I wish to apologise to my children and confess I am a complete hypocrite. I recently a blog post about the random things my kids like.
Shortly after writing that post, I found myself wandering round the kitchen pretending to be a robot while looking for my daughter’s school shoes. It occurred to me that my kids may have some ramdom interests, but as a dad, I can be just as crazy, if not more so.
Take bed time, for instance. Finding it a bit of a chore, I decided to liven it up a bit several years ago…by pretending to be a fork lift truck.
I seem to recall Helen was lying on the sofa and so I slid my arms underneath her, made some stupid pneumatic noises and carried her to bed. This has remained a staple of the bedtime routine for both Helen and her sister ever since.
The inspiration for this comes from my misspent youth. Prior to returning to college as a mature student, I pursued a number of dead-end jobs.
One of them involved picking and packing in a warehouse and I was one of the select few to undergo training so I could become a licensed fork lift truck driver. This turned out to be massive blessing.
When I did return to college, holding a fork lift truck licence meant I was always able to get temp work during the holidays. Not that I’ve driven one for years, but it also left me with a bizarre fondness for the fork lift (A Manitou M26-2 with Perkins diesel engine? P-H-W-O-A-R).
The punchline? I’d been doing my fork lift truck routine for about two years before Helen turned around and said: “Daddy, what is a fork lift truck?”
Pretending to be industrial machinery is just one of my specialties. Performing bad magic tricks under my stage name The Great Ovavoo? Guilty. Pretending I can’t find something while it’s balanced on my head? Yeah, I do that too. Speaking in a high-pitched voice to my kids pretending to be their mother? Yeah, although I’ve never once convinced the kids that I am Mrs Adams.
The added difficulty is that her accent was forged in Glasgow whereas mine was formed in the Cotswolds. I can be as high-pitched as I like but I know in truth I will never quite manage to impersonate my wife.
My children may have one or two-off-the wall interests. When push comes to shove, however, I think dad is craziest of all, certainly in this household.