Monday, November 20, 2006

Frailty, thy name is man

This morning would be laughable if it hadn't been such a cliché. Got up late, no time for a shower, raindrops like fists which necessitated the red umbrella, and to top the morning off, wet feet for the day. I'm even making that sucky welly-stuck-in-mud schlop-schlop sound when I walk, so saturated are my phalanges. Walking to work was like the start of one of those ads telling you how shit your life is until you use whatever wonder-product is being flogged. That bit is usually filmed in black and white to emphasise what a dull, unfortunate bastard you are; once said amazing product is used, the world comes alive with vibrant colour and your life improves at least threefold.

I'm waiting for the second half of the ad to kick in.

Linzi is still sick. Pale, snotty and weak, she seems amazed that I'm still angling for a shag these days.

To help her recover, or at least recover her strength enough to be able to shag, I ensured she stayed in bed this weekend. I didn't really think this through, though. It meant that all weekend, I had sole responsibility for the children. I'm knackered. Coming back to work is a break, and that's saying something.

After Jack was born, I had the naïve impression that having a second child would be easier. You know, we'd been there before, had two years parenting experience, and all that.

It isn't easier. It's harder. Exponentially harder, which seems a bit unfair, really. Shouldn't it only be twice as hard? It seems not.

With one kid, it's possible to have some time for yourself, if you're fairly organised. With two, you must prepare yourself using a level of tactics and strategy that any corporate-policy-loving wanker would be blown away by.

For instance, when you wake in the morning, you hear your older child playing with her doll's house. You go in to say hello and give her a hug, right?

WRONG!!! Back to training camp, rookie. You leave that kid there while she's still happy and try to grab a shower before the other one starts screaming blue murder. If you go in and see her, she'll remember she's hungry, and she'll get cranky, quickly, if you don't feed her. On the other hand, leave her alone and she'll play contentedly for at least another half an hour.

Or: You wake up, and find holy crap! Jack's slept right through to half past seven, and he still isn't waking up. He's normally devoured a full bottle by half six. Great stuff, you think, and you roll over and go back to sleep.

You stupid cunt. Back to remedial school you go. You see, he's going to wake up any second now and scream his little lungs out because he's normally been fed an hour before this, and this means he's absolutely starving. Inconsolably so. Therefore you must get up right now and put a bottle on for him while he's still quiet. Go on. You might be exhausted, but you won't regret it.

There are many pitfalls and ways to avoid them, and I don't have time to share them all. Unless you'd like more incredible parenting tips, in which case I'd be happy to share. For an appropriate fee.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Enjoy that brief calm spell in the morning before you get them up, because you will not have another one for the next twelve to fourteen hours, after you've put them down for the night.

Having kids is fantastic, without a doubt one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a person can have*. This said, based on my experiences over the weekend, I can understand why some women have such a struggle to retain their identity when they become mothers. For the life of me, I had no idea who I was this weekend beyond being "Daddy". Had sex been available, I imagine I would have been too tired for it, and I'm usually hornier than a bag of rhinos.

I'm lucky enough to have a full-time job - I can leave the house and have a life outside work, however banal that life may be. My admiration for Linzi deepened this weekend, because she does not have the luxury of skiving off for half an hour if she can't be arsed doing her job. She cannot leave a problem for a day or two in the hope that it will go away, or someone else might deal with it. Well, she could try, but this might lead to someone's death, or a dose of the runs.

In spite of the stress associated with just getting up and dressing and clothing herself and the kids each day (and let me tell you, just doing this is stressful), Linzi manages to surpass herself every single day. She keeps our house (more or less) immaculate, and the kids clothed and fed. What's more, much more than this, I did it my way she finds time each day to help them develop. She reads them stories, plays with paint, playdoh, crayons, music, dancing. It's a conscious encouragement for our kids, an inverted payback for the lack of it we ourselves received. It works. Might not sound like it, but it's a big fucking deal, too. It's far easier to just dump them in front of a DVD.

She always makes the effort. When she's not covered in snot and shivering uncontrollably, she does her hair, dresses nicely, and has time for me, despite being physically and emotionally drained from the "job". I notice this, and am grateful for it. She's a no-nonsense person, always wanting to just get on with things, a constant lesson for a faffer like me.

