But, every father would also encounter the inevitable - all of us would one day come home a little bit late just in time to put our children to bed, or not even enough time for that.
For me, I've experienced this several time since fatherhood. It's definitely not the greatest feeling in the world. The feeling is especially worst when I see my daughter alone at her nursery (her mother is never at fault for this).
To make matters worst, when I come home late, hungry and tired, I get a little annoyed by everything. I become an instant jackass. Jackass in a cup. A pack of jackass. Jackass and the beanstalk. Jackass and Jill went up the hill...(I can go on for days).
I've never had a good reason to become a jackass. I just am. It happens when I'm tired. It happens when I'm hungry. It happens when I don't get what I want. Sometimes it can even happen when my football team loses. It just happen.
When it happens, then and there, I know I'm a jackass. Any effort trying to control it would be to no avail. I end up blaming everything that moves. My wife gets the brunt of it and I would feel sorry in the end (I'd apologise). But how I wish I can skip the temper tantrum. But it's not like I break stuff, hit my wife or scream at her or anything.
My reaction is psychological. I give her the silent treatment. I do house chores just so that I can start comparing efforts after doing it. I say things that I don't even understand (thanks to law school). I do the shunning. Yes, the shunning.
How I wish I can control myself but I can't. I can, but somehow when it happens, I don't want to. To this I say, sorry wifey, it was't me. It was some crazy guy who comes home every now and then, looking like me, talking like me, but really isn't me, me. You know, it was crazy me. You've met him.
Ignore him for he is crazy. Just as you see that crazy Ramli Sarip look-alike under the flyover in front of the school, ignore me as you do him. Much like you ignore politics, ignore me. You know how the US is trying to stop other countries from being more developed than they are and how most of us wish that our leaders ignore the US and their egotistical ways, yeah do that, ignore. I'll come back to life in like an hour or two, in the meantime, you can always use the internet to search for things on ebay. Remember, ignore me, search ebay.
The plan was clear since day one. I really wanted to be one and after a brief period of uncertainty and doubt, the news crept in my dubious mind like a divine revelation. Looking back at to that fateful day I couldn’t have reacted better – a gleeful smile is probably the most appropriate. Of course jumping wasn’t an option in a room full of people.
Looking back, should I have doubted myself? Who said I can’t possibly have a child at such a young age? Who said I can’t possibly take care of a young family? Who said things would be hard and somehow I would regret things later? No one did. These were just doubts. After hearing the news, I was happy. No more doubt. Hungry though, had a light lunch.
9 months after that revelation, the same unwelcomed questions came to mind the moment I carried her. Why am I doubting myself? It has already been done. I can’t turn back time. She’s there. She’s not going anywhere without me. She’s next to my darling wife. It took a lot of my wife’s energy bringing her out to the world. She already looks so cozy next to her mother. She’s so cute, must take it from me.
I know being a father has its ups and downs. Being a father is not exactly the problem though, being a young man with a big responsibility is. People sometimes do not believe that we are capable of having a child to raise on our own. But the element of surprise has never deterred people from watching sports before. Why it should it deter me and my wife from being independent parents? Why am I comparing sports with my daughter?
I’m new to this world and so is my child. Sure we’re not in the same bracket when it comes to being “new”, but both of us need each other – she needs me to take care of her, I need her for encouragement. I just started this thing called a “career”; I don’t earn that much and I live in a city that struggles as much as I do to take away my money – of course I struggle to earn it – how am I going to afford this? Hmm maybe I’ll splurge on new clothing this month, I can always start saving next month.
Can’t believe 11 months has passed without me and my wife having any trouble taking care of our daughter’s needs and at the same time our own needs. Of course I’m not saying no trouble at all, but financially, physically, mentally, we are still damn fit. Thank Allah my wife is down to earth cool. Sure we want the best for our daughter. We buy her products of the highest quality and the best brands! She’s our first child! Even if it is second hand items. We know where we stand in reality. We can’t afford the best, we buy the best second hand.
It’s great having a daughter. Look at her, so cute and adorable. Which human being wouldn’t want one? 11 months have passed by so quickly. This little girl can’t even carry her head up just 11 months ago. Now she’s carrying sardine cans for fun (then dropping it on her toes and crying her lungs out). I must say, I sure have got the best of the bunch. Smart, cute, obedient, active but at the same time well behaved. Can’t ask for a better child – wouldn’t all parents say the same thing?
I know I haven’t been the best of husband, the best of son or the best of friend, but I sure do make a good father. That’s only because I have the best daughter. Here’s looking forward to another 100 years of being a father to Nur Alya Sofeah - if we survive that long. Happy 1st birthday my daughter! (of course her birthday is not until the 30th of October but I’m way too excited)