OK, seems like a lot of people are awake right now and hitting my site, so better follow up on how I became Stayatworkfatherofthree in the first place. (Note this post is not how your infant can befriend a caveman. It is how to conceive using our most ancient of inherent traits. Let’s face it, if you are eating Paleo, you might as well be doing nookie like a Neanderthal).
Stayathomemotheroffour and Stayatworkfatherofthree made three (obviously!) beautiful, social and smart (biased) babies together without any medical assistance, despite being nearly 40 the first time around. After two boys, Alpha and Bravo, we reached the age of 44 and became pregnant with our daughter Charlie. The doctors were quite interested, as were our fruitless friends trying, as to how easily these pregnancies were acheived without fertility drugs, ovulation calendars or becoming anxious and boring dinner company.
I had already read Malcolm Gladwell’s OUTLIERS, three times before I was ready to settle down and have kids. My wife had her first read of the Thai language edition of OUTLIERS by the time we were determined to have our third. So we are not complete Neanderthals;-)
Once our secret was out, our obstetrician wanted to introduce this ‘method’ to the Hospital’s fertility specialist so she could suggest this unconventional yet ancient reality might just work for some couples. Most of the people we knew were stressed out when trying for a baby, had their heads stuck in the calendar, slaves to their diet and locked themselves every weekend in sterile solitude.
The fertility specialist meeting never eventuated and I do not have 14 years to study medicine, get a degree, be an intern and work in a practice. So let us just get this out to the masses and start eating this planet bare I suppose.
The 2008 financial crisis was well underway, I had met the best spiritual soulmate ever and my company was going to relocate me to her country to open an office, so I had even started learning the language. New Year rolled around and we decided to backpack around Guangdong Province in the PRC (Peoples’ Republic of China) for a couple of days, visit some places and friends. (If you talk to Chinese who are not Communists, they will not refer to that country as China alone. Because the communist regime there have tried to remove most vestiges of classic China achievements and it would criminal to credit the last seven decades of social, cultural and environmental destruction as being Chinese).
On the first day we were picked up at the Hong Kong border by my Aussies mate and his PRC girlfriend in her car. We went to dinner with them and one of her girlfriends. Not a girl I would normally be interested in, although once we got to the nightclub, the music and alcohol took over. I am an amazing dancer. Not great dancer. Just amazing. Does not matter what kind of music, my bones feel the rhythm and the rest of me follows, as does the rest of the crowd usually. On this particular night the girlfriend of my friend’s girlfriend, ended up dancing with me for most of the night and it was friendly, but raunchy poetry in motion.
Later, my girlfriend, not yet wife and mother of our children, made love with me quite aggressively and quite rightly stated that had she not been there that night, I would have ended up going home with that woman, or at least slept with her. The next day we booked only ourselves into a hot springs hotel just a few hours north of Guangzhou. They had gigantic wooden baths done up like Japanese bathhouse. So after waiting for three square metres of hot water to be filled, infused with milk and scattered with rose petals, we obviously closed the curtains and did what comes naturally. Probably giving Stayathomemotheroffour the most unique fragrant and calcium-rich of douches, well of sorts.
The following night we stayed in Guangzhou City and stayed at the Garden Hotel. One of the first 5-star hotels in the PRC, although it really was only 4-star at best. I had been staying there every time I was in Guangzhou since 1992 and that night we were upgraded to an Executive Suite. Stayathomemotheroffour had never seen the likes of which before. So let’s recap. First she is tortured watching the keeper of her dreams almost slip through her fingers to a random female. All her hormones are called to arms in fight or flight mode. I am not qualified to say what the rest of her organs were doing but they must have adopted the motto ‘if we can’t keep him, at least make sure we get one his guys to stay.’
Failing that it must have been in the hot tub, although I know enough about tight jeans to say nothing would have survived the water temperature. If not, then certainly the Luxury room with the one she loved and almost lost, following almost public sex at the hot springs. Regardless, by the time we returned to Hong Kong, we were pregnant with Alpha.
Just a year and some months later in Bangkok, my wife calls me at work one day to tell me she has found the perfect apartment to rent. It is on the penthouse level and while it is nice with lots of built in dark wood furniture and fittings, still too small to call a Penthouse. Two nights after moving in I realize it has a striking resemblance to the interior design of the Garden Hotel’s Executive Suites! Second son, Bravo is born 15 months after Alpha. We start reading more into this and can never stop talking about how my accidental dance partner scene in the PRC had been a catalyst for preparing my wife’s body to go hell for leather in keeping a sample of her selected partner.
Fast forward to August 2014, we had prematurely lost an early term baby the year before (auto abortion caused by stress of an unfinished kitchen renovation in our newly purchased apartment, a half tiled floor, family visitors and constant heated discussions with me (guilty, guilty, guilty forever) about budgets, color patterns and two needy toddlers waking at all hours to be fed and changed. Both of us mentally and physically exhausted). So with a babysitter at home and our Canadian friend turning 40 or something, we catch a taxi to the party, fully expecting to be too drunk to drive by home time. We arrive and all the couples we know are without child. In fact only the birthday boy is married, apart from us. So birthday boy is there with his common law Thai wife and …………..Yoko (name changed to protect the innocent).
It turns out birthday boy and Yoko met fabulously in Japan while he was backpacking half a decade before and spent several nights with her girlfriends drinking like Siberian troopers. She was now about 25, sporty, the only person at the party without a partner as had flown to Bangkok just for this birthday. The Thai band started up, and we were in a large German beer hall that specialized in micro brews and German pig knuckles served with a side of green papaya salad and Sriracha sauce. We are surrounded by about 300 Thaifolk on a Saturday night. Everyone has a tower of beer at their table.
Yoko has rhythm and Stayathomemotheroffour does not. Well not back then anyway. (My wife’s dancing has improved significantly after being immersed in the music of Playschool and Sesame Street and being weaned of sugar-coated Thai ballads and unimaginative sleepy yet erratic Thai country music:-) Occasionally a table of people would stand up to dance in the space between tables and then politely sit down when the song finished. Not us. We stand up, start dancing, playing musical chairs, other tables start moving chairs in and making space. A mini dance floor is born. Everyone is dancing with each other, but I am the only one that can keep up with Yoko. My wife by now is on the sidelines with the biggest smile. Other tables are clapping, the rest of our table are half sitting down. Yoko and I are dubstepping and look like never going to stop. My wife is cheering us on, but not exactly taking pictures for the album either.
My wife and I go home in a taxi and cannot keep our hands above the other’s waist. Pay the babysitter, tipping well and bang on schedule nine months later our daughter Charlie was born without incident. Birthday boy became her Godfather and I hear Yoko has started a family of her own. She will become a Godmother the next time I meet her.
So there you have it. I became a Stayatworkfatherofthree and not a fertility specialist. Happy Sunday. Our boys go back to school tomorrow. Quiet at home again. Well not that quiet, Charlie will be home so I can give her a push on the swing I hung in the tree this afternoon.
Learn, love (like a Neanderthal) and laugh. (The life motto of yours truly since 2007)