Saturday, 21 November 2009

More things you learn when you're a new Dad

We're heading towards the four week mark. What have I learnt?

1. It's worth becoming a Dad if only to have someone who enjoys your singing

2. You'd think that when you become a Dad, you'd start enjoying the BBC's annual charity event Children In Need. Apparently this is not the case. You still don't enjoy watching newsreaders dance.

3. Never ever get too cocky about how good you are at changing nappies. Sure you may have a system now: all nappy sacks, clean nappies, cotton wool, water, wipes, tissues, nappy cream, kitchen towel will be in their optimum position for you to work away at speed, your arms working overtime in a whirl of hygiene like suddenly you're a very maternal octopus. That's fine.. but don't then say either in your head or out loud as you go to put on the clean wrap.. "Oh yes, I am the Nappy Ninja!". For at this point your son will somehow turn his body towards yours in a way he's not managed before and will pee all over your cardigan.

4. 'Night Feeds' are meant to be for the baby to feed not you. Don't get caught with that big box of chocolates on your lap when your wife pops down to see if you're okay.

5. Don't get upset when you realise your singing isn't enough to soothe your child anymore. This is what household appliances are for. No really.. My son will always fall asleep if held near a working washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher. And no, that doesn't mean he prefers the sound of a dishwasher to the sound of your voice. How could it?

6. If you had to pick one of the dancing news readers to remotely fancy it'd probably be Weekend Breakfast's Susannah Reid.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Being Manly

One thing about being a Dad is that it makes you feel very manly and you feel a sudden urge to be manly in other ways.

I feel I should know how to change that tyre/fit that washing machine/fix the uneven floorboard.

I give up at boilers however and get a man in. I still want to sound wise though so I spend the morning on various websites swotting up on my central heating system.

The man arrives. Late. (But that's another story, since when oh people at NPower has 13.20 been part of 'AM'?!)

I welcome him in with his boxes of tools and he asks a few questions.. One of which is:

'How long have you had the Litlun?'
Oh, about four or five years perhaps, we inherited it from the people who lived here before.
About four years, I was wondering whether we should replace it
'He looks very small for a four year old'
You're talking about my son aren't you?
I thought you were talking about the boiler. I thought Litlun was the.. anyway...
He's two weeks old
'Ah, lovely. Still not getting much sleep then?'
Apparently not
Cup of tea?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Night feeds for a child with a cat

Ah, the serenity of a night feed.

Sneaking down stairs with a slightly whimpering baby to prepare the bottle. Talking away to him about everything you're doing like a softly spoken, high pitched commentator on The Great Milk Race.

It's a beautiful moment in many ways between parent and child.

Ooh and who's that at the window? It's Atticus the Catticus! Shall we let him in and say hello?! Shall we?! ShallweshallwesayhellotoAtticusssss?!

And so I found myself at 2 in the morning with a hungry wriggling baby under one arm and a wriggling cat with a mouse in his mouth under the other.
I'm not sure which of the three of us was crying the loudest.

If only that cat could hunt milk bottles. Yes.. Ifonlythatcatcouldhuntbottlesofmilkywilky..

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Baby Poo Experience

I've had a few lovely experiences so far:

There's been the obligatory peeing whilst lying down naked incident of course.

Sorry, I should have said I'm talking about nappy changing, this isn't some strange forum to confess my dirty mishaps of years gone by. And anyway, they were very understanding about it. Could happen to anyone apparently. Just not perhaps in a library.

Anyway, yes.. you know the story: baby's nappy off, being changed and suddenly he pees this jet of urine up into the sky. I dealt with this the first time by putting my hand over it but of course this had the immediate effect of spraying it in other places, much like putting your finger over the end of the hose whilst washing the car. It was only later when everything was all tidy and we were ready to go down stairs that I saw that my boy must have been silently crying. Two perfect tear drops on his cheek.. Hang on.. Oh. He's pee'd on his own face. Or rather Daddy had forced him to pee on his own face. Thanks Dad.

