But no, as it turns out I hadn't quite covered everything as I discovered when my children fought over a mooring ring. Yep, that's right. A piece of metal embedded in a piece of concrete. For those of you yet to encounter the child-entertaining qualities of one of these things, here it is:
|I wonder if Argos sells these.....|
I managed to take the picture in the brief moment when both pairs of hands were not clutched around it, knuckles white, palms gradually taking on the scent of rusted metal and batteries thanks to the heat generated by their basic desire for this most vital part of being a brother or sister: being the one that wins.
As there is no way to 'share' a mooring ring, they settled for pushing, shoving, shouting and all while being close to the canal. They were supposed to be watching 'crafty rafters' being cheered across a finish line, not fighting to the near death over something that is designed in the interest of safety. I decided that if they were going to fight, they could do it somewhere they'd be less likely to drown.
Resigned to having to move, but still trying to get the last touch on this most precious ring, they took it in turns to shout "I HATE YOU!". To each other, about each other, and within earshot of other people. It was exasperating, upsetting, tiring, and more than a little embarrassing. And then I remembered that it passes and that one of the best things about children (when they're not shouting so loudly that it makes you want to pretend they're not your children), is that they don't bear a grudge and that they don't really mean it, even if they do feel it in the heat of the moment. Within ten minutes they were friends again, making each other laugh and being kind to one another. The moment had passed, the dust had settled and peace was restored. The mooring ring was released from their grip, the battle for supremacy already becoming a memory and as we made our way home all sibling smiles, I allowed myself an indulgent look at my now happy children and made a silent vow to never, ever go on a canal holiday.
Soundtrack: Caught Out There - Kelis