On Father's Day, the majority of dads all over the UK will wake up (or, more likely, be woken up) to some rather lovely presents from their children.
As a dad of two, I can vouch for the fact that it's a wonderful occasion, even if it is largely suspicious that your one year-old son has the money to buy you a gift. But behind our smile shimmers a man who longs for things more than a photo of his family, or a box of beer; things that are difficult - if not impossible - to achieve.
This is what every dad really craves for on Father's Day.
1. A hairline that doesn't recede.
Despite what the adverts on TV suggest, most men aren't that bothered about going grey. In fact, we think it makes us even more attractive, like George Clooney or Sean Connery. Our biggest fear, however, is that our receding hairline will progress so much that we end up looking less like Clooney or Connery and more like a hard-boiled egg, or Britney Spears when she went through that slightly crazy phase. I panic that my hairline is receding, and I'm only 26. It just worries me when it takes longer to wash my face each morning.
2 A belly that doesn't hang.
When we were young and single, us men were relatively fit. Some of us were tremendously healthy. But fatherhood doesn't just take its toll on the wallet; our fitness invariably suffers, and where once was a set of abs like a washboard now resides a hairy apron of blubber. You know you're getting large when you stand in front of a urinal and you've no idea in which direction you're going to spray. Oh, for a six-pack. (Not of beer.)
3. To be 18 again.
This is perhaps not quite so relevant for a young (and, some might say, quite stupid) dad, such as myself; but many fathers who find themselves in an older age bracket long for the heady days of their youth, when they could stay up until the wee hours, get drunk, and compliment a teenage girl without being called 'Grandad', or 'Pervert'.
4. A decent lie-in.
There was a time when seeing the bright digital figures on your alarm clock reading 3.00 AM meant you were just coming in from a night out. Now, you spend the twilight hours feeding a baby whilst watching awful television. Then, you're up again a few hours later, either to see to a wailing child or to go to work. Our ideal Father's Day would involve never leaving the bed, and snoring the entire time.
Ever since we became a co-parent, with free time squeezed to a minimum and exhaustion at a peak, it seems we need a reason to indulge in rather more private affairs. Birthdays, for example. Christmas Day. The Royal Wedding. And, yes, Father's Day falls under the same umbrella. Although not technically a gift from the kids, it'll certainly make us smile.
Dads, tell us what else you would like for Father's Day?
Mums, they may want all the above but is a drawing and a best dad mug more likely? What are you planning?
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