Taking Stock - November 12, 2012

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Fear is a funny old thing. I’d always presumed it was something we were all born with – a natural instinct which assists in the important business of self preservation.

That was, of course, because, up until recently I hadn’t spent much time looking after one-year-old twins.

Looking after is maybe the wrong way of describing it.

Peacekeeping is probably more accurate.

I could definitely do with one of those blue helmets you’d see the UN peacekeeprs in spots like Bosnia or Rwanda. For a start it might just distract them from hitting each other long enough for me to be able to make some toast.

They certainly don’t know the meaning of fear – a point proved to me when Twin A launched herself, WWE wrestler style, off the sofa onto Twin B.

There’s certainly no sign of any self preservation instinct when one or both of them, let out of the buggy for a stroll, run, giggling manically towards the nearest busy road or sheer drop.

Of course, being parents, and therefore grown ups, we’ve got enough fear to go around – a lot of it very much on the irrational side.

Take, for example, my rather bizarre fear of drive thru’s.

I just don’t like them and, unless bullied into it by My Good Wife, won’t go near them.

Another thing I’ve always been terrified of is rollercoasters.

A more common one, I’ll grant you, but still, completely without reason given that, until last year, I’d never been on one.

Thrill rides, I always thought, weren’t my thing.

I’d been on the end of the pier waltzers – and I’m sure there are people in Southport who could hear me screaming for the thing to stop.

I’d been on a log flume, at a well known California theme park – my experience somewhat tarnished when it broke down and I was forced to spend 45 minutes sitting next to an animatronic insect signing Zip-a-de-do- on continuous loop.

Heck, I’ve even stood on the loading ramp of an RAF Hercules several thousand feet above Blackpool Prom – something that is probably actually a little bit dangerous.

So, how did I overcome my irrational fear?

Well, in truth, I was conned.

My Good Wife, having spent much of the day making chicken noises behind my back, insisted the ride she wanted to go on was, in her words, gentle.

Sold on the fact it most definitely did not go upside-down, I gave in and stepped aboard.

Of course, she was lying but, I’ll admit, after the third or fourth loop, I wasn’t feeling that bad about the whole affair – on the plus side I wasn’t dead and no invertebrates had randomly burst into song. I couldn’t believe I’d made such a fuss.

If The Twins fear nothing at all and I’m afraid of everything up to and including my own shadow – where does all this business start?

I wish I could know because I’d hate my little ones to grow up to have the same silly fears as me.

Now, that really is something to be afraid of.