12:00 AM, May 16, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 16, 2017

Figuring fatherhood


Quote of the day: If you're not spending a few minutes calculating how much you can sleep versus how much you want to sleep, you are not a parent of a small child. 

Being a dad is scary. And worrying. And it often keeps me up at night wondering if what I am doing is the right thing. 

Last week I went to my kid's school to pay for his re-admission. Apparently you need to keep reminding the school every year that your kid still studies there by throwing copious sums of money at them. 

Having depleted my Eid bonus well in advance, I was wondering if this was enough. Am I giving him the right kind of education? Will selling my kidney be enough? Will anyone be willing to buy my precious kidneys? Will I be able to eat jelly candy after that without complications? 

And then I look around to notice all the children suffering from nose rashes, from rubbing their noses on the phone or tablet screen too long. I see zombies, cute and little and completely imbalanced, tripping over themselves and any unnoticed solid representation of life. 

My son recently came up to me and asked to play Real Racing 3. Tough game, requiring careful throttle and brake adjustments to keep very cool cars in line. How can I say no? I was playing it myself. 

Half an hour later, the wife stepped in asking us both to turn off the devices and interact with real life. We asked for ten more minutes because both of us are trying to beat the time set by an annoyingly smug online player named iMaruf23. 

That's when I realised, I'm losing too many moments worrying. After all, the wife is right there to whip us back in line. Speaking of which, she did come back to imitate an angry bird that appeared ready to explode into shuriken feathers if we didn't turn off the electronics. 

We grumbled a lot after that. My son sat for a few seconds muttering about never being able to play, ever, never. It was a lot of drama. And it was hilarious. And I realised again that I was worrying too much all the time. 

I decided to schedule my worries to late night when he lies asleep while I toss and turn wondering how long it would take for science to develop tracking chips for children. 

How do I let him go out into the wild? And how do I programme the chip? Do I become a typical parent that suddenly forgets how to use technology and has to rely upon a grumpy teenager for tech support? Why is it morning already? Next day I fire up RealRAcing3 and showed my son what a racing line is. And why a Corvette ZR1 is a great car capable of beating Ferraris and Porsches. He in turn showed me how to draw a butt-monster. I think I'll survive this year. 

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