The Swift Realisation..

imageDo you remember when you were in school and you forgot your lunch? You’re sitting there watching all of the other kids eating… You’re even looking at the weird kid with the funky looking peanut butter sandwich thinking; ‘I would eat that through a straw with no hands’. Then one of your friends realises you haven’t eaten and asks “hey do you want this packet of chips” Your stomach is like “NOMNOMFUCKINGNOMNOMYES” and you look back up past their extended hand, into their eyes, begin to weep a little and say “No thanks i’m not hungry”….. what the fuck? Why am I too fucking proud for burger rings? So my mother in law says “i’ll look after the boys, you get up to the hospital and see Sarah”. Oh man… this was it… this was my moment…

…..I was in the shower faster than a Saturday morning hooker. I scrubbed that shit harder than a packed up meth lab. I annihalated every last memory of vomit, shit, dribble and snot like the cops were about to pull up. I threw my clothes on and brushed my teeth slowly whilst having the internal battle: to accept or decline. What if I say yes… does that make me her bitch? What if I say no… could we die? “I’ll just quickly clean the house and and hope you tell me to get out before I finish the rest of this sentence”

So there I was, driving her Bakery-Mobile (she owns bakeries) through a McDonalds drive-thru praying they wouldn’t force me to order a shitty McBreakfast. I stopped into coles to grab some trashy magazines and energy drinks. And then there’s my favourite part of grocery shopping. The part called, “don’t hand me your goods, please just pop them on the conveyer, allow them to travel slowly past the impatient fucker behind you who’s already constructed their ‘grocery mini-wall’ and give us all enough time to see what you’re buying so we can make internal judgements of you, your lifestyle and determine a potential year of death”. Well call me a Kardashian loving caffiene addict with eye bags and just hurry up and scan my shit!

I head home after a short stay, planning my night on the drive. The words “just plan your night now” are a chorus of motivation. You know when you get a pep talk, and you try to run before you can walk? Well Knox, throw out the noodles because daddy’s brought home a roast! So there I am, revitalized, rejuvinated, feeling great, ready to do battle… Knox would rather hang out with his Nanna and leaves me for a few hours leaving me with only Finn, looking up at me, incapable of conversation or the ablity to interact. He started smiling at me, I smiled back, he smiled more, I tickled his belly and goo-goo-gaa-gaad, he smiled more, I started playing peek-a-boo, he shit his pants… the smile isn’t love… it’s gas.

A walk should pass some time by and help him settle. So there we were, walking down the road, Finn in the carrier, got my head held high, people in cars looking at us, quick pic for the wifey, he falls asleep, dog walkers saying g’day, a few passer’s by ask to see him. It was a great feeling. I felt like a dad version of the Fonz… until he shits… he didn’t even wake up… I mean, who shits their pants and doesn’t even wake up?

The night was a lot better than the one before. The kids were settled, the roast was in, the house was warm. They ate, they bathed, they slept. I worked that routine like it was the opening fucking ceremony. It was actually amazing. It’s nothing that a bit of routine can’t help with. Which gave me time to write the previous post.

Earlier that day when I was talking to Sarah in hospital about the previous night and she said “I want you to write this down so you always remember just how hard it is”. It is hard, It’s really hard. I don’t know how single parents do it. I don’t understand why we as a society have these expectations of people. Maybe we don’t… maybe they’ve just got these expectations of themselves. The fact that I’m a man means nothing, the fact that my wife chose to sacrifice time from her very good job and take leave means nothing. Because no matter how much the world changes, it’s still quite traditional for one parent to stay home while the other parent works. It’s not gender specific, it’s not pigeon holing roles in the family, it’s not anything. It’s just really fucking practical.

I planned on writing this post last night but I took some of your advice and slept. I just slept and slept and took advantage of the time to regenerate whilse the boys slept. There has been so much support and positivity come out of my post which is really wonderful. Sarah is in pain but is coping well. She will be having surgery soon. She misses her boys and her boys miss her. Thank you for all the well wishes and I will make sure I get more of the actual DaDMuM experience into the next one.


Today I had to be the mum…

imageToday I had to be the mum…

You know when your wife always says “I wish I could be the dad” and you’re like … It’s the same thing…

Well sit back, relax, grab a drink, some popcorn, clear your schedule and hold onto your bootlaces because I’m about to take you on a ride that could only be likened to a backwards 100mph roller coaster that takes you through waterfalls of vomit, shit and lots of tears. And once you’re finished with yours you will move onto the children’s.

