The wife is going away for one evening. I’m staying home with the kids. The grandparents refused to babysit. My friends just laugh at me.
Realising that this a reality my wife has to face often when I’m gallivanting across oceans on business, it’s an undisputed fact that it’s my turn. It’s my turn to run around like a crazed maniac on crack, in order to supply food, get the homework done, drill them through various evening activities and tuck them in with a prayer after it all. Not to mention attempting to administer the chaos of tomorrow morning when I will have to feed them again (what’s up with that?), pack their lunches, make sure they brushed and cleaned and clothed and all this aiming to be on time for school.
I’m sweating just writing this, by the way.
So for all the things that father’s do, expecting us to fulfil a dual role, implies perfection. No pressure. I am intelligent enough to understand that single parenting involves a lot more than tickle matches with Princess and watching fail video’s on Youtube with Son. (And I know there are thousands of people doing this daily, and to those I bow down in respect.)
But getting down to achieving perfection as a dad.
1. Grow a pair. And with that I mean boobs. A great writer I follow enthusiastically, has implied that the wisdom of parental instinct resides in boobs. Check it out. Here. You will never be the same again, because every word he says is true.
2. Learn how to multitask, which as we all know, is a skill that is impossible for the masculine brain to acquire. One has to be able to prepare dinner, pack the dishwasher, listen to Princess rant about the little bitch at school, and get Son to turn the volume down on the TV set, all at the same time. Without losing it.
3. Pray for the patience of Mother Theresa. And they say patience is a virtue, and I’m no nun.
4. Teleport. Which basically supports the skill mentioned in number 2, but this one implies that you would need the ability to be at two places at the same time. And that fact is only dependant on the amount of kids you allowed yourself to conceive. I fortunately had the wisdom of restraining my urges for spreading my seed after we got our pigeon pair.
5. Shut down all brain function that is specifically relating to your work day, once you walk into the house. Because then it all has to be about the kids and the family. You need to spend time with them, offering your FULL attention and focus. It’s about connecting, with sincerity. Listening, communicating. (Don’t I sound like a woman already?)
6. Make them laugh, at least once a day. Ok, this one I might have a handle on.
7. Fly. Because that would just be really cool for any dad to do.
The list is based on the qualities of the other parent who shares our household. The pretty one. The go-to-guy for advise on how to interact with the moodiness that sometimes oozes from Princess or the frustration that sometimes escape Son. It’s the parent who actually raises my kids, as I’m just comic relief. It’s their wonderful mother. For there is none like her on this earth and I except that. I love her for it. And she’s all mine. My precious…
So considering all my flaws as a parent, I’m probably as close to perfect as I can hope to be, for I’m married to her.
It’s her birthday and we will miss her immensely when she’s out for the evening. Don’t worry I’m sure the kids will be fine. (gulp)
I know, I know. They better be.