So, some 13 months or so ago my darling daughter finally made her appearance into our little world.
Now we all inherit things from our parents, such is life, and our daughter is no different. Within days of being born she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia – inherited from momma bear.
So within a couple of weeks she’d been fitted for a pavlik harness. Which meant for the first 6 weeks or so her hips were set in place. If I’m honest, she looked like a frog – and still reverts to this default position when she sleeps. So gradually we weaned her out of this velcro contraption until she was free.
Now it’s a year down the line. We are having appointments every 4 months and all is rosy it would seem. Until we get onto the matter of the rest of her life.
No trampolines. No or little time on bouncy castles. And such activities. Anything that places too much pressure on her hips could cause all this progress to evaporate.
This has also caused a slight delay in her ability to walk. Much as she’s getting there, and crawls round like a tazmanian devil. She’s just that little bit behind her peers.
Being ill is rubbish isn’t it? But Atleast as grown ups we can say we feel terrible and do something about it. Take some tablets, make a hot toddy or go to bed. But this isn’t the case for a baby. Ours especially.
We had her in a great routine, starting to sleep in her cot more with nightmares (n is for….!). But now we’ve inherited a needy, clingy, whinge machine. Who at times shows she wants to be her usual happy self. But she just can’t.
Can’t be left alone. Doesn’t know what to do with herself. It’s completely knocked her routine out, just as we get over all this coughy, coldy, snotty nonsense we get another I. Injections.
Here we go. Back to square 0. I say zero because we’d barely got back to square one.
When we’re I’ll we want sympathy, help and most of all comfort. I guess being a baby is no different. Just the clothes are much smaller.
Now this is a triple meaning. Double points. Pass go, collect £200 word.
I have noticed a few things recently…
Now that my darling daughter is growing into her own wonderful little personality, she has started humming. Now, whilst this may seem cute to some. The situation is often different.
She will look around, hum for a few moments then do something she knows is naughty. It’s adorable.
I’ve also come to the dawning realisation that I can’t remember the last time I woke up not humming a song from a kids tv show. Powerful marketing type stuff going on there. Those folk at Disney know their stuff.
Finally, for something so little, cute, butter wouldn’t melt type of child. She doesn’t half produce some stink. It hums.
As a prospective parent, I’ve always wanted a little boy. A mini me. A lump that I can mould. Make them like football, video games and Batman.
Having a girl baby was never really part of my plan.
I don’t know what they want. I can converse with boys. I can play with them. I’ve not had a great deal of experience with the female children.
But having this one has forced my hand. I know I’m going to have to dress up. I’m going to have toput on make up. Drink tea when there is no liquid present. And I’ll probably have to watch frozen. Alot.
That sort of stuff doesn’t scare me. Not an ounce. I’m an overgrownchild most days. So give me the choice of being a grown up or messing about with pink paint and glitter, and there’s no contest.
The scary thing for me is the future. Teenage years. Boys. Problems. Boys. Homework. Boys.
I know I’m going to be overprotective but I can’t help it. Love does that to you.
It seems so simple. Almost primal. People have been having having children for a little while now. But fatherhood is almost a science. A science made up of gut instinct and winging it.
If you think it’s going to work. Try it. It might. If you’ve seen it on tv and it worked try it. My gut instinct over the last time 10 months has become a finely honed 6th sense.
I have to say I’m enjoying it. I was told to enjoy it. They grow up so quick. All those sorts of clichés but it’s true. Even looking back on pictures from a month ago it’s hard to remember that this lumpy ball of smiles was once quite small.
Being a father is the best career that I’ve fallen into. It’s probably because I’m still a child. Just one who can have a glass of wine and reach things that are high up.
From working full time, I come home and really enjoy spending time with my daughter, even if it’s just a few minutes. But in the evenings, I also enjoy eating. Always have. It’s kind of a thing.
