My partner works nights, so most mornings. I am constantly telling the kids to be quiet. They are not even allowed to play Lego because it’s too noisy. But as soon as he wakes, he comes bounding down stairs like an all singing, all dancing children’s entertainer and all of a sudden it’s party-time.
I suspect it’s slightly immoral and highly deplorable to hope “Fun-Time” Daddy’s made up stories end up with a flimsy plot, cliche Fairy-Princess characterisation or ropey dialog. But annoyingly, he’s playing to an appreciative audience and even if he makes the HUGE mistake of speaking in the scary witch’s voice when he’s playing the part of the knight (the OBVIOUS hero of the story – Sooooo predictable!) he’ll be giggled at and corrected like a playful puppy.
Do THESE little people know WHO gave them the gift of life?!?! I’ve got the stretch marks, National Geographic style boobs and bladder weakness to prove it. Have I mentioned, I nearly DIED whilst delivering my youngest child? The doctors had eight minutes to cut him out of me before I bled to death. I have the shaky, panicked please-God-don’t-let-her-die-I’ve-not-even-paid-off-my-student-loans-yet-emergency-C-section-scar that looks like my stomach is suffering a stroke whilst smiling. My surgeon came to see me a few DAYS later – DAYS…..because I NEARLY DIED. To TELL me I NEARLY DIED – TWICE. And these kids look at me like an ogre who snuffs out those dancing flames of fun with her reminders like tidy your toys, get dressed, have a bath, no TV, stop drinking the bath water your brother may have peed in it! Apparently, that’s a good thing and lots of celebs drink pee. But I think it has to be your own urine and not someone else’s.
Daddy doesn’t DO routine so when I point at my watch and say no biscuits it’s tea time. Daddy looks shocked and says “Sorry kids, Mummy says we can’t have biscuits.” No! If novelty Daddy wants to be a responsible co-parent then it shouldn’t be just Mummy who goes round barking orders and raining on parades, it needs to be Daddy enforcing the routine too. But instead he whirls in like a mini-tornado getting the kids wired right before bed so that I end up screaming at them mid pillow-fight. I am left with the task of trying to get my red faced, sweaty, wide-eyed one year old to come down off his adrenaline fuelled high, so he can settle enough to sleep. During, his bed-time bottle, he tries to wriggle free from me, so he can race back for more excitement with Daddy. It makes me value the times my partner works late just for a well executed routine from start to finish.
During many of these high action play-times and despite my constant warning that “It will ONLY end in tears”. I am secretly pleased when the injured party comes crying to ME. Only mummy can kiss bumped heads or scraped knees better. Daddy gets sidelined entirely and any attempt to console is met with further screaming and protest of “I want my MUMMY!” Only Mummy can sing that out of tune rendition of Row Row Row Your Boat, only Mummy can soothe and shush the baby to sleep so easily, only Mummy knows the precise temperature to the nearest fraction of a Celsius for bedtime milk.
I am not a particularly house proud person, I am OK with a bit of untidiness and a little dust is a great reminder…not only of how rubbish you are at housework but also you can write To Do Lists in it and NOT do those either. But sometimes, I want to stop being the one who has to watch the time and remind everyone what needs to be done next. I want to throw caution to the wind and stay and play in my P.J’s.
But it’s not as simple as all that, nor does Daddy have it so easy. Daddy works HARD to provide for his family and he also works hard to provide fun memories for his children too. There are way too many Daddy’s who just aren’t a part of their children’s lives for some deeply tragic and some stupidly pathetic reasons.
I am aware that we are extremely lucky to even have a Daddy let alone one who’s just SO terrific. As much as I sound like I’m complaining it’s purely for entertainment for us mums who know the trivial annoyances that Daddy’s can bring to our carefully devised routines.
If you have a truly terrific Daddy let him know today.