Congratulations! Welcome to the crazy club we like to call “Parenthood” (often referred to by its other name – “Alcoholism“).
By now, you’ve probably received a lot of advice from well-wishers, from “if you pick her up when she cries you’ll spoil her” (shite) to my personal favourite, “he’ll start sleeping all night once he’s on solids” (utter shite). But really and truly there is only one piece of advice you need to hear…..get yourself a decent set of screwdrivers.
Now please wipe that bemused look off your face and concentrate. This is important.
Tell me, have you bought your precious little bundle a baby swing or other motorised bouncer/rocker/anything-to-get-your-hands-free-for-5 minutes device? Yes? Well, you my friend are in for a treat, for you will soon embark on your inauguration into parenthood, or as I like to call it, “battery hell.”
I know that it all looks perfectly innocent……”requires 4 AA batteries,” says the (tauntingly evil) packaging. Surely that doesn’t sound harmful to anyone’s health does it? Sounds perfectly pleasant. WRONG. Keep reading.
First of all, you have to buy the blessed batteries and we all know what trips to the supermarket with wailing children are like. A nightmare. They’re a nightmare. Next you have to visually sift through a dazzling array of various packs of the bastards to ascertain exactly what you need to get. The 8-pack “on special offer” may actually be worse value than the 4-pack, and what on God’s green earth is a 9-volt?????
Then you get the metal-encased cylinders of hell* home and can’t open the bloody packet. Unless you have pocket knives for nails, you’ll find the cardboard backing wholly impenetrable. At this point, swearing and scissor-stabbing is both necessary and acceptable.
Hurrah you got the alkaline brutes out, now you’ve got to get them into the item you’re already regretting buying. And I see you over there with your swag on thinking the hard part’s done. Have you forgotten already about the screwdrivers I told you to get?
Yeah, sorry to break it to you but gone are the glorious 80s when batteries were easily accessible to children of all ages with just a slide of a thumb. Nowadays, its easier to get access to Her Majesty’s Prison Wakefield than get at the battery compartment of any legal-for-sale-in-the-UK toy. So this is where your screwdriver comes in handy.
Now, the Great Screwdriver Catastrophe of 2017 (as you will fondly remember it) will happen in 3 stages –
1. You’ll select the wrong screwdriver and wring the screw.
2. You’ll curse in the direction of your screwdriver kit.
3. You’ll finally find the right one but in your over-zealous haste the screw will fly out and by some magnetic force be pulled underneath the nearest sofa.
At this point you’ll ask yourself if buying the toy having the child was worth it but persevere. Practice does make perfect in the land of chemical energy and soon your nimble fingers will have deftly replaced 6 AAAs in time for the CBeebies bedtime hour.
Power on my friend. Power on.