7 Apr 2016

Single dad at 17.

A very tiny Ella

A slightly bigger Ella
I haven't posted here for a while - Easter and other distractions are my excuse. Right now I feel like making obeisance to my 17 year old grandson who is virtually sole parent to 4 month old Ella. The reasons for this are best not published here but what does demand recognition is Sandy's ability to be an amazing single dad. It has been remarked on at meetings (inevitable given his age and the situation) of the child protection group, that other single dad's have successfully raised their children - but they aren't usually as young as him.

A friend of his mother's (my daughter, now a very young grandmother) gave her a drawing book and crayons to pass on to Sandy, advising him to either write a sort of diary of events or draw frustrated scrawls when things are getting him down. Not sure he remembers to do this or is even so inclined but it would make an interesting variation to the diaries of  Adrian Mole, 17 1/2. Very publishable I would have thought.

It's rarely his little girl who gets him down (she does seem to be an early teether and all parents know the grief that causes to everyone concerned) but events outside his control and, occasionally, the isolation can bite. Few friends of his own age have stayed the course once there was a baby to inhibit the intake of cider and loud action movies. He has insisted on living alone in a rented flat which he keeps scrupulously clean and tidy, being slightly OCD (no genetic transference there from me, but possibly his mum…). He takes Ella for jaunts on the bus to nearby towns and has coffee with her in local cafés. The first journey, by train, was something of a traumatic experience as he found himself changing a nappy in full sight of other travellers. Worse followed; he was unable to go into the nappy-changing area in a café because it was also the ladies toilets. They let him in eventually when he threatened to change the nappy right there in the middle of the café. I was privileged to accompany them once (we went by car) and the little lady just loves Pizza Hut - so many admirers to be waved and smiled at.

The advantage to Ella of having such a young dad are limitless. He does crazy dances for her and she laughs hugely. he while her around and jounces her about much to her glee. He is strong and fit and fairly tireless. I'm sure that eventually she will teach him which outfits look good and which look a little odd.

So if he won't keep a record I just might. Look out for more 'single dad' posts.

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