2 minutes

2 minutes

It takes 2 minutes to walk from my front door to the shop. 10 if it’s with Moo

2 minutes to chase Moo around the house trying to put her pants on

2 minutes to decide to go to the gym

2 minutes to turn around and go home again

2 minutes to discuss whether or not to take Moo’s scooter out

2 minutes to argue about how many books to read before bed

If I’m alone for 2 minutes, it feels like a lifetime

I’d like 2 minutes to watch the programmes I WANT to watch. Please?

I’d like 2 minutes to tell you about your baby brother

 

It was 2 minutes to 8 when he was born; miniature and new

 

For 2 minutes though, he didn’t breathe…

For 2 minutes I cried and held my breath and shook and waited

For 2 minutes your Mum, in pain and exhausted and spent, panicked

 

2 minutes with his cord around his neck

2 minutes I watched him, limp and lifeless

2 minutes my mind raced; “How will I help my wife through this?”

2 minutes I knew terror. I knew helplessness

2 minutes with 15 people in the room trying to help him live

2 minutes felt like too much

2 minutes. 120 seconds. Eternity

 

2 minutes and then…

 

He cried!

He screamed!

He lay naked on Mummy; colour flooding his tiny body

 

I breathed out

 

For 2 minutes I kissed every part of his tiny head. Welcome to our magnificent army son

 

I love you both with all that I am

 

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Moving with the times

4:53am and I sit here in my new kitchen, writing on my new computer, my first blog post for a while now. How did I get a new kitchen? Well it’s a new house actually; in a new area, with all new playgroups and toddler things to navigate (more on that later). How did I get a new computer? Insurance payout after my wonderful 40th birthday motorbike was stolen a month after I got it… Don’t even ask. Why am I up at 4:53am? Well, because it’s a house, and I can’t work out the heating, and I’m completely paranoid that Moo is too cold, and so I can’t sleep. 

I miss my flat.

We moved from our home in Fulham to Earlsfield at the end of October principally because we desired more space and Fulham houses are now priced at a point so high that I’m starting to believe:

A). No one told anyone there that Brexit happened and the pound is now fucked  

B). A group of despotic, maniacal, Estate Agents are sitting in a dimly lit board room, around a dark mahogany room, dressed in long black leather SS style coats, sneering and making shit up as they see fit.

So Earsfield is where we be.

Things I’ve learnt in the last week:

  1. Packing companies are a marvel. Our guys – Tactical Removals – were polite, organised and brilliant. And who knew that part would be so easy! Note to self: I must stop flirting with workmen though. It just comes across as weird.
  2. Just because someone is packing for you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go through your stuff before hand to check on the things that you might not actually want. Like, Moo’s individually wrapped sticks she collected from the park, for example…
  3. Unpacking boxes sucks balls. Old, greying, saggy balls.
  4. NEVER, and I repeat NEVER attempt this moving malarkey with a 6 month pregnant wife and a 20 month old toddler in tow… Holy cocking headache

That last point couldn’t be more true and you’ll thank me for the tip one day. Mainly because of the guilt factor; the guilt of your child being ignored and grumbled at in equal measure, and your pregnant wife being, well, ignored and grumbled at in equal measure. But it’s  also because of the pure logistical necessities of just getting shit done. A typical hour for us went like this –

  • I cut open a box and marvel at the crap inside
  • Moo asks me to play
  • I put Moo in front of the iPad to watch CBeebies and commence the guilt about her brain melting
  • I unpack the box and wonder where the hell things are going to go
  • Moo shouts at me and Mummy to play
  • I load up yet ANOTHER Sarah and Duck episode for Moo and feel even more guilty
  • I shout at Mummy
  • Mummy cries
  • I open a different box
  • Moo shouts at everyone
  • Mummy cries
  • Moo comforts Mummy – “Mummy sad. Layla give hug”
  • Mummy and Moo go off on some female pact to talk about the arsehole Father
  • I repack boxes and make a cup of tea

It truly has been a nightmare. We wait for Moo to have her nap or for her to go to sleep by which point we are so tired that we are at a stage whereby if someone offered to come along and take ALL the boxes away and dump them, then we would smile, nod, and then lie down and spread out on the nice, empty, stress free floor.

