Week 10 – Fifteen minutes


Well we had our fifteen minutes of fame this week with appearances on the Victoria Derbyshire Show, on 5 live and in Grazia magazine promoting Shared Parental Leave. As the great Bradley Walsh said “fame is a mask that eats away at the face” (Actually this might have been John Updike thinking about it) but it’s been an interesting week nevertheless.

The Green Room
Hitherto my only TV appearance had been as a 16 year old vox pop on BBC Midlands Today when I ineloquently suggested that crime was generally a bad thing. It was our first ever trip to New Broadcasting House and I was hoping for some great celebrity spots at Broadcasting House (e.g. Sir David Attenborough, Ed the Duck) and I wasn’t disappointed when I spied former Attorney General Dominic Grieve in the lobby!!!! What a day!

We were led to a green room prior to the show which despite not being green could definitely be called a room. There was on offer the sort of luxury you’d expect from the bloated and wasteful BBC (choice of Kenco or PG Tips). There was then a period of around an hour and a half where we milled around with the other people due to feature on the show; some other dads, a handful of people addicted to (or formerly addicted to or related to people addicted to or formerly addicted to) fixed odds betting machines, an American lawyer who had come to talk about rhino horn smuggling and the WBO middleweight champion of the world. It was a situation that you would only find yourself in if a) you were all appearing on a magazine type mid-morning current affairs show or b) there were a nuclear holocaust and you were the only ones to make it to the bunker in time. We all perked up when we heard that the Rolling Stones were due to feature on the show before perking right down again when we heard it was a pre-record. The show went well although we were only on for a short time. Captain Poo Pants managed not to loudly soil himself on live TV (well we all did technically but more of an achievement for him) which was great and he only dropped his teething ring 8 times in the 5 minutes we were on set.

Reporting of SPL
Don’t you think it’s awful that only 1% of dads took Shared Parental Leave this year? Although this startling statistic was reported by most major news organisations it suffers the misfortune of being completely wrong. The report on which it was based shows that in fact 1% of ALL men at the surveyed companies took Shared Parental Leave REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAD A BABY WITHIN THE YEAR IN QUESTION. I have no idea why this stat was even reported by the authors as it shows nothing useful. The worst bit for me was the flurry of opinion columns on the back of the statistic saying ‘look I told you men were rubbish, they probably don’t even know which end the food goes in and god have you seen one trying to fold laundry’.  Incidentally 0% of cats took Shared Parental Leave in the last year as well. Stick that on your front page.

There was one in the bed and the little one said roll over repeatedly until daddy gets really annoyed
I mentioned last week that Captain Poo Pants was closer to a double rollover than his dad’s recent lotto attempts. I won’t say which of us achieved our goal this week but suffice to say I am not walking round in a gown made of rubies. From being less mobile when on his back than an elderly tortoise he’s suddenly rolling more than Snoop Dogg.

These new found abilities are making bed time more of a challenge. I glance at the monitor one minute and he’s dozing on his back, I look back 10 seconds later and he’s on all fours facing away from the camera, then back on his back doing abdominal crunches, then 10 seconds later swinging across the screen like Tarzan from a nearby vine. Every day we get closer to the time of his life I have always been most worried about – that age when children run with ever increasing momentum in a straight line with no concern for themselves or others – like a sociopathic Linford Christie.

I just can’t believe that he hasn’t got any teeth yet. He produces more saliva than Rick Waller fantasising about a KFC bargain bucket but still not even the merest hint of a tooth.  I am genuinely starting to wonder whether he might just go through life toothless. In the middle of the night I was trying to think what he’d order at a restaurant when he’s an adult if he still doesn’t have any teeth. Soup to start, obviously. Then I thought potentially some sort of vegetable curry or a stew and then ice cream to finish. Not having any teeth doesn’t have to be the impediment it used to be but I do hope he gets some at some point.

World’s shittest changing facilities
Changing facilities in men’s toilets are either shit or not there. These in the Angel Centre, Tonbridge really take the biscuit though. I’m changing a baby, not filleting a joint of pork.


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