I used to dream of a BAFTA, now I dream of accepting my BAFTA and having a shed with a radio and a lock.
I used to stay up all night, now I am up most of the night. I realise that for most city-raised men – we are are always up all night. It’s a seamless procession from teen angst to all-night parties, to crying babies to the looming prostate. It has its bonuses; but the head full of ideas that used to keep me up scribbling, pacing and talking endlessly now competes with a bottle full of formula and a stare that draws you in to the cot for aimless hours of doting and cooing.
I am a dad.
Dad: (noun) one who is invisible to women whose husbands didn’t help much with their children (verb) to be not quite as important as Didsbury Wife or Didsbury Son. To make mistakes with the temperature of milk and what constitutes clean and sterilised.
If men were as rude about in public mixed company as women are,
“Is he needy [pointing at baby boy twin with enormous beautiful head]? … They all are, all boys are, all their lives.” People would think it was still the 1970s.
There’s no escaping your gender and the benefit of genes. On Thursday the twins both slept through the night for the first time. Didsbury Wife and I were giddy with continuous sleep. This morning I woke up and glanced at the clock, 6.09am – Bingo. I smiled, smug with rest, stretched and leaned over to stare beatifically at a rested Didsbury Wife. In turning I bumped into 2 wide-eyed babies and a 1000 yard staring Didsbury Wife. They hadn’t slept through the night but I had.
The male genes had tuned out efficiently. Didsbury Wife forcefully told me – I had slept through the 2, 4 and 5am wake up – snoring happily. i had been oblivious to the twins cries, the night feeds and the odd prod in the ribs from Didsbury Wife’s toe.
A dent in the ribs v a full night’s sleep. I think that is 1-0 to the Y chromosome.
Not even a picture of a baby with red licquorice made Didsbury Wife smile