I’ve been a dad for nine months here’s what I know

Published: 19th Oct, 2015

There we are, best pals (or second if you count his mum)

Nine months

In case you hadn’t noticed I’m writing one of these posts every month for the first year of my boy’s life so after today we’re nine down, three to go, and one day in around 2132 the apple of my eye and fruit of my loins will look fleetingly at them, shrug, ask what an “internet” is, then go off somewhere in a spaceship. I’m imagining a future where he’s immortal and I live for centuries preserved in brine, looking on like a jar of a Heinz Disapproving Parent, forever judging his life choices. That’s the dream anyway.

So another month has gone, and the overwhelming feeling has been one of genuine physical exhaustion – they start moving a lot around now – and a deep, borderline melancholic, sense of nostalgia. As I look down at my ever-growing bundle of energy, I’ve become increasingly aware of my own lost childhood, I’ve realized that no amount of old records from my youth will transport me back to endless summers that stretch on for miles, the exciting taste of bubblegum, the first kiss and the first fag. He’s got all of that to come and I’m jealous. I’m also jealous of people who just go to the cinema on a whim rather than treating it like a war mission, I’m jealous of people who arrive at the pub at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon not knowing where the evening will take them just as mine ends. I’m jealous of people who lie in bed brainlessly playing with their pubes wondering whether to get up or not. I went to Cornwall for a week last week and read a grand total of 18 pages of a book.

From this day forward, I cease to evolve culturally, you can say names of bands to me or tell me about films or books or computer games, and I will nod my head but it’s filled with white noise and confusion, praying that you don’t ask me a single follow-up question that isn’t about me having a baby. If you look closely you might see a glassiness in my eyes which may be boredom or tears, I’m not a cool sexy gunslinger, I’m an elderly deputy. The best I can offer you is Obi-Wan Kenobi homespun wisdom that isn’t even wisdom – just mantras that I stole from Oprah and somehow reappropriated to myself. I am a husk, a stoical old monkey in a human world. I’m someone’s dad.

Anyway, here are some more observations from the last month or so…

I can legitimately start listening to jazz without people giving a shit…
So that’s cool, it’s a definite upside. I’m even pretending that the lad likes jazz even though he’s probably thinking ARRGH SHUT THE HELL UP MILES DAVIS YOU JERK.

Babies won’t just eat anything…
Once they start eating solid food you assume that you can just mash any old slop together and babies will wolf it down, but not so. Turns out my lad is hitting Monica Galetti levels of discernment, demanding that the beans are cooked to perfection and the mash is just so. Else it’s GOING ON THE FLOOR!

Babies are NOT flirts…
Lots of new parents like to say “Oh he’s such a flirt” about their babies and it’s distressing for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s a ridiculous notion that a baby would flirt. Secondly, because it’s a blatant lie. It’s like they’re mocking you. Henceforth my set response to such absurdity will be “I KNOW RIGHT, MINE TOO!” and then I’ll suggest that he once got off with a barmaid while I was paying the bill.

Wiping a child’s nose is the cruelest thing you can do…
I’ve seen my boy career into a wall face-first and emerge humming like he just got kissed by a butterfly, but approach him holding some soft tissue paper for his nose and you may as well be an Indiana Jones baddie slowly approaching with rusty pliers and a blowtorch.

He’s a lightbulb moment away from walking, then we’re totally fucked…
He gets it, he knows about standing up, he’s seen us moving around like bipedal geniuses while he commando crawls around the house. My next move will be to go around the place with a tool kit moving everything up a couple of feet. Preemptive is my middle name (although to really work as a joke it should probably be my first name).

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *