Like the world, my house is the scene of economic, social, psychological and asymmetrical warfare. Take for instance my 18 month old daughter who lays booby traps for me. I slip on the floor at 5am and land on my back, luckily it didn’t give way, but I know my time is running out. I think my daughter is aware of the ticking time bomb in my back and she knows my luck is finite. I’m on my back and I can hear the jingle jangle tune of a play-sized guitar that has 3 buttons on it. I can picture my daughter grinning and doing a dance. I rub my sore back and manage to get back up on 40 year old legs, hammered by 22 years in the Army. Why didn’t I get kids at the age of 19? I’d be enjoying the fruits of my knees’ 22 year’s sacrifice (and back for that matter) now when I needed it. But no! Glutton for punishment – an ex-girlfriend once called me. I’ve got 18 years (another prison sentence!!) grappling with the intentions of a teenage girl and aiming to kill the first boyfriend she brings into the house. As I replied on a Facebook page; the first boyfriend will get it in the gut and in each knee. I’d done 22 years punishment to my body in the British Army and someone said you’d do less for murder. So what I’ve done is extended my sentence to 40 years.
So, my little girl has entered the world of clandestine operations and psychological warfare. My watch of 7 years (survivor of a tour of Afghanistan) went missing in action. We don’t know what happened to it, recent reports suggest it was in the hands of a 13 month girl after she’d ransacked the third kitchen drawer down – the one with the chocolates in it.
My son has a flare for interrogation. This is something he has adopted from his mother. He will confront me and ask where his ‘Horrid Histories’ book is – it’s the Tudor one.
“Why would I want to read Horrid Histories?” I ask him.
“Dad,” he sighs. “Where is it?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen it.”
“Mam!” He’s off for reinforcements. It’s a tactic that Adolf Hitler broached on his Generals. It was divide and conquer. His spin on events will always be in his favour, there was counter propaganda and psychological warfare going on in a domestic setting.
Christina stands by to add to the crescendo of arguments as to why I can’t find the Horrid Histories and I end up carrying her away. She’s laughing now and hitting me on the head with a plastic bolt from a building set.
The ploy hasn’t worked and the wife has seen sense. She’s turned the interrogation onto him now, it has backfired! He’s the brunt of the attack! Ha ha ha ha ha!! Then I have to look at Christina, who’s drooling and saying something to me, I look at her and check my state of mind. I’m just as bad as my son, I realise. Forty years has done nothing to mature my mind, I’m still trying to get one up on my son.
Later that day I discover a carefully laid tripwire. I assume that this is another attempt to do my back in by Christina. It’s a Wii remote cable that’s wedged in a doorway and I slowly remove it with the care of a bomb disposal engineer. Just then I’m bombarded by noise at something hurtles past me from the stairs. I look up beyond the two safety gates (one at the bottom and one at the top) – Christina is laughing excitedly, jumping up and down threatening to pull down the gate with her tiny hands. I look around and see a heavy thick sized book and wonder how she managed to hurl it at me.
“Christ! She nearly killed me!”
“Don’t shout at Christina!” The wife shouts back at me. She picks up Christina and with a look of disapproval goes into the bedroom. That’s it, they’ve joined forces and I need to adopt another strategy to get myself out of this...
I get a sponge dart in the side of my head. Or it was sponge, my son has modified the weapon and turned it into an armour piercing missile. Surely that should be outlawed in the domestic United Nations Council meeting we’re going to hold at dinner today. I might have to impose some sanctions on toy and Wii usage – hopefully the wife will agree and not veto this motion. If she does veto this sanction then I may have to retire to the toilet and resort to Weapons of Mass Destruction with Chemical Weaponry.
And so, the war on Terror continues in our house.