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Life of a dad: Dougie and The American Dream.

The Death of Dougie and The American Dream.

“Daddy, Dougie is Dead”….

….was the blood curdling scream that came from the back garden on Friday evening as I sat eating my tea. After the second scream Ted (my son, tormentor and chief meltdown merchant aged 3) came running in in floods of tears. Must be serious I thought so out to the back garden we trek…..

Dougie the guinea pig is indeed dead. Pip however is alive and well. (Pip belongs to Edie my daughter, singer, actress, font of wisdom and all round performer aged 6).

By this point both children are in floods of tears and a delicate operation to explain that pet’s go to heaven begins to try and ensure that neither are emotionally scarred by the event. In brief it played out as below ;

  • Ted discovers dead Dougie. I confirm Dougie is dead.
  • Find suitable coffin for corpse. Dougie was the greedy one (I’m unsure of the statistics on Guinea Pig Obesity) so a decent size shoe box is required.
  • Lift cold, stiff Dougie out of hutch and place in shoe box lined with hay. Ted strokes Dougie.
  • Edie, after establishing that her guinea pig is alive and well, moves on to practicing her American accent (more of that later).
  • Ted then insists on phoning every relative, cousin and family friend to tell them the sad news.
  • Ted helps to dig hole.
  • Ted gives Dougie a cuddle and throws him in hole from standing position.
  • We fill in the hole together.
  • Ted does a dance and victory salute.

“Thanks Dad that was really fun……”

I guess I don’t need to worry about Ted. Great start to the weekend and completely ruined my Burrito. The Guinea Pigs I didn’t want strike again.

Edie and Ted no longer answer or respond to their names…..

So it transpires that Edie has discovered JoJo Siwa on Youtube Kids. The latest kid off the American entertainment production line……no problem I think. She sings. She dances. No harm done.

Unfortunately this means that Edie now only responds to the name JoJo and speaks with an American accent and Ted (never to be outdone) insists on being called Jackson. He was Batman last week and the week before that only answered to the name Spiderman. For a loooooong time he was Andy (of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures). I’m not sure which is worse but this is the only incarnation where I have to assume an accent to get a response.

Of course this means that Boomerang is on repeat play………constantly.  The joys.

The joys of Shopping…..

Generally speaking most weekends are spent attending Gymnastics (Edie), Swimming (Ted, but he’s been barred recently) or some other child related party, event, gathering or social event. On the rare occasion there is nothing in the events calendar and we have no other option we occasionally go shopping and try to do something vaguely adult like eating out. Often this turns out to be a mistake. What fools.

So JoJo and Jackson are loaded into the car and off we go. Just to clarify it’s never as easy as loading them into the car but that’s a whole story in itself. 

Now depending on the way the wind is blowing, luck, karma, fate or voodoo curse Ted fell asleep on the way for 10 minutes. Now 1o minutes of sleep for Ted equates to about 4 hours of energy. I’ve not worked out which is worse……a tired 3 year old or a 3 year old with energy. Somewhere there is an elusive sweet spot that I’m yet to discover.

First stop returning an item and trying to get some new jeans….find, try on and pay as quickly as possible. Fail.

Next stop is some home furnishing related shop that even with kids I’d be reluctant to enter. With JoJo and Jackson it becomes a tense game of ‘don’t touch that’ and ‘don’t sit on that‘.

Eating Out…..

Occasionally we forget how monumentally difficult trying to eat out is without it descending into tantrums and a chimps tea party. Thanks to Tesco clubcard boost and the promise of a toy on the way out, on this occasion it only cost £16, slightly frayed nerves, a few disapproving glances from nearby tables and 6 trips to the toilet. I might even try it again. Maybe.

Trying to leave…..

Kids don’t forget. They also can’t choose. Que 40 minutes in the toy section trying to spend their ‘winnings’. Painful doesn’t come close.

Final thoughts…..

Kids are kids. They’ll do what they want, when they want without a thought for anything else. Sometimes you just have to embrace the madness.



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