All praise to full-time parents – I’m ready for the Taliban.
I have just become a full-time parent. No I have not discovered some hitherto unknown seed of my loins come home to roost. Maddison’s mom has joined the French Foreign Legion for a six month trial period and I’ve been left with the baby, literally.
It’s been two months now, and yeah, what can I say? I am alive… Where’s that whisky… ahh, that’s better. Seriously though, full-time parents, single or other, I salute you, you are the bees knees, you are the bomb, you rock… wait, where did I put that whisky…hic, you’re the man, you… yawn. I have to catch up on some sleep now…
Bloody hell you guys need a medal. I fondly remember the good old days when after having the kids for a weekend I’d blissfully find myself fantasising about the short drive across town to hand them over to the other parenting half. And missing them like crazy the moment I’d said good bye.
See this is why I still maintain having kids at an older age, like after 30, is a lot easier on the parents and the kids than say having them in your twenties or earlier. The one thing you need to get used to (and it takes a while because you don’t see it coming) is the constant emotional stress of just being aware of them 24/7. I’ve gotten used to that looking after them on weekends. But now the 3 week days have gone as well.
You find yourself tired and drained at the end of the day, but you can’t sleep. And all you’ve actually done is to be a parent, which at this phase of Maddi’s life means (among a myriad of things) having to learn how to plait her hair, and Barbie’s hair. Wiping her butt after a poo, only to be told, in pressing terms, ‘wait Dad I’m making another one’ and ‘no don’t go, stay in the toilet with me’ (and breathe in the heady aroma of eau-de-poop).
I somehow cannot see myself coping with this scenario when in my 20s. But I am learning so much. I’m secretly developing a crush on Barbie, having been forced to watch every Barbie DVD available in the civilised world. With absolutely no free time to do anything else this is hardly surprising.
I’ve had to become a skilled negotiator. Sweets and chocolates have become more valuable than gold in the high-stakes daily gamble of persuasion to get Maddi into the car, or into the bath, or out of the bath, or off the table, or not to strangle the cat, again.
So ja, I think I’m ready for the Taliban, I can go for hours on end with no sleep, so their torturing techniques won’t work on me. I can negotiate a complicated settlement that involves chocolate, two measures of medicine, a hot bath, followed by hair brushing (oh, the agony) and two bedtime stories. Bring it on, I’m ready for anything. Damn, I keep forgetting where I left the bloody whisky.
Do you think being a full time parent teaches important life skills? And where did Marlon leave the whisky?
Read more by Marlon Abrahams