My new crush

yes - awwwwwwwww

yes – awwwwwwwww

I fell in love on the weekend. She’s blonde, small and has an amazing laugh. She’s engaging and funny and loves my jokes. Sure she’s only 6 months old and likes to throw up on me but I don’t care.

Last weekend I spent about 36 hours being the sole parent to my 6 month old daughter. Mrs II and Ms 3 were off to the country for a good friends birthday. We decided the party was a great opportunity for my wife to spend some time with Ms 3 doing something fun, rather than the usual routine; some of you may know it, it’s the one where Mum asks Ms 3 to do something, Ms 3 prances into the lounge room and pretends she didn’t hear it, Mum cleans, does some washing, makes a meal, Mum asks Ms 3 to do the thing again, Ms three does a few pirouettes and then does the exact opposite…

I also knew that there was no way that Mrs II would be able to relax while Ms 0.5 was there. She would be constantly listening for cries, cringing as the gang of kids (including ours) raced around having a ball, worried that our restless half year old would be woken and not being able focus on spending time with good friends she hasn’t seen in too long.

Part of me thinks I should keep the next comment to myself but in the interests of breaking the ill-prepared-Dad-who-can’t-look-after-kids stereotype I am happily declaring that in comparison to a three year old, a 6 month old is easy! There, I said it. I’m not saying it’s not busy, you’re constantly doing something; feeding, washing up, getting up, changing and dressing but at no point did I have to spend 3 hours playing blocks or 2 hours on a trampoline or a morning at the shops playing the “don’t touch that I can’t afford you to break it” game.

Dad - your hilariousAnd the rewards come so quickly and easily. Want a beaming smile? Just get them up when they wake from a sleep. Want a cackling laugh? Just apply some enthusiastic nuzzling to her tummy. Want her to coo and thrash her legs around in joy? Just strap her into the baby harness and go and grab a coffee together.

Yes. Grab. A. Coffee.

Not only did I spend my weekend getting to know a most spectacular little human being but I got to go to the local café and not have to take a colouring book or amuse someone with my iPhone or bribe them with banana bread or smartie cookies while sculling boiling hot coffee.

I even had time to ponder a few theories on kids. My latest one is that over the weekend I did a parenting Bill and Ted. I went back in time to when I only had a 6 month old but I was able to bring my experience and knowledge with me – excellent. Nothing phased me. Tears are normal. Not sleeping is expected. Nappies are… well you never get used to them.

So, my suggestion to parents of kids and babies out there is, if you can, spend  one on one time with your babies. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good you are at this parenting caper and you’ll also get to know someone that is more than likely wonderful. And funny. And beautiful. And sweet smelling.. . (sorry – biased Dad moment).

How about you? Have you had one-on-one time with your second, third or fourth born recently? Have you given yourself an opportunity to go back in time but with the knowledge you now have? Do you think Bill and Ted should never have made the sequel?

To everyone that’s been asking about my lack of blogging this last few weeks, thanks. It has been very busy in Illiterate Land with family and work commitments putting blogging right at the bottom of the priority list. Things should start warming up again soon. Until then I’ll be posting when I can.

Like what your reading? Can’t risk missing another post? Why not keep up on all thing Illiterate via the Facebook page, twitter or bloglovin?

 

Posted in Being a Dad, Raising Girls | 10 Comments

A Fantasy Fathers Day – With Aviator Glasses

I’m delighted to have been asked, along with 9 other fellow Aussie Daddy Bloggers
to take part in a Fantasy Fathers day Challenge where one of us can WIN a day out courtesy of
Magshop.

Here’s the thing though, you can WIN a monthly magazine subscription courtesy of us, the Aussie Daddy Bloggers.
All the details are below.

Here is my entry for the Fantasy Fathers Day Competition

135568502604-Val-Kilmer-Top-Gun-A

Val Kilmer doing his best Kev impression

The sun is shining; my second coffee has just been handed to me along with a hot bacon and egg roll dripping with BBQ sauce. My three year old has made several friends in the park and has forgotten, just for a moment that I’m there and was supposed to push her on the swing. My 6 month old is asleep. Oh – and there’s a fighter jet reflecting in my aviator sunglasses

The lads over at Magshop asked me to jot down a few notes on my Fantasy Fathers Day. This is a difficult one because I don’t have much of a benchmark. You see my first fathers days was a murky blur as my 30ish old body realised that a 48 hour drinking bender had nothing on trying to settle a three month old… for three months.

By my second fathers day I had a walker. My wife attempted to put on a breakfast at a beach side café but this quickly descended into me diving athletically around the café trying to stop Miss Velcro hands from grabbing food of the other diner’s plates. (Next time we’ll try and book the high chair earlier).

I’m not sure about you but being a Dad to young kids has meant I have temporarily scaled back my dreams. My desire for something red, convertible and European has been swapped for 30 minutes to myself in something Swedish and wagon-sized. The picturesque beach in some far off, slightly dangerous land has been swapped for a need to find toddler sized water slides and extra rooms for the in-laws.

So the Mag Shop’s offer to think big is an opportunity to reverse the scaling back. To forget about the patting to sleep, the need to for child friendly menus and brightly coloured kid-safe playgrounds. So for me it’s easy. It’s got to be fast, loud and ideally a few thousand meters in the air. It’s got to involve manly, dark green onsies with zips and it has got to give me an excuse to wear the dress up aviator glasses I’ve got sitting in my bed side table.

And while I’m up-scaling, the red European is sitting on the asphalt waiting to deliver me back home (and this is off the chart in the fantasy stakes) to my sleeping  6 month old, quietly seated three year old and hot cup of good coffee.

Happy Fathers Day from the Illiterate Household.

Thanks for reading and now it’s up to you to decide who will win the Fantasy Fathers day prize.

That’s all happening over on the Fantasy Father’s Day Competition page where you can Vote and Share your favorite, hopefully me!

Remember to vote each day for your favorite.

click on this link to check out the other entries and also to Vote and Share your favorite!
Magshop Fantasy Father’s Day Voting Page

Also, here’s where you get the chance to Win. Just answer the simple question below and go into the draw to WIN a Magshop Magazine subscription from us
Aussie Daddy Bloggers.

Don’t forget to Vote and Share!

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Good luck Will

Will & Kate - Just some new parents

Will & Kate – Just some new parents

At the time of writing, there’s at least one couple in a hospital ward. Surrounded by experts and in perfectly safe hands, they will be in a situation that is impossible to prepare for.

Kate will be in pain. She may or may not be managing the pain herself but regardless she will physically be enduring something she’s never felt before. Will will be holding her hand, or rubbing her back or feeding her ice cubes. He’ll be trying to say encouraging things or maybe just breathing with his wife through each contraction.  Emotionally he’ll be switching between awe, fear and boredom and physically, by this stage, probably be feeling pretty hungry (he’ll know to pack sandwiches next time).

By the time you read this they will (hopefully) be staring at a bundle of nerves, shallow breaths and potential. If the birth goes to plan there will be a moment when something very blue is lifted into the air and William will whisper under his breath “breathe little one, breathe, please breathe”. Then (more than likely) there will be a breath, then blue will turn pink and the breaths may turn into crying.

And two loving parents will also cry. And fall in love again with someone else.

Will. The next few weeks are going to be bonkers. I know lots of people think you will have it easy but I’ve got a feeling you’re a hands on sort of guy which means you’re going to want to be involved. Which means being awake. A lot. Hang in there mate, it does get easier and if your Nan (or someone she arranges) wants to drop over dinner and maybe watch the baby while you and Kate shower, or sleep – I recommend you take her up on it.

