ALL THE THINGS (over 250+) THAT SCARE ME AS A PARENT

Quite a lot of parenting is done through fear. If you’re a parent, you’ll know this already. Most of my decisions are made out of some sort of parental terror, and I am intimately acquainted with that feeling of “AAARGH CHRIST! WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO NOW?” which seems to be common amongst most parenting humans.

Is this “constant fear” thing a condition unique to humans? Do wildebeest feel it on the plains of Africa, with a huge number of predators waiting to chomp down on their small and weak offspring? I bet they do. We’re both just worried parents, after all. A Wildebeest is a Bewilderbeast, like me.

I have decided therefore to write down all the potential threats, fears and worries that Alice faces (and that haunt me almost every single night). You might think I’m overthinking them, but to be honest, you can’t rule any of them out. This is just a list I compiled off the top of my head. I’ve missed loads out. If I had written this in the first year of Alice’s life, the list would probably have been much longer, and much scarier.

In no particular order here is a list of fears that have occurred to me over the last six years:

(TL; DR – I’m fucking scared of everything)

GENERAL ACCIDENTS

 

"Well, you've swallowed a biro lid, and that's bad. On the plus side, every time you exhale, you whistle in quite an amusing way..."
“Well, you’ve swallowed a biro lid, it’s lodged vertically in your esophagus, and that’s bad. On the plus side, every time you inhale and exhale, you whistle in quite an amusing way. Some of my colleagues want to film you on their mobile phones. You OK with that?”

 

  1. What if Alice chokes on a Lego brick, or some random piece of food?
  2. What if she sticks her fingers into an electrical socket?
  3. What if I leave her alone in the bath to do something quick elsewhere in the house, come back and find her face-down and not moving?
  4. What if she falls down the stairs and hits her head on the radiator valve at the bottom of the staircase?
  5. What if she runs across a busy road, and I can’t stop her?
  6. What if we go for a cliff-top walk as a family one day, and she strays too near the edge?
  7. What if she runs with those scissors?
    runningwithscissors
  8. What if that kitchen knife falls from the worktop and injures her, or worse?
  9. What if she trips over and lands on the cutlery rack of the dishwasher? (this is why forks and knives must point down, people!)
  10. What if she accidentally pours boiling water all over herself?
  11. What if she’s playing with that dog, and it suddenly bites her?
  12. What if she’s playing with that cat, and it suddenly scratches her?
  13. Oh God, if she’s running down that hill too fast, she might fall over!
  14. Oh God, we’re at a falconry display, and that bird is flying right at her FACE!!
  15. Did everyone at the falconry display notice me yelping and clutching her to me in case of talon/face collision?
  16. Oh God, there’s a wasp! SHOO! SHOO WASP! SHOOOOO! FLAP MY HANDS AT IT!!

    Shoo, WASP
    You heard me, WASP. Stop that.
  17. Would it actually be a bad thing if she gets stung by a piddly little wasp? But what if she’s massively allergic to wasp stings?
  18. What if my daughter isn’t wearing her seatbelt in the car right now?
  19. What if she’s too big for her car seat?
  20. What if I adjust her car seat too much the other way until she’s too small for it to protect her?
  21. What if we’re in a car crash? Will her car seat save her? God knows, I bought the biggest, cheapest, cushioniest seat with more structural buttresses than a medieval cathedral
  22. What if we have one of those accidents where a car seat, her seatbelt, and the airbags aren’t enough to protect her?
  23. What if we’re flying a kite near some power lines and…? Well, you’ve seen the PSA from the 1970s…

    Got ten minutes to spare to watch films that scared the crap out of me when I was a child? If not, just skip to 4mins 00secs. Honestly, that was the ultimate “shit!-scramble-for-the-remote!!” moment of my young life.

