Daddy Bear Asked The Right Question

I’m lying on my back, in bed, staring at the light coming in from the landing through the open door. Myself and the lady have long since outgrown the need for the landing light to be on, we’re no longer scared of the dark. We’re adults now, there are much scarier things to worry about than the dark: like taxes. In truth the light isn’t even on in the landing, it is from the floor below. Neither of our little ones need the comfort of a night light to sleep, we’re lucky with that. But my echo-location skills are on par with those of a door nail; utterly non-existant. When a Little shouts out in the night it helps if you don’t walk into evey wall and bit of furniture on the way there.

I’m lying on my back, listening to the deep breaths of people sleeping. It’s early, at least for me. Eleven at night was when I’d only start doing stuff, back in my younger days. I’d code, game, watch a show, read something or maybe even attempt to write a few words down. Eleven was when I’d be sauntering into the comedy club, preparing to get up on stage and try make strangers laugh. Now eleven is prime ‘get some sleep before one of them wakes up’ time. But I’m hearing the deep breath of two people sleeping in the marital bed, yet I am awake.

I’m lying on my back, sleep evading me for a change because I wasn’t in work during the day, so the mind is not tired. I turn and look at my bed buddies. The lady, sleeping like a beautiful work of art brought to life, eyes fluttering as she dreams. Wrapped under her arm, reminding me of a bear cub in the warm embrace of its mother, is the youngest. He lies there, looking like the cat who had not only got the cream but also the cream from several other cats. He has won this round. Our parenting rule had always been ‘No kids in the bed’. We had heard the horror stories from friends. Kids come into the bed once…then twice…then every other day. Next thing you know you have a five year old in the bed who refuses to leave.

I’m lying on my back, wondering how we lost this battle once again. I saw ‘we’, but that is meant purely in the Royal use of the word. I can stick steadfast to the rules, but motherly instincts work two ways. They are rock hard, unbreakable, when somebody does something to the young. Yet collapse at the slightest hint of a cough, when the Little just needs mummy.

I’m lying on my back, trying to turn without making too much noise onto my side so I can attempt to go to sleep. I fail, the Little’s eyes open and stare directly at me. I’ve disturbed his slumber and he, like a demon from cute Hell, is going to let me know that this will not stand.

“Up,” he declares, pushing at my shoulder.

“You want up?” I ask in a whisper, not wanting to wake the lady.

“No,” he says in that moaning way that grates on the nerves at 2am when you’re trying to console him. “Up, daddy. Up.”

More pushing and the message is clear, he doesn’t want up. He wants me up. Up and out of the bed. The battle is over before it even begins as he starts to get worked up and herself begins to stir.

I look at the Changeling in my bed, cute cherub face definitely a natural defence from Apex Father, and give in. It isn’t worth ruining everyone’s sleep to try and sooth him, attempting to barter for my spot in my own bed. I get up and pad across the floor, passing the open door of the bedroom my son should be sleeping in with his sister.

“Daddy,” comes a little call from the doorway. “Thomas isn’t in his bed…I don’t want to be alone.”

I’m lying on my back, staring at the light coming in from the landing through the open door. The bed is but a distant memory. I have an Iron-Man teddy as a pillow and something that is blanket shaped. A satisified sigh from the bed above signals that the daughter is happy with our new sleeping arrangement.

I’m lying on my back, thinking: Daddy Bear was asking the right question ‘Whose been sleeping in my bed?’. Since, right now, the answer is most definitely not me.

Don’t Feed The Trolls

I’m at that point in my life were I have been creating content for roughly ten years now. Not good content, granted, but still content. The problem with that, in this day and age, is that producing content is like a giant flame to a bunch of asshole moths.

Or rather moths that just like to be assholes.

You get them in all walks of life. From comments on the content that literally are just meant to be harsh to posts about the content tearing it apart in petty and cruel ways for no reason other than they want a quick like or two.

In general it is all water off a duck’s back with me. I’ve grown up taking barbs from people my entire life, mainly based on being a ginger. Since sometimes people can’t waste a bit of brain power on a decent insult.

At least give the insulted something to appreciate when you insult them.

Any road, why am I waffling about this? Well because recently the Karen has been experiencing the darker side of the internet since she has become a content producer.

Bloody good content, as it happens.

See along with doing this site…the Instagram…the podcast…and the Twitter, she also runs her own personal Instagram account. On it she mainly posts parenting stuff as well, but from a mum perspective as oppose to the joint affair Parenting Pobal is meant to include. Sadly there are some folk out there that just don’t like to see people do anything good.

Trolls.

Not the cute, cuddly, Anna-Kendrick-voiced kind that sing songs and have great hair. Rather horrible asshats that sit behind their keyboards and phones and leave comments that are designed to do nothing else but hurt people.

This happened last night, in fact, when a person left a particularly nasty comment on Karen’s Instagram. It actually upset her quite a bit, until the wise ginger (it’s okay if we call ourselves that) explained to her how to ignore the asshat.

See back in the day before the Internet everyone will have known or heard about a person to avoid in their local town or village. A particular individual who was just nasty for the sake of being nasty. A venomous asshat. The psychological reasoning behind these people is that they are wired to take joy in hurting others on an emotional level. But they were few and lonely, maybe needing a hug but that isn’t something folk will volunteer to do on account of the asshat-ery.

But then along comes THE INTERNET and suddenly those people have entire new platform for their barbed comments. They maybe be the same mindset as the lonely folk back in the pre-Internet days or they could have just been sitting on the fence and now they don’t have to worry about being punched in the face in real life because they have the safety of the Internet to hide behind.

You know the sorta person I’m talking about. Proper cowards. People not brave enough to attempt to create anything so instead they spend their time destroying what others are doing.

It took a while, but I reckon Karen finally saw sense to what I was saying. That her being upset by what the Troll had said was exactly what they wanted. It was feeding them and just like the ugly donkey at the petting zoo you should never feed the animals.

It’s actually an important thing to bear in mind as parents of children in the digital age. Bullies now aren’t just the kid who punches you in the head anymore on the way home from school. They are some snot faced little shithead who logs onto <insert popular social media here> and then posts content designed to hurt. Devoid of the empathetic impact such online posts have…because they don’t have the stones to be that mean in the real world.

I’ve always lived by the view that a bully won’t stop until one day you turn around and punch them really hard in the face. Sadly that advice isn’t something that is going to work when your bully is throwing digital digs at you. I guess all that can be done is to highlight that what these dicks are doing is allowing their jealousy to come front and centre because they have no other creative outlet. We as parents have to teach the littles to ignore it as best they can, while also making sure they don’t stop creating what they love in the first place.

To the Troll, if you end up reading this. Look in the mirror. Are you alright, hun?

-Derek