If you read my post yesterday, you may have come away with a vague feeling of pity for me and my painfully inadequate parenting skills.
Pity no more.
Oil on the tracks? Pah! A flesh wound. Reader, the train is now fully operational once more; the track de-oiled and thrilling to the smooth and gentle caress of the Duchess of Sutherland’s bogies.
Flushed with this success, I set my mind to a concentrated day of Dadding, the last full one before school robs me of the glorious task for a few weeks.
There were large amounts of kitchen cricket, obviously. Admiring noises were made. Playing to not win, once a staple, is no longer necessary – as a charitable friend put it last season, “what’s it like to be the worst cricketer in your family?”
There should probably also have been a bike ride or something else appropriate to the weather, but we had a more urgent agenda to fulfil, possibly the ultimate in Dadding activities: model making.
I am not a modeller. Never have been. The model was a birthday present from my son two years ago, the idea being, I think, that I would make said car with Dadly expertise and that it would take pride of place in the Sonly car collection. For a couple of days I was enthusiasm personified, being sure to mention as often as possible how much I was looking forward to making it, while putting off the actual moment of modellage with smoothly honed expertise.
And then, well…you know how it is…time…very busy…
A recent burst of Sonly enthusiasm for James May’s Toy Stories has pushed modelling into my purview once more. The sight of the man reliving his childhood by making (or, more accurately, enlisting other people to make) super-sized versions of his favourite childhood toys has inspired us to wield scalpel and glue once more. Or, more accurately, once.
Page one of the instructions for said model looks like this:
Note their detail. Thrill to their precision. Paint colours are painstakingly matched with individual parts of the model, exact operational procedures laid out in intricate detail, loyalty to the original uppermost in the manufacturers’ minds. All you need to do is follow these instructions to the letter, and you will be rewarded with a scale model of which you can be justly proud.
After some consultation of the notes, and a brief but intense period of discussion, we decided to do the only thing possible.
Ignoring the instructions completely, we painted the whole thing a fetching mixture of grey, silver, black and maroon, the colours chosen according to the whim of the moment. I feel that we embodied the spirit of adventure pioneered by Jackson Pollock in his experimental “chuck everything at the canvas” period.
This is where we are at the time of going to press:
Tomorrow we will cut it up and paste it together, once again rejecting established practice, but following our instincts, living only for the moment, and to hell with the consequences.
Now that’s parenting.
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