  24. What if she falls off a garden wall and cracks her skull, like I did when I was 18 months old, and she has an undiagnosed brain injury that means she might become a serial killer later in life? Luckily, that has not happKILLALLTHEWOMENened to me.
  25. What if she rolls off the bed, or falls off the sofa, or falls off her kitchen stool?
  26. What if she falls over and breaks a limb?
  27. What if she falls off that swing?
  28. What if she runs across the playground in front of that swing and that boy kicks her in the head?
  29. What if she falls over in a playground and hits her head, like what happened to Sandra Bullock’s kid in Gravity? (Which was the bit in the film that disturbed me the most, not the guy with no face left. Bloody parenting, ruining films for me…)
  30. What if I turn my back one day for just one minute, and she has an accident, and I couldn’t do anything to save her?

 

OTHER PEOPLE

  1. If she’s rude to anyone, will everyone think I’m a bad parent?
  2. What if strangers get annoyed by her singing while we go around the shops?
  3. If she starts boasting about how brilliant she is and showing off, will everyone think I’m a bad parent?
  4. Is she being far too confident?
  5. Is she not confident enough?
  6. What if my neighbours can hear me shouting at her when she’s naughty?
  7. What if Alice hears me shouting at Sarah during an argument? How will that affect her?
  8. What if the neighbours hear me shouting at my kid and my wife in some massive argument where I lose my shit, and they assume I’m some tyrant?
  9. Why does that single middle-aged bloke from down the road make such a fuss over her and always asks after her when he sees me around and she’s not with me?
  10. What’s he up to?

    "Hey neighbourino! How's your... daughter...?"
    “Hey neighbourino! How’s your… daughter…?”
  11. Is he being slightly inappropriate and creepy?
  12. Am I being massively paranoid about my neighbour, and is he really just being friendly?
  13. What if her pathological need to see puppies outweighs all the ‘Stranger Danger’ campaigns in existence?
  14. Would Alice ever tell me if someone was… you know… (God, I can barely bring myself to think it) interfering with her?
  15. How the hell would I react to news of that sort? Actually, I know how I’d react – with genuine homicidal rage.
  16. What if she goes to the park and there’s another adult around who doesn’t have kids with them? Is that adult to be trusted?
  17. What if we go to the park and those bigger kids stop her from going on all the swings, slides, roundabouts, and climbing frames?
  18. What if those bigger kids don’t like having a small, blonde, bespectacled girl trying very hard and excitedly to make friends with them?
  19. What if she ends up getting punched by them? Should I then march up to them and punch them all back, very hard in the face?
  20. Are their parents around?
  21. Is that massive shaven-headed bloke with tattoos the loudest, most obnoxious kid’s dad?

    "Hello sir, is that your boy in the sandpit? Playing with the toy digger? ...no, he's no trouble...much... I mean, he's a happy, boisterous lad... and... well... I was just wondering if my daughter could have a... well, he has had a very long go on it... and I was wondering if... well, yes, I can see you're a busy man and... well... would you mind if... I just went away and left you to your thoughts?"
    “Hello sir, is that your boy in the sandpit? Playing with the toy digger? …no, he’s no trouble…much… I mean, he’s a happy, boisterous lad… and… well… I was just wondering if my daughter could have a… well, he has had a very long go on it… and I was wondering if… well, yes, I can see you’re a busy man and… well… would you mind if… I just went away and left you to your thoughts…such as they are?”
  22. Oh God, he is! What if my daughter gets punched by his horrible, bullying son? Then I’d have to punch his son, and then he’ll come over and punch me!
  23. It would be better if she didn’t interact with anyone in this playground, wouldn’t it?
  24. Thank Jeebus, she’s gone off to the sandpit. What if the sandpit is used by the local dogs and homeless people as a toilet?
  25. Oh God, she’s asking someone if she can “have a go” on that plaything!!!! NOOOO!

