Monday, June 02, 2014

'Old Man'

I admit that I do sit the kids in front of Youtube music videos when the fatigue of mammyhood gets the better of me. Favourites include the ubiquitous ‘Gangnam Style’ and of course, anything by One Direction. For balance, the girls have been exposed to more authentic music in my car (on cassette). This collection includes the album ‘Harvest’ by Neil Young. I realised that this policy was paying dividends when Casta burst into song at the dinner table last night:

‘Old Man, look at my life. I’m a lot like you were….’

This wasn’t directed exclusively at me.

Being a stay at home Dad brings with it many responsibilities – among them the need to equip my daughters with the tools to entertain and amuse those around them. I take this responsibility very seriously and want to develop in them the modern equivalent of what Jane Austen might have called ‘accomplishments’. Singing prowess – as above – and a range of ‘party tricks’.

‘What about this one Dad?’

‘Not bad Casta – not bad at all, for a first try.’

I then looked at Aurora and could see that she was really focussed. This I could tell because her tongue was poking out between her lips as she concentrated – an endearing trait she inherited from her mother. Aurora enjoys any creative pursuit and never misses her after school Art Club – although I suspect that the parent-tutor who runs her group has a stockpile of felt that she is working her way through: felt monster for Halloween, felt elf for Christmas, felt heart for Valentine’s Day, and so on….

My paper-folding workshop required no felt – just some paper currency.

I moved beside Aurora on the sofa.

‘That’s not bad, but just one more fold here and BINGO! You now have your first party trick or ‘accomplishment’ – how to fold a ten pound note in such a way as to create a superb pair of buttocks out of the queen’s jawline.’

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