RICHARD ORD: Where there's a Will, there’s a way... to happily annoy your kids!

"Quick, hide behind this tree. Your dad will never find you here...""Quick, hide behind this tree. Your dad will never find you here..."
"Quick, hide behind this tree. Your dad will never find you here..."
Son Number One breezed through the front door and, as is his wont, headed straight for the fridge.

I didn’t see him open the fridge door, but I did hear the groan of disappointment.

‘What’s the problem?’ I shouted in his general direction. ‘What were you expecting to find in my fridge? Two Big Macs and a large caramel latte?’

‘Nothing,’ he laughed. ‘I just wanted to annoy you.’

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Fair enough, I suppose. Having spent the majority of his formative years trying, and usually succeeding, in annoying him and his brother, I guess it’s payback time.

Public embarrassment was my forte. I can remember grabbing a big box of toilet paper in a packed supermarket and shouting across at my mortified teenager ‘Is this soft enough for your bottom problem?’ Man’s gotta have a hobby.

No surprise then that my eldest has inherited the annoyance gene.

He started his early this week. A text arrived from him asking if I was home, which is subtext for ‘I’m on my way round.’

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I texted back: ‘I’m jumping in the shower, so won’t be answering the door for 10 minutes.’

As I stepped out of the shower, I could hear a determined banging at the door. Who could it be? The urgent rapping sounded important. I raced to the door, sopping wet, with a towel wrapped around my midriff. It was Son One. ‘Didn’t you get my message?’ I said.

He smiled: ‘Yep. That was 12 minutes ago.’

He wants to enjoy it while it lasts. I’ve got a boatload of misery planned. If he wants any inheritance, he’s going to have to jump through hoops to get his mitts on it. While most people worry about their final years of infirmity, I’m quite looking forward to them. No sooner will our boy have wheeled me in front of the care home TV, than I’ll be demanding he wheel me out again so I can see my old haunts for one last time. But only if it’s raining, of course. I’ve already ordered myself an over-large ear trumpet. Even if my hearing’s perfect in old age, I’m going to enjoy haranguing my boys in public in as loud a voice as I can muster. And I’ve let them know it. I spent years wiping their backsides, they can return the favour in my latter years.

Don’t know if it’s linked, but my eldest has already planned his next move after university. He’s heading to Australia! Funny that…

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