My son turned four a few months ago, which also meant that I will have been a househusband for almost the same amount of time. A lot has happened over those four years, some of it good some of it bad, some of it printable, most of it not. I have learnt a lot in those four years, and some of it is even useful. I had an Uncle-in-law who always used to tell me that he had forgotten more than I had ever learnt. He meant it as a taunt, but last year he fell up a kerb, bashed his head and developed amnesia, so maybe it was just a strange prophecy?
My rambling point being is that I have learnt quite a few tricks of the trade in these recent years and I feel I am honour bound to pass them on to the younger generation of Househusbands and Stay At Home Dads. I think it is my destiny, nay my duty, to become an Agony Uncle to these fledglings who follow in my ever turbulent wake.
You may ask what qualifies me to dish out such far sweeping advice to my fellow brothers in arms. Well firstly I have three children of mixed ages and all of them are in one piece. Sure, one of them nearly chopped her ring finger off trying to get ice cream out of a tub with a carving knife, and I will freely admit that another took two years to grow bored of being a cat only to become a dog. I will also hold my hands up to the fact that the youngest is so used to being mis-dressed that he cries when given matching socks. These things don’t weaken my argument, they strengthen them.
Do you want advice from somebody that centre parts their child’s hair, or from someone who knows what time the sun passes over the yard-arm in 57 different countries?
Do you want to listen to somebody that recycles and biodegrades their used nappies, or somebody that used an old Guns’n’Roses tour t-shirt as an emergency nappy then cried at the injustice of being a father?
Do you want relaxation advice from somebody who locks himself in the toilet with a copy of stamp collecting monthly and a packet of wet wipes, or from somebody who invented a Teflon coated toilet whilst sitting on the throne with a bottle of JD grabbing a moment’s peace from screaming kids?
There isn’t a mistake I haven’t made, a social occasion my presence hasn’t made awkward or a politically correct yummy mummy that hasn’t needed a long hot shower after speaking to me. We Stay At Home Dads are the parents of the future. Do you want to face that future standing on your own in the playground, whilst a group of well dressed and bad mannered Mums thumb their noses at you? Or do you want to stand with me and proudly shout “I am a Man in a Woman’s world, but it won’t be yours for much longer sweetheart. Now whose round is it?”
If your answer is the latter, then come take a seat around the fire. Let us tell tall tales and swap pieces of slightly dubious in origin advice. I tried to raid the letter bags of some of the more politically correct and lily livered Agony Uncles, but the pickings were slim, and by slim I mean none. I spent 3 hours searching online for some sort of real Agony Uncle and I came up with zip, nada, nowt. Imagine all the decent stuff I could have looked up in those three hours, or how many whining on-line Yanks I could have slaughtered on C.O.D. Black ops. This is how dedicated I am to you fellas.
I guess in the age of equality and fairness, I really should also offer my services to all those lost and bewildered Mums as well. Don’t worry, you can ask anonymously, your secret is safe with me. Jemima, Lucinda, Arabella and Meredith will never find out that you had to ask a mere Dad how to deal with a snotty nosed bully or his even snottier nosed Mum.
So ask if you dare, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I can’t promise to answer them all, I definitely can’t promise not to laugh at the more stupid questions, but I can promise to read them all at least. You will always be safe in the knowledge that someone out there knows your problem, and a problem shared is a problem halved. Unless that problem is some sort of disease of course, then it’s a problem doubled and please wash your hands before you send me an email.