So after two weeks of part-time parenting, how are the children coping?
Well, they still yell “Mu-um!” all the time when I’m there.
And it’s still me who insists on hair-brushing, preventative nit-combing and carrot-eating.
Bu-ut… there is a subtle difference in our four-way relationship.
- Daddy has instigated tickle-time, to be incorporated into any unwelcome routine that’s not going too well. I think he learned this from one of his brothers, who excels at tickling sleepover cousins into fits of hysteria just before lights-out.
- Daddy has relaxed the “pony tail or bunches or plaits otherwise you’ll catch nits” rule, to such an extent that when I ask Hannah what it’s like with Daddy instead of Mummy she replies –
“It’s better. I can go to school with my hair down.”
Guess who will be wielding Mr Nitty Gritty if this new, relaxed regime falls at the first hurdle.
But the most noticeable change is that they’re all taking more notice of each other.
When the children get into bed in the morning for a cuddle, Daddy gets one too.
When I come down to breakfast their bowls are already on the table.
In short, even though he does things differently – THEY STILL GET DONE.
Of course I knew they would, but seeing it happen has somehow relaxed the nagging control freak in me enough to stop me fretting.
And he’s had Ben on his case. Never a pleasant experience.
He had to drag them away from their school Christmas Fair early, as he had to go back to work and he’d arranged for one of our marvellous lodgers to look after them until my return.
Ben was exploding with fury, as he was just about to disappear into the bushes with some friends and their newly acquired blow-up swords.
And he yelled at Mike –
“What’s more important to you? Your children or your work?”