The main reason for adopting was to make me irresistible to women, or “the Ladies”, if you will. What could be a better combo than an overweight hirsute man (think bespectacled Sasquatch) and a gorgeous 3 year old with incredible sales patter?
However, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Hours, figuratively hours, B and I have spent stood in front of the ready meals section of the Co-op looking confused… and nothing.
“If only mummy were here, she’d know what to do.”
“I know but she’s not here.”
[Kiss on forehead]
Not a sausage (The literal sausages are in the next aisle by the way, if you’re ever looking for them).
It seems there is at least one member of this team letting the side down and I’m beginning to think it’s me…
If you want to impress the ladies, it appears, as well as a cute 3 year old, you need a stint on one or two of the nation’s favourite soap operas. Isn’t that right Mrs DB?
I’ve been doing this dad business for weeks now and I’m getting really good at it. Nice day? Bored child? Approaching hour 5 of light sabre noises? Yep, adventure playground!
So, the family DB trot off to the local National Trust estate [members you know! In your face, school friends who thought I’d never amount to anything] and mucho fun is had.
B is very sociable and quickly made the acquaintance of another little boy, there with his daddy. They play nicely; I recognise the guy but obviously play it cool. The kids play and his charming little fellow makes some reference to something or another and dad turns to me “oh, that’s the shark from Nigel and the Magic Fishing Trawler [something like that], do you guys watch that?”
Every bone in my body wants to blurt out, “THIS CHILD IS ADOPTED!!! I’ve been a dad for 3 weeks and I’m just trying to avoid getting pooed on. I’d find a tour of duty with the Paratroop Regiment less scary than this. I know NOTHING.”
I don’t say this. I do say… “Ah, no, we haven’t come across this. B is much more into “Thor’s Dilemma”. A [hastily made up] Scandinavian cartoon, about a troubled Great Dane Police Dog, solving a gruesome cold case bone theft by getting into the psyche of the canine thief responsible. Very much in the ilk of ‘The Killing’. You know, subtitles, lots of knitwear? Anyway, we don’t watch a lot of TV”. (*see below)
Boom – put him in his place. In one sentence, I’ve managed to deflect attention away from the elephant in the room and scored a screamer in what appears to be the number one priority of parenthood, showing off how much better you and your kid are than every other bugger.
“Oh.” He says.
He obviously feels inadequate. It’s awkward. He does what every man would do in this situation and climbs up the nearest climbing frame.
That moment presents the opportunity to update Mrs DB about who we are dealing with here (she’s more into Question Time than Corrie). “Psst, play it cool but that fellow used to be in Corrie.”
Mrs DB is a pro and can be relied upon to rescue this type of situation. In accordance with instructions, she turns round and in a voice worthy of someone swooning at Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, gushes…
“Ohhh, you’re such a good climber….”
I’m off down the Co-op.
So, this parenting business… It’s a tough gig looking after a 3 year old but even tougher when you have to concoct a cover story and pretend you’ve been doing it since day one. Mrs DB has developed an amazing ability to lie about her breasts (or her breast feeding experiences) and whilst it’s sometimes difficult being in this secret little club, membership is totally worth it. B is amazing, funny, caring and a huge huge part of our new life.
He also knows more Danish than your kid.
(*I may have actually said he likes Paw Patrol)