But we’re getting there… Slowly. On the plus side though, I have a shed in my garden! Not only is this manly and cool, but the shed itself is now chock full of the stuff I have no idea where to put. Including, and who doesn’t need these, 4 half empty white spirit containers. Handy. I’ve closed the door and made a note to sort it all out. In 2018.

2 days after we moved in I put a post up on a Facebook group called ‘SW18 Mums’ (and yes, the exclusivity of the word ‘Mums’ does piss me off excessively) seeking advice about activities to do with a toddler. Happily I was inundated with responses as it seems we have landed ourselves right, smack, bang in the middle of nappy valley. I made a list of everything and put it on the fridge, downloaded the handy app called ‘Hoop’ (that I still haven’t opened), and began to plan out the things we could do.

The first activity we embarked upon was called ‘Tumble Time’. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with ‘Mr Tumble’ – “Take your fingers, just like so. Make a V and say, HELL NO!”

For £2.75 Moo was able to play for 2 hours on a bouncy castle, slides, soft climbing thing, soft giant puzzle pieces, and with other crazy toddlers. It was great actually. I especially liked the bouncy castle. Not sure what Moo liked best… I met a few lovely people and, most importantly, learnt that Waitrose is just round the corner and they do coffee. Top tip: buy your ticket at 9:00am, get your coffee from Waitrose, head back to Tumble Time for 9:30am start. Owning it like a Mum.

So, all in all it’s looking good here in Earlsfield. We have the river at the bottom of our garden and the park beyond that. Moo has a massive room and the dogs seem genuinely happy to be here. Apparently there are quite a few stay at home dads in the area, which ultimately means I’m not the anomaly… I don’t know how I feel about that. I quite liked being the novelty in my part of Fulham. But that’s because I’m an ego maniac I guess.

 

Anyway, back to working out that heating system…

 

 

 

 

 

Moo and the suicidal caterpillar

Moo and the suicidal caterpillar

I have a deep loathing of Radio 4 that’s reserved, specifically, for the mornings. To the extent that I’d even prefer to have CBeebies on instead. EVEN ‘Show me, Show me’! (I know, right!) However, Mrs. Moo quite often insists on Radio 4 being on as she says it is –

“our current affairs fix. We don’t want to become those parents that ONLY talk about their children now do we?”

Now, I have many issues with this –

1. The last thing I want to do in the morning is listen to some Dimblebum or what ever his name is, cantankerously shout down some politician whilst coming over all, ‘I’M A SERIOUS JOURNALIST YOU KNOW!’ No you’re not. You’re a miserable, disinterested old man who only knows how to “discuss” whilst being aggressive and slightly bullying

2. We only really pay attention when they are talking about something child related, i.e. schools or some ludicrous fucking change to the car seat laws. (What is the cocking law on this by the way? If I have to spend the next 10 years strapping children into those things, I think I’ll go bonkers)

3. I still have that man-crush on Andy from ‘Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures’ so I kinda want CBeebies on. It’s his shotgun nostrils you see. That and his amazing barnet

4. Radio 2, despite Chris Evans’s best efforts, sometimes forgets itself and plays decent music so it’s always worth tuning in on the off chance you hear a good tune

One thing I absolutely love on Radio 4 though is the religious ‘Thought for the Day’ segment. My adoration for this briefest of interludes doesn’t stem from any personal religious beliefs I have, or even because they have a thought provoking point to make that helps me along with my daily trials and tribulations (even though, they quite often do!). Non, mon petit choufleur (as my Corsican brethren would say). It is because they can take any anecdote and quite magnificently, at any given point, without even the most tenuous links, make a genuine reference to Jesus. As if there was a whole page missing from their speech but they thought, ‘Sod it. No one will notice’. It is delightfully hilarious and never fails to make me smile.

“I was walking down by the river the other day when I noticed a large group of drake mallards fighting over the attention and possible courtship of a hen mallard. Unfortunately, so aggressive was their behavior around her that she was pushed under the water and she drowned. This reminds me of the time Jesus helped a leper…”

Everything else on Radio 4 is really quite miserable though. It is either delivered with nonchalant cynicism (the very worst kind. One should never be nonchalant about their cynicism), or with a dismissive, belligerent air that suggests we are all fucked anyway. To be honest with you, there seems little point in continuing along a path that is certain to end in the absolutely depressing, cataclysmic way that they keep promising; so why listen?

