Fatherhood. I thought it was going to be all fun and games. Spending hours playing peek-a-boo and singing lullabies. Standing over a moses basket whilst my baby slept peacefully.
The reality however, was very different. There was definitely some false advertising somewhere along the line because being a parent is bloody hard work. Nothing like what I expected at all. Somebody should really suggest teaching this sort of stuff in schools so that everybody is aware of what they are getting themselves into. I bet that would reduce the amount of teenage pregnancies. Get rid of subjects like Design Tech and Religious Education and replace them with ‘What parenting is really like’ or ‘Parenting – Going grey and getting fat’.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a dad, it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s a unique feeling that cannot be described until it happens. Everybody always tells you…parenting will come natural to you…your instincts will kick in. Although this is somewhat true, there was still so much that I had no idea about. What I’ve realised is that parenthood is basically just winging it and hoping for the best. Probably explains why the world is full of so many strange people. Some parents are clearly better at winging it than others.
Here’s a few things that I did not expect…
Some of the faces that Austin pulls are hilarious. He often does this when we have visitors round and we get the usual “awww look he’s smiling at me”. Erm, sorry to disappoint you but he’s just got gas and he’s probably taking a massive dump in his nappy right now. Gets less cute very quickly.
Austin times his faces perfectly. Amy and I were discussing different things that we needed to buy.
“You are going to make mummy and daddy bankrupt little man”
Austin then opened one eye and gave a windy toothless grin as if to say…”Yeah too right I am!”
2. Waving goodbye to sleep
Who needs sleep anyway, not me, nope. I can manage living a normal adult life with just 3 hours sleep…said no parent ever! I love my sleep and I’m one of them people who needs a solid 8 hours just to function like a human being. Parenting has thrown that completely out of the window. I used to be one of them annoying people who constantly complained that they’d only had 7 hours sleep and was ‘sooo tired’. Now I spend my nights awake at 2 in the morning staring into space wondering what the hell has happened to my life.
3. Babies have a built in radar
I swear my little boy knows exactly when it’s time to turn on the water works. Every single time that I attempt to go anywhere near his mother he kicks up a fuss. I’m not even talking about trying to mount her in an attempt to make a little brother or sister for Austin. I’m talking about a simple cuddle on the sofa.Okay son, I get it, you don’t like sharing.
4. Babies make the strangest noises
You expect a newborn baby to maybe make some sort of cooing noises that are cute. Not my son! We will be watching TV in silence, enjoying a rare moment of piece and quiet, and then all you can hear are little pig noises coming from the moses basket. It sounds like we have a little Gremlin in the corner of the room.
5. They turn into wild animals when feeding
We have had a fair few problems when it’s come to feeding our baby. For some reason, he turns into a hungry wild animal whenever the bottle comes into his eyesight. People who come round to visit probably think that we are terrible parents who never feed him. It takes an eternity to get the bottle into his mouth because of the frantic desperation to get his food. No wonder he ends up with milk up his nose and in his ears.
6. The nappies are never ending
I didn’t realise just how much newborn babies filled their nappies. It’s just a constant conveyor belt that never seems to end. Nappy after nappy. My son seems to enjoy waiting until just after I’ve changed him to let rip a massive fart and fill his brand spanking new nappy up with poo. Perfect timing! Another favourite of Austin’s is to wait until I’ve taken his nappy off to take a piss all over himself. I guess I should really be grateful that he doesn’t choose to wee all over me. Such a considerate little boy.
Parenthood has been full of ups and downs so far, and I’m excited to see what else Austin has to throw at me as he grows up. Hopefully I don’t end up in a crazy house for the mentally unstable. There’s no doubt that I will at least be fat with a full head of grey hair in a few years so until then I will enjoy being a dad as much as possible.
I’d love to hear about any similar stories that have been unexpected for you as a parent. Leave your comments below.
I’ll be back soon with more of my parenting challenges.