‘No Daddy I always have the pink spoon’ insisted daughter No1
Its 7am on a Thursday morning.
I am down to work from home. A day to clear all the half-finished jobs that have been bugging me for the past few weeks.
I hear High Command shout from next door – its hard enough sharing a bed at the best of times but when she is ’6-months with child’ her poor impression of a beached whale means I often escape to the spare room. Well between you, me and the gatepost I kick her out into the spare room….
‘Can you do the school run today I’m feeling dreadful’ I hear her call.
And that was my morning plans rewritten. I have to be honest my work commitments mean that I am up and out most mornings before the kids get up and if I get to do the school run it literally involves throwing No1 in the car and taking her to preschool (No2 starts pre-school in January but was at the Grandparents overnight so at least I only had one to contend with).
However this was going to be different – I had free reign to get them dressed in whatever I fancied, try to avoid resorting to the television and most importantly carte blanche on what goes into her lunchbox.
Oh the pressure!!!
But actually the whole experience was really, really special. You see I really do think I would love being a stay at home Dad. And it is one of my goals next year to begin to make this happen perhaps starting with condensing my hours and having say a Wednesday off to spend with the kids every other week. However there are a few obstacles to overcome namely the small matter of expecting our 3rd baby (another girl) in March next year.
Anyway back to the school run.
Everything was going to plan. Breakfast was eaten at the first attempt with no negotiating required – in fact No1 even asked for seconds which is unheard of. Then clothes were donned with no tantrums. I was making this look good.
And then I remembered I needed to do the lunch bag.
Now considering No1 has been going to pre-school for over a year I am lame to admit that I have never got the lunch ready (this is coming from a bloke that has climbed the highest mountains and dived to the deepest depths). Actually perhaps I am being a bit tough on myself as High Command is a big foodie and has always taken over when I have attempted to do it in the past.
And so the Lunch Bag Challenge began with intense scrutiny from No1 barking instructions as I went along:
‘Have you cut the crusts off Daddy?’
‘Yes, Mummy always puts a chocolate Penguin in my lunch bag’
‘No Daddy, I always have the pink spoon’
‘No Daddy, I have the yoghurt with the jelly in it’
‘Have you put a drink in? Yes I have Ribena’
‘No Daddy I want the red bag of crisps, actually no I want the blue bag….no no I’ll have the red bag’
To say I was glad to get in the car would have been an understatement (and upon later interrogation from High Command it turns out No1 only pulled a fast one on the chocolate bar)
And that’s when it dawned on me that I need to make time to do this more often. Opportunities to do this won’t last for ever as the kids grow up and I need to be more proactive in making these precious moments happen.
As we drove to pre-school No1 expertly changed the CD in the player to a new Disney disc that I had not heard before. It was another one of those velociraptor moment in Jurassic Park when they open the kitchen door and makes me think my kids are growing up far too quick)
‘I like this one Daddy it’s from Toy Story’.
‘We belong together’ sang the lyrics.
That we do poppet, that we do