I was never very good at being bad. As a child, for example, I once tried to flick my brother’s bottom with a big elastic band stretched to maximum. At the last moment the excitement somehow made me let go of the wrong end of it and I managed to flick myself instead. I can still hear her my brother’s laughter.
This is how I know there is balance in the universe. When you do a bad thing, it will rebound on you. Well, it will if you’re me, anyway.
I work pretty hard to help my son sleep, but quite often my efforts are rubbish. Last night, for instance, my improvised bed time story was so slow, dull and confusing my son kept looking up at me worriedly as if he was afraid I was having a stroke.
Truth is my mind was elsewhere. As a result of my notorious cheapness I had bid on a used tuxedo on ebay. Obsessing about whether someone had topped my five pounds yet, I sneakily checked my phone.
Not surprisingly my son caught me. I don’t know which of us was more appalled by what I had done. I quickly fumbled my phone into my shirt pocket and livened up the story with a boost of guilt energy. “Now, where were we… err, then… we bought a space rocket!”
Later I grumped around the house performing my nightly bedtime ritual of trying to find my phone. Finally my wife rang it for me, rolling her eyes. “Where is that?” I asked, baffled at the distant tinkling.
We realised it was coming from the monitor.
After five minutes creeping around my son’s room wearing a head torch, the floor boards screeching at me agonisingly, I still couldn’t find it. “Ring it again.” I hissed.
Turns out it was in his cot, ringing inches from his ear. I thanked god he’s a heavy sleeper. Slowly, breathlessly, I reached in and eased it out.
Just as I thought I might get away with it, my son’s eyes flicked open.