Dear Daughter 18/1/10: Dad trumps Disney

Dear Daughter, you are a little sook but I love you dearly for it.

After writing about your love of your inflatable Disney High School Musical bed your mum and I were concerned about you sleeping in it every night – and you certainly didn’t like me reminding you that it was for travel or guests. But at bedtime you pulled out a classic line that guarantees you a trip to the bear-making shop soon (or perhaps even a trying to arrange at least one of the holidays you want this year*): “Can’t get cuddles off Dadda in Disney bed. Go into big bed to get cuddles from Dadda as Dadda cuddles best.”

You even managed to sound sincere.

Sleep tight.

* Madam’s 2010 holiday requests: Back to Florida to DisneyWorld and Universal (if I could squeeze in the last NASA Space Shuttle launch I wonder if this could count as educational?), Portaventura again too and weekends at Alton Towers and Blackpool. Not asking much…

Dear Daughter 14/1/10: If Disney made cardboard boxes you would say they were the best

Sometimes you really surprise me. There you are, with a ridiculous amount of toys from Xmas – there’s stuff you’re still opening (though I never thought Guess Who would have been an early favourite present) and what’s your current favourite? A High School Musical blow-up bed. A bed. You would think you slept on the floor every night or something.

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Dear Daughter 16/12/09: In which Jesus is placed on the naughty cross

Religion’s giving you major issues (and that’s before you start asking your parents/grandparents about their different beliefs) and you had avoided the whole issue of Jesus until starting school, but now that you know about him, you’ve been a tad curiosity in how he can be born every year but is also dead.

Of course, being five, you are also totally obsessed with death (what is it with five year olds and death? Does the Scottish teaching curriculum have lessons on gothery or something?).

Anyway, there was some mirth the other day when you told me that you thought you had worked out what had happened to Jesus.

“Daaaaaad, you know you said that Jesus was killed on the cross because he annoyed some people? Was he put on the naughty cross? And they forgot to bring him down so he could say sorry so he dead?”*

(*if you aren’t a parent, you won’t get this. It’s a play on the naughty step concept devised by Supernanny)

And I tell you, if nothing else, it’s given me some thoughts for how to do a new take on a kid’s version of the bible…

Dear Daughter 15/12/09: in which you’d rather be a reindeer than a Jesus

(Here’s where we lose the religious and decent of mind)

So, as I mention in the cult podcast (with a very liberal dash of swearing) that you recently had a school play for Christmas and you were a tad dejected about being a reindeer (Cupid) and not part of the nativity.

Until you pulled together the words to the popular tune of “I’d rather be a XXXX than a XXXX” except your version was “Oh, I’d rather be a reindeer than a Jesus, Oh, I’d rather be a reindeer than a Jesus, yes I’d rather be a reindeer, rather be a reindeer, rather be a reindeer than a Jesus.” And then you went off into a second verse with different words but I couldn’t hear you as I was on the floor howling with laughter.

You’ll have all sorts of issues with religion as you grow up (the joys of living in the West Coast of Scotland) but if you keep your sense of humour about you, I think you might just do OK. Of course what you said the next day, was almost as blasphemous.

ps – sorry Jesus

Dear Daughter 4/11/09 – Well you aren’t going blind

Well you did the eyetest and passed with 20-20 (or 6-9 as they apparently do in the UK, according to the optician), but the best hoot came from after you got the eyedrops put in and it left you with pupils that were wild! It looked as if you had taken LSD or acid with the wide-eyed pupils.

Anyway, you’re still sitting at least 5ft from the TV from now on – and watching it less too.

Anyway, I need to go and find your school socks. I never realised that the sock monster preyed on whole families (of course I beat the odds there by getting you to just buy me 21 pairs of the same black socks on a bi-annual basis), so I’m off to sock-hunting (and while I’m doing it I’ll change the lyrics of ‘Going on a Bear Hunt‘ to Sock Hunt.)

Dear Daughter 3/11/09 – Eyesight test time

As per the previous Dear Daughter posting, got you an eyesight test but if you can tell me in the morning that you can read this OK without squinting or struggling to make the words out then we’ll cancel.*

ps, sorry about crashing in beside you, but you always say you want more cuddles. And besides, blame your sidekick-to-be. Permission to bully has been granted.

* wonder if this gag will work in RSS readers…

Dear Daughter 2/11/09 – Missing the point of Halloween

Dear Daughter, it’s way too early in the morning, so I’m going to introduce you to the concept of bullet points:

  • There’s concern over your eyesight after your mum spotted you squinting at reading materials. If your eyesight is throwing in the towel, expect war over how close you sit to the TV and how much of it you watch

  • And I know you think glasses and contact lenses are cool/fun. They’re not and bad eyesight can seriously screw up your life: did you see who your mum married?
  • Halloween was a hoot with you, though I stress to add that a) if you go out as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz ever again, you carry Toto. If I had to look after that mutt for one more minute I was reporting you to the RSPCA for (fake) dog neglect and b) on Halloween you can take sweets from people, it’s the one night ‘no thank you I haven’t had my dinner’ is not the appropriate response.
  • And don’t start me on you getting to wear mascara and lipstick – even if Dorothy did have them on in the film. You don’t see me dropping houses on the witches that you know “just because it happened in the film” do you?