If you’ve got some leave saved up, maybe think about taking it about the six week mark. Your brand new sleepy offspring will come out of its shell about six weeks from now and that’s when Katie will need you most. Get something that lets you wear the baby and find yourself some nice night walks around London. I find it helps if you pat their bum in time to a song you can hum quietly as you walk.

Take lots of photos. They change quickly. Also, make sure to send your parents and grandparents photos often. I’d also make sure your Nan can use email or even better, get photos on her iphone.

Come the 2 month mark, I’m pretty sure our experiences will start to differ. You have far more people trying to photograph you than I have had recently but, at least for the first two months I’m sure you’ll be just like most other Dad’s and parents out there. Out of your depth, flat out exhausted and very much in Love.

Congratulations Prince William and good luck.

What’s your advice for the new parents? What’s the best bit of advice you were given? What’s the thing you wished or were glad you did?

Like what your reading? Can’t risk missing another post? Why not keep up on all thing Illiterate via the Facebook page, twitter or bloglovin?

Sharing my Tuesday with Jess over at  EssentiallyJess.com for I Blog on Tuesday

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Teddies, trolleys and Tantrums

The Illiterate Infant has been on a bit of an excursion, guest posting over at the Woolworth Baby and Toddlers Club. Rather than talking about my gifted child raising skills I decided to stay with what I know which is; talking about my failure to heed good, well researched advice from Mrs Illiterate Infant.

For anyone who’s had seen a Dad struggling with an overly enthusiastic toddler at the local supermarket, this will be a good insight into what is actually going on.

teddies-trolleys-and-tantrums-700

As the dad part of a parenting partnership where I work in an office and my wife works in the home, it has taken me a while to appreciate that the advice she gives me isn’t made up. No, this advice comes from three years’ experience of dealing with the complex requirements, behaviours and unpredictability of a toddler.

Like when she says I always need to know where Teddy is. Seems simple and, to the inexperienced, a little bit silly, but if you’ve ever spent 10 minutes wrangling a frenzy of arms and legs into a car seat to then be asked ‘Where’s Teddy?’ you’ll know what I mean.

‘It’s ok, Sweet. Teddy doesn’t feel like coming shopping today. He wants to stay at home, have a cup of tea and read the paper,’ just doesn’t cut it for a toddler joined at the hip to a stuffed animal. As much as I try to reason with her, it never takes long before I’m trudging back into the house to reunite them.

My wife has another piece of advice that is invariably correct; you need to feed toddlers. Especially when you’re off to do the Saturday morning food shop, solo-parent style.

To continue reading just click here

And remember, you can keep up on all thing Illiterate via the Facebook page, twitter or bloglovin?

 

Posted in Being a Dad, Guest Posts | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

The top 5 extreme sports for Dads. Including gardening…

dummyI awoke last Sunday morning, sore. My head hurt, my back ached, I was bruised, battered and scratched. I rolled out of bed making old man noises as I made my way to the kitchen to put the kettle on. 4 years ago this sort of pain would have been brought on by some extreeeeeeeme (best read with hardcore sound track playing in the back of your mind) activity; careering down a slope on a snow board or belting down a track on a bike but now… not so much.

No, my afternoon schnapps half way up the slope has been swapped for a cup of tea and a biscuit, my warm snow boots replaced by muddy wellys and my bike and board swapped for a frying pan, scooter and pruning shears. In the blink of an eye my old life has vanished. My ability to pull off crazy product-assisted hair… gone and reasons to use the terms “smashed it”, “crazy” and “stack” in context… rare. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Sydney Bloggers DP Drinks – a chance to say hello

blowing-party-horn1On the 27th of July, a few weeks from now, a group of people will congregate at the Argyle in the Rocks, Sydney.

This group of shy, quiet, restrained folk will be sitting quietly. Preferring to keep their opinions to themselves and humour high brow, the discussion of bodily functions, birthing of infants and the goings-on within bonds of marriage will be kept to themselves.

Sitting next to them will be a bunch of bloggers. Loud, raucous and definitely lower of brow in the humour stakes, they’ll be getting together to celebrate all things blogging.

If you’re in Sydney and you’re reading this then how about coming along? It could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for to meet that certain blogger in the flesh and thank them for brightening up your day. Maybe they wrote something that helped you figure something out or gave you a recipe that you are now taking full credit for in your circle of friends, like a friend of mine did ;)

Personally I’m looking forward to asking one particular blogger if they’ll be catching up with Colin Firth when they start filming Darcy Strikes Back later this year. There’s another blogger that I am looking forward to having a deep discussion with about the chances of me having an orgasmic birth.

So how about it? If you’re in Sydney most of the hard work is done. If you’re not in Sydney, who’s the blogger you would love to meet in real life? Or, what’s something that a blogger taught you?

If you’re keen the details are here.

Hope to see you there.

Sharing with our favourite Friday linky: FYBF at withsomegrace.

 

Posted in Blogging, Blogging Tips | Tagged | 23 Comments

Bloody TV Chefs: 5 reasons their recipes fail to live up to the hype

funny-cooking-showsBloody TV chefs. With their 30 minutes preparation time, pinches of exotic spices, dashes of gourmet oils and freshly chopped herbs sprinkled with an effortless, artistic flourish. In my world it’s a 2 hours marathon with kids that want to join in and nothing prepared earlier. There are bottles of ingredients, picked by virgins and blessed by the Pope that are destined to remain full and unused in my pantry for millennia. And there’s food, crash landed onto plates and delivered to the the table, the pile of chopped garnishing herbs forgotten on the chopping board.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking. Thanks to a mum that got me involved when I was young and a wife that’s happy to let me look after the Illiterate house-holds catering needs I get to create and prepare regularly.What’s frustrating me at the moment is my inability to get anything resembling the an Oliver-like result in Oliver-like time, or food prepared in anything resembling a flash. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, DadBloggers | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

The lies we tell our kids

…and why we all do it!

youtubeI walk into my daughter’s room yawning theatrically. Thankfully its winter because there is no way I could get away with this one at 5:55am in summer. She’s been calling out for about 5 minutes now, letting me and the rest of the house know that’s she’s ready to get out of bed and I need to execute my strategy quickly before she get’s passed the point of no return, when no amount of convincing, growling or bribery will keep her there. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | 7 Comments

3 treats from Danielle from Keeping Up With the Holsbys

There has been some great posts by Mum’s writing about their partners in the Illiterate Infant’s Mum’s on Dads guest post series and this is no exception. Today we welcome Danielle who writes with the perfect balance of  honesty, creativity and dry witt over at keepingupwiththeholsbys. When she’s not entertaining me with her clever perspectives on un-friending etiquette or surviving toddlers she’s writing honestly about domestic violence or the importance of love and family.

She’s a serial over achiever; running her own you-tube TV channel, taking amazing photographs and is about to publish the beautifully illustrated and entertainingly written recipe book Cook Once Feed All which is all about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family.

Danielle has three treats for Illiterate Infant readers. Firstly; an insight into how she spoils her husband, then, a must-try recipe for ribs and lastly a special offer for Illiterate Infant readers to pre-order her new book at 20% off.

