Dear Dave

Friday 8 June 2007


Dear Dave,

I think it's a conspiracy.

You only have one child so far, so you may not understand, but I really think it happens. Seriously, I think they get together and plan it. They must have actual meetings with agendas and flip-charts and brain-storming sessions. I keep expecting to find three discarded plastic coffee cups, an empty box of doughnuts and a laser pointer left lying around.

OK, I'm starting to rave but they pushed me to it. I even know that this is what they want but I can't help myself. I know they want to drive me insane. I don't know why they do, but they must do - there can be no other explanation, given the persistence of their co-ordinated efforts.

Maybe if I found their documentation, their motives would become clear. Yes, that's it. I'll have to search more carefully. I'd particularly like to see the PowerPoint presentation for the stunt they pulled the other day:

Fraser and Lewis had the opportunity to take a tour of Hibs football ground with Anchor Boys (the junior version of the Boys' Brigade). They have no interest in football whatsoever, however. They have so little clue, if forced to play football they might well struggle to know which goal to make for. This being the case, I assumed they wouldn't want to look round an empty stadium.

I hadn't counted on their long-term aim of driving me crazy.

Fraser was desperate to go look at some seats and a large expanse of grass. He pleaded with me to be allowed to take part. I was bemused. I tried to talk him out of it. The trip clashed with the boys' weekly swimming lesson which was paid up in advance. If they'd both wanted to go to Hibs, then I could have lived with that - it isn't something they'll have a chance to do very often, after all. But Lewis didn't want to go and it was logistically impossible for one to go swimming and the other to go on the trip. If Fraser went on the trip then I'd have effectively spent money for Lewis to sit at home. I was adamant they both had to decide on the same activity.

They argued amongst themselves for awhile. Neither would change their mind. I decided to leave the decision until the actual day.

The day came. While Fraser was at school, I tried to persuade Lewis to go to Hibs because I knew that Fraser was desperate to go. Lewis wasn't having any of it. He took a big strop, nearly cried and said he wanted to go swimming. Neither of them ever wants to go swimming. They kick up a fuss about it every week. I tore out some of my hair.

We went to collect Fraser from school. I still didn't know what we were going to do. Fraser came out and I tentatively asked him if he still wanted to go see the place where they played football. To my surprise, he replied, "No, not really. I've changed my mind. I don't want to go."

I sighed in relief. Then Lewis said, "But I do."

In years to come, I think that will be the moment I will look back on and say, "Yes... That's when they drove me over the edge..."

There was more arguing but still no agreement. I decided to send them both in the end and, thankfully, they had a good time. Their plan wasn't entirely done, however. Marie took a huff because she wasn't allowed to go. She only got to stay home and have my undivided attention, and apparently that just wasn't good enough...

What was it Abe Lincoln said? "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but when it comes to your own children you're royally stuffed whatever." I think that was it.

Ho well. Maybe it's only what I deserve:
The dark side of leaving dads in charge of children...
I'm off to look under Fraser's bed for an encrypted hard-drive.

Yours in a woman's world,


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