Friday evening with the youngest two
It’s becoming more common now that the kids are growing up that I see less of the elder two. Aged 13 and 11, they are both at secondary school and both keen to spend as much time as possible with their friends.
I don’t mind this. As much as I love seeing them when I have them over weekends, or for a few hours, I remember what it was like to be that age. In fact, I struggle to remember a time at that age when I wanted to spend any time with my mum. I always preferred being out and about, or in my room playing on the computer.
Last night I was due to have all four of the kids after school for a few hours. My eldest texted me through the day to say that she was having a sleepover at a friend’s house, and that she wouldn’t see me that night. Then my 11 year old texted me to ask if she could go to the youth club with her friends that night.
So once I picked them up from their mum’s, my eldest not even bothering to come to the door to say hi before she went over her friends house (the lazy mare!), I took middle daughter to get something to eat and then dropped her off. She reminded me that I was due to pick her and her friend up at 9pm to drop them home and then disappeared.
I asked the remaining two what they wanted to do, quickly pointing out that I had no internet access at the flat, meaning any chance of them playing on their iPads / iPods / whatever they are called was slim. They surprised me by announcing in union that they wanted to go to Costa. Obviously, that suited me fine, and though I know that they generally enjoy sitting in our local coffee shop, I was surprised at their eagerness.
As we parked up and walked into town, my 10 year old remarked on how it was unusual to have just two, rather than four of them. I agreed, and she quickly followed it up by saying that because there was just two kids today, I could probably afford to buy them each a Creamy Cooler from Costa. Suddenly their keenness made more sense, and given the clever way they’d thought it through, I agreed that yes, I could buy them each whatever drink they wanted.
We spent a while in Costa, the barista there teasing my 7 year old son, telling him that I’d given her strict instructions that he was only allowed to drink water in the future. He replied cheekily and confidently that he was drinking water, and that it merely looked like a more expensive drink. His charisma and confidence surprised me, and is completely at odds to how I was at that age.
After finishing our drinks, we drove to meet Loz, who was on her own while Kip partied away at BritMums Live in London. We had a couple of biscuits and banana bread there (the latter of which Loz has a recipe for on her site, should you be interested) and left a while later when it was time for baby James to go to bed.
We then grabbed some food and before long it was time to go home. I dropped the youngest two off after swinging by their nan’s house, where she gave them a loom bracelet making toy which I’ve no doubt will be all over my floor and my hoover in a few weeks. I then drove to pick up middle daughter and her friend.
“You’ve got something to tell you dad, don’t forget!” said the friend.
I raised an eyebrow. (In reality, I can’t raise a single eyebrow, so whilst this happened in my head, I’ve no doubt that I merely crinkled my forehead akin to a constipated man stuck on a toilet.)
“Dad, I’ve got a boyfriend!”
She told me a few bits and pieces about this boy, showing me a picture of him and telling me that she asked mummy for advice.
“What did mummy say?”
“She said that he didn’t have her consent unless he was really rich, really good looking or both!”
“I agree with mummy, though not about the good looking part.” I quipped.
Ten minutes later and everyone had been dropped home. Middle daughter was no doubt straight on Ubu (is that even a thing?) to speak to her new beau, and I meandered back home.
It seems strange that just a few years ago all four of my kids were just that. Kids. Now in a few years time they will be properly growing up. The thought of boyfriends scare me as a protective father. The words “don’t come home pregnant” may have passed my lips on a few occasions too (leaving a confused son, who happened to overhear and thought I was talking to him).
Until then, I am going to sit and practice cracking my knuckles menacingly and staring threateningly at potential boyfriends.