Thursday, November 10, 2011

Being a new Dad - the first years

I noticed that all of my posts thus far are about my semi-grown up kids and not so much about what it's like when they are first born / younger, which for a lot of you is probably going to be helpful information ( if you want to avoid the feeling of "what the hell am supposed to be doing" that I felt )

So I thought I'd reflect on some of what I went through ( over a couple of posts) and hope it helps. After all we look at Brittany Spears and marvel that if she can raise a kid whilst being completely nuts there's probably hope for us all.

I'm not going to bother with the birth because it seems everyone has a story to share and really there's not much you can do but be there, hold hands and marvel that later you can tell your wife that you saw the inside of her during the surgery to remove a stuck kid.

Its certainly nothing like the Lion King with everyone showing up to marvel the newborn with music and song. What actually happened was the doctor handed me the kid with his leg bent the other way and his foot facing the inside of his leg.

The doctored chuckled and said "that's how he was in the womb, look... " and proceeded to refold him like an accordian and then unfold him.

The next 20 mins were completely surreal as I was just standing there holding my son with absolutely no idea what to do so I did what  I always do when I'm stuck - I started to just talk to him. It's probably the only time he has ever listened completely.

Anyway eventually they let us take the kid home and I decided to go back to work straight after because there were too many women in the house and I felt so useless. I think it worked well as they eventually left and we could get down to the serious business of parenting.

Because it was winter we assumed that the house had to be warm so we heated it up. Oh boy, did we heat it up. Every heater was turned on.
The first heating bill was more than my salary as we kept the house so hot for the kid to avoid any issues. From then on we used blankets and clothes.

So time began to pass and I must of demonstrated some responsibility because I was told that I would be left on my own to manage the kid whilst a dinner was attended.
As you know she has always been organised so when I was finally left alone with him - there was a list.

All the things I had to do were laid out and the foods to feed him were in individual containers. So it's simple right ?

I put him for the first feed in the high chair and opened the container. Kiwi fruit , too easy.

I get the spoon put some fruit on and hand it to him. I turn around to do something else and then turn back to the kid

The spoon is clean.
Sweet. All good.
So I repeat.

5 minutes later and the bowl is empty. I am on fire here. All I need to do is wipe the excess fruit off his face now.

I felt a drop on my shoulder. I wipe at it and see that it's fruit. I look up.

Who new kiwifruit could get on the roof ? Who knew how hard it is to clean fruit off the roof ?

I'll leave you with one last thought.

Kids will learn routines and you will change.

The eldest was about two and quietly playing on the floor whilst we were heatedly discussing our finances. After a while we both looked around the room and we realized Chris was no longer with us in the room.

We started frantically looking around and found him standing by himself in the dark in his bed room waiting to be put to bed. He knew when to go to bed and we had completely missed it.

Both of us hung our heads in shame and we realized from that point on it was no longer just about us.

It was about our family.

So don't worry and definitely don't panic because after all you're not Brittany Spears-  you're a Dad !

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