Monday, September 18, 2006

Man's flu and Children's Parties

I’m at home today with what I call the flu and Emily calls ‘man’s flu’ (i.e. a heavy cold). I think I caught it from Frankie, who was complaining of a sore throat on Saturday and is known for his plague-spreading abilities. One Christmas, as a baby, he passed on a stomach infection so severe that the whole of Lucy’s family came down with it. Lucy’s dad was convinced he’d given everyone food poisoning with the salmon he’d cooked. But, no, it was ‘Typhoid Frankie’.

It’s Frankie’s sixth birthday this week and I’m feeling melancholic over the fact I won’t be with him on the day. Lucy has organised a party for him at his school and made it pretty clear that it would be awkward if I came along.

I admit that I’m secretly relieved, as I detest children’s parties. This is, I’m fairly sure, a man thing. We kind of stand around on the periphery of the chaos, grinning and bearing it as the mummy network marginalise us and other people’s kids try to punch us in the knackers or smear chocolate on our trousers. This is bad enough, but it gets much worse when you’re a divorced dad. Rather than being ignored, you are the villain who gets glared at by the mummies.

At the same time, I know that Frankie was keen to have me there and I think he’s vaguely anxious about being pushed out of my affections by Stan. He’s certainly been a bit out of sorts on the last few weekends we’ve spent together. Frankie doesn’t like to articulate his feelings, so it’s hard to get to the bottom of things with him.

The solution I’ve negotiated is that Franks and I have a ‘boy’s day’ together next weekend. I’ll take him out to lunch and then we’ll go to Forbidden Planet to get him more Pokémon cards.

Assuming we’ve both got over ‘man’s flu’ of course…

1 comment:

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