The Joys of Parenthood


Here’s the story of contemplation, horror, and vomit.

You know what happened to me on my final week as a 24-year-old? A baby threw up on me. And we’re not talking about a little bit here, oh no. We’re talking about a full-blown festival of vomit. Oh, Jesus. I nearly made it to quarter of a century without being covered in somebody’s vomit. Not a single drop, from a baby, a drunken adult, or even myself. But then – oh, Jesus, all hell broke loose. Oh, it was – oh, God – it was all warm and looked like a really thick yoghurt. It was so lumpy, too – oh, I felt sick after that. All over my hand. And then it started dribbling down my arm. It was very tempting to be mad at him for throwing up on me, but he has these big brown eyes that looked so sad. He’d already thrown up several times, and each time I dodged it. But that final bullet was the lethal blow. Oh, God. I keep having flashbacks…

“Welcome to the joys of parenthood,” said mother. Indeed. I wonder how prepared people who want children actually are. Because nothing quite prepared me for that vomit. They don’t vomit like adults. There’s no retching, coughing and desperate running for a place to deposit the unpleasantness. Oh, no. One minute, they’re all happy and giggling. The next, you’re covered in baby goo. And that’s a new experience for me. One I didn’t particularly care for.


I spent the following few moments (edit: several hours) frantically scrubbing me hand and arm. I used most of the disinfectant in the kitchen and then started using the disinfectant in the bathroom.

“Got to get it clean, got to get it clean, got to get it clean…”

Seriously, do people know what they’re getting into before they have children? Some of the dads I see down at the supermarket look so, so miserable. You can see these moments where they look out of the window. You imagine a slow and mournful piano tune is playing in their heads. Along with some second rate monologue.

‘Ah, I remember when I was young. I could do what I want. Live free. Get drunk. Stay up late. Have lots of intercourse. I remember I time when I didn’t pray the noise downstairs on an early Saturday morning was burglars because if it’s the kids, they sure as hell won’t tidy up the mess. And I also didn’t get vomited on…’

Women grow out of that mentality, men don’t. I’ve lost track of the number of people I’ve heard on courses over the years say they wouldn’t have children if they had known how hard it was going to be. Which is a tad unfair on their kids, but there we are. There should be a trial period. You’re given a real baby for a year to see if it’s what you want. Admittedly, if it’s not what you want, that baby is gonna be heartbroken when its parents take it back to the shop, but that’s only a small flaw in my plan.

Baby boys are a particular menace. Girls tend to behave themselves. Well, until they become teenagers when all they do is rebel. But baby boys don’t just vomit on you, they have the tools to do much, much worse. And often do. Right in your mouth. Hey, it’s disgusting but ask any parent. They’ve experienced that on numerous occasions. Still want children? Really? Golly, I sure don’t…

I’m a very logical person. Kids, though, aren’t logical. The baby who vomited on me was my youngest nephew. He and his brother had come over from Australia with their parents, one of whom is my brother. The baby is only four months old, so he can’t do much. Apart from vomit. Oh, God – flashbacks, again. He’s also trying to roll over but he can’t quite manage it, yet, something that often upsets and frustrates him, often leading to tears. Endless, endless tears. And screaming. Oh, Jesus, the screaming. Babies sure have a hell of a pair of lungs on them. My nephew is also fascinated by hedges. He’ll grab on to the leaves and won’t let go. He just sits there staring at a wall of green foliage. I’d love to be that age again. When hedges fascinate you. Actually, they are pretty swell.

He also loves his own reflection in the mirror. Takes after his dad. Don’t tell him I said that. Oh, he giggled so loudly and hard. I finally made him laugh. Gorgeous giggle. I gonna miss him. I won’t see him again until he’s two. Ah, well, that’s life, I guess.

My other nephew, on the other hand, has a much greater grasp of the world. He wanted to go to the seaside and build sandcastles. So we took him to Whitby. You know Whitby. Large parts of the original novel ‘Dracula’ were set there. World famous that place, now. Full of goths. Lovely beaches. And the sausage and chips are to die for. Seriously, if you’re in England and you don’t visit Whitby, you’re a lunatic. Scarborough is nice as well. Sorry, have I turned into a tourist blog? Ah, well, while I’m at it, also visit Saltburn – it’s so gorgeous. And York is just darling. Ooh, and Harrogate! God, I do love Harrogate. In fact, if you visit England, just come to the north. The south is just awful…

You see, to my logical brain, Whitby was a poor choice. But a parent doesn’t work on logic. They work around their children’s needs. So, my nephew wanted to go to the beach. But it was windy. I knew I was gonna get sand in my eyes and on my camera. And in my shoes. So my logical brain would’ve taken the decision not to go. And my child would’ve been stuck indoors watching the children’s television. Miserable. It’s one of the many reasons I couldn’t be a parent. I work on logic. If it’s not logical, I can’t process an action. But try explaining that to a three-year-old. It’s almost impossible.

“Why can’t we go to the beach, daddy?” “It’s illogical, sweetheart.”

I am really, really gonna miss my two nephews, my brother and his wife. I’m not an emotional person, but last time they left I was in tears. It’s one of the downsides of having no friends. Difficulties like this are situations you have to internally deal with. Or bum your readers out on a blog. Ha, ha, ha. Bummed out yet? Good. Just doing my job…

Gee, I wish I was born with less emotional tear ducts.

Yes, by the time this is published, the brilliant last two weeks will come crumbling down into a heap of memories. And I’ll be 25. But how do I look back on my 25 years? Pretty unremarkable. But it’s still been a hell of a ride.

Now, I wonder if I can make it through the next 25 without being vomited on again…

American film, stage, television and voice actor, Edward Asner (b. 1929), once said: “Raising kids is part joy and part guerrilla warfare.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
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