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50 things all dads can relate to

50 Things All Dads Can Relate To

Fatherhood

Dads are never alike, we all do things differently - however, some things resonate across everyone's experience. And here they are.

1. Getting kicked in the balls while hunching over the changing mat by a tiny foot – and it feeling like you’ve just had a discus hurled into your testicles.

 

2. Finding your pockets always have raisins in. When you bring out change, raisins always come too, squatting on the bar like little turds on your remaining cool.

 

3. Nearly crying when you think about your kid and you’re not with them. Even in inappropriate circumstances like your performance review or a rugby scrum.

 

4. Sniffing your fingernail and realising it’s not chocolate.

 

5. Feeling embarrassingly thrilled when you say “I love you” to your kid and embarrassingly thrilled when they say it back. Like, this is easy and fun…why didn’t think happen in previous generations?

 

6. Tolerating the most terrible behaviour by your child that wouldn’t be out of place in Ancient Rome, then shouting at them for some innocuous spillage.

 

8. Going out to wet the baby’s head, drinking like you did only two months ago only to find you are annihilated after two pints. Welcome to fatherhood. Later you’ll be falling around the house to get a bottle in the middle of the night, half-cut and vowing to never do it again. Sure.

 

9. Still avoiding sharing spoons with your child even though you know you shouldn’t be repulsed by the dribbling mouth of your own baby. “Daddy have one.” No way.

 

10. Being desperate to escape work then getting home to see your new baby and they burst into tears at the first sight of you. Sorry, you spent 8 hours away, back to square one.

 

11. Lying down with the baby on your chest to catch up on a TV show everyone without children has been watching, but then immediately falling asleep yourself.

12. Finding yourself absolutely repulsed by every surface in a playgroup as you come to understand it is a breeding ground of disease and infection as disturbing as anything from the imagination of David Cronenberg.

 

13. Getting so annoyed with standing on random plastic lego bricks and bits that you introduce a ‘bin it on sight’ rule. Only to then spend a Saturday afternoon rooting through the recycling bin for your child’s precious ‘fairy treasure’.

 

14. Suddenly finding it harder to say “I love you” to your son now he’s 10. And shaking yourself out of it and saying it anyway. You need to be vigilant with this kind of social conditioning.

 

15. Opening your laptop for a business meeting and having the Peppa Pig theme music play. That 6 hour binge on Daddy’s computer on Sunday morning seemed like a good, or at least useful, idea at the time.

 

16. Being militant about bum wiping and teeth brushing but not really giving a shit about hair washing, resulting in child dreadlocks, ‘kidlocks’.

 

18. Discovering you have an uncanny ability to pick out a whimper of pain from your own child across a packed playground of screaming children.

 

19. Calling these inanimate objects c*nts and b*stards and sh*tbags quietly to yourself: leaking sippy cup, skin-nipping folding buggy, slippery steriliser tongs. And later: Nintendo Switches that won’t turn off, mouldy football boots found in plastic bags, felt tips left open in pockets, all hair clips.

 

20. Occasions when you secretly let your sterile rules slip with your newborn: spoon drops on floor – ‘sterilise it in your mouth’; bottle teat touches defrosting meat – ‘frozen things are sterile, right?’; son gets licked on mouth by dog – dog’s mouths are sterile, right?’

 

21. Finding standards slip with every subsequent child. First child: sterilise all surfaces and cups with military-surgery precision. From the second child onwards: drink from a pub urinal for all I care, just put your hands under the cold tap afterwards, alright?

 

22. The moment when your child does an impression of the way you talk and you realise stage one – the cute stage – is over. And then think in horror: what stages are to come?

 

23. Dismissing entire swathes of learning – like mathematics – when you can’t figure out a home learning project with them. It’s what Socrates would have done.

 

24. Suddenly thinking you can do DIY now you’re a Dad, and managing to ‘fix’ a crack in the wall by making it into a large hole instead.

 

25. You’ll see the practicality of cargo shorts to carry teats/treats/toys then catch yourself in a shop window and realise you’ve turned into another faceless dad.

