Monday, February 16, 2009

Dad at 13

Read this in my email. I don't know if you've heard about this, but it came as a shock to me.

I couldn't even reconcile the face with the big responsibility. Personally, having a dog at 25 is already a big leap for me. It gives me anxiety attacks mentally, physically and financially. Much more of I have a kid right now. Probably I'll go mental.

But for some, it's an instant race to maturity.

INNOCENT-eyed Alfie Patten spent his first night acting as a 13-year-old dad and declared: “It was easier than I thought.”
The four-footer — who looks no more than eight — said: “I know I’m young, but I plan to be a good dad.”
As he went on the PlayStation with 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle Steadman, he added: “I think we’ll be good parents. I’ll have to work extra hard at school.”

Chantelle looked up from 18-rated action game Saints Row II to admit her first night out of hospital since having 7lb 3oz daughter Maisie had been tough and had left her “in a daze”.

But she went on: “Alfie has been really good with her.
“He made the first bottle and then we took it in turns feeding her. He did the first bit with me.
“We didn’t need any help from Mum. I didn’t really get back to sleep. I just lay there in a daze.”
She added: “It feels better to be at home than it does in hospital. I prefer it now I am at home and it is just us and our family.”
Both Chantelle and Alfie change four-day-old daughter Maisie’s nappy and the baby sleeps in her mum’s bedroom in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

It is a typical teenage bolthole — packed tight with cuddly toys including a giant pink teddy. A school gymnastics certificate is proudly displayed on the wall.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse hold hands, surrounded by lovehearts, on the headboard of her bed — where Maisie was conceived when Alfie was just 12 and Chantelle 14.
Their story, revealed by The Sun yesterday, rocked Britain.
Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke out, commenting: “I think all of us would want to avoid teenage pregnancies.”


But Chantelle insisted: “When I was pregnant the police and social workers came to interview us and they decided that we would make good parents to Maisie.
“Now we will prove to everyone that we can be, and give her a great future. When Alfie is 16 he can come and live here with me and my family.
“We don’t want to get a flat because we wouldn’t have enough money and I want us both to stay in school to make the best future for Maisie.”
(The Sun)

My mom gave birth to our youngest brother when I was 13. My main worry at that time was passing Algebra.

And now that my brother will turn 13 next year, I cannot for the life of me imagine him as a father. He might know a lot of things that we don't want him to know yet, but fathering a child is definitely not one of them.

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