Sometimes… Dads Can Be Right?

The other night, sometime around two am, I awoke to find my eldest boy (2) standing at my side of the bed. He was staring at me, his face smeared so liberally in blood that he resembled some half-mad jungle general who’d just taken a bath in the gore of his fallen enemies, or a demon sprung from the Cenobite’s mattress. His hands, too, were as red as pillar boxes, obvious even in the half-light conjured by the street lamps outside our bedroom window.

The uneasy, tentative ‘Jack?’ that escaped my lips belied the frenzied engine of my thoughts, which were screaming ‘AAARRGGHHHHHH! BLOOD! AAARGGHHH! BLOOD!’ inside my head. As he opened his mouth to speak I was sure he was going to say one of three things:

  • ‘Jack no need to have two legs so me took one off.’
  • ‘Which one of you rat bastards is next?’
  • ‘The cat’s sleeping now…Sleeping forever, Daddy…’

What he actually said was: ‘Hi Daddy,’ giving his biggest, goofiest smile in the process.

Mercifully, there was no sinister explanation for his appearance. He’d had a nose bleed. His mother’s prone to them: enjoy that little gift of genetic inheritance, my young friend. Psoriasis and depression runs on my side of the family, so look forward to an adolescence of scratching and crying as the blood streams as if you were some sort of Vatican-sanctioned miraculous statue.

We whisked him through to the bathroom and perched him on his little stool by the sink. His mum had to scrub him really, really hard. What began as an act of cleaning quickly turned into exfoliation, which in turn became a genuine attempt to scour the very skin from his face. It was late, very late, and Jack was tired. He moaned. He cried. He just wanted this brutal ritual to come to an end so that we all could be snuggled up in the cosy darkness of the parental bed like a family of fairy-tale bears. ‘Let the blood stay,’ his eyes seemed to implore, ‘Maybe I like resembling one of Captain America’s oldest and most significant enemies!’ He wailed and whimpered, simpered and sulked, even as I carried him back through to our bedroom and the warm, imminent promise of sweet dreams.

‘Hang on,’ I said to my partner. ‘I’ll need to take him for a piss; you know what he’s like if he doesn’t go for one through the night. Let’s not tempt fate.’

‘No,’ she said, decisively. ‘He’s really upset; you’ll just traumatise him if you cart him back through there, and then he’ll wake his little brother up.’ His little brother, Christopher, a young lad of not-quite-12-weeks old, sleeps in a stilted extension at his mother’s side of the bed, and is forever having his slumber disturbed by his lumbering big brother.

‘He’ll piss the bed.’ I said.

‘No he won’t,’ she asserted.

‘Jack, do you need to pee?’ I asked him.

‘Nope,’ he said.

For some reason I accepted his reply as definitive proof, even though most days if you ask him, ‘Are you a giant tarantula’, he’ll say yes without a second thought.

I awoke a few hours later feeling very lucky indeed, but only in the sense that while Nostradamus died without seeing any of his prophecies come true, I had woken up tinged with the wet and vindicating piss of a little boy.

I slipped Jack out of his sodden clothes, and carried him through to the bathroom. He stood under the shower, harried and half-asleep, his tears attempting to give the whooshing water a run for its money. He wasn’t happy with the situation, but if happiness is lying in a coating of your own warm piss, then happiness be damned. One quick towel down and change of jammies later, and we were in Jack’s room, crammed together in his tiny single-bed. He burrowed into me like a baby bear, while I lay sprawled and contorted like a giraffe in a toy hammock, desperately trying to stave off deep vein thrombosis.

Have you ever looked into the mirror and said ‘Candyman’ five times? Or crank-called 999? Do you ever just feel like playing chicken with fate? I guess I must’ve been feeling particularly brave or stupid that fateful morning, because I made the ill-advised decision (all decisions are ill-advised when I’m acting as my own advisor) to summon my partner: and when I say ‘summoned’, I can assure you that the context is demonic.

What I said to my son, loudly and clearly, to ensure that my voice carried to the next room, was: ‘Oh, son, don’t you worry about having a little accident. It’s easily fixed, Daddy doesn’t mind. It’s not your fault. You couldn’t have done anything about it… (at this point I sucked my teeth) IF ONLY THERE HAD BEEN SOME WAY WE COULD HAVE STOPPED THIS… IF ONLY… IF ONLY SOMEHOW, SOMEONE, SOME FORWARD-THINKING SOUL, HAD BEEN BOLD ENOUGH TO RECOMMEND STEPS THAT COULD’VE PREVENTED THIS; LIKE, I DON’T KNOW, TAKING YOU FOR A PEE WHEN YOU WOKE UP EARLIER, BUT, YOU KNOW, SON, HINDSIGHT’S TWENTY-TWEN…’

At this point a megaton bomb of thunder detonated in the skies above us, and a thousand jagged forks of lightning drove themselves into the ground, scorching and immolating trees, birds and even people, whose screams filled the air like air-raid sirens. Blood seeped through the walls. Ghosts appeared in a flash-flood of light, and swirled around the room like tornadoes. A raven smashed through the window, squawking its message of hell and damnation, each frantic beat of its wings shooting blood-covered shards of glass across the room towards us. I held my son to shield him from the rising chaos, when, before us, she emerged into the doorway through a pillar of foul-scented smoke, the hair dancing on her head like nests of snakes. Her body jerked and spasmed like a stop-motion animation demon jammed on fast-forward; an inhuman blur of boobs, limbs and underwear. We heard the bites and snaps of a mouth that in its fury was more shark, or Beelzebub, than human.

