Should've never mentioned the Fairy thing 3:”You’re a Fairy?” M:”Well..” 3:”Said you were!” M:”Grown up joke” 3:”ARE YOU REAL FAIRY OR NOT?"
Here's a cautionary tale that links both together and explains how, sometimes, I can get it horribly, embarrassingly wrong.
Our three year old arrived in the kitchen one afternoon wearing her fairy costume. White, with lots of chiffon and a now rather droopy wand and wonky wings it's one of her favourites.
"Daddy," she announced loudly, "I want to be a fairy"
"Careful what you wish for darling, that's how Daddy started!" Oh how I chortled at my own little grown up joke there.
"You're a fairy Daddy? Can you help me be a fairy please?" Our little girl implored.
That stopped the chortle. "Umm, no sweetie, sorry."
Three year old daughter's lower lip poked out. "You said you were a fairy? Why can't I be one?" droopy wand was being to be tapped on the open palm of her non dominant hand in a dangerously sinister manner.
"It was a grown up joke, sorry!" I was back-pedalling fast.
"Are you a real fairy or not?" Steel had entered our little girl's voice.
Should have never mentioned the fairy thing. "No, darling, I'm sorry I'm not. Daddy was being silly."
"Humph," our daughter flounced off, clearly still feeling cheated as her chance of fairydom that had appeared to be so close was snatched away.
J arrived home.
As usual he was greeted by our daughter throwing herself at him. "Dad, Daddy said he's a fairy!" Her opening gambit confirmed she wasn't going to let this one go.
J fell into the same trap as me before I could stop him. "Hah, Daddy's a blooming great big fairy!" He answered.
"NOOO!" I shouted. J was looking quizzical as I made frantic slashing movements with my hand across my neck.
Our daughter was triumphant. Legs akimbo, hands on hips she fixed me with her steely gaze. "Hah! You ARE a fairy!"
Distraction techniques worked wonders until, the following morning, this happened.
The children were eating breakfast. I thought we'd forgotten fairies. Our daughter hadn't. In a matter of fact manner, between spoonfuls of rice crispies she told her brother, "Daddy's a fairy!"
Our seven year old son was unimpressed. "Can't be, he's too hairy!"
"He's a Hairy Fairy?" Our three year old daughter said innocently.
Now, if there is one thing our son has learnt from me it is that when another immediate family member makes a verbal slip never, ever, let them get away with it. Way too much fun can be had at their expense as a result.
Our son's eyes twinkled. "Yes, yes he is. Daddy's a Hairy Fairy!"
Oh God! This one was going to run.
It went on through breakfast. And showers. And getting dressed for school. Finally, in the car on the way to school I broke.
"OK, stop calling me a fairy!" I tried to use my firmest tone of voice, knowing deep down that both children wouldn't view it as serious enough a misdemeanour to take any note.
"Why?" Our son was up for the challenge.
I'm NOT a fairy," that was my best shot.
"You said you were," our daughter chimed in.
"It was a JOKE! A silly, grown up joke. Silly Daddy!" I was squirming but determined to try and put this one to bed.
There was a sharp intake of seven year old breath from the back seat. "You LIED! That's terrible. Daddy told you a LIE, <Name>"
We belong to a small local gym, that has a creche. So that's where our daughter and I headed after we had dropped our son at school.
We know the ladies at the creche quite well by now, as we've used it fairly regularly for a couple of years. As usual, our little girl went in quite happily.
"Daddy's a Hairy Fairy!" She proudly told the creche lady.
I'm standing there in shorts and rugby shirt. "Hmm," says the creche lady, looking me up and down. "He looks like one!"
Great, just great! This means I'm going to have that nickname at the gym from now on. As it's clientele is largely butch bodybuilders and little old ladies this isn't good news.
Home again that afternoon we wait in for our grocery delivery from Sainsburys. We go through the normal procedure of the phone ringing and the, invariably new, delivery man asking how on earth he finds us.
Arriving he begins to unload the various bags into the hall.
Our daughter arrives at my side and proceeds to strip. I'm trying to handle bags full of fish fingers, chicken nuggets and other kiddy treats and also encourage her to keep her clothes on at the same time.
Waving her trousers above her head our daughter addresses the already slightly startled delivery man. "My Daddy's a Hairy Fairy!" she shouts and then dissolves into fits of giggles.
The delivery man looks nonplussed and visibly speeds up his bag unloading.
"Sorry, she calls me that, it's a term of endearment," I mumble trying to save the situation.
By this point our daughter is jumping up and down wearing only her underpants, pointing at me and shouting "Hairy Fairy, Hairy Fairy." The delivery driver backs away from the door as quickly as possible.
He's never been back again. Strangely.
That night I put our daughter to bed. As usual, I tell her a story, turn out the light and hold her hand as she falls asleep.
She yawns, rolls over and whispers, "I love you Hairy Fairy."
That makes all the embarrassment worthwhile.