its context to a co-worker who was looking very confused.

Myr s and the cub will be moving in with us temporarily while they sort out work and accommodation of their own up in our neck of the woods. This is simultaneously exciting and terrifying and means we need to move getting a bigger bed far further up the agenda than previously planned.

First though, this week sees our windows being replaced, so let’s get that mayhem out the way over the next two days

Explorations

We went to Bletchley Park today, despite the best efforts of the Bank Holiday traffic. We picked it partly our of interest in its history, and partly so we could return our niece to her aunt as it was a little over halfway there.

I’m not entirely sure where the afternoon went as five hours sped by and there was still a lot we didn’t see. What we did find was fascinating and heartbreaking in turn, especially when it came to the areas devoted to Alan Turing. Going from a case containing his Teddy bear Porgy to a recreation of his office was surprisingly affecting as it brought forward the human behind the stories.

We had conversations with the kids around LGBTQIA+ history and in particular around Alan Turing’s treatment – which in turn led to conversations over lunch about our relationships and the polycule. And now Lady H is friends on Facebook with myr s, and the kids want to meet the cub.

Not really what I foresaw for the day, but a positive turn amid the strangeness all the same.

Nephew Wrangling

We’ve got Lady M’s nephew staying over this weekend and he is, like many lads his age, absolutely obsessed with Tesla cars.

With that in mind, we arranged to take him to a nearby Tesla showroom where (following some calls) he was allowed to explore the vehicles and discuss all sorts of details about them with the slightly bemused staff.

Safe to say his mind was blown by the opportunity to literally get his hands on vehicles and tech he has been reading avidly about for so long.

So engrossed by all this was he that we had to bribe him with lunch to get him back away from the showroom..!

And then he and I spent a good portion of this afternoon playing games, including an epic session of N-Tropy which resulted in a terrifyingly large towering edifice of balanced pieces of wood straining the laws of physics.

It’s been lovely having him around and having some time to bond a bit. A quiet Sunday still awaits too.