Mother’s Day? When will there be a father’s day?
How many times do you think I was tweeted that gag today? Less than I expected, though I did tweet out a warning about how likely it was.
It’s possible that I will be remembered as the guy that everyone did “When’s X day?” jokes to. Well there’s worse ways to be remembered. As long as I die on November 19th I will be happy.
I did an OK job of making sure my wife was the centre of attention in the morning. I got the kids up and made breakfast in bed (though to be fair, I make the breakfast every day and we share - as much as possible- the parental duties, so that’s not much in itself). But I was crazy tired after a filling lunch and a glass of champagne and had to go an lie down and then slept until 4.30pm. So that was a bit of a let down for my wife. But it’s been a full-on and emotional week and sleep or death are my only escape. I felt quite close to the latter and wasn’t entirely sure that waking up was the bonus that you might think. Oh great, there’s no escape from my responsibilities.
My daughter was heavily pushing the wee wee and poo poo jokes (the joke being that she’d say them to someone followed by their name and then laugh). My wife does not feel I am doing enough to discourage her (and too much to encourage her), but I remember from my own eight to ten year marathon of saying basically nothing other than “wee wee, poo poo, bottom” (and that’s where my daughter is showing a lack of comedic imagination - the bottom really offsets the whole thing) that the whole point is to get the reaction of disdain and offence. You know the words aren’t funny in themselves, what is funny is the power - and when you can’t spin webs or turn everything into ice, the exacerbated gasp of a grown-up is the only power you have.
Admittedly I am incapable of anything but a parody, “No Phoebe, that’s very rude” which just makes her grin with delight. But subversion is an important skill to learn. She’s a very good girl. And I am bursting with pride at her scatological bent. I can still hear the frustrated cries of my own parents as they tried to make me stop doing my childhood catchphrase and the satisfaction of having created that. And look where it’s taken me, ma. All the way to the middle.
So I didn’t do a great job for Mother’s Day. I will have to give up part of my father’s day to make up for it. As if anyone seriously celebrates that anyway. My dad was lucky if he got a giant bar of Dairy Milk. I don’t want to get all, hey it’s not fair that the women’s day is taken more seriously, except to say, in both these cases, there’s a fucking good reason for that.
Afternoon sleeps are horrible things in general and I was unceremoniously woken up (which to be honest is fair enough, but I hadn’t intended to sleep for three hours and sadly once you’re out, you’re out) and so felt even weirder for a couple of hours. I am quite a morning person and generally have to be very tired to be grumpy about being woken. But in sleep terms I am not an afternoon person.
I was back on track to put the boy to bed (though nearly fell asleep as soon as I’d done that), though I had tried to do the double and get them both washed and sleeping, but only got 50% (my wife did the other one - don’t worry my daughter isn’t wandering around in the street filthy and awake).
And we had a little celebratory drink and a kale burger and chips and listened to the rest of the bump, baby and beyond documentary (nothing like a busman’s holiday - this one even involved us talking about how hard it was being a parent, after a day of tough parenting). But it’s reassuring to hear that everyone else is going through the same problems. “Do you have moments where you feel you don’t know what you’re doing?” I was asked.
“More than moments,’ I laughed along with my wife, “Maybe one moment where I’ve thought “We’ve got this.”
My rude daughter and my snotty son are the two best things that have ever happened to me. I will miss all this when it’s gone. And I hope I make my Great Escape out the other side and get to escape to Switzerland, rather than dying in machine gun fire along the way.