”WE’ DECIDED NOT TO TAKE HIM FOR A PEE BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE MADE HIM UPSET, WHICH IT WOULD HAVE, SO EVEN THOUGH THIS HAS HAPPENED, WHICH WE COULDN’T HAVE KNOWN WOULD HAPPEN, IT WAS THE RIGHT DECISION AT THE TIME! AND THAT’S THE END OF IT JAMIE! SO ENOUGH OF YOUR BLOODY SARCASM!’

And with that, she was gone.

As I lay stroking Jack’s hair, a large smile barged its way across my face.

‘Totally worth it,’ I said to him, planting a kiss on his forehead.

I slept the sleep of the just. A dad may only get to experience one moment of pure, undiluted rightness like this once in a lifetime. It’s best to savour it.

Baby Talk: Baby’s First Workplace Visit

"Hello Dave? You ma baby naaaow."

“Hello Dave? You ma baby naaaow.”

There’s nothing more terrifying than a cabal of older women suddenly having their maternal instincts re-activated by a baby. You’ll see this happening most often when parents take their newly-spat spawn into their workplaces to show them off.

At first, all is calm. Just another day at the office. Normal. Innocuous. Unremarkable. Near-arthritic fingers rat-a-tap-tap, tatter and clink on keyboards. Phones trill, machines whirr and beep. A discussion about shoes is underway. And then it happens… One of the old women snaps her head back on her neck and takes a long, deep sniff of the air. The other women turn to look at her. The sniffer nods slowly and sagely. There can be no doubt: the seer has saw, preparations must be made. Excitement swells in the air, a Mexican wave of agitation rolls and rushes through the office. The women begin to chitter and hyperventilate like spooked monkeys.

The door to the main entrance, two floors below, creaks open, and they can hear it. They can smell it, taste it, feel it…

“It’s here…” comes a whisper from the old seer, “…it… is… among us.”

A woman starts to beat on the floor with the handle of an umbrella, and all of the others clap in time. The beating and clapping gets louder and louder, angrier and angrier; as it builds to a crescendo the women accompany the percussive rhythm with a malevolent hum, the droning of a thousand wasps, a sound that gets deeper and deeper, louder and louder, before finally exploding into a roar, then a shriek, then a howl. THUD THUD THUD! RAAAR RAAAAR RAAAAR! The oldest woman in the office leaps onto her desk in a single bound, defying both reason and medical science. “Chillldddreeennn,” she moans, her body convulsing violently. “CHILLLLLLLLLDDDRRRRREEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!” she screams, throwing her veiny arms into the air and shaking her fists at the heavens.

stamp

“You didn’t tell everyone in the office we were bringing the baby in today, did you?” “Erm… no?”

All of the women lope and scurry away from their chairs like something out of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. A fist fight breaks out at the head of the line as the women vie for pole position and the first crack at the baby. Three of them are killed, but still the horde advances, fingers outstretched, eyes red, bulging and demonic. The parents reach the top of the stairs and are assailed by a terror that detonates in their stomach and makes mince-meat of their bowels. They see it but can scarcely believe it: the  mass of elder zombies staggering towards them, moaning and gnashing. The parents stand frozen with fright, the car seat clutched tightly in the father’s grip, their poor baby swinging inside it like bait.

“COME TO YER AUNTY JEAN!” shriek twelve of the women, even though none of them are called Jean. Within seconds they’re upon the baby, a hellish scrum of old ladies, hands grabbing and clutching and clenching and tearing, like a grizzly death scene from The Walking Dead.

zomb

The baby is gone, taken, passed among the old ladies like crack. The parents can no longer see their child, just a mess of grey limbs and hair-dos. They only know their child is still alive because they can hear the old ladies talking and cooing away at it.

