Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Daddy Day Trips

Standing on the edge of the mothers chat groups, and believe me, as a Male, this is the place you usually are, you get to listen with awe at the places Mums take their children. Kids Space, Bumps R Us, Bouncy Tots, Ruff’n’Tumble Tears, the list is near endless. Having visited a few of these places, and by visited I mean dragged kicking and screaming by the kids for best friend Joe’s party, it does seem that anyone with some spare office or barn space can create one of these day-glo accident emporiums. The common safety feature of these places seems to be enough foam lagging to make a gang of plumbers mmm and ahh and shake their heads.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy my time there, right up until the moment I stepped back and trod on poor Joe. My ears are still bleeding from the high pitched scream of the 4 year old birthday boy. Remembering the stares I received from 15 disgusted mothers, still sends a shiver down my spine. I am also fairly sure that my daughter Katy telling Joe to “man-up” in her best Dad impression did not help to smooth the waters of hate and distaste I seemed to be drowning in.

Herein lies the problem, fathers are only really tolerated in these places, when accompanied by their wives. The majority of the mothers will look at you and think one of two things. The first being, there goes the divorced dad, is that the only thing he can do with his kid every other weekend. The second thought is either slightly sinister of slightly paranoid (depending on how many cups of coffee you have had). Who is he, where is his child, you don’t think he is one of those perverts you read about in The Sun do you?

All of this has resulted in me having to invent some of my own day trips. The forest is always good, but you seem to spend more time cleaning up afterwards than you do at the actual place. Ditto the local parks, plus 2 tonne of dog poop, and a gaggle of local mums, thrown in for good measure.

My current top 3, in no particular order are:

Nan and Granddad’s. What more can you ask for, my mum will spoil them rotten whilst I join Dad in his green-house for a beer and a moan, followed by the perfect sandwich (how do they make them so thick, tasty, and healthy?).

Football stadium tour. Not from the inside obviously, as this would be far too expensive, and would also need some modicum of planning. No, the best way is to chuck them all in the car and tour from the outside. First stop Highbury, listening to me choke back the emotion as I describe old memories from the glory days when you could stand on the terraces. Next stop the Emirates, cheaper to build than Wembley, and looks even better in my humble opinion. A fast drive past White Hart Lane with the windows up, and I try to keep all swearing to a minimum. Upton Park always interests the kids, but I think this is due to the new stand looking like huge Lego blocks. Finally our tour ends at Leyton Orient, our local team. I would love to take them to a game but seriously Barry, £18 for kids, not likely.

Thames water treatment plant (from the outside looking through the fence). This might need some explaining. Darling Katy is fascinated to where all the poo poo and wee wee goes. We begin with Katy sitting on the toilet and getting the process started. A quick flush and then a rush downstairs to see the stand pipe in the back garden. Back through the house, out the front door to look at the drain covers, and then bundle into the car. A 15 minute drive through the Walthamstow back streets brings us out to the locks, and the treatment ponds. Fifteen blustery minutes, and one slightly scientific explanation later, and we are back in the car, with sweets and pop, to get the whole process started again.

So there you go 3 original trips, with an additional bonus during these credit crunch times, all totally free. Who said Dads can’t multi task.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Past White Hart Lane with the windows up.