26. Any school concerts involving your child, not matter how little they actually do in them, will have you in floods of tears like you’ve just seen them beat Conor MacGregor in a cage fight.

 

27. You find yourself repeating habits that your dad did to you – certain phrases or behavioural tics – and feel yourself both cringing and blubbing at the same time. Cribbing.

 

28. You’re tired. But you don’t say you’re tired to your partner who is at home all day with the baby. Or rather, you only say it once.

 

29. You’re tired. And if you’re the partner at home all day with the baby, you are free to say whatever you like to the one who comes back complaining they had to have 5 Costas to stay awake.

 

30. Reading is now a thing of the past. While you saw middle-age as a chance to fill in the gaps on great works of literature, having a family means you’ll be lucky if you can even make it through a full film over the course of a week. Reading? For the next 18 years, you can forget it. And even if you do get through a book, you’ll immediately forget that. However, quotes from I am Spot will stick around in your head forever.

31. Explaining things is difficult. Tying shoelaces is easy when you do it yourself, but have you ever tried explaining how to tie shoelaces? Or why a cut on their finger won’t bleed out all their blood? Or how about what holds your heart in place? Or why the universe started? Or what happens when we die?

 

32. Your sex life will never be what it used to be, and the sooner you stop pining for it, the better.

 

33. Your kids think you’re a big hero. And it kind of makes you want to live up to that. And this is no bad thing at all.

 

34. When you first have your children, it’s like being in love. You can’t stop talking about them to whoever will listen. What’s weird, is that this love doesn’t fade. This is what they mean by unconditional.

 

35. Love bombs work. Even as they get bigger, you have to make time for activities with them. Some serious dad time. The effects are palpable.

 

36. A paunch appears from nowhere. Only crazed exercise can keep it at bay. But it’s ready and waiting to come back. No one knows why this happens.

 

37. You are suddenly carrying a rucksack at all times. You are considering a bum bag.

 

38. The car is no longer the car. The car is a storage unit, a receptacle for biscuit crumbs and sick, a means to get them to sleep, and your fortress of solitude for those trips to the garage when it all gets a bit much.

 

39. Your bed is not your bed anymore. If you’re heterosexual, it’s mummy’s bed. You are a guest, suddenly. And liable to be turfed out to sleep in a tiny child’s bed at any moment. Eight hours of sleep feels like a laughable fantasy.

 

40. Gradually you lose your fashion sense and drift into a generic look that appalls you when you catch yourself in a soft play mirror. Recasting this look as ‘dadcore’ is vital to your self-image. Weirdly, women find it attractive. Or say they do.

 

40. Gradually you lose your fashion sense and drift into a generic look that appalls you when you catch yourself in a soft play mirror. Recasting this look as ‘dadcore’ is vital to your self-image. Weirdly, women find it attractive. Or say they do.

 

41. Work becomes by turns less important (the kids need me) and more important (the kids’ futures need me). This tension will send you a bit loopy.

 

42. There is no joy like the joy of seeing your child ride a bike for the first time.

 

43. And no fury like the annoyance of your child refuse to ride their bike ever again in favour of screen time.

 

44. Extended time spent with children, by choice or job loss or flexitime, is something you will never regret.

 

45. The mental load is real. And the sharing of it between you and your partner, is another thing you will never regret.

 

46. You will become an aficionado of leftovers. No half-eaten meal will escape you. You are a bin. And a bloody good one.

 

47. Hugging your children becomes your key and most valued skill since half the task is telling little people that “everything is going to be ok.” But then sometimes you think – “do I need this more than them?”

 

48. You are in it together with your partner. The other one is not slacking off, expect to think that you are slacking off. Again, the sooner you realise this about one another the better.

49. If you are a single parent, you are there to be worshipped by all other humans. This stuff is not easy…doing it alone? Consider yourself saluted.

 

50. When all’s said and done, everyone does parenting in their own mad way…just so long the children feel the love in your madness. 

Shogun Assassin

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