Broken glasses and pee-throughs!

Have you ever had your glasses smashed to smithereens by your child? If you have, I’m delighted. I’m clearly not the only member of this club. However, have you forked out a fiddy dollah bill to get them repaired only to get them smashed by the same little perpetrator a few weeks later? Well that is my situation.

It was Finn’s first birthday and he decided to test out the new carpet in the living room – him and I were wrestling and laughing away – and the next minute he snaps my specs in two. My dad was in stitches – he could hardly contain himself. Me, well I was in a state of shock. How on earth could a 30 year old man let this happen twice – by a toddler!? Perhaps I have an excuse … I’m Irish!

It was really quite funny and I’m currently donning my spare pair of glasses. I’m trying to figure out if I should fork out another $50 to get the glasses repaired. Finn does have a savings account, and he was recently given some moolah for his birthday. At what point do I start making the kid pay for his actions? I’m joking, I’m joking! Funny idea though. Lol. I bet if you asked my parents how many things I destroyed then there would be a list as long as your arm.

As you will know, my little soldier turned one this week. ONE! That’s a pretty huge milestone. Not only for him, but for us. I feel like there should be a certificate or something. Somehow we have navigated this first year safely. Now let me honest, there have been a few scrapes and bruises along the way. A few (hundred) sleepless nights, the odd hangry encounter with Lisa and many many laughs later we are at the first big milestone. What has been so amazing? Where do I start!?

– Finns infectious little smile. That little smile has me melting every time. In fact, he is already using it to swoon the ladies. What a cheeky little devil!
– The morning moments. You parents will know what I mean. It’s that moment when you can hear him from his cot saying “da, da, Dada”. It’s even better than Adele singing her latest lullaby. Seeing his little boat race (please get familiar with Cockney rhyming slang as I tend to use it a tad) first thing is just indescribable.

– I just love sitting back and watching my family and friends interact with Finn. He has a magical magnetism and evokes so much love and joy.

– Finn has brought about a whole new way of thinking for me. It’s a whole new perspective on life, the purpose of my life and my key reasons for being here (some of those key reasons are slightly more mundane such as bum wiping and dishwashing … but hey, they are still essential!).

– I love nothing more than the look on Lisa’s face when Finn cuddles in to her. Finn is a rather active young lad – he never sits still. But every now and then, he will spend a moment cuddling his mum. It’s the best!

The list could go on and on. But I hope you get the point … the first year of fatherhood is truly epic. It’s simply one huge privilege, a gift. So lads, please make damn sure you invest 100% in your family. Love your wife, love your kids and love your life.
Just a little added extra for you … at no extra cost.

I was dropping Finn of to daycare (his most favourite place!) at ABC Merivale last week. I was chatting to Aimee and Ari with Finn in my arms. He was oddly quiet and non-wriggly. But I thought nothing of it. A few moments later I set him down to join his buddies in the nursery … and to my surprise and many other folks amusement – Finn has pee’d through this clothes and MINE! It was the perfect start to the week. So I have one suggestion for all you mums and dads who drop your child to daycare in the mornings … keep a spare change of clothes in the car for yourself!!



Note to self.

Happy Parenting you lot, and thanks so much for helping me get my Instagram account to the 5000 follower mark.

James
IG – the_moderndad

Parenting, Navy Seals and the Village…

Modern Dad's

They say it takes a village …

We all know the saying. “It takes a village to raise a child”. Now honestly, I’ve often rolled my eyes when I hear that, thinking it’s some kind of hippy one-liner.  But more recently I’ve experienced first hand just how vital it is to have help from others.

Lisa and I are in somewhat of a unique position. Lisa is from Canada, I’m from Ireland and we live in New Zealand. We have no family here whatsoever, and yes that can sometimes be a good thing if there’s some family drama going down, which means we either tough it out in isolation or we build strong bonds with close friends.

As a parent, you want to prove to yourself, your partner and everyone else around you, that you are indestructible and independent. You don’t want to show any signs of weakness, tiredness or emotion. But in reality, you will implode if you take this approach. We are all human, and we all have breaking points. We need rest, we need alone time and more often than not we need a glass of vino. Don’t feel bad, you are part of a pretty huge club.

Finn had a big night last night. You know what I’m talking about. Coughing every few minutes, awake more than he was asleep and throwing up anytime you give him milk. These are those character building moments they tell you about. And I hope to Jesus (Mary and Joseph!) there is some positive outcome – because I’m not sure how much “character” was built for me last night. Today I feel like a mere shadow of my previous self. Sleep deprived, grumpy and lacking my usual redbull-esque energy levels.

And of course Murphy’s Law is one shit of a thing. Ironically, today is St Patrick’s Day. It feels like the Saint thinks it’s April Fools day – maybe he started on the sauce a few weeks too early. Today also happens to be the start of my work’s centenary celebration. (And when I say celebration, please don’t confuse that with a day off “work” and enjoying nibbles and bubbles – oh no, this is one of our busiest and most important days of the year, or should I say century!!). And here’s me sitting at the doctor’s clinic with Finn. Not ideal. But that’s just how the cookie crumbled today. Thankfully I have some pretty awesome co-workers to pick up the slack.

I sometimes think about the Navy Seals. They are put through such an intense training program, often where many of them just break. Well, I think parenthood has its “navy seal” moments. You non-parents probably think I’m being a muppet. But I shit you not, this daddy-business is serious stuff. Let’s compare notes with Americas finest.

  1. The Seals run two marathons in a day. Us parents run only one in a day, but with an 11kg babyweight, a jam-packed diaper bag, taking a phone call in one ear and getting the other ear yanked by a screaming ninja.
  2. The Seals are forced to live on a diet of nettles and kale. Us parents have to power through with only half a wine-biscuit and two spoonfuls of baby porridge.
  3. The Seals have to lay under a bush for hours at a time, no pooing and no eating. That’s just child’s play compared to us daddy’s and mummy’s! We sit motionless on the couch with our little ton-weight cherub in our arms fast asleep. We dare not breathe too heavy, cough, sleep, talk or move for fear of the sleeping beauty waking!!

In conclusion – the Seals aren’t a patch on the parents of the World. (No disrespect to the Seals as I think you are bloody amazing). When you non-parents are enjoying your extra hour in bed, your quiet stroll in the park or your uninterrupted episode of Catching up with Kardashians, please spare a thought for all of the parents out there bravely going to war each day.

Now don’t get me wrong – being a Dad is my most favourite thing in the world. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t trying times.

Uncle Jason and Aunty Donna are those people in our lives that stop the wheels from falling off. They have been absolute legends. They aren’t blood-relatives, but man oh man you wouldn’t know it. They have taken Finn in like one of their own. They nurture and support Lisa and I like we are their children. They are two extremely loving people – two of earths finest humans. They do it all from pure love and they have no clue just how much of a difference they make to our lives. They are living examples to me of why it does takes a village to raise a child. Without them – the wheels would well and truly have fallen off the old wagon.

For those parents that are out there and don’t have family support, fret not. Let the village do it’s thing.

James

Founder of Modern Dad.