Have you ever sat back and wondered exactly when in your life 6am got its classification switched from “Fuck me that’s early” to “God damn that was a good sleep in”?
Unless you’re a shift worker or some sort of fitness human it’s generally when your work transitions from 8 to 24hour days with extra arguments and puke thrown in thanks to having a child impose itself onto your existence. (I kid, they’re tops)
As of recently my wake up time has been about 5am after a solid half hour of “Thanks very much for the milk but I’d rather not stay in my bed and sleep, instead I’m going to serenade you with my own rendition of Busta Rhymes entire back catalogue of speed rap spoken around a dummy to the tune of a percussion beat played out chuck Norris style on your back.”
Chuck Norris style being kicking.
Not today though. Today the mini monster just slept through after a midnight feed. I’m worried she’s likely deceased but not worried enough to push my luck by checking anything other than the baby monitor and ruining this golden alone time.
So anyway it’s just after 6 and I’m alone in my dining room. The magic of coffee mixed with butter is coursing through my veins (you mainline coffee right?) no doubt clogging an artery or two along the way while prepping me mentally for the day ahead.
Because today, we have “NASTIIIIIICS!”*
*Nastics is mini monster shout-speak for toddler gymnastics. An under 3s’ gymnastics program we’ve enrolled her in more specifically which, if you possess an under 3, is precisely as chaotic and stressful as you’re imagining. If you do not possess an under 3 and would like an idea of how to experience ‘Nastics’, then do the following.
Grab yourself a puppy, a dog trainer, five tins of baked beans and an enormously open space.
Empty every tin of baked beans onto the floor in the middle of said space while the dog trainer holds your puppy at bay.
Once every tin is empty, it is now the job of you and you alone to scoop alllll of the baked beans and sauce back into the tins by hand while the trainer attempts to teach your puppy to roll over but also has to divide their time between several other puppies, none of which will bother you but your puppy will continuously either need to be held so they can whimper in your arms, or be understandably distracted by all the beans.
You may not allow your puppy to consume any of the beans or sauce at any moment in time and you also have to race against the clock to not only have all the beany saucy mess back in the tins, but also have your puppy know how to roll over on command.
As for the name, that’s my fault. We got bored on the drive to gymnastics one morning so we said gymnastics over and over till we were shouting it and eventually it devolved into some manner of tribal battle cry ala “They took our jobs”.
She shouts it harder and louder than “BRUSHATEEEEF” which is code for brushing ones teeth after dinner.
Whole ‘nother kettle of fish.
But today will be different. Today will either be infinitely less stressful, or unfathomably more.
Because today Mum is coming with us. (The Wif, not my mum.)
And last time Mum came with us not only did the spawn have a slight meltdown because she’d missed 3 classes and had to acclimatise back to being around other humans, (she gets it from her dad) but Mum had one too because all she wanted to do was spend time with her child in a fun setting of reciprocated maternal affection, but instead just kind of got tantrums and provided a distraction from training till I ended up leaning in and asking her to go sit on the grandstands.
This not only did little to stem the tide of annoying behaviour from the spawn, but now I could say I have seen both females in my household crying at gymnastics class.
There was some weird looks (at the floor) from the other mums in attendance to say the least. They’re an accepting bunch but seeing confirmation of the dynamics that make up a suspected ‘different arrangement’ regarding the gender roles of parenting in our household was still a bit to process. What with the crying and all.
Luckily the main instructor is a very understanding woman and came to my aid, managing to comfort and talk to the Wif while I kept frantically trying to stuff beans back into the tin and direct a puppy onto a balance beam.
That is until she had to go give stickers to the rest of the puppies and tagged out with her subordinate who placed a hand gently on the Wifs shoulder and spoke thusly,
‘It’s ok, I used to get it too. You spend all day at home with them doing everything you can to make sure they’re happy and healthy then as soon as dad walks back in from work they don’t want to know you anymore.’ Thanks Karen, fucking top notch stuff right there. You’ve done a terrific job of bringing over an entire drum of petrol to put out the fire that had been reduced to a single manageable candle or possibly even a sub-par ember.
To her credit the Wif has terrific self control in most situations and neither screamed in her face, nor choked her with her own freakish little gymnast socks.
But this is just another one of those things in life that they neglect to tell you how to prepare for in that fuck-off big manual on family dynamics and child rearing that they give you when you leave the hospital with a newborn.
You know the book right? I mean I obviously left ours behind, that’s the only reason I can think of to explain away the fact that everyone else seems to have their shit together with parenting and family while I/We are second guessing ourselves eight to eleventy thousand times a day.
Well if you’re in a similar situation I’m going to throw caution to the wind (because I don’t hang out with other parents and/or people and have surveyed none others on this fact) and just tell you that you’re not alone. None of us know what we’re doing. And that’s fine.
In fact if I have an entire day with my family where I don’t fuck up or second guess anything, I actually start getting kind of scared. Mostly because I think the fuck ups are escalating and condensing and by the end of the evening mini monster will contract the plague, the wif will walk out on me and the house will burst into a tornado.
Just keep doing what you’re doing, keep fucking up and most importantly for all the normies out there, keep being confused and weirded out by stay at home dads.
Because the more people do that, the more I know we’re doing the right thing.
What the fuck am I saying, normies wouldn’t read this crap.
P.S. Nastics went off without a hitch, very proud of my puppy and the Wifs bean shovelling efforts today.