Saturday, 16 August 2008

Toys R us? No thanks.

My Dad is amazing with kids. My mum says that it was one of the reasons she was attracted to him, because she saw how good he was with children. He is always with the kids, and his grand kids all adore their papa.

He has an amazing knack for finding fun in everything. Bucket for mixing cement? No, no... an extension cable through the handles and draped over a tree, and you have a tree swing.

A ground sheet? No no, swung over the same tree as the bucket swing, and you have a hammock.

A petrol lawnmower? No no... a go cart. Yes - while it's revved up and cutting the grass..

A wheelbarrow? No no... a ride along for a brand new baby. In this picture, you can see he's got Eilidh to push Esther along in said wheelbarrow.

So, I've come to expect that when the girls are out in the back garden playing with papa, that they will no doubt be shunning conventional kids' toys, and will be playing with something they probably shouldn't be playing with, but under the gaming tutelage of my dad, it's ok - anything goes.

So when Hannah came in the other day REEKING of fish, of course, all fingers pointed to Dad and one of his games. And of course, I was right. (My suspicions were confirmed when Eilidh came in to grass him up... she's my little snitch.) He had gone to Asda to get a couple of whole fish, so he could bring them back for the girls to play with. Eilidh being my clean child, turned her nose up in disgust (and the bogging smell) and left Hannah and her cousin Leah, to play with Flounder et al.

They were gutting the fish, and then found great delight in amusing themselves with just the heads and tails. They even found a puddle of water to paddle in, and to plop the heads and tails in to. Macabre? I think so. I don't find a fish's eye particularly enjoyable to poke at. I don't see the attraction with a tail floating in a mucky puddle of water. I don't like my hands being anywhere near a fish's entrails.

But the kids loved it! And my dad knew that they would. He knows that they like being swung around, and they don't care that it's in a cement bucket. He knows that fish are interesting to kids cos they're squidgy and gross. That's why he's great with kids. He knows what they like. Maybe he's just a kid at heart. But whatever the reason - Papa is the kids' McGyver. He could fashion a whole play park from a discarded box of matches and a hedge strimmer.

And no doubt tomorrow will bring more of the same. We're going round for Sunday dinner. Fish pie is on the menu. Yum...

Eh.... hold on....!

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