FAMILY PHOTO

DADDY UNCOOL: The dizzying highs and exhausting lows of parenting two little girls.

 

#3. Time Off

 

I’d been looking forward to this week for some time – a few much-needed days off work, Red’s first birthday, and Father’s Day at the end of it.

 

What a total idiot I am sometimes.

 

Why was I fooling myself into thinking this would be some kind of break? Mummy Cool would be at work for most of it, and away half the weekend, which meant me in charge most of the time for four days. I should have known how hard this was going to be. I get home from work sometimes and think I’ve had a bad day, and then I see Mummy Cool at the window looking like she is going to kill me if I don’t run down the drive and immediately join in the “fun”.

 

Things got off to an auspicious start with Red’s birthday. I woke up feeling like I had flu, which is fitting considering the shitty summer we’ve had so far. Then we were caught out by that experience every parent with more than one sibling will recognize – jealousy from the one who doesn’t get all the cards and presents. I mean I totally get it, poor Blondie has never had to go through this before, but the combination of constantly coughing and retching and reminding her that, although it’s okay to play with her little sister’s new toys, snatching them off her is a no-go, was so, so tiring. And as I mentioned last time, Red is now mobile, and getting better at it by the hour. I didn’t have time to reflect on her first year, I just had to make sure everyone survived till Mummy got back.

 

Luckily, things improved massively when she returned, as always. Everyone got fed and calmed down and then it was party time as the grandparents arrived. Finally there was time to look back, and it was great to have them all here for a little event, just as we did for Blondie’s first birthday. Literally rising to the occasion, Red gave us one hell of a grand finale by taking her first steps with a walker, all captured on film. I couldn’t stop watching the video of her little scrunched-up, proud face afterwards. Have to admit, it made me a bit teary-eyed, though I blame the wine.

 

As for Father’s Day, well once again my foolish plans for a quiet one were thrown into disarray. Due to Mummy Cool’s very late night beforehand, and a nasty hangover, my lie-in was cancelled. But the kids rarely get up too early, so it shouldn’t be too bad.  Wrong. An angry, teething Red woke up at 5.10am. The earliest I’d been up in bloody ages. I can’t complain too much as I did get to go back to bed later and was treated to an adorable guitar-shaped keyring and other gifts from Blondie as a present, but basically, we parents were totally done in for the rest of the day, and in a signal of total desperation on my part, I scoffed an entire chocolate orange for my dinner in one go while arguing with Blondie about what was left and what was right. I felt amazing for an hour or so, but as the comedown hit I found myself spinning around on a ride while cuddling two of Blondie’s toys as she took photos of me at the park. I managed to somehow stop myself from throwing up, but this humiliating role-reversal continued when she made me pretend to be her son, making me say “Yes mummy” in front of passing parents as she asked me if I was having a nice time. Why put myself through this? Well, for one thing I was too weak to argue with the most argumentative four-year-old in the village. Secondly, I knew it’d be something to laugh about when the nausea and shame subsided, and thirdly and most importantly, it made my daughter happy. I expect that’s why dads all over the world make themselves look like tits on a regular basis.

 

Anyway, this blog has been a bit rambling, I know, sorry. What am I getting at? I guess what I’m trying to say is, birthdays and special events are often just the same as any other days when living with young children. You have long periods of exhaustion broken up with amazing moments of total pride and joy that make it all worthwhile, that you will never forget as long as you live. Also, cherish your family and don’t take them for granted. Oh, and I tip my hat to single parents, I don’t know how they do it, day in, day out. Never mind Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, where’s the Single Parent’s Day?

 

DADDY UNCOOL: Parent Blog has been written by a local East Riding dad, check him out on Twitter @Daddyuncoolblog and daddyuncool on Facebook

 

 

 

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