New Daddy 4 Months in – by Cardiff Dad

Following his first blog for Mam Cymru, Cardiff Dad is back! This time we hear about the latest developments in his life as a first time Dad, to his 4 month old daughter!

Cardiff Dad Part 2.

So 9pm last Friday night I was in the 24 hour Tesco looking for something called a “Snot Extractor”. It sounded like an implement from a Roald Dahl book. It looked like something from a laboratory. Pipes, pumps, funnels, something to blow into. The lady behind the counter said they were very popular. “Before these things, parents used to suck out the snot from a baby’s nostrils” she added.

What The F!??

I find I am constantly, as a new parent, reassessing my capacity to be shocked.

Sucking snot! Who does that? Get me a “snot extractor” anytime.

I stay in more, I go out less…our world in general has got bigger AND smaller simultaneously.

A half smile, a little burp or a slightly heavy nappy can mean the universe.

A small rash, a skipped breath, can create a supersonic meltdown.

Has it changed you ? Asked a friend recently,

“I wash my hands a little more enthusiastically …so yeh my hands are probably a lot cleaner, other than that, not much”  I replied.

Whilst it hasn’t altered the actual me that much, it Has changed almost everything around the actual me. The things in our house are different. Some things I liked have been moved elsewhere. Some have gone altogether. The TV has different things on it. Or it is quieter. Or it is off. My post natal wife cannot watch anything on TV with a whiff of sex or violence in it which rules out most of the good stuff on telly.

Things happen earlier. Like dinner and bedtime and the morning. The morning seems to arrive way, way earlier than it used to. Night starts sooner too. I arrive home from work and the lights are low, everything is silent and the room where I used to dump all of my stuff has someone else’s stuff in now. Car seats, baby bouncers, Moses baskets, sleepy heads, prams, play mats. Our little girl has a multitude of things in which to lie upon or sit in. None of which she actually wants to lie upon or sit in just yet.

I find every floorboard I step on creaks. I find my wife is often signalling for me to SHhhhhhhh.

Our new daughter has more clothes than Melania Trump.

I have never seen so much 3-6 month year old clothing. I wish she could be 3-6months old for a bit longer just to get through the clothes…Everyone buys 3-6 month old clothing for a baby thinking it’s a wise move. If I was in the baby clothing industry I would just stock 3-6 month year old stuff.

Our little girl had nothing to wear for the first few months, now she’s rocking fur coats like Jackie O, busting out feminist slogan t-shirts like Beyonce, beanie hats, ugg boots, dungarees, knitwear, jumpsuits, and leopard print skinny jeggings. I reckon there are 4 daily costume changes at least; she needs a personal wardrobe assistant just to get through it all. I was trying to explore the notion of raising her gender neutral but it’s hard when 90% of the clothes she was given are pink. Think I’ll have to wait until the 9-12 month period kicks in before I begin to enforce any neutrality.

So yeh, it’s the little differences with each week…that’s what you notice. Growth. Sleep patterns…

Most noticeably though, there are new smells and sounds; outrageous new noises. Our daughter looks like an angel by day but she sounds like a truffle pig at night. Chomping and grunting, snorting, chuntering and dribbling. She dribbles more than Lionel Messi.

She has this one grinding noise she makes that sounds like a scalectrix set.

And nobody tells you at those NCT classes how much your daughter will fart.

Seriously, I have not laughed at farts so much since I was 16.

Ok, 25. Maybe 30.

But, either way, my daughter has a bum like hurricane Brian. I’m surprised she hasn’t taken off, or blown her cot apart.

I ask my wife if it means I too can fart now. She says no.

Our baby has a name. We took our time with the whole name thing. We were close to calling her “Patience” – fortunately we didn’t as our little girl is displaying a distinct lack of patience. We almost named her “Florence” until a visiting nurse came by and said this; “Lovely name Florence, it’s really popular in Cardiff at the moment”

That was the end of Florence.

The baby naming process reminded me of the fuss over the stadium naming rights when the Millennium Stadium became the Principality Stadium. Everyone had an opinion. There was pressure for a Welsh name. Pressure to have a name easy to pronounce. Pressure to keep the old name. Pressure to be original. Pressure not to be pretentious.

We went for a French name.

Bottle feeding was fun while it lasted. Satisfying. Made me feel involved. Important. Connected.

My wife is breastfeeding and had become a human Milking parlour. Our daughter a ravenous milk vampire. Insatiable. So me doing the bottle feed at night made one feel of slightly more use. This lasted for 3 weeks then something changed and it all stopped. A wonder week, a growth spurt, a phase, a leap, overtired, colic, reflux; I don’t ask too many questions. I’ve found it pays to be agile as a new dad. In this instance my agility informed me to just go with the new routine. Don’t question it.

I have since reinvented myself and become the winding expert. I administer the gripe. I bring on the burps. I find it strangely satisfying and burping a baby appeals to my competitive nature.

On the whole it is going splendidly well. 4 months in. Our baby still has considerably more hair than me, a black and spiky mop, but it is dropping out at the back and bald on the sides and sometimes I tell my wife our little girl looks a bit like Kim Jong. My wife is not overly amused with this quip.

It’s bedtime for the little truffle pig. Our little truffle pig. She will be awake in 45 mins.

By Cardiff Dad.

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