Ed Miliband has revealed how his six-year-old son Daniel brought him down to earth, or rubbed salt into the wounds, following Labour's election defeat in May.
His first speech in the House of Commons since David Cameron secured an overall majority also won praise from George Osborne and other Tory MPs.
The former Labour leader told the Commons he was naturally "deeply disappointed" not to have been elected prime minister. And he said it was right for his party to undergo the "hard and painful thinking necessary" to work out what had gone wrong.
Miliband opened his remarks with a light hearted anecdote about life at home now he was no longer in charge of his party.
“In the time since the general election I can report to the House that I have found some small consolations of losing. Spending time with my two boys who feel that they have their dad back," he said.
"Though I confess that my eldest, who’s just turned six, did bring me further down to earth last week. He suddenly turned to me out of the blue and said 'Dad, if there’s a fire at our house I think we'll be ok'.
"I said 'why’s that Daniel?'
"And he said, 'if we ring the fire brigade, they’ll recognise your name because you used to be famous'.
Miliband added to laughter: "'Thanks very much,' I said."
Opening Thursday's Commons debate on the economy, Osborne praised Miliband for turning up in parliament - rather than hiding away in defeat.
The chancellor said Miliband "earns the respect of everyone that he has come to this House so soon after the election defeat".
Osborne added: "whatever the fierce argument of the general election, I don't think anyone ever doubted his personal integrity."
Miliband's speech also seemed to go down well with Tory MPs. Stewart Jackson tweeted on Thursday afternoon: "I've just congratulated Ed Miliband in the tearoom on a perfectly pitched speech. Takes guts to accept setback with such style."