Imagine a week away with good friends. Imagine a little cottage, with everything you would need for a comfortable stay. Imagine a picturesque village, with a delightful public house next door. Imagine the beach on your doorstep and a tank full of petrol in your new car to transport you delightful places, further along tree-lined country lanes.
OK – in the words of a good friend – as his wife flipped the car onto it’s roof and ‘drove’ off the motorway, through a safety barrier and into a field – brace yourself love.
Imagine two children that can’t walk, so attempt to vibrate themselves from one place to another through the force of scream and poop (in any order, simultaneously, individually, in tandem, at any time night and day). Imagine two children that can walk but choose only to run (and scream) as if they are on fire. And imagine one child who is a proficient walker, but prefers to navigate through space and time using only gymnastics; in particular the ‘charge across the room, somersault into a handstand and boot the nearest bystander in the face/neck/groin/heart or shins’ discipline.
OK – how are we doing? Need a sit down? Not finished yet.
Take the five little shi five children mentioned above and imagine that four of them will not eat a morsel, NOT A MORSEL unless cajoled, chased, threatened or physically forced. Imagine that the fifth child will consume any food stuff proffered without question or hesitation, but will immediately discharge any intake through any orifice available. In a projectile manner.
Imagine that the kids have effectively organised and timetabled themselves into a ‘tag team’, one sleeping soundly while the others create a cacophony of sounds and smells, rendering the immediate environment a no-sleep zone for anyone over the age of four, for the period of seven days.
Nearly, but no…..
Imagine spending all your money trying to find things to entertain these five children. Imagine driving hundreds of miles, to find attractions that charge you nothing to admit your off-spring, but charge an arm and a leg if you want to accompany them. Imagine that you say that actually you don’t want to accompany them and that you’ll leave them there and collect them at 5 O’clock. And imagine that the lady in the kiosk looks at you as if you are mental. And doesn’t smile. And possibly tuts but you can’t be sure. And imagine that you want to punch her.
Imagine that at the most expensive attraction, the one which you drove miles and miles to get to (with all the back seat screaming that you can possibly imagine before wanting to kill yourself) you get bitten by something nasty and that your hand becomes infected and you develop elephantiasis hand and that you require several doctor visits, several prescriptions, you can’t tie your own shoe laces, and that you have to re-learn how to wipe your own bottom, now using your left, normal sized hand.
Imagine it, and ladies and gentleman, boys and girls you are imaging this year’s summer holiday. My actual break away, relaxing stay, get away from it all, summer holiday.
If it were not for my ability to swallow liquid all children depicted in this story would be missing.
I raise my glass to grape and grain and vow ne’er to do it again. Until next time…..
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