Have a read, check out her site and if you’re as taken as me, follow her on facebook. Continue reading

Posted in Guest Posts, Mums on Dads | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Thanks Julia Gillard… for being a Julia

…and not a Kevin, Tony, John, Bob or a Barnaby

591356-julia-gillardThis is not a politically motivated post. It’s not about the leadership spill in which Kevin Rudd deposed Julia Gillard. It’s not about Liberal or Labor beliefs and not concerned with stopping boats or building broadband. No, this is a post by a Dad with two little girls who would like to say thanks for showing them that they really can, if they want to, be the Prime Minister. Continue reading

Posted in Raising Girls | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

21 things to remember before having another baby

…and why you’ll do it anyway.

having more kidsToday the Illiterate household is tired. A deep, aching tired. It’s an ache that comes from weeks of layering fatigue on top of tiredness on top of sleeplessness on top of exhaustion. We are not unique. All parents go through this at some point, many are going through it now and for those about to say to themselves “it’s funny, I’ve never experienced it” you are either delusional, truly blessed or about to get a really, really big surprise. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , , , | 37 Comments

Air Guitar and other life skills I will be teaching my daughters

AirGuitarMy proudest moment last week was when my just-turned-three-year-old asked me to turn up the radio when the White Stripes Seven Nation Army came on. She knows it’s the song that requires her to stamp her feet in the back of the car to the sound of the bass drum with her imaginary drum sticks ready for the flurry of snare, tom and cymbals that comes about 45 seconds in. Come the drum solo my back seat is a frenzy of arms as she belts out the beat, head thrashing from up and down before the song goes back to a driving base beat.

As a parent there’s a lot you need to teach your children. Obviously there are the big-ticket items like walking, toilet training, stranger danger and making their own breakfast (not there yet but you need to have goals) but what about the other things that make life a little easier and/or more interesting. After telling my wife with teary pride about how her little girl now knows how to mosh in the back seat (not to mention the side benefit of our ABC for kids CD finally getting taken out of the car’s CD player) I got to thinking what other “life-skills” I would need to ensure are passed on; Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, DadBloggers, Raising Girls | 15 Comments

The Mystical World of Dadabulous

blog-image4So I was a bit nervous asking my good friend Mumabulous to guest post as part of my Mums on Dads series. I didn’t know wether to paint on my own abs to compete with the flood of crumpet normally displayed on her own hilarious blog or simply not wash for a few days to look a little more Bear Grylls (one of her favourites). My compromise was to do some work in the roof to get the “wilderness” look and then walk around sucking my breath in for the rest of the weekend.

Come Sunday night and after some solid pressure from the wife I have relented and showered. I’ve also eaten party pies for dinner and can’t be arsed sucking my stomach in anymore. If like me, you’re also sitting comfortably, recovering from your weekend then please enjoy Mumabulous’s response to my blogging challenge of telling us a bit about the other part of the ‘abulous’ team.

If she’s new to you, check her blog out here. She is also on twitter here and Facebook here

And without further delay – please welcome Mumabulous

The Mystical World of Dadabulous

On the Mumabulous I  have written the odd tongue in cheek piece bemoaning the fact that my husband aka Dadabulous, does not understand a) the female mind in general and b) by extension my mind.  For instance he constantly poo-poos my anxiety about the “deadly” white tail spider merely because the white tail spider has never actually caused a human death. He is also nonplussed by the Chez Abulous’ problematic shortage of toilet brushes. We have five toilets and only three brushes between them. This is the source of much consternation for me but Dadabs (quite condescendingly) tells me not to “worry my pretty head about it”. Here on the Illiterate Infant blog I am about to make an earth shattering admission. The chasm of non-comprehension between the sexes runs both ways.  Dadabulous’ mental landscape is baffling terrain indeed. Continue reading

Posted in Guest Posts, Mums on Dads | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Well done – we made it to three years!

third birthdayThere was a moment, about two and a half years ago when I seriously thought we weren’t going to make it. Life was crazy. To you, sleep was the enemy, as was food (or at least keeping it down), resting, car trips, prams, shopping, planes, cafes and any movement more than 1o meters from our house. Basically, anything that we thought would be easy BC (before children) was a complete and total disaster.

It wasn’t your fault. Brought up on a diet of Family Ties, Full House and Growing Pains your parents truly believed that there was nothing that couldn’t be fixed in 30 minutes. Parenting books with easy to follow schedules and friends who outwardly appeared to be handling their own new-borns with ease checked us into the penthouse suite at the Delusional Hotel, where babies sleep straight through at 6 weeks and Mums and Dads read papers in Cafes over coffee on Sundays. Continue reading

Posted in DadBloggers, Raising Girls | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Sex to Sleep – Top 5 ways to avoid getting sick from your kids

sickDaycareEbola, black plague, smallpox… some of the worst diseases known to man have been joined by a new, insidious ailment. One that renders its victims useless within hours of infection. A condition that is seemingly incurable, returning again and again, carried by a seemingly innocent host.

It starts with a cuddle. Your toddler approaches you, a glistening stream running from their nostrils. Tired, grumpy, easily upset you pick them up and offer them warmth and protection but as cuddle you them lovingly they’re wiping their nose on their sleeve and your cheek.

Their craving for closeness is your undoing as you wake the next morning with that familiar catch in the back of your throat and that clogged feeling at the top of your nasal cavity. You look in the mirror to see your glazed, red eyes and you know instantly that you’ve caught it… again. KISS or Kids-induced-sickness-syndrome. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, fatherhood | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

My advice to new Dads: Sing.

DisneyLast night my first Illiterate Infant and I started a new book. There I was, snuggled under the butterfly quilt reading about the structural implications of a poor choice in housing materials, seamlessly  switching between my impression of a big bad wolf and a squealing rendition of “who’s afraid of the big bad wolf”.

For many people, this may not seem a like a big deal but I need to point out that I’ve come a long way. I can still remember the deep discomfort I felt when my wife told me we had to sing our little girl to sleep. I remember trying to lip sync along to twinkle twinkle until I received a stern dose of WTF, followed up with a glare that said “just sing!”. There I was in a darkened room cuddling our then 6 month old mumbling my way through the nightly mega-mix of Twinkle Twinkle, Baa Baa then Rock-a-bye baby to finish. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, Raising Girls | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Theory of Parental Panic

I’m a bit of a nerd. Hold on, before you say anything…I know I may give the impression of a rugged, suave, confident man-about-town daddy blogger but by day I am far more ordinary,  doing stuff with computers and numbers and graphs and Powerpoint.

the nerd curve

The “Nerd” Curve

As my “nerdness curve” graph shows, I’ve had less nerdy moments since I started working in marketing but the problem is my colleagues, who tend to be painfully hipster-esque. Their “on trend attire and attitude only highlights and magnify my nerdness resulting with me being more nerd-like than before. Continue reading

Posted in Raising Girls | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

…Bloody Kids

Making me wake up every hour to settle you when just the other day you had me convinced that you were sleeping through… bloody kids

Running off from me in the supermarket and making me do the dad-trying-to-be-casual-but-really-sprinting thing to catch up with you and then, when I catch you and am about to tell you off, you cackle with joy… bloody kids

Teddy bear wearing socks

The $10 Teddy

Having at least 300 different stuffed toys but still insisting on bringing the dodgy $10 bear your auntie bought you from a service station the day you were born every-bloody-where… bloody kids

Screaming in bed like someones cut your leg off, causing me to rush in to your aid only to have you looking up at me and giggling… bloody kids

Insisting (to the point of complete emotional breakdown) that you don’t need to wee then, once I’ve finally got you buckled into the car seat and driven off… “Daddy, I need to do a weeee!”…  bloody kids Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

Sleeping like a husband… and other perks of the working Dad

Sleeping like husband!

