This post was inspired by a comment from @neilco on the social network:

"I’m pondering a world where cake is the currency. My dad had this to say about both money and cake: once it’s gone it’s gone.

Just imagine a delicious, frosted, edible currency."

My daughters have an uneasy relationship with cake. The lure, allure, whatever you wish to call the experience, of cake is strong and yet its execution in my household is weak. Before you think this is going nowhere, let me explain.

Cakes are bought, put on plates, cut into manageable portions, put on smaller plates and distributed according to the size of the family member to receive them. Number 2 daughter gets the smallest portion, number 1 the next larger, my wife gets the next-up in size and I, being head of the household and biggest, get the biggest. However, the distribution of sizes isn’t at all as straightforward as this outline implies.

Daughter 2 is still relatively clumsy so the floor gets some, she eats some, she sees something interesting on the TV, all is lost. Daughter 1 is also relatively clumsy, the TV plays a big part in her life too. So, the unconsumed cake, where still edible, usually goes to the head of the household. Me. (My wife is health- and weight-conscious.)

Now, Daughter 2 loves to share. It’s at the very core of her being. A slight issue is the concept of sharing is somewhat unconventionally applied in her world. I get my slice of cake, it’s lovely and moist and identical in all-but size to Daughter 2′s. She looks over want WANTS mine. There’s nothing in-your-face confrontational about the process of her taking over, it’s seamless. One minute it’s all mine, the next I’m feeding her bite-sized portions…

You’d think that would be the end of it. Nope, not by a long way. Because I try to be the best dad I can (let’s not go there) I feel the need to reciprocate the largesse dispensed by my 2 daughters. Ice cream or a trip to ‘The Cupboard’ is allowed. It’s only fair. And when it’s all over, am I owed a debt of gratitude? Maybe, but I’m unlikely to ever collect.

‘The Cupboard’, by the way, is where we keep the snacks, not some instrument of discipline similar to a mediaeval iron maiden. No, ‘The Cupboard’ is a simple cupboard with shelves, situated at ground level with deliciously-edible contents available to all-comers, incidentally a strategy being re-examined as this very post is written.

Eventually I finish my cake, dreaming of simpler times – a single example being once when our 5 cats sat in a perfect semi-circle whilst I fed them the meat from an otherwise excellent triple pack of supermarket sandwiches.

In summary, quantitative easing seems a clumsy instrument compared to the arrival of even a single cake at Turner Towers.

Sense of humour

My oldest daughter is often challenged by her homework – there’s way too much for a 6-year-old, but the school gets good results and we don’t want to rock the boat, at least not just yet. The latest batch has what I presume is an exercise related to imagination.

The brief being to create a monster, describe its likes and attributes, and draw a picture. The most important bit, the one daughter 1 was most challenged by, giving said monster a name.

It should be easy, it’s only a name. Right? But we’d only recently finished with the weights and measures homework, moving together throughout the house finding objects for me to illustrate what things weigh. Brain full.

  • 5kg was easy for her – 5 bags of sugar.
  • 100g less easy given perfectionist daddy’s insistence in diving into the miscellaneous food items drawer. But we got there.
  • 63kg is what a mummy weighs. Not this mummy here you understand, as I noted at the bottom of the page to the teacher, in a pitiful attempt at humour and face-saving.
  • 30g is a packet of crips (chips if you’re the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean.)

So, a name for the monster? She didn’t know. So I explained what it must be like being one. “Just imagine what life must be like as a monster,” I said. “Everyone’s out to get you simply because you’re going round the countryside eating small children and sheep. And, do you know, that’s wrong.”
She looked at me for a moment. And then looked again.

I continued “Imagine all you want is a quiet life, to just go down to the shops and buy some nice food, go home at the end of the day and sit down with a cup of steaming hot chocolate. And you can’t because the villagers are out to get you, stab you and set you on fire.”
At this point daughter 1 opened her mouth and said something very appropriate: “?”

Ok, non-verbal communication is indeed very powerful, but let’s move on…

“So,” I said “let’s pick a name now. Please.”

“Flib-blob-floo-boo,” or something very close, was her reply. I’m still not sure if as an answer or because I’d melted her brain. But I pushed for an answer – it was past her bedtime.

“How about Buttercup?” I asked. “Just because it’s a monster doesn’t mean it has to have a horrible name like Raaarg or Snaarlf.”

“No.” came the emphatic response.

“Snowdrop?” was met with a giggle. On our way now, I hoped, but I’ll spare you the despair I felt when each subsequent pick was rebuffed. Close to giving up or getting her mother to help I gave it my best shot: “Jim-Bob?” (her name) “or Ag-Ack-Ack?” (her younger sister’s name.) Incidentally I’m not in the habit of divulging my family’s names publicly. Apart from the cats.

Simply “No.”

My patience wearing thin, inspiration arrived: I asked her to pick a letter of the alphabet to start the name off.

“F” she smiled.

Imagine my thought bubble: “Uh-oh.”

“i” arrived quickly, much to my relief.

“s, h, l, e, g ,s, !”

Done, at last!

And here she is:

I have what’s been called a well-developed sense of humour. Ok, I’m putting a positive spin on it. Being frank, a lot of people think I’m a bit weird. And some think I’m a lot weird. And, do you know, I have no problem with that.

I do have a problem with the dangly bulbous-ended thing between Fishlegs’ legs. I dare not ask, especially as I made the assumption a girl would pick a female monster.

“A tail?” you say.

Naah, she’s seen my willy.