Fusspot? It’s called being a responsible, modern dad
Sound off: It is infinitely more difficult to raise a child today than it was when our parents were doing it
Comedian Jarlath Regan: What was classed as 'fussing' back in our parents' day is now known as 'the absolute minimum level of acceptable child care required by law'.
Amazingly, the hardest part of raising a toddler today is listening to the previous generation of parents tell you that you are “fussing” over the child. “Fussing” in this instance is a catch-all term for any steps you may take to prevent your child from breaking their neck or smashing their face in while attempting to walk down a set of steps.
If you’re a parent like me, you are someone who is quite keen on having a child with a fully functioning neck and unsmashed face. If you’re a parent like me, you are willing to monitor your child’s activity minute to minute to ensure that neither of these things happen. If you’re a parent like me, then you run the risk of being labelled a “fuss pot” by these tutting parents of the 1980s.
What our moms don’t realise is that it is infinitely more difficult to raise a child today than it was when they were doing it. What was classed as “fussing” back in their day is now known as “the absolute minimum level of acceptable child care required by law”.
It might be hard for single guys to see the upside of the new full-time nature of being a dad particularly when we think of the cakewalk of our fathers. Most of our dads never had to push a pram, change a nappy, play with or know the names of their children. Today’s dad is usually as sleep-deprived as the mom and rightly so.
You know you’ve reached a high level of sleep depravation when you find yourself driving by a hospital thinking, “Jesus, I wouldn’t mind a week in there.” The modern dad knows where his kid is at all times, owns one if not two baby monitors and lives in a ninja-like state of constant readiness while his child is toddling due to the knowledge that this kid may attempt to smash his face in at any moment. We do not subscribe to the 1980s mothers’ mantra, “You have to let them fall, you have to let them learn.”
Maybe that makes me a “fusspot” or maybe this will keep me out of my local accident and emergency room for a couple more years. Maybe.
Jarlath Regan is a comedian and host of the Irishman Abroad podcast. He performs at Vicar Street in Dublin on January 12th, 2018.