Yesterday my main problem was with the Shaker Makers. I hear what you say but, to be honest, looking after my Little Welsh Boys was a doddle compared with dealing with the Shaker Makers...
We didn't have Shaker Makers when my Foursome were littl'uns. We had rubbery red moulds into which you poured the runny cement, then left them to set before turning them out ready for painting. The
Shaker Makers are doubtless much more fun but only if you read the instructions properly.
The Shaker Makers in question were bequeathed me by the Youngest of the
Darling Daughters when Team Baldwin grew out of making models and moved onto less serious pursuits. I had forgotten all about them till they fell out of the cupboard in the guest bedroom when I was searching for Something Else Altogether. What fun! I thought
(stupidly). We had all the materials we needed to make both a Tardis and a Dalek apiece. What's not to like?
My trouble - or, should I say, one of my many problems
- is that I am always in too much of a hurry and consequently never read the instructions in full. It is generally a good idea to read the whole page of instructions, rather than rush headlong into Step One. Especially as, when you arrive at Step Four, you
come across an important piece of information concerning the timing of Steps One, Two and Three in relation to Steps Four and Five. I trust you are following me?
only that, but I somehow managed to get my tops and bottoms muddled up. This meant that I put far too much warm water into the bottom cup, rather than into the top cup. I should have known something was going on when I couldn't find a filling line. But, being
me, I just carried on blithely anyway, assuming that someone on a production line somewhere had forgotten to insert a fill to here line on our pots. By the time I realised my mistake, the boys had poured the powdered cement into the wrong pot.
After putting that small error right, we came across Problem Number Two which was that we couldn't get the two cups to fit together. According to the instructions, we would hear a
click when the locking mechanism was secure. Having tried and failed to be sure of this, we decided to take a risk and do a bit of Shaking and Making. Actually this is not quite fair as the Little a Welsh Boys took no part in the decision making. The mistake
was mine, all mine...
In my defence, I was sensible enough not to try any shaking indoors. We took to the back garden. Which was just as well because, oh, the
mess! The patio is covered in white cement, the garden table likewise. The Middle of the Darling Daughters, arriving with Young Faris to spend a day on the beach with us, comforts me with the thought that it will surely wash off.
At least I have provided my boys with an Object Lesson. Settling down at the table this morning to make robot puppets (as you do) Young James set out all the pieces of his robot and declared, wisely,
that he was going to plan everything out before he started. "It's best to plan!" he told me, seriously. He was too kind to mention our sad and sorry experience of the day before but we all knew what he was thinking about.
So, we are left with half a Dalek and a Shaker Maker so cemented up that I can't prise it apart. The boys are keen to try again, especially as I have bought special glow in the dark paint for our Daleks.
I will have a lie down in a darkened room while I consider my options...
On the bus into town to buy a Spiderman car seat so that I can transport Young James legally,
I happen to glance down at my trousers. Which is when I realise, for the first time, that they are generously splattered with Shaker Maker cement.
All in all, it hasn't been my Finest Hour...