I conclude that parenting is like being on a swing. There are highs and lows. Yet, it's important (even if you're tempted) to avoid going over the top.
There's part of me that hates giving Piers Morgan the oxygen of publicity. I'm aware that this is what he thrives upon, that being controversial is what he intended to be, and he makes money out of it... BUT, FRANKLY I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS BULLSHIT.
In boxing, the fight is grueling, no doubt about it. But even in this most demanding of pursuits, there are little breaks, where the pugilists sit at the side of the ring, have a drink and try to regain their senses. It's only as a result of these intermissions that the fight will ever have the chance of going the distance. For me, it was the same with parenting a little one. For hour upon hour your senses are pummeled as tears, food, poo and puke fly. The parent becomes totally punch drunk, but clings onto their sanity in the knowledge that there's a nap around the corner, the child will be sleeping any time now. This sleep is, I feel, far more restorative to the parent than it's ever been for the child. It's a chance to catch your breath, wipe down the walls and consider a few winks of sleep for yourself.
It had been a few minutes, three maybe. I looked at him, as encouragingly as I could, and spoke. “OK, that’s good. It’s easy, just one, two, three and push.” I’d tried to hide any stress (rapidly growing within me) from my voice. My son looked back at me, seemingly unconvinced. “Cuddle?” “We can have a cuddle when you come down the slide.” “Cuddle now?” “Just go down!” chimed in a boy, about twice the age of my son - part of the growing queue for the slide forming behind my little one. “He’ll go when he’s ready,” I said, once again trying to appear calm - reminding myself that empathy isn’t a skill kids are born with. “Just one, two, three and push!” Still nothing. It was going to be a long day.
Dads do AMAZING things WITHOUT superpowers It's (relatively) easy to save the day if you can fly or walk up the side of buildings. Superheroes (on the whole) are blessed with some pretty nifty abilities that the average person in the street could only dream of. They've got a bit (read 'a lot') of a head start. The thing is, I've seen dads do amazing things with no superpowers whatsoever. OK, OK, what they do might not be as 'showy' as the antics of Messrs Wayne, Kent and Stark - but they're more impressive.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Charlie King of Heroic Fatherhood. It was great to have an in depth chat about what it means to be a SAHD.
PARENTING IS HARD! Parenting is also wonderful, challenging, rewarding, exhausting, tedious, exhilarating and constantly surprising.
It's a strange thing feeding another human being. Even stranger when a fussy eater is feeding their non-fussy eater child. I spend long periods of time faking smiles and satisfied noises about food I wouldn't dream of eating myself.
It's these people, and their blissful ignorance, that contemporary parents must learn to navigate around. Like hidden rocks among the flotsam and jetsam of parenting - they must be spotted and avoided if possible.
It used to be your favourite thing to do...