THE DAD BEAT

Harry de Quet­teville’s tales from the fa­ther­hood front line

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FAMILY -

“Beloved,” I said with ex­ag­ger­ated largesse, “you have been so bril­liant with the mon­sters this week… why don’t I sit with them on the row of three, and you have the seat on your own.”

In the row be­hind, an ex­hausted mum looked point­edly at an ex­hausted dad who looked at me with pointed loathing. But it was only a seven-and-a-half-hour flight, and I was feel­ing chip­per. Much as I like go­ing away, I love coming home.

“Can we watch the telly, Daddy?” the mon­sters asked, as we tax­ied.

“Sure. Yup. Ab­so­lutely.” Even I was shocked by my haste, plug­ging them in with the ur­gency of a doc­tor hook­ing a fad­ing pa­tient up to a vi­tal IV. Hour af­ter hour passed. This is a dod­dle, I thought.

When we landed. I smiled at Beloved with the air of a man who be­lieves virtue is its own re­ward.

“Well done, dar­ling,” she said.

“Pretty straight­for­ward, ac­tu­ally,” I mod­estly mur­mured. But in­side, the Credit Point bo­nanza bull­horn was sound­ing. I turned to my beau­ti­fully stew­arded charges.

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