Saturday, 14 February 2009

A chip off the old block ...

It's my Dad's birthday today.

Happy Birthday Pops!

After he gave us his two penneth about concussion I asked my Dad to think of some more memories of days gone by.

I crossed my fingers, hoping he wouldn't remember another naked neighbour story.

It is with great relief that I give you 'The Perils Of Shopping With Children - Parts 1 and 2' by my Dad. Reading these has reaffirmed my belief that what comes around goes around!

Perils of shopping with children - Part 1

We are in the newsagents. You are about four years old, a picture of innocence in your pretty dress, blonde pigtails, white socks and shiny black shoes. I am the very proud father. Mr Fish, the newsagent, probably awash with fond memories of fatherhood smiles down at you, just visible above the counter, and we exchange pleasantries; the weather, children and the economy.

The conversation is difficult as Mr Fish has a cleft palette and requires a degree of patient interpretation.

In my peripheral vision I notice you are unusually quiet and very still like a predatory insect.

I look down and see a face of rapt concentration, your eyebrows are knitted and your lips are silently moving. With mounting anxiety and then dread it comes to me that you are mentally testing Mr Fish’s unfortunate nasal accent and that you may be about to give it a full trial run.

With as much good manners as possible I bring our chat to a quick close, grab you by the collar and make for the door, rudely pushing a few elderly customers and a birthday card display stand aside.

I fail to make the door.

“Whoy dus he spuk lak dat, duddy”? you ask in perfect mimicry of the unfortunate newsagent.

This is not asked in a small discrete whisper. As your mouth is four feet below my ears and you suspect I am a bit deaf the question is asked at full volume.

I turn as we leave and smile an apology at Mr Fish across the silent shop who smiles back with the sad look of someone resigned to this sort of innocent abuse by children.

Perils of shopping with children - Part 2

Earlier in your life we visited the bakers shop with strict written instructions from your mother about what we were to buy; a small shopping list reflecting the economic hardships of the time.

I know you were very young as you were attached to me by some sort of harness with a lead, presumably to prevent you running amok on the busy main road.

Reaching the head of the queue I handed the meagre list to the lady behind the glass display counter in the baker’s shop and as I waited was mesmerised by the machine that saws the loaves of bread into slices. That is if you want sliced bread, which happened to be the specification for the bread on the list.
The completed order is bagged and placed on the glass top of the tall display counter. I am waiting to be told how much to pay but notice the lady is staring down at one of the large cakes behind the glass.

“Is she trying to entice me to buy a cake as well as the bread and rolls”? I muse.

If she is she has another think coming, cakes are definitely not on the list.

No, I realise that she is actually trying to draw my attention to the deep grooves that have been ploughed across the pristine iced top of one of the cake on display. I look at the cake, then at you, who has all the fingers of a guilty hand in your mouth which is suspiciously rimmed with what looks like icing debris.

“Ah, I suppose I had better add the cake to the order”, I say to the lady behind the counter and wonder if I will have enough money.

Then, as we discuss in a joshing manner the problems of controlling young mischievous children I look down and watch with mounting horror as your hand again slips behind the glass front of the display counter and vandalises another, even more elaborate iced cake of even larger circumference.

We leave the shop and, watched through the window by the queue of entertained customers, I stagger up the street festooned with bags and towed by a small child in a harness trying desperately to keep her distance from her irate father.

9 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

*laughing my socks off*

Thank you so much for that!

Caren Kennedy said...

What goes around comes around, hey?! Your own children will love these stories about you.

Robert said...

I guess 4 year olds have behaved similarly throughout all time!

Mud in the City said...

Hard to resist freshly iced cakes at eye level. Maybe I'll try that in the local bakery next time I'm feeling peckish!

Tawny said...

Somethings never change, I could picture my K doing exactly the same. My mum looks at me a lot with that 'been there done that' look!

Mary T said...

Oh my god, Mr Fish, I remember Mr Fish. Do you think he's dead by now?

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Oh Gawd - that is SO priceless and so YOU!!!
Love ya Girly-girl - we are so gonna get payback with our kids...

Debbie said...

That is so funny! I really enjoyed those tales.

Sparx said...

Now that, that was very very funny... and still laughing (in sympathy) at dog-poo-gate. We've had cat-sick-gate here all week.