Dawn this morning was lovely. I was thinking what a great dawn it was at 4.20am as I fed my son, listened to the birds and watched the blue black sky grow lighter, illuminating the roof tops of my London street.

I considered waking my partner Becky to tell her what a lovely morning it was but then thought, as she is averaging less than 5 hours sleep a night, she may not appreciate being told that she was missing the best part of the day.

This is a phrase I have never really understood. “You are mssing the best part of the day,” my father used to bark at me as he mowed the lawn at 6am on a Saturday after working an 80 hour week!

“Really Dad?” I would think from somewhere far under my duvet. “If this really is the best part of the day then how come you are the only crazy man in the street up and around and enjoying it!”

While I remembered this and watched the sky grow light I made the decision then and there to always allow my son to sleep for as long as he wanted at the weekend. He could decide himself what the best part of the day was. This fatherly epiphany excited me and I shook Becky awake to relay my brilliance to her.

And so I found myself at just before 5am watching the rest of the dawn downstairs in the living room. Not that I was too scared to go back in the bedroom after what Becky called me for waking her up. I didn’t even realise she knew words like that! No, I was not scared at all. I was just contemplating cutting the grass and thoroughly enjoying the best part of the day.

I think we know what the best part of his day will be...

I think we know what the best part of his day will be...

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Man Flu!

May 29, 2009

I fell ill this week, just a summer cold but being a man it may as well have been Bubonic Plague.

I hobbled home from work early – to an empty, uncaring house I may add, and went straight to bed. When I awoke three hours later, feeling little better (still on death’s door) I could hear signs of life far below me in the downstairs part of the house. I reached for my mobile phone, punched in Becky’s number and waited for her to answer.

“Hello?” She said.

“Meurgh,” I croaked back at her.

“How are you feeling?” She asked.

“I may be on the way out. I think my number is up,” and I coughed down the phone line to add authenticity. “Will you come up and see me?” I asked, almost squeaking.

“No, not right now” she replied. “I’m feeding the boy,” and this is when the penny dropped for me. I am no longer the first priority in Becky’s life – and if I am being realistic I don’t reckon I get second place either, that honour going to CSI.

So, I am now in third place in the life of my partner. In the life of my partner I am now the Liberal Democrats!

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Missing!

May 28, 2009

Last night was a rare treat. I sat down with my 8 week old son, an ice cold beer and watched the final of the Champion’s League between Barcelona and Manchester United. It was great… Great apart from the fact that I missed both the goals due to the fact that just as Barcelona were twice about to strike the evil genius that is my son distracted me from the TV!

This is now how it is in my house. I managed to watch the first half of CSI the other night. During the break I tended to the boy, never realised that my partner Becky had changed the channel while the adverts were on, settled back down to watch the second half of Law and Order and didn’t even notice I was not watching the same show. For a fleeting second I did wonder why Gil Grisham of Las Vegas CSI was running the New York Law and Order Special Victims Unit but was way too tired to worry about it.

Last week I watched the latest Batman movie – with the sound down. As soon as I turned the volume of my TV above level 4 the crashes and explosions nearly made the boy leap from my arms. People tell me Heath Ledger was very good in the movie. He was pretty good even with the sound down.

So, this is how it is to be. Great chunks of life simply missing, details lost or glossed over, matters of national importance that don’t even make it on to my radar. In fact, I just heard today that Peter Andre and Jordan are to divorce! Somebody should have told me!

I always thought Lilian Gish was just rhyming slang!

I always thought Lilian Gish was just rhyming slang!

Goldmember!

May 26, 2009

Here is another one of God’s cruel ironies… I spend the whole of my single life failing miserably to chat up women, find girlfriends or just generally appear appealing to the oppopsite sex and by and large failing quite spectacularly. Then, when I miraculously get someone to fall for my charms and this crazy, beaultiful woman actually agrees to have a baby with me, suddenly out of nowhere I start to become attractive to women!

This is not just wishful thinking on my part. Having a baby has suddenly made women sit up and take notice of me – ‘nobody puts Marcus in a corner!’

However, this new found studliness is a rather double edged sword – women are implicitly drawn to New Dads in a strange Darwinesque way they themselves can’t even explain, but probably has something to do with the basic fact that their balls work and they can reproduce. But, even though you are now suddenly On The Radar women only see you in an attractive but non threatening male friend way. So, you have proven you can have children and been emasculated in one fell swoop!

“I have never had this much female attention in all my life,” my friend Terry said the other night. “I have even thought of telling some of these women I am a single Dad, but if Thelma found out she’d bloody kill me!”

So, having a baby has given myself and other New Dad’s a vague veneer of attraction, but let’s not lose our heads over this. We may have something going for us but remember chaps… when they see us they don’t see Richard Gere or Hugh Jackman, it’s more Richard Hammond and Hugh Laurie!

Fellow Babe Magnet and F1 boss Flavio Briatore - Just what is it that women find so attractive about the 56 year old multi millionaire?

Fellow Babe Magnet and F1 boss Flavio Briatore - Just what is it that women find so attractive about the 56 year old multi millionaire?

I have always prided myself on my standards. Standards of tidiness, standards, of hygiene, standards of turning up on time for wherever it is I am meant to be.

However, over the last seven weeks or so, since the birth of my son these have all slipped. Not gradually. Not like a gentle drop off that you may not notice unless you looked carefully at my life… Oh no, my standards have dropped faster than a lemming off a cliff! And in quite unimaginable ways!

