Following the birth of Baby L just over three weeks ago, my life has slowly been changing. There hasn’t been a single moment of change, but my outlook is slowly shifting and my priorities are altering, all because of the little bundle of squishiness that has entered into our lives.
Nothing drastic has happened, well if you exclude the fact that we now have another person in the house that is totally reliant on us. Instead, little things have been occurring that have culminated in the realisation that I’m now a Dad.
Below, I share with you five of the many things that have subtly happened in my life during the past weeks which have confirmed to me that fatherhood is slowly starting to takeover my mind, body and soul:
1) The three P’s don’t bother me
This of course means Piss, Poo and Puke. At one time, the thought of either one of these going on my clothes or skin would have made me gag, but now I’m a changed man. I’m a Dad.
If you’d have said to me a few weeks ago that watching poo come out of someone’s back door wouldn’t have made me wretch and run squealing (in a manly way of course) out of the room, I’d have probably had you sectioned. But having witnessed this feat on more than one occasion, it barely registered on my squeamish-o-meter. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I make a habit of taking off her nappy as soon as her face goes red and contort in order to see the orangey eruption, but it has less impact on me than I thought.
Even the wonder of what I like to call a “triple whammy” – in which baby decides to poo, wee and be sick at the same time, often when you’re in the middle of changing her – has had little effect apart from making me feel overwhelming pride that my baby girl can multi-task so well.
2) Boobs are no longer a sexual object
OK, that might not be fully true. I still appreciate a good rack! I guess what I mean to say is that I no longer view boobs as JUST objects for fun and frolics. They are now the means by which the little one is kept fed and watered. A vital source of nutritions and comfort to our sprog.
Whereas the sight of the missus’ baps would have caused sensations in the nether regions prior to a baby, my brain (and my little fella) have realised that her hooters perform a different function when Baby L is in the vicinity and there is no point getting excited. Obviously, when the cat’s away the mice will play, but when the cat’s at home there will be no playing whatsoever, if you catch my drift.
The realisation that boobs aren’t just a sexual object came about on a recent shopping expedition, and this wasn’t just because we’d gone to pick up nursing bras and breast pads which are far from sexy. Baby L was hungry and needed a change, so we went into John Lewis and used their Parents Room (which by the way is an excellent idea). Not since my stag do have I been as surrounded by semi-naked ladies as I was in the department store, yet not once did the concept of getting out a tenner and asking for a private dance cross my mind. I now firmly believe that boobs are multi-functional…just like a Swiss Army Knife.
3) I’ve switched to BBC Radio 2
I don’t want to sound like an old man, but I’m going to do it anyway. Music just isn’t as good as it was when I was younger. I grew up listening to a random mix of music thanks to my parents which took me from the likes of Genesis, Seal and David Essex through to Martika, Thompson Twins and Queen. My early music choices involved pop compilations before I switched to rock, heavy mental and emo (yes, I was one of those).
Although my Spotify account is still very much stuck in the early 2000’s with the likes of Taking Back Sunday and Funeral For A Friend, I prefer to listen to older stuff when in the car and the radio is on. Whereas BBC Radio 1 used to be the default, I now find myself tuning into BBC Radio 2 or even Aylesbury’s own Mix 96 to get some respite from the modern drivel spouted on the airwaves. Some of the crap made today is actually offensive to my ears and I’d much prefer to listen to a 1980’s song even if I’m not a fan.
I never thought I’d ever write this sentence, but why would I want to listen to excited teenagers ring up Nick Grimshaw or Scott Mills play One Direction when I can hear Elaine Page interview Andrew Lloyd Webber or Tony Blackburn play Pet Shop Boys? This may just be part of getting old, but becoming a Dad has made me realise that I am actually getting old.
4) Baby outfits now interest me
I detest shopping. Everything about it bores and irritates me. Be it the long queues, overly hot conditions or crowds of rude customers. That was until I had a baby.
I now actually like to go via Mothercare and Mamas and Papas to have a gander at the baby and kid stuff available. Walking through the endless array of little tiny outfits and spotting the friendly lion or chavvy slogan plastered on the clothing fills me with a little joy. The thought of spotting a cute little dress for Baby L, then getting to put her in it, is actually quite appealing. I’m bursting with anticipation for her to wear the clothes that we’ve bought, and those that have been given as presents, which have unfortunately been relegated to a storage box on top of the wardrobe because they are too big. For now.
I also take pride in choosing her outfits each morning, ensuring that leggings match the hat or that the colour of her socks brings out the different shades of blue in her eyes. Yes, that’s right, fatherhood has chopped off my bollocks! But I don’t care, I have a new appreciation for all things pretty and pink and that suits me just fine.
5) Life has become an obstacle course
Remember that scene from Entrapment – the crap film with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery – where she expertly dodges over, under and around red lasers to steal a piece of artwork? Well, that is now my life. The only difference is that I am no expert and look no where near as sexy wriggling around on the floor.
My life is starting to feel like I’m the only player in a game that I’m never going to win. Something which combines elements of hopscotch, hurdles, limbo dancing, hide and seek, Jenga, pass the parcel and dodgeball. If you can’t relate, try soothing a crying baby, avoiding the dog’s toys on the floor, eating your cereal, moving the moses basket from upstairs and answering the door to the postman all at the same time.
It is not just in the house where things have become complicated though. It is not something I ever realised previously, but everyone who lives near us parks their cars half on the road, half on the path. This is a nightmare and my new pet hate when you are trying to push a pushchair. Combine this with rubbish collection day when wheelie bins are strewn all over the paths and I start to get mildly annoyed.
Then you go shopping! Crowds of people walking slowly who fail to grasp the concept of “keeping left” are continually in your way. I’m strongly considering adding spikes and a battering ram to the pram to improve my ability to navigate the everyday obstacles in my path. I then plan to turn this into a prime time TV show. A sort of Robot Wars meets Pimp My Ride, with an arcade game points scoring system for the number of people you eliminate. Now who wouldn’t want to watch that!
Do my five reasons sounds familiar? What else made you realise that you, or your partner, had become a Dad?