All this talk of impending doom brings to mind the caterpillars I found in Corsica recently… (I too can make ludicrous jumps in my metaphors Radio 4 religious people. I too). Every evening there were streams of them, curling their backs and shuffling themselves along the pool side at a seriously impressive rate of knots, where they fell in and writhed on the surface until they became bloated like sausage shaped balloons, and then they sank down, down, to the bottom to lie like dark, tiny poos. That was, until they were unceremoniously scooped up with a net and dumped on the grass on the outer edges of the poolside by me. Why did they continue to do it though? Why were they so steadfast in their belief that this horrible end was, for some god-only-knows reason, a good idea? Why oh why did one, even after I had saved it from its watery torture, wriggle around on its haunches and make its way back to the water? What a dick! I mean, if there was ever a time when the insult “don’t be a twat!” could be labelled at a tiny, sentient but basic creature then that was it!

Watching them on their desperate, Frodo-like quest that was only ever going to end in pain, tears, and huge amounts of water retention (which must be an absolute diaster for the more body conscious caterpillars), reminded me of Moo and her descent in toddler tantrumville. (Holy  segmented arthropod Batman, that’s my second successive spurious, nonsensical metaphorical link in as many paragraphs! I’m getting good at this…)

So insistent is she of winding herself up into a frenzy at the most innocuous things, that I often wonder if I need to scoop her up in a net and dump her on the grass before she falls into the murky depths of continued doom and despair… No, wait. I think that’s probably a metaphor too far… Anyway, she’s got to this point where I can see she’s “playing” with the idea of having a tantrum. Today she asked for an ice cream. I said, “OK. Yes, let’s have some ice cream then”, at which point she threw herself on the floor and screamed “NOOOOOooooo” as if I was some cold-hearted, evil Bond villain that just melted all her toys in the microwave whilst laughing my maniacal laugh. But instead, there I was, standing stock still, with a spoon in one hand, an ice cream in the other, a bewildered look on my face and a ludicrous ball of angry nonsense writhing around on the floor in front of me like one of those aforementioned suicidal caterpillars.

I do understand her need for testing and pushing; her frustration with communication, her inability to control the chemical endochrine reactions happening inside her. I know this can lead to the “difficlut phase”. I am, of course, sympathetic to it and patient. But my God, don’t you just wanna get inside their tiny heads and say, “dude, seriously, chill. All will be fine. You are in no danger. We love you, completely. Take your time and breathe deep.” Saying that though, if she starts to go towards the tantrum-shit-house I actually want her to completely explode in her most energised rage possible. I truly believe she needs to feel the depths of those emotions. As humans we spend far too much time quashing down almost all our feelings whether they are happy or sad and it can only lead to disaster. As the brilliant comedian Louis C.K. so aptly put it:

“Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments… Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.”.

We have to experience the depth of emotions in order to let ourselves grow and learn. And Moo’s only just beginning to feel the plethora of bonkers emotions and mixed emotions that humans are capable of! So I kinda don’t wanna quash the tantrum as much as I don’t wanna quash her joy!

To be fair though, it was only a fucking ice cream, and she asked for it…

This all reminds of when Jesus was in Galilee…

The times they are a changin’…

The times they are a changin’…

So, here I am, sitting by the Corsican mountains, a glass of red wine from the vineyards at the bottom of my villa’s drive, the outdoor lights glistening across the pool as the sun sets with it’s gentle, breath taking colour show. Moo is asleep and my wife is reading her book. There’s even my favourite soundtrack on the speaker system playing my favourite variety of ‘stop and think’ tunes and finally there is my Corsican wild boar stew bubbling in the oven preparing itself to be eaten after 24 hours of bathing in delicious vin rouge and hand picked herbs. Perfect serenity. Two things spring to mind from this: 1. Blimey I’m lucky. 2. Blimey I’m a pretentious wanker.

It truly is wonderful here. It will probably be our last family holiday for a while though, what with a possible home move coming up, a shiny new baby on the horizon and some unbelievable fuck-tard stealing my brand new motorbike. Yes, that happened. I don’t wanna talk about it though.

