There’s a gut-wrenching moment in many women’s lives when they realise they’re not just parenting the kids, they’re parenting their partner too.
And the realisation can sting.
If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering “Am I the only adult in this house?!”, you just might have a man-child on your hands! Here’s the warning signs to look for.
Similarity 1: He makes it hard to leave the house
To those who say that leaving the house with a toddler is hard; we raise you leaving the house with a toddler AND a man-child. While you’re wrangling the toddler in a bitter fight to the end of her determined nudity, your man-child is probably not putting on a clean shirt and packing the nappy bag as requested. Instead, he’s sneaking away to finish a chapter on his Kindle/play Minecraft/tune his guitar/sit on the toilet/watch YouTube/hunt for the high school footy trophy he hasn’t seen since you moved in six years ago.
BONUS TIP: If you’re in a hurry, NEVER place the man-child and the actual child in a room together. Ignoring your panicked cries of “we should have left seven minutes ago!”, the man-child will launch an intense tickle fight on your shared mini human that will go on for 42 minutes. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Similarity 2: You have to fight him to go to bed
Just like his kiddy counterparts, nothing cramps a man-child’s style more than a bedtime imposed on him by the powers that be (ie YOU). Short of putting out, there’s not much you can do to convince him to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Especially if he’s in the middle of a movie, glued to his Playstation or mindlessly scrolling his Facebook.
Similarity 3: Bodily functions are a constant source of amusement
Oh, you thought farting and burping were big in the school-aged kid circuit? You’ve only uncovered the tip of the iceberg, honey. There’s a whole underground society of bodily function appreciation, and your man-child is the president. It’s not a question of will he fart under the covers and burp the alphabet after a few beers. It’s a question of when.
Similarity 4: He can’t be trusted to dress himself
Sure, he may have a one-up on your pre-schooler when it comes to tying shoelaces. But that’s about all he’s got going for him in this department. From the old ripped T-shirt he tried to wear to your “smart casual” work dinner to the rubber Havaianas that excluded him entry from the new local tavern you’d been dying to check out on buffet night, the man-child really just needs to admit defeat and let you dress him from now on. For everyone’s sake.
Similarity 5: He needs constant care when he’s sick
Damn that man flu. You’d be forgiven for mistaking your man-child’s cold with your 5-year-old’s, thanks to the constant requests for juice, the used tissues covering every surface, and the sad little coughs that have you quoting Ben Stiller and muttering “I think I’m getting the black lung, Pop,” under your breath. This hilarious video sums it up PERFECTLY, and reminds you that when the man flu strikes, you are not alone!
So, is there a man-child living under your roof?
We’re sorry to say, there ain’t no parenting book in the world suited to your situation. But the good news is, he’s probably still a great guy. One that adores you and thinks the kids you’re raising together are pretty awesome. You might just need to persuade him to eat his vegetables every now and then.
Adopting a few child-like qualities isn’t the only change you might observe in your man. Check out the unexpected things that happen when dudes become dads.