Dear Daughter 28/10/2009 – What do you call a bunch of Dorothies?

Dear Daughter,

Well you’ve just no luck have you? Most girls – IIRC – get to the age of 16 before going to a bash or a party and discovering they have the same outfit as someone else.

You? Age 5. Place: School Halloween Disco.

Not one, not two, but THREE Dorothies from the Wizard of Oz (and two of you with the same outfit from the same shop). I mean what do you call the plural of a Dorothy? Dorotheees? Dorothi? Bunch of table cloth dresses? Actually what’s the collective noun as well? An Ozful of Dorothies? (next year you can all go as munchkins or the crazy monkeys – you’re all the right height for that and it doesn’t matter if you match).

Of course it wasn’t until you came back that I discovered you had mascara and lipstick on – and got a tattoo when out. I think all that was missing was you having a hangover and a boy’s phone number…That reminds me I didn’t actually check your wee Toto basket…

The double whammy was that we had a beast of a spider on the bathroom wall and you missed that as well. But I took a pic for you as I know you like these things.


Pictures as always taken with the iPhone 3GS

And another pic I noticed after you had gone to bed was what you had posted outside your mum’s room:


I know you aren’t meant to put stickers on the wall (and in fact I think this is the first time you ever have) but you can get a pass for that one. Don’t think you’re getting the iPod Touch that you’ve started asking everyone for though. You can play the games on mine.

And no, you can’t have driving lessons either.

Dear Daughter 26/10/2009

I’ve just realised that I never picked up your Halloween outfit from your gran. Hmmm, better get that tomorrow, especially as you have your school disco tomorrow night.

On the other hand, well done on finally eating a full meal that didn’t involve chips, sausages, beans or mashed potato. Expect pasta bake every night for the rest of your life now…

Chef McGill

Dear Daughter 25/10/2009

Dear Daughter, I don’t mind that you were  away for most of the weekend having fun – at your age that’s what it’s all about – and while I’m quizzed about your sudden direct devotion to your gran (who, three months ago, you wouldn’t have given the time of day to*) but after I’ve spent an hour cleaning the kitchen, did we really have to be so messy when making cakes?

Anyway, let’s see if you can sleep through the whole night for a change.

*notwithstanding the fact that you couldn’t tell the time three months ago.

Dear Daughter 22/10/2009

Dear Daughter, as cute as it is that you wake up in the middle of the night and say “only you can help me get back to sleep dad” (what am I? Obi Wan McGill?) and the cuddles are fantastic, you have to stop being a wee madam the rest of the time – that or wait until you’re a teenager like we had to back in the day (though I wasn’t a madam I hasten to add). Telling your nana “we do what I want as this is my house and I live here and you don’t” is not going to endear you to anyone – though it did give me a chance to work on my Dad Voice (think Batman but without the Welsh lisp).

(And well done on tip-toeing upstairs to avoid us hearing you dodging the naughty step. You forgot though that you keep needing to tip toe once in your room.)

And would you please start putting a filling on your sandwich for school? Bread and butter are not the two main food groups. Honestly, doing that in Carntyne would have had the social work out in the 80s, so god knows what others make of it.

Anyway, it’s Friday now, so no lunchbox today. It’s ‘homie’ day as you kids call it now.

Dear Daughter 20/10/2009

Dear Daughter, while your tantrums are starting to be a bit annoying – though the “you’re the world’s worst dad EVER” is good for a chuckle as you constantly backtrack, it was a laugh tonight when you were trying to plead for bedtime treats as you promised to be a good girl “forever, starting tonight. I promise… and that’s a deal and a promise… and… and a promise… and…” as you struggled for another word to go with deal and promise.

When you find one, I’ll let you have a watch of a film in your bedroom. Deal and promise.

Revealing your children online

This may seem practically luddite but something I won’t be doing here – well, not deliberately often at any rate – is posting a lot involving my children’s names , schools, pictures and so on. I don’t even do a lot of it on Facebook.

The main reason is that I think online should be their place  to go onto and discover as and when they want and it’s not up to me to put them online: they should have the ability to decide how much (and if) they want to be online. In the meantime I still get to blog about them and the people who know them – grandparents and so on who can’t do Facebook – can still check in here from time to time.

(it reminds me of a chat I had with Warren Ellis around the time Matt Fraction had his kid and we differed on revealing so much online. Warren felt that the sheer quantity of stuff put out by parents and others would swamp anything that prospective employers and so on might find, while I felt data mining would get better and besides, it was the kid’s choice as to how much was online anyway.)

All of which does beg one question: when this generation grows up, how are they going to take parents having posted chunks of details about their lives online? Even worse, there will be intimate details of their parents online…