I am three years and two toddlers into Fatherhood. I somehow made it this far, but in case I don’t make it any further, I thought it was time to document and share this tongue-in-cheek list of truisms from my experience of being a father. So here you go, these are my 40 truths about fatherhood.
Out and about
- When out pushing a pram you are giving legitimate and unconditional permission for complete strangers to come and talk to you.
- The MORE opinionated the stranger, the LESS children they have.
- SOME strangers can be hot, single, childless women.
- Despite what the received wisdom suggests, hot, single childless women often have the “BEST” advice for bringing up babies and toddlers.
- Society blindly trusts a man with a pram, despite the fact that the man might be a child-stealing pram thief.
At the park
- At any play park, there is ALWAYS one piece of badly designed equipment that is a toddler death trap.
- It is GUARANTEED that toddlers will always choose to play (for hours) on the one piece of equipment in the play park that is a toddler death trap.
- If there is dog poo, sharp glass, poisonous substances or hypodermic needles lying on the ground, a toddler will IMMEDIATELY find it, touch it, eat it / shoot up with it.
- Any trip that involves more than four toddler insertions / withdrawals from a car seat in a twelve hour period should NOT be taken.
- DONT argue with the sat-nav lady. Shouting at an automated voice robot is not a good example to set your children. Save that for your wife instead.
- “Are we nearly there yet?” is a legitimate question that can be asked at any point on the journey, including even before the journey has started.
- If you do decide to treat yourself to a few beers / glasses of wine of an evening that will be the night that your baby / toddler subsequently decides to wake up screaming every 45 minutes.
- Never fly solo on a hangover with two toddlers. EVER.
- Toddlers will wait for your important meeting / job interview / wedding / long awaited holiday before going down with extreme diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Pink-glitter-in-the-beard is NOT currently an on-trend office style.
- NEITHER is the hello-kitty-sticker-on-butt look.
- Although tempting, when out in a restaurant with your toddler NEVER shout “Seal the exits and set up a perimeter!”
- NEVER believe a toddler, especially when it comes to food. If they demand chicken, give them pork. They would have changed their mind anyway.
- A toddler ALWAYS waits for you to sit down at the dinner table before pointing out that you have forgotten something.
- When your toddler is screaming with hunger, you will ALWAYS overheat the meal.
- Yoghurt is toddler crack cocaine. NEVER run out. CULTIVATE a reliable dealer. ENSURE constant supply lines.
- The parent HOLDING the baby / toddler when it has a poo is responsible for changing the nappy.
- If the baby / toddler is on the floor at the time of the poo, the nappy change becomes the responsibility of the NEAREST available parent.
- For obvious reasons ALWAYS wait for a baby or toddler to finish coughing or sneezing before changing their nappy.
- Regardless of the quality and amount of toys you purchase, it is GUARANTEED that at some point your toddlers favourite toy will be one, or all, of the following; a) an empty shampoo bottle b) a cardboard box c) a toilet roll d) food scraps from the floor e) dead flies and spiders.
- The more an adult hates a particular toy, the more a toddler will play with it.
- Television should only be used as a LAST RESORT option to placate a melting-down toddler.
- The last resort is often the only resort.
Around the house
- Houses without stair gates are both liberating and petrifying.
- Football shin and knee pads ARE acceptable accessories for adults in stair-gated houses.
- 98% of carpet surface area in a house containing a three year old toddler is held together by stale milk, faeces, teething drool and nose bogies. FACT
- NEVER follow the five second rule (see 31 above)
- Child services FROWN on the concept of using a padlocked broom cupboard as a children’s “play area”
- More parental love, care and attention goes into creating a toddlers birthday cake than actually into looking after the toddler.
- Male adults who say they are enjoying a toddlers birthday party are either a) drunk b) insane c) gate-crashers d) from the bouncy castle hire company
- It is perfectly acceptable and normal for a toddler to shout “I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE” and “I WANT TO GO INSIDE” in the same sentence.
- NEVER bank on your toddler keeping a secret. One of their primary life objectives is to bust their fathers as often, publicly and as awkwardly as possible.
- Toddlers are ALWAYS listening. They KNOW more than you think.
- Head butting a wall is an acceptable toddler method for expressing mild displeasure.
- You will spend the first two years looking forward to hearing your baby’s inner voice, and the next sixteen trying to SILENCE it.
And finally, the one GOLDEN universal rule applicable to all events and circumstances
NEVER let the total amount of toddlers outnumber the total amount of parents.
I would love to hear what you have learnt about being a father / mother and what universal rules you have learned from your experience.