I sometimes lose track of the things I’ve written and, more importantly, the things I haven’t written. This is partly down to age and partly down to the fact that I’ve now written two hundred blog posts. I had no idea of the landmark – I went off to count the blog posts on the three blogs I’ve written and the stats told the story. The Afrowelshman weighs in with 155 posts, NikEveleigh.com adds another 21 and my new happy home on WordPress accounts for the other 24.
Ok so there’s been some overlap and a few reblogs of stories but who’s counting.
As with so many of the 200 (give or take) posts I’ve authored, this beginning has nothing whatsoever to do with what I wanted to write, but like a slightly apologetic Bon Jovi / Britney Spears combo I’d ask that you Keep The Faith and Indulge Me Baby One More Time.
I’ve failed again as a parent.
Contain your shock, please.
I have, however, learned an invaluable lesson in parenting, namely:-
Five year olds take stuff seriously when you least expect it.
I may have told this story on a blog before but as discussed I can’t remember and I’m sure as shit not going to relive the horrors of the prior +-200 entries to see if I’ve mentioned it.
Oh, and thank you in advance to the smart-asses who will point out that the incident I’m about to describe happened only a scant few weeks ago and so I’d have to trawl through about three posts at most to determine whether we’re in Groundhog Blog. What can I say. It’s after midnight and I’m tired and lazy.
A couple of Saturdays ago I took the kids to the Wynberg recycling depot. This was done partly to teach them about the importance of recycling glass, plastic, paper, tins…and partly because the little shits were driving me mad and strapping them into car seats seemed like a quick and easy solution.
Rhys has been on this journey at least once a month since he was about two years old so he happily went along with it. Arwen fought it but the lure of a peeled banana and the promise of raisins was enough to get her into the car and so we were on our way.
The drive to Wynberg was actually pretty enjoyable. Rhys is branching out in his musical tastes these days and I was able to sneak some Faith No More and Foo Fighters past him with barely a complaint. Every time Arwen made a noise I threw more food into the back seat and/or turned up the stereo and all was good with the world.
The guys at Wynberg are brilliant. They are happy, helpful and a pleasure to be around. I genuinely look forward to taking my recycling there even if I regularly feel somewhat embarrassed by the number of empty wine bottles (thankfully I recycle all my empty beer bottled into full-of-homebrew beer bottles to lessen my shame). They are always happy to chat and to share a joke.
With this in mind I pulled up to the boom arm and lowered my window.
“How are you today Sir?”
“I’m very well and yourself?”
“All the better for seeing you Sir.”
“Yeah I bet you say that to all us recycling hippies.”
A moment of shared laughter.
“So what have you got for us today Sir?”
“My kids. I’ve had enough of them and I want to recycle them into new ones. Any chance you can sort me out?”
“No problem Sir – if you head over towards the green waste area you’ll see a big box for children, just drop them in there.”
“Excellent! I’d probably better drop off all the tins and bottles and stuff first though.”
“Good idea Sir. You know where it is by now.”
“Yes, I’ve had lots of practice. Thanks man, have a good day.”
“You too Sir.”
And so I drove off to the recycling point and did my bit for the environment. I may have even whistled a happy tune.
It was only as I was driving off that it dawned on me that Rhys was very quiet. Normally he wants to get out of the car and help but I hadn’t heard a word since we arrived.
Such a little voice.
“Yes big guy?”
“Why did you tell that man you wanted to recycle us?”
I could hear enough of a quaver in his voice to stop the car before we left the facility and turn around to talk to him. It was like a backseat full of big eyes and bottled tears.
“Oh…my big boy. Daddy was just joking with the man. I don’t want to recycle you. Who would I play cricket and golf with if you were in the recycling box? Daddy would be very lonely and very sad and mommy would kick me in the bum.”
This brought a bit of a smile. I regularly have to perform kung-fu moves at bedtime showing exactly how robbers and mosquitoes would be kicked in their respective bums. Plays havoc with my hamstrings but such is my lot.
“So you were just joking Daddy?”
“Yes Rhys. I was just joking.”
I probably should have left it there but at that precise moment Arwen screamed at me while rubbing mangled banana into her trousers and I may have accidentally added the words “But not about your sister, we’ll bring her back next week once mommy has time to say goodbye.”
I don’t think either of them heard it.
Everyone knows kids don’t listen to a word you say…