It all started yesterday when I had to rush out of work. Because I’m a dad… And dads get respite for 40+ hours per week under the socially acceptable provisor ‘supporting the family’ while mum continues doing what women seem to so effortlessly do. “My liver has failed” read the text message from Sarah. And that’s when I became the mum. It’s now been 24 hours…

I feel like the Law & Order scene change beat would be appropriate about now.

5:00pm arrival at home – The Eagles Land
5:01pm… Initial scans of the house:
1. Living quarters trashed
2. Rations reduced to tiny teddies, gravy stock, tea bags and a clear lack of defrosted meat
3. Knox (2yo) limited speech ability wants to watch a DVD and communicated this by roaring at me. Finn (6wks) communicates only by way of the hot and cold guessing game, crying for hot and emphatic crying for cold

I put on the dvd which buys me time with Knox. Finn still making his same original request, I don’t seem to be getting any warmer. A bottle reduces him to a mere wimper. I’ll take it.

Who remembers Aristos The Surprise Chef? The bloke that can look at a bare ass pantry consisting of canned food and half rotten vegetables and create a 3 course meal fit for a King…
Well Knox had 2 minute noodles so FUCK YOU ARISTOS!

As the night rolls on and my patience wears thin; I reduce myself to keeping Knox quiet by allowing him to place stickers on my (very hairy) legs. He was being quiet… “It’s okay, I can shave them off in the morning” was the thought. “Just don’t wake Finn”

It’s amazing how babies sleep the way they do. You know what I mean hey… When you change and finish feeding them, and you gently pick him up to burp him, and he burps, and you rub his back to make him comfortable. And his eyelids become heavy, and he breathes heavily through his nose as the comforting warmth becomes too much for him to be able to keep his eyes open. It’s really beautiful… And then you wrap him ever so gently, bring him up to your face and kiss him on his forehead, and sway as you walk into the room, as if you’re doing the slowest no partnered waltz you can do, and you’re wiggling your hips that bit extra because you’re the fucking man because the kid’s asleep, and you gently lay him in his bed, and cover him, and tuck him in, and tap the dummy for whatever the fuck reason we seem to do that shit for. It’s beautiful. It’s such a nice and serene moment you get to share with them…
Right up until the part where he FUCKING SCREAMS FROM THE HIGH HEAVENS… As if I’ve thrown him at a wall by his legs!

At least it’s only once a night right??? I mean, why wouldn’t I want to do it all again at 10:30….12:00….1:45….3:30….
I was so excited to know the trend would continue at 5:00 except it was actually the beginning of the new day. Did you know sleep deprivation is a form of torture???

So there I was… At 5:30am sitting on the lounge with Finn alert as an 18yr old Mt Druitt chick at Stereosonic… Just sittin… When Knox enters the room and says “Hi”. That’s the moment I realised I would rather be the dad.

So I got the kids ready for the day and planned my attack on the domestic duties. And by that I mean I spent the next 2 hours in the lounge room holding Finn, in a spiral of insomnia induced hallucinations allowing Knox to help himself to an assortment of fruit sticks, K-Time Twists and Sa-Ka-Ta’s until he eventually retreated to his train set. Texting Sarah “really good night babe”…

Then there was a Knock at the door… Have you ever been in a situation where someone walked in on you doing something you shouldn’t be? That’s the feeling I got when I opened the door to my mother in law. So there I was;
Unshaven, hair a mess, wearing the pants and socks from the day before and a hoodie covering up the fact I had no shirt on. Hadn’t showered, not yet brushed my teeth, Knox comes running out in his sleeping bag asking for a new Yoghurt muesli bar to be opened. I open the door to her to reveal the fact that knox’s noodles were still in a bowl on the table, stickers stuck to the goddamn lounge, the house an absolute mess.

It was in that moment I knew I was defeated. It was also in that moment I knew she knew I knew I was defeated. A vulnerability we try our best to keep from our in laws. That was only 16 hours of being a mum. And I failed.

I have not even mastered the ability to keep my own personal hygiene as a mum let alone the ability to keep a house, educate children, prepare meals and even venture outside for activities.

Sarah’s still in hospital… Get well soon babe 🙂 and stay tuned for day 2