Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A question of children

I had an interview today.  It went quite well thank you.  Why is it that you always come out of an interview feeling like you must have sounded like a complete idiot, as though you have been answering the questions in Hebrew, whilst standing on your head and juggling with your feet.  Or is it just me?  And anyway, if I had done all of those things I think they should just give me the job, who else do you know that can speak Hebrew and juggle with their feet?

All of this interview stuff got me thinking, unfortunately none of it was fit to publish as a blog post so I did what I always do in tight corners and asked my wife what I should write about.  That, by the way, is not the best question to ask when the tight corner you are in is surrounded by panthers. So here we are, with a simple question to answer.  What would you ask if you were interviewing prospective parents?

1)  Can you give me an example of a time when you survived for a number of months on less than four hours a sleep a night whilst performing the most complex, stressful and important task of your life? Please note that you will be required to answer this question whilst we play the sound of a baby crying with the volume going up at regular intervals.
This is really the crucial question.  Probably the only one that you need to ask.  I can’t count the number of times my wife and I asked each other, in the first few months of being parents, why no one ever explained exactly how hard it was.  The only answer of course is that you can’t explain it, there are just no words to adequately encompass the sheer mind numbing lack of sleep that you endure as a new parent.  At least in our experience. 

Just one follow up question to this:
1c) Why would you willingly put yourself through this more than once?

2) Did you plan to have any sort of life once you have had your child?
Any answer to this question which is not negative will be met with uproarious laughter.  My wife and I were, again, completely in the dark about this.  Obviously having a child changes your life, but where does all the time go?  How can one miniature person fill up 24 hours in a day?  We haven’t had an evening together without the child since she was born 18 months ago.  Now for us this was not a major upheaval, we weren’t out that often as it was, but even so, 18 months is a long time to wait to find normality.

3) How do you feel about nothing in your house ever being:
    A) where you want it
    B) undamaged?
There are, unfortunately, no other options here.  You  will either have to put everything out of reach, and this can be anything between 6-8 feet off the floor, or just accept that it looks better in twenty pieces scattered across the lounge floor anyway.  Seriously though, how is it that my daughter, who can’t be more than three feet tall is able to find and bring me things from the lounge that I can barely get to?  I’ve never seen it, but I’m pretty sure she must have Go-Go-Gadget-Arms.


4)Will you forget any and all of this whenever your child wants a hug?
Because no matter how hard it gets or how little sleep you have had, if your child wants a cuddle all those things just get swept away.

What would you ask?


  1. Love this post.

    My son just turned 21 months and we are trying to maintain some semblance of a life. That's why I started my blog, to vent about that. I wrote a post once about people that get help from family - we don't get that help, which is tough, but those people are barely even real parents! ;)

    1. We didn't get any help from our family either, mainly because we don't have any! I reckon there are pros and cons, like with most things, at least you don't have family telling you you're doing it all wrong!! :)

    2. We did have a lot of help, and are very grateful for it. I probably wouldn't be able to laugh so much about it if we'd had to do it all by ourselves!

    3. Every parent faces different circumstances. The post I referenced was tongue-in-cheek; I realize that my whining would mean nothing to a couple with more than one kid, or with two working parents, etc.

      But it's fun - and vital - to vent. Blogs are a good place for it. You can find a lot of allies in the War on Children! I mean, in parenting.

    4. Yeah, I'm not complaining either. I do regret that our children never had Aunts, Uncles or Grandparents, I think they missed out. However, we received a lot of help (and welcome advice) from friends and pseudo family!

  2. My youngest had the ability to sleep anywhere so, as soon as he was mobile we often lost HIM!!! He might be under the bed at the back or under the table with his legs and feet vertically up the wall or on a stair! His brother was a bit of a nightmare too, I once left him safely secured in his highchair (or so I thought), whilst I popped into the kitchen to get a cloth to wipe his mouth. I don't recall this taking more than just a few seconds but when I came back, he was gone!! I peered under the table, up the stairs in case he'd managed to slip past me on my way from the kitchen to the dining room, behind the sofa, etc. When I stood in the middle of the room trying to imagine where he might be, I noticed him at the top of the slide in the garden - obvious really. He wasn't even walking at this stage, he'd crawled out of his high chair and onto the floor, out of the dining room door into the garden and up the steps of the slide. I dashed out in time to catch him at the bottom. No wonder I have grey hair!

  3. Looking forward to all this... I think :)

    1. Hopefully question 4 will show that it is all worth it, although you sometimes have to look very hard for the worth it bits.

    2. Ha ha! I don't think Matt's exaggerating either!