The two sides of Yer Man
A wise man once told me – write about what you know. I can’t for the life of me remember who he was, so I can only assume he must have been cursed with a wisdom that dwarfed his very identity.
I’m quite sure readers of Yer Man will have noticed more than the occasional mention of my daughter Lucy since the end of November. There’s a simple reason for that. Lucy is what I know and therefore what I write about.
I used to know about things like sport, socialising and the world wide web; meat, beer and cheese; television, film and music. But, for now anyway, it’s hard to get too exited about a game of sport, a cut of beef or the debut album from indie music’s next big thing when I’m faced with the altogether more appealing prospect of my baby daughter giving me a doe-eyed smile and exposing her two first teeth.
I’m in love. It’s as simple as that. I never thought there would be another female in our house apart from Karen who made me feel this way, but I hadn’t reckoned on the unconditional sappiness which I feel towards my child.
My love for Lucy is a different kind of love than I have for Karen, but just like my wife it’s a love based on ‘firsts’. With Karen I’ll never forget the first kiss, the first date or the first movie we went to see in the cinema. (Just in case you’re interested the film was The Animal starring Rob Schneider. I can’t remember who picked it, but we’d smuggled in a half bottle of vodka to mix with the cinema-sized Orange Fanta to help gloss over the movie’s many failings).
With Lucy the firsts are very different. For a start none of them involve vodka. As far as I can gather babies aren’t allowed vodka until at least 18 months, or is that years – we’ll play that one by ear.
Recently I’ve found myself in an accentuated state of cluckiness following Lucy’s first giggle, Lucy’s first chicken dinner and Lucy’s first act of destruction.
I realise I’m maybe overdoing the slushiness this week – I can’t help it.
As I write this it’s 22.07 on Monday night.
Karen and Lucy are both in bed and I’m powerless to give either of them a goodnight kiss.
As a consequence of a lengthy mid-monthly council meeting and limited public transport options after 9pm I’m stopping over with my parents in Lurgan tonight while my two sleeping beauties are at home in Belfast.
On the plus side I’m getting to spend some quality time with my dad on the eve of his 63rd birthday...
The time is now 00.15.
One greatest hits album, two beers and three games of darts later and I’m feeling a lot more manly.
So much so that I feel capable of winning back a few of my disillusioned male readers with the most laddish paragraph I can assemble.
The year is 2006 and I’ve just hit 150 miles per hour in my new Lamborghini time machine. Noel Gallagher is in the passenger seat yelling at me in Klingon to slow down. I punch him in the face and tell him to shut up in no uncertain terms. I know what I’m doing. We’re on the Autobahn in Germany where there is no speed limit. Just half an hour ago myself and Noel had been in a club recommended to us by Tony Soprano necking straight gin. Well, Noel was on the gin, I was on Britvic because I’m driving. We’re on our way to meet the New Zealand rugby team who have challenged myself and Noel to a steak eating contest in a bid to take our world title which we’ve held for the past 40 years. I tell Noel a joke about tractors and his head explodes due to laughter. Literally. Everything was going well up to that point. Now, not only have I indirectly killed the biggest rock icon of the past two decades, but I’m without a partner for the steak eating contest. My limited edition iPhone 5 emits a tone to signal I have a new message. It’s from Clint. It reads, “Don’t get too carried away with your delusions of machismo and remember to leave room for your weekly teaser!!!”
The answer to last week’s teaser was: it is possible for your mother to be older than your paternal grandmother. For example your mum could be 39, your dad could be 19 and his mother could be 38.
Here’s this week’s teaser: in five years time Benjamin will be three times as old as he was three years ago. What age is Benjamin?