I was glad to hear that my father hadn’t lost his sense of humour in the face of blindness and general decrepitude.
‘It’s not retirement Dad, it’s redundancy. I’m hoping it won’t be forever. And anyway, I’ll be a 'stay at home dad'. I'll be a bit like you, Dad, but with small children.’
Up to now, I have Monday and Tuesday mornings covered at the local library – ‘storytime’ and ‘rhymetime’ respectively. ‘Gym Tots’ is restarting on Thursdays in October, apparently.
So that just leaves Wednesdays and Fridays to fill. Aurora is at school now and it’s to be hoped that Jocasta doesn’t grow out of epic midday naps before the spring.
To her credit, Maude has been trying to ease my transition from paid employment to playground fixture. She has identified another stay at home dad in the neighbourhood. She befriended him at the library and is now trying to engineer a meeting between us. His name features prominently on her clipboard to-do list and I hear that he is an unflappable natural at shepherding his two small children around our new local National Trust adventure playground..
I feel like a child being forced to play with children I don’t know.
Maude retrieved her clipboard. With a sigh, she scored out the name of the village's only other known stay at home dad.
‘What you mean is that you aren’t keen because he has long hair and his little boy is called Thor.’