Useful advice

Preamble: I’ve been sitting on this post for more than a week. Not sure why. Then I came across this videodoing the rounds on Facebook, and I knew this post has its place.

My dearest brother,

Congratulations to you and my sister-in-law, on the birth of your third child! A girl! After two boys, something completely different, but equally a little miracle.

Now I know I am the last person on earth suitable to give you parenting advice; I don’t have any children, and you do a wonderful job, as anyone who knows your two sons will testify.

But I can give some advice on how a daughter may think about her father, because for the past 36 years and a bit, I have been the daughter of a dad who has done (and still does!) an excellent job at being a dad to a girl.

There will come a time- and this seems centuries away at this moment- when she’ll no longer live in your house, my dearest brother. She may end up like her aunt in some far-away country, where you can’t come and help her. And because there may not always be a man around, my advice is: get her some tools. They will come in handy when she’s putting that Ikea shelf together… (probably for the fifth time if she is destined to become a peripatetic academic)

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Below a picture of one of the most useful gifts ever. All the bits you could possibly need, and a good, comfortable grip on that handle. Personally selected by dad. (Thanks dad!)

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And make sure the tools are sturdy, not the pink ones with sparkles, the ones that fall apart as you look at them; even if that is what she says she wants. Because screws are not pink and sparkly either. If nothing else, a 30mm adjustable wrench may be useful for self-defence purposes. Don’t forget to teach her some kungfu moves, in that case. (Equally useful for that purpose may be this cast-iron pancake pan, provided courtesy of mum.)

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All this just to say: good tools are not a prerogative of the male world. Thanks, dad, for being completely without prejudice about what a girl should be like, and what she should have in her toolbox next to the sewing kit! 🙂

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