Life’s not fair. If a Mum is struggling with her kids, she gets tutted at. Judgemental eyebrows are raised. Not Dads, though.
I need to post some parcels. Easy. Then I remember I have kids. OK, no probs. They can come too. Easy peasy.
Parking, I realise I’ve forgotten the push chair. Then I realise that my daughter weighs about the same as the average sized minibus. Flippin’ heck, how do women carry kids all day? It’s the child bearing hips. It’s not that they’re just tougher than me.
After a few steps my son starts wailing and dangling from my hand like he’s been tasered. My other arm is in agony carrying my impossibly heavy one year old and a bag full of parcels. Dear God, I’m never going to make it. If I just start crying will people come and help me?
After the most harrowing twenty metres of my life my son forgets that his legs don’t work and starts running up and down the post office queue. I hiss-shout at him. He ignores me. I trap my daughter between my legs before she can toddle off. The relief in my arms is wonderful.
What seems like six hours of hissing at my son and wrestling my daughter later, I stand her on the counter, not knowing what else to do with her. She hands the parcels over, then I plop her on the floor, then realise I’ve forgotten to pay. I try to find my wallet. The lady behind the counter points. My daughter is nearly out the door.
I sprint after her, sweep her up just in time and turn to run back, hoping no one noticed my poor parenting. My son is running after me and we collide, he goes flying, skittering across the floor on his back like an ice-hockey puck, I stumble forward, juggling my daughter and colliding with a rack of pet themed calendars that scatter to the floor. My son clambers to his feet, chuckling. We look at everyone. I only just resist a compulsion to shout “Ta-da!”, like the worst acrobatic troop leader in the world.
Now, if I had been my wife, the queue and the staff would have been appalled by my incompetence. But I’m a dad. So what do they do? They laugh. It’s funny because I’m a Dad, and Dads are useless. They think I’m an idiot. Yay. I win!
Hey. Hang on a minute.