It was a year ago today I admitted to the select and respectable audience this blog once almost had that I’d never seen Star Wars. But then, thanks to being in the house on my own while my seven month old son slept, managed to make it happen.
A year to the day, I’m pleased to report to you that I’ve just this evening watched the hotly-anticipated follow-up, Return of the Jedi. The scenario will be familiar to many parents: home alone, the child asleep, quite enough sport-gambling thrills already had placing 25p bets on last night’s televised greyhound racing.
So, once I’d put all the little plastic bath toys away, tripped over the HappyLand railway set and told Iggle Piggle to fuck off for always being in the fucking way, I was ready. All I had to do was awaken The Force to be able to work the Sky Q remote (try it and you’ll understand), fight my way past all the Peppa Pig and In The Night Garden, sit back and enjoy this behemoth of the silver screen. And that’s pretty much what happened. But let’s talk, a little bit, about Peppa Pig and In The Night Garden. The televisual book-ends to my infant son’s day.
Peppa, his true third love (after milk and Burt the Monkey) whose presence will be requested (first thing after milk and Burt the Monkey) by a flying remote control and a truly impressive “oink oink” from the smallest member of the house. Sometimes I wonder whether we’ve accidentally managed to breed a child that’s part Gloucester Old Spot, but suddenly realise it’s only a five minute programme and THIS IS THE WINDOW NOW NOW NOW MAN if I actually want a shower. Which I do, obviously, because he’s somehow managed to get Weetabix in my hair.
And then there’s In The Night Garden. Thirty minutes when Sir Derek is personally supervising every single under five in the country as parents frantically try to get shit done (in my case: make him snack, offer him snack, don’t get offended by refusal of snack; put pushchair away; run bath; warm up milk; what was that crashing sound, don’t worry it’s just your son checking he does not yet have the strength to smash his HappyLand train through the plastic lid of your quite expensive record player).
Half an hour, every night. Sir Derek is in charge here. Sometimes it’s slightly less if we’re a bit late getting back from nursery because I’ve been chatting with one of the cool mums on the walk back, but a judicious and subtle bit of fast forwarding (not as easy as it sounds, this is Sky Q remember) during the duller moments of the programme help us to hit the bath at 18:50 with excellent consistency. The sort of consistency with which Arsene Wenger would be proud. (Just checked the spelling of his name and he’s 67 and French? Who knew.)
Anyway, what’s happened in that year between me watching Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back? Walking, eating and shouting (all on his terms, of course). A delightful array of animal impressions, always on tap. A fascination with dogs. Seeing Santa for the first time (which went predictably well). Trips to Brighton (train), Belgium (ferry, forgot to pay Dartford crossing charge), France (plane) and Horsham (car, remembered to pay Dartford crossing charge).
365 days of fucking brilliantness. That’s what happened. And I should write about it more, but I’m busy enjoying it. Enjoying it and then being absolutely fucking knackered.
Also I think I swear more.