Spare me the parenting instructions son, I can definitely take care of your child

Son, stop there. I’m perfectly able to look after a one-year-old child for a single day. I don’t need the father of that child lecturing me with detailed instructions. I looked after you when you were the same age. I used to call you The Space Cadet. You’re still alive. I wouldn’t worry at all. Go off to work and don’t give us a single thought.

Come on Pip. I’ll call you Pip because you are the apple of my eye. Let’s wave Daddy goodbye. We’ll stand here on the front step. And, yes, off Daddy goes. In that ridiculous car. I wouldn’t have bought that colour motor car if I was him, but there’s no accounting for taste.

Anyway, who cares about your dad’s poor taste? You and I can get stuck into the Duplo. It’s there in the box. Why don’t you start by taking it out of the box? Grandpa will just take a minute or two to lower himself to the floor.

I wouldn’t worry at all. Go off to work and don’t give us a single thought!Credit:Jessica Hromas

There. Done. It’s fabulous that you are leaning on me as we play with the Duplo. I love it when you lean on me. Just not on the left knee. The left knee does not cope well with sideways pressure. Perhaps you could lean on the right knee instead? My right knee is an absolute corker.

Now that I’m down with you on the floor, let’s focus on the Duplo pieces that have wheels. They have always been my favourites. Why don’t we make a train? We could take all the Duplo pieces, make the biggest train ever, then impress Mummy and Daddy when they come to pick you up.

Oh, you’d rather just take the pieces out of the box, and then put them back in the box, and then take them out of the box, and then put them back in the box again?

Fair enough. Very industrious. But we could have done the same thing with a dozen tins of tomatoes, and Grandpa could have saved himself the $24.95 for the Duplo.

On the other hand, Daddy has been gone for 10 whole minutes and you are enjoying your day with your Pa.

Why don’t we try the garden? Just give Pa a minute to get up again off the floor. Oh, you are already running into the garden. Suddenly, I remember I didn’t entirely close the shed door and it’s full of dangerous stuff. Pip, if you could just slow down so Pa has a moment to get to his feet.

There, I’ve caught up with you. You look up and smile at me. Oh, you are just joy, pure joy. You are so much cuter than your father was at this age. Well, anyway, here’s my plan. I’ll lock the door to the shed, and then I’ll fill up this bucket with water. That way you can use your plastic mug to give all the plants a lovely drink.

That’s terrific, Pip. You did it so well. That plant has had such a lovely drink. Now, let’s fill it up again, and, oh, I see you are giving your shoes a lovely drink. And your t-shirt, it’s being given a lovely drink. And then your pants.

I must say, all your clothes have had a very lovely drink. They are now extremely wet.

So, let’s see how many changes of clothes your daddy put in your bag? Oh, one change of clothes. Just one. This is a philosophical question, Pip. I wonder if your dad, The Space Cadet, is setting me up to fail?

No, I don’t think so either. After all, it’s not that difficult a situation. We’ll use the dryer. We’ve always had a dryer, which is the opposite of your parents. Your Mummy and Daddy believe so strongly in the environment they’ve declared that they will never purchase a clothes dryer. That’s why they are so often over here using ours.

Nanna and Pa don’t mind, because you, Pip, come with them. As long as they bring you, they can burn as much power as they like.

I’m putting your clothes in the dryer right now, but I spot that you are running towards the door to the shed. Oh, now you are trying to lever it open. I abandon the dryer and run towards you. I cannot believe that a person that is so small can have such a dramatic impact on the world.

I used to run after The Space Cadet all day, but I never felt this tired a few hours in. I guess that you, Pip, must have more energy than your father did at this age.

The day goes on. I learn that danger is a magnet for Pip. If a person opens a window four suburbs away, Pip will start heading that way.

But I’m here to protect him, and to enjoy his company, right until I return him, this perfect boy, to his Mummy and Daddy.

My son is driving up right now. In that ridiculous green car of his. I chose blue, which I think is better, and I bet that my little Pip agrees.

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