It’s hard to read faces. Thanks to my kids, and my incompetence, though, I get plenty of looks to practice with.
There’s the obvious ones. There’s the supermarket look that says, “can you control your children, please?”
“Yes.” I say with my face. “Of course I can control my kids. I’m just a relaxed Dad. Isn’t that right kids? Kids? Oh God, where’d they go?”
There’s the park look. It’s a mixture of pity and annoyance. “Your daughter has just stolen my child’s drink/ banana/ ice cream. Are you feeding them properly?”
“I’m so sorry.” I say. “Yes, I feed them.” My face says. “Constantly. They’re like animals. Your child’s lucky they’ve still got all their fingers.”
There was the look that a Mum gave me at the play group. It was a cold, chilling look. Angry, sorrowful, disappointed. My heart sank. What’s my daughter done now? The last hour flashed before me. I had given each of my children a pistachio-cream filled pastry to keep them in line on the way to play group. (See previous articles to get a handle on the unbelievable levels of food hypocrisy I’m displaying there).
Turns out it was a “You’re daughter has just vomited green sick all over the doll’s bed my child was playing with” look. Not a good look.
“Yeah.” My face replies. “Makes sense.”
Then there was the animal-park look. That was a difficult one to interpret. In fact, it was two looks. Two Mum’s are with my daughter, looking around for a responsible parent. I wave. They approach me. They look worried, confused, baffled, slightly ashen. A little… lost. Oh my God. What could my daughter possibly have done to put that look on the faces of two grown women?
I rewind. As normal, my daughter had been driving me crazy trying to escape. I was spending my time chasing her around. Then, amazingly, she had settled down by the fluffy rabbit enclosure. I took the chance to back off, sit down and relax a little.
Oh dear Lord. Please no. She hasn’t… not a rabbit. I try to see if there’s blood and fur on her hands.
“She was drinking from the rabbit’s water bottle.” They say. “We thought we’d better…” They trail off. They seem confused by my reaction. May face is saying “Oh, thank God!”.