1. We let Nick have a lie-in -- since it's father's day -- and this gives us time to set out his surprises: a card made by Alec, some French cheese, and his tea in a brand new blue mug. (He broke his old mug about a year ago, and felt a bit sad for it when he saw it in the Grayson Perry documentary). It also gives me time to reflect on how much I appreciate his help at breakfast time as I try to make pancakes and feed Alec enough dry cereal to keep him going without filling him up so he chucks his pancake on the floor.
2. She is a tiny person (older than Alec, but as slight and as quicksilver as a minnow). Her dad lifts her on to the deck of the climbing frame. "Stay there Ruby," he says. She darts out of reach. "Come back," he says. She darts again and is suddenly swinging out into space on the monkey bars. I've never seen a father move so fast.
3. To pour myself another glass of water from the jug on the table.