The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart. (Mencius, Chinese philosopher 372-289 BC)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

You can tell they're growing up when ... helping means helping.

Dad and little Dubmeister painting Baby M's room - 2002
When the Dubmeister was little there was nothing he liked more than helping his Dad construct or paint stuff. At the first sight of a set of tools he would roll his sleeves up, run up the stairs and return clutching his bright yellow JCB stickered tool box complete with saw, hammer and spanner.

He would then dive into the task, insist on doing whatever I was doing, make funny little noises and engage in builder type small talk.

They were special times. I particularly loved the deep respect he had for my DIY skills.

I don't really have any DIY skills. I enter every DIY task expecting it to end disastrously - with the result that I am pleasantly surprised when the shelves stay up, the loo roll holder holds the loo roll and the new IKEA bed supports the weight of a small child.

Handy Andy Kane. From
As a result, the presence of a small helper who idolised my DIY skills and thought that I was "Handy Andy" off Changing Rooms was hugely complimentary.

The Dubmeister has now grown up. He turns 13 in just under 3 weeks and is larger and wiser than he was when he was three.

He has lost his JCB stickered tool box complete with saw, hammer and spanner, he rolls his eyes when he sees my set of tools and his view of his Dad's DIY skills is far more realistic - more Mr Bean than Handy Andy.

He no longer rushes to help.

However, there is an unwritten law of nature concerning kids and DIY which states:

"He who wishes to help most will help least, whereas he who wishes to help least will help most"

I loved those hours spent with the three year old Dubmeister taking it in turns to bang the same nail or turn the final screw. However, they were hours. A job which could have taken half an hour became an afternoon's work as I undid the mess he had made once he had lost focus and drifted back to his Thunderbird toys.

He can bake too!
The nearly 13 year old Dubmeister is a very different beast. He has grown up into a far more practical handyman than his Dad. He understands IKEA instructions without having to pore over them and doesn't insist on taking it in turns to hit the same nail.

He is actually quite helpful.

The builder type small talk is pretty good too.

Speak soon

Next week - You can tell they're growing up when ... Dad isn't always right!
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