Today it’s Bank Holiday and I was awoken by my young son asking me where Mummy was. I said she was downstairs which he translated as Mummy was too far to whisper to, so just scream until your lungs burst, which he did and announced that he had had an accident. This got me to thinking why couldn’t he have told me. I was ready to deal with it. When my wife arrived upstairs and I saw her, she looked terrible. I had not realised the accident was that bad, but she said her tummy was hurting, so she went for a quick sleep to recover. I took over the reins of the house, and everything was going to run like clockwork on my watch!
My son met me outside my bedroom with a cup of water and a dinosaur egg that takes a few days to hatch to show me the egg’s progress so far. I turned around to get something out of the bedroom and started saying “Carry it downstairs carefully.” But before I could finish he had spilt it, so the start of my watch was not getting off to a cracking start, but I was still full of hope, and went downstairs. I was greeted by a scene from a hospital television series where they crash cars, and make a street look terrible, but somehow my kids had recreated it for me inside the house! I made it as far as the kitchen when my son informed me that I could make him breakfast now. I wasn’t even wearing my butlers outfit, yet the orders had been delivered, and he told me he wanted a wrap with butter. I started buttering a wrap for him and put it on a plate as quick as I could to keep the peace when he asked what it was! Well son, back in the day I called it a wrap, but as Daddy is old and ready for the knackers yard, it may have changed name, but it’s still a bread based product that is flat, so I’m calling it a wrap. My son, not picking up on sarcasm, announced “I told you to fold it.” Sorry Bones, but your fingers have not packed up working, and you do not need a degree in rocket science, I am sure you can handle it on your own.
I went up to shower, and as I came downstairs there was the television playing to itself with no one in sight. When I found them they claimed they were watching the dinosaur egg in case anything exciting happened. I was thinking could they find anything more exciting, but then realised they were in one place, and quiet, so left them with it. They must have been bored as they gave up. I sat in the front room, when all of a sudden my little girl screamed from the kitchen, “Quick, quick, Captain Chaos!” Well Captain Chaos shot past me with a rush of wind. He would have given an Olympian a run for his money, all to see the egg update. I pretended to be excited, and whoop for joy at the toy egg, which was as exciting as watching an election manifesto, and jumped onto my tablet to find something to do today. The forecast was heavy rain, so it had to be undercover, and as it was bank holiday, I was hopeful. When I checked the cinemas, theatre, local events guide I realised it was going to be tough. I finally found a new soft play centre, and suddenly I had two children begging me to go. My wife came down and said she was feeling better. I did think I should whisper to pretend to be ill, and you could get out of the soft play centre, but she was roped in and we were both going to suffer.
Now you’re wondering what’s so bad about play centres, well to start with the coffee tastes like floor scrapings, and costs more than tea at a five star hotel. Usually the first aid kit is on show, which is for when when the parents collapses in shock at the price of the coffee they can revive them. Then the entrance fee, this is usually more than the cost of an entrance ticket to a west end theatre, and they give the kids stickers with a number. Seriously, you think my child will keep this on, or is this some form of child bingo to keep the adults amused while watching life pass them by? Moving on you wave at your kids, and hype up the fun, whilst secretly wondering how much longer, but then you realise most of this month’s mortgage payment was borrowed for the entrance fee so the kids will be staying a lot longer. Your now so bored the diet goes out of the window, and you go to the cafe for a cake, to cure the boredom. When you arrive you bring back the chipped mug with the floor scrapings called coffee, and order a ‘home made cake’. When it arrives it’s so dry you consider using the moisturiser out of your wife’s handbag to revive it, and after a few bites your throat’s is dryer than your underpants, so you swallow your pride or another chunk of the cake, blow the last of your mortgage payment on another coffee. So you come back with another chipped mug full of what is described as coffee and head back to the cake, which by now needs a lot more moisturiser just to make it down your throat! Now at this point you think you’re safe, but oh no, now the kids clock your cake and come down. You now promise to get them sweets, and decide to blow the monthly food budget on sweets, which when ordered you reminisce on how they were cheaper in your day, but then realise they were cheaper in this day. Scared by soft play centres, just a little and trust me I have visited so many I could be a government inspector.
So the question is what was the new soft play centre like, well they claimed you could sit in the cafe and watch the children via a glass viewing panel, but failed to mention only a quarter to a half of the centre is visible, and my kids would have worked that out very fast! Once you enter the area you are not allowed to bring in drinks, so no chipped mug here. Once you are in there are a few sofas and a few wooden benches similar to when you were at school, so after a few minutes a sofa came up and we moved like a scene from a Hollywood movie. After a few minutes our kids came back begging to go back home, so our kids voted with their feet. It was only because we had paid ten pounds that we made the kids stay a little longer, while my wife made up new games like see how fast you can get round the centre. I was more than impressed when my wife timed them without a watch and claimed a cracking time! My son, ever so competitive, was more than ready to race his sister and when my wife said “Go!” she ran for dear life while Cheating Charlie shot round to the finish, gave it a few seconds and claimed to be the winner. This of course went down like dog muck on your shoe, and my little girl showed her disappointment very physically with my son limping on his foot for good visual effect.
We returned and sat in darkness for the afternoon, while the kids watched television with the curtains shut. The only disagreement was when my little girl hurt herself and had a plaster. Now I wouldn’t mind but it was a normal plaster not a cartoon one, and after a few grumps Captain Chaos came back with two plasters and a huge grin. So if anyone wants to know why we have a huge demand for first aid kits in Dorset then I know nothing. Night, night everyone, I have to go and rescue a teddy bear from two plasters.