Something truly shocking is happening to me.
Every day I find myself thrown into states of surprise, shock and wonder as I listen to the utterances that leave my own mouth.
What has caused this strange and disturbing phenomenon?
One word: “FATHERHOOD”
Seriously, I’ve learned to listen with interest, alongside everyone else, as the strangest sentences are articulated by my sleep-deprived tongue.
“I said what?” I asked me, concerned.
“Well I never expected to hear that type of thing from me,” I replied, to myself.
“What I’ve said has certainly made me view myself differently,” I added, also to me. “I’ve left myself a little bit flabbergasted.”
These strange X-Files style experiences have left me dazed and confused, with a whole new sense of sympathy for my own parents – thinking about some of some the weird utterances they came out with in years gone by.
Here are five things I’ve heard myself say since I became a dad:
- “Thankfully, I managed to catch the poo before it landed.” Yes, I said this. I won’t go into details other than to say I can catch poo like a pro. That’s right, I’ve entered a phase in my life when I’m actually proud about my poo catching abilities. I remember thinking, as I grasped the motion (ironically, I stopped the motion’s forward motion) that my old PE teacher from back in the day would be amazed to see the kid who couldn’t catch a cold was now able to dive and grab a poo as it exploded from a nappy with the grace of a prima ballerina. Thinking about it, my use of phases like ‘with the grace of a prima ballerina’ probably contributed to his dislike of me in the first place.
- “I look forward to bin day, I find it strangely cathartic.” That bin day or ‘Big Bin Day’ as we call it our house – in order to distinguish it from the lesser recycling box collection day – is a highlight of my month, surprises me. Our ‘Big Bins’ are collected every three weeks and I’m here to say that I genuinely look forward to this parting of the ways with my family’s detritus. There is a satisfaction that comes with viewing a recently emptied bin that is difficult to reproduce in other parts of the household cleaning arena. Once, I miscounted the weeks, mistakenly putting out my bin for ‘Big Bin Day’ only to be told by a neighbor that my rubbish, like an unwanted visitor, would be with us for another week. Sad times.
- “I can’t watch Peppa Pig, I mean that piglet is so self-absorbed.” That I’m so critical of a fictional animated piglet may be a surprise to many of you. Her porcine foibles are certainly not the type of thing that would have annoyed me before fatherhood beckoned, but now things are different. I genuinely get annoyed watching the show, there’s something about her personality that just winds me up. It’s funny, this extreme reaction reminds me of my own parents. My dad would never allow Des O’Connor to be on our telly and my grandma once stormed out of the room because of Rod Stewart adorning our screen. Irrational dislikes of irrelevant people to our lives seems to be a ‘thing’ for parents. Don’t get me started about Paddy McGuinness.
- “It’s 8.15. Shall we just head to bed?” That’s right. Fatherhood has left me so perpetually tired that the highlight of my day is frequently going to bed – to sleep. The part of me that used to long to win the lottery, or get locked inside a chocolate eclair warehouse, is now solely focused on getting sleep. After we’ve put our son to sleep, ate and planned the next day, going to bed seems like paradise. I enjoy going to bed so much that I actively try to keep myself awake for as long as possible – to enjoy the sheer luxury of being completely without demands – otherwise I find sleep can be a blip, over in the blink of a (thoroughly knackered) eye. The other day I stayed up past 10 and felt a complete rebel. Rock and roll, eh?
- “Daddy likes lampposts, aren’t they nice?” I find, these days, my time is filled with a constant dialogue. Essentially my son points at something, I tell him its name and then enthuse about it. So I’ve genuinely heard myself say that I think lampposts are ‘nice’. I’ve also excitedly chattered about trees, litter bins and bin lorries. Although, to be fair, bin lorries are quite exciting. I know that talking about things helps with his linguistic progress, but I do feel quite silly sometimes. It’s just all part of parenting, isn’t it?new-path-lamppost
I’ll continue to keep you informed of the weirdness I find myself saying.
It’s amazing what fatherhood does!
Originally appeared on The Out Of Depth Dad