Hellooooooooooo sleep!

Yes, my dear friends sleepy and bobo are back in the house and I am welcoming them with open arms. The fog is clearing as I swap 40 minute cat naps for solid bouts of sleep. Deep, peaceful sleep!

People are commenting on my returned ability to string sentences together, the black bags under my eyes that have turned a more smokey-grey and noted the reduction in coffee consumption. I’m bright-eyed, motivated and feeling something very mojo-like returning. I’m walking around doing air pistols, high-fiving the boss and even went out for drinks with work colleagues (I was hilarious). The other day I did exercise and I might just do some more tomorrow. Life has, in large, returned to normal.

I’ve just got to remember not to show off about it. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Growing up your blog – finding the right help

self hosting on WordPress.org This week I’m talking about the next step of the WordPress self hosting journey; when you decide to actually do it. There’s also a great deal at the end of this post for anyone that’s considering going self hosted.

If you’re still not sure if self hosting is for you check out last weeks post on the reasons why people are doing it here . In summary, I’m ready to run my own show and try to take blogging to the next step which, judging by last weeks comments, is the same for a lot of you. Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Blogging Tips | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Meggings, Mantyhose and other catastrophes

Daryl Somers Fashion

Not Daryl Somers but you get the idea

The other day I sat down on the bus next to Daryl Somers. Well it wasn’t actually Daryl but I’d bet 5 Saturday nights of baby sitting that it was his woollen jumper. Passing it off as a case of ironic-hipster-fashion gone too far I thought little more of it until, while walking to work, I noticed several more younger males wearing mutli-coloured woollen jumpers moving their way around the city (collectively known as a Cosby prehaps?) Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

A 34.5cm head! My Mothers Day guest post

Aussie Daddy BloggersThis week, I’m posting over at Aussie Daddy Bloggers as part the inaugural Mothers Day Challenge.

You’ll read a lot of Mother’s Day posts over the next few days that talk about gentle mothers, loving mothers, caring mothers. Why not pop over and check out what I’ve got to say about gutsy, super-human mothers who take part in the process that is child birth.

While your there check out some of the other entries and let the rest of the Aussie Daddy Bloggers know what you think.

Normal transmission will resume next week.

Over-sharing my Tuesday with Jess over at essentiallyjess.com for IBOT

Posted in Guest Posts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Caught My Eye Friday – Sexy Dads & Lounging Ladies

Sexy Dads

With all the fuss about Gwyneth’s miracle argument cure (well played Matt from DadDownUnder), Mariah Carey shutting down Disneyland to renew her vows and the fact that double denim is now allowed (closest I’ll ever get to fashion blogging), you may have missed the news about an amazing piece of research on Dads with newborns.

Note sexy model-style air kissing

Note sexy model-style air kissing

Apparently, I’m sexier now that I was 7 weeks ago. Well to be more accurate, the research shows that following the recent birth of my child I now rate myself as more sexy than before. Personally I didn’t need the research to know my “sexy quotient” has risen dramatically; the come-to-bed-bags under my eyes, the deep, husky cough I’m developing from lack of sleep and the increasing amount of product being used to tame my long-overdue-for-a-trip-to-the-barber hair all add up to a high degree of phwooooar! (feel free to jump straight to the end and comment on how you love a man that looks like he hasn’t slept in 2 months).

Apparently it’s not the same for Mum’s of newborns though. Even though the positive feedback from others causes a small degree of lift in their own self image, tiredness and a body that’s been turned into a temporary milkbar tend to counter this effect.

So – did you feel sexy after the birth? Did your partner look sexier to you or did he look about the same (but with an inflated opinion of himself?)

Ladies who lounge

the loungeYou may or may not have heard that there’s a new linkup on Thursdays called The Lounge. Basically it’s a bunch of very clever, funny birds that have got together to run a rotating link up. There’s a weekly theme that you can write a new post for or dig something out of your archives.

The lounge lizards (as they like to call themselves) are described in hilarious detail here. If you’re after another place to get-your-blog-on then add these guys to your weekly routine. Otherwise just check in occasionally and catch up on some great posts.

The best-blogger-you-may-not-have-heard-of award

rory2I met Rory from memoirsofthemind a few months ago when he did a guest post for Aussie Daddy Bloggers. If you haven’t read it, I’ll just say it involves little children, a Dad, a poo incident and a disabled toilet – check it out when you need a laugh.

Rory is a great writer, his blog covers everything from Easter Bunny phobias to being outsmarted by his kids and everything in between. If you get a chance, pop in to see Rory and say hi (tell him Sexy Kev sent you). You can follow Rory on twitter on on his Facebook page.

Lastly, a quick shout out to Reservoir Dad who won the personal/parenting category in the Australian writers’ centre Best Australian Blogs 2013. This is a huge achievement and a testament to good writing and blogging – well done Clint, much deserved.

Sharing with Grace at withsomegrace because she rolled over this morning and helped me out.

Posted in Caught my eye | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Picking my battles

Pat… pat… pat… f#$%&g pat… pat… pat… f#$%&g pat…

11-11_DigitalClockThe red digits on the clock have just changed for the 84th time. That’s one hour and twenty four minutes that I have sat beside the cradle patting my 7 week old daughter in an attempt to get her asleep. “Today is the day” I said, because yesterday wasn’t and the day before that sure as $%#@ wasn’t either. Yip, there was no way my daughter wasn’t going to go to sleep in her cradle tonight. No way that I was going to have her fall asleep in my arms on the couch, no way that I was going to cuddle her to sleep again. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, fatherhood, Tips for new Dads | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

Is it time for your blog to grow up?

wordpress logoI’m a wordpress.com blogger. WordPress.com is awesome for a new bloggers. It’s easy to use, looks good, gives you lot’s of detail about what’s going on with your blog and has an enormous, engaged user community which means no matter what you’re trying to do, a simple Google search will give you an answer. WordPress.com has been good to me but I think I’m up for a change.

Over the coming weeks I’m going to be blogging about… blogging. Specifically about my journey moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (or self hosted WordPress). I’m going to have some help along the way from the lovely people over at Little Hero Hosting who will be helping me out with the move. This posting series is in someways sponsored because they’re providing me a lot of the transfer support in return for me documenting the journey. Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Blogging Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

If IKEA made babies…

baby-ikeaImagine, if you will, that you’ve just come home from you favourite swedish, self assembly, furniture megastore. You bring the carton inside, (as well as some coasters, a few pillows and 100 pack of tea light candles) and open it up. You start assembling, your wife watching adoringly as you masterfully work you way around the new piece of furniture without needing to swap any parts around. You come to the legs (or other vital component) and find one is missing.

You re-read the instructions to find that it’s not a mistake. It’s been left out on purpose. Instead there’s a note saying that the leg will be “delivered over the next 12 months in small parts that you will have to assemble without further instruction Lycka till och njut*” Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged | 25 Comments

Top 5 reasons I’m glad not to be a mum

Do you really want childrenIt starts with a quiet, insistent licking of lips. I can hear her at the end of the bed. Her head rubbing against the sheets and she moves from side to side, quicker and quicker and then, the first “uh!”. I open my eyes and see a big red 2 at the front of the alarm clock display. “uh….uh….” I can hear her getting agitated now. “uh…UH…waaAAA!”