Ooo yes, didn’t I mention? Moo is gaining a ‘sib’! Her world is quite literally about to be ‘thrown out of her pram’. The flavour of this new arrival will be of the male variety; we know this because of the unbelievable size of his knob evident on the 20 week scan. Proud doesn’t even cut it – him and me. I mean, I’ve never felt such smug satisfaction IN MY LIFE. I even made one of my now famous quips at the all too regular inappropriate time. Cue attractive sonographer lady moving pointy scan stick thing over my wife’s tummy to highlight mini Fitzpea’s not-so-mini Fitzpea and, after I had got over my initial shock of him being a boy, I raised my hands in the air and said, (much to my own twatty grin delight)

“Ladies of the world, hear me now. YOU. ARE. WELCOME”

OK, slow down. I can hear your tutting from here. It’s so loud even horses are starting to move faster. Yes, yes, yes  I too can point out my utter hypocrisy in making that joke to my wife and our phenomenally unamused sonographer. You are absolutely right in that I would never have said a similar thing about finding out I was having a daughter. Absolutely not. And so begins a whole new mind fuck chapter on how I approach everything and think about everything. It’s a good job I love reexamining all this I guess.

Skip forward and here we are a week or so later on holiday with Moo. She has been a delight on this trip. Heartbreakingly so. She’s a tiny ball of fire and at 19 months is speaking in good sentences, is potty trained and has me completely and utterly wrapped around her tiny pinky. Quite right. She was wonderful on the delayed flight over. Much better than the miserable old lady next to us who tutted when she saw us coming down the aisle. Mind you, that may have been directed at me with my Hawaiian shirt, travel potty, and irritating chuckle at my own bad joke I had just made to the air steward. Fair dos  for the old lady really.

I have loved watching my wife spend loads of time with Moo and I have struggled to contain my heart in my chest upon watching Moo delight in lapping up every ounce of time with her Mum. The two of them are gorgeous together and it’s so evident how much Moo idolises her. She copies her gestures, wants to try her makeup and creams, follows her around, delights in telling her she has done a poo on the toilet… That usually happens at ‘Moo volume’ (a hither to undiscovered impressive audible level) in a café. There’s that lovely parent quandary wherein you simultaneously apologise to the angry French patrons and praise your miniature tousled haired self to the hilt. It’s an art form.

The holiday has also highlighted how close I am to Moo and how special my relationship is with her. I am supremely lucky as a man to have such a strong relationship with my daughter so early on. Now, I’m not saying others don’t. I’m sure they do. But I know that we have a ‘thick as thieves’ nature with each other that is more precious to me than the stars above my head right now.

So I’m left here, on this glorious evening, on this beautiful island, surrounded by so many of my favourite things, but still fretting about the future. The future of me. The future of Moo. The future of her Mum and the future of all of us with mini male Fitzpea… What the hell does that look like? How can there be more room in my heart? I would die for my wife. I would die with a smile on my face for Moo. How the hell can I fit any one else in? There’s only so many times I can die; I’m not a bloody cat!

Everything I have done in my life has had an element of risk to it. An element of trust that it will all work out. I am an improvisor. I jump way before I look. In fact I tend to jump, land, splat all over the place and only then say, “Oh. Whoops. Perhaps I should wait?”. And so it will be in the future. I shall jump into this new adventure and not even mind if I splat everywhere like a Moo rejected spaghetti Bolognese, because this is the best thing in the world. Right now, shit doesn’t get any better. I. Am. Having. A. Son.

Oh hell…

 

 

 

Paradoxes: Every-bloody-where!

Paradoxes: Every-bloody-where!

It was my 40th birthday recently and for it my wife bought me a motorbike. A red motorbike. ‘Dog Cock Red’ is how I like to describe it. Classy… It’s an extremely generous gift as I am sure you will agree and I feel very lucky indeed. It also fits very neatly into my burgeoning mid-life crisis which makes me very happy; yessiree. It will actually sit quite nicely alongside my forthcoming pierced ear and tattoo. (I’m serious by the way. They will happen. I just don’t believe I should get a tattoo whilst I’m quite as tubby as I am. I want it to be less ‘fat-tat’ and more ‘hell-THAT-tat’! Undoubtedly, what with my ever decreasing hairline and undeniable advancing years it will actually transpire to be a ‘twat-tat’).

