Close to Father’s Day, Prince Frederick talks about life as a dad of two little children
As I think hard about what it means to be a father, my fingers hovering expectantly over the computer keyboard, my children show me.
First comes the son, who decides I need to be occupied with something more useful, and I get whisked into the world of indoor cricket. This boy, who will blow eight candles on his birthday cake, which is three months away, enjoys enviable immunity as a batsman. He can’t be bowled, caught or run out. Whenever any of these misfortunes befalls him — which does, very often — he simply refuses to accept it. With battle-ready grandparents and an indulgent mother on his side, his writ runs. After a pointless match, which predictably goes his way, he takes me through other fun activities. Fun for him, that is.
He takes me online to meet his pint-sized heroes: Super Mario, Ninja Slash, Bomber Mario and DynaBoy. I join him in two-player computer combat games. Because, it is either this or having to sit through a dreary lecture from his dear mommy about the responsibilities of a father. In these contests, he beats me hollow and, every time, makes snide remarks about how I lost the game. When he is on a single-player game and pitted against the computer, I have to be a spectator rooting for him. Thank God, his PlayStation is in disrepair. And I don’t intend to have it fixed anytime soon. His mind shifting to a football game downloaded on his mommy’s sophisticated Android mobile, I am shifted from the computer to the couch, where I sit beside him and look interested in a contest between Denmark and Portugal.
By some grace from heaven, I am finally allowed to return to the computer to begin my piece on what it means to be a father.
That is when child number two shuffles in, lisping out her request for a funny video. It is something I first played to keep her engaged so that I would be free to attend to a glitch in her electronic toy laptop, unhindered. This was a year ago, and I have run this online video a trillion times for her since then, sending it to the YouTube hall of fame in the process.
However, with the eyes of a two-and-a-half-year-old, which are naturally fitted with a special pair of lens that lend a coat of freshness to the familiar, she watches it as if she has never watched it before. Thankfully, on the 32nd replay, her enthusiasm for the video ebbs away and she moves on to pestering her mommy to play her Mother Goose Club rhymes on the television.
I would rather watch a funny video 32 times or for as long as it takes for it to cease being funny than go through a blur of ‘fun’ activities that are beyond my ageing grey cells. Let me get back to the piece. Mmmm, when I was asked to write this piece, I thought of sharing with you the beautiful bond between a father and his children, how it energises him to take on the world, and how the moments spent with his children are the most exquisite a man can have in a day.
But now, you know the truth.