It was so close to Father’s Day when Etta was born, I had my first ever day with my little girl just a few days young and I remember Alice bought me a mug that said “World’s best Daddy”. I had bought countless of the same mug for my dad on Father’s Days over the years and I knew from having tea at Alice’s parent’s place that she had bought them too. It’s funny how something so small, so seemingly insignificant and so mass produced can mean so much to you when you become a dad but I cherish that mug to this day.
It’s a bit of a tradition now and we’re on the hunt for another set of mugs again this year (which is proving tricky in Thailand) because Father’s Day isn’t just a celebration for me. It’s a celebration of all the fathers – mine and Alice’s and Alice’s mum’s – we celebrate every generation of dads because let’s face it, once you become a dad, you never stop.
Soon after Etta was born, we were at Alice’s parent’s home, it was a beautiful sunny day – probably a Sunday because we were having lunch in the garden – and Alice’s grandpa, Alan, was meeting Etta for the second time. After a little coaxing he held Etta in his arms for the first time and I took this beautiful picture of the two of them, three generations apart, together.
Then Etta pooed.
It was one of those huge, loud baby poos that everyone hears and looks at each other with huge eyes that say “how can something so huge come from a tummy so small?!” and Alice reached for Etta to take her away to change her. “I’ll do it” said Alan and everyone just stopped. “Really?” “That’s ok” “You don’t have to” the nervous and confused answers came flooding in with Alice still standing with her arms out waiting to be given smelly little Miss E. Alan looked at Alice, “I changed you and your mummy, so I can change Etta. Pass me the nappy” (Pampers New Baby, of course; they have a special mesh layer that wicks soft poo away from baby skin dontcha know ) and that’s when I realized that Alan was a dad. Of course, I knew he was on a technical level but it’s easy to forget that when a man’s children are all grown up, that they are still dads. That poo doesn’t offend us when it comes from the tiny bums of our family and that dads, granddads and great-grandads all love exactly the same: unconditionally.