How come Fashionable Parents look so cool?

Chris McGuire attempts to wake up fully.... so how do Fashionable Parents manage to look so alert so

Chris McGuire attempts to wake up fully.... so how do Fashionable Parents manage to look so alert so early (and so tidy)? - Credit: Archant

Chris McGuire - otherwise known as Out of Depth Dad - on the annoying phenomenon of Fashionable Parents.

How the heck to Fashionable Parents do it? Part of me thinks that they must be a different species completely. That would make sense. There's got to be something in their DNA that allows them to do it.

How on earth do Fashionable Parents look so 'together'? It really isn't fair, especially when the rest of us look like we got dressed blindfolded.... in a jumble sale.

For a bet...

Let me explain. These days I'm a Stumbler. I stumble out of bed, into some clothes; this usually involves finding the trousers with the least amount of visible dirt, before hopping around the bedroom trying (unsuccessfully) to get my legs into the appropriate slots.

I stumble into the bathroom, only to recoil from my own reflection in the mirror. I then drag my fingers through unwilling hair in a (half-baked) effort to bring order to said barnet. Soon I'm stumbling (half-walking, half-falling) downstairs for breakfast with the little one. The meal always concludes with my wearing much more food than he's consumed. Then, after many tears (from both of us), he's wrestled into his buggy for the morning constitutional.

As I stumble over the front step, struggling with trainers and shushing the banshee-like screams emitted by my son, I always have the same encounter. It really is uncanny. No matter what time I leave the house, I'm always just in time to say 'Hello' to Mr Fashionable Dad as he and his saintly child stroll by.

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'Morning,' he says, a grin spreading across his pristinely-shaved face.

'Hi,' I say, wiping ketchup from my raggedy-bearded chin.

'Lovely weather'

'Isn't it?'

And with that Mr Fashionable Dad is gone, trotting down the road in his co-ordinated, stain-free, clothes – probably off to the gym or perhaps to expertly whittle some wood for charity.

I know my level of contempt for Mr Fashionable Dad is totally out of proportion to his crimes. Essentially he's the dad manifestation of the swan gliding above the water, whereas I look like the frantic paddling that goes on beneath.

God, I dislike that guy.

Mr Fashionable Dad isn't a one-off. He's part of a whole strata of parents that I genuinely cannot understand. They mustn't sleep, staying up all night to prepare things to ensure they're always perfect. That must be how they do it – either that or it's some kind of magic. Yes, dabbling in the occult is the only thing that makes sense for these unflappable types.

Mr Fashionable Dad is married to Mrs Fashionable Mum, a lady who's never seen without a full face of makeup. Her hair is never tangled, she's always just coming back from a run – but she's never sweaty. The only other times I see her she's 'popping out' to deliver some home-cooked food to an elderly neighbour. I've never caught her wiping sick off her Louis Vitton nappy bag or scraping dog muck from her toddler shoe with a lollypop stick.

I really don't know how she does it.

Of course, my obsession with Mr and Mrs Fashionable Parent (probably) isn't healthy. I understand that. It's just they are SO bloody frustrating.

Imagine, after a lifetime of training, you finally conquer the summit of Everest. You're cold, you're exhausted. You collapse in a heap to admire the view, only to see that someone else got to the top a minute before you – but they did it wearing rollerblades and are currently live-linking to the world's press while barbecuing fillet mignon and sipping on perfectly-chilled Bollinger. They're not doing anything wrong, but they do kind-of steal your thunder.

I'm not going to change, that's for sure. I had enough trouble looking presentable before my son was born – there's no way I could pull it off now. There's part of me that wouldn't want to. The young 'un didn't recognise me for days last time I shaved my beard off.

Who knows, one day looking like Worzel Gummidge's scruffier brother might come into fashion.


But, if it does, you can be sure that Mr Fashionable Dad will take to being a scarecrow like a duck to water.

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