The Easter holidays are upon us.. a kind of mock exam for the Summer ones.
If left to their own devices (pun intended).. my three would spend their time on an Xbox or tablet, pausing only to demand food or wrestle each other to near suffocation. While it suits me just perfectly to plug them into the Matrix, I do feel a twinge of guilt as I hear other kids outdoors playing actual games that require no in app purchases. When their pallor begins to take on a waxy “Flowers in the Attic” appearance, I’ll shove them outdoors where they will stand uncomfortably and ask how much time they have to serve (they didn’t lick it off a stone.. I hail from a long line of lazy vampires).
Last week, myself and my husband agreed that we had to do something with the kids and he suggested bowling…(I suggested military school).
“Yay” said Rian, the four year old.
“Oh-kayyyy” said Koray, the six year old.
“Argghh why do we ALWAYS have to do stuff?” grumbled Conall, the nine year old.
Off we went while Conall maintained a continuous stream of disgust/ abuse that he couldn’t just go home to his Xbox.
I roared: “Do you know how many times my parents took me bowling when I was a kid?… None, never! We were lucky to sit in a beer garden with a packet of Tayto and a bottle of red lemonade between us.”
“Real lucky” he mumbled “Probably had wi-fi there”
We arrived at Charlestown shopping centre and they tore out of the car and ran up the escalator shouting like the uncivilised brats they are.
I went to get bowling shoes and felt uncomfortable that I didn’t know any of their sizes offhand and had to check their shoes… “I know my own”, I said proudly. I managed to balance five pairs of bowling shoes in my arms and brought them to our table where the boys were now skidding around the floor in their socks. My lovely husband, Ossie took that moment to announce he was going to the toilet. “For fuck sake” I hissed and he threw me a filthy look in return.
There were arguments about the order of the names, whose ball was whose, who got to sit on my knee…. Conall stole my phone from my pocket at one point and insisted on playing roblox rather than bowling; This was probably a good thing as no matter what we taught him he repeatedly hurled the bowling ball off the lane so it bounced rather than rolled and we winced in anticipation of a cracked floor. We managed to get to the end of the game with me trailing last as usual. The six-year-old had been winning till the last go when my husband had to show off with a strike; Cue a horrifically embarrassing Dad dance and a howling child. I tried to redeem the situation with air hockey where I accidentally beat the by-now-inconsolable six-year-old and I pictured his future on a psychiatrist’s couch “Tell me Koray, why you feel defeated all the time and have settled so much in life, believing you can never win?”
We spent a further €50 on slot machines and violent shooting games (me and my husband got so engrossed in a zombie shooting one that a functioning adult asked if I meant to leave my unattended handbag in the middle of the floor?)
We rounded up our troops and got coffees to sustain us for the car journey ahead. On the way out I noticed that a poster for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy had been knocked over but I had to stop to have a little drool over Chris Pratt. Koray and Rian decided to jump up and down on his face cos mammy can’t love anyone else (plate of Oedipal for table 1?).
The security guard actually ran over shouting HEY!!!! “Out, out, out” I shouted, throwing the guy my best apologetic/ sexy look (it’s fabulous).
We got back to the escalators and the boys started to run down the up one and then Conall stopped dead at the top blocking me and my coffee splattered down my top. I itched to grab them all by the ear to the car but passed the buck(s) to the husband and told him to control his spawn.
When everyone was in their car seats, Ossie gripped my arm and said “I should’ve take you all to dinner… at least there was something in it for us” (wine) and it would’ve been cheaper”.
I gripped him somewhere else, very tightly and said “you’re saying this now!!!!!!!”