My wife is away in Scotland to celebrate a friend’s birthday, I am at home with the kids, the phone is ringing, that will be her again – “just checking in”…….
She doesn’t often spend nights away (we are in a period of social martyrdom due to the ages of our children) let alone weekends, so being able to convince her that I am a capable and responsible adult is important. Which means a little “editing”.
Which means lying – a lot of lying………….
“What has she eaten today?”
Here I decide not to reveal the full catalogue of what my 1 year old daughter has consumed, which would be
Part of an apple she “found” at the park by the dog poo bin
A gingerbread man (which I gave her in exchange for aforementioned poo bin apple)
Some fuzzy felt
Instead I go with “She ate up all her organic porridge this morning!” which is totally true but tactfully omits her more exotic culinary misdemeanors.
“Okay well make sure she eats an apple before her nap – she likes apples”
At this point I don’t say “I know she likes apples! She was going to eat one covered in poodle shit earlier and at this very moment she is happily crawling around the kitchen totally naked with a Granny Smith shoved in her mouth like a pig at a tudor banquet!”.
Instead I go with “Apples you say? Okay I’ll try her with an apple. Hey hope you’re having a great time, don’t worry about us – WE”RE FINE!”
The next time she rings things have gone downhill a bit,
“She’s fine, she’s smiling at me right now – she looks happy”
“I forgot to say, don’t get the green playdough out, Jen will just eat it and it will go everywhere”
I keep my voice very very neutral and try to ignore the pieces of green playdough on the ceiling, my eyelid, the kitchen light and between my daughter’s teeth.
“Didn’t even realise we had green playdough?” I say
“You could always get the fuzzy felt out, she likes fuzzy felt”
Again I resist the temptation to shout “SHE HAD A FUZZY FELT BRUNCH!!” and instead say
“Hey hope you’re having a great time, DON’T WORRY ABOUT US – WE”RE FINE!”
“Thankyou” she says “You are a good father and clearly in control of everything. I can relax now and enjoy myself. Bye”
She hangs up just as a piece of playdough drops from the kitchen ceiling and lands near the poo my son did earlier.
To be honest I don’t feel like a good father, but I do feel like a great husband.