Tuesday 21 October 2014

'It's not just women who get broody after a certain age'

Why is it unacceptable for a 35-year-old man to be broody, but it's perfectly normal for a woman?

Henry McKean

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

Newborn Feet in Hand
'I think I'm going to step up and say I'm ready to be a dad - let's do it! The problem is I have no one to do it with.'
Eric Cowell takes after his father (Simon Cowell/Twitter)
Eric Cowell takes after his father (Simon Cowell/Twitter)

Why is it unacceptable for a 35-year-old man to be broody, but it's perfectly normal for a woman? Are all men subconsciously looking for a girl with childbearing hips and long legs so the child grows up to be tall, or does she just have to be hot?

I think I'm going to step up and say I'm ready to be a dad - let's do it! The problem is I have no one to do it with.

My colleague says I'm a womb raider. What has happened to me? Have I turned into a male bunny boiler?

And what does it mean to be broody? The Oxford English Dictionary's definition is: "A woman having a strong desire to have a baby." No mention of a man also having a strong desire.

Newborn Feet in Hand
'I think I'm going to step up and say I'm ready to be a dad - let's do it! The problem is I have no one to do it with.'

I'm not a spinster, but maybe I am a confirmed bachelor - not in an English tabloid newspaper kind of way (meaning I'm gay), but someone who is destined to always be unmarried and childless.

Pretty Woman, the film about a hooker with a heart, starring Julia Roberts, was repeated on telly recently and I have fallen in love with a prostitute from 24 years ago.

Yep, 'Cinder, F**kin', Rella'. I hate to point out the obvious, but she was, in fact, a make-believe hooker. Still, I think I want kids with a girl with a genuine laugh and a smile bigger than the Joker from Batman. God, I need to get a grip...

More recently, I was in a southside Dublin pub with my friends and brother, struggling to work my new chip and pin bank card, while the sexy, frowning barmaid looked on. After about an hour, I could finally pay for my round of drinks and I wanted her to carry my children. My bank card wasn't activated, but my broodiness was.

My brother piped up and did what only a new dad can boast about: "I only had four hours sleep last night; I was awake at 6.15am and that is a lie-in for me." My friend bragged how he blacked out his two-year-old daughter's windows so she still thinks it's nighttime. But it doesn't work on his three-year-old son, who came running into the room at 5am quoting the Disney film Frozen: "The sky is awake, so I'm awake." And yet, even after hearing these parenting nightmares, I still want a baby.

I tried tag rugby for social reasons and asked a girl on the other team why she plays. Her answer? "To find a husband". I was there to find a womb.

A women selling art on St Stephen's Green told me about her friends: "Well, they all have bloomin' kids. It's like they want me to give birth on the kitchen table but I can't handle the pain. You are not in their gang if you don't have a kid."

I visited the DSPCA during the National Feral Cat Week. I like cats but I'm not a spinster. I fell in love with a ginger cat I hope to adopt. I suppose owning a cat is a baby substitute.

I dreamt my mum found me a blind date. Then Newstalk asked me to make it a reality, so my mum asked the listeners if they wanted to go out with me. She received a handwritten letter from a lady who promised her two grandchildren. She had already christened them with unusual Irish language names.

We didn't choose this candidate.

Eric Cowell takes after his father (Simon Cowell/Twitter)
Eric Cowell takes after his father (Simon Cowell/Twitter)

The blind date with the young Tipperary doctor my mum eventually chose went well. Mum came on the date with me. I think it was then that I got all serious and started looking at potential partners, not as a short romantic rendezvous, but something much, much more: a baby-maker.

I was in Copper Face Jacks, Ireland's infamous nightclub, and found a single stiletto heel. Maybe I could find the owner and she would be my Cinder, F**kin', Rella, but then again, what happens in Coppers stays in Coppers. Is it about finding the right person at the wrong time, or waiting until the right time and marrying the wrong person?

I met an Aer Lingus stewardess in the pub and said "you have nice dimples" but what I really wanted to say was "can we go home and make babies?"

Last year, in a private hospital in Amsterdam, I became the first Irishman to 'have a baby'. I experienced the sensation of childbirth thanks to a simulator which gave the same feeling as real labour pains. Electrodes shot through my body all the way down to my testicles for over two hours. The sensation felt like little Lego men inside your belly kicking you, and an electric toothbrush under your skin. Afterwards I felt I understood women. I can look them in the eye and say, "I get you". Now, it all makes sense when women are in a bad mood and being unreasonable. It's because they are baby-making machines. Now I want to make a fuss of all the mums who keep pushing them out.

A friend I train with at Fitsquad said that sometimes she sees a kid and all of a sudden it overwhelms her, but then it passes. For me, it's not passing. I know there is no rush - I can have children up until my 70s, whilst women have a ticking body clock. I got my sperm checked and the doctor showed me the little tadpoles: "See that one there swimming slowly? It's because you have been drinking too much coffee and had a big weekend."

I have a good sperm count but I need to stop drinking five coffees a day and cut out the Friday night lock-ins. Then those poor swimmers will soon be better than Michael Phelps.

US TV host, Jimmy Fallon, said "thanks to all mothers out there for being nature's 3D printers". Why are we on this earth? Is it to party hard because we are here for a short time not a long time? No, it's to reproduce. But to be honest, I was never that good at spreading my seed like some people I know, who have a different child in every port.

If a girl comes up to you in a bar and says she wants to have your baby, what do you do? You run. In Paris, sitting outside a bar, a girl came over. I wasn't going to run as she just wanted a lighter. My mate produced one and they started chatting. This girl was incredible.

I turned to my friend Terry and said "I want her to carry my child."

"Calm down, Henry," came his reply.

I know one day I will find the right girl. I hope I haven't missed the boat. My Cinder F**ckin' Rella is out there. Just not in Coppers.

Henry McKean presents 'Under the Covers' Saturdays 8am and is a reporter on 'Moncrieff', weekdays 1.30-4.30pm on Newstalk 106-108FM; newstalk.ie

Irish Independent

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