This one was sent to me on 24th of January
How's it going? I'm into the last week of the summer holidays with Eva going back to school next week. To celebrate everyone's going back to Waihi Beach come Friday for a three day break. Yes, everyone is celebrating Eva going back to school. Not really, it's just me who's celebrating that. But we are going back to Waihi so you're getting this e-mail early...
This week we've had a couple of Eva and Sam's cousins come for sleepovers. This always means I have to pump an air bed up which is really hard work so instead I decided to finally assemble the bunk beds we bought a couple of months ago and let one of them sleep on the bottom bunk. I had made the top bunk with it's in-built guard rail some months ago and we'd been using it as a normal bad for Sam to sleep in our room. All I had to do was assemble the bottom bunk, move Sam's top half of the bunk beds into Eva's room, move Eva's old bed out and into our room to replace the top bunk and then slot the top bunk onto the pegs of the lower bunk with all the pinpoint accuracy of a safe mechanism locking into place. I ended up doing this on my own because Juliette took one for the team and played with the kids to get them the hell out of my way.
How did I drop the top bunk bed onto the bottom bunkbed? Easy, I used my forklift truck. Only joking. I can't get my forklift truck into Eva's room. Plus I don't like to move my forklift out of the barn where I keep it next to my SR-71 jet plane and my 1960s era Batmobile. I'm joking again. I don't keep them in the barn, I keep them in the playroom in a box marked "vehicles". And of course they're not mine, they're Sams and are 1:43 scale toys. No, I lifted up the top bed and placed neatly down on the pillars of the bottom one using my X-men powers of telekinesis. Ha, joking again. I don't have any X-men powers, unless really sweaty feet count. Which they don't because otherwise there'd be a use for sweaty feet. You could put out fires by simply walking through them and dousing them with sweat from your feet or something. Actually my feet don't sweat that bad, it's just I wore my slippers for a couple of nights without any socks and now they smell like cheese. The slippers that is smell like cheese, not my feet. On their own my feet smell like schadenfreude. Anyway ... how to drop a top bunk onto a bottom bunk on your own...
I sat on the lower bunk, lifted the top bunk up and shifted it onto my feet, lent back, swiveled around and lowered it down onto all four pegs at the same time using my legs. It was like something from a circus act. That is if the circus act allowed lots and lots of swearing. The whole bed swap and bunk bed operation only took three and a half hours and I'm now on pain killers for my back but it was totally worth not pumping up that goddam air bed.
We had Eva's cousin Rachael stay over for two days and one night this week because her parents were working and needed a hand. It was kind of tough I have to admit. Juliette may have noticed an extra level of testiness when she came home and failed to empty the crap out of her lunch box after dumping it on the side for me to do, leave two drawers and one cupboard open for me to close and drop a full nappy bag in the kitchen bin rather than the outside bin for me to back up and stop the house from stinking. I found that Eva and Rachael wanted to play their five year olds' games while Sam being two wanted to play their games too. However what Sam wanted to do wasn't always what the girls wanted to do which caused some "problems". Also Sam loves climbing up on the new bunk beds but he can't actually get himself down again so he stops half way down the ladder and cries. Plus he likes to take Eva's breakable objects up there and throw them off which makes Eva cry. Plus he likes to stand up and sway near the edges of the top bunk like Harold Lloyd and generally makes me cry.
There was a minor miracle that did happen this week. I placed an online order for a couple of Nerf Guns for the kids to play with (for me to play with too) because we played with their cousin's Nerf Guns over Christmas and everyone enjoyed them. Nerf Guns are basically air soft guns that shoot little foam darts. The genius thing about them is that they come in all shapes and sizes with gun rails and sights and all sorts of gizmoes that makes me forget Barbie dolls ever the f*ck existed. The miracle was that these two Nerf Guns were ordered on the Tuesday and they were delivered the next day. Usually it takes a week for anything online to turn up so I was kind of blown away. Anyway they arrived at a time when they were needed the most because we all played with them in the garden and I've got to say two five year olds with Nerf Guns just proves that if ever there was a zombie apocalypse you'd want to ditch the little kids rather than arm them.
These toy guns were like full sized, had magazines, you have to cock them to load them and came with detachable sights. Apart from the fact that they're made from primary coloured plastic and were designed by someone who'd watched one too many sci-fi shows they had all the movable bits of real fire arms. Okay so guns and little kids don't mix but I did think that I could teach the kids some range discipline for when we started archery. Yeah, not really, I just want to shot little darts around the garden and pretend I was John McClane from Die Hard. But there were a few things I noticed ...
First things first, five year olds need eight or nine attempts before they can load a magazine with all the ammo the right way around. Secondly five year olds don't know what the cocking handle is for and often forgot to load a round into the "firing" chamber. They were like pulling the trigger and expecting some sort of semi-automatic experience. Come on Eva, you expect daddy to have the cash to spring for semi-automatic? You've got to wait for your birthday for that... Thirdly, five year old arms don't have the muscles to hold the rifle up for long so they wave them around like dousing sticks as they aim. I was like two feet away and could dodge their "bullets" like Neo in the Matrix just by "not moving at all". Fourthly they take the sights off because "they don't need them". When I say "take them off" I mean slide them off the rails and smash them on the ground like eggs because they can't hit anything. Like the sights were the main reason they couldn't hit anything. Fifthly if you can't hit a target with the first shot ,five year olds take a step or two forward. They repeat this until they can touch the target with the end of the rifle. This would be perfectly acceptable if we dressed them up in red coats and pretended we were fighting in the Napoleonic Wars but not when we amped up the action by letting daddy have a gun to shoot back with. Sixthly when five year olds run out of ammo they just keep shooting and walking forward in the hope that maybe a magic round will appear in the barrel. It never does. Seventhly when your cousin has a misfire and starts walking towards the nearest adult for help (me), the other doesn't give a sh*t about the other one and just keep shooting while I shout "stop!" at both and get ignored as per usual. Next week I'm ordering throwing knives online. Juliette's totally cool with that.
Love Mark xxx