Like most normal men, I like nothing more than watching football and playing with Alfie and Kate, my two normal children. Anyone who knows me could tell you how much I love kids, and it's all in a perfectly healthy way. When I tickle or 'rough-house' them, I get no sense of dread or panic that I am a dead-eyed paedophile. Children are the future, and until science allows us to transplant our brains into the host bodies of teenagers, they will contiue to be the legacy we leave in the world. Children are important.
Anyone with children soon gets used to being asked to part with hundreds of pounds every five minutes on some so-called 'toy' that all their schoolfriends are already flaunting round the playground, and is therefore more important than' life' itself. The house that I share with Charlotte, my attractive and totally satisfactory wife - is jam-packed with power Devols, Portomon paraphernalia, ZoneBoys, and countless other once crucial 'fads' whose combined value down the years has cost us the equivalent of my planned trip to Thailand. But I don't resent any of the purchases. The thought of resenting my children doesn't even enter my mind.
So why do I dote so much on my normal children? Because it is easier to face financial 'ruin' than have our ears ringing with accusations of emotional cruelty and neglect.
The one thing we have stood firm against is 'mobile' phones. Katie, our 12-year-old whose pre-pubescent beauty incites no lust in my mind, wants one and we won't let her. We've had the usual pleading, tears, anger and arguments and reasoned counter-arguments as to why it's absolutely vital to have one, and even the playful slaps I once gave her whilst drunk have not deterred her. It is not a question of money, as I certainly earn enough to afford one - although it's worth noting that I don't earn so much that I could ever forget that I'm really just an average family guy like Geoff or Lindsay, who likes nothing more than a simple pint and watching the cricket.
No, it's none of that. It's just that we have been advised by the government that mobile phones might be 'dangerous' for children. I know there's a lot of discussion about the government and democracy and globalisation and all that, but I've always thought that the government is good, and more importantly, big. Leave the intellectual 'debates' for the philosophers of the world - I'm just a normal bloke who likes to do as he's told and not worry too much about whether it's right or wrong.
So, Katie is not getting a mobile phone. I don't care if she cries about it, as long as she does it in her bedroom. I'm not made of stone! Of course it hurts me that she gets upset, but I certainly don't feel any crippling guilt that I've been an emotionally distant father who is unable to properly communicate love. If the government says that mobile phones are 'dangerous', then I'm not going to argue with them. Katie will have to satisfy herself with whatever it is that girls do. Soon she will be a woman.
Soon Alfie will be a teenager, and no doubt will get spots and want to listen to rap music. I'm more into rock music myself, but I'm certainly not racist and anyway Eminem is white. But he won't be getting a mobile phone until the government tells me to buy him one.
Of course, I take some risks myself. I'm not some kind of emotionless autopilot robot! I live! I go out drinking with the lads - the evening never ends with a drunken homoerotic clinch, you'll be pleased to hear - and in my younger days I smoked. I use the railways, just like any other man. My money hasn't changed me. I'm just like you, getting up and going to work and not doing the bad things. So, it's ok for me to take risks. I'm an adult. But how could I take a risk with the lives of my darling children.
I can't. Just like you couldn't. Because I'm a good, normal person.
Previous articles by Pete Logan:
I'm not sure about this war
My wife complains about shopping, but it's my money she's spending
Death cannot come too soon
My memories of my grandfather
Whores are blighting my life