I haven’t ridden a bike since 2014 – a year pre-Moo – when I sold my last one to raise some cash for a project. Up until then I would ride everyday between jobs and had been around Europe on a boys own style adventure. Think Top Gear but younger, cooler, faster, better clothes and much less inclined to punch a producer. There was that barman in Nice though… With this new bike (which I have yet to name) comes the promise of another European trip with the same group of friends. In September we will blast through the motorways on our way to the Vosges mountains where we will enjoy the ‘twisties’ during the day and the Strasbourg nightlife during the evenings. Beers and bikes. What fun!!

Or is it…

I have lain awake most evenings recently worried to death about the whole thing. Now, I can actually already hear the gentle murmurings of – ‘Well, so you should be! Not exactly the most responsible thing for a full time stay at home Dad AND expectant father to be doing now is it!’ But you see, and this is the capper, it’s not actually the risk or the danger that worries me at all. It’s the prospect of being away from Moo for 4 nights that’s driving (or riding) me to insomnia. It’s the thought of how much I’ll miss her and how I’ll have to keep most of that locked inside so as not to annoy the be-jangles off of my riding partners. In this, quite manly of pursuits, I will be the one that’s a bit squishy around the edges (and I don’t just mean physically this time) and not at all ‘manly’ in the traditional sense. SO, if they see water trickling out from my visor then I’ll just have to play up the hayfever card I guess.

To be totally honest I think they’ll probably be pretty expectant of all my softness. The last time we went I was the only one to neatly pack a pair of Massimo Dutti pyjamas, mouthwash and a tube of ‘Bite and Sting Relief Cream’, much to their continued mirth. They weren’t laughing when one of them got stung on the eyelid at 100mph and needed my healing ointment then though! It was then that I discovered there can be very few things in life camper than a guy in leather running along an Alpine road with cream in one hand shouting, “Don’t worry Richard! I’m coming!” The looks on my intrepid road warrior brethren’s faces, with their bemused open mouth gawping, pretty much summed up their thoughts.

Herein lies the crux to the title of this blog. Paradoxes: Every-bloody-where. I’m an ex-ballet dancer who plays and teaches blues rock guitar. A stay at home dad who likes fast motorbikes. A he-will-never-bloody-stop-and-just-sit-down-for-a-few-minutes type person and a congenital heart disorder sufferer. A man who can hold court at playgroup with the ladies and discuss the sexiness of Tom Hiddleston whilst sharing out his homemade pastel de natas and can also discuss which are the best cuban cigars with his manly man friend. This list can go on and on and on.

So really it all just seems to be one big load of opposites in my life at the moment. Even with what I notice about Moo… Last week I decided it was worth giving potty training a go. She ticks many of the Mumsnet tick boxes for being ready, (holy cracked nipples by the way, that website is hella scary! This is only the second time I’ve used it, the first being when I googlerised a behavioural question and then read the diatribe of assumptions and sanctimonious responses to someone’s query of a similar nature to mine. It’s so overwhelmingly tempting to spend one of Moo’s nap times going through it all and responding to the very worst people with the most sarcastic thing I can. Maybe I’ll save that for a rainy day treat). The potty training neatly coincided with her teething her incisors and also, over night, going through the unbelievably fucking annoying “NOOOOO” stage. All on the same day. How in the ballsacks is that even possible? I am persevering with potty training despite this and she’s doing OK. She actually prefers to sit on the loo though so therein continues the contrary nature of things.

Owing to the wonderful (for ‘wonderful’ please read, ‘cocking irritating’) amount of time I am spending in the middle of the night thinking about all this I’m starting to believe that these aren’t actually paradoxes at all. That she isn’t actually changing and flipping between ways of being and personality types. Of course she’s not. She’s not a psychopath. I think… She’s just developing many sides to her personality as we all have. It’s my assumptions that make them seem contrary rather than just a single piece that adds to the whole person that is her. I remember when she was born and someone asked me about the overwhelming sense of love that I must feel for this tiny person in my life and I believe my response kind of upset them. I said that ‘I didn’t feel that kind of all encompassing adoration for this new person in my life. I don’t know her at all’. What I meant was, of course I loved her and wanted to care for and nurture her. But, I had a home with my wife and dogs and she was a new addition to it that we had to get to know over time and she has to get to know us as well. It was out of respect to her and how I wanted to learn about her; not make massive assumptions about who she is and what she does.

