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

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Is The Glory Worth The Pain?

Dreaming of Olympic Glory (c) BBC

I put M through torture this week.

I blame the Olympics!

One of the aims of London 2012 was to Inspire a Generation. The vision of Lycra clad superhumans winning gold for Team GB was meant to inspire the slovenly youth of the United Kingdom to get off their settees and try something new instead.

Well it certainly had that effect in our house. Particularly with the sporty spice of the family - 10 year old M.

Since the Olympic flame was extinguished she has joined a cycling club (Laura Trott), thrown herself into Netball, thrashed us all in innumerable running races and expressed a desire to join the school's Hockey club.

It is all fantastically inspiring.

But, Hockey is a game that features sticks and balls.

And sticks and balls do not get along with pearly white, perfectly formed teeth.

So, the responsible parent gets themself online or down to the local sports shop to purchase a piece of brightly coloured rubber called a gum shield.

Said parent then carefully reads the instructions before fitting said shield without a hitch, a tear or a moan.

And said sporty daughter is then ready to plough her sporting furrow to Olympic Gold.


Well that's what it says on the box.

That's not what happens in the Dad Etc household when Dad is in charge.

This is what happens when Dad is in charge:

Dad reads the instructions carefully and heats the orange and blue plastic in boiling water until it reaches melting point at which point he rams it into his 10 year old daughter's mouth causing her to writhe and scream.

He then tells her not to worry because "this is what is supposed to happen" and squeezes her cheeks against the molten plastic with one hand whilst forcibly closing her mouth with the other and counting to 20 elephants as she squirms in agony.

Finally, she swills cold water around her mouth and tests the gum shield for fit.

Unfortunately said shield did not stay in place so Dad had to read the instructions again, dump the shield in freshly boiling water and do it all over again.

Sadly, as proved in my post, Why Mum Knows Best, Dads sometimes just get it plain wrong.

I tried twice more with this miracle of modern engineering, each time failing to make the shield stay in place, each time chastising my daughter for not biting hard enough or squirming too much.

Finally, unable to bear it any more, my wife rode in to save the day. She immediately spotted that our little M had a new tooth coming through (how did she know that?) - so was unable to close her mouth properly, scooped her onto her knee and made everything all better.

Dad meanwhile cursed his lack of feminine intuition and retreated to the shed to try to fix something inanimate.

Speak soon

PS I am very delighted to announce that Dad Etc has been shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Family Blogger Award run by Britmums - hence the rather flashy looking button at the top of the Blog. I am up against some very tough competition (15 mummy bloggers and me - it takes a brave man!) so would be eternally in your debt if you felt that this blog was worth a vote. You can vote by clicking on the button above or by clicking here. Thank you so much - and fingers crossed.
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