    "In the goolies, Alice! RIGHT HARD IN HIS FUCKING BALLS!" is what I would never say.
    “In the goolies, Alice! RIGHT HARD IN HIS FUCKING BALLS!”
  26. And the kid is refusing, aw SHIT! What do I do now?
  27. Pleasedon’tgetintoafightpleasedon’tgetintoafightpleasedon’tgetintoafight…
  28. Oh Christ, the nasty kids’ mum is coming over! Will I have to punch her?? Phew, she’s told her own kid off for not sharing. ALLAH BE PRAISED!!
  29. OK, how long should I let my kid play with that thing? What if someone pushes her off it? Is it then time for me to go Punchy-Punchy?
  30. What if my kid makes a friend at the park?
  31. Will I have to make awkward conversation with that kids’ parents now?
  32. Will that person think that I am weird, being a man in a kids’ playground at a time of day when I should be working in a regular 9-5 job?
  33. What if I have to take her to use a public toilet?
  34. Will anyone think it is creepy that a man takes a little girl into a toilet cubicle?
  35. What if my daughter becomes the kid in the park who goes round pushing smaller kids off the playthings whenever she feels like having a go?
  36. Who do I punch then? I can’t punch my daughter, people would be outraged. I can’t punch the other kids, it’s not their fault, ditto the other kids’ parents. I’d just have punch myself.
  37. Would everyone else in that playground be bothered by a bullying girl and a father who is, right now, punching himself in the face and crying with frustration?
  38. What if we’re in the cinema or theatre, or at the opera or ballet (we like opera sometimes. Yeah? What about it?), and she’s talking too loud, or starts screaming, and it bothers other people?
  39. What if we go to an opera and people think we’re pretentious snooty dicks, and that the opera is no place for a six-year-old with a limited attention span?
  40. What if we’re at a wedding, and she starts shouting at precisely the wrong moment?

    "I'm a-gonna eat this cake. And then all the cakes. And then I'll be sick. And then I'll shout. And then I'll get out of this bullshit adult party. Win."
    “I’m a-gonna eat this cake. And then all the cakes. And then I’ll be sick. And then I’ll shout and scream. And then I’ll get in trouble, sure, but out of this bullshit adult party. Win.”
  41. What if we’re at a funeral and she suddenly gets an attack of the giggles?
  42. What if an adult ever hits her?
  43. What if I turn my back one day for just a minute, and someone abducts her before I can do anything about it?

 

AT SCHOOL

  1. What if she just doesn’t get on with other people?
  2. What if she becomes “That Kid” who just cannot make friends?
  3. What if her friends suddenly decide to pick on her?
  4. What if Alice has “The Smell” that some kids have? (It’s not exclusive to kids from deprived backgrounds, but memorably characterised by The Mary Whitehouse Experience as being “my gran lives with us”. You know that smell)
  5. What if Alice gets teased because she doesn’t have the local accent?
  6. What if Alice gets picked on because she doesn’t have the latest consoles, tablets, toys, clothes, and assorted blingy gewgaws? How can we help her to believe that such things don’t matter?
  7. What if she gets bullied?
  8. What if she turns out to be a bully?

    "Hey, check her out LOL she's having an eyewee LOL"
    “Hey, check her out LOL she’s having an eyewee LOL”
  9. What if she gets into trouble at school?
  10. Will the teachers be angry with her?
  11. Will the teachers be angry with me?
  12. What if I have to go in to see her headmaster because she was in trouble? Will he tell me off as well??
  13. Will the other parents hear about her getting into trouble, and start thinking I’m a bad parent?
  14. What if I have to discipline Alice on the school run? Will the other parents think I’m a bad parent?
  15. What if I embarrass her in front of her school friends, and they tease her for it?
  16. What happens if I swear in front of her, she discovers the joy of swearing, and uses one of those shiny new words in class, and everyone’s, like, “WOAH!”