Hamlet had it wrong. Two short days, and I know there's no way I am cut out for the job Linzi does.


I must apologise, I've not been commenting on your blogs these days. Things are a bit hectic, and the pressure's mounting for this exam that's coming up. I've still been reading you all via the magic of Bloglines, but I'm unable to visit you until things calm down here a bit. Don't worry, I still think you're cooler than the liquid nitrogen used to burn off the warts I had as a teenager.

*if you want the kid.


AMS blathered this crap:

aaaaaawwww god bless your cotton socks!

Mairéad blathered this crap:

It sounds great, and I'm not being sarcastic. Enjoy it - you'll have teenagers in the wink of an eye, and look back longingly on the nappies........ Teenagers??? Oh Jesus!!!!
3 is even worse by the way. For example, if you're crossing the road - oooops only 2 hands....
Linzi sounds special, and so are you for knowing that she is!

Taihae blathered this crap:

gave me a soppy moment of wiping a tear from me eye. linzi sounds a keeper, god knows if i had to do what she does I'd be crying uncontrollably along with the kids.

Conan Drumm blathered this crap:

Alright.. alright, you'll definitely get laid by Monday, plus breakfast in bed...

Cindy-Lou blathered this crap:

Just make sure you tell HER all this.

duckie blathered this crap:

yoiu're a good guy Kav. I don't care what everybody says about you.

You had warts? Yuck!!!!

Kav blathered this crap:

ams: Thanks. I think.

mairéad: We had planned on having three, but now I'm not so sure. I think I want the snip, but I'm only 27. Don't want to be too hasty either.

taihae: Christ, I didn't mean for that to happen. I'm going to have to write something disgusting to win your respect back.

conan: No comment.

CL: What a novel concept. I may just try that.

duckie: Sometimes, duckie. Sometimes.

Yes, I had warts. At one stage, I had about 6 or 7 of them. really satisfying getting them burned off, I can tell you.

Fat Sparrow blathered this crap:

Thanks a fucking bunch, you cunter. Now the Spouse Sparrow wants to know why I don't have "standards" and shit like that. He also wants to know your wife's phone number. Bathing every day, pah. He is so easily impressed.

Seriously though, good work on the sussing out of the kid routine. Most men wouldn't even bother. I do think you and Spouse Sparrow are the exceptions to the rule. My ex would have thrown a Happy Meal on the floor for the kid, and gone back to the PlayStation.

We'll look forward to reading when you do comment. I've been a slack bastard myself, due to the migraines.

Kim Ayres blathered this crap:

Actually it gets easier once you get beyond 3 kids as the older ones become psuedo parents for the younger ones. "Listen to Rory - he's in charge! Now bugger off 'cos I want to watch Star Trek."

Marika blathered this crap:'s a good thing I was tossing up between a child and a puppy right now...

Linzi sounds like a queen in disguise. I think she may have earned a little bowing.

Devin blathered this crap:

The first bit of the post had me thinking of that old Lemsip ad with the Bobby in the pissing rain.

Now I'm craving a Lemsip! Fuck!!

Salute to you and Linzi for all the effort with the kids though.It'll be so worth it in the coming years.

We have 3 boys and our youngest is 3 months.The days I stay home with them have their frustrating moments and their beautiful ones.Thankfully more of the latter.Last night the three of them all fell asleep within minutes of each other and ,as toddlers do,the two older lads made their beds where they fell after a mad long day of being kids.I put the three of them on our big red couch and just watched them snore their heads off.I couldn't take my eyes off of them and I had one of those Perfect Moments where no other concern or fear could ever intrude.I know you know what I mean :)

Kav blathered this crap:

Fat Sparrow: Get well soon, hen (to nab a Scots phrase). Though in your case, I should say, get well soon, sparrow.

kim: I'm laughing because I was a surrogate parent to my sisters in that way. I don't know if we're going to make it to three though!

marika: She's a star, no question about it. I'm a lucky bastid.

devin: Thank you. I know what you mean. It's hard work, but what kind of fuels us is wanting to make their life better than the ones we had, as clichéd as that sounds. And yes, I know exactly what you mean. It's maybe the best part of being a parent.