It’s been a tricky few days. First Brexit, then England’s dismal failure at Euro 2016 and in between I managed to end up on crutches.
I’m not going to waste yet more space discussing the possible implications of Vote Leave (both political and footballing) as there’s been far too much of that already. Although for a fresh perspective, check out Dad Blog UK’s brilliantly personal piece here. So instead, I’m going to bang on for a bit about what a pain in the ass it is being injured when you’ve got small kids.
Sounds obvious, right. But until now, I hadn’t come to appreciate just how annoying it is. Not in the same way that losing much of its EU workforce is for the NHS. But still, a real pain.
For a start, this was not an impressive injury. I stumbled on a path, turned my ankle over and then squealed manfully as the bottom part of my leg turned into a cross between a placenta and a jellyfish. Cue a Friday evening trip to A&E, which cost us 20 quid in babysitting fees, thus adding insult to injury.
Having been X-rayed, though, I couldn’t believe my luck when the doctor advised 48 hours complete rest with my leg elevated. After all, there were five Euro 2016 matches to get stuck into over the weekend. Unfortunately, my wife Laura heard too, dispensing the kind of ‘don’t you f*$*ing dare’ look that soon had the doctor backpedalling quicker than Dylan when he finds a bit of broccoli beneath his mashed potato.
I didn’t get 48 hours complete rest. Instead, life carried on pretty much as normal. Dylan’s Saturday morning football club. A visit to our friends’ house. A trip to Sainsbury’s. Etc. Etc.
The supermarket excursion even came with the added bonus of some snooty, oh-so middle class woman in her 60s (you know the type) giving me a death stare as I tried desperately to restrain Nathan in the car park without toppling over on my crutches. What is it about these idiots? I can only assume they’ve forgotten the difference between having small children and spending your day with nothing trickier to manage than working out what time you read the paper and deciding whether to have a coffee after lunch.
Anyway, it all meant that by the end of the weekend, I was done in. And, more importantly, so was my wife. While I was busy being next to useless, she was running around like a maniac trying to pick up the slack. And therein lies the real thing I’ve learnt these past few days.
As a parent, being injured, ill or incapacitated is still highly annoying for oneself. But nowadays, the inconvenience is doubled for your partner, in mine and Laura’s case sending our carefully designed shared parenting machine into system failure. Although, thankfully, we are at least lucky enough to have each other to fall back on.
So, when Monday evening arrived with the kids in bed and the house as tidy as it gets these days, Laura quite rightly set off for a well-earned break. Meanwhile, I finally settled down with my foot raised and iced. Just in time to watch England lose to Iceland. Iceland, for God’s sake.
I think I might still be angry.