This isn’t directly related to literature, music or digital content, but people always say write about you know – and while I don’t want to bore anyone to tears, today I have been sitting at my desk, pondering my first three months as a father. So I thought I would share a few of my discoveries.
On the early hours of Saturday 9th January 2016, after watching countless episodes of Californication until 3am and sipping whisky in a Bukoswki-esque fashion (big mistake), my wife nudged me and very politely told me that she thought she had gone into labour. I’ll spare you the gory details, but she was right.
Around 16 hours later my baby boy, Sidney Hughes, entered the world and changed our lives forever. At first, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of admiration for my wife, who had just gone through hell and high water to deliver our child and still managed to ask me how I was feeling while in the throes of labour – she’s a trooper. Soon afterwards, a wall of responsibility smacked me square in the face.
This puffy faced, baguette headed (his head set to a normal shape soon after) creation of ours laying in my arms, sobbing in confusion, needed me to survive and all the books and YouTube nappy changing tutorials in the world didn’t mean a thing. They wouldn’t help us. Nothing would. But the love was there; it was immense.
It’s a cliché, but we took him to our humble home and we were terrified. The pair of us deliriously stumbled through those first few weeks – there were tears, there were fears and there was even an incident where I put a load of sweet potatoes in the cutlery drawer before spending two hours looking for them. But we got there in the end.
Sid is now a three-month-old cherub-like chunky monkey with smiles and a personality to boot – and frankly, he gets better every day. I love being a dad.
My fatherly findings (so far)…
- Many people will tell you this, but it’s worth mentioning again: if you have a boy, put a wipe over his private parts when you’re changing him. I’ve taken a water hose to the eyeball way too many times.
- When they’re first born, babies’ breathing patterns are irregular and they will stop breathing for a few moments at a time. Don’t panic and call a cab to A&E – and if you do, figure out how to use the car seat first.
- Until they reach two months old or so, babies will look at you with complete indifference no matter how much you do for them. They do appreciate you, secretly.
- If your baby won’t sleep or rejects his/her basket or cot, acting out that scene from the Lion King or singing the theme of the Golden Girls is surprisingly morale boosting at 4am.
- As a result of your delirium, when you do actually get to talk to adults, you might occasionally do so in a high-pitched, baby like tone. If you have started saying something in style of a demented Tellytubbie, you’d may as well finish your sentence.
- Bath times are the best times and playing your favourite music to your baby is a great way to bond.
Of course, there are many other things that I have learned in these short 12 weeks or so, but the main thing is that time just seems to disappear. Before I know it, Sid will be towering over me, telling be that I’m an embarrassment and that I can’t go to the pub with him (unless I’m buying and I sit on a separate table), so I’ll make sure I cherish every single day with him.
Our little lad is without doubt the best thing that has ever happened to us. I can be a miserable, cynical person at times, but Sid, without even being able to walk or talk, has taught me to look at the world through more rosy spectacles. I used to hate early mornings, now they’re not so bad – thank you son for making sure I get out of the right side of bed every day, just by being there.