The rain relentlessly strikes the window as the five-year-old and I begin our fifth game of snap.
“I want to go out,” she sighs, looking scathingly to the grey heavens.
“Me too,” I say, slamming down a card.
“Let’s make a shelter,” she suggests, stuffing the cards back into their box.
We throw on rain coats and run into the garden, sliding on the grass and splashing in the watery earth. We collect sticks and sharpen them and chop them and plunge them into the ground and they are the walls. We get branches and leaves and grass and craft a roof. We strip bark and scatter it on the floor of the shelter and we have a carpet. From cardboard we fashion a door and on that door we place a number that is equal to our combined ages. We make a sign for the structure that reads HOME and we place it outside, proudly. We scatter a little gravel around the entrance to create a path.
We sit in the home away from home and watch and listen as the rain falls harder and our effort almost keeps us dry. We tell stories and jokes and laugh and smile until we get a knock on the door and we excitedly open it, ready to welcome our first guest.
We are greeted by a pair of pristine wool-lined Hunter wellington boots and the owner of the feet that deign to occupy them says:
“I don’t want holes in the lawn, take it down.”
The Male Nanny
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