Tag Archives: daddy

How to be ten feet tall: a note on Father’s Day

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One day last month Tim worked from home. It was one of those days where Henry was still gallivanting downstairs in his vest and socks at 10am, yelling something or other about diggers.

‘Henry’, I heard Tim say, ‘want to come help me work?’

Everything went quiet. I looked over the balcony to check he wasn’t balancing on anything taller than himself. But he was sat next to Daddy on the armchair, sharing a blanket, looking at Tim’s server configurations with intense concentration. I wanted to cry at the look on his face: pride, and self-importance, and glee beyond reckoning. Even the hair on the top of his head was standing up in excitement (or lack of brushing, I forget which).

He wears the same expression when he sails off on the back of Tim’s bike, or fiddles with screwdrivers while they put up a shelf, or sits on his knee to steer the car. He hears Tim’s key in the door and his everything lights up like a beacon. They go back, these two, to dark hours of brand-new nights, when going to sleep on Daddy’s chest was the best thing a tiny boy could imagine. You can get Henry to repeat pretty much anything these days, but ask him who he loves and he’ll give it to you straight.

‘Hey, can you say: I love Mummy?’

‘Luss Daddy’.

‘No! I love Mummy’.

‘Luss Daddy‘.

(I tried bribery. He won’t be moved.)

It slays me. Because Timothy completes me too, so I understand. I watch him fill up parts of this boy I can’t touch, and it’s a particular sort of happiness I never anticipated.

I might be the one Henry comes to for kisses and quiet. But at heart he is a voyager, and his co-pilot of choice is Daddy. Bros for life, with their matching feet and hairlines. It feels like that’s how it should be. I’m so glad I get to see it.

Happy Father’s Day, favourite.

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The fixer-upper

I didn’t actually mean to welcome Timothy back at Arrivals with Henry and I covered in blood. But that’s what happened. We sat and shared a hot chocolate while we waited for his aeroplane to land, and then Henry buzzed off the excitement by running in small circles around the pushchair. Then he was on the floor, with a fat bust lip and blood everywhere, and if you’ve ever tried to make a twenty-month-old bite on a cold baby wipe while he gushes all over your cardigan (because that’s all you have) then you’ll know you can pretty much forget it. Hey Daddy-o, welcome back. Do you like the sign we made you? This handprint was done with paint. This one…not so much.

We’ve been giddy today, getting back to three of us. Oh, adult conversation. Oh, hideous maternity shopping made better with a second opinion, and strawberry milk and sugar doughnuts in the middle of a shopping mall. Would I have had the idea to let Henry go and touch the crane he’s been ogling all week on our street? No, that’s the sort of thing that would occur to Daddy. It made his whole morning and beyond. Despite the fat lip.

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Third wheel

Just don’t try to get between these two at the moment.

Ever since Tim got back from his last trip away, Henry’s been all over him like a woolly-jumpered rash. Oh, you ask him to stop using the clothes horse as a bungee rope and he’s all me-no-understandy, but tell him that Daddy’s nearly home and he’ll wait at the gate for an age.

I find it almost unbearably lovely. And truth be told, I am also enjoying letting Tim do the bedtime routine ‘because he missed you so much today’.

Expect the screaming heebie-jeebies when Daddy’s gone for nearly two weeks in October. Ug.

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Daddy cool

Henry was seventeen hours old. Red, downy skin and a tiny scrunched-up face. He looked just like my baby brother, except for the feet. Wedge-shaped with long toes. Daddy’s feet. The first time I saw them was the first time I realised we’d actually made him, between us.

Our first night had been endless and stressful – no sleep, a lot of fumbly breastfeeding and a spectacular choking episode just before morning – so at first light, I texted Timothy.

This boy just gave me the fright of my life. I need you here as soon as they’ll let you in.

He replied within a minute.

I’ll be waiting outside the door.

He was. I handed over the wriggly bundle, still shivery with shock, and Timothy sat in a chair with Henry curled up on his chest. He settled instantly, enviously. Something about Daddy made things alright. Maybe it was the matching feet.

These days, Henry laughs out loud when Daddy comes home. They have the best playtime and the silliest conversations. Daddy does the funny noises and the motorbike game. Daddy is the good-time guy, in short, which is okay because my motorbike noise is frankly not up to scratch. And let me tell you that there is nothing, no nothing so attractive as a man with a baby. I had four years to love Timothy as a person, then three more to love him as a husband. Loving him as a ten-month father just made the whole thing deliriously lovely all over again.

He says to me, this man of few words, I can’t believe how beautiful he is. I just love him so much.

Pretty sure the feeling’s mutual. Maybe it’s the matching feet.

Happy Fathers’ Day, Daddy-o.

H believes in open-mouthed kisses. Nice.

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