It’s wrong but I’m annoyed that I am awake. I’ve already done the maths to the minute, calculating how much sleep I have left before I wake up in the morning. I lay there in my frustration as my wife rolls out of bed, puts on her dressing gown and takes our month old baby into the dimly lit lounge room to feed. I roll over, wrap the warm blanket around me and drift back to sleep.

I don’t wake 30 minutes later when my wife comes back in, lays her down to sleep, wrapped up like a tic tac with a face, putting up a bit of  fight before drifting off. I don’t stir as my wife climbs back into bed with one of her ears open for signs of an infant still awake or distressed. I do wake at 6, go out to the lounge room after my hot, long shower and check the diary my wife keeps of feeds;

2:45am: Left breast 15 minutes, right breast 10 minutes

And at that moment, like every other morning since I returned to work I remember my top , number one reason I’m glad I’m not a Mum – breast feeding at ridiculous-O’clock!

A very close second is the actual act of breast feeding. Sure it’s all magical at the start and yes there’s those misty-lensed moments from TV commercials when the mother looks into her daughters eyes as the infant drifts into milk-drunken euphoria… but then the kid goes completely mental, thrashing their head from side to side because the milks not coming quick enough, or too fast or its the wrong flavour etc etc etc.

And its all the time!!! 6, 8 even 10 times per day life stops as you sit and wait for your offspring to feed. Pinned to the lounge as you watch your older, wiser, cleverer, more devious daughter take advantage of the fact you can’t stop her going into the cupboard to pull snacks out, or jump up on the dining table and start tearing up the bank statements you still need to file or going into the babies room and pushing down the tops of the lotion dispensers…

My third reason is the whinging. I’m pretty good at screaming, crying, wailing and howling. The first nine months of my first daughters life conditioned me well but a grizzling new born and a whining 2 3/4 year old is the proverbial “nails down a blackboard”. As a weekend-weeknight dad I leave a peaceful house early in the morning and come home to one girl in the bath and another asleep but I’m all too aware of the chorus of complaints I didn’t have to manage for the entire day.

My fourth reason involves getting stuff done, or not, in a stay-at-home-mum’s case. I’m well known to have an inability to stay still for more then 10 minutes at a time. Every Saturday morning it’s the same “what are we doing today?”, “where are we going”, “can we leave yet”, “lets do a project (but not necessarily finish it)”. My wife on the other hand wakes each morning in the full knowledge that today all she will accomplish is 6 – 8 breastfeeds, managing two whinging kids and maybe, if she’s lucky a load of washing.

My fifth and final reason I am glad to be a Dad, is weeing. Alone. By myself. In a toilet with a closed door. On weekends I have been known to hold on until I can get to shopping centre or to a friends house so I don’t have to stand there, one hand controlling the aim, the other pushing my inquisitive 2-and-three-quarter-year-old’s hand away as she asks “why are you standing up daddy?” “What’s that?”, “What are you holding?”, “Why are your wees yellow?”

So Dad’s what are your top reasons? And Mum’s, what do you think your Dad’s top reasons are?

ps: Thanks to Mrs Illiterate Infant who’s not only been doing the seriously hard yards for the last month but also inspired this post.

Sharing with Jess over at EssentiallyJess.com for I Blog on Tuesday

Like what your reading? Can’t risk missing another post? Why not keep up on all thing Illiterate via the facebook page, twitter or bloglovin?

 

Posted in Being a Dad, fatherhood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Caught my eye Friday – Blogging Daddy’s, Swearing Mums

And we’re back… slowly the wheels of normality are starting to turn again. Having twice the amount of daughters and half the amount of sleep is feeling more and more normal.

Daddy Bloggers taking over the world…

“I wanted a resource young dads could relate to” … Mike Catabay with Jacob, 2, and Noah, 7 months. Photo: Nick Cubbin

Please excuse the following shameless self congratulation and promotion but daddy bloggers have made a little bit of a blip in the blogosphere in the last couple of weeks. There’s been comments about daddy bloggers being the next big thing, the next marketeers target and the about to wooed by the corporate world. Although I’m already picking the paint colour on the new family Aston Martin I’m not letting it go to my head! Continue reading

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I need to ask you something – the spark

STOP!  Before you read this post, check out part one that was published over at declutterbugversuscaptainstingypants.blogspot.com.au

We don’t talk the way we used to…

I have to ask you something

We talk, it’s just not at a bar after work, or at the new restaurant that just opened up or while we stroll along a beach together… alone. No with work and kids and houses to keep,
when we talk has changed. Our trendy bar is now a kitchen and my date is now a wife, who’s washing up… wrong. I mean who bothers washing the plastic plate when it can go in the top of the dishwasher and if you’re putting something in the dishwasher, why bother rinses it so it’s clean – it’s a dish w a s h e r! Continue reading

Posted in I need to ask you something | Tagged | 21 Comments

Newborns are boring

Sleeping or boring?

Some call this boring… others see it as one of best times of the day

For the aspiring father-to-be the birth of your child represents the culmination of months of effort. Assuming that conception is relatively simple (and spectacular – obviously) you’ve spent the last nine or so months preparing bedrooms, choosing prams, picking names and generally altering the direction and possessions of your life for the new family entrant. It’s exciting knowing that a little person is coming into your family, someone who you can play with, run around with, teach to high-five, kick a football and scare the boyfriends of.

The excitement (I’m sure that’s what my wife was – excited) peaks at the point of birth, where in that one moment, something blue appears, that turns pink, maybe cries a bit and then lies on its mother, soothed by the combination of pheromones and colostrum. You’ll stare in wonder at the amazing thing your wife has just done, maybe cry (a bit) and after a few hours later you’ll be home, shattered, excited… happy. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, fatherhood, Tips for new Dads | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

A day in the life – week 2

This too shall pass… this too shall pass… this too shall pass…

1:00am – The dummy falls out of our newest Illiterate Infants mouth as she finally succumbs to sleep. There’s no tears with this one, no screaming with pain, just 2 hours after a feed of the dark eyes peering at me through the dim light thrown from the TV.

I tap a few more times for good measure… thud… thud… thud… on the tightly stretched wrap. I get up from the couch, move her gently into the basinet, set my alarm and fall into bed. I mentally hand the controls over to Mrs II who will look after the overnight shift. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged | 26 Comments

Things you forget…

One week in and the Illiterate household is officially in “newborn” mode. We’re alternating between Hallmark card moments and a scene from ER as we deal with each new first: first big sleep, first burp, first milk poo, first throwing up of the previous one hour breast feed.

It’s a strange situation, so much the same yet so different. As a Dad, I seem to have automatically got the “bum tap” back and find myself rocking from side to side naturally whenever I hold her. I also seem to be able to expertly turn her into a human burrito with my expert wrapping technique – looks like some skills will be with me for life. Continue reading

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…and then there were four

New Born Baby

about three quarters of a day old

On Monday morning, about 3:20am, another Illiterate Infant came into the world. There’s a whole birth story waiting to be told about this one, but for now, I’ll just summarise it by saying that my wife amazed me, filled me with pride and proved that I am a terrible judge of character.

There will be a bit of radio silence for the next few days while we get to know our new family member but hang in there, I’ll be announcing the winner of the baby stats guessing competition later in the week.

Thanks to everyone that’s sent their well wishes. I have been blown away not just by the amount of really beautiful things that people have had to say but at the way people within the parenting blogging community love good news. Thanks everyone.

