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Love Sex Fleas God

Confessions of a stay-at-home dad.
By Bruce Clark
The men in the house quickly established a routine. After our morning poetry recital we settled down with a picture book. I propped Angus up on my knee and flipped through 100 Animals. I turned the pages but waited for him to put his finger on a specific animal, at which point I was required to say the name and produce the sound effect. He would go directly to the lion and I was expected to ‘ROAR!’ again and again until he got tired of it. He made a husky little attempt to ‘roar’ but was put immediately in place by my big, booming alpha ‘ROAR!’ in return; it’s never too early to establish who’s the boss.

When I out-roared him he shook on my knee and made a throaty sound that brought tears to my eyes when I realised that it was his first laugh. We went through ‘QUACKS!’ and ‘BUZZES’ and ‘HISSSES’, my mind racing ahead of him as I tried to anticipate having to make the sounds of worms and slugs. After reading, we went through to the kitchen to feast on steamed gem squash and butternut. Then came the best part: we were going out to pick up women.

‘What is the turn-on about men with babies?’ I said to Christine. ‘I just don’t get it. I don’t even pretend to understand the logic of it. Man-with-pram means man-with-baby. Man-with-baby usually means man-with-woman-in-his-life. The very best that a woman is going to get by chatting up man-with-baby is a little bit of non-committed something on the side, which goes against everything that a woman stands for. Yet when I’m out with Angus, it’s like moths and a light. I never came close to getting this kind of attention when I was single and available. It makes no shred of sense. What is it with you lot? By the way, your hair looks nice. ‘We’re a mystery, Babe.’

This is an extract from Love Sex Fleas God (Random House Struik), available from Kalahari.net at R162.

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