Boy Wonder: ‘Daddy, I’ve got brown eyes.’
Me: ‘That’s right.’
BW: ‘And you’ve got brown eyes.’
Me: I have, that’s right. We’ve both got brown eyes.’
BW: ‘My baby sister has got blue eyes.’
Me: ‘She has, lovely blue eyes.’
BW: ‘And my Mummy has got blue eyes as well.’
Me: ‘She does, well spotted.’
BW: ‘Baby sister doesn’t have brown eyes like Daddy. I’ve got brown eyes like Daddy.’
‘In my running prime three years ago. You should see me now.’
This morning, I began trying to win the parenting fitness race once again. I competed in my first 10km road race for two years. Last time, the father of just the one child, I was still fairly fit and managed to claim a personal best of 50 minutes in the Abbey Dash from Leeds city centre out to Kirkstall Abbey and back again. This time, I was six whole minutes slower but it feels like much more of an achievement.
The results are in. We started a little late in the spring but the unseasonal warm weather this past month means the big competition has lasted much longer than any of us dared dream.
And so, the result of the inaugural sunflower growing contest is
– Daddyfool: 120cm
– Boy Wonder: 145cm
So, a dismal defeat for me. I could be churlish and point out that Percy Thrower Jr was initially advised by the Duchess, who sports qualifications in horticulture and floristry. I could also point out that while my sunflower was a little shy of the clouds, it was 13cm in diameter as opposed to his meagre 10cm. But then I’d be more than a little biased extolling the virtues of shorter and squatter over taller and slimmer.
The fact is, Boy Wonder was out there every day over the summer, watering not only his own flower but also mine. I knocked his first pot over by accident but rather than accusing me of sabotage, he simply picked up the soil, added more stones and rebuilt it. Setting me an example.
So this year, he’s the blooming flower and I’m the drooping plant. But next year we’re back on. And I’ll be inviting Little Buddha into the contest. It’ll be good to involve her in our green endeavours and, if the form book proves right, I can say I finished runner-up rather than last.
Just before last Christmas, we took Boy Wonder to a wedding in London. The Duchess was only six weeks shy of giving birth to Little Buddha, so I looked after our son for most of the day.
Who’s the hardest working parent in our house? Until recently, it depended on whether you asked the Duchess or my good self.
Little Buddha celebrated her three-month birthday this week but she’s been well behaved for a good month or so. Before then, the stress of having a baby triggered lots of silly squabbles.