THINGS I LEARNED AS A PARENT LAST YEAR (Part 2)

1. 90% of eating with your kids in a restaurant is preventing them from (1) putting food in their drinks or (2) spilling their drinks.

2. ‘Dad, why don’t you let the radio sing instead?’, was just cruel and unnecessary.

3. Trying to open a Capri Sun without it squirting out is one of parenting’s toughest challenges

4. Wearing a Halloween Mask in bed has been a great way to stop our kids from wanting to sleep in our bed at night.

5. You don’t know creepy until you’ve had a child stand over you at 3am and whisper ‘Bunny says he doesn’t like you”. #TimeToChangeTheUndies.

6. Did you know that blueberries can pass through a baby’s digestive system fully intact? Same goes for sweetcorn, carrots, potatoes…

7. One of the best sounds you’ll ever hear is your partner and kids in fits of laughter in the next room.

8. . That said, hearing Thing 1 (5) ‘teaching’ and explaining something to his younger brother (3) makes everything in my world completely insignificant.

9. Son: “DAAAD I only asked you to hold my ice cream”.
Me: “Yes and that was a mistake. Now you must learn from it..

10. The one thing I have in common with our baby is we both cry when our bottles are empty.

11. 6yo: “Daddy what does neglect mean?”
Me: Sssh I’m watching the golf.

12. “I want a snack” – my 4yo when he’s eating.

13. Nothing halts having fun with your kids quicker than when one of them grabs your glasses.

14. We teach our kids not to lie and then 30 seconds later tell them that their picture is excellent.

15. Before i had kids i thought only perverts sniffed underwear.

16. If you yell “what are you up to” and your kids say “nothing” that’s kid code for “you better get off your fat a** and check on us”

17. Always double-check the garden after you’ve had a party because seeing a 3 year old chew on a cigarette butt is all sorts of wrong.

18. If you want to see a full-blown meltdown, give a boy a girl’s party bag by ‘mistake’.

19. Always make sure that your son is looking into the toilet (or even at the toilet) when you offer to have a ‘wee wee’ sword fight with them. #DadsWillUnderstand

20. I’ve been present at 3 births (right hand is still fractured) but nothing compares to the facial expressions of a toddler trying to squeeze out a poo.

21. Sunday bedtime is usually when my kids like to discuss quantum physics

22. It’s also the time when my kids ‘need to finish’ their homework.

23. …and it’s also the time when I tend to lose my sh*t.

24. I only bring my kids to the library so that I can get some peace and quiet.

25. I’m never more nervous than when I insist we’re out of something and my wife goes to look for it herself.

26. You haven’t really been patronised until a 6yo hugs you and starts patting you on the back

27. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make my 3yo wipe his own arse.

28. Its weird how 6 glasses of water seems impossible but 6 glasses of wine can be done in one sitting.

29. ‘No I’ll do it myself’ is the reason i’ll never be on time for anything ever again.

30. ‘Really. Wow that’s mad’ – things I say when i’m not listening to my kids (or wife)

31. If bottled bath water was a thing, my kids would drink it by the gallon.

32. Even if my privates were on fire my kids would walk into the room and ask me for a snack.

33. 4yo: I don’t like it, it’s too spicy.
Me: IT’S A YOGURT

DD

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THINGS I LEARNED AS A PARENT LAST YEAR (Part 1)

*a selection of some of my random thoughts on being a dad to 3 boys*

1. Being a dad has thought me that you don’t need fun to have alcohol. very important lesson.

2. Three boys. Well I’ll tell ya one thing, farms don’t smell as bad as they used to.

3. Raising a toddler in particular is similar to being a dog. You’re continually sniffing an arse

4. If you think your kids will go to bed earlier and easier just because they didn’t nap, I can recommend the following book – ‘Parenting For Dummies’.

5. First child – healthy, organic, sugarless everything.
Third child – “Just pick it up and eat it” [as the microwave burrito falls on floor].

6. It’s getting harder to figure out a way to play with my kids without actually moving.

7. If you’ve never had a stalker experience just put a 1yo in a walker. #TheStalkerInTheWalker

8. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have, trying to count out the correct amount of formula scoops is a head f*ck particularly if someones talking/screaming/sh*tting in the background.