“OH,YOU LOVE YOUR AUNTY JEAN, DON’T YOU? YES, YES YOU DO, YOU LOVE YOUR AUNTY JEAN! OH, I COULD JUST KEEP YOU. I’M GOING TO KEEP YOU, YES I AM, I’M GOING TO TAKE YOU HOME AND KEEP YOU AND THE POLICE WILL HAVE TO SHOOT ME TO GET YOU BACK! OOOH, HE’S GOT MY EYES, DON’T YOU THINK? WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING HIM? BREAST? OOOH, FORGET THAT, YOU NEED TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. GET HIM THE BOTTLE. GET HIM A BOTTLE AND PUT HIM IN HIS OWN ROOM AFTER THE FIRST WEEK, HE’S GOT TO LEARN, HASN’T HE? IT’S NOT FOR ME TO SAY, BUT THAT’S NOT THE WAY I’D DO IT, COURSE IT’S YOUR BABY, SO MANY PEOPLE WILL GIVE YOU ADVICE, BUT DON’T LISTEN TO IT, JUST IGNORE THEM ALL, YOU’VE GOT TO DO YOUR OWN THING, EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO MY ADVICE, IN WHICH CASE FOLLOW IT TO THE LETTER. OH, HE’S SMILING AT ME, HE WANTS ME TO TAKE HIM HOME, DON’T YOU WANT ME TO TAKE YOU HOME? COME LIVE WITH YOUR AUNTY JEAN, YOU LOVE ME DON’T YOU, LOVE ME BETTER THAN YOUR OWN MUM, DON’T YOU??!!! YOUR MUM’S GOING TO HAVE TO PRISE YOU OUT OF MY COLD DEAD HANDS, ISN’T SHE, HMMM???!!”

I think we can all agree that taking your infant to work can be a savage and unsettling experience. Old women in offices make David Bowie’s character in Labyrinth look like a registered child minder.

"Gimme the baby and no-one gets hurt."

“Gimme the baby and no-one gets hurt.”

You’ll notice that no men were mentioned in this little office-based reconstruction. That’s because they were all sitting at their desks muttering ‘it’s just a fucking baby’ and ‘you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.’ Sure, some  of them looked up from their monitors for three seconds and aimed a half-hearted wave and an awkward ‘hiya’ in the general direction of the baby, but most of them just continued typing, wishing with all their hearts for the baby to fuck off.

Next time on Baby Talk, we deal with the age old question: “Oooh, what weight is he?”

Yer ‘avin a giraffe!

There’s a tribal leader living with his people in some forgotten corner of a rain forest somewhere, and even he’s just changed his profile picture to a fucking giraffe. For those of you blissfully unaware of the ‘phenomenon’, here is the message to which Facebookers the world over have been responding:

gir

 

 

 

 

 

A few things…

1) If my parents decided to pop along for breakfast at 3am, I’d only be opening one thing: ‘FIRE.’ Or Google, so I could find the telephone number for the nearest 24-hour mental home. Seriously, whose parents turn up at their house with a fucking picnic at three in the morning? Hearing from your parents that early in the morning usually means that somebody close to you has died, and in those circumstances jam is rarely necessary.

Imagine if you heard this being hollered up at you from the street below: ‘JAMIE! IT’S YOUR MUM! YOUR AUNTIE MARGARET HAS DIED! DO YOU FANCY A CROISSANT?’

2) The riddle is so easy to solve that having to post a picture of a giraffe as your avatar is far too lenient a punishment. As penance for being a drooling idiot you should have to post a profile picture of yourself naked with dead flies selotaped all over your body, and a wet dollop of your own fetid excrement smeared o’er your smiling face. That’ll teach you for being so stupid, you giraffe arsehole.

3) This whole thing – the popularity and simplicity of this giraffe-based chain-riddle – makes me highly suspicious. I’ll bet some cunning criminal mastermind has uploaded tonnes of virus-infected giraffe JPGs to the internet, and he’s currently using them to steal every password, pin-number and piece of personal information from Portsmouth to Pyongyang. Have a good long look into the eyes of your innocent Facebook giraffe, my friend, because the long-necked cunt is in the process of selling your bank account details to the Chinese mafia.  It’s got to be a scam. It HAS to be, or else there’s no point at all in this orgasm of inanity that’s shuddering its way through the internet. I’ll say this, though: if this is a grand criminal scam then its architect has created nothing less than a giraffesterpiece. And I’ve invented one fucker of a new word.

4) This has been reported in the news. The NEWS? Are you kidding me? Do you know how many rapes, robberies, coups, killings and scientific breakthroughs have gone unreported today? Trevor MacDonald will be spinning in his grave (some feat, considering he’s still alive). If the words ‘giraffe’ and ‘Facebook’ popped up on his auto-cue he’d rip off his shirt and start howling like a wolf. The ‘And finally…’ segment of the ITN News would be Sir Trev being subdued by security as he tried to smash apart the auto-cue machine with his head.

5) Why can’t I just lighten up and let people enjoy some innocent giraffe fun? Because I CAN’T. OK? There is a small silver lining, I suppose. At least people aren’t changing their profile pictures to an incredibly tired Bill Cosby kicking an unemployed Asian man to death.

6) If you really must be a class-A douchebag and change your profile picture to a giraffe, use one of these:

g6

 

g8

g2

 

 

 

 

 

g7

g4g5

g3