From bitter experience I know that investigating noises coming from the boys’ room is only to be done by brave souls with strong stomachs. Accordingly, on hearing roars of death and destruction I responded with a certain sense of impending doom. Entering their den at top speed, with first aid kit in hand, I was rendered momentarily speechless for there, stretched out on the floor, were both boys either side of a chess board! They looked enquiringly at me for a moment then continued to demonstrate their skills. Apparently the Age Old Game of Wits is played by lining up one team of men then hurling them across the checkered space in the hope that they will knock down their opposing number – obviously battle cries and threats of deadly vengeance are a necessary element of the art. I suspect that in time the Daft Duo will be the only recorded chess injuries to have presented at A&E.
Both boys are deep in the thrall of the evil that is Lego at present and their collection is large but diminishes with every passing visit of the vacuum cleaner to the house. I give no quarter to the offending bricks and in fact wage a secret war of my own – as any person who on a nocturnal loo trip has stepped heavily on one of these brightly coloured, yet strangely invisible implements of torture will attest -they are the product of a demonic and vengeful mind.
Still – my small engineers feel differently and finding themselves short of the wear-withal to purchase yet more of these dreadful articles embarked on what seemed to them the only method of raising the ready. Eschewing the tried and tested bob-a-job system of earning cash they chose a less sustainable route. DIY dentistry. On the maths of £1 a tooth they reckoned that between them they could get upwards of a Mega Galactic Battle Destroyer or something.
Luckily they had started with a very wobbly specimen that was long overdue its sojourn under a pillow and such was the pride in this achievement that they could not resist boasting of their success. I was able to redirect their energies in a less bloody direction – hoovering the stairs for cash. I do hate hoovering the stairs. As I have recently acquired a backpack industrial vacuum cleaner the Gruesome Twosome had much fun jet packing to outer space with the maximum of noise and the minimum of useful cleaning.
Given how cheerfully Silly Brother Number Two was prepared to give up his teeth for a cause I was perplexed to receive the dreaded call from the school to either collect him from the sports field or meet them at the hospital. Apparently they needed me to calm him down!
Having ascertained the this was not life or death but merely a possible breakage I chose the former. Screeching up the drive I arrived to discover a shifty looking collection of adults surrounding Ben who was glowering and muttering incomprehensibly whilst covering his face firmly with both hands from under which a goodly trickle of the red stuff was descending. A mummy GP was, bizarrely I thought, attempting to insert a somewhat unappetisingly bloodstained biscuit through these hands (which was later explained by the realisation that due to Ben’s need to be fed at very regular intervals -in order to stave off storm clouds of fury- the school gives him biscuits when he is grumpy. This having been recorded as a necessity on his school records led the mummy medic to think she was dealing with a diabetic rather than simply recalcitrant child. Hence the force feeding)
Hiving off the furious Ben into a corner to investigate the damage it turned out that his reason for non compliance was simple. He was fully aware that he looked ridiculous. His nose, on receiving a sharp tap from a hockey stick, was now some distance from where it had started. Calpol, reassurance and time were all the first aid needed in this case. The boys derived much enjoyment over the next week from watching the various stages of metamorphosis from bloodied boxer through green-skinned Klingon to black-eyed panda.
I am still on the lookout for non-contact games or sports – Any ideas?