    "Unfortunately Mr Phnut, she then called me a 'motherfucking dickshitter'. Do you have any idea where she might have picked up that sort of language from? Hmmmm" "Shitted if I know, Mrs Clastechir"
    “Unfortunately Mr Phnut, she then called me a ‘motherfucking dicktwatter’. Do you have any idea where she might have picked up that sort of language from? Hmmmm”
    “Shitted if I know, Mrs Clasteechir”
  17. What if it triggers a massive swear-outbreak in her class, and the teacher blames me?
  18. Would the school make a massive fuss out of it?
  19. Would the teacher tell me? Would I be summoned in for a headteacher/parent conference which results in, essentially, me being told off for swearing in front of my kid, even though I have been really thorough in not swearing all that much in front of her?
  20. How do I teach her to swear responsibly?
  21. If I take my daughter to school, and she’s wearing a shirt with a stain from last week’s bolognese that just wouldn’t wash out, will everyone think I’m a bad parent?
  22. What if my daughter forgets to hand in her homework this week?
  23. What if my daughter is reading at too low a level?
  24. What if my daughter struggles with writing, or numeracy?
  25. Should I be doing more to help my daughter with her schoolwork?
  26. Should I be pushing her harder and harder to achieve better marks and better grades?
  27. Should I be scheduling in two hours of extra lessons every week to help her with her literacy and numeracy?
  28. Should I be worried if she’s not being the top of the class?
  29. If she is the top of the class, would the other kids pick on her for being a massive swot?
  30. Am I making things worse by forcing her to do more homework?
  31. Should I be nagging the teacher for more homework?
  32. Should I be complaining to the school that the class teacher is not recognising Alice’s obvious talents and academic geniusness?

    "Come on, my daughter is clearly the best at everything... compared to some of the other little cretins in her class who are obviously beneath her..."
    “Come on, my daughter is clearly the best at everything… compared to some of the other little nobodies in her class who are obviously beneath her…”
  33. Should I be cross with the teacher for not giving Alice the lead role in the class play? She’s so obviously the most imaginative and talented actress in the class. I mean, come on
  34. Should I be rehearsing her lines with her?
  35. Should I be practicing line readings from Shakespeare with her? Ibsen? Chekov? BRECHT??
  36. Should she get music lessons?
  37. Should she learn a classical, technical instrument like the violin or the flute? Or should she learn a cool instrument, like the guitar?
  38. If she learns the guitar, should I get her classical lessons to play Bach preludes, or rock lessons so that she can play like Carlos Santana by the age of 15?
  39. Should I get her to join wind band, orchestra, choir, or all of them?
  40. Instead of listening to The Velvet Underground in the car, shouldn’t we listen to Beethoven and Mozart piano sonatas instead? Does it really boost their IQ to do so?

    "I know we should be listening to more classical music for the benefit of our precious little angel, darling, but it has had something of a critical renaissance in the last few years, particularly amongst the classical intelligentsia, so it's a good compromise. It'll be perfect for our day out with Granny!"
    “I know we should be listening to more classical music for the benefit of our precious little angel, darling, but it has had something of a critical renaissance in the last few years, particularly amongst the classical intelligentsia, so it’s a good compromise. It’ll be perfect as the car CD for our day out with Granny!”
  41. When should I start booking her gigs?
  42. Should I get my daughter to study science (despite society believing that science is not for girls), engineering (despite society believing that engineering is not for girls), be good with technology (despite society believing that a career in computers and technology is not for girls), and mathematics (despite society thinking that maths is not for girls)? Or should I encourage her to do whatever she wants, and teach her the awful lesson that society is (as a whole) a massive dickhead when it comes to gender stereotypes?
  43. Would it be better if I just eased up on the pressure a bit?
  44. Am I just being one of those interfering arsehole parents that teachers hate?
  45. What if my daughter forgets her school bag today?
  46. Oh Christ, what if we’re late to school today??!! What will they do to both her and me? Will they send a slightly peevish note home?
  47. What if she’s ill? Will she miss crucial lessons?
  48. What if she’s ill for some considerable time? Will they send the truant officer round?
  49. What if I forgot to hand in that crucial permission slip?
  50. What if she goes on a school trip and there’s an accident and she’s badly hurt, or worse?
  51. Should I therefore go on the school trip to make sure she’s OK?
  52. Is it weird that I volunteer to go on school trips?
  53. Is it weird that I really like going on the school trips?
  54. What if there’s a non-uniform day at school, and I’m the parent who forgot about it, and she becomes THAT KID who shows up to non-uniform day in her school uniform?? That shit is TRAUMATISING for LIFE.
  55. What if I turn my back during the school run, and she does something unspeakably naughty or dangerous, and there’s nothing I can do about it?

