Becoming a parent

My wife is pregnant. It is our first child.

Of course, it wasn’t 100% official until it was Facebook Official©, but once my wife posted the “Totes Pregz.” status update, we exploded the internet.

The reaction on Facebook was a bit overwhelming. Apparently, aside from sapping my wife’s energy, blood supply and ability to eat soft cheeses, my child has the ability to make otherwise sane people travel to a world of “happiness tears,” buttercups and rainbows.

No booze, sushi or cheese? This kid better poop diamonds…

The messages of congratulations and ‘likes’ would have been countless if Facebook didn’t do the counting for us. And yet within an hour, the topic of conversation had moved away from ‘congratulations’ and onto a much more serious discussion: My child and sport.

My brother was the catalyst. A first-time uncle, he immediately vowed to buy my child their first Geelong Cats, Liverpool FC and Chicago Bulls jerseys. My cousin replied that buying a child a Liverpool FC jersey is tantamount to child abuse. I replied that, whatever about AFL and EPL, I would be unashamedly brainwashing my child to support the Boston Celtics.

Step One: Cut umbilical cord. Step Two: Tattoo baby. Step Three: Shave baby’s surprisingly hairy forearms.

The next day, my father-in-law heard about my brother’s vow. Not happening, he said. His grandchild would follow Hawthorn Football Club. I’m paraphrasing, but the basic gist was: “Hawthorn. End of story. Negotiations will not be entered into if you ever want us to babysit.”

Yeah… we might want that.

Clearly, I move in circles where the priorities for a new baby are, in order:

1. Health.
2. Support for (insert team name).
3. Happiness.

As we’ve said before, sport is actually a really healthy habit to get into, and I hope I’m able to raise my child with a well-rounded approach to sport. Not obsessive… healthy.

As such, I’ve made preliminary inquiries at the local golf club. The receptionist thought I was a bit strange signing my child up as a member, particularly when I couldn’t give them a date of birth since it hasn’t happened yet.

But if my child will be raised in a basketball/netball obsessed household in an AFL-mad city.. why golf? Well it’s quite simple really – golf is a game that ensures fresh air, a long career and minimises the risk of major injury.

Also… and I cannot stress this enough… it’s because golf gives my child the best chance of making the most money as soon as possible so his/her Dad can retire at 45 and play PlayStation and eat nachos all day long.

Living. The. Dream.

AFL, soccer and basketball all require a male child to make the kind of money I’d need to cover food, living expenses and the inevitably huge medical bills that will come with my dream lifestyle.

To guarantee success whether we have a son or daughter, and to reach the aforementioned ‘parental retirement’ levels of money as soon as humanly possible, we’re left with golf and tennis. With Tennis Australia in a shambles at the moment, I’m putting my chips on Golf. The plan is to get my child swinging a golf club as early as humanly possible (before the umbilical cord is cut if I can manage).

You think this is a game!? Wipe that smile off your face!

Then I will spend their early years convincing my child that although Mum and Dad’s love is unconditional and unending, everyone else will dislike them unless they play golf very well. It’s a subtle and gentle approach, and although I haven’t done any research whatsoever, I’m pretty sure it’s backed by academics and child psychologists.

So when my Celtics-mad golf-prodigy child hits 15 and turns pro,  I will work hard to ensure that he/she secures as many lucrative endorsement deals as possible. Breweries, sports betting agencies and fast food outlets will pay big bucks for a clean-cut golfing prodigy to be their spokesperson. A tumultuous relationship with a film star/starlet will help boost my child’s profile outside of sport, and is a pretty safe option since teenage film stars are all pretty upstanding citizens.

The natural career arc of the child star.

Some decent results on the professional tour and a couple of endorsement deals later, and I will fulfill my lifelong dream of living vicariously through my child and financially off their success. And, as usual, sport will have made everything better. My child will be rich, successful and contractually tied to heartless corporations for the rest of his/her life.

Fortunately, I won’t have to deal with all of that. I’ll just shamelessly mooch off their fame and fortune until I can top the Global Online FIFA Leaderboard.

I’m looking forward to being a parent.


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