17 December 2007

Your Child's Happiness ????-2007

We at As A Dodo today wish to nod our heads in understanding at the tragic situation of parents this Christmas and offer you our sincere condolences for the imminent passing of Your Child's Happiness, which is expected to slip into the twilight on 25 December 2007 at precisely the moment they realise that "Santa" has been unable to secure for them a Nintendo Wii games console.

Your Child's Happiness was born shortly after his or her entrance into the world as a gurgling, blood-covered mass of pink flesh, in all likelihood at about the time he or she first managed to latch on to mum's breast and tuck in to a hearty, colostrum-laced meal (and certainly some time after that berk in the mask decided to give them a smack on the behind).

From that moment on, Your Child's Happiness grew and grew - taking innocent pleasure in anything from the new hanging mobile placed so carefully over their crib to all the swearing which putting the bloody thing up in the first place caused mummy and daddy to engage in. The sources of joy for your little one were many and various: being tucked up in a nice warm blanket, listening to bedtime lullabies, screaming itself hoarse in the middle of the night just when you'd finally got back to sleep, being sick all down the back of your best suit just before that interview for the new job.

As the years drifted slowly, oh so slowly, by so Your Child's Happiness burgeoned, safe in the knowledge that a single quivering lower lip at the right moment (or, failing that, several minutes of screaming in the middle of the toy shop on a busy Saturday afternoon) would get you exactly where they wanted you. Whether it be lengthy sessions of "I spy with my little eye" as you sat in the traffic jam outside Heathrow, endless hours of "The Wheels on the Bus" going round and round, or desperate attempts at bribery with E-number-laden sweeties whilst waiting at the supermarket checkout, you would do anything to ensure Your Child's Happiness endured.

Yet as Your Child grew, their Happiness became harder and harder to maintain. Soon exhausting sessions of tickling and Maisie DVDs lost their allure. Not even 19 seasons' worth of The Simpsons on a permanent loop (including the first 7 seasons when it was actually worth watching) could guarantee to keep a smile on Your Child's face, and ever more desperate measures were needed - right up to the point that you seriously considered selling that "spare" kidney of yours to fund the purchase of the necessary pony/computer/other-overly-expensive-item that would be heading off to the glue factory/eBay mere months after its purchase. Christmas in particular became a day fraught with danger, every second of present-opening time bearing the threat of a strangled cry of "But you KNOW I don't like Barbie/Grand Theft Auto/crack cocaine any more. I HATE you." and a tearful exit from the room, or your being forced to issue a series of dark and accusatory looks at your useless partner for failing to remember to buy the batteries as Your Child forces you to search through every remote control in the house for a spare set of AAAs.

This Christmas, though, was going to be different. This Christmas you were going to purchase the gift everyone told you was guaranteed to provide hours of pleasure to the recipient: a Nintendo Wii. And so it was that you set off in early December, confident in the knowledge that you would soon return with games console in one hand and a certain future for Your Child's Happiness in the other. That the dream was to prove as evanescent as a taxi's "for hire" light on a cold evening in December was not your fault. How were you to know that the mighty gaming giant seems only to have been able to manufacture seven of the consoles to supply the whole globe's demand? You spent hours trying to redeem yourself - scouring the internet for supplies, ringing round for any sign of this year's near mythical - yet absolutely mandatory - Christmas present, hanging around the alleyway behind HMV ready to mug the delivery men on the off-chance they might be carrying a Wii. Yet the RSI in your mouse-clicking finger and the chilblains on your extremities (not to mention the criminal record) were all to no avail. There will be no Wii for Your Child this Christmas.

Your Child's Happiness will be buried on 25th December under a mound of torn wrapping paper, floods of tears and a look from your offspring that will let you know that they will never, ever be able to trust you again. It will be survived by Your Child's Resentment, your partner's despair and several desperate trips to the drinks cabinet on your own part.


Richard Havers said...


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, for the good old days when all they wanted was "Scarlet Ribbons"!

Anonymous said...

The Wii is rubbish anyway - just beat them around the head and buy them a proper gaming system...