In my house there was always a place for everything and in everything was in its place. But not now. Not by a country mile. “Oh you’re exaggerating,” I hear you protest. “It can’t be that bad!” Really? I keep finding small plastic bags of poo filled nappies just where you would least expect them. I disgusted myself when I found one under the sofa and then reached an all new low when I found one in my work briefcase!

This morning I put on a jumper to go to work, judging that it was clean enough to wear as it only had one small milky sick stain on the front. I don’t think I have ever seen a paparazzi photograph of Brad Pitt, arriving at some airport carrying one of his 17 children with mashed apricot spewed down his Gucci shirt.

I decided this morning, as I slipped on a stray tiny sock, stubbing my toe on my son’s bouncer chair that I would embrace this chaos, that I would wear my stains like a badge of honour and when I turned up at the next gathering of friends 45 minutes late I would simply announce that I was fashionably late. Anyway, I bet Madonna never turns up anywhere on time, and nobody questions her standards!

Just do what Bill would and we will all be fine...

Just do what Bill would and we will all be fine...

Alex is my posh friend. He has three children. Alex called me to congratulate me on the birth of my son.

“Well done Squire! A Boy! I thought you were never going to get round to it,” he bellowed down the phone. “Now, listen up, here’s the low down…. As you know, the birth itself is quite traumatic but then it gets easier… for a bit! Then, after a few months it gets really bloody hard again… then they develop enough co-ordination to kill themselves at any moment, and that’s a living hell I tell you! You can’t take your eyes off the little blighters… not even for a second.”

I made affirmative noises down the phone and let him continue. “And here’s the real bugger… they just don’t learn right or wrong until they’re about seven! If they want to be on the opposite side of the road to the one they’re on then Bosh! They’re off, running like a man possessed, no matter what traffic is coming.”

“But eventually,” he continued, “you just kind of plane out and you live your whole life totally knackered! Anyhoo, just called to say congrats. Well done and enjoy! Ta ta!” And with that he hung up.

Take a look at these inner city gang banging kidults! No wonder knife crime is through the roof!

Take a look at these inner city gang banging kidults! No wonder knife crime is through the roof!

Mutual assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender.

Which, when you think about it, is a lot like being a New Parent. There have been times in the last 7 weeks (usually around 4am) when my partner Becky and I have been close to killing each other through lack of sleep. In the middle of the night it’s like we’re having a “Clint Eastwood Off” as we growl at each other, Dirty Harry style, through gritted teeth.

Just last night my son Noah joined us in our admiration for Clint. He looked up at me and I immediately knew what was on his mind – “I know what you’re thinking Daddio! ‘Have I finished filling my nappy or not?’ “Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as I am a 7 week old baby, with the most powerful korma producing bottom in the world, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, Daddy?’

Come On! I'll have you... and Mum and my Grandparents outside now! I'll have the bloody lot of you!

Come On! I'll have you... and Mum and my Grandparents outside now! I'll have the bloody lot of you!

Lately I have been feeling my age. At 37 I am a relatively late starter to this New Dad thing. By the time my father was 37 he had a wife, two children, two cars and a large mortgage on a bungalow – the poor sod!

At 37 my energy levels are no longer what they once were, especially when it comes to the night feeds and dealing with the acute lack of sleep. Jarvis Cocker may have been 39 but he probably had an army of nannies. I suggested a nanny to my partner Becky but she just gave me ‘the eyes’ and said that even if we could afford it Jude Law had now closed down that avenue of possibility. Thanks Jude – you git!

My friend Breno started his journey into fatherhood much earlier than myself. “Things have changed so much from when I was born,” he lamented while we were having lunch. “Back in 1980 everything was just so different and so much easier,” he remarked, as if Thomas Edison was just getting to grips with the electric light bulb as Breno’s mother went into labour.

“I have t-shirts older than you,” I told him.

Older still is my friend James, who at 47 has a five year old and three year old twins. He took them swimming last week and had his pride severely dented when the lifeguard remarked that it was great to see the grandparents getting involved.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he replied through gritted teeth.

How Jude blew it big time!

How Jude blew it big time!

Being the Best Air Bass Guitarist in the world may be okay as a hobby but I need my son to take life a little more seriously. Hopefully over the coming months he will expand his ‘Air’ talents to something more substantial, like Air Hedge Funding or Air Stock Broking….

Noah Air Guitar

In my life these days Time is but a vague concept. I will regularly start a conversation with, “I was in this shop last week, er, no hold on it wasn’t last week it was on Thursday… no, come to think of it may have been yesterday… or was it this afternoon?”

Since the birth of my son I have totally lost track of when anything happened and what day it is. Having a child has clearly made me lose my marbles. I think myself lucky if I make it home from work in one piece and remember where I live!

If my partner Becky asks me a question, no matter how simple I will repeat it back at her like a demented parrot, but with the emphasis on the first part of the question. She will say, “Do you want a cup of tea?” And I will parrot back, “Do I want a cup of tea?”

A couple of times my exhaustion has got so bad I have literally forgotten I have a child. This happened to me the other day when Noah was lying on his play gym and I was pottering nearby in the kitchen. It was like a weird phenomena of, all in the same second, completely forgetting you have a baby, then remembering, then being overwhelmed by guilt for having forgotten!

Last week, or possibly on Wednesday the same thing happened to Becky as we lay in bed. Suddenly she sat bolt upright and said, “Where’s the baby!” Panicking the life out of me before we both realised he was blissfully asleep in his Moses basket beside us, snoring like a trumpet.

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