Father's Day. Or in our case. Fathers' Day. You would think it would be oh so simple. The antidote to the awkwardness of Mothering Sunday.
Awkwardness abounds as the day approaches.
Whereas our children's teachers struggle with the embarrassment of finding a suitable explanation and recipient for the Mothering Sunday gifts and cards they produce alongside their classmates. When it comes to Father's Day the challenge is different, but still embarrassing.
In the time taken allotted for the little darlings to produce one card and gift, ours have to come up with two. Their poor teachers have to explain to the rest of the class why our three year old daughter and seven year old son have been allowed to create two cards. Two charmingly decorated jam jar desk tidies. Two gingerbread men with chocolate button and icing attachments that make them look remarkably like Doctor Who villains.
Then there's the problem of who actually arranges the festivities on the day itself. Who marshalls the children into purchasing cards. Buying flowers. Organising presents.
Both being the recipients of the anticipated largesse, our problem is who is going to corral our children into choosing the cards and presents, writing the charming, yet illegible messages, providing the surprise on the allotted Sunday morning.
We could rely, as someone on Twitter suggested, on our parents. Grandparents fulfil the role for single Mums and Dads up and down the country.
Not necessarily a good idea.
The chances of getting my father to play ball are remote. And even if he did we're likely to end up with his Father's Day gift of choice. Y Fronts from Marks and Spencer.
J's mother? The fact she lives 100 miles away is a hinderance. I would additionally remind you of the quality of the gifts she and my sister in law have provided us with over the years.
There was the first Christmas gift for our, then, four year old son. A brass bell with which to "call Daddy when you need him." Then of course the annual Christmas gift of shampoo from my sister in law. (I've been bald for 25 years, which is more than 15 years longer than I've known her.
Maybe not the best person to arrange Fathers' Day gifts then.
Of course, being the nicest, kindest person in the world, I anticipated J would be arranging all of this. I therefore arrived in the kitchen this morning full of anticipation.
"Happy Fathers' Day" I said loudly to the children, sitting at the kitchen table eating their cereal and J as he handed me a coffee.
"Happy Fathers' Day" J replied.
The children didn't look up. This wasn't a good start.
I looked at them both. Our son looked up, "Oh, Happy Fathers' Day?" Our son said. More in hope of saying the right thing rather than offering a genuine greeting.
J looked at me and rolled his eyes.
"So where are the cards then?" I asked, expectantly.
I was met with silence.
I turned to J. "You got them to buy cards?"
"No." He answered
"Flowers?" I said, knowing what the answer would be.
"No. You normally organise all this kind of thing." J looked quizzically at me.
"Oh, I thought you would. As it's Fathers' Day." I replied, piling on the pressure.
"Oh. Umm, No." J had the good grace to look abashed.
We both looked at the children. They returned our gaze. Our son shrugged.
"What are they talking about?" Our daughter stage whispered to our son.
"We're supposed to have bought them presents and be nice to them all day." Our son replied. "As if that's going to happen!" He added under his breath.
An embarrassed silence enveloped us all.
"Good job I organised it then." I said.
"Lucky I did as well." Added J.
Happy Father's Day. I hope yours was as lovely as ours!