You know what they say about dads and daughters? How a little girl can wrap her Daddy round her little finger? Well, I’d heard about it, but I never really believed it. Until my own daughter’s beautiful relationship with her Daddy.
I’m pleased to say my girl adores me as much as I adore her. I am always the one she calls for first thing in the morning (and in the middle of the night!), but there is something very special about Daddy for her.
She is sad if he’s gone to work before she gets up, she phones him if he’s late coming home and she sprints to the door for a hug the second he gets in. The sight of Daddy, the sound of his voice, even the mention or the thought of him lights up her whole face.
Their relationship is all about the two of them. They like to do things together, without the rest of us.
Remember The Car? Well, it’s well on the way to completion. No prizes for guessing who the first passenger will be. Not me and not the boys. Daddy is going to buy her a cap for her birthday to keep her hair from blowing in her face, especially for when she’s in The Car. And its first stop will be a coffee shop.
You might be forgiven for thinking my family’s weekends are all about sport. They are actually also about coffee shops. My husband likes coffee. My daughter likes coffee shops. And being with Daddy. And the inevitable biscuits and pieces of toast that come with being with Daddy in a coffee shop. For as long as I can remember, they have gone to a coffee shop first thing on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
On Saturdays, this falls somewhere between my run and my husband arriving at the football pitch to set up the goals for under 8s football training. What can’t happen is for my run to go on too long and for him to be forced to take the boys to the coffee shop with him. On Sundays, the coffee shop doesn’t open until 10 which, coincidentally, is the time rugby starts. So they drop me and the boys off at the rugby pitch and they disappear to the coffee shop. For nearly an hour.
It’s a simple pleasure I wouldn’t deny them. Otherwise, the weekends really would be all about the boys and their sport, and they would be the only ones getting to spend time with my husband. Albeit with a lot of other boys too. It has the added advantage of reducing the amount of time my girl stands bored and freezing on the touchline.
On Tuesdays, when I’m at my dance class, my husband is forced to put the kids to bed. This should involve reading stories. But he’s found a way around this. As a ‘treat’ they get to watch the first half of whatever football match is on the telly and he gets out of reading to them.
My daughter loves this. So much so that she asks every night ‘Is there football on today?’ It is a chance for her to sit snuggled up with her Daddy. Daddies watch telly differently from Mummies. The only programmes I watch with her are TV talent shows, but I don’t sit still. I am multi-tasking, up in every ad break sorting out drinks, vitamins or toothbrushes. Daddy just sits there. And he is comfy and warm.
She likes ‘real-life’ football too. Daddy has just gone into the ballot for some Man Utd tickets. When he told my daughter she said ‘Just me?’ On being told the boys would be going too, she decided she wasn’t so keen on going after all.
Going to the supermarket the other day, she asked if she could sit in the trolley. Sit in the trolley?! She’s not a baby. It’s been well over two years since I last let her sit in the trolley. And I told her so.
“Daddy lets me. He spoils me and I love it!” and she smiled that beautiful gappy smile of hers.
It’s not surprising Daddy spoils her. And it’s not surprising she adores him so much.