I turn thirty five next year so I suppose in outward appearance I do very much resemble that of a grown up. I have hair springing from places I wasn’t aware hair could grow like the inch thick big black pube I found growing on my outer ear a few days ago. How long it had been there and at what point my body felt the need to sprout this unnecessary hair hero, is beyond me.
Did that particular pin prick of skin get really cold one day and decided to fight fire with fire? Who knows.
Another thing I have noticed recently is my skin’s elasticity isn’t quite as boingy these days, and you only notice this when it’s fucked. Deep red lines like to stay on my face for some time if I’ve been laughing quite a lot, and more realistically for me, when say I frown because I’m concentrating (all my writing I do is with my brow furrowed) I walk about the rest of the say looking like I’m searching for my next innocent victim to brutally murder.
Then of course there is the true testament of being a grown up and not just a kid with a beard and that is grey hairs. Now I have a strange relationship with my hair greying/whitening in that I obviously don’t fucking like it, but it seems to like me. So much in fact that two years ago I had a bright white strip of old man hair in my beard which then decided, ‘well we shit him up there fellas, come on, let’s give the guy a break…for now,’ and turned back beard colour.
What the actual fuck?
I was always under the impression that if your hair lost its colour then that’s it, goodnight Vienna, but no not mine. They’re dicks which like to play tricks on me for shits and giggles. Yes I’ve a few strands of greys at my temple and a small patch of whites at the back of my head in a clump which resembles a bird shitting on me, but hey these are all the things which mean I can get served for beer without showing any ID right?
Outwardly I am very much a grown up, but I have a secret you see. In my head it feels like I’m getting away with something because I still feel fifteen years old. I am very much under the Peter Pan syndrome. Yeah sure, I can act grown up, but this is all it ever feels like it is, a big pretence. So much so that the last time I walked out of the supermarket with a pack of beers I actually said out loud to myself ‘got away with it again.’
I know. I’m in my mid-thirties and I feel like I’ve been granted this power to fool people into thinking I’m old enough to buy beer. It’s crazy and I’m sure I’m not alone. I blame not having a war to fight in or getting caned as a child by the teacher and then going home to face the belt buckle. Damn you society, going soft on us and raising men-children.
And this is exclusive to men.
Girls still turn into women because girls get pregnant and then have to fire another human being out of their pee-pee (see what I mean? Pee-pee? Really? I am a forever child). Yes, act of childbirth and then motherhood does change a woman’s perception on the world. Not only do they have this little person to care for and nurture but now they have to come to terms with the fact their other half is not and probably never will be ready to be a MAN. Yes he can rub your back and contribute to the household and stuff, but still he’ll sulk when you tell him he can’t play on his X-box because he has to do the dishes. And still he’ll give himself a mental high-five when he gets served for beer at the shop at thirty four…or is that just me?
Woman do grow up and leave us in their wake but we are also grownups and now have children of our own who will look to us for advice inspiration, and model their behaviour on ours.
I’m a single dad with two beautiful children.
Sophie is six going on twenty-five and shouts at me to stop being a slob, tells me that I need to start getting dinner on otherwise she won’t have time for a shower before she goes to bed, and chastises me when I’m being immature.
‘Dad grow up will you,’ is a phrase frequently heard when she wants to play on her tablet and I am covering the screen with my hand, tickling her face, or burping in her ear.
Then there is little Robin, my three year old who I am relying upon to carry the Radcliffe name into infinity. He is just leaving the baby phase in my eyes and has become self-aware which is not cute in the slightest because he will now question and then disagree with every decision I make on his behalf like what he is eating for breakfast or when it is time for bed.
One day my little man will grow up to be a man-child too (unless I send him off to war and whip him with my belt) and then he will understand completely that when I hide behind the living room door for twenty minutes waiting for him to come downstairs so that I can jump out at him and make him cry, it is not because I want to see the tears, it is because I am really just a child still myself masquerading as a grown up.
I’ll end these thoughts on a completely true story which happened to me today.
With no kids to get up for this morning I was looking forward to a bit of a lie in, so imagine my dismay when I was woken to a high pitch beeping at 6 am.
Had I set an alarm I’d forgotten about?
Was there a fire and that beeping was actually the fire alarm telling me to get the fuck up and out of the house?
No it was my phone, and as I opened my eyes and looked at the screen I saw that Tom really needed the toilet.
Now I have no friends called tom so I was interested, not just in who this person was but why they felt the need to tell me they really needed to go to the loo. Opening up my phone I was met with a picture of a grey cat holding it’s privates and withering about on the spot.
Was I still dreaming?
If so why was I dreaming of this, bit weird right?
On further investigation I discovered that no, I was not dreaming, and Tom was actually part of a game of some sort my daughter had downloaded on my phone and now really needed to go to the toilet as mentioned.
When I was six I played Mario and Sonic the hedgehog but now taking imaginary animals (because Sonic was in no way imaginary) to the toilet is what these crazy kid games are all about. To stop the phone beeping I was forced into the game where…sigh…at 6am on a Sunday morning I found myself watching Tom the cat stood up pissing into a toilet. Half way through he looked back over his shoulder and winked at me. Why this action needed to be incorporated I have no idea but we finished, I didn’t have to wipe anything which I’m thankful for, and then I dropped my phone and was planning a bit more sleep.
The little fucker was hungry now and it was up to me to feed it an array of different foods ranging from chicken roast to vanilla cheesecake, for breakfast.
So not only did I have to take this little shit to the toilet, I now had to feed it non-breakfasty food for breakfast. What is this teaching my children? That if you bug me for long enough and continuously beep then you will get whatever it is you please?
Anyway, horrified and now awake I’ve decided to get up for the day and make some breakfast myself…that chocolate fudge cake in the fridge needs eating, oh and I think I’ve some rocky road ice cream in the freezer. Result!
Oh god what does he want now? I’ve happened upon my very own digital life sapper while the kids are away.
It can fuck off if it thinks I’m dressing it. It’s a bloody cat!
Why are you looking at me!