That was, until their divorce and we (my mum, sister and I) moved a continent away. I remained mummy's girl but my sister flailed around, trying to find where her father figure had gone. She looked for it in boyfriends, male colleagues, anyone with a drop of testosterone. I thought I remained unaffected. I generally find Men and Men-Stuff unappealing. I am a girls girl.
But over the years, about once a year, I am confronted with the tiny nugget within me that will always be daddy's girl. That wish for a father's praise when you have done something well, that certainty that your father thinks that there was never a lovelier creature that walked the earth than you.
Studies show that girls with strong bonds to their fathers have higher self esteem. I can see that in my own daughter. My husband adores everything about her - apart from her table manners. I try and imagine what that must be like to be the sun to my fathers moon, but fail.
My dad has let me down again. My charming, hilarious, handsome father has yet again decided that it is more important to go golfing in warm climes than to take the relatively short trip to see us. For the first time in 30 years I am living on the same continent as him, but he would much rather spend time with his golfing buddies.
It's funny, I understand I have never been a large part of his life. I have told myself it doesn't matter that he didn't bother seeing his grandson for the first year of his life. That he never knew what school I went to as a child, that he always seemed faintly unimpressed by my achievements. It's that part of me, the Freudian child that doesn't understand why I am not even third on his list of important things.
Are we all at heart Daddy's Girls, looking for their approval, even if we pretend we are not?