The other day when I got home, the three of them (two daughters and one husband) were sitting on the couch watching ‘Ordinary Girl’. This is a very girly-child TV programme about teenage girls who are ‘ordinary’ until they get in the water, at which point they magically turn into mermaids. I asked a question about one of the girl/maids – I directed the question at my eldest, who is 5 and tries not to engage in conversation while watching TV, silly me, I forgot – and my husband launched into a synopsis of the story so far, complete with the last few episodes of drama, relationship tangles and opinions on all the above. I quietly looked at him, digested the entire scenario and informed him he’d just lost his man card.
He was never a particularly manly man; he’s not really interested in rugby, beer drinking, car racing or whatever other manly pursuits manly men pursue. In fact, he was worried in case my rather large bump turned out to be a boy because “what if he turns into a rugby-playing, beer-swilling teenage boy and we don’t have anything in common?” But over the last 5 years looking after our little ones full time, he has taken the pink pledge to heart and become au fait with the fairy-, princess- and mermaid-related passions of little girls.
I love him for it. I love that he’ll stop in a crowded carpark and not give a toss that someone might see him picking up some driftweed. I love that he understands a girl sometimes has to buy a skirt simply because it twirls high when you spin. I love that he gets that you’re not completely dressed until you have on your 55 hairclips. I love that, although he can’t contain a bundle of hair into the most basic of pony tails, he recognises that it’s essential to female well being to be happy with your hair and will take a brush and hair-tie to school and ask one of the other mothers to help.
So, while I have his man card safely tucked away, I haven’t discarded it. Because it takes a real man to pick up fairies in the carpark.