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Old 6th April 2010, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Seven lessons from my firstborn

Seven lessons from my firstborn



by Colin Goh


Yesterday marked exactly one year to the day that Yakuza Baby burst bloodily into our lives. (For readers new to this column, she did so while the Wife and I were watching a Japanese gangster movie, hence her nickname.)

So I can't help being in a reflective mood. Meaning, if you look at me, I'll just stare back at you, glassy-eyed, because I'm so, so tired.

When my friends who are also parents see me in my zombified state, they always tell me, 'Being a parent is tough, but it's worth it in the end'. And I always smile politely, and can't bring myself to tell them that I've never understood what that means.

Worth what? As opposed to what? And when will the end happen so I can make that evaluation? Perhaps in that parallel universe where I didn't become a father, my career soared, or I struck the lottery, or a radioactive spider bit me and I gained super powers.

Or maybe tomorrow I'll get hit by a car, and my memories of my daughter will only be a blur of dirty diapers interspersed with the occasional sweet smile.

Or maybe I'll be hit by the car only 16 years from now, and she's the one driving it. I mean, who knows? It might be so for you, but can you guarantee the same for me? I think it serves no purpose to find solace in some unknowable future. Rather, I choose to find meaning in the present.

I really can't say that fatherhood so far has been a nonstop pleasure cruise. But at the very least, it's been educational, and for us whose lives have had ups and downs, that'll do just fine.

In honour of this anniversary, I thought I'd share some of the greatest lessons I've learnt thus far from being a father.

1. Yes, you can.

You can do many things you never thought possible. Like raise a child without a maid, the help of family, a lot of money or sufficient sleep. Or write a column with one finger, while you hoist a child with your other arm.

It's not ideal or even recommended, but we all try to do whatever we have to.

2. No, you don't.

You really don't need as much of whatever you're used to. Money, cool tech gadgets, broadband, new clothes, reading, watching movies, or eating at restaurants. It's nice knowing you can survive without the frills, though it would be nicer if that void wasn't filled with constantly trying to block baby from sticking forks in electrical outlets.

3. Opponents of evolution as well as intelligent design both have a point.

If there was really a supremely intelligent designer, or if humans evolved perfectly according to their needs, then we really should have a third arm, a prehensile tail, and a third eye in the back of our heads to be able to take care of our babies properly.

4. Life gets better when you downgrade your ambitions.

I used to be one of these kancheong types, who wanted to achieve this and that by the time I was so many years of age, etc. Now, I'm happy if I just manage to do the laundry on any given day. If I manage also to fold it and put it away that same day, I'm overjoyed.

5. Kids don't really need expensive toys.

Every time I've bought a toy for Yakuza Baby, she's been more interested in the wrapper or box it came in. Her favourite plaything of all time has been a half-filled bottle of mineral water.

Nowadays, I give her empty tissue cartons, and she hasn't complained. (I often wonder if later on, she'll seek therapy for having grown up under such a cheapskate dad.)

6. Environmental protection agencies all over the world should recruit babies.

Because if there's anything filthy, smelly and dangerous around, no matter how well they're hidden, babies will find them.

7. You know you'll do anything.

For this little thing, you'll gladly throw yourself in front of a bus, sacrifice your career, swim through a river of piranhas - whether or not it's 'worth it' in the end. It's so strange to be so certain of something that makes no sense whatsoever.

'Wow,' said the Wife when I showed her this list. 'So now that you're armed with such profound knowledge... I guess we might need to have another one so you can apply it.'

'Absolutely not,' I held up my hands. 'Much as I love Yakuza Baby, I've learnt my lesson.'

More than seven, to be frank.

Source: http://www.divaasia.com/article/8383

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Old 6th April 2010, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Seven lessons from my firstborn

hilarious and insightful article indeed, tks for sharing

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Old 6th April 2010, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Seven lessons from my firstborn

Sometimes, the parents can learn from the young.

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Old 6th April 2010, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Seven lessons from my firstborn

hahahahahaha cute

but point 5 is like me playing with my gerbils xD

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