The ways in which my husband and I prove we are not ‘adult’ enough to have children (and yet we do, and they seem ok..).
1. We find it hysterical to brush each other’s teeth. Seriously, try it, hold your partners brush while they control yours and see if you can do it without laughing. You can? You think we’re ridiculous? Ah. Ok.
2. We see those memes that refers to stupid things that one parent does, the ‘irresponsible one’ and it applies to both of us. Where is our supervisory parent?! “Oh dear, did Daddy dress them today?” *awkward pause as I try and work out what’s wrong with a tutu, Spider-Man tshirt and wellies combo*
3. We both find it funny when Scarlett accidentally picks up on a swear word. So when in the car, and my husband gets road rage, we make the situation worse when we hear the angelic voice of our two year old shout out with glee, “thanks dickhead!”. We of course explain to her that it’s a bad word and that Daddy was naughty for saying it, but we can’t make eye contact with each other when doing so without giggling!
4. Neither of us ever successfully looked after a tamagotchi (although did anyone?!).
5. If we fancy wearing a cape, we will do. If we want to play the PS4 while sitting in a fort, we will do. Although the kids are obviously always welcome to join in…as long as they know the password.
6. We often take on different personas when we go out together, could be as simple as ‘the day of the French accents’, or as elaborate as Liam and Nikki, the crime fighting team with a stray cat as their sidekick. I mean, we’re really tired a lot of the time and when it’s just the two of us (or sometimes secretly while we’re in a group of people..!) we really give in to the delirium!
7. We give the children nicknames based on random sounds, Ponk and Moop are two official titles that only we use. Some days that can be lengthened to Ponko Shmonko and Holly Wally Moop Boop, there is no limit and whatever we use, we will always somehow know which of the girls the other is referring to. Crazy understands crazy.
8. We stay up till 2am playing board games or watching a film or enjoying time together knowing full well we’ll be up by 6.30am. And like students do, every morning we swear that ‘TONIGHT we’ll have an early night’. Spoiler alert: we NEVER WILL!
9. We often make decisions based on ‘rock, paper, scissors’ or through some other childish competition; we both hate washing up – but he lost the staring competition fair and square so it’s HIS turn!
10. Neither of us really know what we’re doing as parents, we’re doing the best we can. Sometimes after a trying day, when we’ve tried something new to deal with bad behaviour, or the baby refuses to go down to sleep until midnight; we have a cuddle and sometimes even a little cry! When things go right we high five or give one another an actual pat on the back. But we muddle on through, like teenagers lost in the woods, we take on parenting together by holding each other’s hands and just going for what looks like the best direction!
You can never be ready for parenthood, and certainly other people give a much better impression of being fully fledged adults. My husband and I both have jobs where people need to rely on us being experts in our fields and THAT we’ve been trained for, THAT we know (most of the time) what we’re doing! And so in our personal lives, we try and give the impression that everything’s totally in hand. I think the truth is, no-one really has it in hand. Nobody really gets to a point where they’re totally confident or feel on top of life, because we’re all always adapting, changing and growing. Even an 80 year old is a novice at being 80, just as they think they’ve got the hang of it, that damn 81st birthday rolls around! So although our ridiculousness gives us away as not even being able to do an impression of knowing what we’re doing, I don’t think we’re truly alone in it. And we manage to keep a lot of the above to when it’s just the two of us, that’s when we can be the most unapologetically silly and goofy!
And my suspicion is it’s the same for every other couple, we all know how to sit round a dinner table and act like we’re grown ups. Maybe we should be more free with the less adult things; maybe we should stand up on our chair at dinner and say, ‘fear not! I’m not really an adult either, I’m wearing Snoopy knickers and using cellotape because I don’t know how that breast tape bra stuff works! I couldn’t find shoe polish so I coloured the scuff mark in with felt tip, and despite being 31, I really want to blow bubbles in my drink with this straw, be free with me!!’
On second thoughts, I might be more amateur than most after all…
…and that kind of behaviour can get you asked to leave Zizzi’s…!