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Parenting: Level 1 Complete

I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s a rip in the space-time continuum. There must be, because in less than two-weeks our little man, who I SWEAR we only brought home from hospital a month ago, will turn one. This is simply not possible. As far as I know I didn’t spend any of 2013 in a coma (or maybe I did? Perhaps that’s the beauty of a coma?), so therefore there must be some Time-cop or Skynet shit going on… and you’re all in on it, aren’t you?


Sadly for me, there isn’t, and no, you’re not.

While I struggle to accept my arrival into middle-age and reconcile my obvious inability to count to 365, life will go on and our son will unavoidably turn one.

Not the big one, but the Big 1.

This is a big deal, I know this because my house is littered with pamphlets and books telling me it is a big deal and explaining exactly what our darling son should be doing at this stage of his development. Rather than compete with the Milestone Mums however I am more than happy to let him do his own thing in his own time, which at the moment seems to be standing, chewing, drooling and pooing, simultaneously, which seems about right.

Turning one also means all kinds of important things, like more needles (yes people, we vaccinate, we’re responsible, deal with THAT), and being halfway to having to buy a seat on a plane, but most critically it seems it’s time to plan a party.

Yes, a party.

Now, I’m a modest guy, but in the past this kinda stuff fell right into my wheelhouse: A hundred snags from Safeway; three bags of nacho cheese Doritos; goon bags in the hanging plant baskets; Kenny Loggins on repeat; and as much beer as a student allowance payment could buy. Boom, instant paaaartaaaaaaaay!

But apparently this is supposed to be less of a “WOOOHOOOO PAAAAARRTAAAYYYYY” and more of a “It’s 5 o’clock, time to go home” kinda party. Yes the times they are a-changin.

That’s cool, I’m flexible, I can dig it, but where does one begin when planning a party for a person who has absolutely no idea what’s going on? For inspiration I chuck on one of my all-time party favourites and get to work.

Four minutes later I’m no closer to planning the party, but I am ready to hit the closest over-35s happy hour.

I call in the reinforcements, and as usual, Mrs Working Dad is taking this much more seriously than I am. No classic funk rock for her, no, it’s all business.

Many many hours, three excel spreadsheets and five versions of the divorce papers later, we’ve landed on it. We’re not really throwing a party for the Lad, we’re throwing it for us! To congratulate ourselves on 12 months of fatality-free parenting! That’s right, I’ve lasted one full year without being killed by my wife (today was perhaps the closest call) – and if anything deserves to be celebrated then this is it!

Sure, people will come to see the little man, our friends with babies will all plonk their little ones in the baby circle, we’ll take some pictures, sing Happy Birthday and blow out a candle before he can put it in his mouth, and then we’ll get back to the real celebration – that I’ve survived a year of fatherhood and am not dead.

So open the gates, let the drinks flow, and get around the Lad, for he is turning ONE and we shall all rejoice the fact he and I have made it this far together, and are both still in one piece.