Time moves at warp speed when you’re running on three hours sleep a night. I know this, because the moment our son arrived in this world was also the moment I joined the band of disorganised parents who never manage to find the time do anything that isn’t absolutely crucial to the survival of their child, their partner or their house.
Take this article on 12 things parents never get round to doing. It’s been on my to-do list for about six months, but, somewhat aptly, I’ve never found the time to write it.
Now, however, my son is at nursery, my wife is at work, tonight’s meal is cooked, the washing machine is on and I am free to ignore loads of other stuff in favour of writing this potentially life-changing article.
Okay, okay, so that previous sentence was something of an oversell. I don’t expect this list to change anyone’s life. I do, however, hope that it will both give you a bit of a laugh and help you see that you are not alone – disorganised parents are everywhere.
Got that? Great. Then sit back, relax and enjoy this week’s Midweek List of 12 things parents never get round to doing.
1. Those little jobs around the house
I’m not saying that I lied to my wife the first, second, third or 15th time I looked her in the eye and said: “I know the toilet roll holder is broken, I’ll sort it.”
I’m simply telling you a) that, eight months on, it remains broken and b) that the pictures she promised to put up on the wall 14 months ago are still lying on the couch, so I’m not the only monster about here.
In our child-free days, my wife and I were all up in the email, and all over the website and social media feeds of any place that dared to mistakenly overcharge us or provide poor service. In our with-child days, our relationship with complaining is like a teenage boy’s relationship with sex. And by this I mean, we spend lots of time talking about it, but very little time doing it.
3. Filling in our tax return
See you in the January rush, freelance parents. See you in the January rush.
4. Booking that kids’ show we read about
I had a look at our kitchen pinboard the other day. It contained an advert for The Gruffalo’s Child, which we’d ripped out of the local free magazine. And an advert for We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, which we’d ripped out of the Metro newspaper. The Gruffalo’s Child closes tomorrow and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt finished at the end of July… 2017.
Ah well, there is always next year, right?
5. Sorting out our diets
Unless, of course, you call putting off cooking the salmon, ordering a takeaway and grabbing an ice cream from the freezer “sorting out your diet”.
6. Buying birthday presents for other kids
Questions I ask just about every Saturday morning…
- Whose birthday is it?
- How old is he or she?
- Do we have anything in the present drawer?
Answers I hear just about every Saturday morning…
- Let me check the invite, where is the invite?
- Doesn’t say, must be three
- Let me check… Yes, there’s that Daddy’s Little Man Born in 2016 onesie and a few books. Let’s give them a book. Do we have any wrapping paper?
Spoiler alert: we don’t. We’re disorganised parents, after all.
7. Learning what new emojis mean
List of emojis I feel comfortable about using in the correct context: crying face, happy face, clenched fist, woman dancing in dress, man slapping himself in face, man holding up his hand, hands clapping and fingers crossed.
List of emojis I do not feel comfortable about using in the correct context: everything else.
8. Checking out the noise that’s coming from the car
Until the front left wheel of my wife’s car actually deflates or falls off, I stand by my theory that it’s a group of homeless birds honing their musical talents for a tilt at next year’s Britain’s Got Talent.
9. Our teeth
Dear Dentist, I try, I really do. Every morning I jump (okay crawl) out of bed with the intention of giving my pearly whites a good post-breakfast once over. And every morning, the routine becomes so frenzied, chaotic and behind schedule that I completely forget about my dental health.
Dear Father-Hood, what about the evenings?
Dear Dentist, I try, I really do. Every night I tell myself to give my gnashers a clean before bed. And every night, I’m so tired that I pass out watching TV.
Dear Father-Hood, do you floss?
Dear Dentist, I try, I really do. But my hips aren’t fast enough, so I usually just end up dabbing.
Dear Father-Hood, you are an idiot.
10. Coming up with dates
If disorganised parents are really good at one thing, it’s calling or texting each other to say “we must come up with a date to meet up”. And if disorganised parents are really bad at one thing, it’s following this statement through and actually coming up with a date.
11. Looking at the weather forecast
Load up a website? Study an app? Watch the weather bit of the news? Disorganised parents don’t have time for any of this technological razzmatazz. Instead, we rely on the tried, tested and often flawed method of dressing our child in an outfit that is solely based on the weather conditions we can see out of the window at the time we are trying to wrestle them into clothing.
12. Updating our wardrobe
Still checked shirts and boat shoes will be in again next year, right?