I work long shifts, so some days I only get to see the girls for an hour or so in the morning and then they’re mostly in bed by the time I get home. I say mostly as Dot is usually still up. Other days, I leave before they are awake and get back just before bedtime. The flip side of this I that I get lots of days off during the week when other daddies are at work.
My favourite kind of days are when I’m off, the girls aren’t at playgroup, or any other group and we can have a leisurely day at home, playing with toys and generally doing as we please. We call them family days. Most of the time these family days are a picture of family bliss. We play lego, build dens, draw pictures, go to the park etc. Sometimes though me being off work can be a bit of a novelty, especially when we are all together for the whole day, with no playgroup. My wife says my presence is disruptive. It’s not deliberate, but she has a point. The girls are extra cheeky, extra wild. It’s like they know when there is another parent around they can push the boundaries a bit more. When my wife is at home with all 3 girls, they are more compliant. It’s like they know she’s up against it looking after all three of them, so they go easy on her.
Our girls are good girls, they play beautifully together, say the sweetest things and show us and each other so much love. But sometimes they are less sweet and obviously as a parent you have to do your best to explain what is ok and what is not. It’s at these times you hear yourself saying the oddest things. One morning I wrote down some of the things I heard myself saying to our girls, it went a little something like this:
Take your foot off your sisters head.
Please don’t scratch your sister with a pig.
Please stop tickling me with your cold little foot.
*Delivers lovely hot peanut buttered toast. Nobody even looks up.* Thank you Daddy!
Why are you crying? Her toast is exactly the same as your toast!
We have lovely chairs just here and you are sat on a toy suitcase and you’re sat on a candle holder.
Please don’t spit on the windows.
“She’s gone to get a pen to draw on things. I can’t stop her Daddy.”
No one can honey.
What has happen to that orange, it looks like it has exploded?
I’ve asked you not to spit on the windows.
Why is everyone poking spoons down the radiator?
Poking spoons down the radiator is not a game!
Oh I see, there is a game stuck down the back of the radiator. Why?
Why are you calling me Oli?
It’s like you don’t know there is another option, other than your sleeve, for wiping your nose.
Please just eat your own cucumber.
Nobody said you had to spit out the stolen cucumber.
Our girls are fiercely independent. Well Boo and Tibs are. Dot is usually physically attached to my wife, even at nighttime. She holds on to her top or hair, just so she can’t be put back in her own bed after a feed. Anyway I digress. My point is that our girls know their own minds, and if that means they are a bit cheeky and don’t always listen, that’s that’s fine by me."