05 August 2008

No, I Do It Myself!

Nick Green on one of the joys of fatherhood at the British-author group blog An Awfully Big Blog Adventure:

Last night I was getting my three-year-old son Oscar ready for his bath. Lately he’s got it into his head that he will do everything, thank you very much, and does not need any help taking off his shirt. All attempts to assist, even the most surreptitious, blind-sided fingertip grip on the seam of his sleeve, to make it easier for him to extricate his arm, is met with screams of apoplectic fury. The only thing to do is stand back and offer the occasion word of advice, and even these don’t go down well. . . .

He just could not get that t-shirt off. He’d hoist it over his head, dragging it across his face as it changed from pink to crimson, only for it to slip back again. He’d yank on one arm till the stitches popped, but he but couldn’t achieve that crucial elbow-past-the-seam watershed, beyond which, as we smug grown-ups know, t-shirt removal is a formality. At times, both of the above were happening at once, and he was straitjacketed, blundering around the bathroom as if he could somehow outrun his shirt, bashing into things like Winnie the Pooh in the heffalump trap. All the while raging, screaming, sobbing and wailing like a soul in purgatory, while I, his father, stood by and watched.
This is why, while I delight in the company of children, I'm always happy to turn them over to their parents after a couple of hours. Less wailing all around.

(I think part of my pleasure in reading this anecdote was the increasingly rare proper spelling of "straitjacket.")

1 comment:

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I myself like to listen to "Dire Straights".