Throw Baby From The Train….

February 25, 2010

There is a great scene in the Billy Crystal, Danny Devito film Throw Momma From The Train when Crystal’s character finally cracks and he announces that he is off to kill Devito’s mother.

Strangely enough I was reminded of that very scene last night, or more precisely this morning, just after four am when my partner Becky leapt from our bed and stormed towards the bedroom door announcing, “That’s it…!”

“Where are you going?” I asked with trepidation over the noise of our son, who at this point was doing a great impression of being murdered by a Mad Max type gang in his nursery.

“I’m… going… to…,” pause, deep inhale of breath, “get him some milk!”

“Phew, I thought you were about to say you were going to kill him!” And she looked at me the way mothers do – as if this had never occurred to her and it was only me that had these terrible thoughts.


Danger, Will Robinson!

February 2, 2010

My ten month old son has just entered that phase where he now has the ability to kill himself in a hundred different ways every single day.

The parental amazement that your little bundle of joy can get around under their own steam lasts for just as long as it takes your beautiful baby to reach the nearest plug socket and start to lick it.

In the middle of a nappy change my son likes to flip round on to his belly and then scamper to the edge of the changing table where he will rock back and forth precariously, laughing in the face of complete disaster. He is fearless… or maybe just an idiot!

Some would say that their behaviour is based on a total lack of understanding for consequence and this may be true. However, I like to believe it’s something more mysterious. I think we are all born with a little bit of Evel Knievel in us and it’s only time and society that beats this daredevil mentality out of us (unless of course you’re Evel Knievel!).

If you gave any baby the choice of climbing a mountain of pillows or climbing an electricity pylon they would choose the pylon every time. What does that tell you? Probably best not to try to prove this theory at home!

So, what I’m saying is that we all need to be a little more carefree, a little more adventurous in our life. As Gahndi once said, “learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” It’s a sentiment that makes a lot of sense, you know. With that in mind I’m off to jump 40 motorcycles in a double decker bus.

I thoroughly enjoy being a Dad. I relish the roller coaster ride of parenthood and do my best to embrace and enjoy every new challenge. And, as I am constantly finding out, there are plenty of new challenges on an almost daily basis.

My ten month old son is now mobile. He can crawl at speeds of up to 35mph on a flat surface and will suddenly appear right beside me as if from nowhere. I am overjoyed at this in one way, as he is no longer a helpless baby but turning into a small boy, full of mischief, charm and adventure.

In another way his mobility terrifies me as he will scuttle rapidly out the bedroom, across the hallway and loom precariously at the top of the stairs, threatening to take a header all the way to the bottom. This would not be a good thing.

However, there is one change I am not enjoying. One change that I really can’t stand or stomach and that is what is currently going on in the bottom department. My child has gone from passing small, innocuous stools to having a bottom of mass destruction!

This tiny being is capable of producing poo that would rival the best any grown man could produce after a night out on curry and beer. This is no longer tiny baby poo. This is exactly like you or I going to the toilet in a nappy – and he is capable of doing this up to four times a day. The boy must be like a bloody Tardis inside!

My partner Becky and I now have full blown arguments over changing his nappy. Either that or we attempt to bargain our way out of changing Noah’s nappies. To this end I currently owe Becky slightly over twelve thousand pounds in nappy bribes!

If my son ate these he may launch himself into space!

Pick it up and drop it down, pick it up and drop it down, pick it up and drop it down….

This is my son’s favourite new game. The rules are simple and go something like this – I hand him an object, he takes it, looks interested in it, shakes it a few times and then holds it over the side of the pram or high chair and drops it to the ground.

This action is then repeated until he loses interest or I lose my patience. So, it normally goes like this – Pick it up. Drop it down. Pick it up. Drop it down. Pick it up. Drop it down. Pick it up, “Here, just hold it Noah, hold it, that’ s it, good, give it a shake, keep hold of it, don’t…don’t… don’t! Why you little…. Aargh!”

