Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pact - Redux.

I'm about to have a telephone conversation with Favourite Daughter.

Previously, my eight-year-old daughter had managed to get me to promise never to take a girlfriend – under tenuous conditions, but I was happy enough with the deal.

But she’s upping her game.

Their Mother:
[Teasing my daughter] Come to the phone! Daddy wants to tell you about his new girlfriend!

Favourite Daughter: [Background, clearly apalled] Noooooooo!

Me: That's not funny. Just put her on.

FD: 'Lo?

Hello sweetheart. Mummy's just being silly.

I decide to reassure her. I know what all this is about. She's worried that one day she won't be my favourite.

I'm brilliant at this, me.

Me: Mummy's joking. And I don't have a girlfriend right now. I'll only ever love you best in the world anyway. So don't worry.

Genius. I’m great at this, me.

FD: But what about Mummy?

A lesser man would feel the ground begin to open, but not me. I'm fully prepared for this.

I don't think Mummy really WANTS a girlfriend. Not REALLY.

Brilliant. I'm a genius, me. Did you see what I did?

FD: [Laughing] Nooo! But do you love Mummy?

I had this covered about two years ago. I’ve been waiting for it. I know the answer to this one. God, I'm awesome.

Me: Of course. Mummy gave me you and Favourite Son. I'll always love her for that.

Brilliant answer. I rock.

[Quitely satisfied and oddly triumphant] Good.

After some moments our telephone conversation is concluded. And I think for a bit.

Forget the 'ground opening'. This is like that awful disaster movie 'The Core' when the pigeons all go screwy, the Northern Lights go bonkers, Rome and San Francisco explode (oddly nowhere else), the earth's crust starts revolving the wrong way and all electrical things go 'bang' and ,like, earthquakes start happening and that.

Her concern isn’t about my ongoing love for her at all.

I begin mentally constructing a craft that can drill to the earth’s core with Hilary Swank and detonate nuclear devices to get everything moving in the right way again. Metaphorically.

It’s about me and her mother. And she’s just got me to say something I can never really back up.

She is, of course, a genius.


Blogger Ellie said...

She gets her genes from somewhere. ;-)

10:02 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

I'll admit to some of it, but the majority of this is her mother. Nonetheless impressive.

10:15 pm  
Anonymous Johnners said...

See, remarkable.

10:44 pm  
Blogger Z said...

Even now, my daughter is still really happy if she sees me give her father a kiss. And she's 36.

11:17 pm  
Blogger punxxi said...

I divorced my kids father once, but it didn't take.

2:32 am  
Anonymous Rumpelstiltskin said...

Time to start teaching her about different kinds of love, me thinks... The love for a partner, the love for a child, the love for a long-standing friend, the love for the woman that took everything you had and hung you out to dry!

9:40 am  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Rump up there is right. "Yes, I'll always love your mom for being your mom - but we found out long ago that we really cannot live together in the same house as family. That's ok, though. We both love you lots, and even if one of us gets married again to someone else, we will still love you best!"

It's the best you can do. Also, look into whether there is a group called "Rainbows for all Kids" or something similar in the UK. Support group for kids from divorced families. Lets them know they're not alone and not odd. They have groups for all ages of kids. Helped mine enormously when she was about FD's age.

3:37 pm  
Blogger TwistedScottishBastard said...

This is getting scary.
I want a happy ending.
Tell me there will be a happy ending; with or without nuclear devices.

8:38 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

It's reassurance that she'll probably always want, girlfriend or not.
Hilary Swank? Interesting...

9:10 pm  
Anonymous looby said...

I don't see what you're worried about. You've given a pretty conditional declaration of love there, thanking your ex for the children.

Me and Kirsty (my ex) and the children go through this every few weeks on the phone. Up to know we;ve been following something like Sewmouse's (excellent) script above, but the thing new man of hers seems to be getting a bit serious so I can foresee us having to put quite a lot of effort into the PR to make it all sound hunky dory.

9:29 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Johnners: Me or FD? FD, I think.

Z: That's what worries me.

Punx: Why don't you and your massively unlikely happy ending just FUCK OFF. (BTW still very curious to know how that happened.)

Rumple: 'Love' and all it's varients is a massively difficult thing to explain to an 8-year-old who already has the world by the throat without even realising it. I'm actually not sure I want her to know all that - she'll only use it to her advantage.

Sew: Agreed. And thanks but we don't really 'do' support groups over here. Both my son and my daughter are fine - they have a good mother. "It's the best you can do" - that's what bothers me. My 'best' is poor at best.

TSB: There are no such such thing as 'endings' - happy or otherwise.

Em: There's that. And Hilary Swank? What's your point?

Looby: Hi. Been there so my only hope is you all handle it better than I did.

2:51 am  
Blogger punxxi said...

And a vey Happy Christmas to you, too TD

1:24 am  
Blogger punxxi said...

we took a 20 year break, grew up a bit, had a torrid affair while he was married to bimbo #2 and then we hung out for a few years and then got remarried much to the chagrin of his overbearing psycho bitch from hell mother, heheheh I WIN!

1:28 am  
Blogger The Dotterel said...

Oh my... Still, a career as a highly-paid barrister obviously awaits her. She'll look after you in your dotage!

3:22 pm  
Anonymous Johnners said...

Merry Christmas Tired, hope it's a good one! J x

8:36 pm  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Merry Christmas, TD
*long distance non-touching hug*

3:28 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Punx: A brilliant story.

TD: [Another one] Let's hope so.

J: Back atcha.

Sew: Oh. Hello again. And thanks. Especially for the not-touching thing. Brrrr.

11:08 pm  

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