Everyday she is letting out more of her personality and developing her individuality and I cherish this even when it is at it’s most difficult for me. Like when I ask her if she wants the blueberries I’m handing her in a bowl and she shouts “NOOOO” whilst hitting them out of my hand, then cries ‘cos the dogs have eaten them all off the floor. Or when she asks for a banana, waits for me to peel it and break some off before laughing and turning on her heels to jauntily waddle off.  She quite often acts like the most independent little thing in the world, wandering off, discovering everything for herself, and then suddenly flips and won’t let me put her down and is stuck to me like a barnacle of love.

Yes she is developing and testing and working out what she does and doesn’t like but, and I think this is my point here, turning 40 and really examining these things for myself has shown me that this is not something that should be reserved for the very youngest in our lives. Surely it is integral that we all reexamine who we are, what we like and what makes us tick? I love being a bit of a walking paradox. I love not really knowing how to pigeon hole myself. I love not following type. And I really love watching Moo play with her own ideas of who she is, what she does and what she likes. It’s beautiful. I’m gonna bloody miss it when I’m in France though…

 

Things I never thought I’d hear myself saying… Volume 1

Things I never thought I’d hear myself saying… Volume 1

“I love that curly, whispy hair that droops down from her ponytail at the base of her neck. Mind you that’s gonna annoy the shit out of her if she becomes a ballerina and has to Elnett the fuck out of it every day…”

“No sweetheart, Daddy doesn’t want to eat your bogey. Good girl for sharing though”

“Yes Daddy is doing a poo. Well done you for knowing. What an observant little thing you are”

“Oh baby if you could just realise that yoghurt is so much better in your tummy and not in the dog’s eyes. Well done for sharing though”

“Oh, I’m so sorry! My daughter points at everyone’s tummy at the moment and shouts, “BABY!”. You’re really not THAT fat though. I mean… Errrr… Not that pregnant women look fat! She was just saying it ‘cos my wife is pregnant.  You look lovely and cuddly though… Mmm… Errr… I mean for her, not me. I don’t wanna cuddle you, ha ha God no! Shit. I think we best leave…”

“I think I have a man-crush on Andy from Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures

“I found it fascinating watching what those Doctors were doing to my wife’s vagina”

“But you see, I don’t even have a choice! As a man I’m so envious of you, I’d love to have leaky nipples”

*Beautiful sunset evening on the Cornish coast. My wife wistfully turns to me and asks what I am thinking about – “I’m wondering why Moo’s poo was a little loose this morning…”

In the Night Garden… is basically my wine alarm clock. It’s my 25 minute countdown to fermented grape freedom”

“WHAT THE FUCK IS A PERCENTILE ANYWAY?”

*There’s a tall bottle on the table at morning playgroup. I see it from a distance and ask – “My God is that wine? Quite right, lovely day for it. I’d love a glass!” It wasn’t. It was elderflower. I was henceforth politely ignored

“OK sweetheart be gentle with your front bottom. No, I’m pretty sure duck doesn’t want to go up there. Well done for sharing though”

“Yes sweetheart that’s a bee. But it’s a dead bee though I’m afraid… Oh to explain the complexities of our troubled existence on this mortal coil”

Raa Raa the Noisy Lion is basically a spoilt little fucking bully. I bloody hate him. Dick”

*I ride my new motorbike down to Dorset. When I arrive my wife excitedly asks how it was – “I spent the entire journey worrying if we’d packed Moo’s cuddly Bee or not”

“Yes Moo you have done a poo well done. Daddy’s changing you now. No, no don’t touch it!! Ew wait, wait I really don’t want it on my hand… Oh… Well done for sharing though”

“Those Postman Pat ‘Special Delivery Service’ episodes really wind me up. Using a helicopter to deliver balloons? What a wanker. No wonder our Postal Service is up the cock. And that bloody ginger girl needs to get her adenoids done. Fast!” (This is what too many early mornings can do to you)

“One of my greatest joys at 6am is IMDBing all the actors on CBeebies to see what else they’ve done. It’s fascinating”

“Oh wow Moo, stones! Brilliant! They’re so different from all the other ones in the pram”

“As soon as I can I’m taking Moo to MMA classes. I want her fully able to look after herself and kick the shit out of any bullies. And anyone who tries to kiss her. In fact, boys in general. All boys she needs to learn how to destroy”

“No please don’t say ‘Fuck’ Moo. Daddy Shouldn’t say it. No, it’s not funny. Please stop. Shit… Oh no, please don’t say shit now. Oh bollox… No, wait!”

