Archive | September, 2011

Kiss offs, Kelsey Grammer and Dark Vader

8 Sep

It was going to happen sooner or later, so I wasn’t too surprised this morning when it did.

Dan (12) leaves for school ridiculously early so he can meet up with his scooter buddies and terrorise motorists into half-awake heart attacks by totally ignoring the highway code.

Sometimes I give him a lift as it’s on my way to work. The usual routine is that we chat briefly about his day ahead, he gives me a kiss, gets his scooter out the boot and I see him, and his wheels, again in the evening.

Today, a mixture of slight lateness and his mates’ second-day-of-term keenness meant a gaggle of them were already leaping off kerbs when we reached the normal drop-off point. Dan got out of the car and marched to the boot. “Where’s my kiss?” I beckoned. “See ya, Dad!” he said. “Where’s my kiss?!” I repeated, trying not to sound desperate. “See ya, Dad!” he smiled, walking away.

And that was that. I remembered hearing a popular US author talk about how his teenage son would give him a passionate embrace every time they met – especially in front of his 6ft schoolmates – and was tempted, as I passed Dan and his friends, to feel bad. Instead, it was my turn to smile. At least he still talks to me.

An added consolation is Dan’s younger brother Reuben (3), who is a proper cling-on, refusing to let me and Lisa out of his sight recently. This evening I got back from work and he told me he’d been watching Star Wars DVDs with his friend Amelie. “Which one did you see?” I asked. “The one with Dark Vader,” he replied. “It was scary.”

Which is nothing compared with a traumatic experience he almost shared with older sister Macy (6) last week. Going out for a curry, I’d left the pair of them upstairs watching a film of their choice, Animal Farm.

Animal Farm

In hindsight, this wasn’t the wisest decision. Although it’s PG-rated and stars (the voice of) Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer, it’s not, shall we say, the vegetarian version.

The DVD case said nothing about it ‘containing scenes of animal slaughter’ but Macy’s high-pitched scream revealed all. Lisa rushed to their room to find her hysterical at the butchery before her. So bad, in fact, that the only way to calm her was to set her in front of the downstairs TV with her older siblings to watch a game show.

Thankfully, mum found Reuben fast asleep on the shrieking Macy’s lap, oblivious to the unfolding carnage – dreaming about Hand Solo and Luke Skywater, I bet.

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