A dad’s weekend – what a belter.

Baby's first stepsApril Fools Day – what a day to be a Dad. You all know by now, that on these special days just like St. Paddys day, that my life usually has some funny sh#t go down. Well today (I wrote it on April 1, but then life happened and I posted it a few days later) has not disappointed and we are only half way through the day.

The past few days have been tough with a terrible old flu, and a few days shacked up on the sofa with Lemsip and antibiotics – a sight for sore eyes I tell ya. And Lisa, the poor wee Saint. She was looking after both her boys. Administering Finn’s meds, my meds and running the household like an absolute legend. My wife is a GC. No doubt about it.

Aunty & Unky took Finn for a sleepover last night, which allowed Lisa to get some rest, and for me to get to bed at 7pm. Now today is a very special day for our family. It’s a very sad day, but also a day where we get to reflect on someone who meant a lot to us all, and who has shaped our lives so greatly.

Lisa’s little brother Arran passed away 15 years ago on April 1st, at the young age of eighteen. Arran was a top bloke, an amazing brother and one epic drummer. A world champion at 13 years old! Arran was the reason that Lisa and I met. Let’s face it, what are the chances of a boy from small-town Ireland meeting a beautiful girl from small-town Canada? Pretty darn slim. Arran and I crossed paths through our shared passion of pipe band drumming. After Arran passed away I wrote a letter to his family in Canada to share how much he had impacted my life, and inspired me as a 16-year old drummer in Ireland. Little did I know that several years later I would end up in Vancouver playing in the same band that he did, and meeting his amazing family. Lisa and I had a great friendship for many years that blossomed into something so amazing as the years ticked by. If I didn’t meet Arran, I wouldn’t have met Lisa and we wouldn’t have Finn. Now, Im not a big religious-based person. But I do believe that someone, somewhere is looking over us and that person/spirit/being, guides us in the right direction. Fate and karma are a big part of my day to day life. As a Dad, that is something I want to instill in Finn. If you do what you know is right, then it can only be a good thing. When we make mistakes, hopefully we can learn from them.

Not to confuse you all, but lets backtrack to yesterday. March 31st 2017. Something beautiful happened in our household. A little someone, took his very first footsteps. Yep, you heard it right. At 10 months my little whippersnapper decided he wanted to walk rather than crawl. It was a ridiculously awesome moment. I’ve heard so many parents go off about the day that their baby walked. And i’ve always thought that it must be pretty cool. But when it’s your own little lad who takes those first steps it’s a monumental moment. It’s a real milestone. It’s the beginning of Finn’s baby steps towards 1, then 2 then 21! It’s all happening so fast. I read a book a few years back by Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now. The key aim of the book is to inspire the reader to enjoy the present moment, the current moment. And nothing else. Not the future, not the past. It’s bloody hard. We are always looking forward to the future. We can’t wait ‘till it’s Friday. We count down the days until we depart to Fiji. And we often reflect to the past. “It’s not like it was in my day” … that old chestnut! So my new plan is to just enjoy the simple day to day moments with Finn and Lisa. What happens right now, is all that’s actually real. Everything else is a mere figment of your imagination.

More breaking news. I know, I know. Settle down. You have all been waiting on this for a week or so now …

So – Im a routine Dad. I like to keep things in order. It helps with my baby-brain syndrome. I have certain routines each morning. Wake early, clean teeth, laugh with Finn, diaper change, brekky, diaper change, shower, get dressed, diaper change and off to ABC Merivale. Now part of my evening routines is taking my wedding ring off and setting it beside my tooth brush. It’s just what happens. I simply can’t sleep with jewellery. For five and a half years there hasn’t been a problem. That all changed on the day we left for Adele. I couldn’t find my ring. A week of hell ensued. I was wracking my brain, scouring the house. It was really gutting. My wedding ring is so much more than just gold, platinum and a diamond. It signifies the union between the love of my life and I. So, today… April 1st, I get drawn to this cute little ceramic trinket box. A lovely friend bought it for Finn when he was born. And guess what … there was my wedding ring perched safely in its clutches. I jumped for joy, I let out a few joyful profanities and I hugged Lisa for the longest moment. It was a moment. A moment I will never forget. And I learned a lesson. Don’t put my wedding ring anywhere different, ever. So it’s new place is in Finns trinket box. And let’s face it, someday Finn is going to have my wedding ring. That day, will hopefully be another 60 years away. But it seems fitting that it’s nestled safely in his little ceramic container each night.

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetMy mum and sister said to me this week. “James, don’t you remember what we used to tell you when you were a kid and lost things all the time? – Just say ‘Jesus was lost, and Jesus was found’.” I have to admit I rolled my eyes (as you already know my stance on religion) but secretly, I did say it a few times yesterday. Kirsten and Mum – thank you.

‘Till next time.

James

(just a very short P.S. – my darling wife Lisa, was the person who suggested I put the ring in the ceramic trinket box in the first place so I partly blame her …but I mean, like only 1% blame her, because if it was any higher then I would be getting myself microwave dinners for the next week!).

