There was a time, not that long ago, when I was at the centre of the kids universe. Their worlds revolved around me. My attendance at their every breath mandatory.
Maybe it was because I was the stay-at-home parent. Maybe my mid-life girth held their orbit. Either way I was involved in everything they did.
They’d fight over ownership of my knee or duvet. A trip to the toilet was never a solitary pursuit. “DADDY!” echoed long after they’d left the house.
And even as their independence grew I was still needed. They’d play together so long as I played too. They still wanted me to sit in their bedroom until they’d fallen asleep. Even when they could wipe their own backsides I was still expected to wait for them on the landing.
I was their middle-man and mentor. Witness and point-scorer. Arbiter and get-the-last-bit-out-of-the-yoghurt-er.
Sometimes it was frustrating. Sometimes I wished for nothing more than five minutes peace. Sometimes I watched their ‘watch this daddy’ antics purely because I’d be damned if after so many years I missed the one occasion they did something that was actually worth watching! (That wait still goes on).
But recently things have changed. They’ve become best friends. They often don’t *gulp* need me!?
And I can’t believe I’m saying this but …. I miss it.
Their conversations are passing me by and they now make each other laugh more than I do. I’m becoming little more than a drunken clown jumping around in the background desperate for some attention god damn it!
Last week Sonny had to draw a picture at school of his family. He told me he’d labelled them as ‘mum, little brother and bearded man’. BEARDED MAN?
I still don’t know if he’s winding me up? Judging by the way his teacher sniggered when I picked him up, possibly not. Either way both he and Luca found this hilarious.
Luca recently hid a whoopee cushion under my pillow. He didn’t tell me. He didn’t need to see me lie on it. The joke was for his and Sonny’s benefit alone.
I’m no longer in on the jokes, I’m the butt of them.
But selfishness aside it’s wonderful watching them grow up and develop their own personalities. Building a sibling bond and loving each others company.
And just because I’m slowly being sidelined it won’t stop me postponing the inevitable.
So I’ve moved the fruit and snacks up a shelf. Lets see if they can reach them now without asking for my help.
I’ve bought some games for an age group way beyond their pitiful years. Good luck getting to grips with those rules. Good luck finding the rules (I’ve hidden them, I’m not proud).
I’ve bought them shoes with laces, and when they’re not looking I’m going to take the stabilisers off their bikes.
This battle is far from over.
And if all this fails I’ll resort to the lowest common denominator. Flicking bogeys and farting. Well, if you can’t beat them …