A womaniser from Harold’s Shippam’s Estate is celebrating tonight, after securing his eighth full year of paternity leave. Dave Grobbelaar, 27, received the happy news by text message from ‘girlfriend’ Sandy Twittock, while feeling up her sister in the snug of The Squirrel Licker’s Arms.
While Grobbelaar claims to be ‘an all-round handyman’, those too close to him claim he’s inexperienced with all but one tool. Confirmed father of around 15% of the local population, Grobbelaar now has his own parking space at the Tarbuck antenatal clinic.
“Being a serial father can be a risky business”, claimed Grobbelaar, ‘you can’t rely on paternity leave, unless you’re sure the mum is working.”
“But once I’ve clocked their P60, I spend at least an hour with each of my newborns. They bring me so much joy, especially if they help me pull one of the nurses.”
Grobbelaar believes that paternity leave is critical for establishing a bond with a new baby, and filling in the paperwork at the job centre helps him remember their addresses. “Babies don’t come with an instruction manual, but you can at least buy books with all their names in. I’m up to ‘Pamelia’, on page 38.”
Critics of Grobbelaar claim that paternity leave is only intended for fathers who stay with their family, but he’s accused Janet Frizzle of ‘trying to break his free spirit’. And while she does have some help with childcare from her mum and three older sisters, she’s reluctant to leave Grobbelaar alone with any of them.
Young fathers have been much maligned in the local press, especially Grobbelaar, since he knocked up the Evening Harold’s features sub-editor. But with so many dependents, his appearance on the front page guarantees a boost in circulation, from mothers keen for a photo to show their kids when they’re older.
The local libertine is hopeful of maintaining his paternity leave until retirement age, although he admits its sometimes a struggle to keep it up. “Fortunately, I have a very extended family to fall back on, I can rely on my kids’ mums to feed me. They’re what I like to call ‘friends who pay my benefits’.”