What A Beautiful Pussy You Are

Archie, Lewis, Tyson and myself are waiting patiently for Sam, the producer of The Circle, to arrive with a Channel Ten film crew and, strangely, the place in my solar plexus that was filled with a nervous fluttering before yesterday’s long arduous filming session with Channel Seven’s Today/Tonight is today as active as a pit-full of setting cement.

‘Why are more TV people coming?’ Archie asks.

‘I don’t know Arch,’ I say, ‘I guess I’m famous now.’

‘Famous… like Justin Bieber?

‘Even more famous Arch. Next to me Bieber’s nothing but a skinny sixteen year old kid with a little girl’s voice and a fickle temperament.’

The Circle crew are due here now and I begin to sing absent-mindedly, ‘Oh lovely pussy, oh pussy my love…’

‘… What a beautiful pussy you are,’ Lewis sings, finishing the line from the popular nursery rhyme and bringing back the memories of a horror night’s sleep.

Wanting to be fresh, aware and switched on to any of the journalistic trickery I was subjected to the day before I went to bed at 9.30pm but at 10.30, just as I was approaching a deep-ish sleep, Tyson woke and I was up pacing back and forth as usual and singing softly – this time a spontaneous rendition of ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’ – and even though my stay-at-home artistry had Tyson slumbering again by 10.45 I was so transfixed and awakened by the fact that pussy was repeated so often in a kids nursery rhyme that I had to poke myself in the eyeballs several times just to be sure I was actually in possession of two functioning eyelids. Just as I was drifting off at around 11.00 Reservoir Mum came to bed and her hot, female pheromones kept me locked in my wakened state until they also woke Tyson again ten minutes later – both of us hungry for different reasons.

At 11.40 a scream rose from the boys room and I raced to a nightmare-stricken Lewis to prevent him waking everyone else and after ten minutes of cuddling and whispering he fell back into that magical level of unconsciousness allowing me to crawl back into bed for forty minutes of sleep that was interrupted again by Archie tapping on my shoulder. I craftily dragged him under the covers with me so that I remained toasty-warm and sleepy but for the next three hours my desire to stop him from falling out of our giant bed to his death prevented me from re-entering deadtiredthe world of dreams and I finally relented and carried him through the icy night to his own single bed. At 5am Tyson woke for good.

I am now sleep deprived to the point of feeling dead.

Finally the doorbell rings and when I open the door I meet Sam and she seems friendly and excited and she compliments the aura of my house and is visibly taken by Lewis’s cuteness and any suspicion or apprehension I felt only moments before is eradicated.

After I am seated in front of the toy shelves Andrew, the cameraman, does a white check and Tim, the sound guy, does a sound check and Sam begins the interview by asking, ‘So how did you come to be a stay-at-home-Dad’ and although I reply with a stutter I soon find that I hit a natural rambling groove and my voice rises and falls at the right places and my words accelerate and pause appropriately and a rhythm develops that caresses me into a meditative state and merges with my sleep deprivation and even though I am aware that I am involved in a conversation I am also aware – in the way that an alcoholic is aware – that my thoughts and words are not quite in sync.

‘Wow,’ Sam says, when I stop speaking, ‘you’re going to inspire thousands of Dads to consider taking more of an active role in parenting… so, why did you start blogging?’

FUI reply… something… but inside I am having a panic attack because her comment has made me aware that I am going to be on the telly and that, potentially, thousands of people will see me and for the first time in my life I’m not sure if I look very good, from every angle, or even have anything interesting to say and all of a sudden I see myself in a courtroom with a lawyer and the judge sentences me to ninety days in prison and Lindsay Lohan looks at me and she’s crying and when I reach out to her and we lace fingers I see that we have matching messages on our fingernails and when Sam asks me another question I break out into a cold sweat until Lindsay starts singing, ‘Oh lovely pussy, oh pussy my love…’ – in a slow mournful kind of way – and I am once again distracted from my terror by how insane it is, in a modern context, to have children singing pussy several times in a row.

‘That was great!’ Sam says, as Reservoir Mum returns home and the fog lifts and I raise my fingers up and almost collapse with relief when I see that I have the same message-less, half-chewed fingernails as always.

For the next fifteen minutes Andrew and Tim direct me through several household chores as they film and record me and the boys and I’m relieved to see that Archie is smiling and Lewis is doing as he’s told and Tyson is giggling and trying to walk and everything seems to be working well.

Finally, it’s over and as the filming equipment is packed up and I talk to Andrew about his two kids, Sam pauses to say, ‘So we’ll edit this to do a small profile piece and then we’ll get you on the show.’

My heart takes a time-out and I see Lindsay Lohan again – she’s just behind Sam, her hands in cuffs, two large prison guards on each arm – , ‘Live?’ I say.

‘Yes.’

‘Shit, that seems kinda… famousy. So… I’ll be with Denise and Chrissie and Yumi and Gorgi?’

‘Yep.’

‘But they’re so confident, they’ll…’

Sam smiles, ‘You’ll be okay,’ she says, and heads out the door. ‘I’ll be in touch soon.

Archie, Lewis, Tyson, Reservoir Mum and me watch from our lounge room window as Andrew and Tim load the massive, 1980’s beat-box style camera into their van and we are aware that our images are locked inside it and that they can manipulate them in any way they want, but it feels okay.

‘That seemed good,’ Reservoir Mum says.

‘I think they get it.’ I whisper, as we watch the van drive off. ‘Hey, you know that song… The Owl and The Pussycat?”

‘Yeah, it should be banned now… kids saying pussy. You’ve already told me that a dozen times’ she says.

‘Oh,’ I say.

Reservoir Mum rolls her eyes and that simple action makes me feel that everything’s right with the world. I see Lindsay again, but she’s okay now – she’s post-prison sentence and she seems happy, drinking from a can of Jim Beam as she drives to a party stacked with semi-cool celebrities like David Hasslehof, Justin Bieber and me. The world is turning just so. I have nothing to worry about.