Parents Of The Caribbean
As kiddies across the county start back in the classrooms this week, Molly’s blogger Desperate Dad looks back to a time when for him, school runs were just a distant ‘nightmare’ away…
My school runs seem to have dried up a bit recently.
Daddy's ship has somewhat run aground, and mummy has taken over the captaincy for a while.
I used to do the morning drops on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays - my wife picking up the rest.
Now I'm restricted to one every now and then, peg-legged with hardly any afternoon collections at all - I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms.
It's nothing serious, the times and our circumstances have changed that's all, but I miss my hectic mornings and whirlwind tooth brushing sessions sometimes.
Mummy is now the on-call parent of choice and has taken up the mantle with impressively sickening professionalism and authority.
Lunch boxes are packed and bath times coordinated with precision accuracy, while I rush to and from the office, free from the pre and primary school hassle – most of the time.
But it wasn't always this way.
Rewind a few years and you'd find me the most conscientious of 21st century stay-at-home dads.
At the end of mummy's first bout of maternity leave we decided to mix things up a bit.
She went back to work full-time and I reduced my hours - working two long days and taking up full parental control for the rest of the week.
We did baby swimming, music, and a mind-boggling spectrum of other daddy and toddler groups.
Heads would turn and conversations hush as I walked into yummy mummy filled rooms - the only dad in the village.
I was by no means a real trailblazer and did encounter the odd alpha male here and there. But the majority of the time we stuck out like sore thumbs.
I am certain now, with the passage of time, that there are plenty more dads doing above and beyond their fair share at this pivotal point of parenting.
An exceedingly good thing it is too. The more dads get involved the better I say - you only get a few shots at the title after all.
Working full-time and missing out on some of these magical moments is often a hard cross to bear.
As hard I'd argue as those borne by the parents left at home, who carry on regardless through the tears and tantrums, that aren't so magic most of the time.
I now look forward with excitement to my weekend daddy swimming sessions and trips to watch home League 2 matches with boy number one.
But it won't always be this way. Things are bound to change again in the future I'm sure.
As the Dynamic Duo grow older and their needs evolve, so will we as parents, and we'll adapt to whatever suits our boys' wants best.
Meantime I'm content to let mummy expertly lead the way and continue to plot our course through these current uncharted waters.
I'll sit tight in my crow's nest for now, eyeing appropriate icebergs and obstacles, and cherish the time spent on my own treasure island.
The original map may well be lost forever, but the memories still gleam as bright and clear as precious pirate gold.
Barry Wood is an ex journalist now working for the NHS in Lincolnshire. A father of two boys and husband to one Portuguese wife, he blogs regularly as Desperate Dad. Read more adventures: barrylwood.wordpress.com
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