A newborn is full of little challenges one after the other and our next one is to agree on a name. We’ve got a shortlist but thought we would get to know our little girl first – hopefully we can sort that out tomorrow.

How long did it take you to name your child? Did you already have the name picked out or did you decide after the fact? Did you change your mind once you met them?

I’ll be sharing my good news this week with Jess at essentiallyjess.com for IBOT – you should check her out – she’s awesome.

Posted in Being a Dad | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

It’s ok to be scared

winter walkMiss 2.5 is indestructible. From as early as I can remember, whenever she’s hurt herself I’ve said “It’s ok sweet, dust yourself off” and she does. I’ve had strangers in parks comment on her robustness as she dongs her head on metal bars or falls from ladders. Sometimes there’s no tears at all, just hands dusting bark and leaves from clothes and she’s off again.

For a dad this is great. I never “had” to have a boy but always thought if I did, I’d have one that would love the rough and tumble. I’d have one that would follow me around the house on weekends when Daddy is fixing stuff, love a trip to the local hardware store and be able to kick a ball around. I got all of this in a bullet proof package and more. I get to have wrestles on the front lawn that turn into kiss fights where we both try to land as many on the other person as possible. I get “daddy’s home” cuddles and bedtime snuggles. For me my little girl is the perfect ratio of ingredients. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, Raising Girls | Tagged , , , , | 46 Comments

My (very) pregnant valentine

Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals

“when I get that feeling”

2 weeks to go (roughly)

2 weeks until you swap the pain in your back and cramping for the muddled fog of sleep deprivation that will come from a helpless, hungry new-born sleeping beside us.

Which is why I’m proposing we postpone valentines day this year.

With your inability to sit comfortably for more than about 20 minutes at a time, stomach the size of an apple and bladder the size of a pea, a meal out together might not be the most enjoyable way to spend your night.

The fact that I share my bed with you, 4 pillows, a body pillow, a heat pack and an enormous bump means that no matter how much of Ben Harper’s sexual healing cover I play, a night of valentines luuuuuuurve is way out of the question.

The fact that we have near fully exhausted the resource that is your parents kind assistance. Taking Miss 2.5 off your hands so you can sleep, or taking her to child care or to the park or to the shops or to anywhere that’s not at your feet asking you to clamber awkwardly down to the floor, means that getting them to do the equivalent of a double shift tomorrow night is probably out of the question. So whatever we will do will have us at home. And regardless you’ll probably be asleep by 9pm anyway.

So please accept this post as a Valentines rain cheque. We can have a crack at valentines when our next illiterate infant isn’t sucking the life (completely) out of you (and mostly) out of me. When we can go out and last past 8:30, when you can drink G&T’s like water and you can stay awake past the first four bars of our bridal waltz.

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Where’s my Millions?

milliondollarsLast weekend I crossed a boundary. I blurred the line between my tall, dark and deep voiced blogging persona and my not so tall, far from dark and slightly high pitched real life self. The line was blurred (somewhat more blurry for some than others) at the Sydney Digital Parents catch up at Kirribilli hotel, somewhere that is now far more classy than the old place I used to go for “warm-ups” before hitting Berry Street (my age is now firmly exposed).

I’ll start by pointing out that I had a great time and met a whole lot of people who lived up to the expectations I had in my mind after reading their blogs, tweets and Facebook pages. I also should also point out that there were far more ladies there than blokes so my already healthy ego got some unnecessary but appreciated stroking. Best of all I got to thank some of the people who took an interest in my small part of the interwebs and have helped me along the way.

Over a few drinks we talked about our kids, our blogs, crazy search terms (seriously – stop looking for Dad’s that suckle), SEO and what our individual plans were for taking over the world, post by post. One question I was asked was why I started a Daddy blog which got me thinking… why did I start a Daddy Blog?

The answer was pretty simple. To make lot’s of money. Seriously, I went into this whole Daddy blogging thing with the cynical view of “how hard can it be”. I literally thought, “write a couple of posts, talk about being a Dad, maybe drop in some cute nappy stories and done. Advertising dollars, morning show appearances and working 2 days a week were just few months away”.

Well it’s about 7 months later and it appears that the keys to my Porsche have been lost in the mail and rather than working two days a week, I’m doing my full time job, with a full time family and then spending most nights, blogging, cajoling likes and hoping for follows. And I like it.

I like the way I get to write. I like the structure that blogging provides for the thoughts that speed around my easily distracted brain. As I guy, I like the way I get to post how I feel about my wife and daughter and how much they mean to me. I like the way that words in my posts are they way they sound in my brain, rather than the way they come out of my mouth as I fit them in between dinners, baths, dishes and bed.

I like the way I’ve managed to tap into a community of people that are mostly as rubbish at parenting as I am. That have easy kids, hard kids, allergic kids, crazy kids, toilet trained kids, pooing at the post office kids, fussy eaters, over eaters, good feeders, bad feeders, huggy kids and stubborn kids. That have travelled, modelled, fixed things, broken things, read things and written things, admitted things and hidden things.

And what have I learned while tapping in?

  1. As a blogger, be yourself.
  2. Blogging is not about the numbers. If you follow point one, numbers may come. If you don’t follow point one it becomes a job
  3. Karma’s a bitch, best keep on its good side
  4. Writing about boobs will guarantee you views
  5. People care about spelling and grammar. Apologies – I’m trying.

So as I approach my 10,oooth view and 1,500th comment I’d like to say thanks for a great 7 months. Thanks for popping by, commenting and following. I should also point out that I’m still open to offers of expensive European cars and head-to-head conversations with Karl Stefanovic.

As always, linking up this Tuesday with Jess’ IBOT at essentiallyjess

Like what your reading? Can’t risk missing another hilarious post? Why not keep up on all thing Illiterate via the facebook page, google plus or twitter?

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , , , | 37 Comments

How new-born fit are you?

baby-dumbellsAs some of you may have noted on the weekend, I confirmed our new Illiterate Infants arrival in about 4 weeks. Thanks to all those friendly readers who quickly advised me of their 36 week pregnancies. What I may have neglected to tell you was that at the moment, I don’t have time for a new baby to arrive. I’ll barley be ready in 4 weeks, there’s nesting to do, floor boards to silence, 10 years of stuff in the new babies store bedroom to make magically disappear… So really, an early arrival just doesn’t suit anyone.

[For those of you who've read enough to rattle of a really supportive comment about most babies always coming on time, please proceed straight to the comment section below]

In coming to terms with the change in lifestyle, sleep, social life everything that’s coming up in four weeks (it’s all about positive affirmation) I have come up with a theory that I would appreciate your thoughts on. My theory is that by having a new born you develop a certain fitness. You start off and it’s hard, really hard but as your body and mind adapt it gets easier, until you manage (relatively) easily, settling quicker, able to pat for longer, changing bigger and nastier nappies more gracefully. The problem is that like fitness, you only keep your level of conditioning while your actively ‘doing it’. So as your child starts to sleep through longer, spew less, scream less, crawl, walk and talk more your new born fitness fades. It’s only when you put your running shoes back on, so to speak, that you realise just how out of condition you are.

The problem is, being a fitness, your mind can play tricks on you. You think you can still perform at the level you used to. For example, I’ve run the SMH half marathon twice (cheers for the thought starter Grace). Although my previous running has no bearing on whether I could do it now (not a chance) it doesn’t stop me talking myself up and saying things like “yeah, I could do the half this year, I’ll just do a few k’s this weekend” which results in “babe, I know your really pregnant and can’t bend over but can you undo my shoes because I can’t feel my legs”.

