05 10 / 2012
Long time no blog, right? Sorry about that. How are you? How are the kids? Actually, don’t bother, I’m not interested. We’re here to talk about my kid, ok? If you want to bore me with tales of your simpering progeny then you should update your sodding dadblog.
A lot’s happened since my last missive so I should probably just crack on. First things first: Albert has turned one. We had a little party for him and everything. We weren’t going to bother initially because, frankly, he’d be none the wiser but then we realised he might ask to see some photos someday so we rustled something together in a hurry. Unfortunately, we then forgot to actually take any photos. If you’re reading this in the future, Albert, it was a lavish affair with elephants, jugglers and Nicki Minaj. We gave you a pet Llama which you loved and cherished for a few weeks before you got bored and forgot to feed it, so it starved to death and THAT’S why you can’t have a puppy.
Traditionally this is where I remark that “time has flown” and “they grow up so fast.” Except it hasn’t and they don’t. Truth is, this has been the longest year of my life. Thanks to Albert’s idiosyncratic timekeeping I have been awake for more of this year than all my previous years – at a conservative estimate I’d say this year has been about 25% longer than the others. Which is mildly depressing because I’ve achieved about 50% less – unless you count wearing a path between bedroom and baby room to retrieve yet another jettisoned dummy, which I don’t.
I never understood those people who describe having children as their proudest achievement. It’s hard work to be sure, but you’re not doing anything that hasn’t been done by literally EVERYONE since the DAWN OF TIME. Well done, you had sex and made a person! It’s not exactly conquering Everest, is it? In the annals of human accomplishments, breeding is quite some way behind space exploration and only just above breathing. Having kids isn’t your proudest achievement - it was just the last thing you did, before your brain turned to soup.
The other big piece of news is that I no longer have a baby. I have a toddler. He toddles. Occasionally he topples, but mostly he toddles; legs bowed, arms aloft, belly out, mouth agape… like a tiny, drunken, ever-so-slightly camp Tyrannosaurus Rex. This, clearly, is a monumental development. People often use “baby steps” to describe incremental change, but as far as I’m concerned baby steps are quantum leaps. It’s what separates us from the apes after all. Actually, some apes can walk, can’t they? And smoke cigars. And wear funny hats. Which is more than Albert can do. Seriously, what is the deal with you babies and hats? We’re not trying to strap them to your head for the good of our own health, you know? I’ve forgotten my point now.
Anyway, Albert is finally up and toddling. To be honest, I was beginning to worry he didn’t have it in him. Every other child his age seems to have been walking for months now, as if it’s some kind of stupid competition – “That’s amazing. You must be brilliant parents. Your child will probably grow up to be a professional walker!” – and it was starting to get embarrassing.
So, as Albert starts to achieve more and I start to achieve less, now seems like the appropriate time to start living vicariously through him instead. I had a decent run I suppose, but it’s over now. I’m too old and set in my ways to achieve anything new. It’s too late for me to become a professional footballer, or an astronaut, or Spider-Man, but it’s not too late for Albert. I almost feel sorry for him. Just as he’s taking his first steps in the world and establishing his own independent spirit, I’ve decided to channel it towards meeting my own dashed ambitions. All those dreams I had but was too lazy to actually achieve are all Albert’s dreams now. Enjoy them, Master Royall. And don’t let me down.
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