Sunday, November 23, 2008

The First Year of my Son’s Existence

(You'll miss it when he's all grown up)

JAMES says:

As pretty much all I do or think about or am forced to wipe these days revolves around my son, I thought I would do ten Freakonomics style unexpected (though eminently foreseeable) consequences/discoveries of having a child:

  1. You actually save money in the short term, as you can never ever go out anywhere, and any free time you have will involve people visiting you to see the baby (you gotta see the baby). This has the additional benefit of them bringing presents so you don’t have to buy anything yourself. Nice stuff too, not like the crap you end up getting for them. And, to be honest, it is great having an unarguable excuse to get you out of any and all social engagements.
  2. You, or your wife at least, will make lots of new breeding friends.
  3. You quickly give up on keeping your books in alphabetical order on the shelf after the 10th time he has happily pulled them all out. This is I think the worst consequence.
  4. He will train you up as efficiently as John Noakes would train a puppy. If anything makes him smile or laugh you will find yourself doing it again and again and again. I recently spent a whole day saluting my young nephew as he seemed to enjoy it. You give up on dignity pretty quickly as well.
  5. There is no more terrible sound in creation than the squawk of a baby at 2am when you thought he had finally gone to sleep.
  6. Conversely there is no more satisfying feeling that inserting a block into its right hole in a shape sorter.
  7. You spend all your time worrying why they’re not talking/crawling/walking yet, then you spend all your time reminiscing wistfully about the times when they’d stay still and shut up.
  8. On the rare and precious occasions when you are allowed out of the house to meet with normal people, you’ll find the only topic of conversation you have available to you is children’s television, about which the majority of people are indifferent to or HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN. This also applies to reviewing things (see last week).
  9. In addition, the theme tunes to said children’s television penetrates your subconscious to a pernicious degree. The ultimate deterrent in any disagreement between you and our co-parent is to hum the first few bars of ‘Charlie and Lola’, which will then be stuck in their head for the rest of the day. Of course, you will also be left humming away to yourself, but this is a small price to pay for the smiting of your enemy. They shouldn’t worry about using Eminem to torture people at Guantanamo Bay, the theme tune to ‘Higgledy House’ would be enough. In fact, force them to actually watch ‘Higgledy House’ and they’d crack in hours.
  10. No matter how much of a nuisance your offspring has been, no matter how much pickling they have got up to in the day, you only have to see them asleep and all is forgiven. Which I guess is how our species has managed to survive.
  11. Oh yeah, you lose a lot of your cynicism obviously.


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