Daddy blogger Colm O'Regan on...things he thought he knew

MagicMum’s daddy blogger Colm ‘O Regan has been tackling fatherhood for a good year now so he's well aware of what the role entails!   

In his newest post he ruminates on the things he has learned since Ruby was born, in particular exshitement...

Sometimes these types of columns are called 'X Things They Don’t Tell You About Becoming A Parent'. I didn’t call it that because:

  • I don’t know who They are

  • It wasn’t up to Them to tell me. I had plenty of time to ask

  • Even if I asked Them I probably wouldn’t have listened

  • Having read all of the available lists by now, actually I was told

Anyway, here are some things that I learned in the Baby Infants Class of Primary School for Fathers.

1. Staring role

You are now a total boss at staring children out of it. I don't use the word 'boss' that much so when I do I mean it. I am the BOSS of dealing with uncomfortably long-staring children. Children USED to stare at me as if they were builders wondering who had wandered onto the site in sandals.. But since my daughter was born, I have my safe-pass, my hard hat and my steel toe-capped boots. I am meant to be there. What are you looking at, Baby?

2. Exshitement

I’m fairly poo-positive anyway. If social decorum allowed, I would happily tell people about what a good one I’ve just had. But I didn’t realise that there would come a time when I would cheer a hot, stinky mess in someone else’s life. I think it was Shakira who said “hips don’t lie” and often I wondered what she meant by that. Now I know. She meant that you can tell a lot about someone from how their poo is. (But that doesn’t’ really sell singles so she had to dress it up with a bit of LELELELELELELLOOLAYY.) If the poo is good, I’m not far off texting the neighbours the good news.

3. Things that make noise

Everything makes noise that didn’t used to make noise. Your nan’s sensible Ecco shoes sound like a suit of armour when walking past the bedroom of a sleeping child. The new-build, heat-recycling, air-tight house suddenly ages to become a clapboard shack on the edge of an abandoned beach resort buffeted by winter storms just after you’ve put that special someone down for the night. A door we didn’t realise was stuck is NOW THE STICKEST DOOR IN THE WORLD.

4. Gentle patenting

Forget the W*b S*mmit. The real startups and founders and disrupters are in new parents’ kitchens and living-rooms. Small inventions that will never be registered with a trademark or attract billions in Round 1 Venture Capital Funding are being made every day.

Some preening Dragon from the Den will never say: “What’s to stop me getting that done in China for ten cents?” Because we won’t be bringing it to the Dragons with all their smugness.

My wife has just invented a way of scraping porridge/yoghurt/bean/whatever ‘that’ is/ without mushing it further into the floor. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you: The floppy cutting board thing, cut up with a scissors to make tiny little scrapers for getting ick from any surface into the ick-bin!

5. Expectations and happiness

I’m not normally one for overly simplistic epigrams that are supposed to sum up happiness for everyone, posting them against a sunset, putting them on Facebook and waiting for the likes to roll in. I know happiness isn’t like that.

But I do know one thing. Happiness is definitely linked to expectations. And when you go to have a day out with a baby, your expectations are low. SO when you achieve them you are happy at the smallest thing. “Actually an hour was plenty in Rome. I’d say we were going home anyway before she woke up and became Omen-like. We’d seen a programme on the Colliseum on Discovery before.”

6. The L-word

I knew there’d be love. I knew I’d experience that ferocious love that burns your chest like you were sprinting unexpectedly for a bus on a winter’s day. I didn’t expect the other L-word. Not Lidl, LIKE. I didn’t expect to like our baby so much. To want to hang around with her. Not in a fiercely protective I WILL KILL WOLVES TO PRESERVE YOU kind of way. Just in a “hey there baby, whatcha doin? Just chillin' on the floor? Mind if I join you? How’s your day been? WAAGAA? Yeah me too” – kind of way.

Don't worry, Colm's got plenty more with that came from; to be continued…

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