Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

In which our reluctant hero faces a dilemma. 

It’s been a funny old week in which I have, yet again, done copious amounts of research and carefully considered all options before making a decision. A decision that I was very nervous about. On the face of it a simple decision. Should we stay in or head out? On the face of it, two simple options. Why is plumping for one so difficult?

As usual, I was not totally sure of the implications of either choice. In our house, we’re mostly comfortable with in. We have spent ages staying in and understand what we have and how everything works. Sort of. Out on the other hand is an unknown quantity. Sure, some of the positives may sound appealing on the face of it. But are they. Really?

And once we commit, that may be it. Stuck with it. No turning back. Which is OK if things turn out nice again, but a veritable nightmare if not.

Now, you’re probably thinking that I’ve gone off on one, forgotten about the “Dad Blog” and started banging on about the EU Referendum. I haven’t. You may also be thinking that I’ve missed an opportunity to segway another topical in or out decision into a post, what with it being National Breastfeeding Week and all. What do you take me for?! 

“So, what ARE you banging on about?” I hear those of you that haven’t clicked back to the relative safety of the Facebooks by now collectively sigh.

Leaving the house. With little people. Simples.

Let us explore the pros and cons…

Out – Pros

It’s a big wide world. There’s plenty of stuff to see and do. Something exciting may happen. You never know, it may even be fun. Better still, you may get half an hour of much needed peace if the little people fall asleep in the car. Yay!

In – Pros

There’s toys, jigsaws, musical instruments, and general making-a-mess-is-ok-if-it-kills-an-hour type stuff everywhere. There’s food in the fridge, and telly or wine/ gin/ toilet duck if things get desperate. It’s also a reasonably safe option as after years of preparation it’s childproof. Asides from, it seems, the freezer drawer door that was smashed by a one year old trying to get an ice-lolly earlier.

Out – Cons

We’re in Britain. It’s expensive. It’ll probably rain for ages and we’ll end up wet, skint and miserable forever. Plus you’ll most likely be mopping up sick within half an hour of a long journey.

In – Cons

YouTube kids.

It’s a tough decision in which the negatives certainly outweigh the positives on either side. The certain disaster and misery of heading out into nailed on floods, typhoons or passing horsemen that typify the early British summer, or listening to the high-pitched tinnitus inducing buzzsaw of American children commenting on themselves opening Kinder eggs or playing Play Doh. There’s no winners here. It’s not going to end well either way.

Of course, the negatives of staying in can be easily dealt with by invoking Article 50 of the Parenting Treaty i.e. hitting the tablet with a sledgehammer.

So, on days when you’ve got two little people to occupy on your own, what’s best? In my experience, going out with one is definitely easier than with two. One’s a doddle. Trust me.

I’ve had some strange looks in the past, particularly being a bloke, while trying to handle two. Football lessons, for example. If you’ve never tried it, a session trying to get a two year old (who has decided she doesn’t want to be there) to run and kick in the right direction, while preventing escaping, lying on the floor, dealing with loo breaks, hunger et al with a six month old strapped to your front is a sheer delight. Do it. Everyone will think that you’re either bonkers or a superhero.

Thankfully, it seems to be slightly easier now they’re both mobile and interacting more effectively, but even simple things like a trip to the park presents different challenges. Quite why the human male hasn’t evolved to develop eagle-eyes, just like Action Man in the seventies, is beyond me.

So, in or out? Hopefully you’ll have thought very carefully before committing. But if you do end up out, take reins.

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