9. The new title of my imaginary parenting book will be ‘Never mind, i’ll do it myself’.

10. If you slack off enough kids become very self sufficient, very fast.

11. Therefore teach your kid from an early age just how comfortable the couch is so that they aren’t constantly asking you to do stuff.

12. That said, no good ever comes from a toddler sitting naked on a couch.

13. Lads, always go big on Mother’s Day…I learned the hard way (the fact that she’s not actually your mother didn’t seem to matter).

14. If something looks like poo, feels like poo and smells like poo, it’s poo.

15. Pro Tip: Continually emphasising the need to keep your kid on a strict schedule makes it easier to say no to crappy things you’ve been invited to.

16. The smell of a bad nappy can linger in your house longer than your In-laws. I love them really (the in-laws that is).

17. When remarking that ‘they’ve gone down well tonight’ it’s always best to check that the monitor is on first.

18. Potty training and bubble baths should never be mixed – all will look lovely on the surface but what lies beneath can be the stuff of nightmares.

19. The day before you bring your kid to their first swimming class, put a little pee in their bath so that they are used to it.

20. Pro Tip: Have your partner leave you a voicemail of the baby screaming. Save it and play it to people when you need to get out of something.

21. If your buggy doesn’t have a cup holder, get one. Believe me, It’s easier to play Jenga on a bus than it is to steer a buggy with one hand.

22. Assuming they’re fit and able to pitch in, accept every bit of help on offer from granny and granddad, Their philosophical advice will be brilliant. Their medical advice not so much!

23. I’m noticing more and more that most of my sentences tend to start off strong and then trail off into sighs as my kids ignore me.

24. Planning our wedding was easier than planning dinner that everyone will eat.

25. It turns out that if you wait long enough to make dinner everyone will just eat cereal.

26. Hell hath no fury than a toddler who wants to peel a banana himself.

27. Hell hath no fury than a dad who has to clean up a squashed banana

28. Saying ‘see you in the morning’ as I tuck my kids into bed is pointless.

29. It’s possible to destroy a house with a granola bar.

30. It’s also possible to destroy a house with a rice cake.

31. The loudest sound in the world is my 4 year old shouting ‘Dad, I have to do a poo’ followed by “Dad can you wipe my bum”.

32. If you have Ready Brek on your crotch there’s a good chance nobody will sit beside you on the bus/train.

33. The trick to cleaning Weetbix off the floor is not to leave it for more than 8 seconds.

34. I wish my wallet refilled as quickly as our laundry basket.

35. It’s near impossible to not open your own mouth every time you try to feed a baby.

DD.

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Part 2 tmrw (unless you’re sick of reading this stuff – just let me know)

Digital Dad: Stay-At-Home Mum vs. Stay-At-Work Dad

How is it that a week off work can totally and utterly destroy you? Oh yes, I remember now – I have three kids and a wife (on maternity leave) who required a much-needed break from our three crazies.

I left work, said goodbye to my sanity and headed home. In 10 days I’d be back, sitting at my desk staring at a screen that doesn’t have Paw Patrol on it. The plans and visions I had for my week off were modest to say the least i.e. have a breakfast every morning or have a shower without Thing 2 coming in and launching a bar of soap at me. Simple things indeed, but not too simple as it turned out.

I left work, said goodbye to my sanity and headed home

I walked through the front door to be greeted by my beautiful darling wife (I have to say this of course, as she reads these weekly articles). I say greeted but wifey merely opened the door to me. What greeted me were two hyperactive pre-Halloween ghouls and one 14-week-old Lucifer baby. Plans.  Ah yes, plans. I knew in that exact moment that I could put any pre-conceived notions that I had for ‘my’ week off into a box and throw them in the fire. They’d go up in flames just like my week (granted I did have my breakfasts). Boom, there they go.

My beautiful darling wife is currently on maternity leave so needless to say stress levels and exhaustion are set to max. I knew that I’d essentially be the hired hand for the week and I was OK-ish with that. Cue Saturday morning, I was left to look after my three little treasures while wifey headed out for what I hoped would be a short stint in the shops. It wasn’t.

Hired Hand

Things started out well. I took out the PlayMobil for Thing 1 & 2 and waffled to Thing 3 as only a goofy Dad can to a 14-week-old. An hour later I gave Thing 3 a bottle. He fell into a milk coma within 20 minutes so I popped him down for a nap and genuflected on the way out of his room in the hope that he’d sleep for a few hours. I must have genuflected incorrectly because he was up 20 mins later in full screaming mode. Bliss.

