Dads World with Jonathan deBurca Butler

Here it comes again. For the fifth time in my life, I will on Sunday be the focal point of my sons’ affections.

I will be allowed a lie-on and a lovely card.

I will be showered with both gifts and hugs and I will be told to “leave that washing up alone” and go into the sitting room to put the feet up.

Happy Father’s Day will be said to me so many times throughout the day that I’ll begin to feel guilty.

Ciara will row in behind the kids and bring me beers as I watch reruns of former Grand Slams and discuss the Euros with myself on the couch...

Alas, ’tis not true dear readers. This cloud covered fantasy I have just described will in fact and in reality not happen at all. No, instead this Father’s Day, I. Am. Being. Abandoned.

Yep, that’s right, you heard it here first. This Father’s Day weekend is really going to be all about me. Me and how I cope for not one, not two but three nights on my tobler (own). Ciara is off to Marbella.

“Fair fecks to her,” I hear all the mothers out there cry in unison.

And you know what? Genuinely, (on one level at least) I have no problem with it. I have had plenty of time to digest it.

The holiday ‘with th’girllllzzz’ was booked a long time ago. So long ago that it was “agh, aaaaaaaages away” and therefore got my blessing without too much fuss.

As the date has got closer Ciara has reminded me, that she “is looking forward to the break”, so it’s not as if I haven’t had time to prepare myself.

In truth, I can handle Father’s Day without all the aforementioned benefits. I find those makey-uppy days are a load of rubbish invented by people who want to sell cards, chocolates and silly boxer shorts.

More often than not, people take Father’s Day as an opportunity to remind fathers of their integral part as the fat, farting buffoon of the family. So Father’s Day I can take or leave.

No, I’m far more worried about another small (in other words very large) matter; namely the game with Belgium.

I have never missed a game at a championship tournament in my life; not ’88, ’90, ’94, Saipan or the last Euro abomination. Heck, I don’t think I’ve even missed a qualifier.

Tomorrow’s game takes place right in the middle of the day, doesn’t correspond to any nap time and I can’t really ask any patriotic Irish person to babysit, can I?

The irony of all this is that Ciara, who can’t stand football, will be sitting in Marbella watching the game with a nice cold beer and sunshine while I’m at home trying to explain that Peppa Pig doesn’t play for Belgium and therefore is currently not on our screen.

I could try to watch it but in the past the combination of sport, Daddy’s propensity for over-excitement and the presence of the boys has proven something of a toxic mix which has generally resulted in Ciara taking them out for a walk.

Did I mention she’ll be in Marbella this time?

I mean I could try but I can’t really see Luke sitting through 90 minutes of football. Fionn might, but his problem is he gets too excited and usually at the wrong times (it’s actually very very funny).

He will be shouting “Get it, Get it” when the ball boy goes to fetch a wide ball or when someone in the crowd gets up to get a can of Cidona.

No, there’s only one thing for it. Sadly and with a heavy heart, I’ll have to forget about watching it live, record it and just hope that I don’t see the results.

Yep, that’s what I’ll do. I will do that and in no way will I use it as a bargaining chip for the trip that I have just booked to Iceland for myself and eh.... nobody else.

Happy Father’s Day indeed. See you in September Bjork.

(Post script:Lithuanian babysitter booked from 1.30pm. Lithuania not in the Euros apparently. Yahoo! Lads — see you in Brady’s around 1.45. Nice one. ’Mon Ireland.)


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