Do you have a grudge cabinet? I think most people have one, even if they don’t have a specific name for it. A grudge cabinet is where we put all of those things that we hold against our parents. It is easily wheeled out in an argument and the most appropriate grudge is selected to prove a point or get what you want. Having an argument at Christmas about who should do the washing up? Mention the fact that your dad never built that tree house he always promised you when you were kids and you might just get the chance to drink another whisky in front of the Coronation Street Christmas Special Omnibus Edition.
Fortunately, my grudge cabinet isn’t as full as many other people’s. I do have one though and it includes things like never having a birthday party (unlike my brother), never going on holiday with my school (unlike my brother), never being taken to the Botanical Gardens despite many promises (I am not sure about this but I think my brother was taken there) and being kicked in the head by my dad, accidentally he claims, while walking up the stairs (my brother had his toe smashed by my mother in a car door once, so we are equal on that one).
It seems that Thomas is starting to build his own grudge cabinet. He has a tricycle that has, or at least had, a long handle on the back that enabled me to push him without breaking my back by bending down all the time. Needless to say the handle was a cheap piece of plastic and lasted approximately 10 minutes. When it snapped I swore loudly and it quite shocked Thomas into laughter. Nowadays, about 5 months later, whenever Thomas gets on the trike he points at the spot where the handle used to be and says ‘Daddy!’
Last week we went to Sao Paulo for my brother-in-law’s wedding and Thomas got another item to put in his cabinet. We parked the car at the airport and then went to get on the bus to take us to the terminal. My wife was carrying Thomas in her arms and so didn’t see a concrete block that was in her way. She tripped over it and, in trying to save Thomas, managed to cut her leg to smithereens. Thomas got a slight knock on his head and the tears that ensued were more from shock more than anything else. Two minutes later he was sitting happily enough on the bus but my wife’s knee was bleeding and her tights ripped to shreds. For the last five days every time Thomas sees a bus he points to his he head to remind everyone that he banged it the last time he got on one.
A third thing that might go into the cabinet is that fact that I won’t let him watch Mickey Mouse all day and every day. He has started to get quite upset when I limit him to just one episode and I feel this is going to become a running battle over the next few years. At least it isn’t Galinha Pintadinha anymore so I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies.
I am sure there is going to be a lot more put in the grudge cabinet over the next few years, and I know that there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.