As a slight deviation from my normal style, this week's column is dedicated to what Ruby would have put in her daddy's Father's Day card, had she had the capability to write it herself. As it was, she drew a couple of smudgy snails, but I'm sure this is more along the lines of what she meant...
Happy Father's Day! I do hope you have a lovely day. Because I imagine you are very excited about it, I think we should start all the festivities nice and early, so I expect you will be reading this at about 5am.
When you play peekaboo, by putting your pillow over your face, I will sit on your head and bounce! I find it's a good way to burn off some of my early morning energy and, if your growling 'monster' noises are anything to go by, you seem to enjoy it too!
Oh, by the way, Ava and I have bought you a present. It won't matter if your eyes are too bleary to see it properly, because I'll grab it back and run off with it before you've had a chance to look at it properly anyway. I might hide it somewhere actually. You'll probably come across it somewhere random in a week or two.
Once you are well and truly awake, we can really start having a very fun Father's Day! But before we do that, you might need to take me to have a wee. By the time I have said: "I do wee, Daddy?" 94 times, and you have climbed out of bed, and taken me to the bathroom, and put my Peppa Pig seat on the loo, and put me on my Peppa Pig seat, I definitely WILL have decided whether I do really need a wee... or not.
I am told that, on Father's Day, children should do kind things for their daddies, and you know I would love to make you a cup of tea – but because I am too little to reach the worktop, and because I am not allowed to go anywhere near very hot things, I will, instead, whine at you repeatedly until you go downstairs and get me a cup of juice. And while you are there, you can make some tea yourself!
When we all sit down to have breakfast together, I will drop all my egg on the floor and then pretend I want to give you a cuddle so I can, in fact, sit on your lap and eat your egg. I'll eat all my toast up, apart from the crusts, and these I will keep trying to shove in your mouth – particularly at times when you are trying to talk to Mummy.
Once breakfast is over, the fun can really start! Shall we begin with you reading me a story (five times over)? Perhaps Mummy will buy you a Sunday newspaper – hooray! We can scrunch it all up and stuff it down the side of the sofa! Don't worry if you're too busy (tidying up my books) to do that – Ava and I can do it by ourselves when you're not looking. If I have time, I might also put a snail in your shoe.
I will try not to get cross with you when you say I can't have a third Petis Filous after lunch, but I can't promise. What I CAN promise though is that, today, especially for you, I will forgo my afternoon nap. I couldn't possibly leave you downstairs by yourself, not on Father's Day! Naturally, this might make me a bit emotional come say, 4pm. A Petis Filous should solve that.
I wonder if it might be nice for you to go and have a leisurely pint with a friend in the afternoon, but I think even NICER might be a trip to the swings! With me!
Yes, thinking about it, it's probably best if you don't attempt to leave the house at any point without my sister and I. We all know how that'll go if we're really honest.
I will probably get myself extremely muddy and snotty during the course of the day's activities, and I'll almost certainly have yogurt in my hair, so if you like, after dinner (during which you will sit next to me at all times) you can run me a bubble bath.
We could play the bath game! You know? That game where you spend 15 minutes trying to convince me to get in the bath? And then 20 minutes trying to convince me to get out again?
As it is your special day, you can choose which bed time story you read if you like. I'll disagree with you, probably, and make you read a different, much, much longer book (or three), but this will merely be my way of trying to ensure Father's Day never ends.
Inevitably, at some point, after you have fetched me a drink, and cuddled me for half an hour, and stroked my face for quite a long time, I'll have to give in and fall sleep. I hope you won't mind.
You know if I could stay up all night, and prevent you enduring a boring evening of television, wine and adult conversation, I most certainly would. But I'm only two-and-a-half. Fingers crossed for next year!
Yes, happy Father's Day, Daddy – have a lovely day.
All my love from Ruby. xxx
As a footnote to this, I'd like to add that I was at home all day on Father's Day... but hey, what can I say? When Daddy's in the house, no-one else will do.
I guess that's what being such a wonderful father does for you...