Thirty seconds that all it takes for my son to find trouble, and how is it that they always find it when you, the responsible parent, OK semi responsible parent, leave the room. Today my wife went to the local supermarket at the end of our road, and said she would only be five minutes, and would I be ok? Are you kidding? It’s only five minutes, and nothing will happen. How was I to know this was an understatement and trouble was already about to find me? The front door slammed, and a scream I last heard on a Hollywood movie pierced the room. I ran, OK maybe sprinted, to the dining room to find my son with his foot wedged between the back bars of a pine chair, in a distressed state. It was like a party I went to years ago where they had a bottle of wine in a wooden contraption and you were challenged to free the wine. Yes I did get the wine bottle free but it took me the best part of half an hour to figure it out, and I did not have half an hour.
I moved my son in various angles and as he had his foot through the spindles in the back of the pine chair I could not work out how he could have got it in, let alone get it out! As the seconds ticked by my little girl held his hand while I worked out how my ‘mini magician’ did it. As my son was so distressed I figure there was only one thing for it, and that was to saw the chair apart. Now keep in mind that I had forgotten that I had teased my children from an early age that if a body part hurt I would get my saw and cut it off. My kids always found that funny, but I guess my son was so distressed he had lost his sense of humour. I ran to the shed and brought the smallest saw I could find, and presented it to the room. My son now had a look of horror, and asked could I not cut his leg off. I calmly explained it was to saw the chair apart, and would not go near him. To reassure him, I would put my hand over his leg which calmed him down. My little girl meanwhile was now in little old lady mode and was now holding his hand reassuring him that mean old daddy would not hurt him.
In my house most of my furniture has received such a battering from small children that most of it was begging to be disposed of at the dump, or put on a bonfire. Here I was sawing one of our pine chairs that were the last remaining piece of ‘good’ furniture! Every saw I made I had to wipe the tears from my eyes, sorry I just realised my thoughts have been made public, so let’s assume I meant wipe the moisture from my eyes. Soon I had the beautiful pine chair in pieces and my sons very first words were “Can I watch TV now?” Whoa there tiger, lets just review the situation shall we? Daddy is on the verge of sitting on a wooden banana crate to watch the TV, the wallpaper is now sellotaped to the wall where it was ‘accidentally’ torn down, and the pine kitchen chair was now nothing more than firewood, and yet you want me to turn the TV on? I think my son must have read my thoughts as he volunteered to play with the toys in the front room while I cleared up.
No sooner had I started to clear up the remains of our pine chair than my wife arrived home and asked “Everything ok?” Well the good news, Sweet Cheeks, is that I have some firewood for the chiminea in the garden, the bad news is that we will be sitting on canvas camping chairs for dinner! On the positive side, my little ray of sunshine, we will bask in the heat of our furniture burning whilst our neighbours are freezing. Ok, after an hour or so, our neighbours will have a full dining room set, whilst we give our dining room the eviction look, but tonight we roast by the fire.
So in conclusion what have we learned today Dorset Dad? Well personally, never turn your back for more than ten seconds, and if anyone posh is coming to dinner, place blankets over the camp chairs and pretend we’re going back to basics. If anyone questions why the house is full of busted up furniture I will fake tears just like my kids, wave paper and claim we’ve been evicted. If that fails I will hand out lap trays and ask if anyone wants to watch TV on the floor, whilst the water soaked sofas dry. I think this may explain why no one volunteers to come to our house for dinner!