You know what the thing is with children? You give them what you think they want and need - love, education, attention, food, comfort. Etc. And you learn that you've got it all wrong.
The Daughter has recently raised a jealousy issue she has at my sudden (and, to all who know me, totally unexpected) interest in exercise. It's not so much an interest in the exercise as it is an interest in fellow nubile runner men, but how do you explain that to The Daughter? It's also a desire to remain trim in spite of exorbitant daily calorie in-take.
When I arrived back yesterday morning from my run and went to wake her up with breakfast in bed, a ritual I practise every morning (I know, it must suck ass being a child), she made her disapproval at my new-found interest well known.
The Daughter: Why do you get to go running and I just get to sleep in in this nice cuddly bed? It's so unfair. You just get to do (sob) everything cool because you're big.
Ah, if only I'd had a tape recorder. That's something I'd like to play to her in 20 years' time.
The Pant: My babes, it's because I'm big that I have to go running (and no, not in an Alice Walker Colour Purple kind of big way). I would love to stay and cuddle you in the mornings but Mom has to do this. (I am the third person - either referred to, by self, as Mom or Miss Liner.)
TD: You just (sob sob sob) love The BF more than me.
And so I pinkie-promised her a run yesterday afternoon.
I figured I'd roll like my brothers did when I was a child. They're much older than me and so I cannot tell you how many times I've had to go to the beach with them and serve as their skirt bait. Upon reflection, this was not a wise decision of mine. The closest I came to picking up was another single mom at the park. Not ideal. Also, had not quite considered that I should not be that into men that are attracted to young children.
So we set out - dressed alike - into the streets of our suburb, on a Mother-Daughter-Bonding-Run-Session. And it was bliss! We chatted and caught up - not because we don't see each other often, but because when we're at home we just do our own things: she torments her cat and I practice my favourite hobbie, lying down.
But somehow - I think I must not have been paying attention - we ended up at the park. And not a single hottie-hot-pants in sight. Not one. Fail. Epic.
So we swang, and we see-sawed. By "we see-sawed", I mean she sat on the see-saw and I struck a Captain Morgan pose and shot her into the air from which pure bubbles of giggly joy were sounded.
And then she made a friend. And that's where our outing took a turn for the worst. 2 kms from our house, I knew there was a possibility that I'd have to carry her home. ("My legs are tired." "My feet don't feel like walking".). And so, when the sun began its ritual descent, I urged The Daughter to stop gallavanting from one side of the playground to the other and I explained that I felt Other Child did not need a further 30 minutes of tuition in the field of "Galloping Like A Horse".
It was a difficult and delicate situation. And I was a master of manipulation: I promised her she could chase me home and if she managed to catch me, she could wobble my bum three times.
She caught me seventy-two times. You do the math.
We got home in a nick of time to begin the evening routine, both happy. Mom-And-Daughter-Bonding-Run-Session = winner.
Especially in light of the fact that arse must definitely be smaller.