This is the 2nd Father’s Day you’ve had since I was born, and I’m not even a year old yet. Mum says that America and Australia have different Father’s Days, so there are two Father’s Days every year and only one Mother’s Day. Then she says “Figures” in the same tone she says “Of course he did” when you tell her that Zulu’s fetched another dirty diaper from the trash and ripped it apart on our front step.
Just between you and me, I don’t understand why she feels hard done by. You made her a lovely card last month for Mothers Day with pictures of me on it and everything. She, on the other hand, says she’s too busy to make you a proper Father’s Day card (much less two) and could I please start pulling my weight around here for a change and write you nice note instead?
What does she mean by implying I’m not pulling my weight? I resent that. I facilitate easy access to your shoes by pulling them all of out of the cupboard every morning while you’re getting dressed for work. I help with the housecleaning by disposing of all sorts of dirt and the like inside my mouth. I’m improving Mum’s core strength by making her pick me up all the time and rock me to sleep (and let’s face it, she’s not getting much exercise any other way). Plus, I share half my food with the dog at every meal.
I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, by the way. That dog seems perpetually hungry. Perhaps you should feed him more so I don’t have to do it all the time.
So while we’re chatting about things man to man, there’s something else I want to discuss.
I’ve heard you call me a “sleep terrorist” several times recently. I think you should know better than to throw the word terrorist around so casually in this day and age. However, since you’re the one who has framed the issue in those terms, I do have just a couple of thing I’d like to be permitted to do whenever the mood strikes. In no particular order, they are:
- Climb the stairs.
- Hang on the toilet, dabble my hands in the water, and suck on the seat.
- Play with the remote controls and/or your phone.
- Drop the remote controls and/or your phone onto the tiles (preferably from off the back of the couch, they make a much more satisfying crash that way).
- Grab the dog’s paws and tail.
- Put whatever I find lying around in my mouth. Whatever. I mean it. None of this “don’t eat that, it’s a tick!” nonsense. Who knows, I might like ticks and I’ll never know unless you let me try now, will I?
- Pull all the books off of the bookshelf.
- Have easy and unlimited access to my maternal milk supply during the night. Yes, this would mean instituting co-sleeping. You can go sleep in the guest room if you want while I sleep with Mum, that’s your call.
- Eat handfuls of dirt out of the bamboo pot.
- Eat nothing for dinner but fruit. Oh, that apple cinnamon cake Mum made the mistake of feeding me in a café last week would be fine, too. But, lentils? Get serious.
So here’s the deal. Because I understand the concept of compromise, if you agree to just eight of those demands I’ll agree to wake up no more than once between 9pm and 5am. Please note, however, that Number 2 is non-negotiable. Given that you’re a water and sanitation engineer, I would have thought that you would be more sympathetic to my fascination with toilets. You’ve been such a disappointment in this regard.
However, in the interest of fairness and balanced perspective I must admit you do do some things well. I love hanging out with you in the mornings before you go to work. You do all sorts of interesting things while you’re carrying me around – make breakfast, carry coffee up for Mama, take Zulu and I for morning walks, stuff diapers … You’re much better at multi-tasking than Mum. Also, that boat ride we took on the Mekong the other day? That was rocking. We have to do that again soon. It was deliciously fun, particularly the part where you let me put my hands in the river while the boat was moving.
Finally, speaking of delicious, I applaud your efforts at making me lentil and green bean baby food mixtures these past two weekends while Mama was working on her book launch. A+ for effort. Sorry if it makes you feel bad that I’ve completely refused to eat any dinner for the last four nights. Next time you make baby food just remember two things – fruit and cake. You can’t go wrong with fruit and cake. If you could pass that message along to Mum as well it’d save us all some tears and frustration.
Happy Fathers Day. I love you even more than fruit and cake (although perhaps not quite as much as toilets).