Dad’s Life: ‘Why would I want to do that?’

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TELEVISION is an increasingly divisive medium in our household.

Now that the boys have gone off Doctor Who, there is nothing the four of us watch together.

Thirteen-year-old Isaac loves practical programmes about how things work, or shows about surviving in a desert for a month with nothing more than a toothpick.

“Bear Grylls is my role model, imagine him as a dad,” he said, encouragingly, recently.

I thought he’d said that he liked bare grilling and had visions of naked barbecues, but perhaps that says more about me.

Anyway, Gabriel, 16, my wife and I are unmoved by such shows or by the hair-brained exploits of my younger son’s role model. Gabriel still prefers his comedy shows.

At the moment his favourites are American imports How I Met Your Mother and Two And A Half Men. And Frasier, of course, even though he’s seen them all several times.

He did, however, work his way through every episode of Dads’ Army throughout the summer, before moving on to my all-time favourite, Porridge.

None of us join Gabriel on the couch for his shows. Neither Isaac nor my wife enjoy them and I’ve seen the ones I want to.

Now my wife and I do, on occasions, watch the same things. We spent the last few weeks hooked on the re-run of The Killing. Gabriel’s view was that it was “boring, slow and not even in English.”

We were both also looking forward to the return of Downton Abbey on Sunday. Isaac did his best to ruin it: “You watched this lot poncing about last time, what do you want to do it again for?” he asked.

And while I’m addicted to whatever footy is being shown, the rest of my team aren’t even on the subs’ bench.

A recent request for company while watching Match of the Day elicited the following responses:

Gabriel: “I’m not interested dad.”

Isaac: “I’ll play, but I won’t watch.”

My wife “Why would I want to do that?”

Only seems like yesterday that the four of us would avidly watch every episode of Pingu – a cartoon in gibberish that was enjoyed as much by my wife and I as by my boys.

MY lads have noticed a change in the weather. Apparently the Monday-morning school run was littered with complaints of the cold.

Isaac asked his mother where his coat was, and assured her it will be worn this week. It won’t be. We go through this every year. Ever since we bought the coat with his school’s logo embroidered on it three years ago. It’s never been worn. Not even in last year’s deluge of snow.

You see, wearing a coat is not the done thing. None of his mates do, so he won’t wear his, no matter how far the temperature drops.

Gabriel, on the other hand, can’t wait to wear his coat. Actually, he can’t wait to wear my coat. Now a 6ft 2” sixth former, my lad has to wear a business suit to school. And therefore a suitable coat.

Hence one of my favourite articles of clothing – a lovely wool overcoat has disappeared from my wardrobe to appear in Gabriel’s.