Some moments I gaze at my son and instantly understand he is mine. It’s like looking in a mirror at a tiny toddler version of myself, and immediately identifying with my parents’ experience in a whole new way.

Seconds later he will do something ridiculous (like shout for green beans when he has pizza on his plate) that calls that entire truth into question, and I’m left wondering how we could possibly be related. Such is the ebb and flow of parenting a two-year-old.

I never imagined parenting meant forcing a kid to finish his pizza before he can have his vegetables, but here we are. As any parent of a toddler knows, life (and therefore your sanity) can change on a dime.

Here is a sampling of some frequent occurrences that confirm my deepest paternity truths, or leave me perpetually guessing:

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  1. He picks the cheese off pizza and only eats half the slice. Paternity test needed.
  2. He runs to his target on the other side of the room, completely oblivious to his surroundings because he’s looking down at his feet. He either runs into the bench or trips over his own feet, it’s tough to say which caused the fall. Sadly, no paternity test needed.
  3. He uses green beans to mask the taste of the chicken. Paternity test needed.
  4. He eats six-course meals that leave his mother wondering what grocery bills will look like during his teenage years. No paternity test needed.
  5. He prefers cartoons to sports. I don’t care if he is only two. Paternity test needed.
  6. He wants to read everything. If you delay too long when the book is open and he expects you to read to him, he’ll say “Talk to it, daddy.” No paternity test needed.
  7. At the age of two, when one parent says “no”, he’ll go ask the other parent. I’m pretty sure I did the same thing, but I don’t know if I started that early. No paternity test needed.
  8. He’s exceeded his number of free answers to questions for the year. I’m thinking about charging a rand per remaining question. This idea isn’t entirely original, however. A friend of the family threatened to charge me, when I was a kid. No paternity test needed.
  9. When he makes us laugh, he repeats his joke over and over and over. Sadly, no paternity test needed.

I’m pretty sure my wife will back all these claims up – some more enthusiastically than others. But luckily, whether he’s laughing and smiling or standing up on his dining room chair, he’s mine.