This is what I have learned over the past couple of years and I think will be useful to new dads and dads-to-be.
- Apparently, it takes an average of nine months to conceive. This may be so, but my little soldiers hit the target at the first attempt; displaying the kind of punctuality and sense of urgency that has never been evident in any other area of my life. I had been looking forward to those nine months of regular practice as nature intended, and without having to fumble for little foil packets. In fact, I could barely hide my disappointment when Sherry showed me the test kit result. “Oh,” I said. Swiftly followed by a desperate explanation of my lack of excitement at the news. It was just all a bit sudden. I think she has forgiven me now.
- Any DIY or decorating will be impossible after the baby is born. Do it now. Better still, get your Dad to do it.
- Dirty nappies are not as bad as people make out; at least if the baby is breastfed. What is produced however, is the most powerful adhesive known to man.
- Cancel the papers. You will have no time to read them. If you do manage to spread the paper out on the floor, a small person will become jealous of the attention you are giving the motoring or sports section and crawl/toddle over to sit on it, looking up at you.
- A toddler’s index finger is exactly the right size to be inserted in the nostril, and can remain there indefinitely. Or at least until teatime.
- Even small babies are fascinated by the TV remote and telephones. A sign of future conflicts, perhaps.
- Children’s TV is often terrible. Our two year old Laura declared that Save-ums was “Rubbish”, and turned the telly off. I just wish she wouldn’t do it when I’m watching Moto GP.
- Toddlers can progress from single words to simple sentences incredibly quickly. E.g: “Laura do it” and “Bogey up there” (see note 5).
- Forget about ever getting anywhere on time. Even a walk to the corner shop takes half an hour, when you are obliged to examine every crack in the pavement en route.
- You will suffer sleep deprivation, anger and frustration and be vomited, urinated and pooed on, but all this will be forgotten in an instant when those beautiful, china blue eyes smile back at you from a Marmite smeared face, and a little voice says: “Daddy”.
What about you? What top tips do you have for dads?