“Not bloody tennis again,” said my daughter, aged 5.
“Hail John Inverdale and be quiet. I need to watch it,” I replied.
We were trussed up on the sofa in our pyjamas under a duvet, bickering like Waldorf and Statler. Me with my Rioja, her with her milk and biscuit. The dog was also in residence, inevitably, chewing on the fetid raw-hide remnant he had just exhumed from the garden.
This is what we’ve become. Waldorf, Statler and Animal.
Most parents I know have their kids bathed, booked and in bed by seven. Our evening routine consists of a charging of glasses, a short bicker about choice of televisual viewing (Mummy TV presides after 8pm – my daughter now loves The Apprentice and is rooting for that sultry doctor), then an exodus to bed around 10pm.
Occasionally we’ll have pillow-talk:
“I don’t want curly hair.”
“I don’t like broccoli.”
“Why is Daddy in that box in the wardrobe?”
And then we sleep. Much like the evenings I used to have with the other love of my life, actually. (Pillow-talk aside…)
And when I wake up at 2am, thinking of M, I look over at the person spread-eagled in the bed next to me and the weirdest thing happens: I see Him! In the curve of her neck, the roundness of her cheek, the total calm blanketing her face.
(Statler: This is a very moving moment.
Waldorf: Yeah. I wish they’d move it to Pittsburgh.)