Fatherhood without Cheat Code

It had been almost 3 years of fatherhood in cheat mode.

In gaming, there are the easy mode for elementary players. Objects move slower and demand less of you. You are allowed to screw up now and even then an NPC will save your wimpy ass. In normal mode you are expected to perform like the bulk of the bell curve. If you excel beyond the norms you are imbal. Then there is the cheat mode where players boost themselves with unfair advantages not available to honest players, such as stronger abilities or even invincibility.

When it comes to fatherhood cheat mode, the code is simple: Mother. I have to emphasize not all mothers are great like what they sing in children songs. Some are downright scumbags. The rest, I will like to believe, are as great as what we love to remember them by. My wife is one of them. The acid test is how frighten a dad is when he is left with his toddler alone for a week. The more frighten the dad is, the better the mother has been. Only when Jen left for Singapore in a hurry to attend her Grandma's funeral, I realised how good a father I actually was. I stared at the little Albany, wailing at the sight of her mother disappearing into the check in area, and told myself, "Oh shit."

Sure I was left alone to take care of Albany in different phrases of her life so far but that was never more than 6 hours. Those were merely simple survival periods and would all end well when Jen came back to take over from there. This time round, there is no time-outs, no excuses, no substitutions ... no cheat code. Albany will be under my 24 hours care until the end of the week.

The boss at work seems to be more flabbergasted at the news, after I suggested to go on leave for two days of the week, leaving Albany in childcare for the other three so that I can turn up for work. To be fair to him, the company appears to really need me to be around this week. So we negotiated with the child care to accommodate us for another two days. Does that sound simple now? Dump Albany in childcare and pick her after work. Viola, problem solved. That addresses our problem but it really doesn't cover her needs. If I'm just alone I will have live on nuts. Or fruits. Or even plain water. Too easy. When it involves a toddler, it means running the household, cook, clean and every aspect of her physical and mental well being until she finally falls asleep. Only a parent will understand the little cute noises of a sleeping child is one of the sweetest sounds ever. We ended the first night alone with her tucked nicely in bed but I woke to see her tiny feet on my face in the morning. I slept a bed away. That only happens when I am in her bedroom. I have yet to figure out why and how.

Albany held on to me at the child care, begging me to stay with her. I had to allow a few piercings to the heart to walk away and I have to do that for another three days. I came to realise how few fathers actually went through fatherhood without cheat code.


  1. it has been long since i last visited your blog. and wow, it's gonna be 3 years for you as a father! how time flies!

    even though i had just enter motherhood for less than 2 months, i really agree with you that the soft breathing of babies is the most melodious sound for me now. and also watching her sleep with calmness, knowing that she allows me probably an hour or more (that would be bonus!) to deal with chores and errands before she wakes up with service call.

    1. Congrats. You will enjoy parenthood. It is the most meaningful experience of my life so far