When I go out with Daddy at the weekend, it’s almost always great fun.
I get to meet new friends, see new animals, climb trees, make pictures with sticks in the soil, eat yummy food at a café, go to the cinema.
Sometimes, not very often but enough to wonder why, things don’t go how they’re supposed to.
Take last weekend, for instance.
When Daddy arrived at my dance class, I could tell that it was going to be one of those days.
‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost,’ I said.
‘Not just a ghost, darling,’ he replied. ‘A parking warden ghost.’
He held up a ticket and made out to be ghoulish.
Daddy asked me what he always asks me when we leave dance. ‘What shall we do first?’
‘Let’s go to the park,’ I replied.
So off we went in his car.
Once there, I saw two girls about my age climbing my favourite tree, so I ran up to them, but they turned away.
I did my upside-down branch-walk but they still said nothing, so Daddy asked if I’d like to do something else.
‘OK,’ I replied. ‘Let’s go and see the birds!’
So off we went to the big, white birdcage.
‘Hello, birds,’ I said, but they didn’t really answer back. My favourite one, a blue parrot, stayed high up on his perch. Perhaps it was an off-day for the birds, too.
‘Come on,’ said Daddy. ‘Let’s go to the cinema.’
So off we went.
But it wasn’t a very good film. The boy behind me kept kicking the back of my seat and the girl next to me couldn’t stop eating popcorn.
Daddy wasn’t enjoying himself, either. ‘Shall we go? This film’s rubbish,’ he said, and I nodded in double-quick time.
‘The red café?’ he asked.
‘Oh, yes, please!’ I replied.
So off we went.
Unfortunately, there was a big birthday party full of girls about my age at the big table across the room from us. I was bursting to join in, but Daddy said I shouldn’t.
‘You have to be invited, darling,’ he told me with a glum look on his face.
I watched them have fun while I ate my chicken, chips and tomato sauce, which was lovely all the same.
Daddy played a game with a conker on the table, and then we played who could get the salt-cellar closest to the edge of the table, but I just couldn’t resist watching the girls having so much fun at the big birthday table.
Once I’d finished my ice-cream and put my spoon down, I felt full but I was really sad and empty.
Daddy could see that I was at a loss, so he did what he always does when he wants to cheer me up (and when he can afford it, which isn’t always).
‘Want to go riding?’ he asked, knowing what I’d say.
‘Yes, please!’ I replied.
So off we went.
But even Biscuit, the sandy-haired pony, seemed down in the dumps. Maybe he’d smelt the rain coming because it poured down the moment we left to go on our little trek across the common.
When Daddy and I got back in the car, I felt sad. Everything that could have gone wrong had gone wrong.
Daddy noticed my sadness and I could see how much he loves me just by the way he scrunched his bottom-lip up and lowered his eyebrows.
‘Don’t be sad, darling,’ he said. ‘It’s just one of those days.’
It certainly was.
When he started the engine, I knew it was going home time because he didn’t ask me where I would like to go next. And it was dark.
But then, in the corner of my eye, I saw some funny flashing lights in the darkness of the sky.
‘Daddy!’ I shouted out from the back seat.
‘Yes, darling,’ he replied. ‘What is it?’
‘Can you see those flashing lights in the sky over there?’ I asked.
He looked to where I was looking.
‘Oh, yes!’ he shouted. ‘Fireworks!’
‘Can we go over there?’ I asked.
‘Can we? We’re not going anywhere else!’
Daddy loves fireworks even more than I do.
So off we went, the storm of light in the sky our only guide.
We caught the last twenty minutes of the best fireworks display either Daddy or I had ever seen.
After the display, I met a lovely girl with black pig-tails who shared her sparklers with me.
We wrote our names in the dark with them and ran around like fairies, laughing and chasing one another.
In the end, we were so tired that we fell onto the grass.
It wasn’t too wet so we lay there and looked at the stars.
My eyes started to feel heavy and I closed them for a moment.
I felt Daddy’s arms lift me up.
‘I’m not asleep,’ I said.
‘I can see that,’ Daddy answered. ‘But there’s a big cuddly duvet at home, just waiting for you to curl up in.’
We said goodbye to the girl, Daddy carried me to the car, and off we went.
‘I’m glad it was one of those days,’ said Daddy as we arrived home.
‘Me too, Daddy,’ I replied.
We laughed, remembering how things just hadn’t gone to plan all day, but how it had turned out great in the end.