I was a raw, grey day in Dublin City. I had woken up that morning to find my two-year-old daughter Emily sitting on my chest. She was singing 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', only breaking off to demand to have her nappy changed. I did the necessary, then we went downstairs in search of something to eat.
We were in the sitting room, watching the Teletubbies and eating rice crispies, when my wife Annie came down. She has red hair and a temper to match. She also has definite views on how Emily should be brought up.
Now shaking her head, she said, 'What did I tell you? No television, no comfort food. You'll have the child spoiled. If we don't train her in before she comes to the age of reason - '
'Train her in?' I cut in. 'Why can't we let her be a free spirit? Do her own thing.'
'At the age of two?'
'Well, she can walk and talk. Sing, dance, say her abc's. I know she sometimes puts her shoes on the wrong feet, but that can happen to anyone.'