How grown up are you by Ian Waite

How do you measure if you are grown up or not?

[advert:mpu]Like all men, I have on many occasions been accused of being immature. Rather than feel like this is an insult I can’t help but quietly revel in still feeling there might be a link between my current world and that of my youth. Having two young children makes me feel very grown up as (like all parents) I feel very responsible and very purposeful in all the things I do. On the other hand sitting around in the company of four-year olds, watching Shrek and laughing at fart jokes would not be considered by many as adult behaviour.

However as a father I feel it is my duty to both educate and entertain my children. If this means I have to give up watching highbrow films and witty post dinner satirical debate, then so be it. I am willing to stuff my face with pizza and ‘waste’ hours of my weekend running around a ‘jungle gym’ if it helps just slightly with the development of my children. As you may have guessed this isn’t exactly the greatest sacrifice anyone has had to make in life. I have a sneaking suspicion that like me many Dads in fact feel being a father is the biggest blag they ever managed. After years of pretending to be sophisticated, deep-thinking theatre-going twits, (just in the hope of landing a girlfriend I might add) we can finally relax and be ourselves i.e. immature, ice-cream guzzling twits.

We have been given a ‘free pass’ to behaving how we really want. People looking at you funny because you are up a tree doing a monkey impression? A few years ago perhaps. But apparently if your child is there, trying to knock you out of the branches with a Frisbee then it is perfectly acceptable. For god sake don’t admit to anyone that deep down you have been fighting the urge to climb that tree for the last 10 years but didn’t in case your girlfriend thought you were immature.

We have a height chart at home to measure my eldest son’s growth. For my partner it is to reassure us of the fact that he is receiving a good balanced diet and developing properly. Secretly I, on the other hand, have an ulterior motive for keeping an eye on his progress. For as soon as he hits 1 metre 40 we are off to Alton Towers (I’m too scared to go on all the big boy rides that have height restrictions without someone to hold my hand).

If you are one of the few fathers who still fights the immature man inside, who still pretends to himself that ‘Private eye’ is funnier than the ‘Beano’, who believes that Opera is more life affirming than Panto - I have one thing to say to you…..grow up!!

You’re not fooling anyone, not yourself, not your kids and certainly not your partner (she was never fooled in the first place). Anyway if you don’t change your ways ’'ll come round and give you a chinese burn.

So raise a glass of ‘Umungo’ to your kids who have finally ended your years of being a charlatan. Cancel that wine tasting holiday in Bordeaux and book a trip to Disneyworld instead. You and I know you will enjoy it more anyway - who are you trying to kid?



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