According to the books it’s all part of your child’s development and they don’t realise they are simply dropping the object into thin air. However, given that my son is actually the reincarnation of some evil genius I fully believe he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s all about the power you see – who has it and who does not, and he very much has it!

There’s a look in his eye as he holds the object over the side of his high chair, toying with me as a cat would a mouse. Once, twice, three times he fakes the drop and is amused as each time I lurch forward snatching at thin air.

“Oh yes, Daddy,” I can almost hear him smirk. “Who’s the Daddy now?”

Bouncing Back

January 29, 2010

10 months after my partner Becky gave birth to our son Noah I feel that I am finally starting to get my figure back – Yes, you did read that right.

At first there was a sustained period of inactivity after the boy was born, mainly to do with the fact that I spent most of my time looking after him and not looking after me. This resulted in the well known but highly contagious condition known as “Dad Fat” (see previous entries).

For a while there the Dad Fat had got the better of me and I did think I may turn into one of those fathers who wear ill fitting v neck jumpers to disguise their paunch. I even found myself admiring my neighbour’s Chrysler Grand Voyager People Carrier. It was then I knew the Dad Fat had spread to my brain!

However, as we enter the 11th month of my son’s life I have found things starting to change. At this stage babies start to dream, realise who their parents are and become very needy. Noah has become very, very needy. As a result I can either let him wail and bawl as he crawls around the house after me or I can pick him up – so I pick him up.

I now find myself carrying him around the house for long stretches while I go about my daily chores, and the upside to this is that I have found it better (and cheaper) than any gym work out. My shoulders have grown stronger while my arms have become toned.

This, combined with the fact that I spend hours a week walking with him in his prams has strengthened my legs like never before.

Ah, but what about that paunch I hear you question? I think it’s only fair that after all my exertion I deserve a pit stop on my long walks for a nice milky coffee and a slice of cake… er, every day. And after all, there’s no rush is there? Who knows what the next stage of my baby work out will bring.

See! It can happen to the best of us!

In The Night Garden….

January 27, 2010

Where the hell are the Wottingers?

I have to admit that I am worried about them! For those of you who are not familiar with In The Night Garden, the Wottingers live next door to the Pontipines.

Now, this I do know – the Pontipines are fine. All ten of them are doing just marvellously. I see them almost every night as my son and I sit watching the adventures of Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy, Macca Pacca and the rest of the garden’s inhabitants.

However, I have not seen the Wottingers in weeks and, if I am being frank, it looks like their side of the semi detached house they share with the Pontipines is completely empty.

I fear that the Wottingers may have fallen foul of this dastardly recession and had to vacate their beautiful home and the salubrious surroundings of the Night Garden for a lesser, more affordable area of…. well, wherever the hell these guys live.

Perhaps they have been relocated to Salford Quays in Manchester by the BBC – how will they survive!?

Maybe I will never find out what has happened to them. Sometimes life can be like that. If you do happen to see the Wottingers in your travels…. then frankly you are probably drinking too much!

"You are shitting me!? Manchester? I have never even heard of Manchester!"

How to Cure Nappy Rash….

January 17, 2010

The scourge of nappy rash visited our house last week.

The bottom of my poor son looks as if it has been napalmed! One minute he was fine, a bottom as fine as a peach and absolutely no complaints, the next it would have given a mating female baboon a good run for her money in a “whose bottom is reddest” competition.

So, I search the interwebs, post on forums and read all I can looking for something that will soothe my infant’s suffering… and, as you can guess, there is a whole host of medications designed for just the task.

Cream after cream we tried and nothing seemed to work until, during a phone conversation with my sister in law she suggested egg white! “It’s what my mother used and it’s what I used on all three of my children. Never mind with those fancy pants creams that will cost you a fortune, egg whites are what you want. Spread it on, let it dry and then stick his nappy on.”

And so it was with great trepidation that I tried the egg white nappy rush miracle cure…. and it turned out to be just that! Within 48 hours the nappy rash was all but gone. The only downside was that every time my son broke wind during this time I was positive someone nearby was making an omelette!

