Walking home from school today Girl and Friend planning their rise to fame and fortune in the music business. At the age of 9 they are already well informed about the way modern pop music is created. It starts with the cool music video and then you work the song out around that vision. I was getting somewhat concerned when a back handspring was added into the mix by Friend. The concern turned to outright terror when Friend confessed that she couldn’t do it on the flat yet and needed to go from a lower point to a higher point (or the other way around, I am not really sure to be honest) but it was when the girl had the idea that this was the perfect opportunity for the friend to do back handsprings down (or up) our stairs while the girl filmed her. The terror may have in the past at least been tempered by the knowledge I could at least get £250 from You’ve Been Framed with the resulting bit of film but in the days of YouTube those dreams are gone, a million likes for a fail video can’t buy Gin.

I reminded them about the time they went to play at Friend’s house before they both performed in the school play and decided to ride down the steepest hill in the village on scooters. Was a shame the play wasn’t a gritty zombie thriller as she may have blended in a bit better.

No more was said about back handsprings.

It was then that the friend looked seriously at the girl, ‘Remember, when you make videos and music you always argue, that’s how it works’.

‘Ahh creative differences’ I added

‘What you said, that’s what it is, whatever it was that you said’ Friend replied with a confident air.

As soon as we arrived home Girl, Friend and a passing herd of wild, over weight antelope disappeared upstairs however it wasn’t long before the girl screamed out and began creating a noise to all the world would suggest that she had just been struck down by lightning onto a bed of red hot nails while having her nose hairs plucked one by one. I dragged myself upstairs giving thanks that whatever horror had occurred it hadn’t occurred to the friend, there is nothing worse than returning a child to it’s rightful home in worse condition than when you had acquired them. I was greeted to my first born sitting on her bedroom floor, holding her foot like her hands were the only thing keeping it attached and having her brow mopped by the friend. Inspection revealed a splinter in the ball of her foot that an electron microscope would have a hard time detecting.

I would say that I dread the day that something truly painful befalls the girl however, as evidenced above, it has, more than once and ranging through skinning herself, oral surgery and needing adrenaline to reopen her airway. When the real stuff hits the fan she is the paragon of tough. She doesn’t complain, she doesn’t cry and she certainly doesn’t wail and clutch her attendants like a woman about to start pushing out a baby which was what she was doing while snatching her foot away from me and begging me to both get it out and not touch her simultaneously.

After aborted attempts to remove the microscopic sliver of wood from her foot with my fingers I searched around for some tweezers, or as near approximation to some that I could locate around the house. I failed. Thankfully I have neighbours who are all too used to me turning up on their doorsteps asking if they happen to have anything from tin foil to lawnmowers. Armed now with a pair of eyebrow tweezers I once again approached the puddle of anguish that was once my daughter. With the appropriate equipment I had the micro splinter out before she had finished gearing up to renew her screams of parental treachery and she looked most put out that she hadn’t had the chance to scream about what a poor excuse for a Mother I am.

As all the drama played out upstairs the boy had wisely tucked himself away in the living room with a box of Lego and a pillow on his head. No sooner had I joined him in his sea of tranquility when the friend appeared

‘Come and play with us Boy!’

The boy looked slightly torn for a moment, he normally has to be restrained from bothering the girl when a friend comes over however the volume of the dramatics that had gone on moments before had, due to the pesky nature of sensory processing disorders caused him physical pain so he indicated that he was siding with the more predictable and lower pitched lego

‘But was need you, it’s for… the band’ the friend coaxed with all the expertise of being the youngest of three. The boy sighed before getting up and following her up the stairs muttering about his game of Lego and noise under his breath.

I’ve seen the future and as Leonard Cohen said, it is murder.


One thought on “Playtime!

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