I knew that I’d essentially be the hired hand for the week and I was OK-ish with that.

While this was going on our now 3-year-old aka Thing 2 who is being potty trained – or rather he’s training us in the art of giving in and continuing with nappies – proceeded to pee in his clothes and tap-dance in his socks on the yellow pool that lay under his feet. I immediately launched my SOS call-a-friend and Dad, who was out cycling, said he’d knock in for a cuppa. I needed to prioritise, screaming baby or Gene Kelly. I chose the former.

I lifted up the stinkiest baby that ever was and placed him on the carpet. I was sure to breathe through my mouth the whole time but as I opened the nappy what met me was like something from our local Indian takeaway. I nearly passed out. Meanwhile Gene Kelly had stopped dancing in his p**s and was now demanding fresh clothes and new socks. I was demanding new children.

I immediately launched my SOS call.

The doorbell rang. It was Dad. Aka Bungee Cord. As I was changing Thing 3 I lifted my hand up to direct Thing 1 to open the door for ‘papa’. As I moved my hand back, I instinctively rubbed my cheek (face cheek that is) only to realise that I had sh** on my index finger and I had smeared it on my cheek. I looked like something out of Dances with Wolves. Papa came through the door in full fluorescent cycling gear, the colour almost matching Thing 3’s nappy contents. I immediately instructed him to run upstairs and grab a change of clothes for the tap-dancing lunatic.

I lifted up the stinkiest baby that ever was and placed him on the carpet.

Within three minutes calmness was restored. Thing 3 was placed on the play mat, Thing 1 & 2 were happily sitting down watching Ratatouille (v. good btw), I had washed my hands and Dad made the cuppas.

Stressed Dad

My wife had only been gone two hours at this stage but it honestly felt like an eternity. It turned out that she’d be gone for a further 3 hours and it was during this time that I was able to reflect on just how difficult and sh*** it can be – quite literally – staying at home and minding three little people.

Men can give women a hard time for ‘staying at home with the kids’ but in all, honesty I’d swap it in a heartbeat for work. I just couldn’t do it. As much as I love my kids, I’d go crazy if I had to mind them all day long.

As wifey came home, she was greeted by a very happy, very grateful and VERY clean husband who would no longer crack jokes about ‘relaxing’ at home while I headed off to work.

Relaxing it definitely isn’t.

Any comments?

DD

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Come back next week for my next installment. In the meantime, if you have any funny stories, jokes or topics that you’d like discussed feel free to get in touch.

Digital Dad: Mums and their Boys – What to Expect.

Apart from the endless mess and the countless trains, planes and automobiles that you’ll have in your home, here’s what to expect and what you should know if you’re a Mum or Mum-to-be of a boy. I have three…

1. Tolerate the Fart (and burp)

Thankfully my good wife grew up with two boys, so she’s well equipped to deal with the potent mix of various human gasses. Kids think farting – or ‘whizzpopping’ as we call it – is funny, end of.

Obviously, there’s a time and a place to fart/not to fart and we try our best to teach our boys this valuable etiquette. For instance, try not to fart in public and if you do, apologise (where appropriate) and try to get out of there quickly without laughing, and never fart under your duvet unless you 1) don’t mind retching and passing out or 2) don’t like the person next to you in the bed.

Regardless of whether you personally find farts funny or not, they will happen so get used to it and learn to tolerate the little people that do.

2. Willy fascination will start early

Boys practically play with their willies from birth. It’s there, it’s dangly and it’s flexible. What more could they ask for?

For the rest of his life, this could be your son’s best and most treasured friend (why do you think we have pet names for them?). Don’t worry about this early fascination. It kind of never goes away (it’s his manhood after all) so be thankful that your son is inquisitive and no doubt thankful to you for his ‘dangly donger’.

Unfortunately no matter how fascinated they are with their ‘little soldier’ it’ doesn’t compute to them learning how to pee in the toilet properly…aka. the Tinkle Sprinkle

3. Get used to the Tinkle Sprinkle

Boys will sprinkle when they tinkle – i.e. urinate – on the toilet seat or bathroom floor etc. You’ll have to get used to this. In fact, boys and pee go hand in hand (pardon the pun). Pee can go and will go everywhere and anywhere – e.g. floors, walls, plants, toys, shoes etc.

