This was previously published on Let’s Dad!
Being a dad is a complex endeavour. Peter Andre once likened it to “being trapped in a disabled toilet with a can of chick peas. But nothing to open them with.” And he’s won Celebrity Dad of the Year. Twice. If he’s struggling (to make houmous?), how are the rest of us supposed to cope?
Our partners are spoilt for advice and support groups aimed at helping them deal with those tricky situations that parenthood throws up. But for us? The last time I looked in the Fatherhood section at Waterstone’s there was a copy of Peter Andre’s biography (obviously) and a braile version of The Guide to Perineal Massage. So where are we supposed to turn when we need help understanding our emotions?
Well, The Game might not seem like an obvious port in a storm, what with all the b*tches, Cristal, drugs and b*tches. But it turns out that before he became a rapper, he was a trainee midwife. Billy Ray Cyrus doesn’t have a Phd in Child Development, but when it comes to describing the upheaval of watching your daughter head off into the unknown (or, in Billy’s case, an established and successful performing career) he’s worthy of any professorship.
In fact. if you know where to look, there’s a wealth of counsel out there, set to music and waiting to aid you on your dadding journey; from those heady moments in the delivery room and your first fishing trip together, right through to your brief spell in prison and the argument during which you tell your daughter that you’re not her daddy and that’s why she’s so ugly. So next time you’re alone, confused and convinced that you’re the only one out there who knows what you’re going through, just refer back to … .
The Musical Guide to Dadding
1. The Birth
A monumental and unique experience, the emotion of which is difficult to do justice with words alone. The Game clearly struggled too, so he simply set the midwife’s birth notes to a heavy beat before interspersing them with swear words and phone calls to his crew. Next time someone asks you how it went, just play them Like Father, Like Son.
2. Coping with Colic
Originally written “as a tool to help new parents prepare for colic,” ‘Come to Daddy’ conversely acts as an excellent musical accompaniment to colic. It’s one of the few tracks that blends seamlessly with a baby who’s trying to scream their insides out. In fact, the sequence from 3m54s to 4m30s encapsulates the first three months of parenthood pretty well.
3. The first moment when you think, “Woohoo! I rock at dadding!”
Okay, so it’s an obvious choice. But for those couple of minutes when you wanna dance around like you rule the world, it does the job, simply by having the words Daddy and Cool repeated every couple of seconds over an extremely catchy riff. I’d recommended, with the rendition I’ve linked, to switch it off around the 2m30s mark, when things take a parenting tone more akin to Chinatown.
4. Making Memories.
They’ll be occasions when your kids think they’re just fishin’. Or just throwin’ stones at cowpats. Or just moonin’ drivers on the motorway. In fact, they’ll be creating memories that will last a lifetime. Kids eh? So naive. Although pointing out the memory-making might just result in the memory subsequently being about that time when “we were havin’ a right laugh shavin’ the neighbours’ dog and you interrupted to point out that we should remember these days forever.” Tricky.
5. The night you get locked up for calling a policeman obtuse.
Okay, so you’ll only be in there for a few hours, or maybe even the night, but kids are fickle. Your best mate has spent a lot of time around your son. Your partner seems pretty fond of him, too. “Mummy. Is Mark my new daddy now?”
6. Packing her off to University/Agricultural College/A meeting with Disney about her next anodyne movie franchise
“Treasure every moment! Because before you know it you’ll be packing them off to University!”. Seriously, why does every old women you pass in the supermarket feel the need to mutter this ridiculous sentiment?! Because they’re about to die perhaps? Anyhow, Billy Ray really hits the nail on the head here. Poor Miley could barely afford the train fare back home when she left for Hollywood, aged 6.
7. That time you’re really f*ckin’ mad (and maybe a little drunk) and you decide that it’s time to tell her that you’re not her dad. And if you were, she wouldn’t be such a dog.
You can learn many lessons from this classic tale of dis-ownership. But maybe the most useful is that if you’ve got some painfully life-changing news for your daughter, it might be best to try and hide it behind an upbeat pop-reggae theme. Least that way she can tap her feet as her life crashes down around her. On the plus side, at least she’ll know why she’s always been a bit of an insensitive b*tch.
Been inspired/comforted/confused by a classic dadding tune? Let us know … .
Images courtesy of the author