While struggling to recover from a virus caught from Number One Son, I noticed one of those hilarious ‘How to prepare for kids’ pieces. It relieved the irritation of yet again not getting the real cold with fever, but one of those minor bugs that bring general muscle-aching, stiffness, dizziness and low level headache that by afternoon makes concentration difficult and requires you to lie down for a half an hour every now and then, if you want to get anything done and not let your blood pressure go through the roof.
Alongside the normal ‘You will not sleep for five years! Ha-ha!’ items that just reinforce your own experience that you do not sleep for a very long time, one item especially resonated with some of those scary moments when Number One Son has disappeared in the supermarket. I have always found him after a runner – normally near the toy section – but you have those random cases where people have lured children away that always are at the back of your mind.
The piece on Mamami by Chet suggested testing the supermarket experience by taking the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child. Apparently a fully grown goat will do very well indeed. In the case you plan to have more than one child, the piece suggests taking the equivalent number in goats. Then your simple task will be to buy everything you need while keeping continuously eye on your number of goats. If you let your eye wonder – or need to find something – and your ‘goat’ eats, opens or drops something, you must pay for everything the goat destroys. It is left to your discretion to consider how successful this exercise will be. Nowadays I try to keep my 'goat' in a shopping trolley where he can pile up my shopping.
Nevertheless, as is traditional, fathers get the best joke. As is the case with that Cambridge T-shirt that suggest that ‘Daddy = a person with photos in his wallet where money used to be’, the piece suggests that ‘you go home, pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time’.