My mistake was not to remove the shells!

Why is it that only those that you love the most can drive you right to the very edge of your sanity?

Strangers I really could not care a jot about. Cut me up in traffic and I am the kind of person who takes it in his stride. Get bad customer service in a shop and I am pretty forgiving, rationalising that I do not envy these people their roles so I can kind of see why they get stroppy.

I can even tolerate traffic wardens and, worse still, estate agents. It’s not their fault they are not God’s chosen people.

Throughout all these trials and tribulations I am calm, serene, even laid back. I forgive people for all that they do not know. My real crazed, homicidal, irrational emotions I save for the two people I love most in the world – my partner and my son, both of whom have the innate ability to make me want to… well, it’s probably best not to say in this current climate. I may get put away for thought crime!

After nine months of broken sleep and my tiny son headbutting me like a professional Glaswegian I think I finally know what it is like to be inside the head of a crazy person!

After the better part of a year surviving on four hours sleep a night, finding that all my clothes have either cheese puffs, milk stains or yoghurt mashed into them and going out socially with my partner just four times during this period I could now give Ted Bundy a run for his money, as far as homicidal tendencies are concerned.

Somewhere between two thirty and four thirty in the morning the transformation takes place from mild mannered father to Velociraptor Dad. I am mad, bad, dangerous and utterly and completely irrational. I would sell my only child for just a few hours more sleep and anything that my partner Becky says to me translates in my mind as tantamount to asking for a fight.

When will my life return to ‘normal’? When will my child allow me to sleep undisturbed through the night? How much does it cost to rent a one bedroom flat or suitably insulate my garden shed?

These are the questions making my world turn in 2010!

If you do not go to sleep immediately I will eat you!!!

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia where generally most facts are wrong, has recently announced that the vast majority of people who write entries are men. No shit! Women are far too intelligent and busy in their lives doing things that actually matter to waste hours typing away about varieties of kettles or who invented shoe laces. This kind of preoccupation with nonsense and the banal is very much the preserve of men.

It also turns out that 85% of entries are written by people who have no children, which when you think about it entirely makes sense. I spend almost every waking moment of my day dealing with the needs and wants of my child. When he finally goes to sleep and I drag my weary body back downstairs, I am looking forward to a glass of wine and  the intellectual highs of an episode of Law and Order, CSI or House.

It would be a very strange parent who wanted to spend what little free time they have chronicling the hits of Phil Collins from 1971 onwards…. but then, as my mother would say, ‘there’s nowt as queer as folk!’

It's a well known Wikipedia fact that Phil Collins started his career as the violinist in the band Crowded House.

Multi Tasking…..

December 17, 2009

Yesterday I was busy looking after the boy when the phone rang. It was my friend Nick. He wanted to ask me a couple of work related questions, which at that moment in time was fine as my son was fast asleep upstairs having his afternoon nap.

However, my son was born with a special gift that means if Mummy or Daddy really need five minutes quiet, need to do something important or are about to eat then his special gift kicks in and he will magically awaken and start to cause chaos – just at the exact moment you really, really, really need him not to be causing chaos. This is what happened yesterday.

So, as I continued  to speak to Nick,  answering his somewhat technical questions about budgets and systems I got up from my chair, went upstairs and tried to calm my son. When this failed I sought his dummy from where it had rolled under the cot, cleaned it and gave it to him, all the while chatting about the differences between two different computer servers. (riveting, I know!) Unfortunately he was not pacified by his dummy so I put the phone in the crook of my neck, scooped up my baby and headed back downstairs.

When I reached the living room I plopped him down, surrounded him with cushions, answered Nick’s next query and went to make up some milk.  Milk made, I returned to the living room, gave Noah his drink, made sure this calmed him and he was happy, then finished off my conversation with my friend while turning on the dishwasher. And it was then that it struck me…

I have turned into a woman!

This may be my future! Although I suspect Dustin Hoffman has better legs than me!