So like my running prowess, I’m aware that I am also talking myself up in the new born stakes. For example, convinced that a new-born is not that big a deal, I decided to start a new job last week. I also (momentarily) considered attending an overnight conference in March (3 weeks after the baby was born). Rather than let this get any further out of control I’ve made a list of things to remember to keep me a bit ‘grounded';

Things for you (Kev, and others if applicable) to remember:

  1. The first week is hard, the second week is hard, the first week when you go to back work is really hard. Assume it remains hard for about 4 months.
  2. Remember that time when you were sitting in the restaurant 2 weeks before giving birth and the couple where sitting next to you with a new-born in a baby capsule? And remember you saying “that is soooo going to be us”? Yes? then you’ll also remember it sooooo wasn’t you. Be realistic, be happy if you get to a shop. Be happy if you get out to the garden together.
  3. Your wife spent about 9 months after the birth alternating between shell shock, extreme fatigue, despair and glowing happiness. It will happen again. Maybe not for 9 months this time but it’s going to take some adjustment. Again, be realistic.
  4. You have no, I repeat NO experience raising the next new-born. It could be easy, it could be a nightmare, it could sit somewhere in-between. Try not to talk too much about how it will or should be and concentrate on how it is.
  5. You have no , I repeat NO experience raising the next new born AND a two and a half year old. Assume nothing. As much as Miss 2.5 acts your intellectual equal, she’s little, with a little perspective on the world and that world is going to change.
  6. It might not all be about you for a little while. Get over it.

So, is my theory correct? Do you forget, do you remember quickly, does a well adjusted 2.5yo lull you into a false sense of security? And… what’s your list? What do I need to add? What should you have had on your list? If nothing else, what’s your one word you’d give me, a Dad about to go around for a second go?

Hi to everyone that jumped aboard the Illiterate Infant over the weekend. Great to have you here. As always, I’m sharing my Tuesday with Jess over at essentiallyjess.com, if you haven’t been there check it out – she’s awesome.

And remember, if you like what your reading and want to keep up to date with all things Illiterate, check out the facebook page, google plus or twitter?

Posted in Being a Dad, Tips for new Dads | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Other People’s Kids – What’s the rules?

I’m not a stay at home dad, instead I play the weeknight weekend (WNWE) gig with gusto, throwing myself into the Illiterate family’s life as enthusiastically as possible. There’s been countless pluses; I’ve seen a little person grow in front of my eyes, I’ve made connections with people I never expected, I’ve grown closer to my wife than I ever thought possible and most unexpectedly, realised I love kids.

This was proven to me beyond a doubt when I attended the ‘Grand Opening’ of my local go-there-for-one-thing-come-out-two-hours-later-with-a-socket-set-and-a-new-drill-and-an-out-door-speaker-system hardware store. While there we met up with some good friends we’ve made through my wife’s mothers group and without thinking I went straight over to their little girls to give monster tickles and cuddles. They giggled, I giggled and then they all starting squealing together – as I said – I love kids.

Before you all start saying ‘I tell you, that Kev, he’s pretty much close to perfect. Why if I wasn’t already with <insert appropriate name>…’ in fairness to any partners, I need to point out that I’m not quite that. You see I may love the kids I know, that I’ve seen growing up, that I’ve created relationships with but the little B1$#* at the local shopping centre play area I met last weekend could contract an embarrassing but non-fatal disease all I care! Seriously, at the time I was hoping she would hurt herself. Not ‘hospital’ hurt but enough for her to have to be carried out of the play area by her mother (who had dumped the devil spawn in the play area).

Continue reading

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My first boob post

There comes a time in every mummy bloggers blog that she writes ‘the boob post’ so in the spirit of many ladies before me (apologies Jess, Emily, Kelly, Catherine , Danya for using the search box on your blog to search for boobs) I’ve decided why not.

Some of you are obviously thinking “About time! Your thoughts about breasts are an important contribution to the body of knowledge that is the internet”. Others (especially those that arrived at this blog with search terms such as “raunchy homophones”, “kingnap sextube”, “sex mummers picture [sic]“) are leaning closer to your monitors, eyes wide, breathless with expectation however most of you are probably thinking,  “Hold on Kev! You’re a guy! How do I know this isn’t a gratuitous attempt to fill your blog with searchable key words?”

Continue reading

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Only 16 years until uni…

My little baby toddler girl is starting daycare this week.

schoolbag

What exactly does a 2.5yo intend to take in a school bag?

Two and a bit years ago, I was sitting on the floor, cramps going up my arm as I reached through bars of her cot trying, in vein to pat her to sleep. Then all I wanted was for her to sleep through the night. About 18 months ago she took her first steps and I was thinking how good it would be when she could run around and play on a scooter. About a year ago she said “daddy” and I couldn’t wait until we could have a conversation.

Yes I know… I have a tendency to “cast my mind forward”. You could say that sometimes I find it hard to be satisfied with anything because I’m already getting excited about the next event/milestone/activity that’s coming up next. It’s not always a bad thing. I’m pretty goal orientated (not necessarily the right goals) and once I’m locked in on something I’m pretty good at getting there (unless something better comes along and then I’m pretty good at getting there instead – you get the picture).

The problem I’ve found with having kids is that I’m getting exactly what I want. I wish my daughter can walk around a shopping center rather than need a pram – done. I’m sick of changing nappies and the next minute we’re toilet trained. Wonder what it would be like to have my little girl be able to have a two way conversation and before you know it, I get a minute by minute summary on today’s Peppa Pig marathon. Not only am I getting what I want, but it’s happening… quickly. Two months ago blocks were missiles, now we’re building farmhouses. At the end of last year we did toilet training, tonight she let me know that I could leave the bathroom because “I’m ok to do it by myself daddy”.

Continue reading

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Mums on Dads Guest Post – Paedophobia

Welcome to the first entry on the Illiterate Infants “Mums on Dads” guest posting series, where mums get to talk about Dads. What they love, hate, do and don’t understand, want to change and want to keep. Pre-conceptions, mis-conceptions or even conception. If you’ve got something to say I’d love to hear about it.

I’d like to introduce Danya from danyabanya.com who’s kicking things off with a great discussion on society’s (wrong, very wrong) assumption that all blokes are sick perverts. Once you’ve read this post get on over and check out some of her other posts here then connect with her on facebook, twitter and google plus.

DanyaBanya

As a parent, I understand the need to be vigilant about paedophilia. Of course. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. But I think that society has taught us to be vigilant in the wrong areas. And in our misguided vigilance, we are being discriminatory. But more than that, we are creating a sense that honest men are assumed to be perverts. Where good men are discouraged from being involved in the upbringing of children in our society.

Continue reading

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Here we go again: A fortnight of contradictions

I am living in a house of contrasts. Well, I call it contrasts, my wife calls it you-have-no-idea-what-I’m-going-through-growing-YOUR-baby.

I’ve just spent the last two weeks at home being a full time dad, and loved it. My wife has spent the last two weeks allowing the parasite that is our unborn child suck another 200 grams of energy from her. I’ve watched my child develop intellectually into a clever, gifted communicator. My wife is sick to death of my daughters new found ability to ask “why” about everything and then whine for Australia if she doesn’t get her own way. I’ve watched in awe as my little baby grew up before my eyes, staying up all day and on a few occasions to 10pm handling it with ease. My wife is mourning the 40minutes of peace and quiet she could count on each day.

