When is it time to rein in the ‘daddy talk’?

Sam Parker Bowles

My daughter is two-and-a-half but the way time has flown, it feels like she was born just a couple of weeks ago. As a parent, the days may be long (very, very long) but the years are strangely short.

As I listen to her counting to ten in French (the results of forced repetition at nursery rather than a brilliant linguistic ear) and ask if she can have more humus with her broccoli, I lament the fact that she is growing up so fast.

And that we have unwittingly raised a ghastly middle class little Waitrose monster….

She ages my wife and me a little more every day but there is also no escaping the fact that she is no longer the tiny baby we first met. Perhaps it is time, therefore, for me to start reining in the ‘daddy talk’?

Here are a few things I may have to stop saying as she grows up:

You are such a big girl!

This is fine when I’m encouraging her to climb into bed by herself, but say this to a tweenager and I’ll risk damaging them for life. And them only ever buying celery from Ocado.

Have you done a poo poo?

Essential phrase for potty training (why do all parents feel the need to double up on words?). But not so good in front of her teenage friends or as I’m walking her down the aisle.

Kicking and hitting is bad, kissing and cuddling is good

All very cute when I’m encouraging her to hug the adorable three-year-old boy in her class but I’ll kick myself for ever saying it when she’s 16 and tells me she has been kissing Jim (who is in a band and ‘really stands up for what he believes in’. Like not washing his hair.)

Ok, you have 10 seconds…

Adding fractions to extend your countdown is not going to get a teenage girl into the car any quicker when you are late for school. I can see this already.

I’m sure Miss A would love to see your Peppa Pig pants (knickers)

(I did actually hear myself saying this a few days ago). Again, fine for the training days, but not encouraged for job interviews.

Do you need me to kiss it better?

If a simple peck really was the miracle cure, I don’t think there would be many doctors willing to treat your hemorrhoids. Plus I think there may be a few more “groin strains “. Depending on the nurse, I suppose.

I’ll give you a rice cake if you….

It won’t be long before she realises that being given a cardboard Backgammon counter is a shit reward

Do you want me to carry you?

It can be quite sweet when her little legs are too tired to walk. It can be humiliating for all involved when you have to carry her home after too many Bacardi Breezers. Plus, what if she’s bigger than me?!

Should we take all your clothes off?

Running through the sprinkler as a toddler – super fun. Half way through a dinner party with my CEO – not so much.

You’re tired and beginning to show off

Well that’s just always fucking annoying. (But saying it feels very good, doesn’t it?!)

The best advice I can offer my daughter 

Don’t get a tattoo
Don’t waste your time with people who make you unhappy-personally and professionally
Don’t let anyone film or photograph you naked over the age of about six
Don’t be a dick!

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