The joys of Fatherhood
At about eleven Mrs S thought she heard her mobile ringing downstairs. She got up and scampered downstairs only to find a ‘Witheld number’ on the missed calls screen. “Wrong number love?”
“Think so – now where were we?” We cuddled up again and restarted the movie. Damn me if the phone didn’t go off again. Mrs S repeats the performance with the same result. “Who was it?” I asked.
It’s hard to enjoy anything when a mobile keeps going off, so after the fourth ill timed dash downstairs we were bringing both our mobile phones upstairs when the house phone goes off. This time we answered it in time. It was one of Youngest’s friends. Apparently there had been some ‘trouble’ at a local bar and Youngest needed rescuing.
Mum and Stepdad (Me) shut down the movie, got into some halfway respectable street clothes, got the car out and went haring over to the bar to see an ambulance outside (Please God, don’t let it be her.) and a huge crowd of underage looking kids milling around. Mrs S dropped me off while I checked out the scene. It was just a crowd of noisy kids, that’s all. Mrs S parked the car and went into the bar, returning three minutes later with a very poorly looking Daughter, before throwing me the car keys and bundling errant (And obviously quite drunk) girl into the back seat. The Police arrived and we got her out of there to do her own form of penance without having to trouble the forces of law and order.
Twice on the way home we had to stop while youngest emptied the contents of her stomach into the gutter. “Ground me.” She moaned sorrowfully. “Ground me.”
“Consider it done.” Said Mrs S.
“Completely.” I added. “You are hereby grounded. Nailed in fact.”
“Thank you.” Came a little damp voice from the back seat.
Once home we shoved her into the bathroom and let her talk to the big white telephone for a half an hour while I went out to clean her vomit off the car. Don’t do this at home folks – in darkness it’s a bloody hard job to do properly. By the time I got back into the house Youngest was tucked up in bed with a bowl, two scruffy old towels and two litres of water. Mrs S and I sat on the front doorstep chuckling to each other, partly with relief that the baby of the family was safe and sound. The dog thought it was wonderful and chased his tail in that way dogs do when they’re overexcited. More cause for amusement.
Perhaps this might prove a sobering experience for Youngest; she now knows she can’t hold her drink and may just have learned an important lesson – don’t do what you can’t do. A lesson for us all, including me.