She looked through the glass. The tapestry of tributaries ran towards the window sill. Her nose pressed against the pane. Ten doughy digits tapped.
“Dada all wet”, she said.
He was cold. His donkey jacket was sodden and heavy from the rain. There was only so much the digger could do. His hands would have to do the rest. He wanted the garden ready for her birthday in the spring.
The root of an old tree. Twisted and swollen in the dirt. His calloused hands reached towards it. Clutch, turn, lift, drag. It was out. He inhaled deeply.
“Another half an hour and I’ll call it a night”, he said.
He could finish the rest tomorrow after work.
She heard the front door open. Tiny socks pattered on the wooden floor towards him. He smiled at her toddled bounce.
“Let me in out of the rain. I must wash my hands and change my clothes”, he said.
The duo went to the sink. Large hands in the water. Little hands clung to leg.
“You’ll be drenched. Come out of it, ya scamp. Go into Mammy whilst I change my clothes”, he said.
The chant began.
“Dada! Dada! Dada! Dada! Dada! Dada! Dada! DADA!
His eyes rolled towards the heavens. Clothes quickly changed. He carried his socks downstairs.
“Lord God above, I’m coming. I haven’t a minutes peace. Sit up here and help me put on my socks”, he said.
She sat on his lap. Soft face turned towards stubble. He holds in a smile.
“C’mon, we play ‘Clap handies'”, he said.
Palm to palm, she frowned.
“Dada sore. Ouch!”, she said.
He kissed her forehead.
“You’re a great girl”.