My other favourite moment was yesterday when cleaning his bum. Sometimes whilst you clean, more keeps coming out. It's oddly fascinating watching a poo come out. No, really! Don't judge me, I've simply spent all my life having never seen it. It reminds me of squeezing yellow plasticine through one of those shaped mill things so that it looks like spaghetti. But a lot thicker. And smellier.

Anyway, he was all clean and then out comes some nice runny mustard yellow poo and it dribbles down his back; so I lifted his legs, bent over and wiped but got really close up so that I could check there wasn't anymore down his back.. At which point he farted. Big time. An explosion of liquid poo burst up like one of those bubbling sulphur puddles in some volcanic region. Rancid yellow flying faeces projected from the belly of hell skywards. Or rather Dadwards. It landed spectacularly on my face.

See, Daddy.. if you let me pee on my own face.. I will have my revenge.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Sienna Miller naked but I didn't see a thing

So, the Folland Family have been on their first family outing! It only took 3 hours to leave the house, but it was a flawless escapade.

I was the proudest man alive that afternoon. Not just because because I got the buggy up in one smooth motion (this time, I fully rehearsed it at home first so as to look like a Pro-Dad) but because.. well.. because this is my family. I couldn't stop smiling and I couldn't stop looking at him asleep below me. Which is why I tripped over the kerb twice and knocked over a stack of shortbread in M&S.

Really I was so blinkered, Sienna Miller could have run naked through the shopping centre handing out free doughnuts and I wouldn't have noticed. It was great. Going around Sainsburys has never been such an adventure. Although, in a way I was quite jealous - if only I could sleep whilst in the supermarket each week.. bliss.

Nothing could burst my proud parental bubble. No manner of terrible customer service that afternoon could spoil my day. And believe me, they tried in Sainsburys. Hard.

In other thoughts.. Sting was on Later with Jools Holland last night and he's just popped up on The Alan Titchmarsh Show too (what?!) - anyway, have you seen his new beard? It's so big, that if he'd only shave off his upper lip he'd have the most perfect 'both ways up' face.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

One week of discovery

It's been just a week since my son was born and 5 days of that have been at home. What have I learnt?

1. Learn how to use the car seat before you drive to the hospital to pick up your newborn. You don't want to be wrestling it in a dark car park for 15 minutes while a mini bus full of care patients watch you for entertainment.

2. Learn how to put your child in the car seat before you go into the hospital. Midwives have a certain look that you don't want to see when a new father is pulling and pushing various buttons and cords like they've been asked to check the chains on an illusionist before throwing him in a pool of water.

3. If you're watching Lorraine Kelly of a morning on GMTV then you're wasting precious time. Have a shower. You don't need to know how Victoria Beckham got her new look.

4. Don't bother watching Midsommer Murders of an afternoon on ITV. They split each episode over two afternoons and the chance of you having free time of an afternoon two days on the trot are very slim. (By the way, if anyone knows who killed the man who was being tested on by his mad brother Max in a village where everyone could predict the future - well everything apart from the fact that one of them was about to be murdered it seems - I'd love to know.)

5. John Nettles has the face of a baby who may have just dirtied his nappy.

6. Don't move to Badger's Drift or Midsommer. People die there. A lot. And whilst their local detective might be nice, he takes a long time to catch the killer and by that point inevitably a couple of other people will have been murdered as well. However, it may be worth visiting as Richard Briers is now a vicar at the local church! Although, he may or may not be a killer - sadly the episode finished half way through and I didn't see it the next day.

7. If your son is sick in your lap whilst you're wearing your dressing gown, clean it up. Don't answer the door to the postman having run down stairs so you're breathless. People talk.

8. Get used to drinking cold tea. Something will always get in the way of a hot one.

9. Don't moan about having a tummy ache to a woman who has had a c-section. Especially if you've just eaten too many Percy Pigs.

10. Did you know, it's really easy to get the new Victoria Beckham look with just your standard heated tongs at home? Amazing.