The older they get, the better their aim becomes, but with age comes greater range which in itself can be a problem. Keep wipes beside the toilet and whatever you do DON’T keep a toilet rug.

Mum and her boys

4. Safety standards go out the window

OK, so I’m the type of Dad that laughs and shouts ‘hooray’ when one of my boys falls or walks into a table, door etc. I don’t do this because I’m mean or I enjoy seeing them hurt themselves. No, quite the opposite actually. I do it because like most kids, as soon as your child has an accident they turn around to see what your initial reaction is. And if it’s a reaction of horror, angst, worry, or a complete overreaction, well then your child is going to overreact too – and most likely burst into tears.

I instead pretend it’s a game, so that my reaction when they look at me is one of fun and silliness. No, it doesn’t always work. Yes, your kids will most likely cry anyway, but your reaction will help massage the perceived seriousness of the accident.

Boys will be rough and tough. They’ll climb furniture and trees. They’ll jump off chairs and tables. They’ll shoot each other with Nerf guns and most likely give each other wedgies when they are older. This is part and parcel of being a boy regardless of how odd and weird you think it is. Rethink your safety standards and try not to wrap your kid up in cotton wool, unless he needs it obviously.

Just keep the Band-Aids handy.

5. Accept the Full Monty

This goes hand-in-hand (sorry again) with the ‘Dangly Donger’. Boys love to parade around in the nude – well at least my boys do anyway – whether it’s the full monty or just panning out watching RTÉjr in their boxer shorts.

As soon as they are able to dress and undress themselves, their inner Chippendale is released and unfortunately there’s no going back. Embrace it and let them have fun.

Just don’t ask where they got it from.

6. Don’t compare Apples to Oranges

Boys tend to be a bit slower and lazier than girls when reaching milestones. Apparently, I was 21 months old before I started to walk and guess what – Thing 2 was 18 months old too. My goddaughter was only 12 months before she started to walk, so give your little man all the the encouragement, support and time he needs.

This goes for potty training too – we still have a nappy loving 3-year-old who hasn’t cottoned on.

Boy eating pizza

7. Compare Apples to Oranges

…when it comes to drama and tantrums.

Boys, just like girls can throw the ultimate hissy fits over the smallest of issues.  ‘That’s my ninja turtle’, ‘no that’s my Ninja turtle’ or ‘I wanted to sit there…’ etc etc.

A tantrum is a tantrum and my boys are experts at stomping, shouting, door slamming, crying and ‘you’re not my friend-ing’.  True, boys can be more easy-going and agreeable but don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that they aren’t dramatic.

8. Stock up on food.

Boys are active. Active boys get hungry. Hungry boys get cranky. Parents hate cranky. Cranky loves food… this is an endless cycle.

As your boys get bigger and bolder, they become little eating robots and they’ll want to eat more and more. the fridge will be continually raided so keep it stocked up and keep cranky at bay.

9. They will adore you.

When our friends heard that we were having a third boy, nearly everyone sympathetically patted me on the back and said that my wife lucked out and that she would be spoiled by ‘her boys’ for forever and a day. Me, on the other hand, would be tossed to the ‘old-age scrapheap’ because I don’t have a daughter and thus I’d be feeding off scraps for the rest of my life.

A slight exaggeration of course (I hope) but my three boys absolutely idolise their Mum (and rightly so) and there really is no bond like it.

I’ll no doubt be relegated to the point where I’m being bought crappy socks for Christmas and my birthday while mum gets pampered but I’m OK with that, kind of.

Goofy kid

10. Expect the goofy

If you watch Modern Family, then imagine a mini-Phil Dunphy. Boys will be goofy, quirky, weird, and eccentric – and that’s perfectly OK. Be prepared for it. I guarantee you’ll be called (or have been called) poopy head, poopy pants or smelly pants at least once. Am I right? Sure I was called Moo-head (a first for me) only last week by Thing 1 because I forgot to put a spoon in his lunchbox. Silly Daddy.

Boys will have the oddest conversations with other kids and they’ll play the strangest games but again that’s OK. I love quirky. I love eccentricity and you’ll find me laughing all day long at home (and even joining in) with my crazy boys.

Why be just another brick in the wall, after all?

Man, I love them.

DD

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Come back next week for my next installment. In the meantime, if you have any funny stories or topics that you’d like discussed feel free to get in touch.