I’m a child again.
I’m looking at a youtube video of a new Star Wars game. I’ve entirely forgotten I have children. It’s lovely.
“Telly.” My son demands. My least favourite addition to his vocabulary.
“The telly’s already on.” I say. Something has come on Cbeebies that he’s not that keen on. “Go and play.” I suggest.
The video reaches a climax. My son snatches my phone out of my hand. “Telly.” He points, holding my phone hostage. We negotiate for several minutes, then he hears the Sarah and Duck theme and runs back to the TV.
“Son! Phone!” If I let him take it out of my sight I might, in several months, if I’m lucky, find it inserted in something, broken. Amazingly he brings it back to me, then runs off again.
My daughter, who I’ve forgotten to strap in, hurls herself head first of out of her rocker. I manage to catch her with a foot, pick her up and bounce her on my knee. I resume the video, but she stabs at the screen, smearing it with peanut butter and launching some function I’ve never seen before, and can’t close. I put her back in her rocker and tie her firmly down.
Sarah and Duck isn’t long enough. My son runs back in pointing. “Telly.”
I ignore him so he tries to sit in his sister’s rocker. With her in it. He has the evil grin he employs for these operations. “No, son.” I say, removing him. He falls over half on purpose then clambers to his feet and reaches out to me melodramatically.
“Duddle!” He wails. He wants a cuddle.
“Kids, please.” I beg. I’ve achieved the double. They’re both shouting at me at the top of their voices. My daughter starts climbing up my right leg, dragging the rocker behind her, my son starts heaving himself up my left, wiping his nose on me as he goes.
“It’s father’s day.” I whimper. “Can’t I even go to the loo in peace?”