 

IRRATIONAL BULLSHIT THAT KEEPS ME AWAKE AT NIGHT

  1. What if Zombies really were real and a Zombie Outbreak actually happened?
  2. Am I capable of protecting my family during some sort of apocalypse?
  3. What if the devastated world of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road becomes reality? Can I be that incredibly noble guy who protects his kid from all dangers, and teaches his offspring morality and survival and nobility? Or will I be the kind of guy who freaks out, gives up, and joins a roaming band of cannibal rapists?
  4. What if the reports of Niburu approaching (and probably colliding with) Earth turn out to be actually true, and we’re facing an inevitable Niburustrophe? YOU DON’T DEFINITELY KNOW THAT IT WON’T HAPPEN!! WAKE UP, YOU BAA-BRAINS!!
  5. What if the theory that in 2033, a comet will cross Earth’s orbit and smash into us, causing a Global Extinction Event, turns out to be true? Alice will be 25 then. How will she survive at such a tender age?? Too young, man.
  6. Can we, as a species and civilisation, actually survive a colossal impact from a comet?
  7. Can we, as a nuclear family, survive a nuclear war?
    nuclear-war-fun
  8. What if we suffer a devastating Earthquake in the UK?
  9. What if we suffer a massive outbreak of Ebola that sweeps across the globe in 28 days?
  10. What if aliens do exist, and they invade our planet?
  11. Would we, as a family, try and get by? Or would we join the resistance? (this also applies if a Foreign Dictatorship invades the UK)
  12. What if God really does exist, and he brings about The Rapture? Alice is the only person in our family who believes in God, and hasn’t committed any major sins yet. Will she be saved?
  13. She also believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and that Harry Potter is real and the books are a document of the wizarding world’s struggle against Voldemort. How do I break it to her that all of these things don’t exist (probably – YOU DON’T KNOW, etc)?
  14. It is 2am, and I’ve just heard a noise. What is it? Is it:
    a) burglars?
    b) serial killers?
    c) a gang of psychopathic clowns?
    d) some undead invading our house?
    e) some other threat involving the classic pantheon of monsters (zombies, vampires, slimy weird things, werewolves)?
  15. Should I teach Alice how to defend herself and our home from, say, zombies (or indeed, psycho clowns)? Is it appropriate to teach her how to do a headshot?
  16. Should I think about getting a panic room installed in our house? We have no space for it – Where the fuck can we put it? Does the external rendering/interior damp/central heating system/replacing the rather grotty kitchen/the living room decoration, etc, all need sorting out first?
  17. What about monsters in the closet? I’m opening the closet door to check there are no monsters. Until the point where I’ve thoroughly checked, I’m still not 100% that they’re not there. It’s kind of like Schrodinger’s Cat, in that until you’ve looked, they simultaneously exist and not exist.
  18. What if clowns really do come and eat my kid during the night?

    "Soon"
    No.
  19. What if a lion, a hyena, a leopard, and a crocodile escape from our city zoo? My theory that all parents, including animals such as wildebeest (see intro), share some key fears will be proved right! On the other hand, a film about a lion/hyena/leopard/crocodile breakout from a zoo is the film I want to see RIGHT NOW.
  20. What if we go swimming in the sea, and Alice becomes the first human in decades to be attacked by a rogue shark in UK waters?
  21. What if it’s not a shark, but a rogue giant squid?
  22. Is a giant squid attack somehow worse than a shark attack??
  23. What if it’s not a rogue giant squid, but actually some other form of Kaiju??

    Kaiju attack!! (...is what I typed into Google images. I got this. Thanks, The Internet)
    Kaiju attack!!
    (…is what I typed into Google images. I got this as an example. Thanks, The Internet)
  24. What if that spider in our garden is actually one of those killer spiders that occasionally finds its way to the UK in a bunch of bananas?
  25. What if we suffer a tornado in our street? (it does happen. Not in our actual street, but they have been reported in the local area before now. Possibly by loonies, but you can never be sure, can you? Besides, local press occasionally show a fuzzy photo, or wobbly mobile phone footage, taken by someone who saw a teeny-weeny tornado over their house)
  26. What if I turn my back on a moonlit night, and a werewolf bites her? Will she die, or will she become a werewolf every full moon? How will we cope with her… “condition”?

