Pretend to be a Pirate.
My life at the moment seems to be a whirlwind of Hoover attachment swords, shouts of “Ahoy there!” and being forced to walk the plank. I’m frequently called an “Old Codfish” (Peter Pan uses this one on Captain Hook.) I am also forced to sit through a seemingly endless run of Swiss Family Robinson, Hook or the recently unearthed Davy Crocket and the River Pirates. I swear If we offered the boy a cruise to Somalia next summer holidays he’d jump at the chance.
Hide (Badly) and Seek (Even Worse.)
“Count to ten Daddy!” is usually the cry as he runs away from me. Of Course, I can’t just find him, I have to continue the charade for a good few minutes. “Wherever can he be?” continual commentary “Is he behind the door? No! mmmmmm! Is he under the bed?” Is it so wrong that sometimes I have a wee sit and every now and then shout “Where is he, I can’t find him.” whilst eating a secret chocolate biscuit?
When it comes to Scott’s turn to count, at the moment, it goes. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 61. If he’d only stop at 11 I’m sure by-passers in the park would think him a genius. Then I’m so good at hiding that I have to let out a wee cough every now and then. Although sometimes I’m sure he has seen me and still gives it “Where is Daddy? Wherever can he be?” If I ever catch him sitting down and eating a biscuit, I’m not playing any more.
Think about my own mortality.
Most teenagers you speak to would tell you, “Just shoot me when I’m 60, it’s soooooo old!” I was one of them, then you have something to live for and your outlook becomes very different. When I get to that age my boy will only be 25, I’m not leaving him then, I want to see him married and play with his kids and see them married and meet their kids. Bottom line as a teenager, I’d have taken a million pounds even if it meant dying at 60, now they will have to drag me kicking and screaming, like Aerosmith said “I don’t want to miss a thing.”
Remind myself of my Mum.
“Next meal is breakfast” this is how I encourage the lad to eat his tea, this is also how my mum encouraged me to eat my tea. I’m also “Not running a cafe.” My mum didn’t run a cafe either. I’m now fully aware that “Maybe.” “Perhaps” and “We’ll see.” are all just a non-confrontational ways of saying NO! I wasn’t when I was wee and the boy still hasn’t figured this out.
Make it all up.
I have no idea how to raise a child, I try to keep him fed and watered. Try to teach him the appropriate things at the appropriate time, big bed, toilet, bike, swimming. But I have to admit most of this is guess work, “they don’t come with manuals you know” is something you hear a fair bit. Then the penny drops, if I’m bluffing and the guys I talk to all admit they are bluffing, then it would be logical to conclude that our parents were bluffing and so were their parents. Most folk I know have turned out OK, so it can’t be all that hard, this takes the pressure off. I think as long as we keep him warm, fed and loved we’ll be doing well.