A lot of me missing my father-in-law is the way we talked about the children. Not just to sing their praises either. He wanted to know about all the bad stuff – particularly that. The naughtier they were, the sparkier, the more assertive, the more he liked it. So, I’ve decided to have that same conversation with him here.
‘How’s that bitch? That Delphine?’ This is of course him speaking. He specially liked to call Delphine a bitch. It was an absolute term of endearment for him.
‘Well, her cousin Chloe’s here, and she’s not always being that nice to her. I’ve been catching snippets of it as they’ve been going along. Like today, we were going out in the car. We’re walking towards it and Delphine calls, “Shotgun.” Chloe doesn’t complain, but waits patiently for Delph to lift the front seat so she can squeeze into the back. Delphine however, isn’t having any of it. She looks over her shoulder and says, “Go round to the other side, Chloe,” and goes to sit down in her shotgun place. I was like, “WTF, now we are not having that, Delphine. You let Chloe get into the back.” Delphine sighed like it was the most difficult thing she’s done, but she did it.’
I can hear Grandpa laughing. ‘I told you she was a little Napoleon. What else has she done?’
‘They were playing Barbies today and all I could hear was Delphine saying, “Don’t touch that, Chloe. No, I don’t like that there. Put it over there. This Barbie doesn’t wear these shoes. That character stays in this room.” It was like a roll-call of fun-sucking. And this was supposed to be a game. I winced for Chloe’s sake – and Chloe’s not even my kid.’
Somewhere out there, my father-in-law is laughing at me. Maybe it’s a million miles away or perhaps it’s really close. Maybe he really does drop in on those small feathers that fall in through the sky. We find them often floating just above our heads.
And maybe Delph will learn to be nicer. Hopefully maybe.