A wonderful weekend away with my long-suffering partner in the countryside was heightened upon my return to discover that my daughter, who was supposed to have gone away with her mother, had in fact remained at home. Under normal circumstances, one might assume that this was not such a good thing, but it only went to prove once again that ‘Ms Jean Brodie’ was not as good as her word.
This might sound a little churlish, but it is the small things that eventually build up over a period of time that go to make up a much larger picture of the reality of living with such a person. To compound matters further, the mother of one of my daughter’s friends, who I usually look after nearly every Friday afternoon, rang to ask if I was able to look after her daughter on Sunday as she had been called in to work at the last minute. Sadly, I had to break the news that I would not be home in time but if she was prepared to risk it, ‘Ms Brodie’ might well be available as I thought it doubtful that she would have gone away as had been intimated.
Imagine my surprise then (not really) to discover upon my return that my daughter’s friend had not come over after all and that alternative child care arrangements must have been found. I say this with some satisfaction of course because it gives me a sense of pride that the mother of my daughter’s friend would rather I looked after her child than entrust her with ‘Ms Brodie’. It is not always the case that women make the best carers and this in a very small way vindicates us dads, who for so long are have been stereotypically portrayed as the villains of the peace.
I couldn’t help but feel a little smug and why shouldn’t I? I do seem to always be dancing to ‘Ms Brodie’s’ tune as each of my previous relationships have painstakingly told me. This, was a confirmation that I am valued not only as a dad but as a good parent, who people feel they can trust and would want to look after their children. That to me is one of if not the greatest compliments and achievements I have received.