There was once a Dad who was extremely hard-working. Every day he battled the London Underground to ensure the mortgage was paid and food was on the table. He suffered the stress of deadlines and drudgery of data but every night made it home in time for dinner with the Wriggles and Whiney Wendy.
She hadn’t always been Whiney Wendy. She’d once been Carefree Karen but since the Wriggles has joined them she had morphed in to this new alias.
As he stepped through the door to their home, he was welcomed with the giggles of Wriggles and a cheery hello. Perhaps tonight, Carefree Karen had once again made an appearance? Diligent Dad changed out of his smart suit and into his joggers; he chopped up an apple, as was his way.
Before he could take a bite, the voice he thought they had escaped made a return. “If you leave the knife too close to the edge, Wriggles can reach it. Please don’t.” Evening Wendy, good day?
He plonked himself down on the sofa to wind down and enjoy a little ‘Words with Friends,’ as Wriggles chatted away and played with his trains. Whiney Wendy left the lounge to cook dinner but being in another room didn’t stop her wrath from reaching him.
“When you leave your trainers at the bottom of the stairs, someone is going to trip over them and it’s likely to be me. Someone could kill themselves.” Diligent Dad sighed inwardly. She was one for the drama was Wendy. They were there from when he’d taken out the bins that morning. One of the many thankless tasks he carried out on a weekly basis.
Dinner was almost without incident. Whiney Wendy had served up gnocchi with chicken and spicy tomato sauce the night before. Tonight was meatballs and pasta for him and Wriggles (courgetti for her) in her hidden vegetable tomato sauce. Wendy would be the first to admit it was a little bland yet still she asked the question – ‘How’s your dinner”
Oh, Diligent Dad – you should know to tread very carefully at this point. However, with his middle name being Honest, Dad replied “I preferred last night’s.” Sound the klaxon. Wrong answer. Whiney Wendy looked mortally offended, despite the fact she’d asked the question. Before she could rant about her long day and having had to create meals and snacks for Wriggles before cooking dinner for three of them… Mr Diligence dived for the kitchen with the dishes, to carry out another of his duties – stacking the dishwasher.
Diligent Dad could see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was almost bath-time. He prepped the milk whilst Wendy fed the cats. With a parting shot of “please empty the plughole,” she climbed the stairs with a reluctant Wriggles ready for bath and bed.
Wendy ran the bath as Wriggles ran wild. The witching hour really is a thing. Gone were the calm days of ‘In the Night-Garden,’ with snuggles on the sofa. Diligent Dad laughed as he bounced the toddler on their bed and played ‘who can roar the loudest.’ The smiles and belly chuckles were infectious – only Whiney Wendy had clearly had her jabs. A loud sigh pierced the fun. “Bedtimes are calm times – please don’t hype him up before I have to get him to sleep.” Fun is over Wriggles. The mood-hoover has paid a visit.
No one can avoid smiles when there are bubbles, splashes and rubber ducks involved. For a moment Dad once again caught glimmers of the Carefree Karen he knew and loved. The Wriggles was bathed, dried and moisturised. A story was read. Then Diligent Dad said good night as Whiney Wendy gave Wriggles his bottle before bed. He gently pulled the door behind him, tiptoe-ing out. The stage whisper reached his ears before he got to the stairs. “Wriggles clothes belong in the washing basket, as do your pants – not on the landing.”
Diligent Dad sat down to analyse his golf stats – this was his happy place. They had nothing to say to him. They sat there on his iPad, waiting patiently and compliantly to be analysed. He heard a creak on the stairs and drew breath. The Wriggles slept. Whiney Wendy came in to the lounge to find a hot cup of tea waiting for her.
“If you don’t mind, I’m going to go to bed to do some blogging. Thank-you for the tea. Enjoy your golf-time.” He smiled and nodded an understanding and supportive nod. This blogging malarkey really brought out the Karen in her. Long may it remain. “Goodnight!”
For when the Whiney Wendy in me takes over. Diligent Dad, you are our superstar and we are so lucky to have you. I promise to be more Carefree Karen.