Sunday, September 6, 2009

What The Hell Is This?

What is this?

Well, if you guessed 'an angry Coke bottle', you're considerably more perspicacious than anyone has a right to be. But if you guessed 'a hand-drawn and completely inexplicable Father's Day card created by Flinthart's demented Younger Son and delivered sometime around dawn's buttcrack on Sunday while Flinthart was still in bed wondering how to turn it all off', you're absolutely extraordinary. And if by some incredible feat of psychiatric alchemy you have managed to divine the underlying link between 'an angry Coke bottle' and 'Happy Father's Day' -- please, for the love of my sanity contact me at once. I haven't yet mustered up the courage to try prying into the bewildering labyrinth of Younger Son's baroquely twisted imaginings.

Yep. That was my Father's Day morning. The Elder Son made a card too, and the Mau-Mau gave me a certificate for a free hug, and brought me an enormous mass of slightly second-hand helium balloons which were hanging around after her official birthday party the day before.

Mmm. Secondhand helium balloons.

I duly did the proper fatherly thing, and set a hideously bad example: ripped the end off a balloon, sucked back a lungful of helium, and roared out a Mickey Mouse-voiced verse of Advance Australia Fair to greet the morning and delight the offspring. Do Not Try This At Home. Helium Isn't Oxygen. If You Try To Breathe It Too Long You Will Pass Out.

At least, that's what it said on the helium cylinder. Jeez, they're horny for warning labels these days, aren't they? They also carefully included instructions about not trying to inhale the stuff straight from the tank for fear of (and I'm not exaggerating here: I'm quoting) rupturing your lung sacs and drowning in your own blood.

Long gone, it seems, are the days when you could harmlessly neck a little of the universe's most non-toxic substance out of a balloon and amuse the kiddies with potty-mouthed Donald Duck impressions. The world gets a little smaller, a little more mean-spirited and boring every fricking day, apparently. Fuck you, Fun Nazis. There are still some balloons lying around the house today. There's a damned good chance I may even do some helium-powered cricket commentaries in the near future... take that!

I have to admit that the breakfast in bed experience wasn't too terrible, though. I got a big mug of green tea (lukewarm. Why was that? I never did find out, though Elder Son apologised in advance) and two slabs of whole-grain toast with avocado and fresh-ground Mountain Pepper. And of course, I got a triple wriggling armful of kids. Oh, and Elder Son recorded some bizarre Father's Day messages for me on his el cheapo MP3 player. Man, he loves the voice-recorder function on that thing...

The Mau-Mau's party the day before went very nicely. Both boys pulled the plug early, begging desperately for permission to spend the day visiting friends. Permission was duly granted, though Natalie was a little miffed.

"The Mau-Mau went to their pirate parties and Godzilla parties and joined in," she said. "How come they don't want to come to her fairy princess party?"

Indeed. Who can imagine why two noisy, robust boys might not enjoy a houseful of four-year-old girls in pink dresses, being fairy princesses? Especially when said fairy princesses like nothing better than ordering everybody in sight to fetch and carry, etc?

Did I mention there were helium balloons? Naturally, they were colour co-ordinated. And there were an awful lot more than this.

I made parfaits. All fairy princesses like parfaits, apparently.

Also, there were lollipops. And face painting.

I did the face-painting. It looked a lot better before an hour's worth of fairy princess playtime eroded it. I painted two fairy princess clowns, three fairy princess cats, and one fairy princess dog. Really, there should have been more photos...