Until January last year, I was just another guy in his thirties living in London – it was an absolute breeze, a really excellent, no-worries, alcohol-fuelled breeze. Then I had a baby (or, to be more specific, my wife did while I watched) and the wind changed – I realised that bringing up a child in London actually makes you worry about lots of things. Here are just a few of them.
Can we honestly afford to live here?
Every time you step out through your front door in London, it’s like subjecting your pockets to a million little hands all grasping for money. Between ridiculous things like food and travel, sometimes I find I’ve burnt through a £20 note before I’ve even reached the end of the street. And you know what else costs money? Kids. The numbers just don’t add up.
Will he get bullied by a kid called Noah?
Being bullied is always horrible, but in the old days at least the daily rigmarole was doled out by dreadful kids with tough names like Dean or Barry. But getting a kicking from a lad called Noah? I don’t know if you can ever bounce back from that.
Are we just showing him loads of things he’ll never have?
If you stand still in the middle of a London street for more than 30 seconds, all of the houses in your eye line will have gone up by five grand. Are we setting our little cherub up for massive disappointment when he realises he’ll have to live in a wheelbarrow by some bins when he moves out?
What if we lose him on the Underground?
We’ve all got off the tube at the wrong stop, and watched as our pals point and laugh from inside the closed carriage. Telepathically we know to get on the next train and to meet them wherever we were heading. Babies generally aren’t intelligent enough to know this standard response, so he’ll probably change at Warren Street and jump on the Northern line, the idiot.
What if he finds out about Hamleys?
It’s fine at the moment – I can throw the boy into an empty room with one chewed teddy bear and a plastic rolling pin in it and he’ll react like I’ve just taken him to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. But one look at Hamleys and he’ll be addicted to the amazing, colourful, expensive wonders within, at which point he’ll turn into a shivering, knee-hugging ball shouting ‘I hate you!’ at me until I’m dead.
Other things I worry about:
He might inadvertently call me ‘bruv’ one day by accident.
He’ll use my shed as a micro-brewery.
He’ll never be able to drive a car.
He’ll want to go to university and we haven’t got any money.
He’ll want to go on holiday and we haven’t got any money.
He’ll want some money and we haven’t got any money.
He’ll make friends with some kids who are ‘scoping’ our house.
He’ll never know what a cow looks like.
He’ll join a street dance collective and change his name to Neo.