Mod muso and ‘Dadrock’ legend, Paul Weller, might not have written “The Changingman” in honour of the new father – but that’s what you’ll need to become unless you want to end up in a Jam.
We’re not just talking about the changes that involve wipes and bum-cream. A child plopping into the mix can transform everything. Not only your fudge cake recipe. It’s arrival can create mere ripples in your previously smooth life, or you may feel like you’re facing down a tsunami. Either way, the best thing you can do is embrace it, prepare yourself and learn to ride the wave
Outlined below are some of the ways in which these baby-changes commonly manifest themselves:
Dinner dates may increasingly be staged in restaurants whose ambient noise will drown out piercing cries. You’ll find that there are some places, perhaps even your former haunts, where babies are not welcome. Fair enough. No-one wants a sharp pain in the ear, while sampling the nose on their Shiraz or pouring a well earned pint down their throat.
There might not be as many pubs, clubs or live gigs on the cards as there used to be. That’s understandable. If the bouncers didn’t let the other guy in the door because of his Nikes, how can you expect your baby’s ribboned booties to elicit anything other than a “Not tonight mate. Not in those shoes”?
While these changes may seem restrictive, they are actually doing you a favour. No-one wants to have to deal with a child while nursing a hangover. A baby’s cries have been designed via the process of evolution to be impossible for its parents to ignore and, unlike mobile phones, you can’t switch their profile to silent and disappear back under the covers.
Do not operate heavy machinery in the early days of being a Dad. A lack of sleep can initally produce to a manic and slightly enjoyable mental state, but once that passes it’s all downhill and eventually it can kill you! As a new Dad, you’ll feel the effects of broken sleep.
You usually notice the change through other people’s behaviour. Women typing their PIN at the ATM may glance nervously over their shoulder at the the bloodshot eyes of the new Dad behind them. You may attract the attention of shop assistants more often, as you dither in the centre of a store wondering what the hell you came in for. You may even find that you have, like Mr.Magoo, wandered unknowingly through various life threatening (and comical) near-miss situations in your new Dad daze.
On the plus side, however, your status as a new Dad will endow you with almost superhuman abilities. Abilities that will allow you to:
- Walk in complete silence on any surface and in any footwear.
- Detect the rustle of bedcovers at a distance of 500 yards.
And, most importantly…
Fall asleep, when you do get the chance, absolutely anywhere!