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Monday, 6 June 2016

Things that Daddy is better at than me

Why do my kids prefer their dad? Things that daddy is better at than me: Playing, lego, leaving the house...

What is it with kids?


I spend all day feeding them, dealing with their tantrums, wiping various sticky substances from their hands, mouths and bottoms, and basically making sure they don't injure or kill themselves and yet when daddy gets home from work, it is like I don't exist. Mummy who?

I'll say now that my husband is a wonderful daddy. Perhaps even the best they'll ever have. But it's flipping ungrateful of them to overlook the fact that he might well forget to feed them anything but biscuits.

However, as much as I'd love to say that I am the best parent (of the two of us, not necessarily in the world) I have to concede that there are a number of things that daddy is far better at than I...

Playing

I confess, I am no good at playing. I try, I'm just not a natural and I really don't enjoy it. I can sing and read stories, and I can't wait until they're older and we can do crafting and gardening and things that I actually quite enjoy. But sitting on the floor (uncomfortable, right?) playing Happyland, or jigsaws, or any number of games that no one apart from the toddler knows the rules to, is like having teeth pulled to me.

Daddy is brilliant at playing. I think it comes from basically being a large child himself.
His main motivation behind having children, I believe, was that one day they will be old enough to join him in his love of Lego.

Remaining calm

I am not a particularly shouty mum, although I do say 'f!cksake' under my breath about a hundred times a day, but I have my moments. When my iPhone met the water table the toddler was very lucky that I had a friend over to stop me screaming 'Oh god WHHHYYY??' over and over. I was not happy.
Daddy on the other hand has the patience that only someone with regular day-long breaks from the children (or medication, maybe) can have. When he does raise his voice, you know something bad has happened.


Getting a fussy toddler to eat

Preparing and cleaning up after six meals and countless snacks each day, I'm slightly less than excited about the whole process. If they don't want to eat whatever I've lovingly plated up my go to response is eating it myself and giving them a banana, whereas daddy has endless patience for the 'is that MY dinner you're eating?' game which is the only way the toddler will currently consider eating vegetables.

Going out of the house

I spend ages making sure we have everything. Nappies, wipes, drinks, jumpers, snacks, spare outfits, dummies, bibs, things with which to entertain the children in case of an unexpected two minute wait somewhere... Some days it takes so long to get ready that by the time everything is assembled, and both kids have had a last minute poo (of course) then the place we are going has closed.

He doesn't even look in the bag and assumes that everything he needs is in there. If it isn't, he just buys it. I don't know why I can't be more like this really. There would be more hours in my day.


Taking the kids out to lunch

My husband recently took both children out for food on his own in order to let mummy get on with some important jobs (and have a bath). Upon leaving, a middle aged woman ran up to him and said she just had to tell him what a good job he was doing.
Literally no one has ever done this to me and we go out all the time; all I get are comments on how much they can eat (what, you've never seen a baby eat an entire pizza before?) and, sometimes, glowing compliments about the toddler's hair. Very few congratulations on how well I'm managing (probably because they're both whinging while I quietly sob into my tea) even though I rarely let them have chips with ice cream for lunch.

Bath time

I don't even know why I put myself through this most evenings. If daddy happens to be home early though, or at the weekends, he seems to be adept at making the experience fun as opposed to traumatic.

I do wonder whether, if the roles were reversed and it was I that was out all day, I would become the fun parent. Without the constant tidying of crumbs and wiping of bottoms, would I have more energy to sit on the floor and play? If I didn't have to listen to near constant whinging from 6am - 7pm, would I be more patient? Would I drink less wine of an evening? Would I swear under my breath less often?

... probably not. And I'll certainly never be any good at Lego.

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100 comments:

  1. I'm a second class citizen the second Daddy walks in the door too. He's much shoutier than me though. Xx

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    1. Ah they're all different. Mine is a grump but he doesn't shout. But he is grumpy. Did I mention that?

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  2. Found you on #bigpinklink! Dads have strengths, relish the mommy ones that he isn't so great at!

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    1. I'm trying to think what they are... cooking. That's one. Although the kids don't eat it so maybe it isn't that important!

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  3. Aaaaahhh I am a rubbish 'player'; I last about 2 minutes. Unless it's pile blankets on mummy and then I can snooze a little.... #bigpinklink

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    1. Back again with #chucklemums...and it's the best game ever!

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  4. I am the same. Every flipping weekday night as soon as they hear Daddy they are like "YAAAAAAYYYY Daddy is home" and they run to greet him, high five him, treat him like a king yada yada. What do I get NOTHING, a big fat zero. Pft. Rude. I suggest we go on strike then they would realise how much we rock! #bigpinklink

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    1. My daughter didn't even SAY mummy until 19.5m - the day my son was born - incidentally the first time I had ever spent the night away from her. Daddy she had licked from like 9 months or something.

