When I’m at work, my phone never leaves my side. The tech-savvy teenagers would discover my Twitter and Tumblr in seconds. The protectiveness I exhibit arouses a curiosity in them.
I sit on the sofa watching Waterloo Road with the thirteen-year-old. In a rare display of carelessness, I place the phone on my lap and rest my hands in my jean pockets. The boy seizes his moment – he snatches the handset and flees. I leap up nimbly and give chase down the hall. He is heading for the bathroom, in which he could lock himself, but I am confident of catching him before he reaches his destination.
I close the gap quickly, but my attempt to take a corner with speed ends disastrously. My socks slide along the varnished floor, my balance is lost and I crash to the ground. The bathroom door closes and the lock slides shut. Shit.
“Open the door”, I shout, bashing my fists against the door.
“No”, barks the thirteen-year-old, gasping for air.
“Open the door, now.”
“No. What’s on here that you don’t want me to see?”
“Nothing. It’s just private. Open the bloody door.”
“You’ve got five seconds and I’m kicking the door in.”
“You wouldn’t do that.”
“Ohhh, interesting texts”, he says.
“Ohhh you have Twitter.”
I don’t even reach ‘two’. I take three steps back, perform a mini run-up and smash my foot into the door. It swings violently open. The lock and its screws dance on the marble floor, tapping out a contrapuntally jolly melody. Splinters fly in all directions. The thirteen-year-old screams.
I stand tall as a tree, chest puffed out, thighs like barrels and feet like bullets. I glare at the teenager, cowering in the corner. He gawps, terrified, throws me the phone and says:
“I was only teasing. Your phone’s so crap I couldn’t figure out how to unlock it. You’ve fucked up that door.”
The Male Nanny