Message in a bottle

January 2007

Dear Dave,

I hope this letter finds you in good health. Actually, I just hope this letter finds you. ‘Dave, The-dad-who-stays-at-home, Leeds’ doesn’t give the postie much to go on. Still, it’s worth a shot. I’m guessing you’re in Leeds because everyone I know in the entire country has heard of you, so you must live somewhere fairly central. As for your name, well, since most guys I ever meet are called Dave, it’s a fair bet. Then again, the fact that I haven’t met you might throw the statistics and I… Oh, never mind, I’m wittering on like a man who was up half the night being vomited on by a two-year-old.

Which brings me to my point.

Seeing as we’ve never met, maybe I’d better explain who I am. I’m the other one. Yes, the other housedad! I thought we should get a bit of a correspondence going to share our experiences because it’s a mum’s world we live in and no one really seems to understand. For instance, whenever I explain that I’m a housedad, people look confused and then remember that, in this politically correct age, every individual has an equal right to an outlandish and deviant lifestyle. They stop looking confused, they laugh nervously and then they affirm me. They tell me that housedads are quite common these days. After all, their mother’s hairdresser’s acquaintance’s nephew stays home and looks after his children.

I smile and nod. “Yes, we’re all over the place,” I say. Then I go home and phone my aunt and tell her to stop gossiping to random hairdressers about me and the kids.

Of course, it’s not always me they’re talking about – sometimes they’re talking about you – but I’m pretty sure there are only the two of us. We need to stick together. I’m fed up of just discussing babies at parent and toddler group. I want more. I want to share some meaningful insights on fatherhood, football and Top Gear. At the very least, I want to discuss PlayStations as well as poo (or, indeed, Pooh).

Please write back if you are able. If you’re too busy searching the house for wooden bricks in an assortment of colours, then I quite understand. We have a tub that claims it contained a hundred when we bought it. At the last count there were twenty-three and the others aren’t in the washing-machine. Where do they go?

Yours in a woman’s world,


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