Moata: Parenting is like Father Ted

MOATA TAMAIRA
Last updated 11:35 14/08/2014

When I first thought to enter into the state of parenthood (it's the state right next to "insanity" and the next one on from "hopeful optimism") I was prepared for a great many things, or at least I thought I was prepared for them - the interrupted sleep, the presence of bodily excretions on all my clothes, the awkwardness of breastfeeding - but I certainly wasn't prepared to find that my life and turned into episode after hilariously cringeworthy episode of Father Ted.

The Silver Fox and I are big Father Ted fans. Probably not massive enough to attend the annual, yes annual, Father Ted Festival aka "TedFest", but fans nonetheless. So I suppose it's not so surprising that, when faced with certain awkward situations in my own life, that I use the residents of Craggy Island as a frame of reference. 

These are the ways in which I've found being a new parent is like being in an episode of Father Ted -

I personally find this image quite terrifying

A pleasant playground outing re-imagined, Craggy Island style.

We have our own Father Jack - He's barely comprehensible with a severely restricted vocabulary. Has questionable control over his bowels and is quite content to sit in his own filth for extended periods. Subsists on a largely liquid diet. Is incapable of caring for himself. Prone to acts of random violence. During outings is wheeled around by others. Though ostensibly helpless it doesn't do to turn your back on him because he will make merry mischief.

And then there's Father Jack Hackett. I am now considering teaching the baby, by rote, to say "that would be an ecumenical matter".

I have an inner Mrs Doyle - One of the natural tendencies, when you've had a preterm baby, is to feed them as much as you can so as to give them the best opportunity to "catch up" with their peers in terms of weight and height. Indeed, I did one day find myself slipping into full Mrs Doyle mode, complete with frumpy attire, pleading with the baby in a lilting "Ya will have a little more, won't ya? Ah, go on, so. Ya will, ya will, ya will". 

I try not to do that any more lest I wake up one morning and find I have acquired a large mole on my face.

Things aren't just confusing for Dougal - On days when sleep is a scarcity (which is most of them), the ole brain doesn't quite tick over as quickly as it should. These are the Dougal Days. On Dougal Days seemingly simple concepts become far too squirrely to get your head around and basic questions like "what's for dinner?" and "whay aren't you wearing pants?" create a sort of short circuit of the brain. This is when your brain, begging for mercy, can only speak through your eyeballs.

Father Dougal says it all with his eyes

I write 5 terrible Eurovision songs before breakfast - Every day I bring forth some of the worst lyrics you could imagine in the simple pursuit of baby entertainment. I wish I could reach the heights of poeticism found in Ted and Dougal's Eurovision entry "My Lovely Horse" but alas, "I want to shower you with sugar lumps and ride you over fences" does not make reference to poo, boogers, going to sleep or "not kicking mummy in the face" so I guess artistic perfection will forever prove elusive.

I have no idea if this sort of thing is normal but wonder if anybody else ever feels like they reside on that most Craggy of islands? Do you have much Father Ted in your day? And will you have another cup of tea? Ah, go on...

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