- Dyfrig Gibbs
"DAD, I wanna watch Beebies!"
"Not now Aria" - I'm 5 minutes away from having her dinner on the table. Beebies at this time will demolish her appetite and attention.
"DAD, I said I wanna watch Beebies"
"I heard Boo and I said not now, ok" Bella has left for the Gym and I'm desperate to navigate through the mine field that is the dinner, bath & bed routine without an explosion of emotion - from either of the wee nippers.
"DAD, I said I wanna watch Beebies. I'm serious!" I fail entirely at suppressing my laughter "DAD, don't laugh at me, I'm serious!"
As fantastically funny as it was hearing my 2 year old talk to me like that, It hit me hard that she was throwing my own words back at me. There's no blaming Bella for this phrase - it's definitely all me! I've heard myself saying it quite a few times this last month. Aria is now well established in the "I'm testing your boundaries" stage, if we tell her we're going out, she wants to stay in. If we say we're gona play in the garden, she aint. If we say she can't go in the garden because it's chucking it down, she wants to go out like never before. Occasionally she might say, and I quote her here, "guys, I'm hungry" so eagerly we'll get a good healthy dinner together pronto, and then she says... I don't want dinner. It's a game, a game all kids learn to play. If you like a challenge and have some energy, it's almost fun trying to double bluff a 2 year old into brushing her teeth. Recently though, at the end of a long day, with the last bits of routine to tick off, I've had less patience for the "game" - it's also harder to play well when you know there's a window of about 3 minutes before no.2 starts urgently needing you to play his game - it's called "Pick me up and for gods sake don't you dare put me down". To be fair Bear has every right to demand we play his game now and again, he has won the lot of being a second child - one that does not get picked up with the tiniest whimper. I can't knock the dude for a second though, currently he's on his charm offensive - to earn credit before he starts playing less adorable games.
Anyway I kept hearing myself say "Aria in the bath now, I'm serious" or "Aria come and sit at the dinner table, I'm serious". So in that moment when Aria flipped me the ole "I'm serious" card I realised it was a silly strategy. Basically what I'm saying, to my 2 year old cute as a button daughter is, I ain't playing - bath & dinner time are not fun, they're important jobs so lets get em done. Trouble is, the world is still all about fun at 2, they've no need to be so cynical about these two incredible parts of the day - why rush em and make them boring!
Further to this though, I realised that It's become a bit of trend with me, a mill stone in other aspects of my life - specifically, this, blogging or more accurately the vlogging part. As I've already mentioned, I'm not that comfortable filming myself, I feel awkward. I am not typically an awkward or uncomfortable person, but when I look back at footage I've taken, I feel that's exactly how I'm coming across. The main reason for this is that I'm deadly serious about it. It's quite all consuming, a passion for aviation and flight, and I don't think it's easily understood by those not afflicted by the Avgeek bug. Very often when you say to people, I want to be a commercial pilot the response is "are you serious?". Quite quickly I find myself in the fairly combative "yes I'm deadly serious" stance. I also know that for this website, my blog and youtube channel to be a success and really aid me through my training I must capture my personality and passion for flying on film - so I'm serious about getting it right. This seriousness is effusing through the lens though and diminishing the end product. I'm calling it my Brian Cox mode. I can see it, but I struggle to shake it.
I reckon we saw this exact same phenomena on the big stage recently. Top Gear should always of been Chris Evans' chef-d'oeuvre, his magnum opus, his greatest creation. Whatever you think of him, he was, and probably still is perfect for that job. He is a brilliant broadcaster, particularly live, and he is genuinely obsessed with cars and the automotive industry. He is fast becoming a genuine British icon - for really good reasons too. Top Gear is his dream job. He was deadly serious about making the show better, the best it's ever been. He dearly wanted it to be a success. That self imposed pressure was debilitating. I'm a fan of his, If I was charged with picking a cabinet of gingers he'd have one of the top jobs - foreign secretary probably. Prince Harry would lead, he's got it all - I mean his title is already Captain Wales plus he's a plane nut and Apache pilot! Anyway I'm digressing, back to the foreign secretary, I wanted him to succeed at it but I can't deny it was bloody awkward to watch! Unfortunately I think he just needed time, time to relax into that studio, to feel comfortable in his own skin in that environment.
Quitting after 6 episodes of the "Vlog from a log" is not an option for me, so I've gotta get comfortable, comfortable on camera, with people watching me and judging me, I've got to get comfortable being myself - a bright ginger goof.
It works with the kids, my new tact at bath time is to out clown Mr Tumble! It involves getting in the bath myself, usually with some clothes on. The water normally disperses itself equally over the whole bathroom floor within 4 minutes and Bear in his chair gets a shower. The most awesome thing though is Aria totally forgets about the defiance game and loses herself in uncontrolled hysteria. The contagion of laughter spreads and soon Bear is beaming his new smile and I, totally loving an audience who get my sense of humour, end up entirely creased and high on the kind of endorphin hit Michael Macintyre must get after every show. I think we're all a little cleaner too.
I've been trying to decide over the last couple of days, which is a better feeling; Flying or making your son/daughter laugh uncontrollably. I can't pick a winner, but I can unequivocally say that they are my two favouritist feelings ever!
If I haven't taken enough of your time already and you're bored heres a vid of me training our dog Timber.