“I’m sorry mate I can’t come over on the bike tonight ‘cos I have chafed my bum cheeks red raw! I had to walk 6 1/2 miles trying to get Moo to sleep today. Thank God for nappy change cream hey! Hello? Helllooo?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freakin’ freaky control freak

Freakin’ freaky control freak

I truly didn’t realise how much of a control freak I am until I became a father. I mean, it’s almost unbearable. To the point where, when my wife is cooking, I flutter around like a twatty annoying moth clearing up any mess as she goes. Some may think, ‘OOoo that’s nice. I wish my husband would do that’. But alas, no. It’s not enviable. Not. At. All. I’ve so far only been threatened once with a knife which, I think you’ll agree, is some seriously good restraint from my wife. For fuck sake I even followed one of the dogs around yesterday on hands and knees, wiping with a cloth as I went, all because he drank some water and his glistening wet beard was dripping on my recently cleaned floors. For the merest of seconds I was tempted to take the water away from them… What’s a bit of canine dehydration when kitchen floor splodges are at risk. (Please don’t react to that. I’m joking… A bit)

So, mix into this toxic brew of functioning OCD the unpredictability of a baby whose very reason for living seems to be so she can test out the adhesive quality of yoghurt on all surfaces, then I guess it’s easy to understand why my migraines have got worse. Jesus I sound menopausal. Is that possible for me? Perhaps man-opausal. A good friend announced the other day that she basically talks to me like I’m a mum so is my next step to grow boobs? Actually… With my impending 40th birthday and Moo’s utter reluctance to go back to the creche at the gym I am neatly cultivating some plentiful bloke bosoms, some ‘man-aries’, as I type. Of course that has NOTHING whatsoever to do with eating Moo’s left overs and the impressive amount of wine I drink… Noooo

I’ve really struggled with the unpredictable mess that having a baby automatically equates to. Seriously bloody struggled at times. Those end of the day moments when the food is largely Jackson Pollocked all over the wall and floor, when she then empties the seemingly endless supply of balls from the ball pit, when the dogs are somehow now more yoghurt than fur, and when she ensures there is more water on the outside of the bath than the inside; those days are hard – like some Orwellian nightmare hard. I desperately want to clear it all up before my wife gets home. I ultimately cannot relax until I’ve reset everything and supper is on it’s way. But, to be perfectly frank as I am not frankly perfect, I’m fucking knackered by that point that even feeding the dogs feels like a massive task. (I do though. I promise… Sometimes)

I recently brought her a load of art supplies… I’ll just leave that sentence hanging there

If I let all of my paranoias and neuroses impact on the way I see Moo developing; the way she eats, plays, gets angry, grizzles, everything; then I, and she, will be in trouble. I have to really watch myself as I am so aware of how much my crappy nonsense can infect her, how much I can influence her and pass on my man-hang-ups. And I really don’t wanna do that! I help myself through this by remembering that I know no functioning adults that refuse to brush their teeth and throw their crocodile toothbrush into the loo (yes ladies, very clever – ‘Why don’t you close the seat then’. I will. Leave me alone will you). I have yet, rather unfortunately actually, come to meet someone at an upmarket restaurant who displays the kind of petulance Moo is capable of. Picture the scene:

“And what would Sir like to order?”

“WAAHHHAHHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH BLAAAAAAAAAAA MAAAAAAAAAAA”   * throws small plate at nice lady diner and laughs. Swings back and forth in chair like a loon.

I have met a few who spill their drink down their front though. Also, Moo does actually eat a lot better than some musicians I know. But generally, the things she does at the moment, the so called ‘bad habits’ are not actually anything at all. The more I let them pass me by, the less she has to test against. There’s an element of having to predict what could happen based on her moods, but, really, truly, she’s a diamond and I am the rough. She is doing so well, she’s new to all of our, basically quite ridiculous human social niceties. But she’ll get them. Then she can correct me.

The good thing is I now feel like I have a bit of a handle on how I react and how I translate what is going on with Moo. Again, she’s teaching me well and I owe her so much. I believe I am doing fine with my freaky assed control freak nature. As long as nothing comes along and upsets the apple cart like another baby or anything…

To be continued…