Today was a good day. I was served a scone and toast with jam, together with a fruit salad an orange juice and a lovely cup of coffee for breakfast by my long-suffering wife and daughter. A pretty good start to the day.
Then we set about building a sideboard – which we’ve been threatening to do for a while but today we actually came good on our threats. And I learnt something. Well. Two things actually. First, my wife is losing her touch with reading construction instructions and I need to start reading them myself, but second, and more important, is that it’s OK to involve kids in helping to build stuff.
See. I wanted the kids out of the way so we could build the sideboard in peace, and to be honest I was getting progressively more annoyed at the myriad of questions that kids are wont to ask, as well as the complexity of the damn sideboard. I’ve never thought that children should be seen and not heard, but I do think kids should be able to occupy themselves for a short time whilst mummy and daddy need to do something, like build a sideboard.
My wife took the tact that if we involved our daughter that it would be less stressful all round. I was skeptical. But actually, it worked. My daughter learnt how to screw in a proper screw, and I realised not to under- estimate her.
I also wondered about my own childhood. One of the reasons I’m reluctant to take on DIY is not because I’m a lazy feckless oaf – though I can be some times, and what of it? – but because I had not had a father around to teach me any DIY skills. I guess I’m pretty bitter about that, but then, spending Fathers Day building a sideboard as a family activity illustrated to me that I don’t want my daughter to lack the self-confidence to get stuck in.
Rounding the day off with a coffee and cake at the local coffee shop was just what I needed.