As I type this post on the eve of my return to work, relaxed and recharged after spending a fortnight not in meetings, working on spreadsheets and power point presentations, Continue reading

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Caught my eye Friday – 2012

For the last couple of months I’ve been devoting my weekly Caught my eye Friday to posts articles and memes that have popped up across the blogo-sphere and inter-webs but in the spirit of Grace’s plan to do a “year that was” for the final FYBF here it is, The Illiterate Infants Caught my eye – 2012.

Jan, Feb, Mar
Miss 2.5 had got past the 18 month mark and you could actually feel the atmosphere lighten. My daughter had definitely not been a picnic but by this stage we had had figured out enough to know that we weren’t supposed to know everything, that the trick is that there are no “tricks”, your child will not go to kindy unable to sleep, eat, still wearing nappies and in the end, acceptance will get you through everything. Continue reading

Posted in Caught my eye | 31 Comments

Burning Pubs, Sacred places and Vaginas

On the 3rd Day of Christmas my Aussie Daddy Bloggers gave to me… a story of vaginas – post pregnancy. You asked, we answer… in the Christmas spirit, a motley crew of Aussie Daddy Bloggers are answering questions from our (mostly mum) readers. For our third question I’ll be tackling how I feel about my partners nether regions after the birth of our daughter.

ADB small

The only image I could realistically use in this post

When I got together with the fellas from Aussie Daddy Bloggers and heard about their idea of asking Mums for posting ideas I thought …great. I expected a simple topic like “how was it changing your first nappy” – black, the pooh was black!!  or “what’s been your proudest moment as a Dad” – seeing miss 2.5 survive the death wobbles while riding one footed on her scooter or, the simple “What’s the best thing about being a Dad” – easy, cuddles… but no.

Instead I got a cracker from Kelly over at hand made tears and triumphs. Basically Kelly wanted to know what I thought about vaginas! And not just any vaginas, no Kelly wanted to know what I thought about vaginas that had been through child birth! My first thought was, there goes my opportunity to re-use anything I’ve already posted but on the plus side, it did give me the opportunity to hugely improve my blogs search rankings as I pepper this post with as many references to sex and vaginas as possible. Editors note – To Kelly’s credit, she’s a classy lass and didn’t actually say vagina (yip – there’s another reference). Continue reading

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Toddler bureaucracy

memeIt was when little miss 2.5 was lining mummy pig, baby pig, monkey and baby teddy at the doorway of the bathroom before we brushed her teeth tonight that I finally got, that she got, how the whole thing works. And, as I reminded her to keep her mouth open for the 23rd time, the next thought dawned on me… not only does she know how the whole thing works, the cheeky %&#! is winning.

Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, Tips for new Dads | 22 Comments

My Christmas wish list

So Jess over at EssentiallyJess issued me a challenge that I am all too happy to accept. Firstly because it allows me to play the hypothetical game (my two readers may recall the game being mentioned before). Secondly, it allows me to hunt for interesting images and thirdly, it lets me pass on Jess’s invite to some of my favourite blogging peeps.

So here it is – my christmas wish list

1) James Bond life style… without all the dying stuff

aston-martin-v12-vantage1Santa, I’d like to kick off by asking for a gun-metal grey Aston Martin, an Omega watch, an uncanny ability at poker, an endless supply of well cut suits (and the events to wear them to) and a buffness that is apparently impossible to achieve sitting in an office 5 days a week and chasing a little girl around on weekends.

Obviously a baby seat would need to be fitted to my new wheels and my wife would need to be equipped with appropriate Bond-girl attire (maternity sized if you don’t mind). Continue reading

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Our first conscious Christmas

Last weekend little miss 2.5 got Christmas, or, more accurately ‘I’ got, that she got Christmas. It started on Saturday when she pointed out Santa while looking through some Christmas laden junk mail and then proven beyond doubt when we went to our local Christmas store and I saw a look on her face that I have never seen before. I can only describe it as awe, like if I was to walk out my front door and see a brand new Aston Martin sitting where my sensible family wagon once stood or if my wife was able to go to the toilet without being asked what she was doing (yes, we both have different expectations).

christmas_lights

Respect and adulation for those who guess where this image comes from…

Awe for little miss 2.5 came in the form of the lights section at the Christmas store. As we climbed the stairs I could see her face changing, eyes widening and mouth opening further and further until, met with the site of a 9 foot snow man she could simply squeal “it’s enoooooormous”. For the first time ever I was able to put her down in a store and not have to chase her as the flashing, strobing lights had her rooted to the spot. We spent the next 20 minutes fiddling with settings on every set of display lights, hugging inflatable, glowing reindeer and then (as we recovered from the strobing) touching everything. Continue reading

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Teaching giving to a toddler

If ever there was proof of the change in modern parenting techniques, it has to be my daughter, sitting on the toilet, swiping through photos on my iPad. She’s moved past the “passively watching” stage and now turns it on, swaps between apps and changes the volume. She’s not quite 2.5.

There’s a part of me that’s quite proud. Being a bit technology obsessed (we have iEverything in the illiterate household) I can’t help getting a kick out of seeing my little girl effortlessly pick up gadgets that can confound her grand parents. There’s another part of me that’s excited at the prospect of being able to justify further technology purchases to ensure her intellectual and cognitive development continues to develop (I’ve seriously tried using that sentence) at its current, cracking pace – the last thing she wants to do is turn up to playgroup with an outdated iPhone. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, fatherhood | Tagged | 23 Comments

Why I’ve decided not to be James Bond

You could barely tell us apart (Image Credit)

In typical “stay at home because we’re parents, knackered and a bit boring” style, I was watching a bit of James Bond last Saturday night. I love a hypothetical question (if I won a $100 million, if I was a famous rock star, if we still lived in London, if I was taller – you get the idea) and this night was no different. I was asking myself if I still had the ability to be James Bond.

I use the word still because I once truly believed that I could, if I wanted, become a spy. So sure was I that I even rang the ASIO head office in Canberra after a particularly boring uni lecture to ask them to send me an information pack (“Good morning, I was wondering if you could put me through to the international espionage section”).

Throughout my twenties I had a few of these alternative career paths up my sleeve. I applied for an interview with CARE Australia when I went through my “maybe I could work in a refugee camp” stage, I nearly tried out for a proper band, I downloaded the form to become a Fireman and wondered about becoming a police detective. Each “career” had the same overriding themes. Firstly the obvious one: Chicks dig spies (“this is my last night in Sydney, after this I won’t be able to contact you”) , refugee co-ordinators, rock stars and my other choices. The second is that they all (in my mind) allowed me to travel to far off places, be a hero, do stuff I love or… impress girls. Continue reading

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Sometimes it all just works

Like many bloggers, I’ve used my inability to predict, understand or control the actions and thoughts of the bundle of excitement that is our 2.5yo daughter as a rich source of material to write about. Writing about my parental failure has allowed me to laugh at the times that instead be cause for frustration and reading other writers trials and tribulations has reminded me that other people are in the same boat as me or (I have admit it, even better) that some people have it much worse.

So unusually for this blog I have a story to tell about everything working out… fine. This post is here to remind me that occasionally, it all just works and those occasions are worth hanging in there for. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Dad, fatherhood | 25 Comments