Dear Father Hood: Does my baby like his mummy more?
Of course he does, but instead of getting down or judging him try to spend a day in his disposable nappies (not literally). Would you choose the person who carried you for nine months, spends the most time with you and produces the milk you needs to survive over the person who gives the odd good bath, but seems to disappear for long periods of day? It is an absolute no-brainer. Mum comes first. Period.
Now we’ve got that sorted, let’s get onto the more important question. Namely: who comes second? Naturally, I assumed the answer would be daddy, daddy, daddy. But after three or four months it became pretty clear that the answer was Nano (my wife’s mum). Worse still, my wife’s dad came third. I was out of the medals and it hurt. So I did what any self-respecting male would do in this situation. I sulked. Boy did I sulk. And do you know what? Unless you view arguing with your wife as a positive, it did no good whatsoever.
‘You need to stop making things about you,’ she’d state and she was bang on the money. The issue wasn’t that I had to go to work. Or that my wife and her parents were conspiring against me. Or that I wasn’t getting my necessary quota of beauty sleep. It was that I was constantly taking the easy option. Give him to the grandparents, so we can plan our next holiday? Works for me. Play tennis instead of doing bath time? Go on then. Let my wife change the nappy? Well, if you insist. When the going got tough, I got going and even at the age of three or four months the wee man was savvy enough to realise this.
It was an epic fatherly fail and the only person who could fix it was me. So here’s what I’m doing. I’m taking at least half a day off per week. I’m going to baby classes. I’m palming him off on the grandparents less. I’m hitting up all the local soft play facilities. I’m regularly attending the Popo (porridge) Boys Breakfast Club. I’m dancing to Niall Horan’s latest song. I’m saying ‘clap clap’ on a seemingly infinite loop. I’m putting cookies in the jar. I’m washing his butt in the sink. And I’m spending a lot of time getting my neck nipped, switching lights on and off and wearing oven gloves on my head. Is this helping my career? Not at all. Is it helping my home life and stress levels? More than you can imagine. Have I made it back onto his love podium? Not yet, but the smiles are growing, the laughter is getting louder and the Dadas are becoming more frequent, so who knows? If I keep working hard, maybe I’ll secure bronze by his 1st birthday? Now, I must go. We’ve got Ady’s music class to attend…