October 05, 2009

Change is a holiday

One thing I can really do without is a red-hot poker up my bum.

Of course there are other things I can do without too: being trapped in the Arctic in the company of a hungry Polar bear named Sid; or being mobbed by a school of canned tuna. I would really like to avoid the Fruit-n-Veg City when it’s attacked by a swarm of flying pigs with scurvy, or having to support Blue Bulls rugby. But the red-hot-poker-up-the-bum-thing really has to rate as the one I try avoid the most.



You might read this feeling bright and perky, wondering what this is all about…, well lucky you. At two o’clock in the morning on the 274th consecutive night without sufficient sleep, the mind tends to wander… and you wonder… and yes, it doesn’t make sense, but no, it does, doesn’t it? These thoughts seemed like the most natural events I could expect on any given day. At two o’clock in the morning on the 274th night without sufficient sleep NOTHING seems impossible and reality kinda gets muddled in there with episode 13 of Star Trek, Ba-Ba-Black Sheep and peanut butter.

And it is my fault – it usually is.

You see, one day I decided it didn’t seem too bad an idea to start a family. Or rather, I was coaxed into it unwittingly and totally unresisting: what with judogirl and her wondrous frilly lacy bits and those boots – I never stood a chance!

Before that fateful day I had spent a considerable portion of my eventful life conjuring ways of avoiding the responsibility. I had international guru status when it came to thinking of reasons – judogirl and her girlfriends like to refer to these as “excuses” – why not to procreate. I even had subscribers requesting my intervention and assistance on the matter. However, and I know this may come as a shock to most of you, I am only human.

And with this, we come to the gist of the letter… yes, strange enough there actually IS a point to this:

To all you wonderful people, friends and family alike, who said a baby would change my life, count yourselves lucky. If this were 1939 and I was a short despot with half a moustache running a global powerhouse invading one country after another, I would have you all shot!

That includes you Mom. With your “change is as good as a holiday” adage (her favourite I might add, right after “you’re not too old for a smack young man” and “because I’m your mother and I said so!” – if she were Hitler’s mother, the history books today would read: “1939-1945: nothing much happened”). Think well upon this one Mom, ponder it at your leisure, then try and explain the logic.

A change would be taking a brunette to the movies instead of a blonde, trying new toothpaste, parting your hair the other way (not really an option for me), or going veggie. Having a baby is a conscious decision to forego and forever relinquish any pleasures or rewards the world has to offer in order to sacrifice yourself completely and utterly for the benefit and comfort of another person… a very small one that poops in his pants!

There it is! And don’t try and turn it into anything different.

To all the childless beings contemplating bringing forth offspring because it is “a wonderful and fulfilling experience completing our togetherness and symbolizing the love we share…” stop watching soaps, get a grip and read the above paragraph. Read it again. And again. Print it bold and stick it on your wall. Make it your personal mantra. Now mantra it as often as you can for as long as you can.

If after doing this for several months you still believe that a little person wearing your face is what you really want… good luck and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

To my hapless brothers-in-law and half-brothers-in-writing upon whom this condition has recently befallen: my deepest and sincerest apologies. I will forever feel the guilt that I never gave you the benefit of this letter at an earlier stage. I was busy.

Two quick notes here: I will never feel bad enough to babysit – so don’t ask! And the above is a brilliant example of when to use “whom” in stead of “who” – go teach your kids.

You see, your life doesn’t so much change – it ends completely!

Today you might know the batting averages of most domestic and international cricket players, and the results of rugby matches played since 1990. You can still catch a fish, swing a golf club and drink beer with the best of them – remember these days fondly.

In my day I knew the difference between a demi-cup, a push-up, and a balconette. I met Kylie Minogue, visited Venice and the Pyramids of Giza. I could mix 25 different cocktails and knew how to fly a plane. I don’t know that stuff anymore... well, the bra one I try and stay abreast of – I suppose that’s half the reason I am in this predicament.

I do however know that gripe water relieves cramps and gripes, Telament is for colic and wind. Ashton & Parsons are probably two of baby’s favourite uncles when it comes to an upset tummy, and the pink bottle helps for mild to moderate pain (how the heck I’m supposed to know when his pain is mild to moderate is still beyond me – at this stage I dose according to volume). Here’s a tip for teething – Andolex. Phenomenal. The wee man’s nine months old now – he sports eight teeth and is currently working on two more. If it wasn’t for Andolex, I surely would have exhausted my entire Discovery mental health benefit three months ago.

I might not know who Hannah Montana is or how to operate an ipod, but I DO know more variations of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” than a capacity crowd at Twickenham and the difference between babygrows with, and those without poppers. I can change the wee man before your 2-minute noodles are in the “leave to simmer” stage – that includes nappy change and new (matching) outfit. And I have mastered the mystical power of exorcising a burp from the twisted depths that is an infant’s insides – at three in the morning, without beer!

You think Jacki Chan can move – big deal! I can dodge porridge and yoghurt flying at me at 200mph from six inches away. If you don’t know what six inches are – shame, hee-hee, and it’s not very far.

Anyhoo (Mom hates it when I do that), my life definitely didn’t change. It ended. But this new life is so much better. I love it, I live it, and there’s nothing I’d rather do. Judogirl, where your boots?

I’ll sleep again when he’s 36 – at least there’s that.

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