Every Boxing Day two old foes face each other on the field of combat in one of the hardest fought contests of the year, and I’m not talking about something as trivial as the cricket. I am instead referring to the age old battle between bored children and tired parents.
Every Boxing Day, you stumble from your bed with a tummy still swollen from Yuletide overindulgence, and discover that your offspring have been up since dawn grazing on lollies. They are so high on sugary products that one of them is actually spinning about in circles on the floor.
You’d planned to spend today lying on the couch, but the kids have other ideas. Rather than play with all the new toys you’ve re-mortgaged the family home to buy, they want you to entertain them.
Your brain clunks into gear. Going to see a movie may get you an hour of precious sleep as you sit in the cool, dark theatre, but you shudder at the thought of the gouging your wallet will take at the snack bar. So, you suggest a day of watching DVD’s instead. An hour later you break up the fight over who wants to watch what. Everyone laughs at your movie choices.
Then you announce a trip to the beach, and are stunned speechless when your wife says, “Have fun!” and dashes off to the bedroom, locking the door and curling up on the bed, leaving you to struggle on alone.
After an epic gun battle to secure the last car park within five kilometres of the ocean, you eventually find yourself standing on a hot, crowded beach surrounded by young people proudly sporting muscular six packs, while your ‘keg’ is discreetly hidden under an old t-shirt. A Frisbee smacks into the side of your head, momentarily blurring your vision.
Several hours later you return home with the correct number of children; most of them are yours which is a bonus. They are tired, whiny and covered in sand and ice cream. You shove them towards your wife, then drop to the floor. The war is over for another year. You lost. Again.
So, to the many folk who trudged off to work today, and were wishing that you could have stayed home and spent time with your loved ones; this column is dedicated to you. I hope you don’t feel so bad now; you lucky, lucky sods!