Can You Tell The Time?


Like all my blog articles, this was written a year ago, long before the current lock down situation we are now facing. I hope this blog makes you smile, and all your family are keeping safe.

The only thing I can think of, is that I have been bad, really bad, and somehow I am being punished for it. Picture the scene, I came home from work to see my little girl beaming with the biggest grin, and she announces “I have some great news Daddy, I’m learning to play an instrument!” So far so good, it’s bound to be a recorder, and hopefully it will be a fad that’s over very quickly. It was at this point my little girl moves what can only be described as aircraft cargo into the front room, and says “Only five people got picked to learn the trombone, and they choose me!” How, why, how long, why me world, why me, why have you chosen to punish me so severely? My little girl gave a demonstration, and it was like a giant cargo ship docking in my front room. My little girl said she would play in her room, I clapped like a monkey and said practice and I will listen to the concert. Three rooms away, and three doors separated us, but still it sounded like a cargo ship of biblical proportion docking in my front room. The bad news was that I had months, if not years of this. But ever the optimist things can only get better right?

How can things get worse? Following the cargo air horn recital, where in my mind I was thinking naughty thoughts about the trombone’s fate, my wife called me and said not to panic if the house stinks of fish and chips? Sorry my hungry hippo, but just why are you demolishing fish and chips, and more to the question how many are there to stink the house for hours? My wife explained we had ants marching in the front door, so she had made her own repellent. My wife had been on one of those dodgy websites with home remedies, and made a science experiment that had takeaway side effects. When I opened the front door that night, I was overcome with a stale fish and chip smell that was so vial, I thought my fifth birthday dinner was making a reappearance. My wife jumped with joy and announced it worked. Oh course it did my little science experiment, the smell is so bad not even a human being could handle standing by the front door. I pity any body trying to sell stuff at our door tonight, once I open that front door, they will cough and splutter, and run screaming with tears in their eyes.

The next morning I was feeling full of cold; I had decided to cheer my family up and take them for coffee, cake and a children’s play park full of toys. My kids were pressed hard against the window like animals at a zoo, and shot out of the car like greyhounds. Having got to the restaurant we were told there were no tables, and it was full. The water on the floor was my kids sobbing their hearts out, so I came up with ‘plan b’ which was to panic, then take them on a drive 45 minutes away to our local burger restaurant. Having arrived at the restaurant, they had massive electronic menus where you could order food, so the kids swiped across the menu like ninjas clicking and tapping, then let me know I could now pay. Thanks kids, do you mind if Mummy and I can order some food? I was a little slower at the swiping and tapping, and I realised why adults are slower than kids. My kids choose whatever food had a toy, and then followed by whichever additional item were the biggest. As a grown up I went by calories, choosing the healthy options which were nuts, pulses and floor scrapings being low in calories, and low in flavour, but hey I was healthy.

How can things get worse?

As the food came over why oh why restaurant would you not say which children’s food bag was a boys toy, and which was a girls toy? Captain Chaos opened a girls pink toy and flat refused, then began negotiations more stressful than world peace. Having played hard ball negotiations until my burger was stone cold, my little girl handed over the boys toy with peace reigning once more. As the meal finished, I tried again to cheer my family up with ice creams all round. Trying hard to please my kids I choose ‘large ice creams’ which one child refused, and the second gave up claiming they were full. Sorry did you just say ‘full’, it’s just that I have not heard that phrase in nine years of being a dad! We took the toys and headed to the supermarket next door to get some socks for the kids, and coffee for Daddy. As I got to the coffee aisle, the yummy coffee was gone, and I was offered cheap coffee that even those on a really tight budget had refused. No doubt having tasted it, it will be lining a car park to dry up old oil stains. I grumped my way round to the socks aisle where both kids had a prized punch up, over who got the most socks. Forgive me if I was grumpy, and as we got out of the supermarket my wife noticed I was a shade cranky and asked are you okay? Oh just peachy my peace negotiator, the yummy coffee is long since gone, and we just had a family punch up over socks, could life get any more exciting?

Having got home, it was argument after argument, followed by Captain Chaos asking if it was at last six pm. I answered “Yes son, it’s at last six pm” to which he said thanks, and went up to my wife and asked “Mummy is it past six pm?” Sorry son, did you think the answer would change, or is it that Mummy is always right, and Daddy is just here for entertainment purposes? Goodness knows what happens after six pm, but I think it was the start of stress hour in our house.

My wife asked for the house to be tidied of all toys on the floor, and upon looking like blackcurrant juice in her face, and waving her arms like she was bringing a fighter jet in to land in our front room, an explosion happened and even I am not proud to admit I was scared. My wife announced any toy not cleared up was being black sacked and put in the bin, “Isn’t that right Daddy?” Spiffing, just spiffing Mummy is always right and magical, and Daddy is neither right, or trusted to tell the time, and here I was going down in history as the ultimate bad guy!

As stress levels were rising faster than interest rates, the call for ‘bedtime’ was like someone shouting “Free money!” in a bank. We tucked both kids into bed, and they drifted to sleep like angels, so now you’re wondering what did you do with your evening Dorset Dad? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I watched mind numbing television, drank a cheap and disgusting coffee, slice of cake and fell asleep. Now tell me what page you heard that in the parenting books!

Night, night everyone, see you stress free next week!