The Greek God(zilla) went off to the World Cup in Russia earlier this year for work, but before he went he purchased a World Cup Panini sticker album to spark Zee’s interest in the tournament. Each page of the album represents a different country and you then take out a second mortgage to buy the stickers featuring every football player on a country’s team. Only, you don’t know who you are getting in each pack so quite often you end up with a lot of duplicates!
The Greek God(zilla) also promised to buy Zee 2-packs of stickers a day until the end of the World Cup… and then he jumped on a plane for 4-weeks and left me to manage our son’s sticker habit alone!
I can’t tell you how much I spent on stickers, but I tried to keep to the agreed arrangement with Zee while the Greek God(zilla) was away because, well, his dad was away.
At first, Zee would carefully open each pack and was excited to see which players were contained inside. He would carefully stick them into his album and every night before bed, we would look over each page to review the progress he was making on each team.
However, as his pile of doubles grew higher, 2-packs of stickers a day were no longer enough to satisfy this ritual and he started to demand 5, 6 or 10 packs at a time! As much as I wanted him to complete the book, there was absolutely no way I was going to just hand over that many stickers in one go… well, not without getting something back in return!
So, I started an incentive programme whereby Zee could earn additional stickers by doing things to help around the house.
Feed the cat? That’s another pack!
Go to bed when asked without giving me any attitude? Well done, have another!
When I tell you to stop doing something, put the iPad/cat/remote/ball/chocolate biscuit down immediately without rolling your eyes – 10 packs!! Although, he never actually managed to hit this jackpot.
Meanwhile, the stack of doubles turned into a box of doubles and we started to arrange sticker trading play dates with friends from school.
When the Greek God(zilla) returned from Russia, he was surprised to see how many stickers Zee still had left to collect, but remained determined to complete the book long after the tournament – and sadly, his son’s interest – was over.
He advertised locally for anyone who wanted to sticker swap and was inundated with replies from other Dads who were just as relentless in their pursuit of possessing a finished sticker album! He would disappear off into the night to meet Nacho, Ben’s Dad, or Warren123 and they would show their hands on the table and a deal would be made. A teacher at Zee’s school was also collecting “on behalf of his son” so we traded a few with him too.
The Greek God(zilla) started calling me during the working day to check the doubles, which I had now organised into numerical order, to confirm whether we had numbers 240 or 651. Sometimes, we would come home from school to find that an envelope of desired stickers had been posted through our door. We even had to stop on the way to the airport this summer to drop off a new stash to one of his regular suppliers.
Zee has long moved back on to Minecraft and we are still 97 stickers – and £££££ – down, but his dad is adamant he is not giving up until he has a full set! We are all hopeful that panini_hunter1972 will come through for him tonight and is not just another time waster after a grilled cheese and salami sandwich…