 

CLASSIC PARENT NIGHTMARES

  1. What if my daughter gets abducted on the way home from school the first time I let her walk home alone?
  2. What if my daughter goes swimming and drowns?
  3. What if those news reports about too much television affecting brain development are true?
  4. What if those news reports about too much screen time on laptops, consoles, and tablets are true?
  5. What if a lack of screen time and tech knowledge about laptops, consoles, and tablets are responsible for her not having an advantage over her peers later on in life?
  6. Should she watch more telly and spend more time on the computer?
  7. Should she watch less telly and spend less time on the computer?
  8. What if my daughter ever gets drunk at a teenage party, passes out, and chokes on her vomit like Jimi Hendrix or John Bonham from Led Zeppelin?
  9. Come to think of it, what if my daughter ends up disliking Led Zeppelin, or any of the music I like?
  10. Will she end up listening to music I don’t like just to annoy me??
  11. What Godawful music will she end up listening to?

    "No you can't listen to that tuneless rubbish in the car. Because he's fucking gash and he makes me want to kill people, that's why".
    “No you can’t listen to that tuneless rubbish in the car. Because he’s fucking gash and he makes me want to kill people, that’s why”.
  12. Will I be the kind of Dad who says something like “It’s just a mindless racket!”? Seeing as I own a couple of Throbbing Gristle albums, it would be pretty fucking ironic if I said that…
  13. What if she falls in with “the wrong crowd”?
  14. What if she develops a drug habit?
  15. I did drugs, on a fairly low level in my youth. How the fuck am I going to “parent” this one? Do I own up and tell her the truth, or do I lie? Do I tell her NO DRUGS OR YOU’LL DIE? Do I sit her down and be a physical JUST SAY NO advert? Do I scare the crap out of her about doing drugs with pictures, videos and case studies… or do I be a liberal do-what-you-want-but-don’t-get-carried-away kinda guy? Is just beers and pot OK when she’s at university? Will my former drinking and drugging encourage a future hedonistic lifestyle, or would my current total abstinence and slight preachiness about it trigger a rebellious response in her when she’s older?
  16. What if, following my example, she experiments with drink/drugs, and it spirals out of control?
  17. Will I have to resort to “tough-love”? I can’t tough-love the girl right now; she’s blond, and cute, and currently has gappy front teeth, and I don’t think that mental image of her will ever leave me, even when she’s 22, into Doom Metal, and covered in Pagan tattoos.
  18. Actually, compared to all the mainstream religions, I’m fine with her getting into Paganism or Wicca when she’s older, but oh Thelema, what if she gets tattoos?? (Can’t explain it, but tattoos on my daughter? OUTRAGED SPLUTTERING!!)
    Yup.
    Yup.

    Absolutely not. No way. Not on my watch. Nope. Nuh-uh!
    Absolutely not. No way. Not on my watch. Not while you’re under my roof, missy. Nope. Nuh-uh!
  19. What if my daughter ever has a boyfriend who abuses her?
  20. What if my daughter ever has a boyfriend that I do not approve of, e.g. someone who is ferociously right-wing?
  21. What if she becomes very religious?
  22. What if she goes out with a musician who she comes to regard as a better musician than I am? The fucker…
  23. What if, when she’s older, she has a boyfriend and they make out in front of me?
  24. What if my daughter one day has a boyfriend, and they… y’know…do it… in the house when I’m there, and I can hear them?
  25. What if my daughter is confused by her sexuality? Will I able to cope with the trauma of her confusion? Shouldn’t I not give a stuff about what I want, and instead concentrate on what she needs from me?
  26. What if she’s gay?
  27. What if I’m being slightly homophobic about worrying over whether or not she’s gay? Nope, I’m not worried. She can be gay. That’s fine. It’s fine. All fine. She can be as gay as a firehose for all I care.
  28. What if she’s not gay and actually quite homophobic?
  29. What if she is gay, but tries to cover it up by being homophobic? When she comes out, will I be all, like, “AAAAAAAAAAHHHH, you fucking HYPOCRITE!”?? Is that a form of gloating?
  30. What if she inherits my habit of gloating, particularly when it comes to playing board games and team sports?

