Square Mile Magazine

House Husband

You've done it! Early retirement, stacks of cash and plenty of golf to look forward to. But what's this? Your wife wants to go back to work. "But honey," you beg her. "There really is no need. We're set up for life." "I want to do it," she replies, "for ME. You can look after Alan in the day. You'll find his nappies in the drawer."

After two decades of sickeningly early starts, you're exhausted. "Can't we get a nanny?" you plead. "No nannies," she replies. "They might shake Alan to death. Or you might run off with one of them. Anyway, I want him brought up to be like us. Can you give me a lift to the station?"

All the plans you had: lying in, lying around, a bottle of wine over lunch, daytime nooky, taking your son to the park with your wife - all out of the window. "Is it OK to take babies into Bookies?" you enquire. "No Bookies. He's too young. You'll get him hooked before he can speak."

And with that the door slams, leaving the two of you staring at each other. Alan threatens a smile, then bawls his head almost clean off. He won't shut up, even though you're asking nicely. You pick him up, cuddle him, rock him, dangle him out of the window, but to no avail. Suddenly a moment of inspiration: "I know!" you say, and dash into the junk room, returning seconds later wearing a woman's wig. "This way he'll think I'm his mum!" The screaming intensifies. "Would Ally-Wally like a walky-walk?" Five minutes later he's strapped in and you're off, haring it round Hackney like a nutbag, talking all the while, "look at that old lady, see how the hair grows from her chin…look at that man - he's a drug dealer." Half an hour later, in the park, and Alan has dozed off. You, exhausted, sit on a swing and doze off yourself. Suddenly you wake. You're lying on your back, staring at the ceiling. "Where am I?" you ask. "Oh my God, WHERE'S ALAN??" Panicked, you sit bolt upright. "Oh," you say, breathing a sigh of relief. "It was all a dream!"

© copyright 2008 Saul Wordsworth
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