Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Green Dad Was Free Dad ... For An Afternoon

Sunday was Freedom Day. Not an internationally recognised celebration of shackles being cast off but rather a first birthday party for one of Toddler Who Must Be Obeyed’s distant relatives with only Wife-features required to supervise. Basically, I was offered and seized the opportunity to have a whole afternoon to myself.
Let’s have a look at the list of wholesome Dad activities for spare Sunday afternoons, shall we?

Inspect and clean guttering.
Weed allotment.
Transplant squashes from plot to poly-tunnel.
Physical exercise.
Meditation/Zombie movie marathon.

What did I do?

Well, I ate some leftover pie from the fridge. Then I fell asleep on the couch listening to Test Match Special (England’s whitewash of India was quite mesmerising and the commentary team made short work of a delicious banana and pecan loaf sent in by a listener). I took a short walk to the beach. Had a cheeky half pint in a beer garden and read some short stories. Er, that’s it.

It’s occasions like this that remind me of a boss who often said he liked to “work hard and play hard“. I commented that this sounded exhausting. I prefer to work efficiently and then relax. He’s no longer my boss.

It’s a bit like the Fawlty Towers line when the Americans boast about life in California: you can go skiing in the mountains in the morning and then swimming in the ocean in the afternoon. To which Basil comments: Sounds very tiring.

Maybe when I hit my 40s a sense of urgency will kick in and I’ll feel compelled to use every spare moment skydiving or spelunking. With a small child I think I’m entitled to put my feet up when I get the chance.

As for TWMBO’s party? It sounds like it was a riot. I don’t mean all the toddlers ganged up, set some buggies alight and looted the host’s stash of rusks. The party was held at a house with an enormous garden. So enormous TWMBO went to the bottom of the lawn and back and told Wife-features that she’d “gone for a walk in the park”.

There was the compulsory trampoline although I’m pleased to say the plaster cast quick response unit at Raigmore didn’t have to swing into action at any point. TWMBO also had a go in a miniature car, hilariously mimicking the habitual adjustments Wife-features makes when she gets in our car - seat forward, mirror dipped, etc.

It was a full on afternoon of activity for Toddler so when she arrived home just before 7pm she was zonked and had to be peeled out of her clothes and flip-flopped into jammies before flumping on her bed. She didn’t wake up till 7 the next morning! Wife-features enjoyed an uninterrupted night.

Normally I’d be all for us being together at the weekend but this Sunday seems to have hit the spot by giving us each time to ourselves. We’re so lucky. And no amount of “playing hard” would deliver the same satisfaction, I’m sure of it.

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