Whenever The Husband manages to tear himself away from the business of wheeling and dealing, he likes to do jobs in the garden. This often includes leaving shears within reach of The Toddler who is going through his Freddy Kruger phase and the current favourite of building a fire to burn rubbish. Jobs in the garden have a HUGE impact on my weekend stress levels. The Husband says that I am too much of a worrier and really he has enough experience of cremating leaves within a centimetre of young children to know what he is doing. He is always telling me to BACK OFF because I sound like a broken record which definitely isn't Shiny Happy People but more like Moany Naggy People.
The children LOVE it when The Husband has a garden fire. They have a built-in ability to know that it really winds me up and they think it's hilarious when the score is DAD 1 : Mum 0 especially when it's Dad's fire versus Mum's homework. The Husband believes that Nature is free, fun and better than any teacher (although he draws the line at camping - so do I, you can't be this glamorous and a camper). The Husband likes basic things that entertain the children and can't understand why I think they would rather be in Starbucks.
Anyway, this particular day not so long ago, The Husband decided to set alight the landfill site full of compost which is the bottom of our garden. He made sure that the children stayed as close as possible by giving them sticks to poke at the flames. I was not convinced by the laughter and squeals of delight because all I could think was 'well that's another bloody load of clothes to wash and it's all very well for Fun Dad because he doesn't even know where the soap powder is kept'. After about 45 minutes of joviality, The Husband sent a smoke signal that he was taking them to the park and yes, before you ask, the fire is out. Seizing the opportunity for some rare Peace & Quiet, I snuck into bed with a magazine. Well I must have dozed off because some moments later I came round to shouts of "Helllloooo!!!! Anybody Home????" and a strange crackling sound. I ran downstairs to be met by the next-door builders and what can only be described as The Great Fire Of Garden. There were flames shooting up the trees and smoke bellowing into the sky. And I am not exaggerating - it was mayhem. The builders started shovelling soil onto the flames as I frantically phoned The Husband: "You better get home now, the garden is on fire!". And I can just picture him turning round to the kids and saying "Oh Neurotic Mummy needs Fun Daddy home, there's a match that needs blowing out".
Well you should have seen the look on his face when he arrived back and saw the damage caused by the now extinguished fire. It was a cross between realising that I had been telling the truth and bloody hell I am gonna get it for sure this time.
And also a little disappointment that the children hadn't been within inches of the blaze to teach them about nature at its best.