'We need to make Dad feel extra special," said Ben, in his squeaky six-year-old voice.
Bella's eight-year-old voice assumed a world-weary maturity in response.
"We always make Dad feel special," she told her brother. "Today is just an artificial celebration made up to make people spend money. You're such a sucker."
"I'm not," said Ben, his voice cracking a little.
"We have the cards we made, we're making him breakfast, and he won't be allowed to lift a finger around the place for the day," said Bella. Then the little girl gave a loud snort.
"Don't do that," said Ben. "It's not nice."
"What?" Bella said, with a note of challenge.
"Make that noise and roll your eyes," said Ben. "When Mum does it, Dad says it's assive."
"Passive aggressive," said Bella, with another snort.
"Don't," said Ben, in a whiny voice.
"Fine," said Bella. "It's not like Dad would be killing himself anyway around the place, but no housework for him today."
"Mum didn't have to do any for Mother's Day," said Ben.
"Didn't she?" said Bella. "That was in March. Everyone knows March was a very long time ago this year. I heard Mum and Gran saying it in the garden the other day. And anyway, Mum did have to do housework because she cleaned up after that dinner Dad made and she didn't say it loudly, but I heard her saying about how a pizza would have been fine and no cleaning up for her after and I tried to help and I dropped that plate and smashed it and she got mad and they had a row. Remember?"
"No," said Ben. "Dad made a cake."
"Yeah," said Bella. "I thought it was nice but Mum said her clothes were getting tight and Dad said she should stop drinking her sugar as wine."
"Did they have another row then?" said Ben.
"No, Dad went for a walk," said Bella.
"On Mother's Day?' said Ben, horrified. "Oh we can't let them have a row on Father's Day. You have to make dads feel special on Father's Day. No rows."
"They're not rows, they're differences of opinion," the little girl told her smaller brother. "And we have to get over them fast these days or we're all bunched."
"Like flowers?" Ben asked. "Should we get Dad flowers? Did we get Mum flowers on Mother's Day?"
"Definitely don't mention flowers today," said Bella. "Unless you want them going off on walks again."
By Lucinda O'Sullivan
Mamo Howth have very chic Sat/Sun Lunch Hampers (2-6 ppl, €22 pp), which include
Tartine sourdough, charcuterie, Thornhill duck pithivier and strawberries. Delivered before noon to Dublin city addresses.
Sliice of paradise
Midsummer pizza in the garden?
Vikki's@Home at Sunday's Well, Cork, do fab pizzas, as well as potato roasties, banana bread and brownies, for the full carb experience.
Cliff House Hotel Shoots for the stars
Ian Doyle is the new executive chef at Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, with Adam Kavanagh as head chef. Both are ex the fab two Michelin-star Oaxen Krog, Stockholm.