Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Uncle Buck had nothing on me

I'm fairly sure that parenthood isn't for me.

It's OK, my mother doesn't read this. I can get away with saying that.

It's not the sleepless nights, the expense, the emotional investment that worries me. It's the mind games you have to play.

This was brought home to me in full effect when I visited a toyshop at the weekend. It's the big shed-like one you find in most cities, the one with the letter 'R' inexplicably the wrong way round. The one my sainted mother refers to as 'Taurus' for reasons best known to herself.

Me? A toyshop? A month before Christmas? What? And, indeed, why?

Well, I did become an uncle this year and so I was dispatched post-haste to pick up part of our Christmas present for our niece. It was my duty. I had to go and collect something pink and plastic, with flashing lights and noise-making devices. I will apologise to brother #1 and sister-in-law forthwith.

I can honestly say it was a revelation. There was an aisle devoted to items for the female child. Or essentially, what we can now refer to as 'the pink zone'. I don't think I've ever been in a retail environment that has involved quite so much pink plastic.

Well, maybe the once. That was a different type of store altogether.

As I queued at the till, box containing pink-plastic-flashing-noise-thing under my arm, I overheard a conversation between mother and child behind me.

"No, Jake, you can't play with that yet."
"But mom, I want to!" The word 'mom' had three syllables. Parents will know what I mean.

I turned round to find mother and child in protracted negotiations. Jake was standing in a shopping trolley, in which there was just one small-ish box, containing something rather exciting, probably with wheels. Mom was coping as well as could be expected, miraculously so as she was heavily pregnant and looked very much as if child number two was imminent.

"We have to give it to Santa so he can give it back to you on Christmas," she said wearily.

And it occurred to me that it must be tricky once kids get to a certain age. Not old enough to leave on their own while you pop out to the shops, not young enough for you to get away with buying them stuff without them realising. 

"Your mom's right," I said to Jake with a grin. "You can't have presents until Santa's checked them out first."  I thought it was worth a try. His mother flashed me a grateful smile as Jake settled down with a thoughtful look on his face.

So on this occasion the score ended up Adults 1 - 0 Children. But I don't think I'm creative enough to make things up 24 hours a day. Over to you, parents.

1 comment:

City Girl said...

"That was a different type of store altogether." Laughing. Loudly. LOL-ing, even.

Hub and I are taking Niece #2 and Nephew #1 to see the new Harry Potter movie tonight. Fortunately for us they are both 20+ years old at this point, and we can "tip a pint" together afterward.

I didn't like them as much when they were children.....

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