The house is sleeping and you try not to walk on any of the squeaking boards you know will wake the baby. So dodging those land mines, you take log steps in a lone game of hopscotch.
Hopefully you’ve packed the car the night before or it will be cat burglar style moving tubs of decorations into the boot. You head off into the first rays of the morning light. For the last few weeks you’ve been staking out the prime position of the local park. It’s near enough to the playground so that kids can wander away, but parents don’t have to constantly chase them down. The BBQ needs to be claimed early otherwise everyone is going to be surviving on rations of tiny sandwiches. The pressure mounts as you cruise along, has someone been watching the same spot as you? Will this be a land grab where all bets are off? Better stretch your neck muscles just in case.
Pull into the parking lot and you see its all clear. It’s yours! Or is it? The paranoia sweeps in and you have to take in the consideration that there could be a mirror image Dad on the other side of the park just pulling up too. You need to get there first and put your metaphorical flag in your territory. With both arms filled with multi-packs of chips you take off like Jonah Lomu who just saw a gap in defence. In a slow motion dive you skid into the rough boundary of ‘your area’ throwing down what ever you can to make sure all the other males in your area will need to engage in a glare-off if they come too close.
You’ve made it. You have your land. You are the king. Now all you have to do is trudge back and forth to the car unloading chairs, tables and an absurd amount of decorations.
But it’s OK, you have plenty of time to think about how to do it better next year. The party doesn’t start for four more hours.
Actually, next year just do it at McDonalds.