Metro 178

My daughter is now six months old. Half a year has whooshed by in a heartbeat and I am refusing to blink because I know if I do I will look again and she’ll be 18. Children are the most effective measurement of the brutal passage of time.

I had been so focused on becoming a dad that I had not anticipated the effects a baby would have on the relationship with my wife. In the story-books, once you’re in love and have babies you live “happily ever after”. Those three words gloss over a lot, don’t they?

Society has love and parenthood all wrong. You meet someone and fall in love with them because you enjoy hanging out with them and lying in with them. Then you have a baby and suddenly you’re going into business with someone who you’re really only good at goofing around with.

What a terrible idea for a job-share.

Plus this job and raising a human comes with terrible hours: 24/7/365 - you don’t even get Christmas off (in fact that’s the busiest day) and you can only quit if you die. You don’t get minimum wage or any wage – in fact you’re hemorrhaging money for the privilege of being someone’s servant.

Why did I have a baby with someone that I love so much? We were good at getting drunk and sleeping in together – the worst possible qualifications for the nightmare position we’ve taken on. How did we even get this job?

I strongly believe that everyone should have babies with people they hate. It will make up for the horrors of birth: Dads will be glad to see their mortal enemy in terrible pain, mums will relish the opportunity to shout obscenities at their moronic co-parent, with no residual guilt.

And the job share can be purely professional. Unwilling to spend time with your foe, you will divide up the work fairly, probably spending one week with your child and then the next week with the person you fell in love with, who you’re great at having fun with and sleeping with  in every sense. Your social love partner is free to work on their own job and the costs of the baby are split with the hated baby partner, so you’ll be quids in.

Of course there will be some impact on your child when they realise they are the product of spite and maybe some resentment from your love partner when this cuckoo is in the nest. But these are small issues.

Let’s face it most couples end up adopting this system eventually anyway. I am proposing we cut to the chase and do it straight away. It’s more efficient. Currently you fall in love with someone, come to resent and hate them and then have to fall in love with someone else. In my new one, you only have to find one person to love and a different person to hate and everything runs smoothly and best of all divorce lawyers will be out of work.

I am only being half serious at most. Maybe two thirds. My wife is the most amazing woman and I love her more than ever and now with a baby there’s more of her to love. I’ve never been happier. I look back at the lonely, drunk, promiscuous fool I was a decade ago and pity him and his empty, pointless life. If I could swap places with him I would only last for one, maybe two decades maximum, before rushing back to my present-day life with my tail between my legs.

I met Hannah Campbell last weekend. She was nearly killed in a mortar attack in Iraq and later had her leg amputated. She laughed when she noticed that she’d accidentally put on the wrong leg that morning. She has prosthetics with different skin tones and this one didn’t match her tan. That’s not a problem I’d have anticipated, yet it’s bizarrely identifiable. I myself had earlier put my pants on back to front.