Monday 17th December
Oh diary, how can preparing two kids for school be so tough? I got the lunch-boxes ready and waved my wife goodbye, along with all hope. As my wife drove away I asked Captain Chaos where his shoes were? His answer was “Sorry no idea”, so I found a pair to which he pointed out they were his old shoes. After twenty minutes of searching, where old socks and empty food packets were found under sofas and beds, I lost the plot and said rather than be late he would be wearing his old shoes. Cries of no way ensued, and the moment I put the first shoe on he announced “Oh these are my new ones after all!” “What?!” After twenty minutes of stress I was a broken man, on my knees to be told I had wasted the last twenty minutes.
Okay onwards and upwards I shuffled both kids towards the door, where Captain Chaos picked up an umbrella, so I firmly announced “I know that will be used as a weapon of mass beatings, so there is no chance this is going to school!” Captain Chaos announced with a dead pan face, “It’s for my school trip.” He was now messing with the wrong man, I was on the edge and running twenty minutes late. I proudly announced “Okay Sunbeam, where’s the note?” Again with a dead pan face, “Oh no, I forgot the note.” Now what do you do? I opted to trust him and let him take the umbrella, of course Diary you already knew it was a classic scam, and even my mother-in-law split her sides laughing, knowing I had been well and truly conned.
I picked up the kids with a biscuit and had my wife’s car, or should I say ‘toy box on wheels’, and as I pulled onto the drive, I opened the car door to hear the world’s loudest hissing noise, like a snake prior to eating its pray. I walked round to the passenger side to see the tyre go down faster than stock market shares. I rushed the kids into the house and phoned our tyre guy, who said he needed the car within fifty minutes or he may not get the tyre before Christmas. I rushed out to the car, jacked the tyre up and started a tyre change worthy of a professional racing team. That was until one nut would not come off, and I jumped up and down on the bar, got on my knees, not sure why but I was a very broken man, and eventually it came off. I changed the tyre for a ‘space saver’, and got the kids into the car. My little girl ever the comedian asked “Daddy you know you changed the tyre, the car is now lopsided. Are we going to make it?” Thank you my little ray of encouragement, but yes we will, as long as Daddy goes slow, and not over fifty.
“Will the wheel fall off?”
Now our local tyre shop is a one minute drive in a thirty miles an hour zone, but now two kids were watching my speed for me. As I built up to a heady twenty miles an hour, two voices shouted “Easy Daddy, that’s twenty”, and even I was now nervous as I got to twenty five miles an hour, having speed warning go off in the back of the car. The speed warning consisted of two kids screaming “Will the wheel fall off?” Charming, thanks for the vote of confidence kids, as I pulled into the tyre shop.
I asked the kids to stay in the waiting room as they assessed the damaged tyre, but as I stood by the windows, it was like a zoo with two chimpanzees climbing a tree. I rushed round and asked them to go easy on the furniture as the tyre was expensive, and the chairs and counter top were even more expensive. As the tyre shop guy rang for a spare tyre to be in stock, my kids performed acrobatics whilst I hushed them like a cinema worker. I drove my kids home leaving the broken tyre, and as I drove away the tyre guy said not to exceed fifty. Good luck on hitting more than twenty five with my eagle eyed speed watchers in the back. I pulled into the drive to be told “Granny usually has tea ready by now”, and proceeded to tell me what I should have done by now.
I put the key in the door and explained that while we were out no fairies had made the tea, so watch television and I would work my fastest. I worked like a little television chef, and realised being a mum or granny is way harder than I realised, and I take my hat off to all mum’s and granny’s. You do a job that is one of the hardest in the world, and I am so sorry that I did not fully appreciate you guys. Oh and my beautiful wife I am cancelling my holiday and going back to work for a rest, is that okay?
Tuesday 18th December
Feeling refreshed and revived, my wife helped get the kids ready, and after yesterday’s flat tyre I could not use the car, and Mother Nature decided to kick the boot in and poured down torrential driving rain. I decided to wait to tell the kids and got them ready for school, and broke it to them that we were walking to school. No problems I heard the kids say, and to while away the time I decided to play a game, and renamed all of us with appropriate “elf” names. I was asking to be called ‘Papa Elf’ as the dad. My kids did not get into the spirit so I said I could not hear them unless they called me ‘Papa Elf’. This went well as they laughed hard, however it went too well. I walked through town past many people with both kids calling me ‘Papa Elf’ without a smile. Yes I had many people turning to me like I was some sort of freak, but by the time we got to school we were soaked through, but happy. I said goodbye and said I would be back for Captain Chaos play.
Like a true seventies rock star, the tea towel was flung sideways across the stage!
As the afternoon approached my wife and I approached the school and you would have thought by the cars literally dumped along the road that we were watching a top west end theatre play. We had already spent two pounds each, and by the time all our relatives turned up, we could have visited a top theatre. Why so grumpy Dorset Dad, well I tell you why, I had already listened to the play many times over, including learning the words to help Captain Chaos. By the time we queued and sat down, I could have stood at the front and took a staring role, as I knew the words backwards.
We sat and watched Captain Chaos who was a shepherd, but he had decided to rearrange the tea towel and band on his head and covered his head entirely to sing a song. We covered our head with our hands and prayed it would not last, and just like a true seventies rock star, the tea towel was flung sideways across the stage, for added ‘presence’. As the play ended we clapped and went to collect our child from a corridor that looked like it was from a doll house, with around a million parents all scrabbling to collect their child first.
As we got home I had a surprise, as I had bought a badge making kit, and although you got ten badges, I thought I would just give two each, surely two would keep them busy? Like a seasoned pro I gave a tray to contain the mess, and said “Enjoy” thinking works of art worthy of a degree would be produced. I had not even sat down in the next room when they floated out claiming “All done!” Glad I did not spend any major money on this activity, as it was costing around a pound per second.
We put the kids to bed, well more like I wound the kids up, after finding Captain Chaos owned a superhero cape, so I proceeded to prance round the house like a superhero. I left saying goodnight with my kids jumping up and down on their bed on a super high. When my wife calmed the kids back down again, we got talking about famous singers from the eighties. I mentioned one outrageous singer who produced some of the most iconic hits of the eighties. My wife said she was never a fan, as she was so little, yet when we played one of the most famous hits, suddenly she went from Dorset girl, to ‘disco diva’, strutting her stuff with all the dance moves exactly, and I mean ‘exactly!’ Sorry my little Dorset Disco Diva but you are busted, I suspect someone had been dancing in front of the mirror with a hair brush when they were younger!
Night, night diary, talk tomorrow.