I am under siege.
We've all been involved in that situation where a fly somehow gets stuck behind your eye. In it goes - completely oblivious (you would hope) to where it's going and it smashes against the cornea. Instinctively your eyelid closes - mashing a now half-dead fly up and down the eye - hoping to deposit it as a wet blob in the corner by the tear duct. But more often than not you can feel it under the eyelid - thrashing about and presumably trying to lay eggs in there before it finally completes it's suicide mission.
Well - about six weeks ago I was forking my wife's compost (No. Just no.) when a fly flew into my ear. Actually it would be more appropriate to say up my ear. It didn't appear to suffer any injury at all judging by the noise it was making. I frantically told my wife that there was something in my ear and started smacking myself on the head and rapidly wacking my ear up and down in the hope I could shake it out. She obviously thought I was mental. Then I convinced her to look and she saw it in there - a whole big bug barreling around like a corkscrew. Instead of helping she yelled in surprise and stepped back three feet. I eventually got it out and carried on forking.
Then this morning I was running along in the brisk morning air when a a fly went straight up my nose. Clearly it had a decent run-up because it went so far up my nostril that I couldn't reach it. And again - it didn't die for ages. It just wriggled about in my nostril an eighth of an inch away from my finger. It was at this point that my wife's endless protestations about blowing my nose may have been proven a tadge true. I have no idea how to blow my nose. There are a few skills that I don't possess that my wife has had to single-handedly teach our children. Swimming, never being a comfortable temperature, gluttony of sour candies and nose-blowing instantly spring to mind. I no how to breathe out of my nose. And yes I can do it at variable speed and intensity if I want (....that's right ladies.....). But hand me a tissue and ask me to blow my nose and I haven't the slightest idea how that happens. So instead I had to endure a mile or so of a fly wedged up my nostril - presumably air-humping away up there until it was spent.
Yesterday at the dinner table I realized two things. Firstly - I may have invented a food that is actually quite good. It's basically pan cooked chicken breasts with sauteed onions (cooked in butter) that - once nearly done - I make a quick gravy with it all still in the pan but squidge in a blob of ranch dressing as well. It's surprisingly good. I could tell because not only has my wife asked me twice if I really made it up myself, but my kids wanted me to wash it off the chicken before they ate it. You can't get better proof than that.
Secondly though I realized that my staying home with my daughter has gifted her the sense of completely open-minded free-thinking that will stand her in good stead for life. She's a free spirit unencumbered by the regular boundaries and conventions of life. A maverick - but more Finley Quaye than John McCain. Granted sometimes it can be funneled into unbridled rage like a runaway train (that has to be a cracking book). But mostly she's someone who's life is filled with music and movement and ideas. You know - like this.
In other words the kind of person that allows one to ask questions without the idiotic fear that it means you must be stupid because you don't know something. Questions like, are there people who speak sign language and also have a stutter? Or even a lisp? And (my favorite of the week) - do you think Curious George likes the Man In The Yellow Hat the most because he looks like a banana?
The point here is that my daughter has taken on my ability to talk absolute bollocks at all times and not really give much of a toss what other people think about it. Take last night at dinner. Randomly she made this claim.
Daughter: You can't eat like me Daddy.
Me: What do you mean honey?
Daughter: Girls have a special tube for chicken and potatoes.
Me: You do realize you've described a place for meat and two veg?
And yes - I'm aware that's only one vegetable. But she was also eating peas - I just didn't mention those. Anyhoo - after then making a statement about how she thinks that once there was a skunk that pretended to be a groundhog just so he could surprise people on Groundhog DayI grabbed the camera. What spilled forth were what she calls "jokes" (expertly judged by her brother for hilarity) a a spurious statement about a Poop Train. As you can see her initial joke was unappreciated.
But like a good stand-up she kept plugging away trying out new bits and eventually got results.
And then the poop train arrived in the station.