To have and have not

tandem plus one - photo by Falling Angel @ Flickr

This morning whilst trying to distract myself from a special little hangover, I have been doing some thinking. Hangovers do tend to make me think, this is historical fact. They also tend to make me outrageously parpy.

Whilst sitting in an eye-watering cloud of Guinness trump I have eaten three strawberry Cornettos and have calculated that I have been a father for the grand total of three years, two months and sixteen days. I think it feels longer, I’m not sure. I have been married for six years, nine months and nineteen days. That definitely feels longer. In that time, life has undoubtedly changed.  Holy heck has it changed.

For better or for worse?

I’ve been trying to gauge that tricky little contemplation; the ratio of positive to negative changes. Obviously there are positives, like Child Benefit, someone to warm my feet on and there being people in the house that behave worse than I (thus deflecting attention). But there are negatives also, like not enough Child Benefit, someone to warm their feet on me and there being people in the house that behave worse than I (thus requiring my attention). On the whole though I’d say it’s 50/50. Com ce com sa. Horses for courses.

There are two sides to the being a father and husband coin for me it would seem, which is interesting because this morning’s stinky thinkings have brought me to the realisation that I  myself have become a two sided coin. I have become a have and a have not.

To have and have not no1

I own a very nice car. Not new, but new to me. One careful owner, low mileage and excellent condition.  Obviously I insure the car, I am law abiding. I tax it, I put petrol in it and I wash it when required. I inflate the tyres, check the oil and refresh the air freshener. I do with my car exactly what you do with your car. Except for one small point.  I do not EVER drive the ****** thing.

My wife on the other hand drives, drives and drives some more. I cycle 16 miles a day come rain or shine to get to work an back, so  that my wife can drive to wherever wives and their children go during the day? Coffee shop? Park? The Spa?  Who knows?

I have tried to determine my wife’s timetable but it is indeterminable. Mysterious. Enigmatic and ethereal. Were you to attempt to write it down it would take the form of a collection of random events in a variety of unconnected places.  A  bit like a serious Jim Carrey movie –  Eternal Sunshine or something like that.

However or wherever she spends her day though, it can’t be far way as we average 3000 miles a year according to our mileometer. I average 3120 on my ******* pedal bike. It is my wife’s 40th this year and I am contemplating buying her a bike and two side cars. Or a bicycle made for three.  What ‘s that called? A tandem plus one?

To have and have not no2

My father-in-law bought me a lovely pillow for my birthday. You know one of those funny shaped orthopaedic pillows that support your neck? One of those. Lovely pillow.  I have this pillow. Yay. I just don’t have a bed to put it on. Denied.

Now don’t misunderstand,  I have a bed, of course I do, I just do not sleep in the bed, of course I don’t. I have children. In particular I have a little girl who likes to perform baby scissor kicks in her sleep.  She’s sneaky too. She wheedles her way betwixt wifey and me under the guise of being hungry and needing to feed or something equally blah, and then proceeds to kick me in the lower lumbar until I decamp downstairs onto the couch.

When I return at 5am in the morning to collect my clothes and get ready to cycle a half marathon, she is spread eagle upside down and fast asleep on ‘my’ side of the bed. With her feet on my pillow. While on the other side of the bed a dark haired woman sleeps soundly with one breast hanging out.

No matter how much I contort my skinny to escape her baby range, she manages to find me. If you were to put one of those time lapse cameras above my bed you would see it in all it’s abusive glory. A nappy clad baby, with  hair like Albert Einstein spinning around like a mean Catherine wheel, bitch slapping a skinny guy. While on the other side of the bed a dark haired woman sleeps soundly with one breast hanging out.

To have and have not no3, no4, no5 ad infinitum

I have a wallet that I don’t carry and money that I don’t spend. Though strangely my bank account takes a daily hit, even though I spend most of my life at work, or cycling.

I have to ask my wife where my wallet is nowadays. It’s always in her bag. Or the pushchair. On several occasions since being married I have queued to pay for things at checkouts and have found that my debit card is not actually in my wallet. Of course it isn’t. Transpires wifey takes it out and puts it in her pocket, so as not to upset the look of her ass in her jeans with my big wallet. I need to buy a smaller wallet apparently.

I do have shoes and I always know where they are. The baby posts them out of the cat flap and they spend the day on the doorstep in the rain. Then the cat sits on them to keep his ass warm and leaves them looking like novelty slippers. I do get to wear my shoes though, mainly because they don’t fit anyone else, but they are a bit squelchy and make me look like teen wolf.

(That is two instances of me kinda having and not having due to bums did you notice that?)

There is food in the fridge, food in the freezer and food in the cupboards. Naturally, my bank statement tells me that I spend roughly £200 a week on consumables. The kitchen is full of food. Full of food  THAT I AM NOT ALLOWED TO EAT.

There are boxes and pouches and Tupperware receptacles filled to the brim with tasty treats that I get into trouble for sticking my finger in. Wifey actually gets quite cross when I indulge, which is, I think, quite freaking funny. My I paid for it, it’s mine, I can eat it response is, to her, super annoying. This makes it even funnier for me. Oh the tangled webs we weave….

The children have their own cupboard. I don’t have my own cupboard. Even though I paid for all the cupboards. So even though in the eyes of the law I own all the food and all the cupboards, I am the bad guy? Cheese and crackers.

To have and be thankful

And so the list of to have and have not goes on and on and probably will forever and a bit. But those are the days my friend….those are the days.

Thing is my friend, there are days when I am grumpy. There are days when I am no fun to live with. There are days when I should clearly be left alone. But on those days, I do have something. I have a beautiful wife, who is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  A woman who shaves off my sharp corners and keeps me on the straight and narrow. A woman whose love I forever underestimate and am awed by repeatedly. I have her love and will do everything within my power to keep it.

I also have two blue eyed and breathtakingly beautiful children. Little amazing bundles of me and her. They have the ability to astound me everyday with their humour, their intelligence and their ability to be unbelievably annoying. And smelly. And…never mind, that’s probably my ‘bit’ anyway, the rest is her. Com ce com sa.

I am simultaneously the luckiest man on the planet and the most irritated. I’ll always have that. Horses for courses.

(photo by Falling Angel @ Flickr)

©2013 Man in his pyjamas. All rights reserved.




  1. Cindy

    I love it – one of my sons is in exactly the same situation as you – fridges, cupboards, tupperware et al!! The revolving little person in bed – yes, I remember it well – and I was the one with the breast hanging out! But it does all come to an end … youngest is 27 today, and, believe it or not, I feel quite nostalgic for the musical, bed days!

  2. I love this post! Made me laugh, although I don’t relate to it! I drive about 4,000 miles a year, but that’s to work. Husband maintains my car grudgingly and with much sarcasm. My husband drives many more miles!

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