A weekend away and Adele, is what every parent needs!

SunsetThe day finally arrives for Lisa and I, we are super excited to head to Auckland for our weekend of guilty freedom to celebrate Lisa’s birthday. Now, her birthday was in December, so please hold up before judging me for such a ridiculously belated birthday present. We had to delay the treat as Adele was a little preoccupied in December – she could only lock in March 23rd for us to have a catch up with her.

So we got our bags packed Thursday morning and then dropped Finn to daycare. Lisa and I went to work for a few hours, then I popped home to pick up our bits and pieces. I realised my wedding finger felt a little naked … I’d forgot to throw my gold bullion on that morning. So I went to retrieve it from its usual place where I set it each night. Of course, old Murphy was playing his tricks again. No sign of my ring. Panic set in a little – the old ticker started to ramp up. I searched high and low, with no luck. Reluctantly I reached for the phone to ask Lisa if she had seen it … you can imagine how that went down. Not good. Anyways, I decided time was of the essence so I had better put it on the back burner until we returned from our trip.

We head to the airport and straight up to the business lounge. It’s our little sanctuary where we can consume too many calories and whet our palates with a few glasses of bubbles. Life is good. Finn is being picked up by Aunty Donna and Uncle Jason. We have two days ahead of us with Adele and retail therapy.

Fast forward two hours and we are sitting in an Uber enroute to Auckland CBD. By the way, if you haven’t tried Uber because you think it’s “dodgy”, you love your local taxi company or you are stuck in the dark ages then get a grip. As a modern Dad I think the convenience, safety and cost effectiveness of Uber makes it much more appealing than a stuffy cab. Back on track sorry (I go off on tangents regularly, all part of the daddy brain syndrome), we are in the cab and I receive a message from Aunty Donna asking us to call. A pretty ominous message. I called and my heart sank when Donna said that the daycare called saying that my little Ninja had a really high temperature and needed to seek medical care. The doctor informed Donna that Finn had an ear infection and a rattle in his chest which could progress to pneumonia if it isn’t managed appropriately. It was the worst feeling as we weren’t there for our son when he needed us most. Aunty Donna had managed to get his temp back into the 37’s and I could hear him laughing in the background. Our first instinct was to book the next flight home but we knew our little legend was in good care and on the mend. Still, it was on our minds the whole time – all you parents will be able to relate.

We checked into our AirBNB apartment in the centre of the city. It was our first time using AirBNB and I have to say it was awesome. Check in was seamless, the whole process of booking was a dream. If I’m going to walk the walk as a Modern Dad, then I ought to be trying these modern ways of living. AirBNB is cheaper, easier to book and really user friendly. We ended up in a New York loft style apartment a stones throw from the shops on Queen Street. We felt like teenagers again.

We caught up with Adele as planned. She was simply outstanding. Clearly she has one heck of a set of lungs but she is also funny as hell. Over the course of a few hours she had us all in stitches and gave no f&$ks about anything. She spoke her mind, dropped profanities when it suited and sang her little heart out. It was a night to remember and we felt like we were able to connect with Adele – almost even relate to her. My most favourite song is “Sweetest Devotion” and l now love it even more as she told us she wrote it for her son. The words are powerful and describe that life changing moment when you first meet your child. Hairs stand on the back of my neck as I type – reliving that moment when I first met Finn.  If you get a moment, listen to the song and think of that moment when you met your baby for the first time. Powerful stuff.

Lisa dragged me along for a bit of shopping (I should be honest and admit that I was rather excited to hit up H&M!) – we proceeded to gather a few items for ourselves then discovered H&M Kids. This is some serious swag. Baby fashion up the yin yang. We were on Cloud 9 hooking up Finn with tweed trousers, bow ties, winter woollies and trendy hoodies. We probably should buy shares at H&M lol. Plus if I’m gonna be a Modern Dad then I have to have a few slick garments donning my wardrobe hangers.

What’s one of the great things about city living? Mid-afternoon beersies of course! We indulged in some tipples on Friday down at the Viaduct and met up with some friends. After a few cheekies at Britomart we headed to the Gin Room for a nightcap. Dear oh dear, that was a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong – it was the most epic little cocktail bar in New Zealand, but the head was a little foggy as a result. These simple guilty pleasures are some of the little things that we lapped up. These rare treats were so greatly appreciated and I think us parents all need some “fun” time. We all deserve a break. Even though you may feel guilty for ditching your little cherub, it’s a treat that you have earned. Plus, look at the benefits for your child. They are learning to become more resilient and more independent – none of us want a molly-coddled child on our hands who hasn’t spent as much as a night apart from us. Enable your child to build their confidence right from the start. That cotton wool you so lovingly wrap them in will eventually be useless when they enter the big bad world as an adult.

Now, I had better get looking for that wedding ring. I will update you in due course.

James

Founder of ModernDad.guru