Somebody I met at a networking event the other day gave me his observation of what it meant to be a father: “At work I am respected by my colleagues, I have control of my day and people listen to me when I speak.... at home I am often powerless to control matters and mostly the children simply don’t listen!”. This successful entrepreneur and Managing Director had a look of confusion as he delivered the words. It was easy to tell that he found this situation very puzzling, yet at the same time he had completely accepted the two worlds he now lived in.
(The England Family. From Left to right: Freya, Pia, Alice, Max & David.)
My children are relatively young – Freya 8, Alice 7 and Max 5 – so it is too early for me to accept defeat, although I fully understand his predicament. In simple terms I am outnumbered, and it is surely only a matter of time before I succumb! As they grow older I expect to willingly except this fate and enjoy all its nuances on the way.
At the moment all three are still small enough to know that Daddy is in charge (providing Mummy is not around of course). They are absorbing the meaning of life from listening to adults who forget they are in the room, happily copying the older delinquent children at school, and hearing “bad things” on the radio. This information overload forms a lovely cocktail of questions and assertive statements.
“Daddy, your arms are hairy because you used to be a gorilla”
“Daddy, do people believe that God made Adam and Eve from dust?”
“Don’t worry Daddy, if you need some money the bank will give you some”
“Daddy, maybe you will be as clever as Grandpa when you are older”
Last Easter the family gathered in the kitchen for lunch. My children had painstakingly created table decorations to mark the occasion. This is when Max gleefully delivered my favourite line of the year so far:
“Mummy, these three little chickens are Freya, me and Alice... and this fat bird in the middle is you!”
It is the simple things that make being a dad so wonderful. The humorous conversation, endless questions which you struggle to answer, talking to them on the phone, talking to them in “snail language”, telling “little boy stories” from your own childhood, learning to ride a bike, the superhereos, crazy dancing, terrible singing, fancy dress, inappropriate makeup, lost keys, broken doors, car art, water bombs, snow balls, Friday sweets, rabbits, buggies, pet lambs, dog in drag, pony riding, swimming lessons, death by violin and lovely Lego strewn across the floor like an endless unavoidable minefield!
I know I must suck it all in and treasure these moments. I have been advised by higher authority that little children only create little problems... and that bigger children create bigger problems... bring it on!
Happy Father’s Day!
P.S. Have you got your Fathers Day gift organsised yet, if not head over to www.highlandfayre.co.uk to see our range of Fathers Day Hampers.
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