Oh Frig, I’m a month from 51! I wasted the whole of being 50 talking about what it’s like to be 50. Oh the bitter irony.
My daughter loves her mum the best and rightly so and was a bit clingy all morning and annoyed with me if I tried to play with her, but by the afternoon she’d forgotten the reason for her sulk and we had loads of fun in the swimming pool and then decided to go down to the beach together. On the way down I accidentally hit her in the head with the latch of the gate and she wanted to go back to her mummy. I managed to persuade her to come to the beach saying I’d buy her a Smarties ice cream. And that was enough to make her relent and stop crying. So it’s good to know that as much as she loves her mum, she love ice cream more. Just like her dad.
We had fun, but it was a bit breezy down on the beach. “The wind’s picking up,” my daughter said and she thought it was time to get back. I am not sure where she’d picked up this phrase, but she used it all the way back to the pool. I told her what fun I’d had with our daddy/daughter afternoon and told her, as I tell her too much that I loved her, even though I knew she liked to say she didn’t love me. Because it was just the two of us she said, “Daddy, I love you a tiny bit” and then corrected herself to say, “Daddy, I love you a big bit.” Even though we all know that children are incapable of love or understanding what it was, I was still delighted as I would be at the death of any of Peter Baynham’s relatives. The rewards of fatherhood don’t come very often, but when they do they fill the tank for another month or two of Hell.
I am, as always, joking. Getting to hang around with my kids is just the best thing in the world. Except maybe when Ernie is refusing to go to sleep at night and deciding it’s more fun to punch me in the face. Even then though. When I finally succeed in getting him to sleep. The journey is tough so the rewards are all the more fulfilling.
It was Ernie’s naming ceremony today - an unofficial and humanist chance to eat some cake and drink champagne with our families. I did an impromptu speech in which I nearly got my son’s name wrong. Which is why we should trust the church for these things. We’d given Phoebe an Elsa dress as a present so she didn’t feel left out and of course the whole focus of the gathering became her. She is her father’s daughter. I dress up like an ice princess at all social gatherings too. And that’s why I got thrown out of my grandma’s funeral.
The younger members of the entourage went out on the town, but being parents means the end of fun or at least being under house arrest for 18 years and I made some pasta and we drank a bit more champagne as our thuggish son, confused by the loss of his home routine and alert and awake wreaked havoc until I finally cajoled him to sleep in my arms.
We were by then too tired to do anything but go to bed. But to be fair, all I want from a holiday nowadays is the excuse to sleep for as long as possible.