Parents are clambering over themselves to pay tribute to their children, nothing says “I love you” like a status update, a popular one being something along the lines of “a year ago today (insert generic baby name) came into our lives and I can honestly say it’s been the best year of our lives”. Honestly? The best? Really? Don’t get me wrong it’s been a memorable year, a life changing year, a year of self discovery and I love Max like no other, but, and don’t hate me for what I’m about to say, it hasn’t been the best year of my life.
My best year was perhaps the one I spent travelling, meeting new people, staying up late and getting up even later. Or maybe it was the first year at university where it didn’t take me long to realise that the student stereotype was in fact a very true representation of student life and a lot of fun it was too. I sometimes look at Max and think that he’s got it pretty good, imagine having two people, essentially unpaid butlers, hovering over you at all times whose sole purpose is to give you whatever you want, now that sounds like the best years to me.
To dare to be anything less than glowing about parenthood is a definite no no. God help you if another one hears you suggest that you don’t enjoy every minute of every day with your little darling. Shame on you if you so much as entertain the notion of spending a Saturday in the pub instead of the park. Someone call social services I just heard this man suggest that he does not cherish sitting up all night with his sick kid. For the overwhelming majority complaining about the rigours of the daily grind is compulsory, failure to do so could result in promotion, but for parents, particularly the stay at home kind, it’s a taboo subject.
In a bid to buck the trend I am approaching my work with a refreshing dose of honesty. (1) Lady at the swings – “Oh he is so cute, you must be so proud” Me “I am too tired to be proud. We aim for cute but he is also very capable of being a little bastard from time to time” (2) Gushing Dad at the library – “Could you imagine life without your son” Me – “Yes, frequently” (3) Wife – “I want another one” Me – “With whom?” (4) Son – “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAAA” Me – “What’s the return policy on this one?”
In order to keep my Dad of the Year dream alive I will end this rant by saying that like any other job there are good days, okay great days, and bad days. The selflessness that is required to do the job does not come naturally to me, I’ve only ever looked after myself and my own interests and I struggled with that. I think the best years are still to come – I’m looking forward to children’s books with actual words. I look forward to the ‘why’ questions, “why do you look so angry Daddy?” I look forward to pee pee and poo poo time being a solo venture. I look forward to dragging his lazy arse out of bed instead of the other way around. I look forward to kicking balls with him rather than just having mine busted.
Far be it from me to question the best year of anyone else’s life but I would question what the other ones were like.