Two Guys, Two Kids, Two Cats.

Hey Campers,

It’s been nearly four months now and I still find myself struggling to find the words to describe the experience of becoming a dad for the second time. Actually, no that’s a lie. I do have the words and it’s pretty much along the lines of “what the hell were we thinking!?!”

Personally, I blame our eldest child for hiding his true demon spawn nature, thus tricking my husband and I into thinking that this whole parenthood thing wasn’t so bad after all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d happily disembowel anyone who came close to threatening my children’s happiness and while they continue to melt my heart on a daily basis, it certainly hasn’t been a walk in the park. Unless, perhaps, if that park was situated in the seventh circle of hell. Certainly, it’s more mentally and physically gruelling than I ever thought possible. Exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if this was exactly the sort of torture that happens at shadowy black-sites once waterboarding has failed.

Tell us what we want to know or it’s toddler duty for you!

TGTKTC

In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find any parent who didn’t question their life choices after a particularly trying day of being a tiny person’s emotional punching bag…I do it several times a day.  Do I imagine what it’d be like to runaway and live by myself on a tropical island? Sure. Repeatedly…I’m doing it right now.

Instead of merely doubling the workload, the new arrival has somehow managed to quadruple it. Granted, we do have help in the form of a part-time daycare, but even then it has at times been a real struggle. Between a pathologically jealous toddler, a colicky baby and two kitties that are openly resentful of yet another thing that takes away from their much-deserved attention, I’m more than ready for a nice quiet stay in a sanatorium…or a daily bottle of wine with a fistful of Xanax.

That being said, I do find that I’ve begun to accept the things that I can’t change. For instance, I’ve come to the realisation that it’s practically impossible to have both my children content at the same time…unless one of them is unconscious. By which I mean asleep and not drugged with cough syrup…I promise.

I’ve also learnt that parents do indeed have favourites. For me, it’s the one who isn’t currently screaming at me, and in the depressingly frequent case of a dual tantrum then my affections transfer to the nearest cat. Not that I’d ever tell them of course, I don’t want to be completely responsible for their inevitable therapy.

Must away, I can hear both my beasts stirring from their blessed, and sadly too rare, joint naptime.

Tchao! Tchao!!!

Curse of the Sweet Zombie Jesus.

Hey Campers,

As I re-emerge after a weekend-long orgy of chocolate and hot cross buns – sadly, the only type I participate in these days – I thought it high time to write one of my long rambling missives. Not to mention that keeping my fingers busy does help fight my newly developed addiction to the aforementioned hot cross buns.

Granted, I was quite the fan of this baked treat before the festive season but my consumption recently jumped up at an alarming rate, from once a month, to weekly and now daily. Why oh why must Marks & Spencer have so many delicious flavours?  You should really try the orange marmalade flavoured ones. Thankfully, their thoroughly tempting range will undoubtedly shrink back to normal now that the sacred time of the Sweet Zombie Jesus has passed.

Dashing Through The Snow…

Hey Kids,

As the year draws to a close, unlike my jeans whose top buttons have never seemed further apart after all the festive shovelling of food I’ve been doing into my mouth, I thought it high time to issue one of my increasingly infrequent, rambling missives.

For the past week we’ve been enjoying a rather lovely White Christmas. Indeed, I’m currently on the lounge with a big soothing pot of tea and watching the snow come down in flurries outside. As per tradition, my mother-in-law is trying to kill me with food. I used to think it was because she thought her son could do better than me, now I realise that it’s simply her mission to make everyone around her fat. Thank goodness, the summer holidays are half a year away and I have time to transform myself back into beach body ready. In my current state, helpful environmentalists would be trying to roll me back into the water.

The Joys of Daddyhood.

Hey Campers,

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted about the trials and tribulations of Daddyhood, mostly because it’s been so dreadfully time-consuming, energy-draining and generally only leaves me mentally fit for watching Gilmore Girl marathons. Don’t get me wrong, Nate is pretty damn awesome – most of the time, although there have been several occasions where we’ve genuinely wondered whether or not he was temporarily possessed by a demon spawn. But I jest…sort of.

All in all, I’m very much a happily married father of three – yes I include the cats as they are just as needy as any human child, let me tell you – and wouldn’t trade it for the world. That’s not to say, I’ve managed to completely master the tricky balance between maintaining any semblance of my own life and making sure every last whim of our little beast is sated.

The Plight of the Stay-at-Home Dad.

Now, let me preface this rant by saying that I absolutely adore my son and would gladly sacrifice everything to ensure his happiness, and that my heart swells with love at his every cheeky smile and infectious laugh. That being said, what the hell has happened to me?

I’m unable to answer the question ‘how are you?’ without it rapidly becoming a rambling reply about my son. Sadly, the conversations with my husband have been the most affected, with us often discussing at length the maintenance of ‘The Beast’ – as we’ve affectionately nicknamed him.  Not to mention, I’ve developed a disturbing aversion to higher temperatures. And, perhaps the most worrying of all, I completely forgot about the start of the summer sales. THE SALES, PEOPLE!

Lord Of The Bunnies…

Hey Kids,

As we celebrate this special time and bow down in chocolate worship to our benevolent overlord, Emperor Bunny, I’ve had a chance to pause and reflect upon the new life on which I’ve embarked. Our beloved bundle of joy has rocketed past the three-month mark and continues to change and grow at an astonishing rate. In fact, he’s already grown out of a good many outfits, including three of my absolute favourites, which I very reluctantly packed away until they are needed again for a future sibling.

Indeed, the wunderkind has been hitting all sorts of milestones, becoming more aware of his surroundings, grabbing a hold of things, discovering his body and trying to talk. Not to mention laughing and smiling at blank spots on the wall and ceiling, having us thoroughly convinced that our apartment is haunted. And, perhaps most importantly, he’s started sleeping through the night, in his very own room no less. Naturally, the first time he did it we freaked out thinking that something was dreadfully wrong, but after a few days we were simply grateful for the unbroken sleep. 

Out of the mouths of babes…

In an age where we’ve made leaps and bounds in the area of communication, why on earth haven’t we come up with something to help us understand babies? I mean it’s a most desperately required piece of technology – just ask any frazzled parent who’d give their right arm to figure out what their screaming Hell Beast wants at three in the morning. Honestly, how hard can it be? They had one in The Simpsons and they predicted the Trump Presidency, so surely anything’s possible? And while they’re at it, they should design one for use on cats, as I desperately want to know what my furry monsters’ fixation for our bedroom wardrobe is all about; meowing plaintively at it on a daily basis for no discernible reason. But I digress.

Admittedly, my interest in this is completely selfish, as before having my own crying bundle of joy I truly believed that it was just a problem that parents should just have to deal with and keep it away from the rest of us. One could say, my current predicament is a good dose of karma for my lack of sympathy but that is neither here nor there.

The Peacock Has Landed.

Hey Kids,

Tis the season for miracles and I’m happy to report that’s exactly what’s happened here in gay Paris, as my sparkling clean apartment can attest. That’s right, I’ve gone full on Papa Peacock and started nesting, although it was bound to happen given the nearness of our new arrival. Admittedly, I’ve always been houseproud to a certain extent but I was by no means OCD about it all…until now. This past week my cleaning routine has switched into hyper drive, going far beyond the usual tidy up – polishing light fixtures, scrubbing cornices and doing inventory of all the cabinets. Even the cats, with their keenly developed habit of cleanliness, have been looking at me like I’ve lost the plot.