Yesterday I was really excited as we were travelling three and half hours to see my family. The only downside is how do you entertain two very excited children for three and a half hours? We packed more technology than a department store and set off with hope, which was then immediately dashed as we approached the end of our road and heard our first “Are we nearly there yet?” Now I remember my parents lying to me, and I found myself in the same position reeling out the old classic “Oh not far.” Now I am grown up I realise that this means if the journey is under four hours you are allowed to use that statement, but if it is over four hours to go, then you have to use “Oh just a little further.”
As we arrived at the services I was bursting for a wee and my bladder was on the verge of exploding, so why is it at that point that my kids moved into go slow mode? For the last two hours my kids were busting to get out of the car and now suddenly they were content with sitting in the car watching a tablet with talking animals drivel on about saving the world. All I wanted was a wee, so I started with the old classic “Who wants a cake?” Not even ‘cake boy’ was excited so I grabbed my little girl’s hand and said “Come on, let’s show everyone the way.” As I burst through the services door my bladder now ached, and there was no sign of my wife and ‘cake boy’, so I had to wait whilst they came through the doors as if life was happening in slow motion.
As we arrived at my mum’s she had bags of goodies for each child, along with other family members, and all filled with toys. The funny thing was that some toys were clearly not stress tested and designed by some 12 year old in a laboratory, with a qualification in stupidity and rocket science believing he had designed the ultimate toy. No sooner had I arrived through the door than the fatal words were uttered “Daddy fix it.” Clearly the twelve year old toy designer needed to borrow my kids for the day. I put the toys in a pile and explained I would work on them another night. Seriously, I am like Father Christmas’s elves with my own little toy factory. In fact there was a toy helicopter that I truly could say I was a specialist in repairing as every time that flying piece of plastic broke down, out came my screwdrivers and apart the toy would come, with screws the size of scientific molecules, and a rubber band that could power a fast car down a drag strip. I even have the scars to prove the helicopter was fighting back. I piled up the toy fixing pile for the magic toy fairies and hoped I had small enough screwdrivers for the 12 year old toy designer’s new challenge. Not to sound old but in my day we used proper screws, big whopper ‘man’ screws that were so large I remember my dad fixing them with coins out of his pocket, so why does everything have to be microscopic, or is this just another way of punishing us dads?
We went outside in to a very large garden and when my brother-in-law saw a flying helicopter that used a rubber band to propel it into the sky, he suddenly reverted to a behaving like a teenager, waving his arms like a footballer asking for the ball and shouting “Over here, let me show you how that works!” Suddenly the helicopter rubber band was wound up tighter than my body during stressed times at work and shot off across the garden. It rose much higher than the wall and shot off into a pile of bramble bushes. Ok, that toy was clearly designed by a fellow parent as it worked maybe too well. Suddenly there were two grown men with shorts, with bare feet, yelping in pain as they were doing battle with the rather prickly bush, whilst my three year old son asked where his helicopter was. I explained Uncle ‘Keen Bean’ would answer this question, whilst Daddy danced like he was being electrocuted thanks to the bramble bush. The conversation went so well that me and my brother-in-law looked at each other and told my son that Amazon had some, and we would get the delivery driver to put his foot down and race a new one to our front door in record time. Whoever you are Mr Delivery Driver, could you prioritise this parcel and have pity on a poor suffering parent? What did we do before Amazon?