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  5. Generally I'm more hard line than my wife. It's like The Simpsons gag when Homer says "but they know my one weakness. I'm weeeak...".

    It's not so much weakness as losing a battle of attrition and constant demands and tantrums. It doesn't always work in my favour as sometimes it means wasting my energy on pointless battles of principle!

    #BigPinkLink

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    1. I'm not sure I have the energy for battles of principle against a two year old ;)

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  6. I sometimes feel like the not-so-fun parent. My boyfriend likes to goof off more with A and be silly, but I tend to be more serious. He's great though. I don't think I could manage without him. #TribalLove

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  7. I am just trying to get my daughter to eat her cold congealed porridge (it wasn't like that half an hour ago, obviously) and she just caught sight of the photo of "the little girl ea-ea i-cream" and is now flailing about in a tantrum because she wants some!!! Anyway - onto the post - this is so true! I feel like boring reliable mummy all of the time, I would love to be the carefree one walking out the door with just my car keys and a child, getting toddler to squat on a grass verge instead of using the travel potette and making them scrambled eggs for every meal. One day when she is a teenager and wants her ears pieced / hair highlighted and only mummy will let her - that is when i will be the favoured one...#chucklemums

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    1. Hahaha sorry about that!

      Oh I'm certain daddy is not going to be so cool when she's older and doesn't want to play. I'll be in my element then...

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  8. My daughter is usually going into post-supper pre-bed meltdown when her father walks through the door, and she instantly starts beaming at him. I usually try to throw her at him so I can get things done and we are both furious if he decides he needs to go to the loo or change before he takes the baton. #ChuckleMums

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    1. Oh god men and their bloody sacred trips to the loo... could write a whole blog on that

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  9. I'm definitely not as fun as the Mr. He throws the big one around, chases her up the stairs and is just more fun. I just bark orders!! #chucklemums

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  10. Nice Lego :) Rev T has some of those ... Er, whatever they are from Star Wars! (But you know I'd turn up for a Lego invoice!)

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    1. Sorry, picture! My boss is talking to me about invoices. I meant pictures!

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    2. Bahaha I do that all the time. Oh who knows. Or more accurately, who cares ;)

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  11. haha! I hated playing when they were young.. never really my thing.. but dad, yep! he was all over it.. the thing is now they are older, he gets a bit competitive and the games sometimes end up with the preteen being a rather sore loser lol - #chucklemums

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    1. I think the balance must tip eventually... I live in hope

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  12. My husband is definitely better at playing than I am. He's also way more relaxed about leaving the house - as long as he has some nappies and wet wipes, he's not too worried. My daughter thinks he's pretty much the best thing ever. #chucklemums

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    1. If I forget anything it leaves me completely panicked. I wish I could handle it better!

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  13. Just popping back to remind you that we need to make the placards for our strike and come up with some snazzy slogan to remind our cherubs why we are amazing ;-) #chucklemums

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    1. Haha I would but neither of mine can read, so...

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  14. Oh I can relate to this! I am the uptight parent, worrying about everything, trying to plan ahead and foresee any hiccups and prevent any stressful situations, run a tight ship etc etc.. then in saunters Daddy, the cool, calm, chilled, laid-back, placid, carefree parent.. no wonder he is idolised! Grrrr... #chucklemums

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  15. I am SO with you on the staying calm! Hubs is so cool calm and collected and I'm a worry wart with a hint of feistiness! We balance each other out though so there are some benefits xx #chucklemums

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  16. It's the very same in my house, as soon as daddy is home I don't even exist anymore. A particularly annoying 'daddy is best' moment happened the other day. I cook all the meals day in day out in our house so hubby took his once in a blue moon turn, made birds eyes finest, chicken dippers and chips. My three year old then loudly proclaimed "daddy is the best cook ever!" So nice to feel appreciated! �� X

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  17. What a lovely tribute to your husband. It is lovely that they get great things from daddy and from mummy. My Father too is better at playing as he doesn't care about making an absolute mess, whereas Mother is probably better at putting me to bed (if Father can't get me down, he just gives up and brings me downstairs again for more play til I'm knackered out. I appreciate this enormously. Mother does not). It's all about balance ;) x #chucklemums

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  18. When it is just me and the girls during the week - they nap for an hour. Daddy comes home and wonders why I am exhausted when they sleep for 2.5 hours per nap on the weekend. While he does tend yell, "Relax!" to them more than I do, if I am not around - they quiety play. If I am around, then they scream like banshees. :)

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    1. The napping is very unfair, very unfair indeed.

