It was half term break last week. I wanted to find an activity that my lad and I could do together - you know - a little project that would bring us closer together...where we'd end the week surveying our handiwork whilst doing high fives and cracking open a couple of beers. (well okay, diet coke...he's 8)
I did some thinking. He's not really into much other than the Xbox, watching tv, playing some games on the PC...oh and I bought a copy of 'Space Hulk' off ebay some months back. He plays with the space marines, occasionally.
(By the way...to the uninitiated, Space Hulk is a classic boardgame; a very pacey dice-n-figurines simulation of the ol' bug-u-like aliens in dark scifi corridors experience.)
So I thought, maybe I can get him sucked into the Games Workshop habit. A trip down there later, and we had a squad of orcs, some more marines and a few paints. And he's off and running, doing a not-too-bad job of painting the little fellas up.
Come half term. I thought, 'I know...we could make a little battlefield together.' That was the plan. It would be me and him, embarking on a craft project together. Nothing too spectacular, just a sheet of plywood, some glue, some of that sprinkly-on grass stuff. After all I wasn't sure he would take to it, didn't want to spend too much, didn't want to frighten him off with too big a commitment.
That was the plan.
Thursday night...or should I say friday morning....3.30am to be precise - I've turned his bedroom into a workshop, I've spent about £100 on nerd-tools and supplies, and I'm knee deep in insulation foam granules, glue, paint, sprinkle-on-grass up to the elbows, paint smeared across my face; basically it's that scene in Close Encounters where Richard Dreyfuss's character is building a model of 'Devils Tower' in his sitting room. My lad's bailed out on me two days previous and I'm all alone, getting a little too obsessed with the fine details, wife's gone to bed, my lad's having to sleep in the spare bedroom, and I'm there (accompanied by the first chatterings of the dawn chorus birds)...cackling to myself, marching a little army of orcs up a hill towards a beautifully crafted defensive position manned by a Terminator squad of Imperial marines, armed with bolters and power swords.
I remember that. Then I remember being awoken just after 10am by the wife. I never did manage to make it to bed - there was a small puddle of sleep-drool amongst the polystyrene ruins in the corner of our.....what am I saying?...my battlefield.
Point is, the father-son project kind of went a little off-piste. I'm seeing the warning signs of all embracing nerd-dom, (like the time I bought the Federation costume for....ah, no forget that.)
But hey, it's finished. It's done. It looks good and I'm hoping my lad will get some fun out of it.
But it's not finished, is it? There's that bit in the corner could use a few more boulders...