The dad is driving the four year old and I to yet another birthday party. It will be a half hour drive, I am informed.
I choose to climb in back with the four year old, a show of solidarity. The engine is barely warm, when the four year old asks her dad a question:
“Whose house are we staying in now?”
“Well, it’s owned by a property company, so we are renting it, but the insurance is paying for it”.
The four year old looks bemused, so I translate:
“You are borrowing it from someone who owns it, but doesn’t live in it”.
The dad cannot communicate with the four year old. He is incapable of having a conversation with her because he refuses to alter his frames of reference. Because they cannot converse, they are essentially a different species.
A few minutes later, the four year old has another question for her dad:
“How does that work?” she asks, pointing at the sat nav.
“There are satellites constantly orbiting earth and they communicate with the system in the car”.
The four year old looks confused. I translate again:
“There are these things called satellites, that live in the sky, and they send a map to the screen”.
The sat nav woman announces that we are nearing our destination.
“Is the sat nav lady speaking on the phone?” asks the four year old.
“No, it’s all pre-recorded, not live”, replies the dad.
I open my mouth, ready to translate, but the dad snaps:
“You don’t need to dumb everything down, she needs to learn to talk to adults, to talk like an adult”.
“No, you need to explain in a way that she understands. Otherwise, you may as well squawk at her, like a cockatoo, you cunt”, I snap back.
I do not. I roll my eyes and sit in silence.
The Male Nanny.