Pat McDer­mott asks for more grand­kids now please!

Memo to gen­er­a­tions X and Y – get a move on! The grand­par­ent bi­o­log­i­cal clock is tick­ing and Pat McDer­mott wants a big­ger gene pool to pad­dle in.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

There it is again. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Some nights, as I’m drift­ing off to sleep, I hear the faint tick­ing of a clock. But where’s it com­ing from? The bed­side clock glows silently. My mo­bile phone is on mute. The Man Of The House (MOTH) is only in Stage One Snor­ing – a gen­tle, puff­ing sound in­ter­rupted by the odd snort.

TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK. There it is again – louder now. It sounds like Cap­tain Hook’s croc­o­dile is un­der the bed.

You can’t men­tion this sort of thing to adult chil­dren. You know what will hap­pen. First the raised eye­brows and then the fran­tic text mes­sages to brothers and sis­ters along the lines of “Mum’s fi­nally los­ing it! What R We Go­ing To DO? RE­PLY ALL!!!!” One or the other will gen­tly of­fer to drive you to an ex­pen­sive spe­cial­ist. The rest find ex­cuses to drop brochures in your lap fea­tur­ing over­priced re­tire­ment op­tions.

In­stead, I con­fer with friends. We five women have stuck to­gether through the thick and thin of fam­ily life. Be­tween us we have 20 chil­dren. They can be re­lied on to give with­er­ingly hon­est ad­vice, the sort you don’t want to hear, but know you must.

“It’s your bi­o­log­i­cal clock,” said one, firmly. “What?” we other four shrieked in uni­son. “It’s way too late!”

“Not that bi­o­log­i­cal clock – the grand­par­ent bi­o­log­i­cal clock! You want more grand­chil­dren,” she said. “A big­ger gene pool to pad­dle in! When you lie awake at night, you think about how you’re get­ting older and your kids are get­ting older. Then you ask your­self, ‘When are they go­ing to stop hav­ing fun and start hav­ing ba­bies?’”

We set­tled back with our skim de­caf cof­fees and gluten-free cho­co­late slices, and mar­velled at the sound of a big fat ham­mer hit­ting a nail squarely on the head.

Baby Boomers ev­ery­where are won­der­ing whether we’ll still have the knees, backs and brains to fully em­brace a herd of young grand­chil­dren when Gen X, Gen Y and those crazy Mil­len­ni­als do de­cide to have ba­bies. Yeah, we know they have stuff to do first. They have to travel to dan­ger­ous places, meet dodgy peo­ple, land amaz­ing jobs, have bril­liant ca­reers, buy ex­pen­sive cars and wait for old peo­ple like us to die or down­size to buy a house. But when­ever they do de­cide to have kids, they’re go­ing to need help. We won’t be around for ever. It just feels like it.

We want them to know that new­borns take up huge amounts of time. I re­mem­ber be­ing sur­prised to find my­self still in a nightie at 5pm when I knew I’d been up since 6am.

(It was just about that time that the MOTH ar­rived home from work and made the classic mis­take of ask­ing what was for din­ner.)

And it doesn’t get eas­ier as kids get older. The day a child goes to school is the day he or she re­ceives the first of 10,000 birth­day party in­vi­ta­tions. Even the kids who take tuna fish sand­wiches to school get them. Satur­days are a blur of par­ties, sports matches, bal­let classes and swim­ming lessons.

The MOTH and I have the cre­den­tials and we’re here to help:

We’ve raised five prac­ti­cally per­fect chil­dren. (Ask al­most any­one.)

If you have an epi­siotomy, I will drop off de­li­cious three-course meals in plas­tic con­tain­ers. Okay – I’ll do that any­way.

Dad will pick up and drop off from school and sports just like the old days. Re­mem­ber those long waits?

Dad loves hav­ing door-to-door child safety seats in his car again. The blokes in the pub think he’s mar­ried to a younger woman.

We’ll al­ways carry mo­bile phones so you can ring and check we haven’t left the baby in a shop.

In tantrum sit­u­a­tions, we will use the same old bribes and threats that worked on you.

And we’ll babysit at short no­tice. If we doze off, please cover us with a blan­ket. We’ll go home in the morn­ing before all the cry­ing and shout­ing starts.

When are they go­ing to stop hav­ing fun and start hav­ing ba­bies?

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