There are times, as a lone Dad, when your inadequacies in the face of the simplest of tasks make you question your abilities while providing a newfound appreciation of what women can do.
Take Monday night for example.
After a typically busy Monday churning out news stories, columns and listening to the public at work, I picked up the Whirlwind Wonder that is my 7-year-old daughter and my son, from creche.
Rather ambitiously I declared it was shower night and The Little Fella, who was nursing a dose, refused point blank, his sister being a little more inclined.
She bounded into the kitchen having finished her homework and declared she wanted a shower.
Within a few minutes she was showered and her hair was washed. She was about to dry said hair when we came acropper looking for the hairbrush.
Now any parent with a daughter will no doubt sympathise with the every-second-day frustration of not being able to find a hairbrush before school.
Well you'll soon discover that the stress is tenfold when the drying of a fine curly head of hair is involved.
Unable to find the pink headed detangling brush, I noticed an old fine tooth comb in an opened bedside table drawer and tried to use it with detangling spray to work through the mass of golden hair in front of me. Now anyone with a clear head and an eye for spatial awareness would recognise the inherent incompatability of fine tooth comb and dense, luxuriant curly hair, but hey, I'm a just a modern Dad!
As I reached for the spray for an umpteenth time, the Whirlwind Wonder took it from me and started working on her hair. It was then, at that precise moment, that the dreaded, fateful words "it's stuck" were uttered in the lamp-lit glow of the corner of an otherwise darkened room.
The world got a lot darker and scarier as I tried to untwist the tortoiseshell many-toothed beast from her locks.
Naturally, I made the situation worse and the phone was called for. A man on Youtube was cutting a comb in bits with a scissors as I glanced at it through the tail of my eye and that's what I started to do. Then I dutifully sprayed loads more detangling spray on the clump of hair twisted over her brow, but still it was all a hairy mess. I decided to look for the brush again and lo and behold, it was there in the windowsill of the children's room under a book all the time.
The Little Fella was cosying up to his pillow and blissfully unaware of the horror show unfolding two doors down the hallway.
Then, the moment of truth arrived, the Mammy turned up!
Through gritted teeth I admitted my error.
No nuclear explosion went off, as with calm purpose she set about detangling the hair.
I looked on anxiously and was dispatched to get a bowl of water. Try as she may the hairy situation couldn't be resolved so the scissors were requested and within the blink of a 7-year-old's tired eyes, she had a new hair do.
The Mammy had solved the situation with a few snips here and there and a professional haircut at a nearby salon was promised.
'The comb wasn't a good idea, was it,' I conceded.
Summing up the night, the Whirlwind Wonder roused herself from her slumber, declaring: 'No, it was a STUPID idea!'