    "HA! I just thrashed you all. IN YOUR FACE, LOSER-WANKERS!!"
    “HA! I just thrashed you all. IN YOUR FACE, LOSER-WANKERS!!”
  31. How do I teach her to be proud of her country, but also to recognise how ugly nationalism can get?
  32. What if she ends up being racist?
  33. I will love her if she’s racist, won’t I?
  34. What if my daughter walks in on me while I’m doing a poo on the toilet? Will she be permanently traumatised by the sight, sound, and smell?
  35. Why does she keep talking about penises? Who told her about them? I sure as hell didn’t!
  36. What if my daughter ever saw me naked? Would she be scarred for life? Would other people think that I’m some kind of monster if they caught me being naked in front of my daughter?
  37. But honestly, I had just gotten out of the bath!!!
  38. Oh shit, has my daughter ever heard my sex noises??!
  39. How do I explain sex to her??
  40. How honest and frank about it can I be?
  41. How do I give names to the body parts? Cutesy names (boobies, foofy, bum-bum, etc)? Or shall I go the full anatomical study (“It’s not a ‘thingummy-doo-dah’, it’s actually called a ‘vulva’?)
  42. She’s absolutely fascinated by breasts at the moment, finding them completely hilarious. The other day she learned that the Arabic word for a sandstorm is “Haboob”, and she laughed herself shitless for 15 solid minutes afterwards. Should I tell her off for being crude, and tell her she’s being rude, or will that cause some kind of oppressive complex that sex and bodies are somehow wrong later on in life??

    "Haboob" lol
    “Haboob, lol”
  43. Is it actually illegal for me (an adult) to show her (a minor), in a responsible environment and in an appropriate context, pictures of naked people for the purposes of education?
  44. Wouldn’t it just be better if I just showed her one of the more raunchy Carry On films, which was the initial way I learned about sex and nudity?
  45. What if my daughter accidentally discovers porn on the internet?

    "OMG, minges!! Minges everywhere!!"
    “OMG, minges!! Minges everywhere!!”
  46. What if my daughter comes into the room while I am looking at porn on the internet?
  47. How the hell do I explain this?? Do I say “Hey kiddo, just checkin’ out pics of boobs” because she’d probably want to have a look out of curiousity, or do I scream “DON’T LOOK AT ME!!!”? Which of those would be more traumatising?
  48. What if my daughter gets seriously ill?
  49. What if my daughter has a vaccination and she develops some horrific after-effect?
  50. What if she develops autism as a result of a vaccination?
  51. What if she doesn’t have a vaccination, she contracts measles and dies?
  52. What if she gets a disease you can’t vaccinate for anyway?
  53. What if she gets meningitis?
  54. What if she gets a dose of something seemingly innocuous (flu) and it turns out to be a fatal to her, and it’s nothing we could have foreseen?
  55. What if Sarah gets ill?
  56. What if I lose my job at the same time that Sarah loses her job?
  57. What if my kid learns I have depression?
  58. What if my daughter comes into the room to find me weeping?
  59. What if I make my kid and my wife unhappy?
  60. What if my kid suddenly realises that I am not the good role model she currently thinks I am?
  61. What if my kid realises I’m actually a bit disappointing?
    I want my daughter to think I'm like this...
    I want my daughter to think I’m like this…

