Dear Dawn (The days are melting into each other so I no longer count)
Following on from my last communication I feel that I need to tackle the issue of celebrity parenting which you hold in great regard but I consider with a fairly healthy degree of cynicism.
I know I’m in trouble as soon as a new birth announcement is made. If I stumble upon the news first and dont tell you I will be accused of “never telling you anything”. If I do tell you I get harassed for the detail.
Im not sure what your expectation is but most celebrities stopped communicating with me since….EVER so the information I have is only the same as what you can also lay your hands on. Also, as you have quite correctly identified, I envy them. Most are my age or younger, get paid handsomly for doing next to sod all, draw the admiration of every “yummy mummy” this side of the arctic circle and are a slap in the face daily reminder of how “successful” I haven’t been. I disguise my very obvious jealousy by insinuating that I couldn’t give a shiny arsed shite about their life and pretending I haven’t read the article, or any of your girly rag mags that litter the house! Questions such as “what did the baby weigh, how long was the labour, what are they going to call them etc etc will be met with blank stares and eventually a frustrated bitterness laced outburst like, “I dunno, probably called them twiglett oompah-loompa” or something equally unnecessary. In any case, celebrity parents, OK magazine and ITV are entitled to their privacy the same as anyone else. You get the detail when they are ready in a never ending stream of picture perfect celebrity lives to make you look bad, screened seemingly incessantly on Lorraine, GMTV, Loose women, celebrity one born every minute or some of that other tosh that you have on series record that clogs up the V+ and you never watch because you haven’t got time!
Some celebrities have gone even further than me in embracing the gender exchange parenting experience. In a recent documentary, a certain celebrity “experienced pregnancy and childbirth” by wandering about in a fat suit for a few weeks before being hooked up to an ab crunching machine. I must confess, I missed the bit where they ripped his balls off and threw a bag of snot on his chest but it must have happened because, after all, this is “reality” TV. Im all in favour of connecting with your feminine side but seriously, why would you put yourself through that? One of the things I most enjoy about being a man is not having my vagina ripped to shreds. And anyway, what do you do with the new found experience? Perhaps, when she’s jumping up in the night eighteen times because there’s a watermelon on her bladder or when she’s screaming in agony and you, the person who got her into this mess, are standing there like a helpless gormless idiot you can lean over and whisper “Dont worry darling, I really understand what you are going through”? My friends, thats only going to end one way… Badly!
Shoot me down here but men can experience the hardships of motherhood in a far less patronising way by simply looking after their kids day in day out without the help of a nanny, manager, make-up artist and camera crew. To demonstrate I have a little titbit from my new reality. This morning I was woken at 6am to our eldest heaving up. I was nursing a “bit of a head” because last night in a very narrow window of opportunity I decided to get a bit of “me time” to wash away the stresses of my increasingly pitiful existence. Also I foolishly thought that once again I could prove this full time homemaker lark wasn’t the monumental task women make it out to be. What a fool. As I emerged from the fog I was hit with the increasing reality that you were buggering off to work and pretending I couldn’t hear anything would not enjoy its traditional level of success. Depressingly I became aware that no amount of persuasion was going to avert the inevitable “day off school” but that once the “threat” of being sent in had subsided I could expect a spontaneous recovery followed by demands, tantrums and general behaviour designed to break my will and grind me down. I tried to minimise the impact by working on the other kids so had a “man to man” chat with Freddy explaining that Daddy was very tired and could he please play quietly. I can’t knock him. He barely even laughed at me before he quietly continued trying to shove the dishes through our letterbox. On top of that I am now managing the inevitable prospect of lurgy ripping through our family like Freddy at a free buffet. Last time one of these hit the family, Charlie decided to blow his chunks down the stairs. I remember finding it quite funny at the time, since I was heading into work, but now the humour is vanishing. Trying to pick out the positives (as well as the carrots), I must say its a valuable lesson in my personal development as a modern parent. I was correct in my assertion that its not actual time that prevents you having a life (even the hardiest of kids have to sleep at some point). What I hadn’t understood was the cost. The price of inappropriately planned “me time” is simply too high. Clearly I had underestimated the logic behind the long established rule of simply moaning, a mistake I’m not likely to make again until at least next week (I am after all a man and therefore inherently stupid and predictable).
I have also learnt that the reason you treasure celebrity life so much is that it is the complete antithesis of actually “reality”. Its a precious escapism that I find myself growing strangely drawn towards. True reality TV would have us reaching for the gin (again!)
Anyway, I really must press on. I have washing, hoovering and cleaning to avoid so I’m going to wander off to Costa, bag the comfy sofa, block the entire shop with Freddies pram and nurse one small skinny latte for 3 hours.
For the benefit of my growing army of “sisters” who will undoubtedly be glorifying in my misery right now, I have noted your advice to write a blog/book of my experiences. Would you understand if I said “I don’t know where I’ll find the time?”