My young daughter swerves by me and stubs her toe on a door. I hold out my arms to give her a big hug and…she hops straight past.
Hops all the way down the hall.
Hops into the kitchen…yelling for Mum.
I follow and see her get a big cuddle and lots of sympathy. Then she looks round and flashes a cheeky grin. “Hey,” I say, “you ran right past me. I was going to give you a big hug.”
“Sorry, Dad, but you’re too bony – even though you’ve got a big fat belly. Mum’s way better at giving me cuddles.”
“What am I good for?” I ask, with a mock glum face.
“Well, I like it when you pretend to be a robot and run after me. And you’re pretty good at doing voices. Yeah, I like it when you read to me at night and do your Winnie the Pooh voice. Can you do it now?”
“Ummm, Uhhh, Nope – I don’ttt think so.”
“YOU JUST DID IT!”
“I think she’s feeling okay now,” says Mum.
“My foot still hurts a bit,” says the wee girl, angling for more attention.
“Come to Dad and get a big hug,” I say, crouching down and stretching my arms wide.
“No – that’s Mum’s job. Your job is to tell me jokes and…”
“Do the washing up. Pick up after me and Mum. Keep the house tidy and make cookies. You are the best in the world – ever – at making cookies, especially the big chocolate ones. Can you make them now?”
“It’s late. How about I make them tomorrow? How about I make Yorkshire Puddings? You used to call them Orchard Puddings when you were wee.”
“No Dad. Mum is the best at Yorkshires. [pause] But you are the best at pancakes.”
“It’s the same stuff!” I protest.
“Look. Sometimes you are okay at Yorkshires too.”
“What about hugs?”
She thinks. “Yes. But not if I’m really hurt because then I just have to go to Mum – it’s the law. Unless Mum’s not here then I’ll come to you. Don’t worry, Dad. I still love you.”
She starts running off.
“I can see your leg’s better now.”
And accidentally catches her shoulder on the door.
“Ow! That was your fault, Dad.”
“What? Why? How?!”
“Well, I get my cleverness and hair from Mum.”
“And I get clumsiness from you! It’s okay. I know you didn’t mean to give it to me.”
And off she goes with a grin…
to cuddle the dog!
“Skye gives the best hugs in this house!”