    ...not this
    …not this
  62. What if my daughter doesn’t like the food she’s given?
  63. What if my daughter takes one bite and says “I don’t like this”?
  64. What if she gets food poisoning from my cooking?
  65. What if my kid learns that I cannot make jelly?
  66. What if there’s a party, Sarah hasn’t organised getting a present because she’s too busy, and I show up to the party without a present or a card for the kid whose party it is? Would the kid be upset?
  67. Would they blame Alice? Would the other parents think I’m a bad parent for doing so?
  68. What if it is Alice’s birthday, and Sarah is ill or far too busy with work, and it’s up to me to make the cake? I cannot make cake. I cannot read cooking instructions, or instructions of any kind. Sarah is actually tech support in our house, and set up our wifi and cable all by herself because I have this weird blank in my head where I cannot read written technical instructions or recipes.
  69. What if people think I’m a bad father for not having a full-time job?
  70. Is it really considered to be all that weird to be a stay-at-home dad these days?

    I'm into it. It's great, and if anyone says otherwise, my target is their BALLS
    I’m into it. It’s great, and if anyone says otherwise, my target is their BALLS
  71. Would people think I’m a bad father if I get a full-time job, and I become a workaholic? Warning money – yes; but to the detriment of my family life?
  72. What if I don’t spend enough time playing with Alice? Will she feel neglected?
  73. What if I spend too much time playing with Alice? Will she be smothered?
  74. Should I teach Alice practical DIY skills (painting, cutting wood, tiling, drilling into walls, rudimentary plastering)? My father didn’t, and it resulted in me having a real fear of anything DIY-related until quite a way into my thirties. Or should I do all the DIY in the house and have my daughter think I’m a practical handyman superhero?
  75. What if I’m really being a bad father behind closed doors? Would other people know I’m being a bad father? How can I hide my being a bad father to other people?
  76. What if she puts on weight during her teens, and it really bothers her?
  77. Should I then encourage her to lose weight, or should I encourage her to learn to love herself for who she is, the shape she is?
  78. What if she develops an eating disorder?
  79. What if, when she gets older and starts to go onto social media, she gets involved in some online spat with someone, she gets trolled by all sorts of horrible, misogynistic creeps and she gets really depressed about it?
  80. What if she feels she can’t tell me about it?
  81. How do I tell her that she’s a wonderful person, and teach her to believe it in herself?

    You can be whatever you want to be. Live your dreams, and something-something-something in yourself
    You can be whatever you want to be. Live your dreams, and something-something-something in yourself
  82. How do I teach her to learn to live with her flaws and mistakes?
  83. How do I teach her that no matter what she does, both myself and Sarah will always love her?
  84. How do I explain to her that she will find love and happiness with the perfect person, and that person will love her no matter what, and treat her with absolute respect?
  85. How do I cope with discipline?
  86. Am I being too strict when she’s badly behaved?
  87. Am I not being strict enough?

    "Now the photographer wants you to hold the classic 'traumatised child' pose with you all bunched up with your face hidden in your knees, and by God, you shall DO THIS or I will beltwhip you into the next dimension!"
    “Now the photographer wants you to hold the classic ‘traumatised child’ pose with you all bunched up with your face hidden in your knees, and by God, you shall DO THIS or I will beltwhip you into the next dimension!”
  88. How do I teach her to be a compassionate person, who recognises the issues caused by privilege, and who challenges bigotry and discrimination whenever she sees it?
  89. Am I turning her into a kind, thoughtful, considerate, confident person with good self-esteem?
  90. Am I turning her into a shy, worried, cautious, over-sensitive, under-confident person?
  91. Am I turning her into an arrogant little prick?
  92. Am I doing the right thing, right now?
  93. What if I’m not doing enough for her?
  94. What if I’m not earning enough to support her?
  95. What if I’m not saving up enough for her to go off to university?
  96. What if something happens to me?
  97. What if I embarrass her in public?
  98. What if I let her down?
  99. What if I turn my back, take my eyes off her for just one second, turn back, and she’s gone, and I was unable to save her?
  100. What if Alice reads this blog when she’s older and is really, terminally embarrassed about what I’ve written, and ends up hating me for it?
"DAD?? What the actual FUCK??"
“What the actual FUCK??”

Oh crap.

 

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