Sunday, August 01, 2010

Telephone Conversation With My Much More Intelligent Daughter.

Five weeks ago

Her Mother:
Here.

Favourite Daughter:
[background]NO.

Her Mother: NOW. Here. TALK.

FD: [skipping the whole ‘seven years old’ thing and becoming ‘thirteen’]*sigh* ‘llo?

Me: Hello.

The above exchange is repeated five times.

Me: Are you just going to keep saying ‘hello’?

FD: What?

The above exchange is also repeated five times. Each time I hear her slight amusement heighten with my frustration.

I decide to raise my game. I have yet to receive a Father’s Day card – for reasons that have been sensibly explained to me by her mother – but I reckon if I bring this up I’ll crack her.

I know. 'Emotional manipulation'. I'm very proud of myself. To be honest I didn't have high hopes for its success anyway.

Me:
So I’ve been very sad. Do you know why?

FD: [almost audible shrug]

Me: What day was it last Sunday?

Silence.

I’m in trouble here. I’ve foolishly done this, will tar her with irrational guilt and will also incur the wrath of not only her future self but her right-now mother and - God – it was just meant to be a joke.

Favourite Daughter: We were really…. and we didn’t make one at school and there wasn’t time …

She sounds very ‘little’. I feel totally dreadful. This has back-fired.

Pause.

Faourite Daughter:
Daddy?

Something has changed in her voice. Almost imperceptible, something I like to think only her father would notice. I’ve a horrible feeling she’s about to be devastating without even trying.

Me: [Very suspicious] Yes?

FD: Well. You said ….[her voice takes the tone of ‘got you’ that she’ll employ with any slip-up that I or any man she’ll ever meet will make] you’d WRITE to ME first.

I think about the last goodbye I said to her and remember that I did promise this whilst trying not to let her see how sad I was feeling.

Me: Well, I…..

Fuck’s sake. I’ve been busy. Work. Writing stuff for sarcy websites. Christ. I’m shit aren’t I?

Silence. She does not chuckle.

Me: Well …. [It’s impossible to describe. We both know I’m dead in the water. And I can HEAR her satisfaction at the small victory even though SHE ALSO KNOWS SHE’S NOT ENTIRELY IN THE RIGHT. But that I’m just in the right side of wrong]

Me: Anyway. I love you.

FD: I know.

13 Comments:

Blogger punxxi said...

Ah, a Saucy Tart!

10:28 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Not the phrase I'd use myself but whatever.

8:58 am  
Blogger Alison Cross said...

I am standing on the river bank throwing flowers at your dead body as it floats past.

She sunk you good and proper.

It's not easy being a parent. They have the ability to poison dart you through the heart with a shrug of the shoulders.

Ali x

1:44 pm  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Writing to children is easier than it seems. They're usually just so happy to get a letter at all - a piece of mail not addressed to "Occupant", but to THEM - that you can pretty much say anything and they'll be thrilled.

She'll not be permanently bent from your teasing - very, very few are, and they're all over here being Republicans.

So get the hell off the intertubes and write the kid a letter, Dad!

*hugs*

5:22 pm  
Blogger Ellie said...

Pity the boys.

7:38 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Ali: True.

Sew: Already done. And I always worry about what to write - you've put that into perspective as well. Thanks.

Ellie: Oh don't worry. I do.

8:54 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Ah, daughters. They're everything and more. You can kid yourself you're in control but, as witnessed... nope.

Which is ok.

10:52 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Em: Agreed.

9:10 pm  
Anonymous Johnners said...

Mine rules our lives with a rod of iron. She's 3. I live in fascinated dread of the teenage years.

8:54 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

I dread them more than you. I shall be truly surplus by then.

7:16 pm  
Anonymous Johnners said...

Nope, we girls always need our dads. (Cultivate general DIY/plumbing skills though, just in case.)

4:12 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

I do hope you're right. Not about the DIY though.

8:28 pm  
Blogger Four Dinners said...

It's cool. She'll need about fifty quid off you for every night out in a few years - even if she is earning herself. I know whereof I speak.

9:06 pm  

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