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13 year old Daddy

13 year old Daddy

Please see the follow up to this story:  Britain’s Youngest Dad isn’t really the Dad

A 13-year old boy cuddled a tiny baby girl in Sussex, England yesterday. No, he is not Big Brother. He’s Daddy.

Alfie Patten is like any 13 year old boy says his own dad, Dennis. He likes his Playstation and his sports teams. Now, Dennis thinks maybe it’s time he taught the boy about the birds and the bees.

Hmm. Well, Dennis, maybe you shoulda’ thought of that a year ago.

OK. I’ll back up a little bit. I mean, Dennis doesn’t live with Alfie’s mom. So, maybe it isn’t his fault. I mean, he gives the boy a few bucks now and then. But he’s got 8 other kids to think about, too. So, it’s all on Mum’s shoulders. I don’t know much about her. Except that now the baby’s born, Alfie spends all his days, and most of his nights, at the girl’s house. She must be OK with that. On the one hand, it’s good he wants to be with the baby. On the other hand, why does he have a baby!?!

Poor kid. Everything they’ve quoted him saying is so sad. He is obviously trying to sound very grown up. But, wow. How could he? He thinks diapers cost “a lot”. And he “thought it would be good to have a baby.” “I will be good, though, and care for it.” How can he care for a baby? He’s still a baby!

His girlfriend, the mature 15-year old Chantelle Steadman, didn’t tell her mother she was pregnant. Mum guessed it after the girl started showing. Chantelle and the baby are now living with Chantelle’s parents. Her mom said it would be hard, since they are on public assistance and now are caring for 7 children. But they are a family and will help her out.

Alfie said they didn’t think about how they could afford a baby. Chantelle said that when she found out she was pregnant, she didn’t think she’d need her parents’ help. The two just knew they weren’t going to have an abortion. Today, Alfie claims they only had sex once and he didn’t know what could happen. Blame it on the teachers then, and Britain’s comprehensive sex-ed?

Uh, has anyone talked to them about adoption? I guess not. I mean, if you don’t tell your kids that having sex leads to babies, why tell them that someone else can raise the baby?

I am glad that this boy is so determined (as much as a 13 year old can be) to be a good dad. And the proud new mama is taking a parenting class at church.  But I’m afraid that 7lb 3oz Maisie Roxanne is the one who will suffer here. How can they possibly take care of a baby? I can barely take care of both my kids and myself some days.

I showed this story to my 12 year old son and asked him, “Ready for the big time?” He didn’t even know how to respond (which is a good response, I think). He was horrified. He has a baby sister and knows what it’s like. He gets a little nervous when I say I’m going to the mailbox and “can he keep an eye on her?”.

He is the one who noticed a secondary point in The Sun story. Britain’s youngest dad was 12. I just don’t have anything good to say about that.

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