thinks he’s only un-cool because he’s a parent.
Having a child is the most unequivocal and irreversible signal you can present to the world that you have finally given up on being cool. However far you have come to this point, it is as close as you’re going to get. The rest is up to the next lot. God help us all.
In my case, creating a cool Hildebrand is at least a twogeneration job. If anything, I have regressed, going backwards from jeans to shorts to tracksuit pants. On current projections, I will soon end up in an adult diaper and the cycle of life will be complete.
Others, however, remain at the level they achieved at the birth of their firstborn. This explains the phenomenon of hipster dads in hats, and why the hipsters’ own fathers still wear a Nokia phone on their belt. Perhaps they are not so different, after all.
It also explains why so many celebrities struggle with parenthood. Not with the actual parenting part – there are nannies for that – but the cool bit. In the tragic case of Brangelina, Angelina was forced to seek refuge at the United Nations, possibly the only institution on earth humane enough to consider her cool by comparison. Brad, of course, just instantly went into hat mode. And when celebrity parents try to continue being cool the results are even more troubling, as Kim and Kanye have selflessly shown us. Kim may still be a doyenne of fashion, but because of the immutable law that the child must be cooler than the parents, you end up with a toddler who refuses to leave the house without a faux-fur hoodie and a topknot. And Kanye is now obliged to run for US President. Personally, I believe all this madness comes down to sleep deprivation. If I have learnt anything about parenthood, it is that your only hope for sanity is to drop off whenever the kid does. When it comes time to hit the mattress, every second counts. You need to be able to fall asleep in an instant, which is why I am always armed with tracksuit pants, Ugg boots and, if all else fails, a copy of Eat Pray Love. Cool people, on the ot other hand, have no such lux luxury. You’ve only just managedmanag to squeeze out of your stovepipes when the little treasure is up yet again demanding a sugar-free frappuccino.
This cruel dichotomy has led to many mothers crying out for a third way, also known as activewear. This is the fashion world’s equivalent of a time-out. You’re basically saying to the world: “I’m a cool person, it’s just that I’m about to go to the gym.” Meanwhile, you’re saying to yourself: “I’m a cool person, it’s just that I’m about to go to sleep.” This makes activewear a useful, if somewhat ironically named, solution.
For fathers, however, such a solution remains elusive. Some might say this is why God created male leggings. Yet, anyone who’s experienced meggings knows, if anything, they were invented by the other guy. And so, once more, we poor blokes end up in tracksuit pants.
I suspect that if Brad holds on much longer he’s going to need a bigger hat – in the sombrero range. But if he ever changes his mind, there’s always a spot on my couch.
Joe co-hosts Studio 10, 8.30am weekdays, on Network Ten.
will soon end up in an adult diaper and the cycle of life will be complete”