Awesome! Everything planned.
Tom at uni? Check. Jessica? Ditto. And Ben safely at work for five hours…
The romantic meal to end all romantic meals. “You get changed, darling. I’ll cook.” Oysters, asparagus, a few flakes of chilli on the meat, dark chocolate to finish with. There’s a man who knows how to Google ‘aphrodisiac food…’
“Just the two of us on Valentine’s Day,” I mused. “How many centuries since that happened?”
“I can’t wait,” my wife said, smiling seductively. “Your flat stomach, your rippling six pack, your rock hard abs…”
No. She didn’t.
That’s what’s called artistic licence. And a middle-aged man’s fantasy. What she actually said was, “Don’t forget we need to spend the day wallpapering Ben’s bedroom.”
Sadly, she was right. We’d finally stripped away the sharks, the sailing boats and the last vestiges of his childhood. Now it was time for the muted blue and grey that came with being a man. I was duly despatched to the garage to scrape five years’ worth of snails off the pasting table.
Jane was right. If we didn’t get on with it Tom and Jessica would be back for Easter. Thank goodness Jessica couldn’t see her bedroom now. Piled high with Ben’s furniture, clothes and books. You could barely open the door…
Yep, that was the plan. Spend Valentine’s Day wallpapering. Working happily together.
Then Ben to work, a relaxing soak for my wife, large gin, a squeeze of lemon on the oysters. She’d be putty in my hands…
“I’ve had a text,” the object of my affections said when I’d finally rendered the pasting table useable again.
“That’s nice. How is she?”
“She’s broken two toes.”
“Watching a hockey match. She wasn’t paying attention. The ball hit her foot.”
Ouch! Is there anything harder than a hockey ball? I once stopped a cricket ball with my testicles – but a hockey ball? Straight on the end of your foot? No thanks.
“Has she been to the hospital?”
“Yes, of course. But she says she needs looking after. She’s coming home for the weekend.”
“Yes, obviously. I’ll collect her at the station. Probably have to carry her to the car. My poor, sweet – ”
And then I stopped. Because of course the poor, sweet girl needed to come home and be looked after. There was just the small question of where she was going to sleep. And her father’s plans for Valentine’s Day…
“Ben, I need your help.”
“Because your sister is coming home for the weekend.”
It’s fair to say that our youngest son doesn’t currently see the return of his sister as a cause for unbridled celebration. Like all youngest children, he’s got used to having the house to himself.
“We need to move everything back into your room.”
“But then you’re going to move it back into her bedroom when she’s gone.”
“So why don’t you make her sleep on the sofa for three nights?” Brotherly love, eh? I explained that parents tended not to do that, especially when the child in question had two broken toes.
That was three days ago. The poor, sweet girl has now limped up to her – remarkably tidy – bedroom. But not before asking what I had planned for Sunday lunch.
“What would you like?”
“Sunday roast. With all the trimmings.”
What else? So much for my plans. Last time I checked mashed potato wasn’t an aphrodisiac. Not that I’d be needing one…
Thanks for reading this post. If you enjoyed it – and you’d like something light and “very, very funny” to read – you can buy the ‘Best Dad I Can Be’ sample book with 27 of my favourite posts covering all the years I’ve been writing: it’s all of 99p on your Kindle. Alternatively the first chronological book, ‘Half Dad Half Fish’ which covers the time when the children were 9, 7 and 4 is available here.