It’s a father’s job, right? Wrong.

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There are certain things that only a dad can do for his son. Buying him his first razor, teaching him how to shave, driving him to the nearest hospital with a blood bank and so on.

Of course, little Alex is some way off those days. Although that doesn’t stop him experimenting with my shaving foam if it’s not strategically placed out of his reach. He is growing up quickly though and indeed, he starts playschool on Thursday. It was this momentous occasion that tempted me into an extravagant, yet important purchase this lunchtime: A Winnie the Pooh backpack. Too cute.

The boy loves Winnie and since Disney took over the rights to his image (the bear, not my son) and americanized it, there’s no shortage of Pooh-related merchandise out there for parents to waste money on. Yes, it’s horribly commercial, but worth every penny when you see the look on his face (my son, not the bear). And I do draw the line somewhere safely on the sensible side of large purple dinosaurs.

The backpack is great. I brought it home this evening, beautifully wrapped in a plastic carrier bag and presented it to Alex in the living room. He tore it open impatiently, desperate to get a better view of the smiling ursine visage within. 
Winnie may have been grinning inanely, Alex may have been giggling gleefully, but his mum’s face was a picture. A watercolour of rage. Rage, disappointment and a touch more rage. And then a little more disappointment on a sideplate. Would you like fries with that?
Hell hath no fury like a woman mother scorned.
Somewhere just next to my left ear, a little voice whispered, “Oops. You just broke another one of those unwritten parenting laws, didn’t you?” I glanced down to see who it was doing the whispering, just in time to see a fluffy little bunny wabbit blasted from my shoulder by my wife’s laser eyes. I swear I heard it let out a fluffy little bunny wabbit scream.

It has left an unsightly burn mark on my t-shirt.

Alex likes the backpack, although it irritates him that he can’t see Winnie and friends when he has it on. Also, by the time it’s got everything he needs for playschool in there, he won’t be able to lift it either. But these are mere details.

The fluffy little bunny wabbit was correct. If you’re a dad, you must stick to the birds and bees, football and shaving. Son’s first backpack falls strictly under the heading of maternal duties.
Fathers across the world, you have been warned.

13 thoughts on “It’s a father’s job, right? Wrong.

  1. You know, 6k, although reading about your fatherhood stint today, you should have automatically known your wife wanted the honour.

    What’s wrong with you men, its not that hard to read our minds!


  2. Beautiful. Just imagine all the years ahead where you get to learn more things like this!

    You know she’s probably over it already and knows what you did was a lovely thing, despite wanting to do it herself.

    I don’t know how you restrained yourself to just the backpack though, there are so many darn gorgeous winnie the pooh items out there now, especially all the eeyore stuff.

  3. Hah! Treading on a woman’s domain is indeed an indication of callous disregard for your wife’s position as caregiver and ‘cute-things purchaser’;)

    Here in the ol’ Eastern Cape some schools opened yesterday, and I will admit: I would much rather be buying Winnie-the-Pooh merchandise than fork out R3000 for an entire school uniform, stationery and of course the book levies. My daugher is 8 and wears a sz 1 shoe! Last year she started at sz 11, then 12, then 13, and now this year begins at 1 again.

    Let us not forget horse-riding lessons, ballet, choir and karate. It’s going to be a busy, expensive year.

    May it also be a wonderful, exciting, relatively stress-free one for you.

  4. Terrific opening line. Thanks for letting me know this. Now I’ll just have to remember it for the next ten years or so. I do have to wonder if this is a universal, cross-cultural thing… otherwise, I have to learn a whole new set of rules.

  5. You never saw that bus coming, did you? Maybe next time you’ll check with the conductor!

    Koosh: “she’s probably over it already…”. Doubtful. She’s female and never forgets. “Hell hath no fury like a woman mother scorned.”

    On the brighter side, Josh loves Pooh bear too. Along with Elmo and Hi-5!

  6. indeed anything involving clothing or accoutrements sits firmly within the female camp. globus sticks to buying his 2-yr old tractors, toy work tools, playstation 3’s, new cds and complicated war play sets. mrs globus clings doggedly to the reins of power over what he wears and looks like.

  7. She-bee – I have given up trying the read women’s minds. I can never get past the shoe section.

    Koosh – She gets to buy the lunchbox. She made the abundantly clear. I still have the bruises to prove it.

    Kelly – Kids, eh? Not cheap. I can hardly wait til Alex starts ballet classes.

    Matt – Hey – this is women we’re talking about. There are no rules. What applies to me will almost certainly not apply to you. Except on Tuesdays. Possibly.

    Delboy – I’ll be more careful next time. Hi-5?!?

    Globus – Good idea. I think Alex needs a PS3. Thanks.

  8. Hehe, since it hasn’t killed you, it has obviously made you stronger. Gonna venture into anymore territory that you shouldn’t as a father? Pray do tell, preferably in advance 😉 So we can get popcorn, drinks and deckchairs ready and all *efg*

  9. Don’t count your chickens on it not being long before you need to touch your son about the neccesities of life – ie shaving et al. Those days will come so quickly you will wonder where the hell all the years went, and what the hell happened!!! Take it from one whose son is now 13, it’s a very very scary thing!

    Loved the thought of your wife getting annoyed about the fact that you had bought Alex his first backpack! There are some things that only a mum is allowed to do and that is definately one of them (especially when it is something as girly as Winnie the Pooh for gawds sake) – you’re a blokey – it should have been something like the Simpsons at the very least!!! (only joking, btw, before the PC brigade get at me!) Josh’s personal favourite at that age was Thomas the Tank Engine – slightly more masculine that Winnie I have to say!!)

    You do of course realize that you are also forbidden from buying his first lunch box, first school bag, first school uniform (although after the first it becomes a chore and you have to at least offer to do it!), first hair gel and finally (and this is very important) his first can of deodrant (preferably something like Lynx because then that will prove that mum at least knows what kind of thing teenage boys like (when really, the only reason we insist on it is because we don’t want our homes smelling like um well, like teenage boys really!) Oh, you have all of this to look forward to! he he

  10. Mel – My god. Now I’m scared.

    Mel 2 – Thanks for the clarification. (Alex was especially happy that you made this clear to me)

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