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Splash Dad: How Splash Daughter Made Father’s Day
Posted on 22nd June 2015

This year it utterly crept up on me. Until I was woken up by a whisper in my ear and the smell of coffee, buttered toast and warm pain au chocolat (home-baked, I hasten to add), the fact that it was Father’s Day had somehow passed me by.

I think the problem is that I don’t trust the dates any more. Mother’s Day seems to be different in every country. Each year I go into a panic because I see something about Mother’s Day ideas online, then just as I’m putting my coat on, I work out that it’s the American one. And I mean literally every year.

So when I see mentions of Father’s Day I get a bit blithe about it, adopting a kind of “It won’t happen to me” attitude.

Breakfast in bed polished off, we had to decide What To Do. I’d kinda planned in a bit of chilling out, actually. Watching the Sunday Morning discussion shows. A sandwich in front of the Austrian Grand Prix. Maybe a trip to B&Q as a treat (a new dimmer switch in the bathroom, since you ask).

But doing what I wanted to do wouldn’t be good enough for me on Father’s Day. So off we trundled. We spent the morning in a lovely woody play area near where we live. My opinion about park rides becoming ever more dangerous after twenty years’ emasculation was confirmed as Splash Daughter’s head had a near miss with a telegraph pole holding up some medieval 360° swing. Later I had to rescue her from a 4-metre-high scramble net after she rediscovered her fear of heights (Splash Mum insists she’s in no fit state to do any climbing, even to rescue her own daughter). And we realised why the slide was empty too late, as Splash Daughter hurtled towards what I can only imagine was a deposit of albatross poo halfway down.

Lunch came and it was off to our local Pizza Express. I was smartphoning all the way to the door in a desperate bid to track down some discount codes, which ALWAYS exist, except of course on Father’s Day. Still, the indignity of paying full price would be lessened by the fact that I wouldn’t be paying, a thought I held all the way to the arrival of the bill.

We did make it home just in time to see the formation lap of the F1. *Spoiler alert* Nico beat Lewis off the line and led to the end, and there were a few battles in the midfield, but … well it was two hours I’ll never get back.

Thereafter it became a typical Sunday-before-school night, cramming in the homework, getting her bathed and attempting an early night for her despite the fact that she was clearly wide awake – a situation that wasn’t helped by the fact that it was the summer solstice and the sun really outstayed its welcome.

I’m not sure what I would have planned had I not ignored the Father’s Day warnings. As it turns out, these things are probably best underplanned, because the best thing you can really do on a Father’s Day is simply be a father. And I’m pretty sure the same applies to Mother’s Day too – whenever that is.