parenting

Dad Files #2 First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then…

“When’s the big day?”

“Planning any little ones?”

“What colour was your poo this morning?”

Too much?

Relatives, friends and colleagues, even the lady in the local shop seem to have a checklist of lifetime events perfectly mapped out that they expect you to fulfil. They feel they have a duty to buy the right card, or tilt their head and spout some uninvited wisdom at you at just the right time, ticking off each milestone as they go; and apparently, they really don’t have much patience!

Asking someone about their intentions to copulate is a touch personal. If you ARE trying, in light of current technological steps, it’s not just about rutting away, every night; come rain, shine or even a heavy bout of Noro virus (as long as you wash your hands).

The idea of ‘trying’ struck horror into my very core. How often do you have to do a sex? How long do you try for? Do you grow accustomed to seeing the one you’re committed to being heartbreakingly disappointed every month? Does that become another soul-numbing part of the whole routine?

Now (thanks to Dr. Science) with an array of apps, devices and stuff to pee on, we can very nearly pin point the ‘exact’ dates a woman is ovulating. You can schedule your ‘special time’, like a sniper with a laser sight waiting to fire off a rapid torrent of semen at a moving ovum target, in the hope of knocking it into a wall, and pinning it there. It sort of takes away some of the magic, but means you miss a lot less TV and your DVR is less of a nightmare to catch up on, but also takes a lot of the obligation out of it. Particularly if you’ve been having a really hard time of it.

I’d never been driven to have children, I think they’re ace and I’m the one they seem to gravitate towards. Thankfully I’m still limber and skinny enough to survive being the one at the bottom of a pile of them when they’re numerous enough to overpower me. I was SO not of the fathering inclination that I began to drag the environment into it as a reason to not further drain the world’s natural resource by adding more planet murderers into the doomed population blah, blah, blah.

My wife wasn’t having any of it.

As a man, everyone expects me to be constantly ‘good to go’, and with the appropriate permissions and assurances of continued accommodation would likely vigorously, and powerfully penetrate anything vaguely person shaped. But alas, sorry to disappoint, “that ain’t me babe”. Of course no Real Man admits that and instead some of us go along with the Neolithic stereotype of “phwoaring” and wolf whistling at any passing Y chromosomes. Well, not really, but you get the picture.

“Trying” for our first child didn’t start until our mid 30s because, honestly, I didn’t feel ready to give up the title of Most Hopeless Person registered to our address. The timing of this decision was calculated by a combination of me realising just how old I’d be at certain milestones and the ever increasingly loud ticking sound coming from my wife’s uterus. She’s only three months my senior but my age is prefixed by ‘only’ and hers comes with a look of impatience.

When I eventually succumbed and submitted to the prevailing carnal pressure, we ‘tried’, and apparently I’m a really good shot; either that or my wife’s Irish genes were lying in wait.

I completely understand this is not what some people want to read – some may wish to take this as a warning – but it can happen, and thankfully it happened for us. We were both in our mid 30s so it wasn’t super likely, particularly with my wife’s family history of instances of early menopause.

In the interest of balance, there has since been a world of upset, disappointment and outright sadness, but that’s a different story for a different time and I’m not sure I’ll get clearance from Management.

I was surprised by how much impregnating a human woman gave me a feeling of earned masculinity points, which I need desperately, despite my hirsute coverings and distaste for coriander. I’m really not very blokey and consider myself highly evolved, but then, so do most other idiots.

Kids are good though, your own anyway, and they’re the best looking, with the least annoying voices. Unless you don’t want kids, in which case they’re awful.

And when you’ve had one, people aren’t satisfied. They start asking about whether you’re having another one, which is just a whole other bag of intrusive fish!

Jamie Sadler is a screenwriter and lives in Liverpool, England with his wife and son.

Image: Courtesy DreamWorks Pictures

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