aka my kids have found a new way to wind me up

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A very odd phenomenon seems to be taking place in my house lately. It’s happened so gradually that I’m not even sure when it began. And it only occurs when Nick and I are both at home, never when I’m there on my own. Let’s take last Saturday, for instance.

Incident 1: I am at the far end of the garden clearing up the random artefacts the girls have left on the patio and Nick is just outside the back door setting up the sprinkler for them. Alice stands at the back door and calls up the garden to ask me to help her put her swimsuit on.

Incident 2: I’ve been picking herbs in the garden (oh yes, I know, all very Good Life) for the dinner I’m cooking for Nick and me while the girls are having their tea and Nick is sitting at the dining table communing with his MacBook. As I walk back in the house, hands full of leaves and scissors I’m immediately accosted by Jessica asking me to open her yoghurt.

Now surely there can only be one logical explanation for this and I like to call it Invisible Daddy Syndrome. Why else would the girls walk straight past their fully functioning father to ask me a question, even when it’s perfectly clear I’m SO much busier than him (and just so we’re clear, playing FIFA 2011 on the PS3 does not count as busy). Not that we’re competitive about who’s got more to do on a daily basis IN THE SLIGHTEST.

Nick has a very bizarre theory for the reason behind these episodes; that I’m too quick to respond to their requests so they automatically turn to me. Personally, I prefer the explanation offered by the girls themselves on occasion: “mummy’s in charge”.

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