If family life was personified, I imagine it would look like a sumo wrestler, tensed and ready to get you into a headlock in the clammiest bit of his armpit, and at the point that you are about to tap out, he would release his grip and give you the mother of all bear hugs.
Oh, and while you are trying to tackle/ hug him you are also juggling about ten plates, literally and metaphorically.
Our car has died. (The headlock.)
We only bought it for three hundred quid from my brother so I wasn’t really expecting it to last three weeks, let alone three years.
But, after recent family holidays, where the soundtrack was a panicked, ‘is that our car making that noise?’
‘Can anyone else smell that smell? Is it an engine smell?’
‘Is that light on the dashboard important?’
We have now had to admit defeat, but, and timing is everything, it dies days before we have two weekend trips away that rely entirely on driving the car.
One of our best mates lent us his car. (The bear hug.)
It’s posher than anything I’ve ever driven before. It’s so quiet I’m unsure that I’ve actually turned it on. And the children sleep for the best part of five hours at a time as it’s so comfortable.
We’re away for a weekend but Ben has so much work to do that he’s had to bring it all with him and lock himself away in a room to see if he can make some headway. (The headlock.)
But the cottage is the most incredible place to stay with children, with a swimming pool, a Gruffalo trail, animal feeding and a soft play area, so the children are beyond happy, so knackered at the end of the day that they fall into bed and stay there. And I get the holiday gin out. (The bear hug.)
I’ve realised, probably a bit late to the party, but that I need to learn to roll with the punches a bit more.
To not expect everything to go the way I want it to.
To be pleasantly surprised when it does, but to not go crackers when it doesn’t.
To deal with the headlock and give as good a bear hug as I get.
I’ve realised that I need to be a bit more like my two year old.
Not all the time.
I don’t think I’d last long in my job if I went fucking mental if someone moved my coat or if I didn’t want to put my shoes on.
But more like him in taking real pleasure in the good stuff.
This is my son.
He’s delighted because I've just told him we are going swimming.
I want to be that guy.