Well we made it. Week one of my parental adventure has gone by successfully. VERY SUCCESSFULLY. Although Captain Poo Pants (CPP) has spent the entire week sucking on his fingers, there has also been time for me to apply some of my expert parenting techniques. I haven’t yet found time to teach him chess or a musical instrument but he has been successful in mashing some banana into his trousers so that’s good. Here are the week’s highlights;
At around 3 o clock on Monday morning, I was sat at the end of CPP’s cot thinking that the SAS should start recruiting new parents. We can cope with the sleep deprivation, we’ve got excellent upper body strength due to all the baby rocking and we are utterly unfazed by someone screaming at us two inches from our face. If only I was able to descend a rope from a helicopter whilst firing very accurately at the enemy, I’d basically be the perfect recruit.
Left to my own devices, I would replicate the sleep pattern of a brown bear; eat twice my body weight for dinner and then sleep for 3 months. Transitioning to the sleep pattern of a teething baby therefore has been the most difficult thing this week. After three bad nights, uncovering CPP’s hands so that he could access his fingers during the night has meant he has slept around one million times better.
To be honest, I had assumed that all I would have to do is step outside the front door and receive the adulation of the world simply for the achievement of being a dad looking after their child (I was thinking spontaneous applause, ticker tape etc). In fact no one’s really that bothered and that’s the way it should be. Looking after your child is just something you ought to do. I think we should make it easier for dads to take more of the load but actually we shouldn’t get a medal for doing something that women have been doing for tens of thousands of years. I exchanged a knowing nod with a couple of other blokes doing the same and a few words with a woman in a mobility scooter about the difficult terrain on Tonbridge High Street. Other than that, no one has batted an eye lid.
The dad bag received its initiation on Saturday lunchtime. Graze in Tonbridge has excellent changing facilities accessible to dads. Unfortunately this means that loads of other people with kids go in there which is annoying. I thought CPP might have given me an easy one to break me in but actually it was like an industrial accident in a shit factory.
Feeding the little mite was the thing I was most worried about. He’s become so used to ordering take out from Boobs R Us that I wondered how he would cope without round the clock access. Previously, every one of his interactions with the cup has involved him screaming at it, me pouring some milk into his mouth and him allowing the milk to dribble out of his mouth down his shirt. As it happened, as soon as mom was out of the house, he realised that he didn’t really have much option and was happy enough to drink from a cup rendering all of our careful habit forming cup training completely wasted.
He is also more than happy eating solid foods and is trying foods that I genuinely didn’t try until I was in my 20s (so basically all fruit and veg).
No matter how good the night’s sleep, early morning get ups are the norm now although CPP is happy to go back to sleep again around an hour after ‘getting up’. With nap times on top of this, it means I have imbibed quite a lot of daytime TV and what a packet of bollocks it really is. Other than Dion Dublin’s performances on Homes Under the Hammer (“these are the stairs which lead up to the bedrooms”), it is slim pickings. I’ll be starting a daytime TV review series later this week so stay tuned for that one.
I have the chess set ready for week 2.