Being The Provider Of Watermelons
An hour ago I was walking to the farm shop in our village with the sole aim of buying a watermelon. Just one watermelon.
You know, for baby practice.
Not Baby practice; baby practice! Anyway…
The farm shop didn’t have any watermelons. Well, that’s not strictly true.
“We’ve got loads of sliced ones.” The man gleefully said. Although, as I was aiming to use them as a baby for nappy fixing, to my mind his enthusiasm was very sinister. Of course, he wasn’t to know this.
The disappointment of not being able to carry a watermelon soon dissipated. Not because I’d lost my enthusiasm…
… but because I’d lost my job.
Half an hour ago my phone rang and I was told I’d no longer be presenting the radio show I host.
Now, if that looks dramatic, I apologise. (The company I work for is owned by Rupert Murdoch and I think the sensationalism has rubbed off on me.)
To be honest – and most importantly to be fair to my two immediate bosses – I have only ever been covering the show on an ongoing basis. No contract was in place. I have just been turning up and doing the show day-to-day. The day when that either became permanent or when it ended was always going to come.
I just didn’t realise it would be watermelon related.
Being The Provider Of Fun
The reason I was going to get a watermelon was because in two months’ time, I shall be a Dad. Kerri will selflessly, majestically and heroineically (I don’t know the female participle for “heroic”), deliver our son into the world.
A most amazing woman gifting the world our first-born, watermelon-sized child. (Or an even larger fruit, according to the growth chart.)
My contribution to the pregnancy that my beautiful fiancée is experiencing without moan or complaint, is to suggest we have a race to put nappies on fruit. (Like one of those product reviews that are popular on blogs.. but with fruit.)
Because as my son grows, I am going to be a sparky parent. That has always been my focus. Grow his imagination.. make up stories… climb trees together… love his Mum in front of his face so he is both proud, amused and embarrassed.
Of course, to simply be fun isn’t all of being a Dad. I know that. To quote Will Smith himself:
But I will test that butt when you cut out of line, truedat.
Today, on the way home from the watermelon expedition, that phone call made me realise something in cold, hard fact. Something you probably already know.
I imagine, if you are a parent, you are about to give me the same, “oh, you’ll find out” look that my friend gave me at the weekend when he laughed because I said “we have four muslins so we have plenty”.
I’ve had contracts that have come to an end in the past. It’s not ideal, but it’s never a huge problem. Ping along to the next one, I say.
Not now. Now, I have a baby to provide for. I have a fiancée to provide for. I have nappies to buy, scratch mittens to get (and find out exactly why they’re needed). I have bills to pay, food to prepare, tears to dry and worries to soothe.
Now, I believe that the man being the provider is an outdated concept. My partner is far more academically, professionally intelligent than I am. Out of the two of us, on paper, Frankton could easily be the provider in our house. Game inventions aside, obviously.
(People are always asking me, “Did Kerri come up with the Watermelon Baby Nappy Race Game?” No. No, you’re right, I tell them; she didn’t… and stop pretending to ask me questions.)
As it is, we are equal, in her favour. However, in these stages of pregnancy and certainly in the post-birthing days, I AM the main provider. At least, I feel that I am. That’s right, isn’t it?
More so, I want to be the main provider for ever more. Regardless of who works and who stays at home with Baby Yet To Be Named. Why wouldn’t I want that? All these thoughts are for the future.. for now. (Although it’s good to read other thoughts from new Dads.)
Being The Provider…
Earlier today I set out on the hunt for a watermelon, just as a cavemen would have done in about, what… 1876? (History is not my strong point…) It is an innate parent quality that comes from deep within, to provide. I am learning that as the weeks go by.
I shall provide love for my child and fiancée. I shall provide laughter for them both. I shall provide hugs and, yes, I shall provide watermelons. I shall provide ears to listen and words to comfort. I shall provide painted walls and slightly skewed curtain rails.
Above all, and more urgently, I shall provide them with stability and security.
So if I want to practise putting a nappy on a watermelon… I WILL PROVIDE A WATERMELON!
I don’t know whether this change comes in every expectant parent. (I don’t know if it’s because I’d forgotten that I had already taken one of my Sertraline and so accidentally took another.) I don’t know if you, reading this, think that it’s all a bit silly and obvious. We all learn at our own pace.
What I do know is that I am being a provider. And that being a positive, reassuring, slightly shaky (definitely took two) man is most important.
Oh, and I will absolutely call, harass and charm until I get that next career step that makes everything relaxed under our family home’s roof. Actually, probably that first. Well, after the Watermelon Nappy Fixing Game. (TM)