Dad of two Michael Hogan is all good for hilarious toilet books – here’s what he’d really like this Father’s Day…
Cue the world’s smallest violin because when it comes to our special day, us dads are rather hard done by. Unlike the ancient tradition of “Mothering Sunday”, Father’s Day was only invented a century ago because the Americans felt sorry for us (and wanted to earn $$$$ from flogging cards).
Mums get the glamour stuff: breakfast in bed, box of chocolates, bouquet of flowers, posh lunch out. Dads get a token peck on the cheek and a jokey card from the petrol station.
In this age of co-parenting and social media competitiveness, though, that’s changing. So here’s our Mush guide to the eight ages of Father’s Day gifting, running down what we get – and what we really want…
Child aged: 0
What dads get: Doting dads of newborns are just proud to have joined the Father’s Club, so any soppy token of appreciation will suffice. His first ever Father’s Day card usually has a chubby pawprint on the front and a mum-aided “X” inside. What? Nah, dad’s just got something in his eye.
What we really want: A good night’s sleep. Remember those? Great days.
Child aged: 1
What dads get: Mum entertains herself by pulling out all the artistic stops, so the card might have handprints in different colours. Perhaps some potato printing, rubber stamping or rudimentary stencilling. You attempt a family meal out, eventually eaten one-handed with a flatulent baby on your shoulder and a table-side Bugaboo causing a fire hazard.
What we really want: Uninterrupted sex. Remember that? Great days.
Child aged: 3
What dads get: The little darling’s in nursery now, where the whole classroom make identikit cards involving glitter, stickers and some shoddy spelling from the childminder. Apostrophe crimes a speciality.
What we really want: A day without hearing the Peppa Pig theme tune. Yes, yes, dad’s a bit like Daddy Pig. Very amusing. Muddy puddles my arse.
Child aged: 5
What dads get: A gift that involves “crafting” (aka making an almighty mess) and ham-fistedly made breakfast on a tray. Yum, a dangerously undercooked egg and Marmite-on-toast spread so thickly, it makes your eyes water. Plus a dandelion in a yogurt pot for “decoration”.
What we really want: Some peace and bloody quiet. Is that too much to ask? IS IT? Oh, they’re making too much noise to hear me. No change there then.
Child aged: 15
What dads get: A hastily bought compilation CD called something like “Classic Driving Rock Anthems For Embarrassing Dads”.
What we really want: Some quality time with our hormone-addled teenager that doesn’t involve sulks/slammed doors/them being glued to their phone. What even is WhatsSnapchattergram anyway?
Child aged: 18
What dads get: A toilet book of hilarious golfing anecdotes. You know we don’t actually play golf, right? We’re not a light entertainer or orange US president.
What we really want: Our child to buy us a pint for the first time. Doesn’t matter if it’s cooking lager in Wetherspoon’s, it’s the symbolic gesture that counts. The passing of the beery flame between generations.
Child aged: 25
What dads get: Soap-on-a-rope or a posh pen we’ll never use.
What we really want: To be taken out for lunch. Nothing fancy, a pub roast will do fine. But here’s the catch: our child offers to pick up the bill for once. Payback time, sucker. (Don’t have a seizure, skinto, we’ll still end up paying).
Child aged: 40
What dads get: Driving gloves, as if we’re Alan Partridge. Aha! Or even worse, Jeremy Clarkson *shouts something racist, punches an employee*.
What we really want: A visit from our child. But mainly so we can see any grandchildren. They’re the main attraction now. Sorry.