My little monsters are at a wonderful age – Arun is three and a half and Meri is 18 months old. They are literally and metaphorically taking their first steps together into the big wide world. They are all the things that brother and sister should be: companions, comrades and competitors. They are growing up to be quite a combination. Got me thinking, which famous double acts do they most remind me of?
My favourite partnership of all time is Starsky and Hutch. Bay City PD’s finest broke up everything from drug cartels to prostitution rackets whilst being the best of friends and cocking two fingers at authority. Whilst I can recognise that Arun and Meri have the last bit down to a tee (respect for paternal authority is at best “transient” in my household), there is no way that the two of them can be described as crime-fighters. Criminals is closer to the truth. When Arun and Meri descend on a house they work it over better than the Lavender Hill Mob and the Krays put together.
We went round to see some friends this afternoon and after we left their house I think Kev was looking for the number for the Disasters and Emergency Committee to help clean up the carnage. Yep, the truth of the matter is that Arun and Meri are more like Bonnie and Clyde – a sweet talking gangster and his ruthless moll sounds more like it.
There have been some famous sporting double acts as well, working in perfect harmony to achieve great things. In football there was Keegan and Toshack: the big man would soften up the defence for the little man to nip in and score goals.
In cricket there was Warne and McGrath, both of whom would hold down an end and take wickets at the same time. In motorsport Michael Schumacher got all the glory but where would he have been without Rubens Barichello following team orders and paving the way for him?
However, my two monsters bear no resemblance to any of these greats. There is one sport and one double act that springs to mind. Yes, at the moment when they are together my two children remind me mostly of Ali and Foreman. The hype, animosity and sheer brutality of the Rumble in the Jungle bears no comparison when my little darlings are squabbling over the Winnie the Pooh musical laptop. It is more like cage-fighting than the Marquis of Queensbury rules.
What about the world of dance? To be honest, despite sitting through an occasional episode of Strictly, I have little expert knowledge here. However, both my little charmers can dance a bit. Meri is as cute as a button as she waggles her bottom to her favourite nursery rhymes. Arun does a mean impression of the front row of a mosh-pit when the Foo Fighters come on the stereo. Astaire and Rogers may not have much to worry about, but Meri and I are in training for a late surprise entry into Strictly. The only problem is that Arun and his Mum are likely to be our main competition.
However, I have to turn to the world of comedy to find the double act that most reminds me of my kids. You won’t be surprised to hear that it is not the intellectual fencing of Fry and Laurie that I have in mind here. Nor is it the comfortable companionship of Morecambe and Wise. It is not even the depressing depths of Hale and Pace. No, the double act that my children most remind me of is Laurel and Hardy. The combination of sheer idiocy and buffoonery mixed with a bit of pomposity and slapstick is what sums my little family up. The squabbling, the toddler clumsiness and relentless optimism remind of nothing more than Stan and Ollie in their prime.
Above everything else my kids make me laugh and to be honest I laugh at them as much as I laugh with them. Remember – being a Dad is supposed to be fun.