The Railway Children

“What does Daddy do?”


The girls have known what dh does for a living for a while now and have travelled on quite a few trains (Overground and Tube) , including WHITE TRAINS – the sort that dh drives –  but have never been driven by Daddy in one of his trains…

….until now. A couple of Saturdays ago dh was working in the afternoon (one of the complete and utters JOYS of dh’s job is the amount of weekends he works) so I decided to take the girls to Greenwich Park and the National Maritime Museum. The easiest way for us to get to Greenwich is by train so dh let me know which one he’d be driving and I managed to cajole the girls into their shoes and coats and the three of us walked down to our local station.

Of course, I let the girls know what we’d be doing beforehand….are you mad? Can you imagine the grief I would have got from R and G if I had promised them Daddy and he hadn’t appeared? G would have whinged me into submission (forget water boarding – her whinge would have been an extremely effective weapon of torture in Guantanamo Bay) and R would have fatally wounded me with one blow of her tongue. No. I actually waited until the train was coming towards us and told the girls to see if they could see the train driver. I then closed my eyes and prayed…

We then staged a mini re-enactment of the scene from The Railway Children in which Jenny Agutter stops the train by waving her red knickers in the air and shouting DADDY! MY DADDY! R practically collapsed with excitement as dh waved at her from the train cab.

While the girls staged a small riot, I looked at the other people boarding the train slightly sheepishly. They were all looking down at the girls and smiling benevolently, even the young hungover blokes blearily clutching take-away coffee cups. We boarded the door immediately behind the drivers’ cab and I tried to explain to the girls that Daddy was working and that they couldn’t go and see him. I didn’t realise at the time, but dh could hear every word I was saying…

We got off at Greenwich and dh leaned out of the cab to say hello. G asked if he was getting off now and we gently explained that Daddy was going to drive lots of people into London and that we’d see him later. For a moment, the girls looked crestfallen, until I explained that we needed to travel on a RED (DLR) TRAIN next, at which point they waved Daddy off and dragged me over to the adjacent platform.

I think G now realises that dh doesn’t spend his working days riding around on trains for fun and eating sandwiches. He actually drives trains. I think this might actually make him the coolest Daddy in the world.


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