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  19. My hubs defo gets the award for being woken up in the morning first!, playing football/cricket, remembering PE kit and maths homework! As we work from home we both get to share the after school excitable cuddles/whinges! We are a little bit co parenty which I like #chucklemums

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    1. Maybe it is true then - it's more about time spent at home than just being a dad. Maybe I would be fun. Maybe.

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  20. Misery Guts is also better at bath time and story time than I am - he can also make it fun in a way I can't - probably because I'm already too frazzled! #chucklemum

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    1. Hahaha nice pet name you have for him!

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  21. My pitfall is def the 'remaining calm' one... First time Baba had colic, I didn't see it coming. I was hysteric and panicked because I was not able to calm him down. In two minutes, Grumpy Boyfriend calmed him down and then it was my turn to have a cuddle. I was in tears. So unfair!!!! #chucklemums

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    1. It's the crying. It drives mums loopy, actually loopy. I'm sure science backs me up on that

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  22. this is so true! why do the dads get all the pats on the back by totally random strangers! by 7pm I am totally unable to 'remain calm'
    great post! #chucklemums x

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    1. Because they are expected to be rubbish I guess. So sexist but there you go..

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  23. Can I borrow your husband please?? Haha! I'm glad it's not just me who's bad at playing :-/ Also I'm loving the chips and ice-cream combo :-) #chucklemums

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    1. I know, perfect to dunk eh. Not on my watch.

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  24. I can't even do stories according to my 3 year old it's like a scene from 'Outnumbered' if I even dare to attempt bedtime stories so much so when my husband went out last weekend I just let the IPad read the Gruffalo instead! Us mum's just clearly aren't as fun! #chucklemums

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    1. I think I need to get me that app...Husband does all the voices.

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  25. Oh god I hate imaginary play with the Child - there are so many rules and when I accidentally do something mildly amusing I have to repeat it all the livelong day! I can't wait until the Child is old enough to watch repeat of Friends and drink gin (I'm thinking 11 or 12 years old?). #chucklemums

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    1. Kids are doing things earlier these days, maybe 10?

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  26. I, too, shove a banana in when all else fails. Actually, a chocolate yoghurt if I'm honest. And yesterday I resorted to alternating mouthful of fish pie with mouthful of chocolate yoghurt. I think it's ok. #chucklemums

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  27. I'm terrible at playing! I think Dads can more easily ignore all the jobs which need doing, so can just chill with the kids (which is a quality to admire - as long as the jobs get done at some point, I guess!) #chucklemums

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    1. Well who cares if the kids don't have clean clothes and have to sleep in their own vomit eh?

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  28. Second attempt at commenting, as WordPress didn't like me before...unknown identity my arse! Anyway, basically I said that if Dad can create that Lego spaceship then respect! I'm with you on not enjoying sitting on the floor with them and playing - that's why I had several children, so that they can sit and play together, while I have a cuppa or such like. Even now when monopoly is mentioned, I run and hide! Terrible, I know. If you got this comment in duplicate - apologies :) Alison madhousemum #chucklemums

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    1. It took him the whole of Christmas. In moving it I almost took it apart so he had to do most of it again. Totally agree. Most of the reason we have two is the hope that one day they can amuse each other without input from me.

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  29. Daddy is better at playing in our house too! He's really rough and tumble and my little boys loves it, I'm a boring play mate! I love that you man had congratulations from a middle aged woman, hilarious! Also, they are the most opinionated about parenting, so he MUST have been impressive!

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    1. He was pretty chuffed with himself secretly I think ;)

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  30. It's the same in our home - Daddy is way more fun. And yes being good at reading that bit of paper that comes with the Lego thing is a very big plus point. My other half has the patience to make Lego sets for hours and of course the kids think he is so cool. You do have a point - if the roles were reversed and Daddy had to do all the chores, would he have time and patience? But then again, mine wouldn't care whether or not the kids had clean clothes. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

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    1. He has the patience for that but yet can't manage to read instructions for DIY and ends up putting the bits on wrong to Ikea bookcases.

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  31. In our house, it's exactly the same Fran. Daddy is for play fighting, lego building and general frivolity, Mummy is for moaning, waitressing, poo cleaning up and being a taskmaster. i think if my other half was home with the kids all day and roles were reversed, I would be better than Daddy. Day to day parenting is hard... And besides, we are the best at Gin and Wine drinking ;-)
    #chucklemums

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  32. brilliant! this was so typical when mine were smaller but I have to say as they've got older the contrast between mummy and daddy is less - phew! and they really appreciate our differences #KCACOLS

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  33. I'm better at weeing standing up but in the eyes of my children mum wins at everything else. Literally. #KCACOLS

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    1. I bet with proper funnelage she could probably win that one too...

