Excerpts from Daddies’ Girls Short Stories
From Julie’s Story by Julie Burgess
“That’s it, I’ve had enough. He’s run off with that bitch and I don’t want to hear his name mentioned again.” That was my Mom speaking. She had a way with words.
Every Saturday we went to my Nan’s for tea. My Mom, me, my little sister Jane and my baby sister, Rae. This day, in 1969 was different though. 7 o’clock and he was two hours late and I guess she’d had enough.
Jane, aged 5 said, “What’s a bitch?”
Mom replied, “I said you’re not to pester me about him. If he’d have loved you he would never have done this to us. Mother, we’re stopping here.”
And that was that, we stayed at Nan’s for 18 months until the council re-housed us.
From Papa Don’t Preach by Isabelle Clement
I lie in a semi supine position of deep contemplative prayer. It’s very early in the morning and my young daughters are still asleep, as are my parents who arrived late last night from France. If I’m really quick – not to mention quiet, I can finish my morning prayers and no one need be any the wiser. I’ve just realised that trying to do my devotions several times a day while my parents are staying will be a challenge, but I’ll think of ways of distracting my Papa so I won’t miss too many.
I gather my thoughts together, I feel stressed and I stubble over the sentences which I say in Arabic, they mustn’t see or hear me – what would my Papa say if he saw what I was doing? I hear the stairs creak and I know someone has got up. Then, the bedroom door cracks open and my Papa takes three steps into the semi darkness and nearly treads on my hand, “Issy, as-tu vu ou…? Pardon!” he blusters, as he takes in exactly what I am doing.
From Old Dad Dead by Jude Fowler
It was around this time that I began shoplifting and smoking. I stole 50p’s from the milk round change bag to buy ‘Sun Valley’ tobacco in a creamy yellow pouch. I rolled my own extra skinny cigarettes that needed constant lighting. I thought I was very cool. “Do you mind if I smoke?” I asked my Dad one Sunday evening whilst idly watching telly.
I self consciously got out my green rizlas and rolled a scrawny fag. After a couple of puffs my Dad turned to me in amusement, “You’re smoking!” I went red and wished I’d not chanced it. “Can you blow it out your nose?”
I open the door and there is a smell. It’s crisp, stark, not a smell I am familiar with. I haven’t smoked for 15 years but I could murder one now.
From Age shall not wither him… by Annie Hart
Anything I wanted my Dad got me. Riding and dancing lessons, sweets, pocket money, chauffeuring, and most importantly – his time: for walks, stickle back fishing with jam jars on string handles, listening to his 78 record collection. If he wasn’t too tired after a shift at his job as a site manager at the local chemical works, he would chase me around the front room as the rhythm of Grieg’s, In the Hall of the Mountain King as the music got faster and faster.
Although, I could test his patience too. When my beloved pet rabbit Perky died, my Dad rushed home from work to bury him before I got home from school. He hoped that by dealing with the cadaver he would be able to reduce my distress. But… he under estimated my re-action to the news. I had hysterics because doubting Thomas that I am I needed to see the corpse for myself to take in my pet’s passing. Dad had to dig Perky up to show me that he wasn’t going to be doing a Lazarus act any time soon. “Can’t do right for doing bloody wrong with her.” I heard him grumble to my mother.
My mother’s take on my Dad’s parenting skills with me is that, “He’s ruined me for other men.”
From Waking Up by Oxana Poberejnaia
The Russian wedding – quite formal: the registrar, signatures, a banquet. Black and white photos don’t do the Ukrainian wedding justice, which was an elaborate event, enjoyed by the whole village over a period of three days. It included rituals that have survived since the Slavic pagan times such as lifting the newlyweds on chairs, throwing sweets at their feet, and tying their hands with a sacred embroidered towel.
My Mom says she can’t remember much of these festivities, as she was too nervous: she was also meeting her in-laws for the first time. Mom usually laughs when she recalls an incident from her Ukrainian wedding, when she was up in the air, her chair being held by my Dad’s younger brother, and everybody started chanting: Kiss him, kiss him! My Mom says she was so confused that she kissed her brother-in-law instead of her husband. We all make mistakes, especially when marrying into a different culture.
From The Orange Hillman Hunter by Monica Robertson
My maternal Grandmother did not take to my Dad at all; I suspect the fact that he was about eight years older than my mum may have been a factor. My Mum recounted to me one occasion when Dad called to visit her; my Grandmother refused to open the front door to him, choosing instead to open a bedroom window and empty the contents of a chamber pot onto his head. She definitely was not his greatest fan. In fact, if she had been at home instead of out working a night shift at Withington Hospital on the night I was conceived, I wouldn’t be here at all…
From Daddy’s Girl by Angela Taylor
When other girls were playing with dolls I was out fishing with my dad. When their Mums were doing their hair I was playing football with my Dad. While their mums were putting them gently to bed my dad was normally snoring on the couch.
Being raised by my Dad was to me the most natural thing in the world. I am not going to tell you how it came about that I lived with my Dad, I’m just going to tell you how brilliant my Dad was from learning how to brush my hair without it hurting to saying goodbye at the airport, and you will see from my story why I truly am a daddy’s girl.