You’ve seen the movies where the young rookie meets the gnarled old gunslinger who’s literally seen everything. One’s all green, wet round the gills, wide-eyed and enthusiastic, the other is silently drinking neat alcohol with the scars of time etched on his face.

Well, I’ve been both men in this tale, and not so long ago either. It’s just three short years since I was that young dreamer, possibly just like you (although possibly not, we’re all different), and now look at me, I’ve got two kids – one three, one five months – and when they’re sleeping soundly in their room, you’ll find me staring into the middle distance, trying to untangle this messy mystery we call LIFE.

Anyway, enough about me. This is about YOU, remember? Your journey towards impending fatherhood. So, sit back, and allow me to gently patronise you with some “knowledge” I’ve picked up along the way. Here’s what magic awaits in those first three months…

 

1. You will cry more than you ever thought possible


2. Sometimes you will cry through tiredness


3. Occasionally you will cry because you actually feel too happy

Or because a doctor just stuck a needle in your precious baby’s leg

Or because you don’t know who you are anymore

Or because you heard a single chord from a Coldplay song

Or because an advert for a bank inexplicably moved you

Or because someone got a standing ovation on a talent show


4. Your entire home will smell of shit and vomit at all times


5. At some point, possibly after a couple of weeks, you will stop noticing the smell of shit and vomit

It’s like your nose has gone to sleep

Or you’ve become like a man alone in a room intoxicated by the smell of his own farts – you might even start feeling at home with it


6. It’s not that you LIKE the smell of shit and vomit, don’t get me wrong. It’s just become homely


7. When people walk into your home and visibly wince, because of the shit and the vomit, you won’t be sure why


8. You’ll forget that most people don’t smell shit and vomit most of the time


9. Every item of clothing you own will have a leaked bodily fluid on it (rarely your own)


 10. You will just accept that all jumpers now come with a snotty shoulder stain


11. Looking “almost clean” will become your version of “smart casual”


12. At weekends, you will resemble a hobo pushing a wheelbarrow

Only it’s not a wheelbarrow, it’s a pushchair


13. You will bath your child in the kitchen sink


14. You will take a photo of your child being bathed in the kitchen sink


15. You will also take a photo of your child doing almost anything

Baby almost smiling = photo op

Baby almost sleeping = photo op

Baby having a two second break from shouting at you = photo op


16. You will take a photo of your child napping on your chest while you sleep

Only you won’t really be asleep

You’ll be pretending to be asleep for the sake of the photo

You will add the photo to the endless reams of photos of you and your child on social media


17. You will make an arch comment about how you’ve become a “dad bore” before continuing to bore everyone with your photos


18. You will break every single promise you ever made to yourself about not boring people with photos of your baby


19. You WILL speak in a baby voice to your baby


20. You will give your baby a pet name like “monkey” or “butterbean”

You will say that name in the most cloying voice imaginable, not noticing that people silently throw up whenever you say it


21. You will spend an inordinate amount of time just staring at your baby


22. You will feel on the cusp of a heart explosion every time you look at them


23. You will consider their funny little sneezes to be actual gifts sent from the heavens, made of magic

As opposed to what they are which is their way of biologically ejecting yet more snot from their bodies


24. You will look at your partner’s large, engorged breasts, so full of milk, and wonder what the etiquette is around trying some

You will decide not to try it

She will then suggest you try it, and you’ll react like it’s the grossest suggestion anyone has ever made

Then you’ll try some

Not from the boob though, that would be weird

Even though you have spent years with those bosoms

Point is, don’t breastfeed if you’re an adult


25. You will deludedly think that you’ve become far sexier to women

You will then remember that you’re basically a hobo pushing a wheelbarrow with snot on his shoulder

Plus, think about it. You have a baby. This suggests you’re probably in a serious relationship. No one wants to have sex with you


26. For a good while, even the woman who bore your child definitely won’t want to have sex with you


27. You will realise that sex is ridiculous anyway


28. You will also realise that you are ultimately useless


29. You can’t do much in the way of feeding, you’re just hanging around gormlessly with your hands in your pockets

You will take your hands out of your pockets and try to look busy


30. At weekends, you will walk around with a baby in a sling


31. You will casually check your baby whilst attached to you in a sling every two to three seconds, to confirm it can still breathe with its entire face pressed into your chest


32. You will sing yourself to sleep while your baby remains very much wide awake in its cot


33. You will consider setting up a trust fund


34. You will realise that you have no money


35. You will ask your parents for money


36. You will convince yourself that your baby has filled its nappy, but there will be nothing there


37. You will start to question everything you have ever known


38. You will, on at least one occasion, become desperately needy


39. Your partner will calmly explain that you have a baby now, and that’s why she can’t pay you all the compliments you feel you deserve


40. You will never watch a whole film


41. You will never watch a whole TV show


42. You will never listen to an entire album


43. Books no longer apply to you


44. You will see DANGER in absolutely everything

Like, look at cuddly toys. Aren’t teddy bears just real bears that haven’t attacked anyone yet?


45. You will remove all soft toys from your baby’s cot


46. You will have conversations with old women on buses

Lots of them, many many conversations. More conversations with old women than you could even imagine


47. You will start avoiding eye contact with old women


48. You will be unable to drink more than three pints


49. You will second guess every single decision you ever make


50. You will freak out


51. You will change beyond all recognition


52. It’ll be like your entire world exploded and got cobbled back together in a hurry


53. You will be unable to finish a list of observations without saying something touching at the end


54. Once you get over the shock of everything, you’ll realise babies are bloody wonderful

Boring and wonderful

I mean, it’s not like they do anything. But they are new life

Isn’t that amazing?

New life

You made that

Well done

You’re probably the best dad in the whole world

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