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  34. Haha this is jsut brilliant!! Totally agree! We all do the hard work but Daddy gets all the credit haha
    #KCACOLS

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  35. We tried to have a "family cuddle" when Mr NJC got home the other night. My son who had been my best buddy all day, literally shoved me out of the way by my face so he could have daddy to himself! Charming! #KCACOLS

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    1. Could be worse though. Could have been grandparents, they are a level above daddy over here...

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  36. Again chuckling to myself and contemplating the mummy vs daddy in our house. Daddy definitely likes doing to louder, more rough playing than I do. He chases him around, shouting loudly while I tell him to use his inside voice. On the flip side though, he's not really very good at any other types of playing. #KCACOLS

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    1. I think the strengths and weaknesses are what make a great team!

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  37. My kids are older and I still get this, my hubby (kids stepdad) is the go to if they need something, built or help with a project and their dad is there for all the fun stuff like over sugary meals and fun times out. But at least it gives me a little time to get bits done ;)
    #KCACOLS

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    1. Yes the upside is that I can have a quiet hour now and again!

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  38. Haha - we have the exact same split in attitudes to preparing for leaving the house here too. I don't really have any problems with bath time - our two love it regardless - but daddy definitely makes it more of a play time. It's the time thing though. I do bath efficiently because I need to do other things - clean, tidy up, get bedrooms ready, etc. Daddy puts a lot of effort into fun baths & the girls love it. But it takes about an hour & nothing else gets done! #chucklemums

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    1. Yes. Efficiency is key! You're so right.

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  39. Same here - Daddy is the funnest man ever, the funnest person, why he breathes and it is hilarious. I think my whole week is summed up with one sentence by my eldest:

    "Mummy I love your hair and I love Daddy"

    So my hair is on par ;) #KCACOLS

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  40. Ha! Oh bless!! He sounds like a handy one to have around! I wish I could sing the same praises of mine...though I will give him playing! He is definitely better at playing than me!! And lego building! #KCACOLS

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    1. Oh I know I could definitely have it A LOT worse...

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  41. If you're no good at Lego, then I'm afraid you've had it!
    Seriously, though, I think a lot of families are like this. It reminds me of my own childhood, too. My mum, bless her, was a terrific carer, and my dad put the excitement in. Happy days. [sigh]

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    1. I'm hoping the balance will tip at some point...Maybe when they're in their 20s and I can help them with practical things and they're bored of lego.

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  42. The dad's just seem to have it on the excitement front don't they. Even if it's not playing and doing something really dull - it's always more fun. I am totally the crowd in our 3. I can see a little change occurring as The Kid is getting older. Until then I shall sit on my own! Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS. Hope you can join us again next Sunday.

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    1. They do. FAR more exciting. Thank you x

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  43. Oh gosh I can totally relate to this post. I always seem to be the one shouting and disciplining our girls. Whilst daddy always gets to be the cool fun guy. Xx #KCACOLS

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  44. I think playing and Lego building is a skill all O H have as they are big kids as well! Mine definitely has less patience than me though, although he's the fun parent and I'm the strict one. #kCACOLS

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    1. I wish I could be a big kid. I am looking forward to arts and crafts phase - when she understands that more glue is not necessarily a good thing though.

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  45. Daddy is quite shouty in this house but he's brilliant at playing.Thought I was an awful Mum for hating playing with dolls/cars/Shopkins so glad I'm not alone :-D x #kcacols

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  46. I feel the same as you Fran! I spend my days feeding the baby, wiping the baby, changing the baby, getting the baby to sleep. When Daddy gets home it's playtime right before bedtime, which usually ends up in a overworked baby. I think my little girl massively prefers Daddy over me, some days I don't even get a smile. Hopefully that'll change when I go back to work in a few weeks. Claire x #KCACOLS

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    1. I'm sure that she will show you some gratitude soon - although it took me being away overnight before my girl even said Mummy. Little ratbag

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  47. Great post... How funny though most of the roles are reversed in our house... Bath time is definitely dad territory but the rest are fine! I'm better at playing, he's better at play fighting! #KCACOLS

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  48. We have role reversal in our household and I'm usually the one who gets home late from work. As a result, I'm the one who sits on the floor an plays for ages with my daughter. I have far more patience and am a pretty soft touch. However, my other half is much better at reading stories (in a slow, involved way), which he does occasionally - I'm far too much of a whirlwind. :-) Great post! #KCACOLS

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    1. Maybe it is the being at work all day then that makes you appreciate playing on the floor. It does kill my back though ;)

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  49. My other half is definitely better at playing, bathtime and dinner. As soon as he arrives home from work it's like I don't exist. Usually I've been battling for almost a hour trying to get Clem to eat, he walks in and she immediately starts eating it all. He's also better at reading bedtime stories and doing silly voices. She always seems bored when I read them.x #KCACOLS

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    1. Let him read them! Then you can lie down or chat on twitter instead! Haha

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