But since she has been old enough to eat solids. Any food I have gets watched from plate to mouth. Much like a dog does. Watching like a hawk with pleading, open eyes. We inevitably end up sharing food with our tiny little dustbin.
Despite the early days, when she would turn her nose up at anything that wasn’t mango. She will now eat anything. As teething progresses, anything will go in the mouth.
I adore the look on her face when I’ve passed her some of my food. She treats it like a treat. So excitable.
So every night I manage to throw a meal down me. Because if I don’t eat fast. I’ll eat half my meal and end up eating her rusks.
Now on occasion, when I have chance I like to take a few days off work for a break. I work hard, and want to be able to enjoy these early days with darling daughter, as more often than not, the weekend isn’t long enough.
There appears to be some sort of cultural problem with this. Be it on a Saturday or during the week for me to take the baby out on my own. Society seems to frown on it. Why?
Is this traditional? For dads to not be as involved? As a modern man, well man child, I’m very much involved. Have been from day 1. Wouldn’t change it.
But if I step out the house with the buggy on my own, I get odd looks from people. What exactly is the issue with being a hands on Dad who is chatting utter rubbish to his 9 month old daughter?
I’m not a Saturday dad. I’m a dad. This job comes with no manual, job description or danger pay.
Maybe it’s my perception. Maybe it isn’t. But there definitely seems to be a certain section of society who want to look down at their nose at me for what I’m doing. Yeah? Go on then.
Because my life started the day she was born and we have some great fun together.
As a new parent, crying children fill me with dread.
“What do you want from me crying tiny human?” This was a constant in my early days as a dad. But then you get to notice those tiny nuances between needs.
This is all well and good in theory. Yep, that cry : food. That one : pain. Fine.
Then we meet my daughter. He arrived without a manual. And she loves a cry. And a laugh, don’t get me wrong.
My main concern with the crying issue is night time. It’s dark. I’m tired. I’m disorientated. And my tiny human is having night terrors. Uncontrollable crying. No amount of cuddles soothe this.
Enter: Mickey Mouse. He is my saviour. Within seconds. Calm. Like a hypnotic rodent. I love him.
Now the real tears only come out when she won’t give in and sleep. But daddy solves that. Special cuddles soothe tears.
I’ve always loved beards. I finally reached a stage where I can grow a half decent one. My daughter has never known me to have anything but a hairy face. Much to her delight as she swings off it whilst not giving in to sleep. After a misjudgement whilst trimming I’m now beardless and it took my daughter a good half a day to accept that I was definitely her dad.
My life has revolved around bottles for 8 months now. But not the beer filled ones of old, but ones filled with overly sweet baby formula stuff. My mind constantly trying to remember how many we have/need/may need/have lost.
The Internet is a dangerous thing. Filled with bullshit. Especially when it comes to raising children. On the one hand people want us to raise our children as individuals and other offer very prescriptive advice on a variety of subjects. But not all children are the same. Yes it ‘MAY’ have worked for you to put sweetcorn between little Kylie ‘s toes to stop her coughing or to continously boil the kettle to get Jimmy to sleep. Not everything works for every kid.
Parenthood so far has taught me to trust my instincts. As if deep in my memory is the answer to a lot of the questions I see people using search engines for.
I’ll raise my kid. You raise yours.
Cut the bullshit and let me get on with being a beardless, bottle obsessed, brave, best I can be Dad.
From Day one I became ‘that dad’. Couldn’t go anywhere without thinking of picking up a little something for this unborn bundle of joy. Whether useful or not.
No – one can prepare you for the birth. When that Baby is put into your arms. You think you knew how to unconditionally love. Nah. This is a whole new level. At exactly midnight on 30th August 2014. I held my daughter for the first time.
After days of waiting. She was finally here. After days without sleep, proper food or beer. It was happening. It was real. And I couldn’t stop looking at her. Having to go home and rest was hard because adrenaline was keeping me awake.
And this is where the story begins.