Sunday, April 12, 2015
It’s Easter Half-Term and Favourite Son and Favourite Daughter are staying with me for a week, four hundred miles away from their usual home with their mother. We’re in an Italian restaurant discussing the film we’ve just seen at the cinema.
Favourite Daughter: [12 years old, sipping her drink] It was a lot better than I expected. I actually cried a bit at the end. Did you Daddy?
Me: I did. A little bit.
(Whether or not I cried at the end of a children’s film is not important to this story. Leave me alone.)
FD: [To Favourite Son] Did you?
Almost 10-year old Favourite Son is engrossed in his dining experience, methodically rolling his dough-balls in his dish of garlic butter so they are all fully saturated to his required standard.
Favourite Son: What? No. Why would you?
Favourite Daughter: [Filled with soon-to-be-teenage imagined sophistication] Because WE are in touch with our emotions.
Favourite Son sighs with the full weight of his soon-to-be 10 years, puts his perfectly-garlic-butter-saturated dough-balls to one side and picks-up my mobile phone from the table. He puts it to his ear.
Favourite Son: Hello? Is that My Emotions? Hi. Just want to say we’re not really speaking, ok? And I’m eating. Bye.
He puts my phone down, briefly glances at me and his sister and returns his attention to his food.
All is silent for a while.
My nicoise salad (oh piss off) came with far too much of the same baked dough that FS is currently enjoying. I ask if anyone wants any.
Favourite Daughter: No thank you Daddy.
Favourite Son: [Absently, not looking-up from his plate] Yeah. Whatever.