Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



fatherchild1aLife’s no picnic for a mild-mannered, self-deprecating, sound as a pound, suburban stay-at-home Dad… Just ask old muggins here! When our two were born, I decided to opt out of the nine-to-five rat race and become their full time primary care giver. Somehow, it just felt right. Also, I’d been stealing large quantities of office supplies and wanted to quit while I was ahead. Friends and family reckoned I was “mad”, “gone in the head” and “completely batshit fucking insane”. Who knows, maybe they were right. But one thing’s for sure, with our pair of teeny tearaways around, life’s certainly never dull!

The elder started junior infants this September and seems to have inherited her old man’s attitude to schoolwork. She doesn’t like it one bit. No, sir! I tried making her lessons fun the other day, reading stories and helping with her sums. But she told me to go fuck myself and stick my story up my hole. When I upbraided her for her naughty language, she rang the guards and told them that I had tried to molest her. Needless to say, when Herself got home from work that evening to find the little ones taken into care, muggins here banged up in the sex offenders wing of Mountjoy Prison and the table not even set for dinner… Well, suffice to say, there were ructions!

The younger is more docile than her big sister. The other day I bought her out in the buggy and the other parents cooed and made a big fuss over her. But she just stared back at them glassy-eyed, with a vacant grin on her face. That night after I tucked her in, I found syringes under the cot and noticed that several valuables from around the house (including a car stereo) were missing. Now I don’t like to jump to any conclusions. But it looked like my little angel was a Grade A smackhead.

The day after the sexual molestation case was dismissed, I sat the elder down for a chat. In simple, non-judgemental terms, I explained that what she did was wrong and very hurtful. The policemen tasered Daddy, I explained. Then they put him into a cell with a man who tried to make Daddy his new girlfriend. She promised to be more considerate in future. And you know what, I believed her. (I didn’t mention anything about the canteen stabbing, since Daddy probably should have known to show the Aryan Brotherhood more respect.)

The younger’s opiate addiction, however, could not be fixed with a simple apology. My first idea was to lock her into the nursery while she went cold turkey. Unfortunately, she escaped onto the roof and threw slates at the fire brigade when they tried to bring her down. In the end I had to put her on a methadone programme. The GP said to expect lots and lots of uncontrollable diarrhoea, as she adjusted to her treatment. I said, ‘Don’t worry, doc… You’re talking to a man with pretty extensive poop scooping experience!’

That night, as I read to both them from the children’s illustrated classic Catherine the Capricious Caterpillar. It was good to know that everything was back the way it should be. Just as I was tucking them and saying good night, a squad of CIA goons came crashing through the door, pinned me to the ground and started reading me my rights.

“What are you doing?” I gasped.

“Sir, we have information that that you are a senior member of an Islamic terrorist organisation” said a man wearing sunglasses. “We’re going to waterboard you until we get more information.”
As the CIA men dragged me outside to a waiting helicopter, I could see the terrible twosome jumping up and down on their beds, laughing hysterically and exchanging high fives. “Just wait till I tell your mother about this…” I yelled. “Just you wait!”

November 20th, 2009.

8 Responses to “MIND THAT CHILD!”

  1. tad Says:

    Hilarious, man. Really. Anyone with kids can relate — I’ve got 2, both grown-up, thank Ghod. & of course yer little adventures here R just a PREVIEW of what can happen once they GET OLDER….

  2. Eoin Says:

    @ Tad – really!?

  3. Mark Says:

    This is excellent. God knows, the life of a stay at home dad is no walk in the park, but this just goes to show how having a sense of humour about things can get you through the worst of it. Tad’s right though – just wait til those little Butlers get into their teens! You’ll wish you were dead, so you will.

  4. massey Says:

    Eoin yer quitting booze is looking less heroic now we find out you have two young kids. Or do you?

  5. tad Says:

    Eoin: Really. Thanx 4 the inspiration. After reading yr write-up (which I hope is at least PARTLY fictional), I Dcided I was WAY overdue 2 write something embarrassing about my kids. So I recounted some of my Xperiences in raising them, & if U feel brave U can read this at http://tadsbackupplan.blogspot.com/. I included a link 2 yr site so the (mayB) 12 people in the world who read me can Njoy yr work, & I credited U 4 setting me off….
    BTW, I got my copy of Television Personalities’ MY DARK PLACES after yr rave review awhile back, & it is definitely diffrent from what I was Xpecting, tho not in a bad way. I haven’t made it all the way thru & I’ll B listening more, but Dan Treacy & friends certainly don’t sound like NE1 else … unless it’s Syd Barrett.
    Thanx 4 pointing me in a new direction, & keep it up w/ the great funny stuff.
    — TAD, Port Orchard, Wash., USA.

  6. Horace the Grumbler (Canada) Says:

    The child is saying, put me down father. I’ve lately soiled myself and in just a moment I shall most likely puke on you!

  7. Jenny Says:

    @ Tad – love the piece and you’re right i’m pretty sure eoin is joking about having kids

  8. El Kid Says:

    He has two kids alright, proper little gurriers. He tends to socialise a lot by night and spend most days sleeping one off – so he doesn’t see a whole lot of them.

    They seem to be able to fend for themselves on the street though, fair play to them.

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