This afternoon my youngest son has a friend coming round for tea. I always find this amusing and horrifying in equal measure.
I wonder if other Dads have experienced the same thing. My wife tends to bear the brunt of the experience, and when I arrive home I have usually missed a good hour or two of sibling rivalry and cajoling of our guest to do things they really don't want to do. It just seems inevitable that if eldest son has a friend round, said friend will mainly want to play with youngest son, and vice versa. That's if they want to do anything at all: we have a rather large Lego collection, and on more than one occasion I have arrived to find our guest immersed in the latest Marvel offering when all my boy wants to do is drag him outside to play football.
I usually get back just in time for the actual 'tea' bit. Now my sons have got lovely friends and they're not necessarily angels themselves, but you get used to your own child's ways. So I tend to spend much of the mealtime agog as our guest demands a ketchup sandwich, or devours six cookies in one go, or just refuses to eat anything. If ever you're in need of a flood of love and appreciation for your child, just invite one of their friends round for tea.
There's an added element of amusement / horror to this afternoon's visit, which is that my son is having a girl round. Now my son is six years old: I am sure this is entirely innocent and I shouldn't be worried about the fact that he says she mostly wants to see his bedroom. I shouldn't be worried, but then again this is my son we're talking about. Once I was chatting to his elder brother about playtime, and elder brother informed me that during 'chase' he had kissed two girls: one on the cheek, one on the forehead. 'Where do you think the best place to kiss a girl is?', I asked youngest son. 'Under the slide', he replied.