Let me share a vision of Hell with you…
We’re driving through Scotland. Apparently we’re on holiday.
Three children on the back seat of a Megane Scenic. Jessica is at the height of her ‘Let’s keep Tom in line by biting him’ phase.
The only time they’re not fighting is when they’re eating. And when they’ve finished eating Ben throws up.
We’ve just discovered that he gets car sick.
The nearest chemist and travel sickness tablets are on the other side of a mountain range.
We don’t have a Satnav: so Jane and I are arguing. Still, at least it amuses the children…
But this, ladies and gentlemen, is only an outer circle of Hell. The one reserved for those overcome by lust: Helen of Troy, Paris – and couples who opened another bottle of red wine and let nature take its course…
And then my wife plunges me deep into the innermost circle of the inferno. Where I’m toasted on hot coals; where 1,000 goblins prick at my flesh – and where the karaoke machine only plays Abba.
God knows how it happened. Jane must have bought it when I was asleep. We have a tape of Mamma Mia in the car. “No, please,” I beg.
“It’s the only way they’ll stop fighting.”
“Anything but Abba. What about Talking Heads? They’ll like that.”
My wife doesn’t even bother to reply. And five seconds later the whole family (with one exception) is howling along to Dancing Queen…
I was reminded of that little visit from the Spanish Inquisition when a good pal of mine posted a picture of her stomach on Facebook.
You can’t see Frankie’s feet any more, so there can’t be long to go.
She must have reached the fed-up-to-the-back-teeth stage: any day now she’ll be riding her bike over some cobbles and ordering a vindaloo…
But Frankie has no idea what’s coming. Especially where music is concerned.
I sent her a helpful comment on Facebook, suggesting that she start acquainting herself with Row, Row, Row Your Boat and that timeless classic, One Finger, One Thumb, Keep Moving.
Ha, ha, she foolishly replied. Let’s just hope this baby likes Motown, Hall & Oates and an eclectic mix of singer-songwriters…
Oh dear. But there’s nothing us old lags can do to help. She’ll have to learn by experience.
Hall and Oates? So right now she’ll be happily packing her ready-for-hospital bag, cheerfully singing Kiss on my List.
Yep, my children were going to like Eric Clapton. ‘Put Layla on again, Dad’ they’d say as we trundled cheerfully through the Trossachs.
Disagreements? Only a spirited discussion on whether Talking Heads reached their peak with Psycho Killer or Take Me To The River.
Kiss on my List? Enjoy it while you can, Frankie. Soon it’ll be just a distant memory. Replaced by Wheels On The Bus. With all the actions, obviously.
And all that’s before your child is old enough to watch a film.
Pass the Prozac, I’ve just remembered. Jessica went through a stage of being hooked on the Littlefoot films. The Land Before Time – or in my case, The Land Before Sanity.
I could go a week with Friends For Dinner stuck in in my head.
Now the NHS is prioritising mental health it’s almost certainly a treatable condition.
So it’s probably a good idea if Frankie starts learning the soundtrack to Frozen.
It’ll be the first question the health visitor asks. And obviously I’ll have to send her a present when the baby is born.
Let’s hope she’s got a DVD player.
I’m sure Jessica would want her Land Before Time collection to go to a good home…